Debate 005: Adam and Blair debate spirituality & biblical inerrancy

This is an exceptionally long debate and lasted for almost an entire year. The debate used to be split up on three different pages because of its size, but since most Internet surfers no longer use dial-up, I give it to you here in its entirety.

Adam Rebuttal #001:

Do you really think you can argue atheism successfully without relying on the same thing we Christians are accused (unfairly, I think) of relying on: namely, blind faith?

For example, the secular humanist view cannot explain what happened before the supposed Big Bang. Because the second law of thermodynamics rules out an infinite chain of big bangs and universes.

Atheists cannot explain the Big Bang. Many have tried. Nor can they prove anything that happened so far in the past using the scientific methodbecause the scientific method is only valid when experiments done with it can be reproduced. The Big Bang can’t. It can only be theorized about.

Secular Humanists cannot support the existence thoughts — they are not tangible or measurable.

Secular Humanists cannot rely on their brains for truth — after all, thoughts are mere by-products of a blob of chemicals called the brain. And if you cannot rely on thoughts… go figure.

Nor has anyone gotten near to producing anything near life in a lab so far: The lab environments used to ‘prove’ evolution so far have been very far removed from the ‘real deal’. Only pure chemicals were used and amino acids were quickly removed from their hostile environment as soon as they appeared, where in real life they would quickly have been destroyed by the same energy that created them.

Anyway, I’d like to hear your answers to these problems atheism has. If you respond, I promise to argue them all rationally and calmly.

Response to Adam #001:

Thank you for your comments. In order to ensure that I address your issues – I will take them on one at a time.

ADAM: “Do you really think you can argue atheism successfully without relying on the same thing we Christians are accused (unfairly, I think) of relying on: namely, blind faith?”

Yes.

ADAM: “For example, the secular humanist view cannot explain what happened before the supposed Big Bang. Because the second law of thermodynamics rules out an infinite chain of big bangs and universes.”

What do secular humanists have to do with the Big Bang? Creationists often claim mistakenly something to the effect of what you said. It generally goes, “The second law of thermodynamics requires that all systems and individual parts of systems have a tendency to go from order to disorder. The second law will not permit order to spontaneously arise from disorder. To do so would violate the universal tendency of matter to decay or disintegrate.”

The degree of thermodynamic disorder is measured by an entity called “entropy.” There is a mathematical correlation between entropy increase and an increase in disorder. The overall entropy of an isolated system can never decrease. However, the entropy of some parts of the system can spontaneously decrease at the expense of an even greater increase of other parts of the system. When heat flows spontaneously from a hot part of a system to a colder part of the system, the entropy of the hot area spontaneously decreases! The ICR chapter states flatly that entropy can never decrease; this is in direct conflict with the most fundamental law of thermodynamics that entropy equals heat flow divided by absolute temperature.

ADAM: “Atheists cannot explain the Big Bang.”

What do atheists have to do with the Big Bang? I think you are making a common mistake of attributing a belief system with atheism. Atheism is nothing more than the lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s all there is to it. There are even atheistic religions. One out of three religions in the world do not believe in a god – making them atheistic religions. The only think atheists have in common is the lack of belief in a god or gods. Other than that… anything goes. Each of us is as unique as our fingerprints. I often debate fellow atheists more than I debate theists – because we are so diverse and have different views on everything from apricots to zebras.

Scientists can explain the Big Bang. Based on the current evidence we have – that is the most logical theory available. The difference between scientists and creationists is that a scientists will question his theory. The scientists will look for holes and problems. Will continue to answer questions. Just recently scientists began poking at the Big Bang theory again at the discovery of gas clouds underneath distant galaxies. The discovery of these clouds adds a new dimension to the singularity. It will be interesting to see the new data when it comes out. Creationists on the other hand do not look for holes because they insist they are 100% correct because a book full of errors, contradictions, and inconsistencies “said so”.

ADAM: “Nor can they prove anything that happened so far in the past using the scientific method because the scientific method is only valid when experiments done with it can be reproduced. The Big Bang can’t. It can only be theorized about.”

Do you know what a theory in the scientific community is? Do you know what the “scientific method” is?

ADAM: “Secular Humanists cannot support the existence thoughts — they are not tangible or measurable.”

Huh? What “existence thoughts” are you referring to exactly?

ADAM: “Secular Humanists cannot rely on their brains for truth — after all, thoughts are mere by-products of a blob of chemicals called the brain. And if you cannot rely on thoughts… go figure.”

Huh? Why can’t you rely on thoughts? And what do thoughts have to do with secular humanism and existence?

ADAM: “Nor has anyone gotten near to producing anything near life in a lab so far: The lab environments used to ‘prove’ evolution so far have been very far removed from the ‘real deal’. Only pure chemicals were used and amino acids were quickly removed from their hostile environment as soon as they appeared, where in real life they would quickly have been destroyed by the same energy that created them.”

How can you say the lab environments are far removed from the real deal? Do you know what the real deal was? Scientists are not upset nor are they perplexed by our inability to re-create the beginnings of life in the lab. We know we will probably never accomplish it – but instead of giving up – they keep trying. More out of curiosity than to try to prove anything.

Evolution has overwhelming evidence to support it – Creationism has none. There is not a single bit of evidence to support Creationism. The creationists web sites offer a lot of rhetoric and “scientific” evaluation – but no evidence.

So we have a choice: Behind door number 1 is Creationism. No evidence whatsoever to back up that claim. Behind door number 2 is evolutions. Tons of evidence to back up that theory with new evidence being found on a daily basis – especially in genetics. So which one are you going to choose? I’ll take door number 2, thank you.

ADAM: “Anyway, I’d like to hear your answers to these problems atheism has.”

Atheism has no problems at all. Remember… atheism is nothing more than the lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s it. No problems there.

What is your denomination or faith? Do you believe in the biblical account of creation?

Adam Rebuttal #002:

First off I will answer your last question: I am a Christian. However, my belief is grounded just as deeply in fact as in faith. I will take on your objections and questions one at a time:

BLAIR: “What do secular humanists have to do with the Big Bang? Creationists often claim mistakenly something to the effect of what you said. It generally goes, “The second law of thermodynamics requires that all systems and individual parts of systems have a tendency to go from order to disorder. The second law will not permit order to spontaneously arise from disorder. To do so would violate the universal tendency of matter to decay or disintegrate.”

When a person removes God or gods from their worldview, they also remove everything connected with the supernatural. They cannot believe in a creation, or anything that is not composed of the atoms they are made of. Therefore, their belief system must of necessity be naturalism. The only explanation, then, for where we come from (and that is a question every belief system must answer), is evolution, and before that the great explosion called the big bang.

BLAIR: “The degree of thermodynamic disorder is measured by an entity called “entropy.” There is a mathematical correlation between entropy increase and an increase in disorder. The overall entropy of an isolated system can never decrease. However, the entropy of some parts of the system can spontaneously decrease at the expense of an even greater increase of other parts of the system. When heat flows spontaneously from a hot part of a system to a colder part of the system, the entropy of the hot area spontaneously decreases! The ICR chapter states flatly that entropy can never decrease; this is in direct conflict with the most fundamental law of thermodynamics that entropy equals heat flow divided by absolute temperature.”

ICR chapter? You mean the Institute for Creation Research? Or the Institute for Consciousness Research?

Either way, what the ICR chapter says doesn’t change the fact that the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy must increase and useful energy decrease. There is no exception. When heat flows spontaneously from a hot part of a system to a colder part of the system, the entropy of the hot area increases (while the part of the system that is cooling down does settle into an orderly state): the amount of useful energy decreases.

Encyclopedia Britannica says this:

BRITANNICA: “All spontaneous processes are irreversible; hence, it has been said that the entropy of the universe is increasing: that is, more and more energy becomes unavailable for conversion into mechanical work, and because of this the universe is said to be “running down.”

BLAIR: “What do atheists have to do with the Big Bang? I think you are making a common mistake of attributing a belief system with atheism. Atheism is nothing more than the lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s all there is to it. There are even atheistic religions. One out of three religions in the world do not believe in a god – making them atheistic religions. The only think atheists have in common is the lack of belief in a god or gods. Other than that… anything goes. Each of us is as unique as our fingerprints. I often debate fellow atheists more than I debate theists – because we are so diverse and have different views on everything from apricots to zebras.”

As I said earlier, when you remove the gods you must replace them with something. Atheists therefore must believe in Naturalism (they have removed everything unnatural, after all): They must believe that we have evolved from lower life forms and that earth and its life systems are accidental occurrences. Anything else implies the supernatural.

BLAIR: “Scientists can explain the Big Bang. Based on the current evidence we have – that is the most logical theory available. The difference between scientists and creationists is that a scientists will question his theory. The scientists will look for holes and problems. Will continue to answer questions. Just recently scientists began poking at the Big Bang theory again at the discovery of gas clouds underneath distant galaxies. The discovery of these clouds adds a new dimension to the singularity. It will be interesting to see the new data when it comes out. Creationists on the other hand do not look for holes because they insist they are 100% correct because a book full of errors, contradictions, and inconsistencies “said so”.

1. If you think that creationists rely on blind faith, you are off the mark. The fact is that creation is (to use a purely secular measurement) statistically many (many, many) times more likely to occur. More on that later.

2. Based on the current evidence scientists have, the Big Bang is the most logical theory. So far so good. However, that does not make it an ounce more correct. It just means that it is the least unbelievable theory you can find without involving the supernatural.

3. You seem to separate religions from science. This is unfounded. Modern science was founded by men who viewed the world from a Christian perspective. Neither the Marxist nor the Humanist is to, with their corresponding beliefs that the universe was brought about by a series of accidents, could serve as a fitting base for modern science. Early scientists believed a reasonable God created the world, and therefore they were not surprised to discover that people could find out something true about nature and the universe on the basis of reason. I’ve listed some of these scientists here: Johannes Kepler, Pascal, Robert Boyle, Nicolaus Steno, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Louis Agassiz, James Simpson, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Joseph Lister, James C. Maxwell and William Ramsay. Science and Christianity go hand in hand. In fact, the only places where they seem to grate are those where scientists have no evidence to truly support their claims.

BLAIR: “Do you know what a theory in the scientific community is? Do you know what the “scientific method” is?”

In the scientific community, theory is the term used for a plausible or scientifically acceptable general principle or body of principles offered to explain phenomena (think, wave theory of light). When scientists hit a theory that either sounds reasonable to them, or else is the only reasonable one they find, they promote it to a scientific law. This is what happened to the Big Bang theory.

Scientific method drawn from Science Fair Project:

  1. Observation- You observe something in the material world, using your senses or machines that are basically extensions of those senses.
  2. Question- You ask a question about what you observe.
  3. Hypothesis- You predict what you think the answer to your question might be
  4. Method – You figure out a way to test whether hypothesis is correct. The outcome must be measurable. (quantifiable)
  5. Result- You do the experiment using the method you came up with and record the results. You repeat the experiment to confirm your results.
  6. Conclusion- You state whether your prediction was confirmed or not and try to explain your results.

Science, operating within the framework of the scientific method including observation, hypothesis, experimentation, falsification, predictability, and law, can only describe reality that is observable and measurable. It is limited with regard to the past, since it cannot measure and observe anything that does not exist in the present. Since all history, for example, is a one-time event, history is outside the scientific method. If the mind, for example, is only a brain process, then the scientist will be able to explain it. But if the mind exists in the supernatural realm, science, by definition, cannot know anything about it. No brain surgeon has yet seen an idea, much less dissected one.

BLAIR: “Huh? What “existence thoughts” are you referring to exactly?”

Sorry. I meant that “science cannot prove the existence of thoughts.” See above.

BLAIR: “How can you say the lab environments are far removed from the real deal? Do you know what the real deal was? Scientists are not upset nor are they perplexed by our inability to re-create the beginnings of life in the lab. We know we will probably never accomplish it – but instead of giving up – they keep trying. More out of curiosity than to try to prove anything. Evolution has overwhelming evidence to support it – creationism has none. There is not a single bit of evidence to support creationism. The creationists web sites offer a lot of rhetoric and “scientific” evaluation – but no evidence.”

I’ll answer this question in two parts. First, about evolution:

The fact that each major group of organisms appears abruptly in the fossil record without any transitions is grudgingly recognized by leading evolutionists! Raup, a geologist (and evolutionist) wrote this:

RAUP: “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 transition 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 appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic.” (Raup, “Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology”, pg. 25).

Stephen Jay Gould, an ardent evolutionist, also recognized this problem and candidly admits that evolutionists are often afraid to confront it:

GOULD: “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….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad hat we never see the very process we profess to study.” (Stephen J. Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace”, Natural History, vol. 86 (May 1977), p.14)

This lack of transitional phases in the fossil record also exists in living forms: There are many single-cell forms of life, but there are no forms of animal life with 2, 3, and 4 . . . even 20 cells. If organic evolution happened, one would expect to find these forms of life in great abundance. Actually, none have been found.

So, in response to this evidence, humanists have switched to the theory of punctuated equilibrium – that evolutionary changes happened in a very short time, so we have no fossil record of them. The problem is 1) this disagrees very strongly with Darwin’s theory (he wrote, “As natural selection acts solely by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations, it can produce no great or sudden modifications; it can act only by short and slow steps.”), and 2) is repulsive to science, since there has been nothing whatsoever that has ever even suggested the possibility of such rapid changes. Scientists know that there is no actual mechanism that would explain large rapid jumps from one species to another. The lack of evidence for one theory does not necessarily prove the likelihood of another theory.

Patterson, an evolutionist, writes this:

PATTERSON: “Well, it seems to me that [proponents of punctuated equilibrium] have accepted that the fossil record doesn’t give them the support they would value so they searched around to find another model and found one. . . Once you start applying that reasoning to the fossil record, you are doing what these people (creationists) are saying you are doing. When you haven’t got the evidence, you make up a story that will fit the lack of evidence.” (Sunderland, “Darwin’s Enigma”, pg. 100)

One more quote:

PATTERSON: “After observing mutations in fruit flies for many years, Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species. This led him to propose the hypothesis of the “hopeful monster,” whereby a huge change might have occurred all at once and been preserved by a favoring environment. His colleagues rejected this proposal as unsound, but they seem to escape Goldschmidt’s despair only by an act of faith.” (Macbeth, “Darwin Retried”, p. 33)

So much for evolution being backed up by tons of data.

Now, for the evidence for creation:

I’m sure you’ve heard this reason given for creation: the patterns and designs built into the universe don’t just suggest – they require a designer. According to the anthropic principle, evidence for design is found throughout the physical universe. Let me get a little deeper into the details here:

The list of preconditions necessary for life are nearly endless, and earth is the only planet that fulfills any of them to the extent required.

The orbit of the earth controls its distance to the sun. If the earth were even slightly closer to the sun, its water would boil away – any farther and its water would freeze, making life impossible. The orbit also has to be close enough to circular to maintain this favorable climate. Earth is the only planet with such an circular orbit around the sun. Not only the landscape is affected by the position of our planet. The chemical reactions necessary or life to function occur within a narrow temperature range, and Earth is exactly the right distance from the sun to fall within that range.

Consider the properties of water. Water has a host of unique properties that are absolutely indispensable for life. For example, it is the only known substance whose solid phase (ice) is less dense than its liquid phase. That’s why ice forms on the top of oceans and lakes instead of the bottom, allowing fish and other marine life to survive in the winter. On the microscopic level, water molecules exhibit something called the hydrophobic effect, which gives water the unique ability to shape proteins and nucleic acids in DNA. From a molecular standpoint, the various properties of water are nothing short of miraculous.

Consider the many other physical properties the cosmos has that are indispensable to life. For example, the big bang had to have exploded with just the right degree of vigor for our present universe to have formed. If it had occurred with too little velocity, the universe would have collapsed back in on itself shortly after the big bang because of gravitational forces; if it had occurred with too much velocity, the matter would have streaked away so fast that it would have been impossible for galaxies and solar systems to subsequently form. The fact that the force of gravity just happens to be the right number with “such stunning accuracy,” writes physicist Paul Davies, “is surely one of the greatest mysteries of cosmology.”

Take another example: the structure of the atom. Everything in the universe is made of atoms, from the stars in the farthest heavens to the cells in the human body – and the atom itself is a bundle of fortuitous “coincidences”. Within the atom, the neutron is just slightly more massive than the proton, which means that free neutrons (those not trapped within an atom) can decay and turn into protons. If things were reversed – if it were the proton that was larger and had a tendency to decay – the very structure of the universe would be impossible. Why? Because a free proton is simply a hydrogen atom, and if free protons had a tendency to decay, then everything made of hydrogen would decay. The sun, which is made of hydrogen, would melt away. Water, a liquid oxide of hydrogen, would be impossible. In fact, the universe itself would decay since about 74 percent of the observed universe consists of hydrogen. And why is the neutron larger than the proton? No one knows. There is *no* physical cause to explain why the neutron is larger. Not only to atomic particles have a size, but they also have an electrical charge. Electrons have a negative charge, and protons have a positive charge. Yet, aside from socks that stick together in the dryer, most of the objects we encounter in daily life have no electrical charge. Why not? Because the charge of the proton exactly balances that of the neutron. *If the electron carried more charge than the proton, all atoms would be negatively charged. In that case – since identical charges repel – all the atoms composing all the objects in the universe would fly apart in a catastrophic explosion. On the other hand, if the proton carried more charge than the electron, all atoms would be positively charged – with the same disastrous consequences. There is no known physical reason, no natural explanation, for the precise balance in the electrical charges of the proton and the electron – especially when you consider that the two particles differ from one another in all other respects: in size, weight, magnetic properties, and so on. And since there is no natural explanation, no natural law to account for this extraordinarily precise adjustment, is it not reasonable to conclude that this intrinsic arrangement is the product of a choice, a plan, or a design?

The list of “coincidences” goes on and on. It turns out that the slightest tinkering with the values of the fundamental forces of physics – gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces – would have resulted in a universe where life was utterly impossible.

So what do scientists who have been trained to believe that the concept of a creator has no place in science do about these obvious marks of design and purpose in the universe? They scramble to explain them away, searching for ways to account for design in the universe without having to acknowledge a designer. All attempts to explain away the design turn out to be far less scientific than a straightforward acknowledgment of a creator.

It seems to me (and to many Christian scientists) that the commitment of the modern scientific community to atheism is in many cases stronger than the commitment to the scientific method.

Christianity is backed up not by scientific proofs but by legal proofs. Manuscript evidence rules out the possibility of manuscripts having been changed since they were written. In fact, the gospels and the book of acts were written around 50 A.D., within years of the events they describe. You must remember that the Jewish culture was one where the reliable method of transmitting events and stories was not on paper – they considered that to easy to change and fake (one mistake on paper would affect people who read it for the lifespan of the paper). All Jewish children were trained with an amazing memory – they would be able to memorize everything they heard the first time by the time their schooling was over. So considering that we have 5300 Greek manuscripts, 8000 Latin manuscripts and 9300 other early versions of the texts, all of which say the exact same thing (ignoring spelling and grammar mistakes and discrepancies which are the result of translation from between Latin, Greek, Aaramaic and all the other languages it was produced in), the evidence proves beyond all reasonable doubt that these accounts are as accurate (or more so) than the newspaper articles we read every day.

Thanks for your patience in reading through all this. I really did appreciate your quick and rational response. And I do see where atheists have a point – after all, if they have no god, no concept of a creator, they must have something else. And evolution and the big bang theories are the best explanations they can come up with. For atheists, these theories are not – cannot – be something easily dropped or ignored because they form the whole basis of whom they see themselves as.

Response to Adam #002:

ADAM: “When a person removes God or gods from their worldview, they also remove everything connected with the supernatural.”

This does not explain the non-theistic religions. One out of three religions are non-theistic. Buddhism and New Age are good examples. The followers of Buddhism and New Age are atheists but they believe in supernatural events. Astrology is a major supernatural and pseudoscience belief – but the followers of Astrology are atheists.

As I said before – atheism is nothing more or less than the lack of belief in a god or gods. That’s it – nothing more. Naturalism has several meanings, by the way. In the philosophical world Naturalism is means, “The system of thought holding that all phenomena can be explained in terms of natural causes and laws without attributing moral, spiritual, or supernatural significance to them.”

In the theological world Naturalism means “The doctrine that all religious truths are derived from nature and natural causes and not from revelation.”

In the Art world Naturalism means “The theory that art or literature should conform to nature; realism; also, the quality, rendering, or expression of art or literature executed according to this theory.”

Not all atheists are naturalists and not all naturalists are atheists. You have attempted to throw a bucket of paint over the canvas instead of taking fine brush strokes. There are many Christians that do not believe in the miracles of the Bible, the global flood, creation, and other such nonsense – but still believe in and worship Christ and God. And yes, there are even scientists that are religious. And yes, there are religionists that are scientific.

Each of us is as unique as our own fingerprints. Atheists are only bound together by the lack of belief in a god and nothing else. Just the other day I was debating a fellow atheist on Astrology. He was a devout follower and believer in Astrology. A few weeks ago I was debating an atheist that believed in Ghosts. A couple of months ago I was debating an atheist that believed he had been visited by aliens. Atheism does not necessarily mean the discount of supernatural phenomenon. Personally – I do discount the supernatural or find the natural causes of said phenomenon.

ADAM: “ICR chapter? You mean the Institute for Creation Research? Or the Institute for Consciousness Research?”

Institute for Creation Research.

ADAM: “Either way, what the ICR chapter says doesn’t change the fact that the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy must increase and useful energy decrease. There is no exception.”

As I said before the overall entropy of an isolated system cannot decrease. However, the entropy of parts within the system can spontaneously decrease. They do so at the expense of a greater part of the overall system. In other words, if heat flows spontaneously from a hot part to a cold part, the entropy of the hot area decreases. To say the entropy cannot decrease is in direct conflict with the fundamental law of thermodynamics that entropy equals heat flow divided by absolute temperature.

Entropy is simply a measure of the amount of disorder in a system. The entropy of a system is more likely to increase than decrease (but decreased entropy is not ruled out) because there is more disorder than order (but not all disorder – there is some order). The disorder in a system increases because at every stage some of the energy is wasted. This is the second law of thermodynamics.

  • The first law of thermodynamics says that heat is just a form of energy and the total amount of energy in the world always remains the same.
  • The second law of thermodynamics says that heat energy will always flow from a hotter object to a colder one rather than the other way around.
  • The third law of thermodynamics says that it is impossible to go on taking heat from an object so that it reaches zero on the Kelvin scale.
  • The fourth law of thermodynamics says that if two objects are both at the same temperature as a third, then all three are at the same temperature – they are said to be at a thermal equilibrium.

So while the second law supports entropy the first law insists that while that heat energy may decrease or increase the total energy balance is maintained.

ADAM: “If you think that creationists rely on blind faith, you are off the mark. The fact is that creation is (to use a purely secular measurement) statistically many (many, many) times more likely to occur. More on that later.”

So statistically speaking a God is more likely than no God? And where did you come across said statistics?

ADAM: “Based on the current evidence scientists have, the Big Bang is the most logical theory. So far so good. However, that does not make it an ounce more correct. It just means that it is the least unbelievable theory you can find without involving the supernatural.”

You are somewhat correct. The Big Bang Theory is just that, a theory. That means we do not know 100% what happened. We look at the evidence around us and we develop a theory that explains that evidence.

What is amazing is the Christian resistance to the Big Bang Theory. It was a monk that first came up with the Big Bang Theory. His theory was considered a victory among Christian scholars. The scientific community up to that time believed that the universe was infinite. The monk’s theory showed that the universe could be finite. After a while the scientists realized the monk was right. His theory was scientifically sound and worked for the evidence. Science embraced the new theory and suddenly Christian scholars turned on it. Why did the Christian scholars embrace the theory until the scientists agreed with them? To this day the creationists refuse to acknowledge the origins of the Big Bang Theory. The refuse to acknowledge that creationists accepted the Big Bang Theory because it showed the universe was finite and that God could have been the cause of the Big Bang.

Then there’s the Big Crunch Theory. We know the universe is expanding at a million miles per hour. When will inertia give and gravity take over? Estimates show that the universe will come to a “stand still” in about five billions years. So what happens then? The universe starts to pull back on itself and closes back to its starting point. The result, after many billions of years, is an implosion that starts the Big Bang all over again. This fluctuation, or oscillation, if you will, has no way of being proven 100%.

ADAM: “You seem to separate religions from science. This is unfounded. Modern science was founded by men who viewed the world from a Christian perspective.”

So what you are saying is that because the earliest scientists were Christians I should not separate religion and science? Should we not separate alchemy and chemistry since the first chemists were alchemists? Should we not separate Astronomers from Astrologists since the first astronomers were astrologists?

ADAM: “Neither the Marxist nor the Humanist worldview, with their corresponding beliefs that the universe was brought about by a series of accidents, could serve as a fitting base for modern science.”

Why is that?

ADAM: “I’ve listed some of these scientists here: Johannes Kepler, Pascal, Robert Boyle, Nicolaus Steno, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Louis Agassiz, James Simpson, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, William Thomson (Lord Kelvin), Joseph Lister, James C. Maxwell and William Ramsay. Science and Christianity go hand in hand. In fact, the only places where they seem to grate are those where scientists have no evidence to truly support their claims.”

So because a few scientists felt a need to be spiritual or religious – we all should? But to humor you, let’s look at your scientists one at a time, shall we?

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) Astronomer/Astrologist, Optician, and Mathematician. Kepler was a Lutheran who mathematics in Germany. On the side for extra money Kepler created astrological calendars and made astrological charts for customers. Kepler’s mother was accused of being a witch in 1615 during the Protestant witch-hunts of the time. After the trial (he defended her and saved her) he joined the Counter Reformation (1618) to put pressure on the Protestants (which he was at the time). He was persecuted for his scientific beliefs and ultimately left his home under garrison guard in 1627. He died three years later.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Mathematician, Physicist, and inventor. Pascal is best known for his religious argument called “Pascal’s Wager”. Pascal was looking for a way to convert his friends to his sect of Roman Catholicism called Jansenism. He devised an argument that he felt was foolproof and would cause instant conversion to his religious beliefs. Amazingly, many theists today still think his argument is foolproof. At the age of fourteen Pascal began meeting with a man named Mersenne (who was imprisoned at the time) who belonged to a religious order of the Minims. But after he suffered an injury and was cared for by Jansenist priests, which converted him. He held strong religions beliefs and after his Jansenism conversion wrote more religions books than anything else. He quickly turned from his scientific ventures in mathematics and physics and concentrated on his religion. He had the capacity to be a great scientific mind beyond the age of 20. He had formulated many theories (some of which still hold today) about mathematics before he encountered religion. While he still studied mathematics and physics after his religious encounters – he never put the same enthusiasm into it. Religion smothered a great scientific mind that turned to writing token arguments such as the likes of “Pascal’s Wager”.

Robert Boyle (1627-1691) Natural Philosopher and Chemist. Boyle was a founder and an influential fellow of the Royal Society, was continuously active in scientific affairs, and wrote prolifically on science, philosophy, and theology. In 1644 Boyle returned to England and became an experimentalist. He became aligned with a group of scientists, which called themselves The Invisible College, because they held to the new, radical mechanistic approach to experimental science. Robert Boyle was born into a Protestant family.

Nicolaus Steno (1638-1686) Anatomist and Geologist. While in Florence working at the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova he began to doubt his Lutheranism. In 1667 he became a Catholic. In 1677 he was consecrated as a bishop. Like Pascal he wrote mostly theological works after his conversion and consecration. He strayed from his science. Steno was a forgotten scientists and it wasn’t until recently that his discoveries were properly attributed. He had the capacity to become a great Geologists beyond his contributions already made – and Catholicism smothered him.

Isaac Newton (1642-1727) Mathematician. In 1696 Isaac moved to London to accept a government job and left his sciences behind. Before 1696 Isaac studied at Trinity College in Cambridge, and became a professor there later. Isaac did not believe in the Biblical god – he was a deist. Isaac believed in creation – but not Creationism as told in the Bible.

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) Physicist and Chemist. Despite his achievements, Faraday remained a modest and humble person. He declined to be knighted or to receive honorary degrees and only reluctantly accepted a small pension on his retirement in 1858. On 2 June 1821 he married Sarah Barnard who was a member of one of the leading Sandemanian families in London and on 15 July 1821 Faraday made his Confession of Faith in the Sandemanian Church. In the early 1840’s Faraday became an elder of the Sandemanian Church, which caused a drastic decline in his scientific works. Again we see the role of the church smothering the science.

Charles Babbage (1791-1871) Mathematician and Engineer. Babbage attended the Trinity College in Cambridge. In 1830 Babbage published Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, a controversial work that resulted in the formation, one year later, of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Babbage was an aesthete. 1837 he published his Ninth Bridgewater Treatise, to reconcile his scientific beliefs with Christian dogma. Babbage argued that miracles were not, as Hume write, violations of laws of nature, but could exist in a mechanistic world. As Babbage could program long series on his calculating machines, God could program similar irregularities in nature.

Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) Systematics, Glaciologists, and Paleontologist. He was also a lifelong opponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Yet even his most critical attacks on evolution have provided evolutionary biologists with insights. Agassiz himself stated that, “It chanced to be a result that was found to apply to other groups and has led to other conclusions of a like nature.” Agassiz was a son of a minister. Agassiz studied and followed Naturphilosophie, a German Romantic philosophy that sought for metaphysical correspondences and interconnections within the world of living things. Although he later renounced this view he was never able to completely free himself from its influence. It was Agassiz himself that first surmised that a global flood did not happen but that the marks attributed to global flooding were in fact from previous glaciations and an Ice Age. Agassiz stayed loyal to Cuvier’s classification, which divided the animal kingdom into four branches: Vertebrata, Insecta, Vermes (worms) and Radiata (radially symmetrical animals). The cornerstone of Agassiz’ biological thought was his belief that the gradation from low to high forms, in any taxon, paralleled the order of appearance in the fossil record, the order of stages in the organisms’ development, and the distribution and ecology of the taxon. In other words – he felt that evolution didn’t cut it – but his theory did. He was not a creationist regarding the Biblical account of creation.

James Young Simpson (1811-70) Obstetrician. Pioneer in the use of anesthetics, particularly chloroform and its use in surgery and childbirth. Simpson diverted attention from medical issues when he published a pamphlet, “Answer to the Religious Objections Advanced Against the Employment of Anesthetic Agents in Midwifery and Surgery.” Simpson was infuriated with the religious organization that refused to allow the administration of anesthetics during childbirth. He insisted that pain during childbirth was unnecessary and dangerous. It wasn’t until he delivered a baby for the Queen that the religious right of the time relented and his ideas about childbirth anesthesiology took hold. Although he was a professed Christian – his resentment toward the church at their stubbornness persisted to his death.

Gregor Johann Mendel (1822-1884) Biology and early Genetics. He entered the Augustinian Monastery of St. Thomas at Brünn at the age of twenty-two and was ordained to the priesthood in 1847. The Augustinians at the monastery included philosophers, a musicologist, mathematicians, mineralogists and botanists who were heavily engaged in scientific research and teaching. After his ordination Mendel was assigned to pastoral duties but it soon became apparent that he was more suited to teaching. His research was done on the side and he never received his certification.

Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) Chemist. First, he championed changes in hospital practices to minimize the spread of disease by microbes. Second, he discovered that weakened forms of a microbe could be used as an immunization against more virulent forms of the microbe. Third, Pasteur found that agents so small they could not be seen under a microscope, thus revealing the world of viruses, transmitted rabies. As a result he developed techniques to vaccinate dogs against rabies, and to treat humans bitten by rabid dogs. And fourth, Pasteur developed “pasteurization,” a process by which harmful microbes in perishable food products are destroyed using heat, without destroying the food. While he worshiped science, Pasteur maintained that there were spiritual values that transcended it. Pasteur was a deist.

William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) (1824-1907) Physicist, Mathematician, and Engineer. One of the first people to state the second law of thermodynamics. He also estimated the age of the Earth from its temperature (although he was wrong because he did not know about the production of heat through radioactivity in the Earth). And of course he developed the absolute temperature scale. Kelvin was extremely interested in the age of the sun and in 1853 he calculated a value of 50 million years. That is hardly in conjunction with the account of Genesis that would place the age of the sun and Earth around 8500-years-old. His calculation for the age of the earth was (a maximum of) 400 million years. Lord Kelvin was not a Biblical creationists – he was a deist who believed in a creator – but not necessarily the biblical creator.

Joseph Lister (1827-1912) Surgeon. Known for his discovery of antiseptics. Initially Lister’s discoveries were met with resistance, but by the 1880s they had become widely accepted. In 1897 Queen Victoria, who had at one time been his patient, made him baron. Lister was a Quaker. Now everyone knows where Listerine came from!

James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) Theoretical Physicist. First to write down the laws of electricity and magnetism. In 1864 he put Faraday’s ideas into mathematical form and predicted the existence of electromagnetic radiation. Maxwell also attended the Trinity College in Cambridge where he graduated in 1854. He showed that stability of Saturn’s rings could be achieved only if the rings consisted of numerous small solid particles, an explanation now confirmed by the Voyager spacecraft. In 1860 Maxwell was appointed to the vacant chair of Natural Philosophy at King’s College in London. His major discovery of “the ether,” the vast sea of space that made possible the transmission of light, heat and radio waves, was nothing more than a poetic metaphor. He was elected one of the 12 Apostles, a group of the university’s most outstanding young men. He wrote poetry and studied theology. His mother, a dedicated Christian, whom included studying the Bible, provided James’ early education. Maxwell had an extensive knowledge of the Bible, and was an elder of the church, which he helped establish near his home at Glenlair.

William Ramsay (1852-1916) Chemist. Ramsay discovered neon in 1898. Ramsay’s earliest works were in the field of organic chemistry. He published work on picoline and, in conjunction with Dobbie, on the decomposition products of the quinine alkaloids (1878-1879). Yet another discovery of Ramsay (in conjunction with Soddy), the importance of which it was impossible to foresee, was the detection of helium in the emanations of radium (1903). Ramsay was a man of Christian faith.

So what have you shown us here by listing these scientists? You have shown us that some scientists who have made great contributions to the scientific community were religions or spiritual in some manner. The label of Christian is irrelevant since most of them were professed deists and not Christians. But what does this say? Does it say that science is based in Christianity or does it say that some scientists are Christians? Nowhere does it mention that these men used their religious beliefs to further their scientific endeavors. In fact several of them left the scientific communities when they were converted or became active in their churches. Bottom line is that these men (and others) do not signify that science is based on religion. You are pulling straws in order to justify Christian Science. Can you honestly say that science is rooted in Christianity or even religion? Was it not religion, specifically Christianity, which persecuted scientists and made every attempt to keep the flock in the dark and hidden from science? Was it not religion, specifically Christianity, which denounced all things scientific because they conflicted with “god’s image of the universe”? The answer to both questions is yes.

ADAM: “When scientists hit a theory that either sounds reasonable to them, or else is the only reasonable one they find, they promote it to a scientific law. This is what happened to the Big Bang theory.”

The Big Bang Theory is not scientific law. Scientists don’t “hit a theory”, either. Scientists look at the evidence at hand and formulate a hypothesis. Then they begin to test it. If that hypothesis is proven time and again or is shown to be true – then a theory is formulated. But it is not a “scientific theory”, yet. It has to be independently tested and verified to be true under all circumstances. Once that is done – a scientific theory is born. Scientists constantly question and probe their theories looking for holes and problems. Scientists are not afraid to admit when they are wrong or that a theory is flawed and has to be reformulated. That is what separates religion from science.

Religion is not science and science is not religion. Some scientists can be religions. Some religionists can be scientists – but one’s personal regards to spirituality and religion should never come between their objective searches into the realm of science. While each of the men above were religious to one degree or the other they were able to separate work from play, if you will. Would Thomson have evaluated the age of the Earth around 400 million years if he had let his religious ideologies control his scientific objectivism?

ADAM: “Science, operating within the framework of the scientific method including observation, hypothesis, experimentation, falsification, predictability, and law, can only describe reality that is observable and measurable.”

Incorrect. The presence of atoms was theorized long before their discovery. The presence of black holes, background radiation, other planets, nebulas, hemoglobin, and others were theorized long before their actual discovery and verification. These things were theorized on based on evidence at hand and current natural laws. That is what the Big Bang and Crunch Theories are all about.

ADAM: “It is limited with regard to the past, since it cannot measure and observe anything that does not exist in the present. Since all history, for example, is a one-time event, history is outside the scientific method.”

Incorrect. Sciences like anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and others do a wonderful job of looking at the past. We can reconstruct the past based on the evidence it has left behind. Often we can duplicate the past.

ADAM: “If the mind, for example, is only a brain process, then the scientist will be able to explain it. But if the mind exists in the supernatural realm, science, by definition, cannot know anything about it. No brain surgeon has yet seen an idea, much less dissected one.”

You are assuming that the supernatural realm is above the natural. Why is there no reason to believe that the supernatural is nothing more than natural events that have not been explained as of yet? Thoughts have been measured and seen traveling through the brain by use of nuclear medicine and other recent medical advances.

Does the fact that science cannot currently explain something justify classifying that something as supernatural? That idea is completely absurd and has no merit whatsoever. It is that very ideology that created gods in the first place. Man didn’t understand lightning and thunder so he assigned gods to them. It is the fear of what we don’t understand and our absurd nature to assign that lack of understanding to the supernatural that perpetuates theistic views.

ADAM: “Sorry. I meant, “Science cannot prove the existence of thoughts.”

Yes they can and they have. Through advances in nuclear medicine and other medical sciences we have been able to track thoughts as they process through the brain. However, let’s grant for a second that we can’t “see” thoughts. Does that mean they are not proven to occur? We can still evaluate thoughts. We know we have thoughts. We can hear people make their thoughts vocal. We know thoughts exist because they are expressed in ways other than visually.

ADAM: “The fact that each major group of organisms appears abruptly in the fossil record without any transitions is grudgingly recognized by leading evolutionists!”

What transitional fossils are you looking for? Are you looking for the elusive fish-lizard or the cat-dog, perhaps? There are KNOWN gaps in the fossil record. That is not in debate. Each year more and more extinct species are identified (which of course wouldn’t be a problem if Noah had brought 2 of each species aboard… like the dinosaur, mastodon, saber tooth tiger, etc.) and added to the transitional fossil list.

The term transitional fossil is used two different ways. They are often referred to as General Lineage and Species To Species Transition.

GENERAL LINEAGE: This is a sequence of similar genera or families linking an older group to a very different younger group. The steps from one to the other consist of fossils that represent a certain genus or family. The whole sequence ranges over tens of millions of y ears. A lineage like this has apparent morphological intermediates for EVERY major structural change. There may still be gaps between each of the groups as few or none of the speciation events are preserved. General lineages are known for almost all modern groups of vertebrates.

SPECIES TO SPECIES TRANSITION: This is a set of numerous individual fossils that show a change between one species and another. It is a very fine sequence documenting the actual speciation event that usually spans a time frame of less than a million years. These types of transitions are unmistakable when they are found. You can see the changes in teeth, feet, spines, etc., changing from what is typically the first species to what is typically the next species. Normally these changes are geographically specific. The speciation is identifiable in that geographical region only. Everywhere else the change is “abrupt”. This abrupt change outside the geographic region is often cited when asking, “where are the transitional fossils”. What creationists fail to understand is that the speciation took place in a geographical area and the new species spread out from there. For evolution to occur across an entire species globally at the same time would not be evidence for evolution – it would be evidence for a creator. For a fish to suddenly turn into a lizard would not be evidence for evolution – it would be evidence for a creator.

Of course every evolutionists and scientist would love to know each lineage down to the species level AND have a detailed species to species transition. In reality there is an uneven mix of the two transitions with occasional long breaks in the lineage. Many creationists have the incorrect impression that the gaps are worse than they actually are or they think there are no transitional fossils at all. Ideally, of course, we would like to know each lineage right down to the species level, and have detailed species-to-species transitions linking every species in the lineage. But in practice, we get an uneven mix of the two, with only a few species-to-species transitions, and occasionally long time breaks in the lineage. Many laypeople even have the (incorrect) impression that the situation is even worse, and that there are no known transitions at all. Why are there still gaps? And why do many people think that there are even more gaps than there really are?

So why do gaps occur in the first place? Evolutionists have to deal with stratigraphic discontinuities. This basically means that the fossil bearing strata are not all continuous. There are large time breaks and sometimes there are not fossil strata at all. The Aalenian shows no known tetrapod fossils anywhere in the world and other strata states in the carboniferous, Jurassic, and cretaceous periods have only produces a few mangled tetrapods. That means the vertebrate family is only about 75% complete. To further complicate the issue is animals that tend not to fossilize such as small animals, fragile animals, soft-bodied animals, and forest dwelling animals. Of course animals that fossilized eons ago and actually survive for discovery are incredible marvels of endurance and preservation. Because of these – there will always be breaks in the fossil record.

To demonstrate anything about how a species arose, whether it arose gradually or suddenly, you need exceptionally complete strata, with many dead animals buried under constant, rapid sedimentation. This is rare for terrestrial animals. Even the famous Clark’s Fork (Wyoming) site, known for its fine Eocene mammal transitions, only has about one fossil per lineage about every 27,000 years. If you have only one specimen for hundreds of thousands of years (e.g. every 500,000 years), you can usually determine the order of species, but not the transitions between species. If you have a specimen every million years, you can get the order of genera, but not which species were involved. And so on.

Another reason for gaps is that most fossils have not been found. Only two continents, Europe and North America, have been adequately surveyed for fossil-bearing strata. As the other continents are slowly surveyed, many formerly mysterious gaps are being filled.

Another reason that gaps are over-exaggerated is that when gaps are solved they are not published very well or popularized. Most transitional fossils are only mentioned in the primary literature, often buried in incredibly dense and tedious “skull & bones” papers utterly inaccessible to the general public. Most paleontologists don’t popularize their findings because it is not necessary for two reasons. First, the scientific community knows that evolution is a fact and the mechanism of evolution is a theory (yes – evolution is theory and a fact at the same time). Another reason is the time consuming labor involved. Just to document the species to species lineage of the horse would take volumes. MacFadden undertook a partial documentation and it comprised an entire volume. He never wrote the next volume because it was too tedious and arduous of a task.

Evolutionists recognize this and do not discount it. So quoting evolutionists as saying things like “there are breaks in the record”, et al does not strengthen the creationist’s case against evolution. You can’t accuse someone of not tying their shoes if they tell you first that they don’t tie their shoes. Creationists often misquote evolutionists when discussing gaps because of the debate among evolutionists themselves about punctuated equilibrium. You even quoted Patterson from England – that quote from Patterson is misquoted and taken out of context from his letter. I fail to understand where creationists get the idea that evolutionists are “afraid” of the transitional gaps. We KNOW they are there and do not deny them.

ADAM: “This lack of transitional phases in the fossil record also exists in living forms: There are many single-cell forms of life, but there are no forms of animal life with 2, 3, 4 . . . even 20 cells. If organic evolution happened, one would expect to find these forms of life in great abundance. Actually, none have been found.”

Why would one expect to find 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms in the evolutionary cycle? If the 2, 3, and 4 celled organisms were not suited to survive over periods of time they would have died out. Next time you want to see a 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, and so on organism – watch a developing human fetus. As you watch that developing human fetus watch the many stages it goes through before it takes on human form. Fish (with gills), amphibian, bird, and lower mammal characteristics are all observable during the development to human form. One could just as easily ask you, if God created single celled organism then one would surely expect to find an abundance of 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms.

ADAM: “So, in response to this evidence, humanists have switched to the theory of punctuated equilibrium – that evolutionary changes happened in a very short time, so we have no fossil record of them.”

Punctuated equilibrium is still widely debated among evolutionists. To say they have “switched” to it is foul play. There has been no mass biblical exodus from long term to short term. It is the very debate over punctuated equilibrium that often causes evolutionists to be misquoted by creationists.

ADAM: “The problem is this disagrees very strongly with Darwin’s theory.”

Many things now disagree to one level or another with Darwin’s original theory. Remember how science is constantly looking for holes and problems with its theories and constantly expands on them as new evidence is found or evidence is discounted? The fact that any part of modern evolutionary theory disagrees with Darwin’s original theory has no account whatsoever on its validity or lack thereof.

ADAM: “Scientists know that there is no actual mechanism that would explain large rapid jumps from one species to another. The lack of evidence for one theory does not necessarily prove the likelihood of another theory.”

You have touched on something often overlooked by creationists. That evolution is a fact and a theory at the same time. Evolution is a FACT. Speciation and evolution have been observed in my lifetime alone. The mechanism of evolution is a THEORY. We have a theory as to why it happens and how and that is as far as it goes. Punctuated equilibrium is just another hypothesis thrown at the grand theory of evolution. Punctuated equilibrium is not an actual theory, yet – it is still in the middle of a large debate.

ADAM: “I’m sure you’ve heard this reason given for creation: the patterns and designs built into the universe don’t just suggest – they require a designer. According to the anthropic principle, evidence for design is found throughout the physical universe.”

Intelligent design, huh? Sounds more blasé than Creation Science. It’s less abrasive and easier to sell to the general public. Especially in light of articles like Newsweek who proudly declare “Science Finds God”. The Creation Scientists get together and realize that biblical creation will never make it into the public school curriculum so they have to come up with something less harsh – less religious sounding. And intelligent design was… designed. Science has not indicated in any way that design is necessary in the cosmos. Astronomical observations continue to demonstrate that the earth is no more significant than a single grain of sand on a vast beach.

Proponents of Intelligent Design often quote the so-called “anthropic coincidences” (which you did) as evidence for a universe that was created with humans in mind. Christian philosopher William Craig said in a debate that the age of the universe, which dwarfs human history, is in fact a sign of God’s plan for humanity because billions of years were needed to allow life to evolve. Apparently Mr. Craig accepts evolution as scientifically sound but still needs to grasp that thread of faith and believe in an ultimate creator. One would think that a creator god would be more efficient than that… Given the egocentrism that seems to characterize the human race, convincing people that the universe was designed with them in mind is as easy as convincing a child that candy is good for him. The most common argument given by believers when they are asked to present scientific evidence for a creator is, “How can all of this have happened by chance?”

ADAM: “The list of preconditions necessary for life are nearly endless, and earth is the only planet that fulfills any of them to the extent required.”

Are you sure Earth is the only planet that fulfills them? Creationists tend to think in human terms of Earth’s conditions and the ability to sustain life on a terrestrial level. What of creatures in the ocean at levels so deep that the atmosphere is a hundred times what you feel at sea level? Animals that live at that level could also survive on a planet where the atmosphere was ninety times greater than ours in fifty feet of water. What of animals that live off of nitrogen or carbon dioxide that could survive on a planet with no oxygen?

You are assuming, as most creationists do, that the Earth’s solar system is the center of the universe and that there can be no life elsewhere. Can you even fathom the size of the universe and the number of planets? Had our solar system formed in another way – we wouldn’t be here. Had the moon forming impact not occurred – we wouldn’t be here. Had a comet impacted the earth and destroyed the dinosaurs – we wouldn’t be here. This isn’t creation – this is chance and, yes, luck. Had one thing gone awry during the formation of our solar system – perhaps it could have been enough to change things. If the moon forming impact had not occurred perhaps the dominant species on this planet would be the octopus.

Do you know the difference between correlation and causation? Creationists and proponents of intelligent design are correlating incredible odds to a creator without proof of creation – other than “How can all of this have happened by chance?” But the point of the question is the words “ALL OF THIS”. What do you consider all of this to be – the planet, solar system galaxy, nebula, or universe? In the great expanse of the universe to assume that life only started on this planet and no others is so egocentric it’s laughable.

Often creationist say that orbits and distances to and from other celestial objects are aligned so perfectly that if they were off by a little bit we would not exist. This of course, is hogwash. Take the moon for example. The moon gets farther away from us by a quarter of an inch each year. Not many creationists are aware of that. That means in my lifetime alone the moon has moved seven feet farther away from the Earth. Now if the creationists’ idea of instability through chance and stability through creation were true – the Earth would be wobbling on its axis and life as we know it would be coming to an end.

The universe is expanding at a million miles per hour – and yet life continues on this planet. The galaxy rotates and yet life continues on this planet. The sun is slowly dying and yet life continues on this planet. Asteroids and comets zing in and out of our solar system (where is the intelligent design in that random act?) causing massive collisions on planets. Sometimes the collisions are enough to knock a planet off orbit or turn it from rock into molten. Based on the creationists instability through chance the universe should collapse on itself every time an asteroid or comet impacts a planet or the chemical make-up of a planet or atmosphere changes.

Intelligent design is a last ditch effort for theism to save itself from decay. Many gods have been buried during the scientific and technological advance up the recent rungs of the evolutionary ladder. We’ve actually discovered that we are advancing technologically too fast and that as a species we are not keeping up evolutionarily speaking. Our bodies were not designed to last a hundred years. Menopause was not widely known about until technology increased the lifespan of women. Many things about the human body are being discovered as we increase our lifespan on Earth and find out new things that our bodies were not designed to do when evolution “created” them.

ADAM: “Water has a host of unique properties that are absolutely indispensable for life. For example, it is the only known substance whose solid phase (ice) is less dense than its liquid phase. That’s why ice forms on the top of oceans and lakes instead of the bottom, allowing fish and other marine life to survive in the winter.”

The reason ice is less dense is because air is trapped inside of ice making it “lighter”. That is why if you fill a glass with ice then water and let the ice melt – the volume of the water decreases as the ice melts – because trapped air is released (without evaporation coming into play, of course). If you condense ice (such as it is at the bottom of large glaciers) the crystalline structure of ice changes and the air is compressed out of the ice. The ice turns an aquamarine blue as it is compressed. It is this very same process that helps icebergs float upright. If the entire iceberg had the same density it would wobble around on the top of the water. The denser ice underneath has a propensity to sink – keeping the lighter ice on top and maintaining buoyancy. The fact that you consider the properties of water to be “miraculous” does not indicate intelligent design. It indicates that you think the properties of water are miraculous.

ADAM: “Consider the many other physical properties the cosmos has that are indispensable to life. For example, the big bang had to have exploded with just the right degree of vigor for our present universe to form.”

And had it exploded differently – a different universe would be in existence and another planet and another superior species with tentacles for arms would be arguing about intelligent design rather than us. Creationists are grasping straws attempting to hold on to their last vestiges of faith – and it isn’t working. Claiming that just because we are here and that because A equals A is a sign of a creator is ludicrous. Stop giving us coincidence and “how can this all be by chance” and present some scientific evidence. You and the rest of the creation scientists can’t do it.

ADAM: “The list of “coincidences” goes on and on.”

Yes, it does. I’m glad you put the word coincidence in parenthesis. It insinuates exactly what it should – that the word coincidence is being used incorrectly in the intelligent design fallacy.

ADAM: “It turns out that the slightest tinkering with the values of the fundamental forces of physics – gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces – would have resulted in a universe where life was utterly impossible.”

Our laws of physics, etc. are based on what is here today. Had anything been different – then our current laws would be different. You are assuming that our current scientific laws would be the same if the universe had formed any differently. Do you think gravity would be the same if the Big Bang had been 100 times more powerful or 10 times less powerful? Do you think the speed of light would be the same if the universe were only expanding at 1 mile per day instead of a million miles per hour? To say that these values being any different would cause a different universe is not correct. It would be correct to say that a different universe may cause these values to be different.

ADAM: “Christianity is backed up not by scientific proofs but by legal proofs. Manuscript evidence rules out the possibility of manuscripts having been changed since they were written. In fact, the gospels and the book of acts were written around 50 A.D., within years of the events they describe.”

Are you sure about that? Are you absolutely positive? Can you or any other biblical scholar produce an original manuscript? And what of the Apocrypha?

The history of the Bible itself and how it was “formed” questions the very statement you attempt to make. Even the most hardened fundamentalists admit that what you claim is impossible and has no merit whatsoever. In the book The Light of Reason, Schmuel Golding states,

GOLDING: “First the NT was not written by any of the disciples of Jesus not by persons who even lived in that era. … When the church fathers compiled the NT in the year 397, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. They decided by vote which of the books out of the collections they had made should be the word of God and which should not. They rejected several, they voted others to be doubtful, and those books which had a majority of votes were voted to be the word of God.”

The three paragraphs below contain a serious error. I am leaving the error on the site so people can see it and be informed. The quote from Sisson’s book is out of context. The quote does in fact exist in Sisson’s book, but he is using it to quote a “myth” and then goes on to argue that it is not the case at all. While scholars may disagree with Sisson’s assessment, the quote is obviously unfair and incorrect to list here. My apologies to Mr. Sisson for taking his quote out of context. My apologies to readers for passing on incorrect information. I would like to thank Mr. Avery and Mr. Pearse for their diligent work in notifying me of this error. Your efforts are greatly appreciated gentlemen!

Imagine what the Bible would look like today if voting had gone differently? In the year 325, Constantine (a non-baptized Pagan) convened the Council of Nicea to settle disputes in the Church. The council changed Jesus from man to God in the flesh, they changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and the Passover was changed to Easter. So what does this say about the Bible? It says that MEN, not god, composed the Bible. Apologist Richard Sisson, in his book, Answering Christianity’s Most Puzzling Questions (Volume 1), states,

SISSON: “In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared … Disputes over which ones were true were so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a council and took a vote. The 66 books that comprised our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563.”

568 to 563? If 5 people had voted differently the Bible would be nothing like it is today. You would be reading books that you had never heard of – or perhaps there wouldn’t even be a Bible. What happened to the books that are mentioned in the Old Testament? The Book of the Wars of the Lord is mentioned in Number 21. Joshua 10:13 mentions the Book of Jasher. First Chronicles mentions the Book of Nathan and Gad while Second Chronicles mentions the Book of Acts of Solomon. Where did they go? Why were they not chosen? Were they deemed by vote to not be the word of God? If that is so – then why do books they deemed the word of God mention those books?

End of error.

What happened to the extra books from the New Testament era? Books like the Gospels according to Hebrews, Judas Iscariot, Peter, Marcion, Matthias, Eve, and Philip. The Acts of Peter, Book of Judgment by Peter, Hymn of Christ, Magical Book by Christ, and the Letter to Peter and Paul by Christ. If a letter BY Christ didn’t make the cut one has to wonder what criteria these men were using to influence votes. These books have become collectively known as the Apocrypha. Fundamentalist and apologist Josh McDowell has an answer in his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict,

MCDOWELL: “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.”

Apologist E. M. Blaiklock in his book Jesus Christ, Man or Myth says,

BLAIKLOCK: “…the wildly extravagant stories found in the so-called Apocryphal gospels.”

Bottom line is these books were kept out because they did not have the political alliance behind them that the others did. And the others only had a five-point edge. How different the Bible would be today if the Apocryphal gospels had been included. I am often asked to look at the original Bible to verify accuracy and errors (blaming translations on errors). What original Bible? There was/is no original Bible. Even today NO original writings exist. So the next time you pick up the Bible think to yourself, “this is a book of writings that was put together by a group of men who read some ancient manuscripts that purportedly are accurate representation of the originals, which no longer exist.”

The Fundamentalist book Biblical Criticism states,

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: “For over 1,400 years the NT was copied by hand and the copyists, the scribes, made every conceivable error as well at times intentionally altering the text. Such errors and alterations survived in various ways with a basic tendency to accumulate. Scribes seldom left out anything lest the omit something inspired. There are now in existence, extant, in whole or in part, 5,338 Greek manuscripts as well as hundreds of copies of ancient translations, not counting over 8,000 copies of the Latin Vulgate.”

And the kicker? Not a single two are 100% alike. There are over 200,000 variants in some 5,000 manuscripts. Then come the versions that are derivative of these variants. Fundamentalists often like to say that the variants do not affect the material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice. But is that true? Perhaps an example would be pertinent here. Let’s take Second Timothy 3:16:

  • NIV: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
  • NASB: All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
  • KJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • DARBY: Every scripture [is] divinely inspired, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
  • YLT: Every Writing [is] God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that [is] in righteousness.>WE: All that is written in the holy writings comes from the Spirit of God. The holy writings are good for these things: to teach people, to show them when they are wrong, to make them see what is right, to teach them to do what is right.

Talk about variations and versions! On to other things…

ADAM: “You must remember that the Jewish culture was one where the reliable method of transmitting events and stories was not on paper – they considered that to easy to change and fake (one mistake on paper would affect people who read it for the lifespan of the paper).”

Does this mean you have never done the experiment called Pass The Secret? Start at the beginning of a chain of people and tell the first person a secret. Then that person passes it along to another. When the secret arrives at the other end it is nothing like the original secret you told the first person. Word of mouth is by far worse than by writing something down. How can you say the Jewish culture relied more on word of mouth than writing? The Jewish culture is emphatic about their writings. The Torah and the Old Testament are Jewish writings. Most of the Apocrypha are Jewish writings.

ADAM: “So considering that we have 5300 Greek manuscripts, 8000 Latin manuscripts and 9300 other early versions of the texts, all of which say the exact same thing (ignoring spelling and grammar mistakes and discrepancies which are the result of translation from between Latin, Greek, Aramaic and all the other languages it was produced in), the evidence proves beyond all reasonable doubt that these accounts are as accurate (or more so) than the newspaper articles we read every day.”

False. There is not a single text that is 100% exact. Nowhere can you find a manuscript that corresponds to another manuscript 100%. They are all different and no two are alike – just like snowflakes. The book of Isaiah that you have in your Bible is nothing like the book of Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls – they don’t even come close to matching. Now one of them is obviously either a forgery or a fake. So which one is the false book? The Biblical Isaiah or the Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Whenever you are ready to start discussing contradictions in the Bible… let me know.

ADAM: “And I do see where atheists have a point – after all, if they have no god, no concept of a creator, they must have something else. And evolution and the big bang theories are the best explanations they can come up with.”

A Christian monk, not a scientists or atheist, was the first to bring The Big Bang Theory into “existence”. It was theism that turned to the Big Bang Theory to prove a finite universe and show that a God could have been responsible for that “bang.” Theism rejected the theory when science declared the theory scientifically sound. How’s that for backfiring on the theist?

ADAM: “For atheists, these theories are not – cannot – be something easily dropped or ignored because they form the whole basis of whom they see themselves as.”

You insist on confusing atheism with more than what it is. Remember that there are atheistic religions out there that embrace spirituality and the supernatural without ever including a deity.

Adam Rebuttal #003:

Thanks for your comments. I’ve tried to answer all your questions. Please excuse any spelling errors that probably resulted from my typing too fast.

BLAIR: “This does not explain the non-theistic religions. One out of three religions are non-theistic. Buddhism and New Age are good examples. The followers of Buddhism and New Age are atheists but they believe in supernatural events. Astrology is a major supernatural and pseudoscience belief – but the followers of Astrology are atheists.”

Good point. There are many non-theistic religions that do have room for the supernatural. I should have been more specific — the humanist religion does not have room for the supernatural. Actually, Naturalism in terms of worldviews includes both the philosophical and theological definitions. The philosophical definition includes the theological definition by default – if there is no supernatural force, there can be no revelation from a supernatural force.

BLAIR: “In the Art world Naturalism means “The theory that art or literature should conform to nature; realism; also, the quality, rendering, or expression of art or literature executed according to this theory.””

Thanks for that fact. I never knew that.

BLAIR: “Not all atheists are naturalists and not all naturalists are atheists. You have attempted to throw a bucket of paint over the canvas instead of taking fine brush strokes. There are many Christians that do not believe in the miracles of the Bible, the global flood, creation, and other such nonsense – but still believe in and worship Christ and God. And yes, there are even scientists that are religious. And yes, there are religionists that are scientific.”

Not all atheists are naturalists, but all naturalists are atheists. I may have attempted to throw a bucket of paint over the canvas. Encyclopedia Britannica admits that per se Naturalism has no ontological preferences. However, it also holds that according to Naturalism, all of reality must be natural. I don’t see where this leaves room for truly supernatural beings.

BLAIR: “As I said before the overall entropy of an isolated system cannot decrease. However, the entropy of parts within the system can spontaneously decrease. They do so at the expense of a greater part of the overall system. In other words, if heat flows spontaneously from a hot part to a cold part, the entropy of the hot area decreases. To say the entropy cannot decrease is in direct conflict with the fundamental law of thermodynamics that entropy equals heat flow divided by absolute temperature.”

And what fundamental law of thermodynamics would that be? Evolutionists have pointed at the example of a seed growing into a tree as an example of entropy decreasing. The problem is that entropy is the measures of ‘disorder’ – the lack of kinetic energy – not ‘disorder’ – the lack of mechanical order. For example, a crystal may be in less of a state of ‘disorder’ than the chemical solution it originated from, but it is much less kinetic energy. The solution of energy-laden molecules that could drive powerful reactions if combined with the right chemicals, we get a crystal – with no more energy than a pebble on the road. It is true that the total amount of energy in the cosmos remains constant. However, it is also true that in all spontaneous reactions, some energy turns into a unusable form and is lost, so to speak.

BLAIR: “What is amazing is the Christian resistance to the Big Bang Theory. It was a monk that first came up with the Big Bang Theory. His theory was considered a victory among Christian scholars. The scientific community up to that time believed that the universe was infinite. The monk’s theory showed that the universe could be finite. After a while the scientists realized the monk was right. His theory was scientifically sound and worked for the evidence. Science embraced the new theory and suddenly Christian scholars turned on it. Why did the Christian scholars embrace the theory until the scientists agreed with them? To this day the creationists refuse to acknowledge the origins of the Big Bang Theory. The refuse to acknowledge that creationists accepted the Big Bang Theory because it showed the universe was finite and that God could have been the cause of the Big Bang.”

You’re right. The Big Bang theory in itself might fit in quite well with Christianity. Christians rejected the Big Bang theory once secular science removed God from the theory. God could have been the cause of the Big Bang. In fact, the well-known physicist Paul Davies admits that the more physicists find, the less likely it is that there could have been any other cause of such a Big Bang.

BLAIR: “Why is that?”

It was the Arabs and Christians who were the first scientists, because they both believed that since an orderly God creates the earth, the earth must also be orderly and reasonable. Marxists and Humanists don’t believe that a God who also set down the laws of nature creates the earth. They believe the earth must have happened by chance. And why should the earth behave according to strict laws if everything is a result of chance – if there is no order behind anything.

BLAIR: “So because a few scientists felt a need to be spiritual or religious — we all should?”

No, I’m not asking you to feel a need to be spiritual or religious (though it wouldn’t do you any harm)

BLAIR: “Can you honestly say that science is rooted in Christianity or even religion?”

Yes. Read this bit from the history of science, Encyclopedia Britannica:

BRITANNICA: “Certain conventions governed the appeal to God or the gods or to spirits. Gods and spirits, it was held, could not be completely arbitrary in their actions; otherwise the proper response would be propitiation, not rational investigation. But since the deity or deities were themselves rational, or bound by rational principles, it was possible for humans to uncover the rational order of the world. Faith in the ultimate rationality of the creator or governor of the world could actually stimulate original scientific work. Kepler’s laws, Newton’s absolute space, and Einstein’s rejection of the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics were all based on theological, not scientific, assumptions. For sensitive interpreters of phenomena, the ultimate intelligibility of nature has seemed to demand some rational guiding spirit. A notable expression of this idea is Einstein’s statement that the wonder is not that mankind comprehends the world, but that the world is comprehensible.”

BLAIR: “Was it not religion, specifically Christianity, which persecuted scientists and made every attempt to keep the flock in the dark and hidden from science? Was it not religion, specifically Christianity, which denounced all things scientific because they conflicted with “god’s image of the universe”? The answer to both questions is yes.”

Please give me some examples. State WHO persecuted the scientists, which scientists they persecuted and why.

BLAIR: “The Big Bang Theory is not scientific law. Scientists don’t “hit a theory”, either. Scientists look at the evidence at hand and formulate a hypothesis. Then they begin to test it. If that hypothesis is proven time and again or is shown to be true — then a theory is formulated. But it is not a “scientific theory”, yet. It has to be independently tested and verified to be true under all circumstances. Once that is done – a scientific theory is born. Scientists constantly question and probe their theories looking for holes and problems. Scientists are not afraid to admit when they are wrong or that a theory is flawed and has to be reformulated. That is what separates religion from science.”

You admit that the big bang theory isn’t even a theory. After all, it is impossible to prove it even once, let alone “time and time again”. You are reasoning that because God cannot be proven through standard scientific procedures he doesn’t exist, and that therefore all theists must be suppressing their knowledge that they are wrong. This is an irrational assumption.

BLAIR: “Religion is not science and science is not religion. Some scientists can be religions. Some religionists can be scientists – but one’s personal regards to spirituality and religion should never come between their objective searches into the realm of science. While each of the men above were religious to one degree or the other they were able to separate work from play, if you will. Would Thomson have evaluated the age of the Earth around 400 million years if he had let his religious ideologies control his scientific objectivism?”

First, May I add the fact that the Bible tells nothing of how old the earth is? Nor, for that matter, how long plants and animals have been around? What religious ideologies would have gotten in his way? All the Bible says is that all plants and animals were created. Secondly, in 1862 Thomson calculated that the age of the earth is 20 to 40 million, not 400 million. Thirdly, In your last letter you stated that Thomson was a deist, but not of the Biblical variety. If that is so, how can you assume what his religious ideologies were?

BLAIR: “The presence of atoms was theorized long before their discovery. The presence of black holes, background radiation, other planets, nebulas, hemoglobin, and others were theorized long before their actual discovery and verification. These things were theorized on based on evidence at hand and current natural laws. That is what the Big Bang and Crunch Theories are all about.”

Even if these theories are correct, until scientific evidence supports them they are (and belong) in the realm of philosophy. Science deals with things that happen now, or of which there are records. Anthropology is scientific. It deals with fossils, which can be seen, measured, touched, analyzed and dated (to a certain degree). Theorizing about the origins of the earth is NOT scientific. There is no ‘scientifically acceptable’ account of what happened: No human was around at that point. Nor is there any evidence of what happened. Geologists can theorize to a certain point about why the core of the earth is hotter than the mantle, and why minerals are arranged in layers the way they are, and many other such questions. Yet that is all they can do, and no more. They have not observed a planet come into existence. They cannot prove why rocks are arranged the way they are, or why the earth is spinning the direction it does. They can only theorize, and that is called philosophy.

BLAIR: “Sciences like anthropology, archaeology, paleontology, and others do a wonderful job of looking at the past. We can reconstruct the past based on the evidence it has left behind. Often we can duplicate the past.”

Read my answer again. I wrote that “Science cannot measure or observe anything that does not exist in the present.” Anthropology, archaeology and paleontology measure and observe things that are existing right now – fossils, pottery remains, and the like. They can only construe what these fossils were like in real life as far as they resemble animals the scientists have observed alive.

BLAIR: “You are assuming that the supernatural realm is above the natural. Why is there no reason to believe that the supernatural is nothing more than natural events that have not been explained as of yet? Thoughts have been measured and seen traveling through the brain by use of nuclear medicine and other recent medical advances.”

Please let me know where you found that fact. The latest I heard, scientists were able to pinpoint active areas of the brain, but not actual thoughts.

BLAIR: “What transitional fossils are you looking for? Are you looking for the elusive fish-lizard or the cat-dog, perhaps? There are KNOWN gaps in the fossil record. That is not in debate. Each year more and more extinct species are identified (which of course wouldn’t be a problem if Noah had brought 2 of each species aboard… like the dinosaur, mastodon, saber tooth tiger, etc.) and added to the transitional fossil list.”

Hold on a moment . . . First of all, why are you appealing to the Bible (according to you, a flawed invention of the human mind) to support Darwinism, and secondly, where did you find the list which tells you that there weren’t any saber tooth tigers, mastodons and the like on the ark?

BLAIR: “SPECIES TO SPECIES TRANSITION: This is a set of numerous individual fossils that show a change between one species and another. It is a very fine sequence documenting the actual speciation event that usually spans a time frame of less than a million years. These types of transitions are unmistakable when they are found. You can see the changes in teeth, feet, spines, etc., changing from what is typically the first species to what is typically the next species.”

Scientists have, many times throughout the last, experimented with the concept of natural selection (more precisely, species to species transition), and have invariably come to the conclusion that there is a natural barrier, which prevents more than a limited amount of change in a species. One such scientists was Raymond Pearl (1879-1940), who experimented with chickens at the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station. Pearl took up the problem to evolve a hen that lays eggs all day long. He found you could breed some super layers, but an absolute limit was soon reached. In fact, Pearl produced some evidence indicating that production might actually be increased by relaxing selection – by breeding from `lower than maximum’ producers. Notice also that in All cases the specialized breeds produced by scientists possess reduced viability; that is, their basic ability to survive has been weakened. Domesticated plants and animals do not compete with the original, or wild type. They survive only because they are maintained in an environment, which is free from their natural enemies, food supplies are abundant, and other conditions are carefully regulated.

BLAIR: “One could just as easily ask you, if God created single celled organism then one would surely expect to find an abundance of 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms.”

Wrong. If God created single celled organisms, then surely they would stay single-celled organisms.

BLAIR: “Many things now disagree to one level or another with Darwin’s original theory. Remember how science is constantly looking for holes and problems with its theories and constantly expands on them as new evidence is found or evidence is discounted? The fact that any part of modern evolutionary theory disagrees with Darwin’s original theory has no account whatsoever on its validity or lack thereof.”

All I wrote was that as Darwin’s theories continue to be disproved (yes, proven wrong), most reasonable scientists have looked for a different theory – hence, punctuated equilibrium.

BLAIR: “You have touched on something often overlooked by creationists. That evolution is a fact and a theory at the same time. Evolution is a FACT. Speciation and evolution have been observed in my lifetime alone. The mechanism of evolution is a THEORY. We have a theory as to why it happens and how and that is as far as it goes. Punctuated equilibrium is just another hypothesis thrown at the grand theory of evolution. Punctuated equilibrium is not an actual theory, yet — it is still in the middle of a large debate.”

Evolution is not a fact. Scientists have proven exactly the opposite; speciation cannot occur because of limitations built into the way DNA works. There are only so many individual genes that control any one attribute of an organism. This means that there are a limited number of variations that can occur in that characteristic. For example, if I take five die, roll them and line them up, there are 7776 different number-sequences I can achieve. If I write down the number generated by the lined-up dice, I will get a number between 11111 and 66666. I cannot get eighty thousand, twenty-three or three million. There is definitely a limit to the amount of change one can produce in an animal by fiddling with its DNA.

BLAIR: “Intelligent design, huh? Sounds more blasé than Creation Science. It’s less abrasive and easier to sell to the general public. Especially in light of articles like Newsweek who proudly declare “Science Finds God”. The Creation Scientists get together and realize that biblical creation will never make it into the public school curriculum so they have to come up with something less harsh — less religious sounding. And intelligent design was… designed. Science has not indicated in any way that design is necessary in the cosmos. Astronomical observations continue to demonstrate that the earth is no more significant than a single grain of sand on a vast beach. Proponents of Intelligent Design often quote the so-called “”anthropic coincidences”” (which you did) as evidence for a universe that was created with humans in mind. Christian philosopher William Craig said in a debate that the age of the universe, which dwarfs human history, is in fact a sign of God’s plan for humanity because billions of years were needed to allow life to evolve. Apparently Mr. Craig accepts evolution as scientifically sound but still needs to grasp that thread of faith and believe in an ultimate creator. One would think that a creator god would be more efficient than that… Given the egocentrism that seems to characterize the human race, convincing people that the universe was designed with them in mind is as easy as convincing a child that candy is good for him. The most common argument given by believers when they are asked to present scientific evidence for a creator is, “How can all of this have happened by chance?”

What does intelligent design theory have to do with religion, except that it calls for a creator? Nothing. The design theory’s critique of Darwinism is that it is not a sound scientific theory, not that Darwinism disagrees with some religious beliefs. Michael Denton’s critique of Darwinism is a case in point. In his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Denton argues at length that the neo-Darwinian synthesis is a failed scientific paradigm. It bears noting that Denton is an agnostic in matters of religious faith, thus in criticizing Darwinism he has no religious ax to grind. The problems facing Darwinism are there, and they are glaring: the origin of life, the origin of the genetic code, the origin of multi-cellular life, the origin of sexuality, the gaps in the fossil record, the biological big bang that occurred in the Cambrian era, the development of complex organ systems, and the development of irreducibly complex molecular machines are just a few of the more serious difficulties that confront every theory of evolution that posits only purposeless, material processes.

In fact, the design theory advocates pose an several questions: Why, since Darwinism obviously has so many holes, and glaring faults, do all the major educational and research establishments stick with it in the way they do? Who determines the rules of science? And why are all alternative paradigms, like teleology and design theories ruled out of court by fiat? Why must we explain everything in materialistic, naturalistic and purposeless processes? It seems to me that most scientists have an assumption that there is no supernatural, and stay away from any part of science that throws a block into their assumption. The only reason that so many people accept Darwinism is because the 9% of the population who are true hardcore Darwinists happen to control our educational institutions. These Darwinists then teach their students that Darwinism is science, and that intelligent design theory is religion. Intelligent design scientists use the same scientific principles used by forensic scientists. Forensic specialists look for patterns and evidence that a certain person was somewhere or did something. If they find muddy tracks on a floor, they will assume that someone walked there. They will not assume that the floor came like that. Would you say that the FBIs most valuable men are idiots to put their faith into the methods they use? How about archaeologists? Are they dumb for recognizing carvings in rocks as created by humans? You might say that this is a completely different issue from intelligent design theorists. There you are wrong. The archaeologists never saw any one carve the rocks, did they? They simply recognize that nature’s random forces don’t create carvings in rocks. Intelligent design theorists simply recognize that there is no way nature’s random processes could have created the order we have.

BLAIR: “Are you sure Earth is the only planet that fulfills [the conditions necessary for life]? Creationists tend to think in human terms of Earth’s conditions and the ability to sustain life on a terrestrial level. What of creatures in the ocean at levels so deep that the atmosphere is a hundred times what you feel at sea level? Animals that live at that level could also survive on a planet where the atmosphere was ninety times greater than ours in fifty feet of water. What of animals that live off of nitrogen or carbon dioxide that could survive on a planet with no oxygen?”

You just supported my point. If there is life on other planets, there must have been so many more factors met in the creation of the universe for that life to exist at the same time ours does, which lowers the possibility of all this happening even more.

BLAIR: “Do you know the difference between correlation and causation? Creationists and proponents of intelligent design are correlating incredible odds to a creator without proof of creation — other than “How can all of this have happened by chance?” But the point of the question is the words “ALL OF THIS”. What do you consider all of this to be – the planet, solar system galaxy, nebula, or universe? In the great expanse of the universe to assume that life only started on this planet and no others are so egocentric it’s laughable.”

In 1960, computer scientists in France and at MIT simulated the trial-and-error processes of neo-Darwinian evolution over the equivalent of billions of years. Their computers showed that the probability of evolution by chance processes is essentially zero, no matter how long the time scale. (Stanley Miller, “From the Primitive Atmosphere to the Prebiotic Soup to the Pre-RNA World”, NASA, 1996 ). When they presented their results to the nation’s top biologists, biologists were angry. However, they couldn’t deny the numbers. Soon after, chance theories began to be quietly buried. As a result, today it is common to hear prominent scientists scoff at the idea that life arose by chance. The astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle compares the probability of evolution happening to lining up 10_50 (ten with fifty zeros after it) blind people, giving each one a scrambled Rubik’s Cube, and finding that they all solve the cube at the same moment.

BLAIR: “The universe is expanding at a million miles per hour — and yet life continues on this planet. The galaxy rotates and yet life continues on this planet. The sun is slowly dying and yet life continues on this planet. Asteroids and comets zing in and out of our solar system (where is the intelligent design in that random act?) causing massive collisions on planets. Sometimes the collisions are enough to knock a planet off orbit or turn it from rock into molten. Based on the creationists instability through chance the universe should collapse on itself every time an asteroid or comet impacts a planet or the chemical make-up of a planet or atmosphere changes.”

Creationists talk about specific measurements: The distance of the earth to the sun (a result of the earth’s speed), the nearly perfectly circular orbit, the perfect speed at which are universe is expanding. Also, the creationists are not saying that changing these distances by a few miles will create disaster. After all, distances in space are so huge as to make even 100 miles a minute distance. However, were the earth to move 10% closer to the sun, we really would have a catastrophe.

BLAIR: “Intelligent design is a last ditch effort for theism to save itself from decay. Many gods have been buried during the scientific and technological advance up the recent rungs of the evolutionary ladder. We’ve actually discovered that we are advancing technologically too fast and that as a species we are not keeping up evolutionarily speaking. Our bodies were not designed to last a hundred years. Menopause was not widely known about until technology increased the lifespan of women. Many things about the human body are being discovered as we increase our lifespan on Earth and find out new things that our bodies were not designed to do when evolution “created” them.”

Once more, what does theism have to do with Intelligent design, except that it requires the supernatural? How do you explain the scientists who have turned to Intelligent Design after years of supporting, teaching, even writing about Darwinism?

BLAIR: “The reason ice is less dense is because air is trapped inside of ice making it “”lighter””. That is why if you fill a glass with ice then water and let the ice melt — the volume of the water decreases as the ice melts – because trapped air is released (without evaporation coming into play, of course). If you condense ice (such as it is at the bottom of large glaciers) the crystalline structure of ice changes and the air is compressed out of the ice. The ice turns an aquamarine blue as it is compressed. It is this very same process that helps icebergs float upright. If the entire iceberg had the same density it would wobble around on the top of the water. The denser ice underneath has a propensity to sink — keeping the lighter ice on top and maintaining buoyancy. The fact that you consider the properties of water to be “miraculous” does not indicate intelligent design. It indicates that you think the properties of water are miraculous.”

Wrong. Ice is less dense than water when it freezes. See what happens if you put a sealed glass bottle of wine or juice in the freezer. The liquid will expand as it freezes and your bottle will break.

BLAIR: “Yes, it does. I’m glad you put the word coincidence in parenthesis. It insinuates exactly what it should — that the word coincidence is being used incorrectly in the intelligent design fallacy.”

Please explain why intelligent design is a fallacy. While you’re at it, explain why similar sciences, mainly the investigative sciences, use the same techniques.

BLAIR: “Our laws of physics, etc. are based on what is here today. Had anything been different — then our current laws would be different. You are assuming that our current scientific laws would be the same if the universe had formed any differently. Do you think gravity would be the same if the Big Bang had been 100 times more powerful or 10 times less powerful? Do you think the speed of light would be the same if the universe were only expanding at 1 mile per day instead of a million miles per hour? To say that these values being any different would cause a different universe is not correct. It would be correct to say that a different universe may cause these values to be different.”

Gravity is independent from the speed of the universe’s expansion. After all, we are not pulled toward the center of the universe, but toward the center of whatever celestial body we happen to be closest to. And light also travels toward the center of the universe, not just away from it. You are confusing matter with energy. They may be related, but they act completely differently.

BLAIR: “Are you sure about that? Are you absolutely positive? Can you or any other biblical scholar produce an original manuscript? And what of the Apocrypha?”

There are three tests that need to be applied to all historical documents in order to assess their reliability, says military historian C. Sanders. These tests are, 1) the bibliographical test, 2) the internal evidence test, 3) the external evidence test.

Bibliographical test:

Since we don’t have the original documents, how reliable are the copies we have in regard to the number of manuscripts (MSS) and the time interval between the original and existing copies? There are more than 5300 Greek manuscripts of the NT. Add over 10,000 Latin Vulgate and at least 9300 other early versions and we have more than 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence. Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, who was the director and principal librarian of the British Museum, and second to none in authority for issuing statements about MSS, says “Besides number, the manuscripts of the New Testament differ from those of the classical authors, and this time the difference is clear gain. In no other case is the interval of time between composition of the book and the date of the earliest existing manuscripts so short as in that of the New Testament. The books of the New Testament were written in the latter part of the first century; the earliest extant manuscripts (trifling scraps excepted) are of the fourth century – say from 250 to 300 years later. This may sound like a considerable interval, but it is nothing to that which parts most of the great classical authors from their earliest manuscripts. We believe that we have in all essentials an accurate text of the seven extant plays of Sophocles; yet the earliest substantial manuscript upon which it is based was written more than 1400 years after the poet’s death.”

Consider these facts: Only 40 lines (or 400 words) of the New Testament are in doubt whereas 764 lines of the Iliad are questioned. There is an ambiguity in saying there are some 200000 variants in the existing manuscripts of the NT, since these represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament. If one single word is misspelled in 3000 different manuscripts, this is counted as 3000 variants or readings. Sir Kenyon also writes “One word of warning already referred to must be emphasized in conclusion. No fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading…”

Gleason Archer shows that variants or errors in transmission of the text do not affect God’s revelation: “A careful study of the variants of the various earliest manuscripts reveals that none of them affects a single doctrine of Scripture.”

Another strong support for textual evidence and accuracy is the ancient versions. For the most part, ancient literature was rarely translated into another language. Christianity from its inception has been a missionary faith. The earliest versions of the NT were prepared by missionaries to assist in the propagation of the Christian faith among peoples whose native tongue was Syriac, Latin, or Coptic. Syriac and Latin versions of the NT were made around A.D. 150. This brings us back very near to the time of the originals.

Internal Evidence Test:

The NT accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus were recorded by men who had been either eyewitnesses themselves or who related the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events or teachings of Jesus. Luke (a Greek doctor): Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the Word have handed them down to us, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus. (1:1-3) Luke: In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abiline… (3:1).

Don’t forget that those who wrote these accounts were going strong against public opinion. Their opponents were trying to do their best to disqualify them, but couldn’t. Their teachings and accounts were in all cases true; in some cases the writers of these books even appealed to the knowledge of the hearers: “as you yourselves know”, and “we are witnesses of these things”. The possibility of hostile witnesses in the audience was too great for them to depart from the truth.

External evidence test:

The historian Eusebius preserves writings of Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (A.D. 130): The Elder [apostle John] used to say this also: “Mark, having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately all that he mentioned, whether sayings or doings of Christ, not, however, in order. For he was neither a hearer nor companion of the Lord; but afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who adapted his teachings as necessity required, not as though he were making compilation of the sayings of the Lord. So then Mark made no mistake, writing down in this way some things as he mentioned them; for he paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he heard, nor to include any false statement among them.”

Archaeology also backs up the facts presented in the Bible. Archaeologist Joseph Free writes: “Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts.” Evidently, the Bible is not among them.

GOLDING: “First the NT was not written by any of the disciples of Jesus not by persons who even lived in that era. …… When the church fathers compiled the NT in the year 397, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. They decided by vote which of the books out of the collections they had made should be the word of God and which should not. They rejected several, they voted others to be doubtful, and those books which had a majority of votes were voted to be the word of God.”

The New Testament as a compiled book may not have existed until 397, however the manuscripts it’s composed of were written much earlier. Dr. William F. Albright, recognized as one of the world’s outstanding biblical archaeologists, wrote : “We can say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after circa A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.” Eight years later (1963) he stated in an interview that the completion date for all the books in the New Testament was “probably sometime between circa A.D. 50 and 75.” Dr. John A. T. Robinson, lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge has been for years one of England’s more distinguished critics. Robinson accepted the consensus typified by German criticism that the New Testament was written years after the time of Christ, at the end of the first century. But, as “little more than a theological joke,” he decided to investigate the arguments on the late dating of all the New Testament books, a field largely dormant since the turn of the century. The results stunned him. He said that owing to scholarly “sloth”, the “tyranny of unexamined assumptions” and “almost willing blindness” by previous authors, much of the past reasoning was untenable. He concluded that the New Testament is the work of the apostles themselves or of contemporaries who worked with them and that all the New Testament books, including John, had to have been written before A.D. 64.

His conclusion is corroborated by several pieces of evidence. First, it is evident that the Book of Acts was written in approximately A.D. 62. It does not mention the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, an event that would have been impossible to omit since Jerusalem is central too much of Acts. Nothing is mentioned of Nero’s persecution in A.D. 64. The book ends with Paul in Rome under the confinement of Nero. Neither does Acts mention the martyrdoms of three central figures of the book: James (A.D. 62), Paul (A.D. 64), and Peter (A.D. 65). Why aren’t their deaths mentioned when Acts does record the deaths of Stephen and of James, the brother of John? If the book of Acts was written by Luke in A.D. 62, then the Gospel of Luke must be dated earlier, probably in the late 50s. The early church fathers affirm that Matthew wrote his account first. Modern critics put Mark’s account first, either way, almost everyone agrees that they both wrote before Luke, so their accounts stem from the early 50s. Evidence also supports the idea that partial written drafts or collections of things Jesus said or did were likely in circulation for years prior to being used in the Gospel accounts as we know them. These reports likely were circulated in the 40s and 50s. Thus the formative period for this material (the period in which it moved from oral to written tradition) was no more than 17 to 20 years.

The paragraph below contain a serious error. I am leaving the error on the site so people can see it and be informed. The quote from Sisson’s book is out of context. The quote does in fact exist in Sisson’s book, but he is using it to quote a “myth” and then goes on to argue that it is not the case at all. While scholars may disagree with Sisson’s assessment, the quote is obviously unfair and incorrect to list here. My apologies to Mr. Sisson for taking his quote out of context. My apologies to readers for passing on incorrect information. I would like to thank Mr. Avery and Mr. Pearse for their diligent work in notifying me of this error. Your efforts are greatly appreciated gentlemen!

SISSON: “In fact, after the death of Jesus a whole flood of books that claimed to be inspired appeared … … Disputes over which ones were true were so intense that the debate continued for centuries. Finally in the fourth century a group of church leaders called a council and took a vote. The 66 books that comprised our cherished Bible were declared to be Scripture by a vote of 568 to 563.”

According to the Bible, Jesus was on a mission to spread the good news throughout Judea. The people there had a very strong idea of what the Messiah was going to be like. They assumed he would be a strong political leader while still being holy and righteous. They did not expect him to be the son of God. Any blatant statement to that effect would effectively been suicide on his part – any Hebrew would have considered it outright blasphemy and would have had him stoned. That did not stop Jesus from making less blatant statements to the same effect. Throughout the Gospel accounts he refers to God as “My Father”. It was quite obvious to his followers what he meant.

Another declaration of his godhood occurred at his trial before the high priest Caiaphas, the chief priests and the elders and scribes. In Mark’s account, the high priest finally asked Jesus directly, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” and Jesus responded, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven”. He was clearly speaking of himself. (Another point is that it would have been foolish for him to say that would he not have meant it. After all, that statement pretty much signed his death sentence.) A third instance where Jesus is very open about his identity is in the land of Samaria. The Samaritans and the Hebrews were not on good terms, each thought their beliefs were right. Samaritans believed only in the Pentateuch, the first five books of scripture. Therefore they didn’t have as strong Messianic expectations as the Hebrews. While talking with a Samaritan woman outside the city of Sychar, the woman said to him “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that one comes, He will declare all things to us” (John 4:25). Jesus then spoke to the woman and said “I who speak to you am He.” This statement can hardly be mistaken for anything other than what it is: a declaration of his God-hood.

There were five guiding principles that were used to determine whether or not a New Testament book was Scripture. (1) Is it authoritative – did it come from the hand of God? (2) Is it prophetic – did a man of God write it? (3) Is it authentic? [the church fathers had the policy “If in doubt, throw it out.” This enhanced the validity of their discernment of canonical books. (4) Is it dynamic – did it come with the life-transforming power of God? (5) Was it received, collected, read and used – was it accepted by the people of God? The result is a definitive set of letters and books, whose origins were certain and whose authenticity was beyond doubt. There are no theological contradictions in the NT.

You mentioned the Apocrypha. The apocrypha was never accepted into the mainstream, non-catholic churches. Here’s why: (1) As you mentioned, “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.” (2) They teach doctrines that are false and foster practices that are at variance with inspired Scripture. (3) They resort to literary types and display an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture. (3) They lack the distinctive elements, which give genuine Scripture their divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic and religious feeling.

MCDOWELL: “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.”

The Apocrypha has never really been accepted except by the Catholic church. Josephus (A.D. 30 – 100), Jewish historian, explicitly excludes the Apocrypha from Scriptures. Jesus and the NT writers never once quote the Apocrypha although there are hundreds of quotes and references to almost all of the canonical books of the OT. The Jewish scholars of Jamnia (A.D. 90) did not recognize the Apocrypha. No canon or council of the Christian church for the first four centuries recognized the Apocrypha. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate rejected the Apocrypha as part of the canon. Many Roman Catholic scholars through the Reformation period rejected the Apocrypha. Luther and the Reformers rejected the canonicity of the Apocrypha.

BLAIR: “Bottom line is these books were kept out because they did not have the political alliance behind them that the others did. And the others only had a five-point edge. How different the Bible would be today if the Apocryphal gospels had been included. I am often asked to look at the original Bible to verify accuracy and errors (blaming translations on errors). What original Bible? There was/is no original Bible. Even today NO original writings exist. So the next time you pick up the Bible think to yourself, “this is a book of writings that was put together by a group of men who read some ancient manuscripts that purportedly are accurate representation of the originals, which no longer exist.”

I have a Bible with the Apocryphal gospels. I don’t use it, I don’t agree with them, but it does exist. Also, you imply that the group that chose the books for the NT had no idea of which of the many MS they had were real. You also assume that to them, those manuscripts were ancient. Those manuscripts were no more ancient to them as the Mayflower Compact is to us! These people were there with a purpose – to weed out the false teachings. They did their job, and they did it thoroughly.

BLAIR: “And the kicker? Not a single two are 100% alike. There are over 200,000 variants in some 5,000 manuscripts. Then come the versions that are derivative of these variants. Fundamentalists often like to say that the variants do not affect the material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice. But is that true? Perhaps an example would be pertinent here. Let’s take Second Timothy 3:16:…”

They are all saying the same thing. The same thing is said by all of them. All these passages say the same thing. By all of these scriptures, the same thing is said.

You seem to forget that all of these versions, except the KJV, are relatively modern translations. The variations are not major, and have nothing to do with the reliability of the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Latin manuscripts.

BLAIR: “Does this mean you have never done the experiment called Pass The Secret? Start at the beginning of a chain of people and tell the first person a secret. Then that person passes it along to another. When the secret arrives at the other end it is nothing like the original secret you told the first person. Word of mouth is by far worse than by writing something down. How can you say the Jewish culture relied more on word of mouth than writing? The Jewish culture is emphatic about their writings. The Torah and the Old Testament are Jewish writings. Most of the Apocrypha are Jewish writings.”

If you’ve ever done the experiment Pass The Secret, you know that there are always two or three people who purposely pass on something other than what they heard. The Jewish people were trained to memorize everything they were taught, the first time they heard it. This they did, very successfully. Recently a newspaper article I read illustrated how even now many Jewish schools teach the students. During the reading of the Torah, students are seated in rows, by what grade level they are in. Older students sit farther forward, younger ones farther back. When a section of Scripture has been read, students in the first row recite the passage after having heard it only once. By then, the next younger group of children have heard it twice, and recite it from memory once more. This gives the next row an additional chance to learn the passage. (The Jewish culture did also rely on writing, it must be admitted. In fact, the Torah was written down and copied very carefully, following very strict standards to make sure that not a letter was misplaced)

BLAIR: “The book of Isaiah that you have in your Bible is nothing like the book of Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls — they don’t even come close to matching. Now one of them is obviously either a forgery or a fake. So which one is the false book? The Biblical Isaiah or the Isaiah found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?”

Where did you find that information? The oldest complete Hebrew MSS before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls were from A.D. 900 on. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has proven how accurate transmissions of the OT were. One of the scrolls found was a complete MS of the Hebrew text of Isaiah, dated by paleographers around 125 B.C. This MS is more than 1000 years older than any MS we previously possessed. The impact of this discovery is the exactness of the Isaiah scroll with the Masoretic text of Isaiah, 1000 years later. One example is chapter 53 of Isaiah:

Of the 166 words in Isaiah 53, there are only seventeen letters in question. Ten of these letters are minor stylistic changes, such as conjunctions. The remaining three letters compromise the word “light” which is added in verse 11, and does not affect the meaning greatly. Furthermore, this word is supported by the Septuagint and the Isaiah scroll from the first cave of Qumran. Thus in one chapter of 166 words, there is only one word (three letters) in question after a thousand years of transmission – and this word does not significantly change the meaning of the passage.

BLAIR: “You insist on confusing atheism with more than what it is. Remember that there are atheistic religions out there that embrace spirituality and the supernatural without ever including a deity.”

What supernatural can there be if there is not some kind of deity? Some religions claim to be based on a life force, which pushes humanity on toward . . . utopia? Goodness? A force cannot have a goal. If it has a goal, there must be a mind behind it, and it is no longer simply a force – it is a deity. And what is spirituality? Sitting in a meaningful position thinking spiritual thoughts? What do religions mean when they say they “embrace spirituality”?

Response to Adam #003:

ADAM: “I should have been more specific — the humanist religion does not have room for the supernatural. Actually, Naturalism in terms of worldviews includes both the philosophical and theological definitions. The philosophical definition includes the theological definition by default – if there is no supernatural force, there can be no revelation from a supernatural force.”

When you say “supernatural force” I am assuming you mean God. There are humanists that believe in ghosts, psychic abilities, astrology, etc – which are supernatural events or forces. Since you are so emphatic about your statements I am going to assume that you are strictly referring to a supernatural being or, as humans like to call that being, God.

You are correct that if there is no supernatural force there cannot be a revelation from a supernatural force. If you adhere to the use of “humanism” (versus atheism) and to “supernatural being ” (versus general supernaturalism), then I will agree with your original assertion.

ADAM: “Thanks for that fact. I never knew that.”

You’re welcome. We all learn something new every day. I make it a personal goal to do just that.

ADAM: “Not all atheists are naturalists, but all naturalists are atheists.”

If you are referring specifically to naturalism as in “the doctrine that the world can be understood in scientific terms without recourse to spiritual or supernatural explanations” then I will agree. While we may be playing a game of semantic chess – it is necessary. Words are just that – words. Definitions are given as a guideline – but as a thinking species we add and subtract meaning from the words we use through emotion, body language, etc. The written text has a hard time disclosing the emotion behind a comment and the thought process that led one to write those words in the first place. It is for that reason that we have to play the semantics game – to ensure each of us is operating on the same playing field. Thanks for you patience in my need to clarify your intended use of the words humanism and naturalism.

ADAM: “And what fundamental law of thermodynamics would that be?”

The total entropy in a system is represented by the symbol AS. The symbol AS is used to represent a given change in the entropy content of a system. If the symbol q is used to represent the amount of heat absorbed by a system, the equation for the resulting entropy increase is:

AS = q/T (1)

Where T is the absolute temperature. When heat is absorbed, the entropy of a system increases; when heat flows out of a system, its entropy decreases.

You do realize of course that the second law of thermodynamics, as you describe it, would also be counter to a supernatural creation. That God created the heavens and earth out of chaos. This is often explained away be creationists using supernaturalism. Whitcomb and Morris in their book The Genesis Flood (pg. 223) said,

WHITCOMB/MORRIS: “But during the period of Creation, God was introducing order and organization into the universe in a very high degree, even to life itself! It is thus quite plain that the processes used by God in creation was utterly different from the processes, which now operate in the universe!”

In other words the creationists expect science to stick to the creationist version of thermodynamics but demand no such accordance from their creator.

It is the overall system of entropy (a closed system) that must increase when spontaneous change occurs. However, when spontaneous interacting of sub-systems of said closed system occurs – some may gain entropy and others may lose entropy. Irreversibility in thermodynamics in not improbable because the overall heat energy remains constant regardless of where it is going to or from the overall closed system maintains the same level of heat energy. They heat energy may be disbursed differently – but it is still the same “amount”. Spontaneous reversing of entropy requires a change in the surrounding conditions and that heat energy disbursement can shift.

As Frank Steiger in his article “The Second Law of Thermodynamics, Evolution, and Probability” said,

STEIGER: “It is important to remember that a change that has a high degree of probability under one set of circumstances may have a very low degree of probability under a different set of circumstances. To illustrate: If the temperature drops below freezing, the probability of water becoming ice is very high. The change from water to ice is thermodynamically irreversible. If the surrounding temperature should happen to rise above the freezing point, the probability of water becoming ice, or remaining as ice, is zero. Under these conditions the reverse change of ice to liquid water is also thermodynamically irreversible.”

Mark Isaac provides a detailed explanation of why Creationists often use this argument incorrectly,

ISAAC: “This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, “No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body.” [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, “The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease.” Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder. However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes couldn’t have more usable energy still? Creationists sometimes try to get around this by claiming that the information carried by living things lets them create order. However, not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?”

“The thermodynamics argument against evolution displays a misconception about evolution as well as about thermodynamics, since a clear understanding of how evolution works should reveal major flaws in the argument. Evolution says that organisms reproduce with only small changes between generations (after their own kind, so to speak). For example, animals might have appendages, which are longer or shorter, thicker or flatter, lighter or darker than their parents. Occasionally, a change might be on the order of having four or six fingers instead of five. Once the differences appear, the theory of evolution calls for differential reproductive success. For example, maybe the animals with longer appendages survive to have more offspring than short-appendage ones. All of these processes can be observed today. They obviously don’t violate any physical laws”.

ADAM: “The Big Bang theory in itself might fit in quite well with Christianity. Christians rejected the Big Bang theory once secular science removed God from the theory.”

Christianity rejected the Big Bang Theory once science considered it scientifically sound. Until then the theory was used as a “slap in the face” to show science that the universe could have a finite beginning. For Christianity to abandon their theory because of scientific acceptance reeks of the general dislike of the Church for science and scientists. The Christians had a great theory that was looked upon suspiciously until other scientists agreed with it and pointed out that it was scientifically sound. Then they abandon it. It makes no sense whatsoever to throw your Porsche away because your enemy likes it but wants to change the color from red to black.

ADAM: “God could have been the cause of the Big Bang. In fact, the well-known physicist Paul Davies admits that the more physicists find, the less likely it is that there could have been any other cause of such a Big Bang.”

Do you have a reference for that quote? Paul Davies said in his book God and the New Physics on page 3,

DAVIES: “No religion that bases its beliefs on demonstrably incorrect assumptions can expect to survive very long.”

Beside the point, what Paul Davies feels is irrelevant. Bottom line is he has no evidence of design and he, along with other intelligent design enthusiasts, only “see” design. How does one prove design?

ADAM: “It was the Arabs and Christians who were the first scientists, because they both believed that since the earth is created by an orderly God, the earth must also be orderly and reasonable.”

But we know that the Earth and the universe are not orderly. Look at the Earth alone for signs of disorder in meteorology, seismology, volcanology, oceanography, etc. Hurricanes, spontaneous volcanic eruptions, hit and miss earthquakes, hot spots, tornados, tsunami, etc. Look to space for signs of disorder such as roving comets, asteroids waiting to be knocked out of their “place” and sent careening toward some unlucky planet.

ADAM: “They believe the earth must have happened by chance. And why should the earth behave according to strict laws if everything is a result of chance – if there is no order behind anything.”

You’re pulling straws and you know it. If the “creation” of the universe had been any different then the known laws of the universe might be different. Who’s to say that the molecular structure of water wouldn’t he H3O had the Big Bang been 10,000 times more powerful? The laws of the universe, while constant, are not indicative of eternity. They are the laws that are with us because of the formation of the universe and how it is behaving.

ADAM: “You admit that the big bang theory isn’t even a theory. After all, it is impossible to prove it even once, let alone “time and time again”.”

That is not what I said. I said, “Then they begin to test it. If that hypothesis is proven time and again or is shown to be true – then a theory is formulated.” I then said it had to be independently verified. The Big Bang Theory, based on the current evidence available, has been shown to be true. It has been independently verified many times. The difference between scientists and religionists is that if new evidence is identified that causes the Big Bang Theory to change or even be dissolved – then so be it. Religionists base their theory of creation of errant dogma and refuse to budge.

ADAM: “You are reasoning that because God cannot be proven through standard scientific procedures he doesn’t exist, and that therefore all theists must be suppressing their knowledge that they are wrong. This is an irrational assumption.”

Why is it irrational? God cannot be proven to exist. God has not shown or revealed himself. A basic understanding of humanities allows us to understand why people are religions. There are so many gods that one would have no idea which one to believe in. The very fact that there are so many gods only serves to illustrate the need for humans to invent gods and have religion in their lives. If evidence were to show up tomorrow that were to prove God existed or he were to show up at my doorstep and say, “Hi, I’m God… glad to meet you” then that would be different.

ADAM: “First, May I add the fact that the Bible tells nothing of how old the earth is? Nor, for that matter, how long plants and animals have been around?”

Directly – no. However, by evaluating events in the Bible that are actually historic (such as the death of King Herod the Great and others) and going back over the given ages of characters and all the begot him and begat her theologians and Biblicists can arrive at a date. The estimated date of the Earth based on these things places the Earth at about 8500-years-old. I have seen estimates as low as 6000-years-old and as high as 10300-years-old. However, most agree that 8500-years-old. Thomson said that the maximum age the Earth could be would be 400 million years old. He personally felt, as you stated, that the Earth was more than likely around 40 to 60 million years old.

How old do you think the Earth is? Why?

ADAM: “Thirdly, in your last letter you stated that Thomson was a deist, but not of the Biblical variety. If that is so, how can you assume what his religious ideologies were?”

I can’t assume what his religious ideologies was other than that he was a deist. His assertion of the Earth being between 20 and 40 millions years old does not fit with the current Creationism ideology. That’s all I was saying.

ADAM: “Even if these theories are correct, until scientific evidence supports them they are (and belong) in the realm of philosophy.”

Evidence does support them.

ADAM: “Theorizing about the origins of the earth is NOT scientific. There is no ‘scientifically acceptable’ account of what happened: No human was around at that point.”

Whether or not we were there is irrelevant. We can look at the evidence around us today, see that evolution is occurring and take into account the theories and data from other areas of science and create a theory. No evolutionists will tell you that the evolutionary theory is 100%. Evolution is a fact and a theory at the same time. Ask an evolutionist if evolution has occurred or is occurring and he or she will say absolutely. Ask an evolutionist about the mechanism of evolution and they will tell about the theory of evolution. The mechanism of evolution is a theory. Evolution itself is a fact. We have seen evolution occur in my lifetime.

Perhaps we should let Mark Isaac explain in his view on the statement, “Evolution is only a theory; it hasn’t been proved”,

ISAAC: “First, we should clarify what “evolution” means. Like so many other words, it has more than one meaning. Its strict biological definition is “a change in allele frequencies over time.” By that definition, evolution is an indisputable fact. Most people seem to associate the word “evolution” mainly with common descent, the theory that all life arose from one common ancestor. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to call this a fact, too. However, common descent is still not the theory of evolution, but just a fraction of it (and a part of several quite different theories as well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved.”

“Calling the theory of evolution “only a theory” is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on confusion between what “theory” means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is “a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena” [Random House American College Dictionary]. The term does not imply tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what we would expect to find, so it can’t be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable predictions, they prove to be false.)”

“Lack of proof isn’t a weakness, either. On the contrary, claiming infallibility for one’s conclusions is a sign of hubris. Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved, or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you’re operating in. In the real world, we must deal with levels of certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something, the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something a fact, even though it still isn’t 100% certain.

What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has–evidence, and lots of it. A wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others supports evolution. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.”

ADAM: “Please let me know where you found that fact. The latest I heard, scientists were able to pinpoint active areas of the brain, but not actual thoughts.”

I saw this information on several shows on the Discovery Channel, TLC, and PBS. Researches looking for causes of other diseases identified paths and connections that were necessary for thought process and behavior. The exact paths are not known because they are too numerous for our current technology. However, they were able to provide a general track and show the paths they signals took. They couldn’t pinpoint the exact cellular path – but they were able to identify a “travel lane”. Kind of like saying they know a car drove from New York to Los Angeles – but they can’t identify the actual roads and interstates the car drove on. I’ll keep an eye out for stories related to this research on the Internet. If I come across something you can actually read I’ll send it to you.

ADAM: “Hold on a moment… First of all, why are you appealing to the Bible (according to you, a flawed invention of the human mind) to support Darwinism, and secondly, where did you find the list, which tells you that there weren’t any saber tooth tigers, mastodons and the like on the ark?”

I didn’t appeal to the Bible at all. I said, “Each year more and more extinct species are identified and added to the transitional fossil list.” I made a facetious insert that this wouldn’t be a problem if Noah had brought dinosaurs, mastodons, and others on board with him.

Regarding a list of animals brought on board the Ark there is absolutely no way whatsoever that the Ark had every species on board. The dimensions provided in the Bible are nowhere near enough to house two of every species on the planet. Not to mention the food to feed every species. There are species that have very stable diets such as the Panda and Koala that would require Noah to harvest those special diets. They were on that boat for a long time.

Of course the account of a Biblical flood does not explain Australia’s unique collection of marsupials, the platypus, or the extinction of species. Where did Noah fit the dinosaurs? And if he did fit them on board why did they not survive the trip? Of course all of this is really irrelevant since geologically speaking there is absolutely no proof of a global flood.

BACK TO EVOLUTION vs. INTELLIGENT DESIGN:

Let’s try another approach. Evolutionists do not deny there are gaps. Earlier you misquoted Gould (as Creationists often do). Gould is an outspoken opponent to Creationism. Gould said,

GOULD: “But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life’s physical genealogy.” – Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994

I am obviously not explaining this in a way you can understand. Let’s try someone else’s perspective here and see if they can explain it differently in a way you can understand.

Philip Kitcher (1982, 97),

KITCHER: “The charge that mutations are rare depends on confusing the mutation rate per locus (on the order of 1 mutation per 100,000 loci) with the rate per zygote (of the order of 1 mutation per zygote) or the rate per population (of the order of 1 billion per population). From an evolutionary perspective, it is the last of these rates that is important. Hence, although [it] is right to claim that mutations are rare (in one sense), [it] is quite wrong to think that this spells trouble for evolutionary theory. Indeed, neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory insists on the rarity of mutation at any individual locus, claiming, for this reason, that natural selection is a more powerful evolutionary force than mutation (if mutation were extremely frequent, then selection would play a less crucial role).”

Mark Vuletic from the New Scientists’ Planet Science states,

VULETIC: “Although mutation without natural selection cannot transform a population, natural selection causes beneficial mutations to spread quickly through a population. Moreover, if a mutant allele is only detrimental in homozygous form, it will take many generations to eliminate it from the gene pool, even if the homozygous form is lethal (Ruse, 1982, 79-84). This fact and heterozygote fitness (cases in which the heterozygote has an advantage that neither homozygote has – a case example is the sickle-cell allele, which protects against malaria in heterozygous form), which may perhaps be the norm, help to keep populations supplied with a reservoir of mutant genes, some of which will have an advantage over the “normal” alleles in the event of environmental change. Populations do not have to wait around for lucky mutations after environmental change – the mutants are already in the gene pool.”

It’s important to note that Darwin himself did not like the term natural selection because it inferred that someone or something was doing the selection. Darwin preferred the terminology of “survival of the fittest.” It was Wallace, the American that was discovering the same theory at the same time that insisted upon “natural selection”. That being established, the follow-up statement that tags along behind the argument usually goes something like this, “Natural selection is tautological: the fittest survive, and those who survive are the fittest.” Robert Pennock (Pennock, 1999, 101) discusses this,

PENNOCK: “Consider the formula: May the best team win. It seems harmless, but the creationist now points out that we determine which team is best by seeing which wins. If that is what it means to be “best,” then the expressed wish seems to reduce to “May the team that wins be the team that wins.” It is thus vacuous dogma, objects the creationist, to subsequently claim to explain who won in terms of one team’s being “better” than the other. However, we sports fans are not fooled into abandoning the game by such arguments. Of course we do determine which is the best team by looking at its record of wins, and we would certainly explain why it won the trophy by noting its superior record over its rivals. But we understand that this is not the end of the story…even though we do judge on the basis of record, we do not doubt that it is the physical traits of a team, its superior characteristics and playing ability, that make it better than the others. Understanding this, we also understand that it is possible that the best team might not win…This parallels the distinction that biologists make between evolution by natural selection and evolution by natural drift, and the mere fact that we recognize such distinctions is by itself sufficient to show that the tautology objection does not hold in either sports or evolutionary theory.”

ADAM: “Wrong. If God created single celled organisms, then surely they would stay single-celled organisms.”

So everything God created would remain the same and never change or mutate? Why didn’t God create 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms? Why did God make some animals blind? Why did God make it damn near impossible for some animals to reproduce? Why did God put spurs on a male cat’s penis so that a female cat experiences pain during copulation? Why did God not make our eyes perfect? Why did God give us an appendix? Why did God make the Earth and the universe appear to be billions of years old? Why did God kill (possibly drown) the dinosaurs? Why did God make the Black Widow kill her mate? Why did God create snakes that drip venom – why not make all of them inject it?

ADAM: “All I wrote was that as Darwin’s theories continue to be disproved (yes, proven wrong), most reasonable scientists have looked for a different theory – hence, punctuated equilibrium.”

Darwin’s theories have not been disproved. Punctuated Equilibrium is not an alternative theory to natural selection or evolution. Punctuated equilibrium is simply a new theory on the expediency of evolution and natural selection.

ADAM: “Evolution is not a fact. Scientists have proven exactly the opposite; speciation cannot occur because of limitations built into the way DNA works.”

The study of genetics and DNA have enhanced the evolutionary theory and provided more evidence. The commonality of 166 genes that every species on the planet shares denotes a common ancestor. I suggest you read the Evolution is a Fact and Theory Page. It contains a discussion from Mr. Gould (whom you earlier misquoted). You can find it at the Talk Origins Evolution Facts.

ADAM: “What does intelligent design theory have to do with religion, except that it calls for a creator? Nothing. The design theory’s critique of Darwinism is that it is not a sound scientific theory, not that Darwinism disagrees with some religious beliefs.”

Creationism denotes what? Creationism implies that there is a creator, intelligence, a supreme being. And the following of said creator is what… religion. Regardless of whether or not evolution contradicts theistic canon – the creationists are religiously orientated. You can’t believe in creationism unless you believe in a creator.

The majority of Christians think evolution is accurate. Literal creationists are a minority (a very loud one at that). Most rational Christians and other theists understand that evolution does not necessarily mean there is no god nor does it necessarily discount creation altogether. Warren Kurt VonRoeschlaub has written a FAQ on God and Evolution that is really good. You can find it at Talk Origins.

ADAM: “Michael Denton’s critique of Darwinism is a case in point. In his book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Denton argues at length that the neo-Darwinian synthesis is a failed scientific paradigm. It bears noting that Denton is an agnostic in matters of religious faith, thus in criticizing Darwinism he has no religious ax to grind.”

Michael Denton showed a clear misunderstanding of the basics of evolutionary principle and theory, he blatantly misquotes people, and uses antiquated facts to “back up” his claims. Denton shamed himself and knows it. Regardless of his religious or non-religious convictions, the fact remains that the majority of anti-evolutionists are radical Christians (Fundamentalists) and ultra-theists. Most rational people accept evolution. The Vatican has even officially recognized evolution as scientifically sound. Of course they added the caveat that God guided evolution.

ADAM: “Why, since Darwinism obviously has so many holes, and glaring faults, do all the major educational and research establishments stick with it in the way they do?”

Because there are only a few holes (which have been explained and it is understood why those “holes” exist), there are no glaring faults, and all major educational and research establishments understand that evolution is a fact and theory. They understand that creationism is not a science – it is a belief based on biblical account or belief in a creator.

ADAM: “Who determines the rules of science?”

Certainly not religionists.

ADAM: “Why must we explain everything in materialistic, naturalistic and purposeless processes?”

Because we live in a materialistic and naturalistic world. There is no God. Just because people believe in an imaginary being does not mean we should research things with that imaginary being in mind.

ADAM: “It seems to me that most scientists have an assumption that there is no supernatural, and stay away from any part of science that throws a block into their assumption.”

What blocks have been thrown? None.

ADAM: “The only reason that so many people accept Darwinism is because the 9% of the population who are true hardcore Darwinists happen to control our educational institutions. These Darwinists then teach their students that Darwinism is science, and that intelligent design theory is religion.”

Educational institutions teach what is scientifically accurate. If creationists can do this – go ahead and teach it. Creationists are the first to admit that they are not scientific. Intelligent design theory is not necessarily a religion – but the foundation is religions because it requires an intelligent designer (a god or creator). Get rid of the creator, god, intelligent designer, or Supreme Being – and you might just have something.

ADAM: “Intelligent design scientists use the same scientific principles used by forensic scientists. Forensic specialists look for patterns and evidence that a certain person was somewhere or did something. If they find muddy tracks on a floor, they will assume that someone walked there. They will not assume that the floor came like that.”

An intelligent design “scientists” (there is no such thing, by the way) would probably assume the tracks came from someone – then say, “That someone has to be a creator – there is design in the footprint.”

Forensic scientists will take samples of the dirt and look for pieces of the shoe that may have come off. They will find out where that dirt came from and establish a geographic probability of location. They will tell you how heavy the person was who made the print, what size shoe he wore, and what style and brand of shoe he wore. Then with other evidence they can find out exactly who made that print instead of assuming “someone probably made it” they will say, “someone definitely made this because of evidence A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and others”.

ADAM: “How about archaeologists? Are they dumb for recognizing carvings in rocks as created by humans?”

You’re pulling straws again. Cave drawings and carvings are blatantly created by humans because of the evidence found around the drawings and carvings.

ADAM: “The archaeologists never saw any one carve the rocks, did they? They simply recognize that nature’s random forces don’t create carvings in rocks. Intelligent design theorists simply recognize that there is no way nature’s random processes could have created the order we have.”

You are correct that archaeologists never say anyone care the rocks. But they did find the tools that were used to carve the rocks. They found evidence of “campfires” in the caves. They find clothing, food, and pottery. There is no assumption that man made the carvings. The evidence points to man making the carvings. What evidence do you have for intelligent design that points to a designer?

ADAM: “You just supported my point. If there is life on other planets, there must have been so many more factors met in the creation of the universe for that life to exist at the same time ours does, which lowers the possibility of all this happening even more.”

How did I support your point? I never said life did exist on other planets. I simply stated that creationists have a tendency to talk in human terms and forget about the rest of the species on the planet. I simply stated that an animal currently living at ocean depths equivalent to 100 times Earth’s atmosphere could equally survive in ten feet of water on a planet with 90 times Earth’s atmosphere. We can see this now when we bring specimens up from those depths. We enclose them in an airtight seal and create the atmosphere for them – then we haul them up to the surface. And there before you is an animal at sea level living in a box made to represent the atmospheric pressure it is used to.

You can assert that something “lowers the possibility” all you want – that does not make it impossible. Something may be “astronomically impossible” – but if it occurs – then it wasn’t so astronomically impossible after all, was it?

ADAM: “In 1960, computer scientists in France and at MIT simulated the trial-and-error processes of neo-Darwinian evolution over the equivalent of billions of years. Their computers showed that the probability of evolution by chance processes is essentially zero, no matter how long the time scale. Soon after, chance theories began to be quietly buried. As a result, today it is common to hear prominent scientists scoff at the idea that life arose by chance. The astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle compares the probability of evolution happening to lining up 10_50 (ten with fifty zeros after it) blind people, giving each one a scrambled Rubik’s Cube, and finding that they all solve the cube at the same moment.”

First off… do you have any data that is not antiquated? Every scientists you listed was dead and buried (most for hundreds of years) and all the data you are supplying is antiquated. Telling me that a computer scientist did something in 1960 and that you are relying on that data is like telling an auto mechanic that Henry Ford conducted an experiment on oil combustion on the Model T. That’s nice – but it has no bearing on what is being done today with today’s technology.

Instead of regurgitating the information I’ll direct you to the experts:

Evolution and Chance and Chance from a Theistic Perspective.

ADAM: “Creationists talk about specific measurements: The distance of the earth to the sun (a result of the earth’s speed), the nearly perfectly circular orbit, the perfect speed at which are universe is expanding. Also, the creationists are not saying that changing these distances by a few miles will create disaster. After all, distances in space are so huge as to make even 100 miles a minute distance. However, were the earth to move 10% closer to the sun, we really would have a catastrophe.”

Moving the Earth 10% to the sun could be catastrophic – you are correct. If our solar system had arranged itself any differently – if a roving asteroid had destroyed the Earth before it cooled – then we probably wouldn’t be here right now. Instead life would have evolved on another planet and looked completely different from what you see on this planet. Your entire “theory” rests on the assumption that this solar system, galaxy, and entire universe was designed and specifically built just for you. How egotistical.

ADAM: “Once more, what does theism have to do with intelligent design, except that it requires the supernatural? How do you explain the scientists who have turned to Intelligent Design after years of supporting, teaching, even writing about Darwinism?”

How does intelligent design not incorporate theism? Intelligent design requires what… an intelligent designer. A supernatural being, a god, a creator, and redneck farting methane – it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that intelligent design and creationism are theistic.

Yes… some scientists have become religions and moved to the intelligent design side. But many more have crossed the opposite way. The majority of Christians and other theists accept evolution because they can see a lack of conflict. It is only the Fundamentalists and radical theists that have a problem with evolution.

ADAM: “Wrong. Ice is less dense than water when it freezes. See what happens if you put a sealed glass bottle of wine or juice in the freezer. The liquid will expand as it freezes and your bottle will break.”

That is exactly what I said – so if I am wrong then so are you. But we are not wrong. Ice is less dense than water because of air trapped inside when the water freezes. If you remove that air then ice becomes denser than its original form and the crystalline structure of the ice changes (along with its color). As I said before, the fact that you consider the properties of water to be miraculous does not indicate intelligent design. It only indicated that you consider the properties of water to be miraculous.

ADAM: “Please explain why intelligent design is a fallacy. While you’re at it, explain why similar sciences, mainly the investigative sciences, use the same techniques.”

What same techniques? What techniques has intelligent design used to prove its view?

Why is intelligent design a fallacy? Gee… because there is nothing scientific about it. There is no evidence of intelligent design. There is no evidence of an intelligent designer. Let’s see if you can answer these questions:

Is there any reason to believe in your theory rather than some other version of creationism?

Why are the majority of Christians evolutionists?

If you are a young-earth creationist: Why are many creationists old-earth creationists?

If you are a young-life creationist: Why are many creationists old-life creationists?

Some people say that scientific creationism does a disservice to Christianity by holding Christianity up to ridicule. How would you answer that charge?

Is there any observation that supports any feature of your theory?

Is there any observation that was predicted by your theory?

Is there any comprehensive and consistent statement of your theory?

Is there any statement of the scientific (or other) rules of evidence that you accept?

Is there any feature of your theory that is subject to scientific test?

Is there any kind of observation that, if it were seen, would change your theory?

Is there any observation that has changed your theory?

Is your theory open to change, and if so, what criteria are there for accepting change?

Why is there the present distribution of animals and plants in the world? How is it that marsupials are restricted to Australia and nearby islands and the Americas, monotremes to Australia, and few placental mammals are native to Australia? Why are tomatoes and potatoes native to the Americas only?

Why has God given us all the evidence for an earth more than 100,000 years old and for evolution and the intelligence to infer that?

Why has God given us a Bible with all of the evidence that it is not to be read according to the norms of modern western historical and scientific writing?

ADAM: “Gravity is independent from the speed of the universe’s expansion. After all, we are not pulled toward the center of the universe, but toward the center of whatever celestial body we happen to be closest to. And light also travels toward the center of the universe, not just away from it. You are confusing matter with energy. They may be related, but they act completely differently.”

You completely missed the point or purposely avoided it. I didn’t say that gravity was dependant upon one or the other or that the speed of light was unidirectional. I said that a different universe MIGHT CAUSE these values to be different.

ADAM: “Consider these facts: Only 40 lines (or 400 words) of the New Testament are in doubt whereas 764 lines of the Iliad are questioned.”

It doesn’t matter if only 1 line of the New Testament is in doubt. If we know that the Bible is 10% false and 90% true – what 10% is false? How do we know what we are reading is true and accurate? How does the Bible become an appropriate tool for explaining the intended message of Jesus if we always doubt if what we are reading is false? If even one thing in the Bible is proved to be wrong (which it has) then the Bible becomes just another book like any other book.

ADAM: “There is an ambiguity in saying there are some 200000 variants in the existing manuscripts of the NT, since these represent only 10,000 places in the New Testament. If one single word is misspelled in 3000 different manuscripts, this is counted as 3000 variants or readings.”

We do not have copies of the originals. We have thousands of manuscripts that claim to be representations of the originals. It is a common misconception that with the greater number of manuscripts there are, we must know what the originals said. However, the greater the number of manuscripts – the greater the problem becomes because no two manuscripts in existence are exactly alike. Fundamentalist Norman Geisler states in his book A General Introduction to the Bible that,

GEISLER: “The multiplicity of manuscripts produces a corresponding number of variant readings. For the more manuscripts that are coped, the greater will be the number of copyist errors. There are over 200,000 variants in some 5,000 manuscripts.”

The more manuscripts you have in existence the more variances and differences between those manuscripts and the originals, if in fact there were even originals in the first place. A horde of manuscripts does not solve the problem – it only enhances it. Norman Geisler continues by saying,

GEISLER: “The gross number of variants increases with every new manuscript discovery … To date there are over 200,000 known variants and this figure will no doubt increase in the future as more manuscripts are discovered.”

Oscar Culmann states,

CULLMAN: “[Variations] are the results of inadvertent flaws. The copier misses a word, leaves it out or conversely he inserts it twice. Or a whole section of a sentence is carelessly omitted because in the manuscript to be copied it appeared between two identical words. Sometimes it is a matter of deliberate corrections. Either the copier has taken the liberty of correcting the text according to his own ideas or he has tried to bring it into line with a parallel text in a more or less skillful attempt to reduce the number of discrepancies.” As little by little the NT writing broke away from the rest of early Christian literature and came to be regarded as Holy Scripture, so the copiers became more and more hesitant about taking the same liberties as their predecessors. They thought they were copying authentic text when in fact they wrote down the variations. Finally, a copier sometimes wrote annotations in the margin to explain an obscure passage. The following copier thinking the sentence he found in the margin had been left out of the passage by his predecessor thought it necessary to include the margin notes in the text. This process often made the new text even more obscure.”

Your assertion that the greater number of variants actually helps in establishing the “original” is one often fronted by many apologists like Geisler (whom attempted to rationalize his above statements by asserting that those variances actually helped instead of hindered), McDowell, Stewart, and others. Even if there were a million copies how do we know the original is located among those million? Where is the original within those variances? Which wording is correct? Which translation is correct? How do we know that those million were not copied from another variant? While it is true that the more transcripts you have the greater your chances are of having the original – it is also true that the greater number of transcripts you have the chances of not finding the original increases exponentially.

ADAM: “Another strong support for textual evidence and accuracy is the ancient versions. For the most part, ancient literature was rarely translated into another language. Christianity from its inception has been a missionary faith. The earliest versions of the NT were prepared by missionaries to assist in the propagation of the Christian faith among peoples whose native tongue was Syriac, Latin, or Coptic. Syriac and Latin versions of the NT were made around A.D. 150. This brings us back very near to the time of the originals.”

It does not matter how close you get to the originals. The fact remains that there are no originals. And as we know – when translating text from one language to another much is lost. There are words and phrases that do not translate correctly or exactly. If I were to translate this debate into Italian then translate it back into English the debate would no look anything like it does now because too much would be lost in the translations. Early translations are not evidence nor do they convey accuracy. If anything they convey further inaccuracies.

ADAM: “The NT accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus were recorded by men who had been either eyewitnesses themselves or who related the accounts of eyewitnesses of the actual events or teachings of Jesus.”

Using the Bible to serve as evidence for the Bible’s accuracy is absurd. Relating the accounts of eyewitnesses is not a very reliable method. Just watch the nightly news to emphasize that point. If the accounts are to be believable and entrusted as “evidence” then there cannot be any discrepancies between these accounts. Any discrepancy disqualifies them as evidence or as reliable sources. And… they have been disqualified as evidence or reliable sources.

ADAM: “Don’t forget that those who wrote these accounts were going strong against public opinion. Their opponents were trying to do their best to disqualify them, but couldn’t.”

Irrelevant to the issue, of course. That is saying that something is true just because public opinion is against it.

ADAM: “Their teachings and accounts were in all cases true; in some cases the writers of these books even appealed to the knowledge of the hearers: “as you yourselves know”, and “we are witnesses of these things”. The possibility of hostile witnesses in the audience was too great for them to depart from the truth.”

Again you are relying on the very thing we are attempting to show as inerrant as proof of inerrancy. Which of course, cannot be done. You cannot use the Bible as evidence to prove the Bible.

ADAM: “The historian Eusebius preserves writings of Papias, bishop of Hierapolis (A.D. 130).”

Eusebius is responsible for altering the writings of Josephus. The writings of Josephus were in his possession. Early Christians never mention these writings as reference to Jesus. But amazingly, after Eusebius got a hold of them they became well known as referencing Jesus and were mentioned many times. One need only look closely at the writings of Josephus and the specific areas of reference to Jesus to see that the text had been doctored and forged by Eusebius.

ADAM: “Archaeology also backs up the facts presented in the Bible. Archaeologist Joseph Free writes: “Archaeology has confirmed countless passages which have been rejected by critics as unhistorical or contradictory to known facts.” Evidently, the Bible is not among them.”

What historic facts? Yes – there are cities listed in the Bible that were actual cities. Yes – there were some characters in the Bible that were actual historical people. But what historical facts have been shown by archaeologists to be true? Please list them.

ADAM: “The New Testament as a compiled book may not have existed until 397, however the manuscripts it’s composed of were written much earlier.”

How much earlier? We have no originals to look at and see when they were written. One thing that most biblical scholars agree on is that the New Testament was written after the fact. That none of the New Testament manuscripts were written while Jesus was supposedly alive.

“Dr. William F. Albright, recognized as one of the world’s outstanding biblical archaeologists, wrote:”

ALBRIGHT: “We can say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after circa A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today.”

Regardless of Mr. Albright’s estimated AD 80 – that is still after the fact.

ADAM: “Eight years later (1963) he stated in an interview that the completion date for all the books in the New Testament was “probably sometime between circa A.D. 50 and 75.”

Still after the fact. And of course he can’t prove it. His uses of words like “probably” emphasize his lack of proof. Why can’t he prove it? Because there are absolutely zero, nada, niente, none, zilch, and nil originals.

ADAM: “He concluded that the New Testament is the work of the apostles themselves or of contemporaries who worked with them and that all the New Testament books, including John, had to have been written before A.D. 64.”

What is his evidence?

ADAM: “His conclusion is corroborated by several pieces of evidence. First, it is evident that the Book of Acts was written in approximately A.D. 62. It does not mention the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, an event that would have been impossible to omit since Jerusalem is central too much of Acts. Nothing is mentioned of Nero’s persecution in A.D. 64.”

So because a book “fails” to mention something it must have been written before what it is “supposed” to mention. That is not evidence – that is supposition and speculation. The original, if it existed, might have very well mentioned them but was taken out during the ceaseless errors in copying. His speculation rests on the assumption that what we have today is in concurrence with the originals – which has been shown not to be the case.

ADAM: “Why aren’t their deaths mentioned when Acts does record the deaths of Stephen and of James, the brother of John?”

Perhaps you should ask the author why he failed to mention some things? Oh yeah… he or she is dead and there is no original… that’s why.

ADAM: “If the book of Acts was written by Luke in A.D. 62, then the Gospel of Luke must be dated earlier, probably in the late 50s.”

IF and MUST… very strong use of assumptive and presumptive wording.

ADAM: “Evidence also supports the idea that partial written drafts or collections of things Jesus said or did were likely in circulation for years prior to being used in the Gospel accounts, as we know them.”

What evidence?

ADAM: “Thus the formative period for this material (the period in which it moved from oral to written tradition) was no more than 17 to 20 years.”

And the proof is…?

ADAM: “They did not expect him to be the Son of God. Any blatant statement to that effect would effectively been suicide on his part – any Hebrew would have considered it outright blasphemy and would have had him stoned.”

Guess that explains the Trinity, huh? Why did the Sadducees put Jesus on trial for treason and blasphemy? Because he threatened the old laws and they accused him of being a false messiah. So the Hebrew did consider him blasphemous and instead of stoning him they crucified him.

ADAM: “There were five guiding principles that were used to determine whether or not a New Testament book was Scripture. (1) Is it authoritative – did it come from the hand of God?”

How was that determined? What criteria were used to determine if the hand of God wrote a book? Does not the Bible say that all scripture are divinely inspired? If that were the case then why would a decision need to be made as to whether or not a scripture was divine?

ADAM: “(2) Is it prophetic – was it written by a man of God?”

Again, what criteria were used to determine if a man of God wrote a book? If man was created in the image of God were not all men considered to be a man of God?

ADAM: “(3) Is it authentic? [The church fathers had the policy “If in doubt, throw it out.” This enhanced the validity of their discernment of canonical books.]”

Again, what criteria were used to determine if a book was authentic? If they used a policy of “if in doubt, throw it out”, as you claim, then how many books that they doubted were actually divine scripture? How many books that are not divinely inspired made it past their review because they were wrong?

ADAM: “(4) Is it dynamic – did it come with the life-transforming power of God?”

Again, what criteria were used to determine this?

ADAM: “(5) Was it received, collected, read and used – was it accepted by the people of God?”

So if they found a book that met all four previous criterions but failed because the people “didn’t accept it” then it would not be passed? The choice of books was purely political.

ADAM: “The result is a definitive set of letters and books, whose origins were certain and whose authenticity was beyond doubt. There are no theological contradictions in the NT.”

Really? Are you sure about that? You don’t really want to get into a discussion of all the contradictions in the New Testament, do you?

ADAM: “You mentioned the Apocrypha. The apocrypha was never accepted into the mainstream, non-catholic churches. Here’s why: (1) as you mentioned, “They abound in historical and geographical inaccuracies and anachronisms.” (2) They teach doctrines that are false and foster practices that are at variance with inspired Scripture. (3) They resort to literary types and display an artificiality of subject matter and styling out of keeping with inspired Scripture. (3) They lack the distinctive elements that give genuine Scripture their divine character, such as prophetic power and poetic and religious feeling.”

The Bible as it stands today 1) abounds in historical and geographical inaccuracies, 2) teaches a doctrine which is false and fosters practices which are variant with other inspired scripture, 3) displays an artificiality of subject matter and a styling out of character with other scripture, etc.

So to say they kept the Apocrypha out of the Bible for those reasons is absolutely absurd since the Bible abounds in the very things that you and the Fundamentalists that I quoted claim kept the Apocrypha out of the Bible.

ADAM: “Josephus (A.D. 30 – 100), Jewish historian, explicitly excludes the Apocrypha from Scriptures. Jesus and the NT writers never once quote the Apocrypha although there are hundreds of quotes and references to almost all of the canonical books of the OT. The Jewish scholars of Jamnia (A.D. 90) did not recognize the Apocrypha. No canon or council of the Christian church for the first four centuries recognized the Apocrypha.”

How can Josephus, Jesus, NT authors, Jamnia, etc not recognize the Apocrypha if the Apocrypha didn’t exist until the AD 397? The books Hymn by Christ, Magical Book by Christ and the Letter to Peter and Paul by Christ were left out? Books by Christ were left out and “not recognized”? That seems incredible that books written by the very person the Bible is expressing to be God should be left out. Were they left out because Jesus wrote some things down that contradict the dogma of Christianity?

ADAM: “I have a Bible with the Apocryphal gospels. I don’t use it, I don’t agree with them, but it does exist.”

How do you know you have all of the Apocrypha? Why don’t you agree with them? Do they disagree with the Bible that much? And what of the books supposedly written by Jesus himself?

ADAM: “Also, you imply that the group that chose the books for the NT had no idea of which of the many MS they had was real.”

They didn’t. Forensic science was not common around 397 AD.

ADAM: “You also assume that to them, those manuscripts were ancient.”

On the contrary I suspect that the manuscripts were not ancient.

ADAM: “These people were there with a purpose – to weed out the false teachings. They did their job, and they did it thoroughly.”

What criteria were used to weed out the false teachings? How did they know and how do you know? What if the Apocrypha is the real teachings and the Bible is the false teachings?

ADAM: “They are all saying the same thing. The same thing is said by all of them. All these passages say the same thing. By all of these scriptures, the same thing is said.”

They are not all saying the same thing. The KJV says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The ASV and NEB say, “Every Scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching.”

The KJV is saying that “EVERY scripture is inspired” while the ASV and NEB are saying “Scripture that is inspired by God” which of course implies that other scripture is not divinely inspired. If you ask a Fundamentalist to show that the scripture is the inspired word of God they usually direct you to Second Timothy 3:16 (KJV). Yet in other interpretations and translations that same verse does not say every scripture is divinely inspired. Other interpretations and translations state that scripture that is inspired by God is… but not that every scripture is inspired – which of course implies that there are scriptures that are not divinely inspired.

This of course goes back to variances and “what did the original actually say”. While they attempt to say the same thing – they do not.

Another example is First Timothy 6:10. Everyone has heard “The love of money is the root of all evil” at least once in his or her life. Notice that it says THE LOVE of money is THE ROOT of ALL EVIL. That is in the KJV and a few other versions. But the NIV says, “For the love of money is a root.” It does not say THE ROOT – it says A ROOT meaning one among several. The quote goes on, “of all kinds of evil” (not necessarily ALL EVIL).

Another version says, “For the love of money is a root of all evil.” And a fourth version that can be found, for instance, in the NWT, says, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of injurious things.” That does not necessarily mean it has to do with evil at all. So we have four different versions of the same verse, all of which have differences, some small – some large.

Mark 16:9-20 has a footnote in the NIV that states, “The two most reliable early manuscripts don’t even have these verses.” Biblical scholars still cannot agree whether or not these verses should even be included in the Bible.

ADAM: “You seem to forget that all of these versions, except the KJV, are relatively modern translations. The variations are not major, and have nothing to do with the reliability of the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Latin manuscripts.”

The fact that they are “relatively modern” translations forces the issue even more. After thousands of years Biblicists still can’t get it together and figure out what the original actually said. You stated that this massive collection of variances actually helps to find the original. So I ask… where is it? Why are there still MAJOR differences in the translations? Why can’t Biblicists and scholars agree on what the original actually said? Because the numerous variances have not made it easier – they have complicated their problem exponentially.

ADAM: “If you’ve ever done the experiment Pass The Secret, you know that there are always two or three people who purposely pass on something other than what they heard.”

Thanks for proving my point.

ADAM: “The Jewish people were trained to memorize everything they were taught, the first time they heard it. This they did, very successfully.”

That is definitely a sign of accuracy. For a group of people who did it so successfully, why are there still problems, inconsistencies, contradictions, errors, and numerous translations? Hmm?

ADAM: “Where did you find that information?”

Sorry… wrong book. Your information on Isaiah is correct from what I can ascertain. The dating placed the book around 100 BC and with spelling variations and a few missing words – but otherwise pretty accurate to the text dated at 897 AD.

The accuracy of the book of Isaiah makes for an impressive argument for “passing the text without error”. However, Biblicists have diligently ignored the findings in cave 4. In cave 4 they found 157 fragmentary biblical texts. Among these fragments was every book of the Hebrew canon except Esther and Nehemiah (which at the times was considered as one book with Ezra). In some cases, especially 1-2 Samuel, Jeremiah, and Exodus, the fragments brought to light a form of recensions of biblical books that differed from the medieval Masoretic tradition. One of the texts turned out to be a shorter Hebrew form of Jeremiah, previously known only in its Greek version in the Septuagint. It is now apparent that the fuller form of Masoretic tradition represents a Palestinian rewording of the book. Another fragment is written in paleo-Hebrew script and dated from the early second century BC. The fragment contains a repetitious expanded form of Exodus previously known only in Samaritan writings.

Biblical inerrantists dubiously ignore the difference identified in Cave 4. It puts to rest all of their notions that ancient scribes meticulously and scrupulously copied the manuscripts without mistakes. The discoveries in Cave 4 clearly show us that not only were mistakes made but that textual changes were also made with probably deliberation.

Scholars had long known before the Cave Four discoveries at Qumran that the Masoretic text of Jeremiah differed substantially from the Greek version found in the Septuagint. Some sections of the Masoretic text were missing entirely from the Septuagint, and other sections were organized differently. Jeremiah 27:19-22, 33:14-26, 39:3-14, and 48:45-47 are sections in the Masoretic and various English texts that were not in the Septuagint version. Some thirty changes in organization have been identified in the Septuagint version. Chapter 25:15-38 of the Masoretic text appears as chapter 32 in the Septuagint, 27:1-19 is chapter 34, 33:1-14 is chapter 40, and so on through more than thirty other changes in organization. To explain the problem posed by these variations in the Septuagint version of Jeremiah, proponents of the inerrancy doctrine once attributed the deviations from the Masoretic text to poor translation, but after the discoveries in Cave Four, this “explanation” became hard, if not impossible, to defend.

ADAM: “Some religions claim to be based on a life force, which pushes humanity on toward . . . utopia? Goodness? A force cannot have a goal. If it has a goal, there must be a mind behind it, and it is no longer simply a force – it is a deity.”

I think Luke Skywalker would disagree with you. There can be an achievable goal through the “followers” of a force. I will agree that if the force itself has a goal – then it is no longer a force but an intelligence. But having a goal does not necessitate force or deity.

ADAM: “And what is spirituality? Sitting in a meaningful position thinking spiritual thoughts? What do religions mean when they say they “embrace spirituality?”

Since I am not a spiritualist… Spirituality allows someone to find the “inner self” or to increase his or her “self-awareness” without the use of a deity.

Adam Rebuttal #004:

BLAIR: “The total entropy in a system is represented by the symbol AS. The symbol AS is used to represent a given change in the entropy content of a system. If the symbol q is used to represent the amount of heat absorbed by a system, the equation for the resulting entropy increase is: AS = q/T (1). Where T is the absolute temperature. When heat is absorbed, the entropy of a system increases; when heat flows out of a system, its entropy decreases.”

That is true. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that when I mentioned the 2nd law of thermodynamics, I was referring to how the law applied to the whole cosmos. The whole cosmos, having no outside source of energy, is slowly loosing ‘useable’ energy.

Your point that the entropy of a sub-system of a larger system can and does at times decrease is evident if we look at a pot of water on a stove. While the earth is losing available energy through the oxidation of natural gas, the water in the pot is gaining available energy at a fast rate.

BLAIR: “In other words the creationists expect science to stick to the creationist version of thermodynamics but demand no such accordance from their creator.”

You’re totally correct. God created the cosmos (‘the heavens and the earth’), and therefore cannot be a part of it. That’s because nothing can create itself. Not being a creation, He has no beginning and is therefore infinite. His infinite existence requires him to remain changeless: Every change has a cause, and that cause must have a cause that caused it, and so on. As soon as you bring in cause and effect you must have a beginning cause. And, since God has no beginning, he cannot change. Without change, there can be no time: Time is the measurement of change, and is evident only when there is change. If there were no motion, no change in our cosmos, there would be no time. It would be as if we were stuck in one moment. Without change, there is no ‘space’. After all, what is space but a framework in which something exists, and moves. We have ruled out the possibility of motion of God in his environment, because all motion is change. So here we have the basic picture of God, which is also found consistently throughout the Bible: God is powerful (he created the cosmos), He never changes, and He is infinite.

ISAAC: “This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, “No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body.” [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, “The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease.” Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.”

True, Creationists have misused just as many terms as evolutionists have. I only mentioned the 2nd law of thermodynamics because to me it seems to disprove a big bang without a divine cause. According to physicists, our cosmos (1) would need 10 times the mass it has to ever stop expanding, and (2), were it to contract, there is nothing known in physics that would make the mass explode in another big bang. The mass of our cosmos is not like rubber, which will bounce back. Instead, we would likely have a huge supernova-like mass with an unimaginable amount gravity preventing any re-expansion. I agree, the 2nd law of thermodynamics really doesn’t say much for or against evolution.

BLAIR: “Christianity rejected the Big Bang Theory once science considered it scientifically sound. Until then the theory was used as a “slap in the face” to show science that the universe could have a finite beginning. For Christianity to abandon their theory because of scientific acceptance reeks of the general dislike of the Church for science and scientists. The Christians had a great theory that was looked upon suspiciously until other scientists agreed with it and pointed out that it was scientifically sound. Then they abandon it. It makes no sense whatsoever to throw your Porsche away because your enemy likes it but wants to change the color from red to black.”

What makes you think that Christians have anything against science as such? Science is very useful and has been the source of most modern conveniences. Without science we would be without light bulbs, computers, synthetic fabrics, plastics, glues, medicine, etc. As I stated in my last letter, Christians simply minded the fact that scientists removed God from the Big Bang theory. As you said, the big bang theory is an attempt to prove the natural beginnings of our universe. Here’s the problems it runs into: (1) The mass spread out by the big bang can’t have caused itself, since before it was caused, it couldn’t cause anything: What doesn’t exist, can’t create itself. (2) The big crunch theory does not hold water: There is nothing that even suggests that whenever such a big crunch occurs, entropy is reset to nothing. The field of physics also has no explanation that can account for why a big crunch would result in a big bang. Thirdly, as I stated earlier, there would need to be ten times as much matter in this cosmos to ever counteract the inertia of our expanding universe. You mean to say that ours was the last big bang in a series of them? If so, explain what caused the first one, since everything that has an end must also have a beginning?

BLAIR: “Beside the point, what Paul Davies feels is irrelevant. Bottom line is he has no evidence of design and he, along with other intelligent design enthusiasts, only “”see”” design. How does one prove design?”

There is such a thing as intuition. Intuition is what tells you that words scraped into the sand in the desert were created by humans. Intuition is what tells you that two plus two equals four (you can demonstrate that using certain methods, taught in grade school, two plus two does result in four, but you can’t prove that these methods are true.) Intuition tells you that the muddy footprint on your friends’ floor has not always been there. Intuition tells us that where there is a pattern, a design, there must be a designer.

Another angle to look at it: There is nothing in nature that might cause different plants to have differently shaped leaves. There is nothing in nature that can explain why all leaves are pretty much symmetrical. There are no evolutionary advantages to such patterns in plants. There are those who advance this theory for plants with colored flowers: In some areas, plants with more colorful flowers than others had a natural because they were easier to find by animals who needed the extra color to find them. Over time, the color became more concentrated as those flowers with the most color survived and flourished because they were preferred by the aforementioned animals. I see a problem in these types of theories: How come there were animals that needed that color in the first place? Would those not have been genetically inferior animals because the couldn’t survive as well in an environment where most flowers had no color?

Consider, also DNA. For the first cell to be able to exist, its full DNA would have to had to come into existence perfectly and completely. A cell relies on all its DNA for its various functions. As the simplest, and most basic component of all life on earth, a cell is completely reliant on all the functions it contains. Remove any of its basic organelles and you remove its ability to survive and reproduce. The endoplasmic reticulum which synthesizes proteins, phospholipids and cholesterol; the mitochondrion, the nucleus, the delicate yet extremely useful cell membrane with its many chemical receptors: All these are needed, at the same time, for life. The cell couldn’t have existed without all these parts coming together at once.

Furthermore, it isn’t as if the DNA is simply a repeatable sequence of genes. The structure of DNA couldn’t have been the result of even a complex mathematical algorithm. The gene structure of a cell cannot have been the result of random chemical interactions.

BLAIR: “But we know that the Earth and the universe are not orderly. Look at the Earth alone for signs of disorder in meteorology, seismology, volcanology, oceanography, etc. Hurricanes, spontaneous volcanic eruptions, hit and miss earthquakes, hot spots, tornados, tsunami, etc. Look to space for signs of disorder such as roving comets, asteroids waiting to be knocked out of their “place” and sent careening toward some unlucky planet.”

Look at meteorology, volcanology, oceanography, seismology, etc. What is their goal? Their goal is to discover the laws and patterns behind the weather, volcanoes, oceans and tectonic plates. Their goal would be futile if there were no logic behind each of these.

Look at roving comets: look at asteroids and other cosmic bodies. Astronomers have recognized that all of these bodies are controlled by laws and follow certain patterns and behaviors. That is why astronomers can tell us that the Hale-Bopp comet last visited the earth in 2213 BC before we saw it in 1997, and that its next visit will be in approximately 4300 A.D. Without the predictable laws of nature, astronomy be useless.

BLAIR: “You’re pulling straws and you know it. If the “creation” of the universe had been any different then the known laws of the universe might be different. Who’s to say that the molecular structure of water wouldn’t he H3O had the Big Bang been 10,000 times more powerful? The laws of the universe, while constant, are not indicative of eternity. They are the laws that are with us because of the formation of the universe and how it is behaving.”

Thanks for proving my point: God created the cosmos, and set down the laws governing it. There is no “what if” about creation.

BLAIR: “I said, “Then they begin to test it. If that hypothesis is proven time and again or is shown to be true — then a theory is formulated.” I then said it had to be independently verified. The Big Bang Theory, based on the current evidence available, has been shown to be true. It has been independently verified many times. The difference between scientists and religionists is that if new evidence is identified that causes the Big Bang Theory to change or even be dissolved — then so be it. Religionists base their theory of creation of errant dogma and refuse to budge.”

Please . . . I’d like to know what ‘independent verifications’ of the big bang theory have been done. Why aren’t these mentioned more often (or, at all) in debates between leading theists and atheists?

BLAIR: “Why is it irrational? God cannot be proven to exist. God has not shown or revealed himself. A basic understanding of humanities allows us to understand why people are religions. There are so many gods that one would have no idea which one to believe in. The very fact that there are so many gods only serves to illustrate the need for humans to invent gods and have religion in their lives. If evidence were to show up tomorrow that were to prove God existed or he were to show up at my doorstep and say, “”Hi, I’m God…… glad to meet you”” then that would be different.”

Imagine this scenario: A college class is discussing medieval history when the door bursts open and Frank walks in. Frank is visibly excited and tells the class that he has found the key to a successful life. “In my left shoe, I have a stewed tomato.” Frank tells the class. “Ever since I put it into my shoe, I’ve felt happier, have been able to study better, and best of all, can run a mile in four minutes.” He backs up what he says by demonstrating his running ability that noon.

It is hard to argue with a student like that if his life backs up what he says. A personal testimony is often a subjective argument for the reality of something. Therefore, people often discount subjective experiences as being irrelevant.

There are two tests that you’d apply to the person with the stewed tomato in his shoe.

First, you’d ask what the objective reality is for the subjective experience.

Second, you’d ask how many other people have had the same subjective experience from being related to the same objective reality. In the example with the student and his stewed tomato:

1. The objective reality behind the subjective experience is a stewed tomato in his left shoe.

2. No one has ever had the same subjective experience from that objective reality.

Now apply the same test to the Christian conversion experience:

1. The objective reality behind the subjective experience is a person called Jesus Christ and His resurrection.>2. The subjective experience felt in true Christian conversion experiences has been felt by an overwhelming number of people.

Truly millions of people, from all backgrounds, nationalities and professions have seen their lives elevated to new levels of peace and joy by turning their lives over to Christ.

You might say that this is an illusion. In that case, Wow, what a powerful delusion. E. Y. Mullins writes, “A redeemed drunkard, with vivid memory of past hopeless struggles and a new sense of power through Christ, was replying to the charge that “his religion was a delusion.” He said: “Thank God for the delusion; it has put clothes on my children and shoes on their feet and bread in their mouths. It has made a man of me and it has put joy and peace in my home, which had been a hell. If this is a delusion, may God send it to the slaves of drink everywhere, for their slavery is an awful reality.”

Blair, I personally know people whose lives have taken a 180-degree turn since the put their trust in Christ. Some were addicted to alcohol, some took drugs regularly and some just had an average life. They all can tell you that their life is unimaginably better than it was before. You may call it a subjective reality. But then, that would be your subjective view, and no more inherently true than their claims.

BLAIR: “However, by evaluating events in the Bible that are actually historic (such as the death of King Herod the Great and others) and going back over the given ages of characters and all the begot him and begat her theologians and Biblicists can arrive at a date. The estimated date of the Earth based on these things places the Earth at about 8500-years-old. I have seen estimates as low as 6000-years-old and as high as 10300-years-old. However, most agree that 8500-years-old. Thomson said that the maximum age the Earth could be would be 400 million years old. He personally felt, as you stated, that the Earth was more than likely around 40 to 60 million years old.

How old do you think the Earth is? Why?”

If we add up the given ages of characters and their ancestors in the Bible we arrive at six to eight thousand years. I believe that a seven-day creation is quite possible (I’ll explain why in just a minute), but after that I can only guess. Between verse 1 of Genesis, which states that God created the cosmos (“heavens and the earth”) and verse 2 (the first day of creation) anything may have happened. So, to answer your question: All the plants, animals and other organisms we know are no older than, say, six to eight thousand years. As to why I believe in a seven day creation: I believe that such a ‘miraculous’ creation is quite possible based on the many testimonies of God’s power in people’s lives I have heard. I know a community in which all sorts of healings occurred. For example, I met the wife of one guy who had lost all his teeth. After prayer, he had a full new set of real teeth, which he still has today. That this occurred is testified by the whole community. Given such experiences, there is no reason not to believe in a fast creation.

BLAIR: “Evidence does support them.”

What evidence?

ISAAC: “First, we should clarify what “evolution” means. Like so many other words, it has more than one meaning. Its strict biological definition is “a change in allele frequencies over time.” By that definition, evolution is an indisputable fact. Most people seem to associate the word “evolution” mainly with common descent, the theory that all life arose from one common ancestor. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to call this a fact, too. However, common descent is still not the theory of evolution, but just a fraction of it (and a part of several quite different theories as well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved. Calling the theory of evolution “only a theory” is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on confusion between what “theory” means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is “a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena” [Random House American College Dictionary]. The term does not imply tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what we would expect to find, so it can’t be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable predictions, they prove to be false.)”

Give me some examples. Also, please don’t pull your ‘falsifiable predictions’ out of the books of poetry. If someone in the Bible, talks about the “four corners of the earth”, they are not trying to make a scientific point! They are trying to convey a concept to their audience. A modern example would be the expression “up north”. We know that up has nothing to do with north except on maps. Would archaeologists in four thousand years know that? I am not at all sure.

BLAIR: “What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has–evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.”

That is what I am trying to get you to see. There is no good evidence that backs up the species to species changes that Darwinian evolution requires. There is no good evidence that backs up punctuated equilibrium either. If you do happen to find some evidence that I have missed, please send it along together with an explanation of how it proves that such changes between species are possible and happening.

BLAIR: “I saw this information on several shows on the Discovery Channel, TLC, and PBS. Researches looking for causes of other diseases identified paths and connections that were necessary for thought process and behavior. The exact paths are not known because they are too numerous for our current technology. However, they were able to provide a general track and show the paths they signals took. They couldn’t pinpoint the exact cellular path – but they were able to identify a “travel lane”. Kind of like saying they know a car drove from New York to Los Angeles – but they can’t identify the actual roads and interstates the car drove on. I’ll keep an eye out for stories related to this research on the Internet. If I come across something you can actually read I’ll send it to you.”

Thanks. I agree that scientists can measure where brain activity is occurring and can chart the path nerve axons follow from one part of the brain to the other. In fact, scientists have managed to hook up an electronic eye to a blind man’s brain in such a way that he could use it for basic navigation. However, this simply proves that nerve signals can be picked up using electronic devices.

BLAIR: “Regarding a list of animals brought on board the Ark there is absolutely no way whatsoever that the Ark had every species on board. The dimensions provided in the Bible are nowhere near enough to house two of every species on the planet. Not to mention the food to feed every species. There are species that have very stable diets such as the Panda and Koala that would require Noah to harvest those special diets. They were on that boat for a long time.”

There is something that naturalists don’t believe, so it can’t make sense to them. That is the supernatural. If God is as powerful as I believe he is, he would have no problem feeding a bunch of animals in an ark, or keeping them alive and well.

GOULD: “But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life’s physical genealogy.” – Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994

Let me try another approach. What makes Stephen Jay Gould think he’s right?

I don’t remember saying that mutations are rare. It is a fact that they occur quite frequently. This is one of the reasons the U.S. sends scientists to Asia yearly to find the newest strains of flu viruses.

However, none of you quotes mention the fact that almost none of these mutations are beneficial. Many evolutionists counter this fact with the statement that “The fact that we have observed no improvements because of genetic mutations does not mean that they don’t happen”. Drosophilae paulistorum, fireweed, speciation of the Faeroe Island house mouse and speciation of cichlid fishes are four common examples of “evolution in action” that evolutionists often point to. Let’s look at these four examples:

Drosophilae Paulistorum:

Recent evidence with D. Paulistorum labels these strains of the fruit fly as semi-species, Not fully separate species. First of all, I don’t see how these semi-species with sterile offspring represent a species improvement. Also, there is evidence that a genetic defect in these fly’s brains is the cause of male-male attractions and male sterility that sets them apart from other strains.

Cichlid fishes:

Evolutionists claim that there are five new species of cichlid fishes that evolved from the parent stock in Lake Nagubago. The test for speciation of these strains is mainly the lack of natural inter-breeding. However, the lack of natural inter-breeding does not rule out the possibility of successful interspecies breeding. Until biologists prove that these fish cannot reproduce across species, the data doesn’t say anything.

Faeroe Island house mouse:

The only test for speciation in this instance is morphology, the study of the looks and structures of organisms. Until forced breeding with the parent stock shows that these are separate species, this data is not valid. A species is a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding. While it is true that different species have different bone structures, variations in bone structure do not automatically make separate species.

Fireweed:

A species of firewood has formed through the doubling of the chromosome count. However, the scientific community counts polyploids as belonging to the same species.

The evidence is clear that no beneficial, species – to – species mutations have been observed so far.

BLAIR: “So everything God created would remain the same and never change or mutate? Why didn’t God create 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms? Why did God make some animals blind? Why did God make it damn near impossible for some animals to reproduce? Why did God put spurs on a male cat’s penis so that a female cat experiences pain during copulation? Why did God not make our eyes perfect? Why did God give us an appendix? Why did God make the Earth and the universe appear to be billions of years old? Why did God kill (possibly drown) the dinosaurs? Why did God make the Black Widow kill her mate? Why did God create snakes that drip venom – why not make all of them inject it? “

Maybe to give scientists something to wonder about . . . You seem to feel that creationists think they know it all. They don’t. But we do our best to find out.

BLAIR: “So everything God created would remain the same and never change or mutate?”

That’s what the evidence suggests.

BLAIR: “Why did God make it near impossible for some animals to reproduce?”

Well, the animals seem to be surviving fine…at least while we leave their environment in peace.

BLAIR: “Why did God put spurs on a male cat’s penis so that a female cat experiences pain during copulation?”

What makes you think that copulation can or should be experienced with the same type of pleasure it gives humans? For animals, copulation very likely gives no more pleasure than eating – it is a instinctive tool for reproduction. Most animals have no self-awareness. In that sense they don’t experience pain the way we do. They just experience the sensation, not the psychological strings that are attached to painful experiences in humans.

BLAIR: “Why did God not make our eyes perfect?”

He made everything perfect. However, when humans rebelled by moving the focus of their lives off of him (for which they were created) to themselves, he gave them what they wanted – an environment where they could ignore him. As people distanced themselves from God, the human body lost its perfect health. Looking at the Bible, we an see the age of people decrease from generation to generation.

BLAIR: “Why did God kill the dinosaurs?”

Did He? At this point we don’t know. There are many things that can kill dinosaurs. Climate changes, for example. Wasn’t it an ice age that ended the existence of mammoths? Did God ever promise equal treatment of animals and humans? No.

BLAIR: “Why did He make a black widow kill her mate?”

Once again, remember that animals with no sense of self don’t feel pain in the same way. To them pain inflicted by their mates or other animals feels the same as pain from a stomach cramp or a splinter. They don’t have the emotional pain that humans feel as a result of physical pain. (There are some animals that may be a partial exception to this rule. Dolphins and intelligent apes have at times exhibited an awareness of the self.) BTW, evolution has just as little answer why the black widow kills her mate. It doesn’t make sense for an animal that has survival in mind to eat its mate.

As to why didn’t God create 2, 3, and 4-celled organisms? This is a question we can’t answer. Nor can evolution answer why there aren’t 2,3 and 4-celled organisms.

BLAIR: “Darwin’s theories have not been disproved. Punctuated Equilibrium is not an alternative theory to natural selection or evolution. Punctuated equilibrium is simply a new theory on the expediency of evolution and natural selection.”

Evolution is not a fact. Scientists have proven exactly the opposite; speciation cannot occur because of limitations built into the way DNA works.

“The study of genetics and DNA have enhanced the evolutionary theory and provided more evidence. The commonality of 166 genes that every species on the planet shares denotes a common ancestor. I suggest you read the Evolution is a Fact and Theory Page. It contains a discussion from Mr. Gould (whom you earlier misquoted). You can find it at Evolution = Fact/Theory FAQ.

Let me quote Gould from the Talk Origins page:

GOULD: “Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world’s data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don’t go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein’s theory of gravitation replaced Newton’s in this century, but apples didn’t suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin’s proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.”

Gould writes that evolution is not only a theory, but also a fact. How does he arrive at that conclusion? He states that facts don’t go away – they don’t change. He also admits that theories have changed. Therefore Gould is committing a logical fallacy by calling evolution both a fact and a theory.

BLAIR: “Creationism denotes what? Creationism implies that there is a creator, intelligence, a supreme being. And the following of said creator is what? A religion. Regardless of whether or not evolution contradicts theistic canon — the creationists are religiously orientated. You can’t believe in creationism unless you believe in a creator.”

Creationists are religiously oriented. So are secular humanists. Quoting the Humanist Manifesto I:

HUMANIST MANIFESTO: “Seventh: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, and recreation–all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.”

Religion wasn’t removed from humanism until the writers of the Humanist Manifesto II decided that it interfered with their teaching it as the only true religion in our educational system. However, the court still recognizes Secular Humanism (which you have proven you are a member of through your support of various very humanist concepts) as a religion.

In this debate there is no neutral ground. Either one believes in God or gods, or one doesn’t. I am purposely grouping agnostics with atheists since their lifestyles and the truths and beliefs they support are the same as those of atheists.

BLAIR: “Michael Denton showed a clear misunderstanding of the basics of evolutionary principle and theory, he blatantly misquotes people, and uses antiquated facts to “”back up”” his claims. Denton shamed himself and knows it. Regardless of his religious or non-religious convictions, the fact remains that the majority of anti-evolutionists are radical Christians (Fundamentalists) and ultra-theists. Most rational people accept evolution. The Vatican has even officially recognized evolution as scientifically sound. Of course they added the caveat that God guided evolution.”

Michael Denton only shows a clear misunderstanding of the basics of evolutionary principle and theory to those who can understand no reality without evolution. Looking at the critiques of his book it is obvious that he has a much better understanding of evolution than the critics. For example, in his critique of Denton’s book, Mark I. Vuletic makes all sorts of assumptions about what is possible in biology. Michael Denton Refuted.

Quoting Vuletic,

VULTEC: “Just look at the different varieties of dogs that exist today, and ask whether a Chihuahua and St. Bernard can be connected only by saltations (large genetic jumps)? If such profound change can occur and speciation does, as Denton conceded, occur, then what is to theoretically stop a remote ancestor from evolving into all of the primates? What is theoretically to stop an ancient ungulate from evolving into a whale, or an ancient fish into an amphibian? The fossil record, as we will see later on, provides even more evidence for major structural change, both in skeletal and soft organ characteristics.”

Vuletic shows a clear lack of understanding of the principles behind genetic change. He argues that since Chihuahuas and St. Bernards have evolved from the same ancestor, hinting that one of these might even have been that ancestor. There is a huge difference between change within a species and change from one species to another.

For rapid genetic change to occur, one must have two animals, in which one has a more desirable characteristic than the other, and which can successfully breed. Thus, for an ancient ungulate to evolve into a whale, you need to pair that ancient ungulate with another ancient ungulate that is slightly more ‘whalish’. If you breed these two ungulates, you might get at least one of their offspring which has some of those whalish characteristics. However, here’s the problem. This variation can only occur until the moment a new species has ‘evolved’. At that point, the ungulate is the only one of its species on earth and, by definition, cannot reproduce with its ancestry. Macroevolution is in this sense self-refuting.

BLAIR: “Because there are only a few holes (which have been explained and it is understood why those “holes” exist), there are no glaring faults, and all major educational and research establishments understand that evolution is a fact and theory. They understand that creationism is not a science – it is a belief based on biblical account or belief in a creator.”

Evolutionists support their theories for these reasons: (1) They see no possibility of an outside force (i.e. supernatural being). (2) They believe the scanty available evidence supports species-to-species changes. (3) Such changes make sense to them. They fit into their materialistic worldview.

Let me give you an illustration. Suppose, in ten thousand years, a team of scientists comes upon the remains of a car. It appears to be a relatively sophisticated car, a 1999 Mercedes. Not much later they find an ’81 Toyota corolla. After some more digging, they also find an eighteen-wheeler, a dump truck, a ’56 Ford truck and some lawnmowers. This is all they can find, everything else has decomposed and disintegrated. Now assume they were convinced that these were skeletons of some kind of organism, not created by humans. Logically, they would group together the lawnmowers as one species. This would be declared the original species because all other species they found had more complex engines. They would decide that the Ford truck was an ancestor of the larger and stronger dump truck that in turn begot the eighteen-wheeler. The Corolla and Mercedes would be put into their own family. Would their conclusion be logical given the knowledge they have? Yes. Would their conclusion be correct? NO. Why? Because cars were created by humans, despite the fact that there are remarkable similarities between the different makes and models and despite the fact that there is evidence of more primitive cars.

BLAIR: “Certainly not religionists.”

At least if religionists determine the rules of science they will have a knowledge of the existence of absolute truth to ground those rules on. (i.e. the understanding that a reasonable creator creates creations that obey certain laws.) If Naturalists base the validity of science on those un-changing laws that guide the universe and base the belief that these laws are unchanging on science they are arguing in a circle. (Science proves the laws, the laws prove science).

BLAIR: “What blocks have been thrown? None.”

Intelligent Design, for one.

BLAIR: “An intelligent design “scientists” (there is no such thing, by the way) would probably assume the tracks came from someone — then say, “That someone has to be a creator — there is design in the footprint.” Forensic scientists will take samples of the dirt and look for pieces of the shoe that may have come off…”

However, they all agree that the footprint was made by a person. The way they know? It’s called intuition.

BLAIR: “You’re pulling straws again. Cave drawings and carvings are blatantly created by humans because of the evidence found around the drawings and carvings.”

Ah. But if you were to remove the evidence found around the drawings and carvings, wouldn’t you still be sure that they were created by humans?

BLAIR: “You are correct that archaeologists never say anyone care the rocks. But they did find the tools that were used to carve the rocks. They found evidence of “”campfires”” in the caves. They find clothing, food, and pottery. There is no assumption that man made the carvings.”

There is an assumption that man made the carvings. Ask any archaeologist. ANYONE you ask will tell you that if they come across paintings on walls, they will assume that humans made them. (And no, apes do not carve pictures into cave walls. There is no significance to them in drawings.)

BLAIR: “First off… do you have any data that is not antiquated? Every scientists you listed was dead and buried (most for hundreds of years) and all the data you are supplying is antiquated. Telling me that a computer scientist did something in 1960 and that you are relying on that data is like telling an auto mechanic that Henry Ford conducted an experiment on oil combustion on the Model T. That’s nice — but it has no bearing on what is being done today with today’s technology.”

The simulation data is not antiquated. If you were to write such a simulation now, it would give you the same result, just a lot faster. The fact that 1960s computer technology is outdated does not mean that the data gathered using those computers are outdated.

BLAIR: “Moving the Earth 10% to the sun could be catastrophic — you are correct. If our solar system had arranged itself any differently — if a roving asteroid had destroyed the Earth before it cooled — then we probably wouldn’t be here right now. Instead life would have evolved on another planet and looked completely different from what you see on this planet.”

Incorrect. Had a roving asteroid hit the earth before it cooled it would have been absorbed into the earth’s mass and would have melted.

BLAIR: “Your entire “”theory”” rests on the assumption that this solar system, galaxy, and entire universe was designed and specifically built just for you. How egotistical.”

My entire theory rests on the assumption that this solar system, galaxy, and entire universe was designed and specifically built just for humanity. How is that egotistical? After all, I’m not saying that I’m better or more knowledgeable than you. I’m just saying that I happen to know the truth, and I’m not stopping you from getting to know it.

Also, your entire theory rests on your assumption that this solar system, galaxy, and entire universe created itself. Not very scholarly.

BLAIR: “That is exactly what I said — so if I am wrong then so are you. But we are not wrong. Ice is less dense than water because of air trapped inside when the water freezes. If you remove that air then ice becomes denser than its original form and the crystalline structure of the ice changes (along with its color). As I said before, the fact that you consider the properties of water to be miraculous does not indicate intelligent design. It only indicated that you consider the properties of water to be miraculous.”

Wrong. Ice is less dense because of the crystal structure of the water molecules. Consider this bit from Encyclopedia Britannica:

BRITANNICA: “In the solid state (ice) these intermolecular interactions lead to a highly ordered structure in which each oxygen atom is surrounded by four hydrogen atoms; two of these hydrogen atoms are covalently bonded to the oxygen atom and the two others (at longer distances) are hydrogen bonded to the oxygen atom’s unshared electron pairs, as shown in Figure 5. This open structure of ice causes its density to be less than that of the liquid state, in which the ordered structure is partially broken down and the water molecules are (on average) closer together.”

As I explained earlier, if you take a glass bottle, fill it completely with water and cap it securely, it will burst when you freeze it.

BLAIR: “Why are the majority of Christians evolutionists?”

If the majority of Christians are evolutionists, whom I doubt, it is because they are uninformed about the truth of evolution, or seriously doubt God’s power. It definitely isn’t because evolution is a better theory.

BLAIR: “If you are a young-earth creationist: Why are many creationists old-earth creationists?”

People don’t like feeling “extreme”. This is what they are labeled by society if they publicly admit they are young-earth creationists. Also, people who aren’t sure exactly what they believe are easily swayed by public opinion.

BLAIR: “If you are a young-life creationist: Why are many creationists old-life creationists?”

For the sake of discussion, I’ll assume you mean Christian young-life creationists. However, there are many who simply believe in a guiding ‘force’ or supreme being other than the Judeo-Christian God. I’ve not asked them, but here’s my theory: Old-life creationists put more faith in inaccurate dating methods than in the Bible and God. The Bible is quite clear about how things came into being.

Most evolutionist scientists believe that the earth’s magnetic field is the result of the rotation of the earth around a liquid core. The problems with this theory are many. For example, the dynamo theory, as it is known, requires at least a weak magnetic to exist in the first place, which is then amplified. To quote E. N. Parker in an article in the Scientific American, August 1983, p.45: “The operation of either type of dynamo calls for the initial presence of at least a weak magnetic field or a weak current. . . Therefore the dynamo mechanism doesn’t explain how the magnetic field of planets and stars may have originated but rather how they are amplified and maintained in spite of the continual sapping of the field.” Parker also admits that the mechanism for reversals of a dynamo-type magnetic field are not known. “Although sudden changes in the pattern or rate of convection could cause reversals of polarity, it is not known why there should be sudden changes.” Yet these polarity changes have been proven to occur.

One more problem is that the dynamo theory requires a planet to have a liquid core to create a magnetic field and also results in a magnetic field whose axis is in line with the axis of rotation of the planet. However the moon, which is considered solid, also has a magnetic field. And evidence sent back by the voyager spacecraft showed the axis of the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune to be tilted sharply compared to the planets’ spin axes.

“Archaeomagnetism” is the study of the magnetization of bricks, pottery, campfire stones, and other man-related objects studied by archaeologists. Iron oxides in those objects retain a record of the strength and direction of the earth’s magnetic field at the time they last cooled to normal temperatures. Archaeomagnetic data taken worldwide show that the intensity of the earth’s magnetic field was about 40% greater in 1000 A.D. than it is today, and that it has declined steadily since then.

Such a rapid decay could not have been going on continuously for millions of years, because the field would have to have been impossibly strong in the past in order for it to still exist today.

The archaeomagnetic data show that the field intensity at the earth’s surface fluctuated wildly up and down during the third millennium before Christ. A final fluctuation slowly increased the intensity until it reached a peak (50% higher than today) at about the time of Christ. Then it began a slowly accelerating decrease. By about 1000 A.D., the decrease was nearly as fast as it is today.

There is a theory that fits with the evidence. Supposing the earth were created with the atoms in its core lined up, a strong magnetic field would appear. This magnetic field would decay very fast but create an electric current which is the cause of today’s magnetic field. The electric current slowly would slowly decay. This decay has been measured accurately since the 1830s, at which point the magnetic field was 14% stronger than it is now. Here’s where it gets interesting: movements of the liquids around the core of the earth could cause the reversals in the polarity of the magnetic field that are evidenced by archaeomagnetic data. The theory goes on to suggest that the fluctuations which data have made evident were the cause of the Genesis flood. The data suggests that these reversals happened as little as a week apart. Reversals like this could easily account for the flood and for the spreading of the continents if these reversals continued at intervals after the flood. This theory is also supported by the fact that strata on the ocean floor do not consist of continuous blankets of material with the same polarity as would be logical if the movement of the continents happened over thousands of years. Rather, the polarity changes wildly from mile to mile, evidence that the continents were pushed apart by the polarity reversals within a very small space of time. Such a fast continent spreading would also account for the vastly different types of animals we find in Australia, South America, Eurasia and all the small islands.

BLAIR: “Why has God given us a Bible with all of the evidence that it is not to be read according to the norms of modern western historical and scientific writing?”

When he gave us the Bible, he was more interested in us getting an idea of the history of humanity (The fall, where people turned their backs on God; the history of Israel, where God created a foundation for Jesus Christ, who made it possible for anyone to attain eternal life with God.) than of the history of the earth.

Would you be more likely to believe the Bible if it went into more detail?

BTW, you were saying that when scientists find evidence that disproves their theories they scrap the theories (or at least consider the evidence in a professional manner). What would you say to this discussion of 1) the reliability of radiometric dating methods and 2) the evidence of a young earth?

Radiometric dating methods are intended to discern the age of igneous rocks by measuring the amount of radioactive elements present in the rocks. Let us consider the assumptions that evolutionary geologists make when using radiometric dating:

First, they assume that the radioactive elements have always decayed at the same rate. How can they know this? Obviously, they cannot. The technology for measuring these elements has not been in existence long enough to provide any evidence that this is the case.

Next, they assume that the rock being analyzed has never been “contaminated” by the infusion of additional end product (end product is what the radioactive element becomes after it has decayed). Once again, this is a pure assumption, which cannot be proven, unless the rock in question has been under constant surveillance since the day it was formed. Moreover, they make this assumption in spite of the fact that they know it is very possible for such infusion to occur.

Third, they assume that the rock being examined had no end product at the time it was formed. This is a very bold assumption. We cannot know this unless we are there on the day the rock is formed, and analyze it immediately. (Of course, the rocks in question are usually far older than the dating methods, so this is not possible.) Moreover, this assumption by its very nature excludes the possibility that the earth was created in its fully formed state. (In other words, they assume that the Bible account cannot be true, then use the conclusions based upon these assumptions to prove that the Bible isn’t true!)

Finally, they assume that none of the element being measured ever leached out of the rock. This is in spite of the fact that several of these elements are highly soluble. In some cases, simply pouring water over the sample for a matter of a few hours can substantially change the amount of radioactive element present, and therefore drastically alter the test result.

Whereas the above assumptions are specific to radiometric dating, they are in principle the same kind of assumptions made across the board. All methods for evaluating the age of the earth run on the same basic types of assumptions. From this, it is evident that the evolutionary geologists have framed their assumptions in such a way as to try to exclude the possibility that the Bible account of creation might be literally true. They have also excluded the possibility of any catastrophic event, such as the Flood. Such assumptions are not only arrogant, they are intellectually dishonest: they start by assuming what they are setting out to prove. Separate and apart from the problems inherent in the assumptions, it is also a fact that the radiometric dating methods have been proven to be unreliable. For example, we know that Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. Rocks formed by that eruption – less than 20 years ago – have been analyzed using radiometric methods, and the results are astounding. Based upon the conventional assumptions and methods, these rocks were shown to be millions of years old! And there are many other examples that show the complete unreliability of these dating methods.In concluding this section, we observe that there is little or no real, objective evidence to suggest that the earth is billions of years old. Most of the “evidence” that is cited by evolutionary scientists is based upon faulty assumptions – assumptions which more or less presuppose their desired conclusions.

The following are examples of the evidence that exists to suggest that the earth is indeed much younger than evolutionary scientists assert.

1. Level of Sea Salt

One piece of evidence that the earth is much younger than the evolutionary scientists suggest is the level of salt in the sea. There are several factors that add salt to the oceans on an ongoing basis. For example, rivers pick up salt from surrounding mineral deposits as they flow into the sea, thereby carrying salt into the sea. Hot springs on the floor of the ocean are another source of salt, as is dust from volcanoes. Also, ground water seeps into the sea, and this often has a very high mineral content – including salts.

Of course, there are other factors that cause the ocean to lose some of its salt. However, it has been shown that the salt is added much faster than it is taken out. In fact, it is possible to calculate the rate at which the level of salt is increasing. By using the standard assumptions used by evolutionists, geologist Steve Austin and physicist Russell Humphreys calculated that the oceans must be less than 62 million years old. That is far too short a time for the evolutionary processes to have taken place. Keep in mind that this figure represents the maximum age, and that any age less than 62 million years is consistent with the evidence. Moreover, if the assumptions are changed, the maximum age decreases. For example, the evolutionists assume that the ocean had no salt whatsoever when it was first formed. However, if we allow for some level of salt at the time of creation, then factor in the rate at which the salt level increases, the maximum age of the sea declines sharply.

In addition, since Drs. Austin and Humphreys did their work, a newer study has shown that the rate at which salt is being added to the ocean is actually faster than previously thought. It has been shown that much more salt enters the ocean through the ground water each year than expected. Thus the maximum possible age of the ocean is actually quite a bit less than Austin and Humphreys’ figure.

2. Radiohalos in Colorado Fossils

According to the standard geological time scale, the Jurassic, Triassic, and Eocene epochs represent hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Fossils in Colorado, however, indicate that they are actually not so far apart. This has been determined by examining radiohalos, which are rings of color that form around microscopic traces of radioactive minerals. The Polonium-210 radiohalos in the Colorado fossils indicate that the Jurassic, Triassic, and Eocene formations were deposited within months of each other! Thus, rather than representing hundreds of millions of years of evolution, the deposits in Colorado are suggestive of a single cataclysmic event (i.e. the Genesis Flood).

3. Missing Helium

As radioactive elements decay, they generate helium. This helium, of course, eventually finds its way into the atmosphere. Some helium escapes from the atmosphere into space, but the rate at which it does so has been calculated, and it is slight. In any case, even taking this loss of helium into account, the atmosphere still has only 0.05% of the helium that would be there if the earth were 5 billion years old, as the evolutionists claim. In other words, the level of helium is consistent with an age of 25 thousand years or less. This brings us quite close to the biblical time scale.

BLAIR: “You completely missed the point or purposely avoided it. I didn’t say that gravity was dependant upon one or the other or that the speed of light was unidirectional. I said that a different universe MIGHT CAUSE these values to be different.”

Sorry. Let me explain what I meant: What I meant was that the majority of the laws our universe is built on are not dependant on what happened at the big bang. My point was that gravity and the speed of light are independent factors. They are not affected by the speed of the universe’s expansion or any other factor (As opposed to sound waves, which are vibrations that travel through molecules and can travel at different speeds).

The Big Bang theory as we know it is based on the laws of physics. Physicists can say that, by observing the way the laws of physics operate, an event like the Big Bang was highly likely. In other words, they are assuming that those laws were in effect either BEFORE the Big Bang or came into being with the Big Bang and directed the outcome of the Big Bang. Without the laws of gravity, and the speed of light, the Big Bang would not have been possible. Ask your local physicist and see what he says.

BLAIR: “It doesn’t matter if only 1 line of the New Testament is in doubt. If we know that the Bible is 10% false and 90% true — what 10% is false? How do we know what we are reading is true and accurate? How does the Bible become an appropriate tool for explaining the intended message of Jesus if we always doubt if what we are reading is false? If even one thing in the Bible is proved to be wrong (which it has) then the Bible becomes just another book like any other book.”

The key parts of the Christian faith rest on undisputed reading. So much has been proven by the experts. If you don’t believe it, argue with them. They know better than I do what they’re saying.

BLAIR: “Your assertion that the greater number of variants actually helps in establishing the “”original”” is one often fronted by many apologists like Geisler (whom attempted to rationalize his above statements by asserting that those variances actually helped instead of hindered), McDowell, Stewart, and others. Even if there were a million copies how do we know the original is located among those million? Where is the original within those variances? Which wording is correct? Which translation is correct? How do we know that those million were not copied from another variant? While it is true that the more transcripts you have the greater your chances are of having the original — it is also true that the greater number of transcripts you have the chances of not finding the original increases exponentially.”

The great number of manuscripts help establish the original because we can safely assume that those parts that match up between the majority of the manuscripts are accurate. Thus, if 80% of the manuscripts say the same thing about Jesus’ life, we understand those matching parts to be accurate. It is those areas where there are variations in the majority of the MS that we run into problems.

However, a fact that supports the Bible is its life-changing power (no, it isn’t scientific, and yes, it’s true). The Bible has changed more lives than all other books combined. That tells me that those thousands of people who translated the MS got something right.

BLAIR: “It does not matter how close you get to the originals. The fact remains that there are no originals. And as we know — when translating text from one language to another much is lost. There are words and phrases that do not translate correctly or exactly. If I were to translate this debate into Italian then translate it back into English the debate would no look anything like it does now because too much would be lost in the translations. Early translations are not evidence nor do they convey accuracy. If anything they convey further inaccuracies.”

How much less inaccuracy would it take for you believe the Bible? That the NT we have now is exactly what was written, and that it conforms exactly to the life of Jesus and the apostles would you really believe it, or would you simply switch the topic?

BLAIR: “Using the Bible to serve as evidence for the Bible’s accuracy is absurd. Relating the accounts of eyewitnesses is not a very reliable method. Just watch the nightly news to emphasize that point. If the accounts are to be believable and entrusted as “”evidence”” then there cannot be any discrepancies between these accounts. Any discrepancy disqualifies them as evidence or as reliable sources. And…… they have been disqualified as evidence or reliable sources.”

Please list some of the discrepancies you seem to find in the New Testament.

BLAIR: “Irrelevant to the issue, of course. That is saying that something is true just because public opinion is against it.”

Absolutely not. It is saying that people hate you enough that if you speak one thing that can be proven incorrect, it’s death for you. Public opinion in those days was not like public opinion now. In this era of relativism, anyone can say anything (as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings) and walk away unharmed, because according to naturalist philosophy everyone’s reality is their reality and cannot be judged wrong by any absolute standard. In Hebrew society this was not the case. The apostle Paul was nearly killed several times for merely saying something that the Hebrews considered blasphemy. That kind of thinking is unimaginable in today’s society.

BLAIR: “Again you are relying on the very thing we are attempting to show as inerrant as proof of inerrancy. Which of course, cannot be done. You cannot use the Bible as evidence to prove the Bible.”

I’m using logic and common sense to analyze what the Bible says. To prove any literary work you must rely on what it says to some degree. To prove an encyclopedia correct, you must take a statement from the encyclopedia and use logic and observation to affirm that statement. That’s all I was doing with the Bible.

BLAIR: “Eusebius is responsible for altering the writings of Josephus. The writings of Josephus were in his possession. Early Christians never mention these writings as reference to Jesus. But amazingly, after Eusebius got a hold of them they became well known as referencing Jesus and were mentioned many times. One need only look closely at the writings of Josephus and the specific areas of reference to Jesus to see that the text had been doctored and forged by Eusebius.”

I cannot judge that statement since I, (unlike you??) have never read any of the writings of Josephus.

BLAIR: “What historic facts? Yes — there are cities listed in the Bible that were actual cities. Yes — there were some characters in the Bible that were actual historical people. But what historical facts have been shown by archaeologists to be true? Please list them.”

The city of Ur, for example, was considered to be something that was invented by the writer of Genesis. Not until it was discovered by Archaeologists did scientists admit that the Bible was true on that account.

There are many other cities that are mentioned in the Bible and which have been found by archaeologists. There are also numerous predictions about what would happen to some of these cities. Wherever Archaeology has encountered one of these cities, it has shown the prophecy to have happened.

If you’d like I can send you several dozen pages detailing all these fulfilled prophecies.

BLAIR: “How much earlier? We have no originals to look at and see when they were written. One thing that most biblical scholars agree on is that the New Testament was written after the fact. That none of the New Testament manuscripts were written while Jesus was supposedly alive.”

Were you trying to be funny? There was no reason to write about Jesus’ life and sayings until he died (unless one belonged to the local newspaper). Why would they have written down his life when he was barely considered an adult and it was assumed that he would be around for many more years? Yes, NT manuscripts were written after he died. In fact, most, if not all, mention his death (and subsequent resurrection). Most of the books written about Darwin’s life were written after he died. Does that make them any less true?

BLAIR: “What is his evidence?”

Ask him. I don’t have access to all the documents he had. However, scholars have more evidence that the Bible is reliable than that evolution is true. Evolution comes down to a matter of faith in those who defend it. These are usually not the same people who spend years trying to prove it. I wonder why…

BLAIR: And the proof is?”

Math. 50 – 32 = 20. 60 – 20 = 40. Etc.

BLAIR: “Guess that explains the Trinity, huh? Why did the Sadducees put Jesus on trial for treason and blasphemy? Because he threatened the old laws and they accused him of being a false messiah. So the Hebrew did consider him blasphemous and instead of stoning him they crucified him.”

Let me quote you:

BLAIR: “The council changed Jesus from man to God in the flesh, they changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and the Passover was changed to Easter.”

Now you claim that Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. Please make up your mind. Also, Passover was not changed to Easter. It was replaced by Easter. Passover was a celebration to remember God’s saving the Israelites from Egypt by sacrificing the eldest sons of all of Egypt. Easter is a celebration to remember God’s saving of humanity by sacrificing his son.

BLAIR: “How was that determined? What criteria were used to determine if the hand of God wrote a book? Does not the Bible say that all scripture are divinely inspired? If that were the case then why would a decision need to be made as to whether or not a scripture was divine?”

All scripture is divine. All the council did was to weed out those writings that weren’t scripture.

BLAIR: “Again, what criteria were used to determine if a man of God wrote a book? If man was created in the image of God were not all men considered to be a man of God?”

There’s a big difference between being a man of God (someone who believes in and loves God and does his best to follow God’s law) and a man created by God.

BLAIR: “Again, what criteria were used to determine if a book was authentic? If they used a policy of “”if in doubt, throw it out””, as you claim, then how many books that they doubted were actually divine scripture? How many books that are not divinely inspired made it past their review because they were wrong?”

So maybe some divine scripture got thrown out. Does that make the rest of the divine Scripture, which we have in the form of the Bible, any less valid? Undoubtedly not. All it means is that we have to rely on what we have for the message of salvation. This message is the same throughout the whole NT, so we can safely assume that any other divine scripture would simply be saying the same thing about how we can get to heaven.

BLAIR: “Again, what criteria were used to determine this?”

I don’t know. All I know is that today there are thousands – millions – all over the world whose lives have been totally transformed by the message in the Bible.

BLAIR: “So if they found a book that met all four previous criterions but failed because the people “”didn’t accept it”” then it would not be passed? The choice of books was purely political.”

“The people” here is the people of God. Christians. If the Christians felt that scripture was not trustworthy, they wouldn’t use it.

BLAIR: “Really? Are you sure about that? You don’t really want to get into a discussion of all the contradictions in the New Testament, do you?”

Actually, I’d love to.

BLAIR: “How can Josephus, Jesus, NT authors, Jamnia, etc not recognize the Apocrypha if the Apocrypha didn’t exist until the AD 397? The books Hymn by Christ, Magical Book by Christ and the Letter to Peter and Paul by Christ were left out? Books by Christ were left out and “not recognized”? That seems incredible that books written by the very person the Bible is expressing to be God should be left out. Were they left out because Jesus wrote some things down that contradict the dogma of Christianity?”

The Apocrypha, if you will remember, is a compilation of various other documents. These documents were not called the Apocrypha until St. Jerome labeled them that (apocrypha means “non-canonical”)

BLAIR: “They are not all saying the same thing. The KJV says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The ASV and NEB say, “Every Scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching.”

The passages all say this, and no more: All scriptures are inspired by God. They are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

There is such a thing as a thesaurus. If you own one, I suggest you look up some of those words. You will see that they have the same meaning. Instruction in righteousness means teaching what is right. God-breathed means the same as inspired by God.

BLAIR: “This of course goes back to variances and “what did the original actually say”. While they attempt to say the same thing – they do not.”

If you are worrying that the inaccuracy of modern transitions keeps you from getting the real truth about christianity, I suggest you buy two or three versions and an interlinear Greek English bible. Except for grammatical differences, about 99% of them will say the same thing. Until you understand the 99 percent, don’t worry about the remaining 1%. If you’ve really studied the ninety-nine accurate percent of the Bible, you’ll understand the rest for what it’s intended.

BLAIR: “Another example is First Timothy 6:10. Everyone has heard “The love of money is the root of all evil” at least once in his or her life. Notice that it says THE LOVE of money is THE ROOT of ALL EVIL. That is in the KJV and a few other versions. But the NIV says, “For the love of money is a root.” It does not say THE ROOT — it says A ROOT meaning one among several. The quote goes on, “of all kinds of evil” (not necessarily ALL EVIL).”

I think we should drop the subject of Bible accuracy unless you’d really take the Bible more seriously if you felt it was more accurate than you consider it now. Otherwise we are just wasting our time.

BLAIR: “Mark 16:9-20 has a footnote in the NIV that states, “The two most reliable early manuscripts don’t even have these verses.” Biblical scholars still cannot agree whether or not these verses should even be included in the Bible.”

So how are these incongruencies you’ve mentioned keeping you from understanding the Bible?

BLAIR: “To explain the problem posed by these variations in the Septuagint version of Jeremiah, proponents of the inerrancy doctrine once attributed the deviations from the Masoretic text to poor translation, but after the discoveries in Cave Four, this “explanation” became hard, if not impossible, to defend.”

Let me ask again, What parts of these inaccuracies, if that’s what they are, are keeping you from understanding the basic message of salvation the Bible offers?

BLAIR: “I think Luke Skywalker would disagree with you. There can be an achievable goal through the “”followers”” of a force. I will agree that if the force itself has a goal — then it is no longer a force but an intelligence. But having a goal does not necessitate force or deity.”

Luke Skywalker seemed to have a genetic variation (remember, “having the force” was hereditary) that allowed him to interact with some force. The force must have strived toward a goal, because it was the “good” force. And what was “good” in the Star Wars trilogy? “Good” was that which the “good” force wanted. It seems illogical to me to say that the force didn’t have a goal. (Of course, it also was a weak force, because according to the movie Luke was the force’s last hope.)

Response to Adam #004:

Our debate has become multi-faceted and on many issues we are running around in circles. I intend to end the debate on some of those issues. There are some issues that I want to keep open because either side is still open to more debate.

Please do not take this as a “submission of defeat” or a “lack of evidence”. It is only that we are repeating the same things and getting absolutely nowhere with each other on those issues. We will just have to agree to disagree on these issues and continue on to other issues.

ADAM: “Your point that the entropy of a sub-system of a larger system can and does at times decrease is evident if we look at a pot of water on a stove. While the earth is losing available energy through the oxidation of natural gas, the water in the pot is gaining available energy at a fast rate.”

I’m happy to finally see that issue closed on its own – I had intention of closing it because we seemed to be going round in circles. Now if we can only get the rest of creationism to see exactly what we are talking about things would be much more amicable between the sides.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that theism and evolution cannot cohabitate. It is only a literal biblical creation account that prevents cohabitation. The Vatican has officially recognized evolution as scientifically sound. Of course the Vatican added the caveat that God is the “how and why” of evolution. Evolution is a fact – it has been seen to occur. It is the mechanism of evolution that is a theory. The Vatican agrees that evolution has occurred and is occurring and that God is the mechanism of evolution.

ADAM: “But during the period of Creation, God was introducing order and organization into the universe in a very high degree, even to life itself! It is thus quite plain that the processes used by God in creation were utterly different from the processes, which now operate in the universe!”

How convenient for God. And the evidence for this is?

ADAM: “You’re totally correct. God created the cosmos (‘the heavens and the earth’), and therefore cannot be a part of it.”

Which means that after God created the cosmos he was unable to interfere with it and be a part of it. Which means that there were no godly miracles and that God never revealed himself to any man. If God cannot be part of the cosmos – then where is he? And if he cannot be part of the cosmos or interfere with it – then why pray? I will admit these arguments sound very elementary and kindergartenistic in nature, but that does not take away from the basis of the question. I thought I’d keep them simple.

ADAM: “That’s because nothing can create itself. Not being a creation, He has no beginning and is therefore infinite.”

And the supporting evidence for this is? Is there any biblical scripture to support this?

ADAM: “Every change has a cause, and that cause must have a cause that caused it, and so on. As soon as you bring in cause and effect you must have a beginning cause. And, since God has no beginning, he cannot change.”

You are correct that every event has a cause. But since you have taken the fetal position that God is not prone to the very laws he created – he is conveniently not affected. Therefore God has no cause or creation. That, to me, is a kindergarten answer to the kindergarten question of, “Who created God?”

Again, what evidence supports this? Is there any biblical scripture that supports this claim? How do you know that God wasn’t created if there is no evidence or scripture that says he wasn’t? While the Bible may say he is the “creator” it does not say that he was never “created”. The act of creation itself undermines the basis of the Trinity – which is why Arius dissented from the church in 325AD. His assertion being that if God created Jesus then Jesus did not exist at one point – therefore how can he be one with God and the same as God?

ADAM: “We have ruled out the possibility of motion of God in his environment, because all motion is change.”

You haven’t ruled it out. You have speculated it out. Again, where is the supporting evidence? Where is the supporting scripture even? If I remember correctly, there are instances in the Bible that claim God moves about (Genesis 11:5, 18:21, and 1 Kings 19:11-12), which conflict with some scripture that say he is omnipresent (Psalms 129:7-11). If God were omnipresent, why would he need to “move about”?

ADAM: “So here we have the basic picture of God, which is also found consistently throughout the Bible: God is powerful (he created the cosmos), He never changes, and He is infinite.”

Where in the Bible does it say that God was not created? Can you provide scripture that says god never changes and is infinite?

ADAM: “What makes you think that Christians have anything against science as such?”

Not Christians. The majority of Christians are evolutionists and do not take the Genesis account of creation literally. I was referring specifically to Literalists. Why do literalists accept one portion of science and not another? It is the same methodology that is used. Why accept Tylenol and Clorox Bleach but not the Big Bang? Why accept Cat Scans and Nuclear Medicine but not evolution? Why accept nuclear fusion and thermodynamics and not abiogenesis? Why accept one aspect of science and not another? Seems rather hypocritical to me.

ADAM: “As I stated in my last letter, Christians simply minded the fact that scientists removed God from the Big Bang theory.”

Why reject the theory completely because a group of people removes God? Sounds very commercialistic to me. I’m not going to buy those tennis shoes because they don’t have the Nike label on them. If Nike were to manufacture the shoes specifically for the no-name brand shoe company the results would be the same. Even if the shoes are the same shoes without the name brand. Why reject the theory simply because science removed God from the equation?

I used to like Cocoa Puffs until my enemy started to like them – now I don’t like them anymore.

ADAM: “There is such a thing as intuition. Intuition is what tells you that humans created words scraped into the sand in the desert.”

Intuition might lead you to a speculative and hypothetical conclusion – but intuition does not prove that conclusion. An anthropologist cannot exit from a cave and say, “I have a gut feeling that these drawings were created by humans.” The anthropologist/archaeologist must find supporting evidence to collaborate his or her intuition. Not speculation, not intuition, not gut feelings, not “looks like coincidence” – but evidence.

ADAM: “Intuition tells us that where there is a pattern, a design, there must be a designer.”

So a pattern in a snowflake indicates a designer? When I see a pattern in a snowflake my intuition doesn’t say, “designer”. My intuition forces me to ask, “How did this pattern come about? And why this particular pattern?” After investigation I would find that the “designer” was a combination of environmental conditions and elements that “created” the snowflake. Not God – water, cold, and condensation.

I will agree that most people instinctively feel that patters insinuate a designer – that is how religion was born (among psychological reasons). The problem is that it is human nature to see patterns where pattern does not exist. That is where the realm of optical illusions gets its livelihood. The human brain refuses to see an inverted face and will, by pattern association, see it correctly (perhaps incorrectly would be more appropriate here).

ADAM: “There are no evolutionary advantages to such patterns in plants.”

Symmetric patterns do have evolutionary advantages. If one side becomes disabled – there is a chance that the other side can continue to function. This is evident in humans that lose a lung or kidney. Because they are symmetric – they continue to function at the loss of one side of the symmetric pattern.

The processes of phloem and xylem exchange in a plant demonstrate one of the benefits (and requirements) for symmetrical pattern. It is efficient – especially for chlorophyll and photosynthesis?

ADAM: “I see a problem in these types of theories: How come there were animals that needed that color in the first place? Would those not have been genetically inferior animals because they couldn’t survive as well in an environment where most flowers had no color?”

Many of those animals and plants did die off. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if every species in the fossil record were still alive? Also – it is not the “color”, per say, that draws insects, birds, and other small animals. It is the reflection of ultraviolet light. If it were the color – then bees would be trying to suck pollen out of a lot of people wearing colorful clothing. Bees, wasps, some beetles, etc, are attracted to the radiation of ultraviolet light off of the flower. The flowers that gave off more ultraviolet light were more “attractive” to insects and therefore received more attention from said insects. They became more fruitful because of the help, by said insects, in pollination. Flowers that did not radiate as much ultraviolet light were left alone and either died out over a period of many generations or adapted to self-pollination (which is evident today).

There is a flower in South America that gives off zero ultraviolet light. Instead it gives off a rather nasty smell. It has been associated with the smell of decomposing flesh by human noses. Flies and other insects are attracted to the smell – and pollinate the flower. The flower, by the way, is the largest flower in the world and can stand as high as ten feet.

ADAM: “What is their goal? Their goal is to discover the laws and patterns behind the weather, volcanoes, oceans and tectonic plates. Their goal would be futile if there were no logic behind each of these.”

So because man looks for a goal that means there is one? What is the goal and logic behind a volcano? Yes – we look for weather patterns and we attempt to predict earthquakes. We want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow and we want to know if Los Angeles is going to disappear of the map. But where is the order?

In meteorology a lot of criterion have been recognized as triggers for certain weather phenomenon. With the latest technological advances we can now see a tornado forming long before it elongates and touches down – providing up to a 45-minutes warning for communities. We know what conditions are best suited for tornadoes and we know basically what a tornado does. But they are still disorderly – appearing from anywhere within a cloud that appears to meet the identified criterion.

When I was in the Mediterranean Sea once there was a rather mediocre storm around us. The rain was very light with the winds less than five knots. The conditions were good enough that we decided to go ahead and commence an underway replenishment with the USNS Sirius. After about 30 minutes the conditions actually improved – the rain stopped and the wind died down to about 2 knots. But on the horizon there were seven waterspouts. The meteorologists was flabbergasted, to say the least. What were seven waterspouts (well formed) doing in the middle of a storm that would never be considered tornadic? None of the waterspouts threatened our ships – but the underway replenishment was immediately stopped as a precaution (another time a waterspout went right through the ship after numerous attempts to avoid it). The formation of those waterspouts was contradictory to what we know about tornadic cells.

Volcanoes erupt on their own time. They have no time schedule nor do they care that people live on their banks. Plate tectonics and seismic activity could care less that a house is built on top of a fault. While we know what causes plate tectonics and earthquakes – we don’t know how to establish where the next earthquake or tectonic shift will occur – other than fault and volcano identification and letting people know they live by one. Sometimes that doesn’t work when a volcano appears out of nowhere like ones in Mexico and off the coast of Greenland.

With the latest technology we can send transmissions to towns farther from the epicenter of an earthquake and provide a warning of a few minutes. Perhaps in the future we can expand that few minute warning to as much as we have done with tornadoes.

I was in Sicily when Mount Etna erupted. There was no major explosion (although ash was expelled – it was nothing in comparison to Mount St. Helens or Mount Pinotubo. Many sailors and marines in the area helped to dig ditches so the lava flow would not destroy the Sicilian city of Catania. And to everyone’s surprise… it worked. The ship was covered with several inches of ash so we had to test the saltwater wash down system and spent days cleaning up the mess. Italian and American volcanologists knew Mount Etna was only temporarily dormant and would erupt at some time. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when. No one predicted the eruption on that day and time – all they could do was warn the residents of Catania that Mount Etna was not asleep permanently.

ADAM: “Thanks for proving my point: God created the cosmos, and set down the laws governing it. There is no “what if” about creation.”

I have not proven your point. What I have done is actually reinforced your idea that the universe would be different if anything had not happened the way it did. Had the moon-forming impact not occurred – we would more than likely not be here. If the sun were a red or white star we would not be here. You could say that I am reinforcing your ideology that there are too many “coincidences” – but I am not. I am asserting that you see this as coincidence to justify your belief in a creator (regardless of the name you attribute to it). They aren’t “coincidences” – that is just the way things turned out.

The Colorado River didn’t carve its way by coincidence – that was just the way it happened. A tiny little pebble could cause a trickle of water to move a little to the left instead of right and the beginning erosion needed to create a left-hand turn was started. That’s not a coincidence – that is just the way it happened. Look for coincidences – and you will find them.

ADAM: “Please . . . I’d like to know what ‘independent verifications’ of the big bang theory have been done. Why aren’t these mentioned more often (or, at all) in debates between leading theists and atheists?”

Mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, and even the Vatican have independently verified the Big Bang theory to be scientifically sound. The formulations, data, evidence, and all other significata were looked at independently and found to be sound. You are thinking in terms of actually “seeing” the Big Bang happen. Although recently scientists created a “little bang” and the result was new plasma.

Quark Gluon Plasma Found

Chasing The Cosmic Fossil

Novel Universe Creation Experiment

Big Bang 2 Linked To The Birth Of A Super-massive Black Hole

NSF Telescope Sheds Light On Fate Of Universe

ADAM: “Imagine this scenario: … “In my left shoe, I have a stewed tomato.” … A personal testimony is often a subjective argument for the reality of something.”

The problem with your scenario is that Frank has neglected to prove that the stewed tomato actually caused the increased happiness and running ability. He has speculated a correlation but has offered no causation. He must, at this point, prove that the stewed tomato in his shoe is actually causing the new feelings of happiness, success, and physical stamina. Do the effects disappear when he takes his shoe off? How does the stewed tomato perform this function? What evidence is there and can it be duplicated?

A good example is faith healing. Faith healing has been shown to be a scam time and time again – put on by con artists out to make a buck or two. And yet people still flock to these traveling conmen. Why is that? And why do people actually feel better after being touched? Why do people pass out? People pass out because of the rush of dopamine and adrenaline at the anticipation of being “healed”. This rush of chemicals actually dulls the senses and pain and in many cases people appear to be cured briefly. Unfortunately – the results are temporary (if there are any “results” in the first place) and often this process causes more harm to existing injuries and illness. There are many documented cases of patients becoming worse after going to a faith healer because they have amplified the injury by attempting to overcome it after an encounter with a conman.

So are the results of faith healing shown to be true since some people feel better? No – the results are not caused by the faith healing methodology. The results are caused by the release of chemicals by the very subjects that are seeking the faith healing. Faith healing is correlated with feeling better – but chemicals and psychological reasons are the causation.

ADAM: “Now apply the same test to the Christian conversion experience:

1. The objective reality behind the subjective experience is a person called Jesus Christ and His resurrection.

2. The subjective experience felt in true Christian conversion experiences has been felt by an overwhelming number of people. Truly millions of people, from all backgrounds, nationalities and professions have seen their lives elevated to new levels of peace and joy by turning their lives over to Christ.”

Problems and more problems…

1. The objective reality behind the subjective experience is a supposed person named Jesus who was labeled to be the Christ by his followers (Christ is not a last name – it is a title) and was supposedly resurrected (even though there is loose evidence that the historical Jesus probably survived the crucifixion and never died).

2. The subjective experience felt in conversion experiences has been felt by an overwhelming number of people – almost 93% of the world’s population at one time or another has felt a conversion experience. Some of the specific groups of people whom have felt these powerful conversion experiences are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Wicca, Zoroastrians, Shamans, Hindu, Atheists, and Pantheists? Almost six billion people, from all backgrounds, nationalities, and professions have seen their lives elevated to new levels of peace and joy by experiencing a conversion and turning to faith or rejecting faith.

That must mean that EVERY belief in the world today is REAL and that the subject of EVERY belief in the world today is REAL. I mean – if so many people believe it and feel better when they “turn to it” then it must be real. That also means that all those psychic hotlines, horoscopes, and astrologers are real, too – because so many people believe in it and feel an overwhelming sense of peace and joy when they read their horoscope, see the star chart being created, or get a psychic reading.

And UFOs must be real, too, because so many people have found new peace and joy by seeing UFOs in the sky and by being abducted.

ADAM: “He said: “Thank God for the delusion; it has put clothes on my children and shoes on their feet and bread in their mouths. It has made a man of me and it has put joy and peace in my home, which had been a hell. If this is a delusion, may God send it to the slaves of drink everywhere, for their slavery is an awful reality.””

Usually there is nothing wrong with religion. Faith and prayer can be a powerful tool for mental health – just like non-theistic meditation and other forms of spirituality (just look at the Buddhists). However, there are dangers in religion when the believers become fanatical or start taking bad parts of their sacred text too literally. Just look at the number of deaths caused by people taking the Bible literally when it says those that believe in god can handle poisonous snakes and eat poison without dying. That is dangerous and is one of many avenues on the dark side of religion (specifically organized religion).

There is no denying that religions (not just Christianity) have done some good. But there is a lot of bad there, too. Ethnic cleansing, the Crusades, the Dark Ages, abortion clinic bombings, seclusion of children, denying children medical care, polygamy, clergy abuse of power for molestation, etc.

ADAM: “Blair, I personally know people whose lives have taken a 180-degree turn since they put their trust in Christ.”

And I personally know some of those people, too. But the fact that someone changes their lifestyle does not equate to evidence for a Supreme Being or creator. It equates to that a belief in a creator helps to alleviate stress; answer questions, and, in a way, is blissful. Religion is a form of Prozac for the “soul”, if you will. I don’t deny that. I have often said that a world full of atheists is just as scary as a world full of theists. There has to be a balance – and a cooperative balance at that. It is not the belief in a god that is worrisome for society – it is the literal belief in sacred text and the self-interpretation for action justification that is cause for concern.

ADAM: “If we add up the given ages of characters and their ancestors in the Bible we arrive at six to eight thousand years. I believe that a seven-day creation is quite possible (I’ll explain why in just a minute), but after that I can only guess.”

Most estimates I have seen place the Earth closer to 8500-years-old. Regardless – there is absolutely no way the Earth is that young (not even remotely close).

ADAM: “Between verses 1 of Genesis, which states that God created the cosmos (“heavens and the earth”) and verse 2 (the first day of creation) anything may have happened.”

It is that very reasoning that allows many Christians to accept evolutionary theory. That God created the Universe and started life on the planet. God then guided evolution to the point of the creation account – when what we see today had finally evolved. Now obviously there still remain a lot of problems with that – but at least there was a little movement toward the recognition of overwhelming evidence.

ADAM: “All the plants, animals and other organisms we know are no older than, say, six to eight thousand years.”

And what of the plants, animals, and other organisms that we don’t know? Like the dinosaurs, trilobites, etc.?

ADAM:”I believe that such a ‘miraculous’ creation is quite possible based on the many testimonies of God’s power in people’s lives I have heard. I know a community in which all sorts of healings occurred. For example, I met the wife of one guy who had lost all his teeth. After prayer, he had a full new set of real teeth, which he still has today. The whole community testifies that this occurred. Given such experiences, there is no reason not to believe in a fast creation.”

Really? How miraculous it must be to grow a completely new set of teeth! And did this conman release his dental records for verification that an orthodontist did not surgically implant the new teeth? Of course he didn’t. There is a large community in northern California right now that is claiming their crowns are turning to gold overnight by praying to God. When dental records were pulled they found out that the people claiming to have had this miracle happen had recently been to the dentist and had their crowns upgraded to gold. When the local preacher was confronted with this information he said, “So I was wrong about that… but that does not take away from the fact that I love Jesus.”

What I am trying to say is that you have been taken in by a con. It happens all the time to even the best of us. You can say there is more than one person testifying to the “miracle” all you want. There have been MANY cases of communities conning their way into something or out of something.

In a small town in Pennsylvania an entire community testified against a businessman for molesting his daughter. The man was found guilty in the local courts and sentenced to 15 years in prison. His wife insisted on his innocence and so did his daughter – yet he was still convicted. The state attorney agreed to review the case and found it very peculiar that this man was found guilty. DNA testing was done on the sperm found in the girl’s vagina (retrieved from the rape kit performed on her) and the father’s blood. And guess what… no match.

The state took over the investigation (releasing the father from prison) and identified the town’s preacher as the molester. An entire community testified and turned against the father simply because the preacher said to. They weren’t protecting the preacher because they didn’t know the preacher had done it. They simply were implanted with the idea that the father was guilty by a religious authority figure and they all turned against him. Once again there is an example of theists believing something blindly on faith and not looking for or understanding the evidence against that belief. Go figure.

This story is old (late 80’s) and I’m sure I’ve hosed up a few of the minor details. I searched all over the web for a copy of an original article. But alas, I could not find it. I will continue to look and hope that I can find an associated press release. Until then, I hope I have established my credibility with you so that you know I’m not making this up. Even though I am an immoral atheist!

ADAM: “There is something that naturalists don’t believe, so it can’t make sense to them. That is the supernatural. If God is as powerful as I believe he is, he would have no problem feeding a bunch of animals in an ark, or keeping them alive and well.”

If God is as powerful as you say he is then what was the point of having Noah do all the work? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and “create” an Ark?

If God is as powerful as you say he is then what was the point of having an Ark in the first place? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and send the animals to another realm or planet?

If God is as powerful as you say he is then what was the point of the flood in the first place? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and kill all humans and animals at one time (except Noah and two (or seven) pairs of every species on Earth). Why create a global flood and take all this time to do the damage? Seems rather melodramatic. Rather egotistical, too.

Why put Noah through all that trouble and time to build an Ark that in no way whatsoever could fit two (or seven) pair of every species on the planet. Including dinosaurs, saber tooth tigers, blue whales, insects, birds, fish, etc. It is not just a matter of food – it is a matter of space.

Not to mention there’s no evidence of a global flood anywhere in the world.

ADAM: “Let me try another approach. What makes Stephen Jay Gould think he’s right?”

You tell me – you quoted him first to prove your point. I just showed you that you misquoted him, that’s all. Then used him again to reiterate that point.

ADAM: “I don’t remember saying that mutations are rare. It is a fact that they occur quite frequently. This is one of the reasons the U.S. sends scientists to Asia yearly to find the newest strains of flu viruses. However, none of you quotes mention the fact that almost none of these mutations are beneficial. … The evidence is clear that no beneficial, species – to – species mutations have been observed so far.”

This is one of the issues I intended on “closing”, however, I think the sub-issue of beneficial mutation should be addressed. I will not address each example you provided, as that would be overkill. Most mutations are not harmful. Mutations can be neutral (neither harmful nor helpful), strictly helpful, or strictly harmful. The important thing is that regardless of whether they are helpful or harmful depends on the environment in which the mutation occurs. Most mutations are neutral until the environment decides if they are helpful or harmful.

The mutations that have created new breeds of dogs are surely not harmful? Is your grandmother’s poodle a harmful mutation? Of course if the mutation had occurred in Antarctica – it would have been harmful because there is no way a poodle could survive in Antarctica with its current mutations.

The English peppered moth had a mutation the created black with white specks instead of the normal white with black specks. Kettlewell was a scientist that identified this mutation. Originally he thought it was because of industrialization and the laying of soot on the bark of trees that caused the white moths to die out because birds could see them better. Kettlewell was attributing that to his local environment and not globally. It has now been shown that the pigmentation of the moths changes with the amount of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) in the air.

While Kettlewell did not think globally – he ascertained correctly for his locale and the mutation was helpful because birds at his locale before the industrial revolution would have easily picked off the black moths. Creationists have tried to pick apart the English Peppered moth mutation because of Kettlewell’s initial assertion. And while Kettlewell did make some errors – he was still right. The mutation was helpful in his local environment and has proven to be beneficial globally for the species.

Dr. Richard Harter in his article, Are Mutations Harmful, states,

HARTER: “To see why most mutations are neither harmful nor helpful it helps to know a bit about what mutations actually are. A mutation is a change in the genetic material that controls heredity. The genetic material is contained in chromosomes. Plants and animals have two copies of each chromosome whereas bacteria only have one copy. Organisms, which have two copies of each chromosome, are called diploids. Those, which only have one copy of each chromosome, are called haploids.

Chromosomes are divided into genes, each gene being a stretch of DNA, i.e., a sequence of nucleotides (A, G, C, T for short). The location of a gene is called a locus. (The position of a nucleotide within a gene is called a site. Don’t mix up locus and site.) At a given locus you may find that the DNA sequence is different from one critter to another in some small way. These are usually known as different alleles although sometimes they are confusingly called different genes. Let’s call them different alleles so that we don’t get confused – besides that’s the standard term.

If we look at populations of animals and plants we find that there are multiple alleles at 10-20% of the genes. In other words if we look at a given locus in all the members of a population about 10-20% of the time we will find more than one sequence at that locus. There can be more than two alleles within a population for a given gene locus.”

Let’s use the English Peppered moth as an example. The moth has one gene that controls whether it is white or black. The moths are diploids so they have two copies of that gene. If both copies of the gene are the same then the moth is what’s called homozygous for that gene. If the copies are different then the moth is what’s called heterozygous for that gene. If both genes are identical then the moth will be either white or black depending on which allele has it. To say “which gene has it” is not correct because it is really a matter of which allele has it. If a moth has two different alleles then the hue is decided by the dominant allele. The dominant allele is black. If the moth has identical black genes the moth will be black. If the moth has identical white genes the moth will be black. If the moth has different genes the moth will always be black because black is the dominant allele.

Dr. Harter Continues,

HARTER: “Now let’s talk about how a gene might change, i.e., how one allele might change into another. There are a number of ways this might happen. We might get a point mutation, one nucleotide being replaced by another. A section might get swapped end for end. A section might be snipped out. A section might be inserted. Or the entire gene might be duplicated.

What is the consequence when one of these things happens? Most of the time the change either has no perceptible effect at all, or it is fatal. Coding genes map into proteins using the genetic code. The genetic code is redundant (the technical term is degenerate), i.e., different triplets of nucleotides will produce the same amino acid. Because of the redundancy a point mutation may have no effect at all on the protein being coded for; these are known as silent mutations. If the sequence is altered by snipping or swapping the result is likely to be fatal because the coding sequence [the readout in terms of triplets] will be messed up. However this isn’t always true because there are processes that snip and insert sections of DNA into genes in a way that doesn’t mess up the coding sequence.

“What is the net result,” you may ask. Some mutations are fatal or very bad. These mutations get eliminated immediately. Some are silent and don’t count. Sometimes a mutation is definitely advantageous; this is rare but it does happen. Almost all mutations which aren’t silent and which aren’t eliminated immediately are neither completely advantageous nor deleterious. The mutation produces a slightly different protein, and the cell and the living organism work slightly differently. Whether the mutation is helpful or harmful depends on the environment; it could be either.”

If you think about it, life has to work this way – mutations (changes in the genetic material) are happening all the time. The average human has (on the average) between 50 and 100 mutations. On the average three of those mutations matter, meaning they actually change a protein. If these mutations were harmful, as you have indicated, then life would be very short and the human species would have been extinct rather quickly.

ADAM: “Maybe to give scientists something to wonder about… You seem to feel that creationists think they know it all. They don’t. But we do our best to find out.”

You of course bring up another point about God and creation. If God created the Earth 6500 to 8500 years ago then why create it so that humans would think it was older? Obviously the Earth is older than 8500 years old – there’s no way to deny that. So why would God create an Earth 8500 years ago but create it so that, by all evidence, it would be ascertained at over 4.5 billions years? Why did God make the stars that are billions of light years away shine immediately – when in his omniscience he would know that man would see this and know the Earth was not 8500 years old? Why did God bury dinosaur bones in the ground and create a fossil records? Why did God make the Earth along the East Coast a million years older than the Earth at the Mid Atlantic Ridge? Why did God create sedimentary layers? Why did God hit the Earth with large asteroids and/or comets (over 1,000 craters have been identified on the Earth and more are found all the time)?

ADAM: “That’s what the evidence suggests.”

What evidence? So the introduction of new breeds of dogs was what? The changing of color by South American parrots to better hide in the loss of vegetation was what? The changing of color because of increased SO2 in the air by English peppered moths was what? Viruses and bacteria that mutate and adapt to drugs are what? Insects that adapt and mutate to resists pesticides are what?

ADAM: “Well, the animals seem to be surviving fine… at least while we leave their environment in peace.”

Yes… they do SEEM to be surviving fine. The California condor has one offspring every five years. There are less than 30 left and that is only because humans helped them breed and raise the young. The Panda has one or two cubs every other year. The survival rate of cubs (which are born very prematurely (the size of a baby rat)) is less than 37% in the wild and 55% in captivity. There are other species as well that have incredibly low reproductive rates either because of mortality rates among the young or by the number of young they have or by other circumstances.

ADAM: “What makes you think that copulation can or should be experienced with the same type of pleasure it gives humans? For animals, copulation very likely gives no more pleasure than eating – it is an instinctive tool for reproduction. Most animals have no self-awareness. In that sense they don’t experience pain the way we do. They just experience the sensation, not the psychological strings that are attached to painful experiences in humans.”

Because it does. There are many species that have sex when there is no chance of getting the other pregnant. They have sex because it feels good. There are species of monkeys where two female monkeys will run off for hours or days and have lesbian sex. There are species of monkeys that have sex to reduce stress in the group and to enjoy an orgasm. Even humans have orgies.

The male cat’s penis has spurs on it. As the spur is pulled back it rips into the vaginal wall of the female cat. The female cat cries out in pain and will often turn on the male and strike at him. The ripping of the vaginal wall causes the female cat to release an egg to be fertilized. That is why there can be more than one father for a litter. So why make pain necessary for the release of an egg?

ADAM: “He made everything perfect. However, when humans rebelled by moving the focus of their lives off of him (for which they were created) to themselves, he gave them what they wanted – an environment where they could ignore him. As people distanced themselves from God, the human body lost its perfect health. Looking at the Bible, we can see the age of people decrease from generation to generation.”

If God made Adam perfect then why did Adam rebel and disobey? If Adam had been perfect, as you claim, then he would not have had the urge to rebel and disobey. Adam was not perfect.

What’s with the appendix? Why are human children sometimes born with birth defects? What’s with all the diseases that afflict us? Why are the odds of getting pregnant so low? Why do some sperm just swim around in circles? Why do human ears not receive all frequencies? Why do human eyes see upside down? The human body is far from perfect and to say that these imperfections came about after the consumption of an apple is ludicrous, at best. So as soon as Adam took a bite of the apple he developed an appendix, lost 50% of his eyesight, lost 40% of his hearing capability, developed cataracts, became afflicted with disease, developed gall stones, infections, had memory loss, and others?

ADAM: “Did He? At this point we don’t know. There are many things that can kill dinosaurs. Climate changes, for example. Wasn’t it an ice age that ended the existence of mammoths? Did God ever promise equal treatment of animals and humans? No.”

So dinosaurs were not on the Ark? The last ice age ended around 10500 years ago – long before your proposed Earth age of 6500 years. Dinosaurs did not exist at the same time as humans. We do know how the dinosaurs were killed. The Yucatan Impact killed the dinosaurs.

ADAM: “Once again, remember that animals with no sense of self don’t feel pain in the same way. To them pain inflicted by their mates or other animals feels the same as pain from a stomach cramp or a splinter. They don’t have the emotional pain that humans feel as a result of physical pain. (There are some animals that may be a partial exception to this rule. Dolphins and intelligent apes have at times exhibited an awareness of the self.) BTW, evolution has just as little answer why the black widow kills her mate. It doesn’t make sense for an animal that has survival in mind to eat its mate.”

While there are some species that do not have nerve endings and do not feel pain – all mammals have nerve endings and feel pain. Emotional pain is irrelevant to the issue. The female black widow does not always kill her mate (a common misunderstanding). The male widow gets away a lot. The female black widow eats her mate if she is hungry. If she has recently eaten then the male will escape unharmed to play the roulette game again another day. So evolution does know why she eats her mate.

ADAM: “Let me quote Gould from the talk origins page: … Gould writes that evolution is not only a theory, but also a fact. How does he arrive at that conclusion? He states that facts don’t go away – they don’t change. He also admits that theories have changed. Therefore Gould is committing a logical fallacy by calling evolution both a fact and a theory.”

How do you conclude that it is a logical fallacy? When we talk about the theory of evolution we are referring to the mechanism of evolution. The theory of evolution refers to the “how and why” of the evolutionary process. Evolution as a fact refers to the fact that evolution has occurred and is occurring. We know that evolution has occurred and is occurring – that is a fact. What we are not 100% sure of is WHY and HOW this evolutionary process occurs – and therefore the process of evolution is a theory. It is for this very reason that the Vatican has officially accepted evolution. They just say that God is the “how and why” of the evolutionary process.

ADAM: “Evolutionists support their theories for these reasons: (1) they see no possibility of an outside force (i.e. supernatural being).”

That is not true. The majority of Christians are evolutionists. The Vatican has officially accepted evolution as scientifically sound. Most religionists accept evolution, as well.

ADAM: “(3) Such changes make sense to them. They fit into their materialistic worldview.”

I guess that also explains the evolutionists that believe in a Supreme Being – including the majority of Christians.

ADAM: “Ah. But if you were to remove the evidence found around the drawings and carvings, wouldn’t you still be sure that humans created them?”

If all evidence of human “creation” were removed then I would not say that humans undoubtedly created them. But if I found evidence in other caves with similar drawings that did have human evidence then it could be concluded, based on the evidence at hand, that the most likely “creator” of those drawings were human.

A major point is being missed here regarding evolution, et al. Evolution is a theory based on the evidence available. If new evidence were to be found tomorrow that forced a change in the evolutionary theory – then so be it. Scientists are constantly questioning themselves and looking for errors. Science is about questions more than answers. When we find an answer it creates more questions – and that is what makes science so great. Creationism on the other hand asserts 100% knowledge of origins because of a book. The same book that was decided upon by 1400 plus men whom picked out 66 texts from thousands and decided, as men, which ones were “divine”. The same book that has thousands of errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions in it and no one has access to the “originals”.

ADAM: “Incorrect. Had a roving asteroid hit the earth before it cooled it would have been absorbed into the earth’s mass and would have melted.”

You’re assuming that the asteroid was of minimal size and hit directly on. If an asteroid is large enough (say the size of Mars) and hits at an angle the Earth would be decimated. It was an impact similar to this that created the moon. Drop something in a pool of water and what happens? There is a projectile that escapes from the impact point. If you take a large mass and “throw” it into a planet of molten lava – the effect is the same. The impact causes a mass to be projected away from the impact point. On the flip side – if the impact is large enough it can actually cause a projectile to escape on the exact opposite side of the planet.

ADAM: “My entire theory rests on the assumption that this solar system, galaxy, and entire universe was designed and specifically built just for humanity. How is that egotistical? After all, I’m not saying that I’m better or more knowledgeable than you. I’m just saying that I happen to know the truth, and I’m not stopping you from getting to know it.”

At least you admit your theory rests on an assumption and not evidence. That’s a step in the right direction. Your theory is egotistical not for yourself – but for the human race. To assume that an entire Universe was created for humans so some God could get his jollies by watching us struggle in an imperfect world with imperfect bodies is… egotistical.

ADAM: “Wrong. Ice is less dense because of the crystal structure of the water molecules.”

We still agree. Britannica agrees with my statement (only they explained it with more savoir-faire. The bottom line is that that your consideration of the properties of water being “miraculous” does not mean water properties are miraculous. It only insinuates that you consider those properties to be miraculous.

ADAM: “If the majority of Christians are evolutionists, which I doubt, it is because they are uninformed about the truth of evolution, or seriously doubt God’s power. It definitely isn’t because evolution is a better theory.”

So the majority of Christians that do believe in Evolution are not TRUE Christians, then?

ADAM: “People don’t like feeling “extreme”. This is what they are labeled by society if they publicly admit they are young-earth creationists. Also, people who aren’t sure exactly what they believe are easily swayed by public opinion.”

Yes… people are easily swayed. That explains the rash of religion on humanity. Great rationalization on why the young-earth view is a minority view, by the way, very justifying indeed. I’ll give you an A+ for effort – but an F for providing a clear answer.

ADAM: “For the sake of discussion, I’ll assume you mean Christian young-life creationists. However, there are many who simply believe in a guiding ‘force’ or Supreme Being other than the Judeo-Christian God. I’ve not asked them, but here’s my theory: Old-life creationists put more faith in inaccurate dating methods than in the Bible and God. The Bible is quite clear about how things came into being.”

Once again I will give you an A+ for effort and an F for providing a clear answer. And the Bible is NOT clear about how things came into being.

ADAM: “Iron oxides in those objects retain a record of the strength and direction of the earth’s magnetic field at the time they last cooled to normal temperatures. Archaeomagnetic data taken worldwide show that the intensity of the earth’s magnetic field was about 40% greater in 1000 A.D. than it is today, and that it has declined steadily since then.”

Okay – so they were able to establish what the Earth’s magnetic field was like at the point of last cooling. But how did they establish the age of the object and the date that it was cooled? I hope they didn’t use one of those dating methods that you claim are inaccurate? How did they prove that Earth’s magnetic field was 40% stronger? What was the evidence and how did they date the objects to determine this? Do you have any scientific links to this data or study?

ADAM: “There is a theory that fits with the evidence. Supposing the earth was created with the atoms in its core lined up, a strong magnetic field would appear.”

Surely you are not doing the same thing that you claim the scientists are doing? Surely you would not “suppose” anything.

ADAM: “The theory goes on to suggest that the fluctuations which data have made evident were the cause of the Genesis flood.”

So God didn’t cause the flood? And where did all the water come from and go to?

ADAM: “The data suggests that these reversals happened as little as a week apart. Reversals like this could easily account for the flood and for the spreading of the continents if these reversals continued at intervals after the flood. This theory is also supported by the fact that strata on the ocean floor do not consist of continuous blankets of material with the same polarity as would be logical if the movement of the continents happened over thousands of years.”

Incorrect. The striations on the ocean floor are hundreds of feet wide. With a “creation” time of approximately ¼ inch per year – that’s more than a few 1000 years you have there. Across the entire Atlantic Ocean itself is many millions of years.

ADAM: “Rather, the polarity changes wildly from mile to mile, evidence that the continents were pushed apart by the polarity reversals within a very small space of time. Such a fast continent spreading would also account for the vastly different types of animals we find in Australia, South America, Eurasia and all the small islands.”

If the reversal of polarity “pushed” the continents apart then when the polarity reverses again back to its original form should then the continents should be “pulled” back to where they were. It does not account for the vast differences of animals found in different areas. If there were a single continent after the global flood it would have been inhabited by all the species on the Ark. You are stating basically that the animals went to special places and did not inhabit every part of this large post flood continent.

And if the continents were zipping around that fast don’t you think the inhabitants would have notices? Another error is that there were supposedly only two of each species on the Ark. The theory does not allot enough time for the species to repopulate and spread over this super post flood continent.

On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth’s Magnetic Field

ADAM: “When he gave us the Bible, he was more interested in us getting an idea of the history of humanity (The fall, where people turned their backs on God; the history of Israel, where God created a foundation for Jesus Christ, who made it possible for anyone to attain eternal life with God.) than of the history of the earth.”

So all the laws, Revelation, stories, etc. are meaningless? And eternal life is not attained through God – it’s attained through Jesus Christ. Which of course means that anyone that died before Jesus was born went to hell. And every stillborn and child that is killed who has not yet heard of Jesus goes to hell, also. And every man or woman on this planet who has never heard of Jesus also goes to hell.

ADAM: “Would you be more likely to believe the Bible if it went into more detail?”

Perhaps… one never knows. There are parts of the Bible that are historic – there’s no denying that. But a lot of books of fiction mention real cities and sometimes, real characters to enhance the story. That doesn’t make them any truer just because they mention a few real places and people.

ADAM: “Whereas the above assumptions are specific to radiometric dating, they are in principle the same kind of assumptions made across the board. All methods for evaluating the age of the earth run on the same basic types of assumptions.”

Instead of regurgitating information, I’ll let Dr. Chris Stassen explain from his article The Age of the Earth,

STASSEN: “The generally accepted age for the Earth and the rest of the solar system is about 4.55 billion years (plus or minus about 1%). This value is derived from several different lines of evidence. Unfortunately, the age cannot be computed directly from material that is solely from the Earth. There is evidence that energy from the Earth’s accumulation caused the surface to be molten. Further, the processes of erosion and crust recycling have apparently destroyed the entire earliest surface.

The most direct means for calculating the Earth’s age is a Pb/Pb Isochron age, derived from samples of the Earth and meteorites. This involves measurement of three isotopes of lead (Pb-206, Pb-207, and either Pb-208 or Pb-204). A plot is constructed of Pb-206/Pb-204 versus Pb-207/Pb-204. If the solar system formed from a common pool of matter, which was uniformly distributed in terms of Pb isotope ratios, then the initial plots for all objects from that pool of matter would fall on a single point. Over time, the amounts of Pb-206 and Pb-207 will change in some samples, as these isotopes are decay end products of uranium decay (U-238 decays to Pb-206, and U-235 decays to Pb-207). This causes the data points to separate from each other. The higher the uranium-to-lead ratio of a rock, the more the Pb-206/Pb-204 and Pb-207/Pb-204 values will change with time.

A young-Earther would object to all of the “assumptions” listed above. However, the test for these assumptions is the plot of the data itself. The actual underlying assumption is that, if those requirements have not been met, there is no reason for the data points to fall on a line. Most of the other measurements for the age of the Earth rest upon calculating an age for the solar system by dating objects, which are expected to have formed with the planets, but are not geologically active (and therefore cannot erase evidence of their formation), such as meteorites. Further, the oldest age determinations of individual meteorites generally give concordant ages by multiple radiometric means, or multiple tests across different samples.

The simplest form of isotopic age computation involves substituting three measurements into an equation of four variables, and solving for the fourth. The equation is the one that describes radioactive decay: Pnow – Porig x 2[-age/halflife].

  • Pnow = the quantity of the parent isotope that remains now. This is measured directly.
  • Porig = the quantity of the parent isotope that was originally present. This is computed from the current quantity of parent isotope plus the accumulated quantity of daughter isotope.
  • Halflife = the half-life of the parent isotope. Standard values are used, based on direct measurements.
  • Age – The value computed from the equation and the other three quantities, is the amount of time that has passed.

Solving the equation for “age,” and incorporating the computation of the original quantity of parent isotope, we get: age = halflife x log2 [1 + Dnow/Pnow].”

Dr. Christ Stassen addresses some of the assumptions and why they are irrelevant if taken into consideration and crosschecked with other dating methods,

STASSEN: “Some assumptions have been made in the discussion of generic dating, for the sake of keeping the computation simple. Such assumptions will not always be accurate in the real world. These include:

  1. The amount of daughter isotope at the time of formation of the sample is zero (or known independently and can be compensated for).
  2. No parent isotope or daughter isotope has entered or left the sample since its time of formation.
  3. If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age.

Note that the mere existence of these assumptions does not render the simpler dating methods entirely useless. In many cases, there are independent cues (such as geologic setting or the chemistry of the specimen), which can suggest that such assumptions are entirely reasonable. However, the methods must be used with care — and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age… especially in absence of crosschecks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.

Isochron methods avoid the problems, which can potentially result from both of the above assumptions.

Isochron dating requires a fourth measurement to be taken, which is the amount of a different isotope of the same element as the daughter product of radioactive decay. In addition, it requires that these measurements be taken from several different objects which all formed at the same time from a common pool of materials. (Rocks that include several different minerals are excellent for this.)”

Even if you took away Isochron and radioisotope dating completely out of the picture the Earth is still, by evidence, a helluva lot older than 6500 to 8500 years. Ice packs in Antarctica have been dated to 160,000 years (just to name one).

ADAM: “They have also excluded the possibility of any catastrophic event, such as the Flood.”

They haven’t excluded the flood because of assumption. They have excluded the flood because there is absolutely zero evidence for it. They have not, however, discounted other catastrophes. They are away that there have been asteroid and comet impacts on the earth. They are aware that there have been major earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tectonic action.

ADAM: “Such assumptions are not only arrogant, they are intellectually dishonest: they start by assuming what they are setting out to prove.”

Sure you’re not talking about creationists and Biblical literalists?

ADAM: “Rocks formed by that eruption – less than 20 years ago – have been analyzed using radiometric methods, and the results are astounding. Based upon the conventional assumptions and methods, these rocks were shown to be millions of years old!”

The rocks from Mount St. Helens were millions of years old. What makes you think that Mount St. Helens created all new rock? Mount St. Helens exploded from massive built up pressure and sent existing rocks flying everywhere. You’re assuming that the rocks measured were rocks formed by lava flows.

Dating of rocks near the Mid-Atlantic ridge were dated extremely young and ocean rocks nearer the American and African coasts were dated extremely old. Lava pulled out of active volcanoes is dated to be a few days old.

You have given an example of when a creationist has used data incorrectly and participated in a propaganda machine. Creationists are famous for their misquoting, using data incorrectly, using outdated data, and outright lying and covering up when they are exposed.

ADAM: “2) the evidence of a young earth? 1. Level of Sea Salt – There are several factors that add salt to the oceans on an ongoing basis.”

Von Damm, K. L., 1995. “Controls on the Chemistry and Temporal Variability of Seafloor Hydrothermal Fluids,” in Humphreys et al editors, Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems: Physical, Chemical, Biological and Geological Interactions, Geophysical Monograph 91, (Washington: American Geophysical Union, 1995), p. 240 states,

VON DAMM: “Sodium, of necessity tracks chloride, but where it does not (i.e., the Na/Cl ratio is lower than the seawater value) provides our best evidence that albitization is an active process in hydrothermal vent systems. “(Von Damm, 1995 p. 240)

The most important statement is the conservative nature of chlorine. If one can count on the fact that the number of chlorine atoms in the hydrothermal fluids are not changed by the trip through the hydrothermal system, and can assume that the chlorine comes from the seawater, then the sodium/chlorine ratio reflects the fate of sodium. Here is the data Von Damm gives for various hydrothermal systems.

Chlorinity Sodium
Ratio Mmol/kg Mmol/kg
North East Pacific
Escanaba Trough 668 560 .838
Juan de Fuca
s. cleft plume 1087 796 .7322
s. cleft vent 1 896 661 .7377
s. cleft vent 3 951 784 .8243
North Cleft Juan de Fuca
Pipe Organ 1245 924 .7421
Monolith 1990 908 695 .7654
Monolith 1991 875 682 .7794
Table Brigadoon 880 681 .7738
Axial Volcano Juan de Fuca
Inferno 624 499 .7996
Hell 550 446 .8109
Mushroom 520 446 .8576
Hillock 482 391 .81112
Crack 258 209 .8100
Virgin Mound 176 148 .8409
Endeavor Segment Juan de Fuca
Hulk 505 391 .7742
Crypto 479 371 .7745
TP 448 350 .7812
Dante 457 358 .7833
Grotto 425 332 .7811
Lobo 428 271 .7850
Dudley 349 271 .7765
S&M 334 260 .7784
Peanut 253 216 .8537
North 477 378 .7924
Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Mark 559 510 .9123
Tag Mid-Atlantic Ridge 659 584 .8861
(Von Damm, 1995, p. 229-230)

VON DAMM: “Now, seawater contains 470 Mmol/kg water sodium, and 550 Mmol/kg water chlorine. The normal sodium/chlorine molar ratio= .8545. Averaging the numbers in Von Damm’s paper, we find that .800 is the sodium/chlorine ratio of hydrothermal output. The difference between the input ratio and output ratio is .054. This means that .054*550 Mmol/kg= 29.7 Mmol/kg water sodium is removed from the sea.

To convert this to grams of sodium we find, .0297 moles removed/kg water * 22 g/mole = .65 g of sodium per kg water is removed by the hydrothermal process. Since the annual flow rate of seawater through the hydrothermal systems is (2-9) x 1014 kg/yr (Holland, 1978), this means (using the low point of this range), 2 x 1014 kg/yr*.65 g/kg water= 1.3 x 1014 g of sodium removed per year or 1.3 x 1011 kg per year.”

Steven Austin and Russell Humphrey, 1990. “The Sea’s Missing Salt: A Dilemma for Evolutionists,” 2nd Intl. Conf. on Creationism, Pittsburgh, 1990), pp 17-33 states that a maximum input to the seas of 4.5 x 1011 kg of sodium input to the sea each year. In a letter written by Austin he revised the output to be 1.46 x 1011 kg/yr, but had a zero value for albitization. Adding the albitization value to Austin’s values we have a new total output of 4.9 x 1011 kg/year. Thus, considering the slop in the numbers, we can conclude that the oceans are roughly in balance in regard to sodium.

Process 1010 kg/yr
Sea Spray 8.0 +/- 2.4
Low-T Brine Alteration (Saponite) 0.44 +/- 0.37
High-T Brine Alteration (Albite) 13.0
Burial of Pore Water 2.2 +/- 1.5
Halite Deposition 0*
Cation Exchange 3.5 +/- 0.2
Zeolite Formation 0.08 +/- 0.04
Biogenic Silica 0.046 +/- 0.023
Biogenic Carbonates 0.19 +/- 0.05
TOTAL 27.456 x 1010 kg/yr

NOTE: in the 1990 2nd International Conference On Creationism, Vol 2 p. 21, Austin and Humphreys have a published value of 4 x 1010 kg/yr. Adding this to the 27.4 above yields an output of 31 x 1010 kg/yr. This corresponds to a published 45 x 1010 kg/yr maximum input and a 35 x 1010 kg/yr minimum input to the seas.

Evaporation (and Halite deposition) should have a time-averaged value because of the geologically episodic output. Even if we use the maximum input and the minimum output I calculated, the sea will be in sodium balance for a long, long time because as one goes back into the past, there is successively less and less land area because the sea is covering the continents. This means that the input of salt to the sea decreases significantly by the time one makes it to the Cretaceous.

Evaporation causes Halite deposition. Large underground caves of Halite have been found throughout the world under the oceans. Salt water is forced into the caves and the Halite deposits are made. Afterwards the water is slowly removed leaving extremely large deposits of salt. The salt in the sea is disappearing through Halite evaporation (some salt is removed during the evaporation process), Halite deposits in caves, and desalination processes (especially through the introduction of Chloride).

ADAM: “For example, the evolutionists assume that the ocean had no salt whatsoever when it was first formed. However, if we allow for some level of salt at the time of creation, then factor in the rate at which the salt level increases, the maximum age of the sea declines sharply.”

So you accuse the evolutionists of assuming there was no salt in the ocean when it was formed then you credit Austin and Humphreys for assuming there was salt in the ocean when it was formed. At least creationists are consistent in not meeting the standards and criticisms they give to everyone else.

ADAM: “2. Radiohalos in Colorado Fossils.”

Upon first examination of the Polonium radiohalos, as first reported by Robert Gentry, it seemed that Gentry actually had a credible argument. Then the facts started to present themselves and Gentry’s methodology became apparent. Gentry’s claim seemed credible because the requirements for long cooling periods in granite combined with an extremely short halflife in Polonium, made it seem quite impossible for particles of Polonium-218 (halflife around three minutes) to have become trapped inside crystals of biotite that grew slowly to include them.

The decay chain for Polonium is:

86 Rn 222 (86 protons, Radon, mass 222) decays in about four days to Polonium-218 with the emission of an alpha particle of 5,486,000 electron volts (5.486 MeV). (Please note this energy value.)

84 Po 218 (84 protons, Polonium, mass 218) decays, through two additional non-alpha-emitting (beta decay) steps involving Lead and Bismuth, over a total of about 45 minutes, to Polonium-214 with the emission of a 6.111 MeV alpha particle.

84 Po 214 (84 protons, Polonium, mass 214, arriving via Lead-214 (27 minutes) and Bismuth 214 (20 minutes)) decays through two additional (and time-consuming) steps taking about 21 years, to Polonium 210, with the emission of a 7.687 MeV alpha particle. This involves the immediate alpha decay (.000164 seconds) of the Po-214 nucleus to Lead 210, which has a half-life of 21 years, then via beta decay to Bismuth 210 with a 5-day half-life, and another beta decay to Po 210. (There is a small chance of the Bismuth 210 appearing in its isomeric form, which has a half-life of three million years.) This Polonium-214 alpha energy is the highest in the Uranium 238 decay chain, and consequently creates the largest, outermost, halo.

84 Po 210 (84 protons, Polonium, mass 210) decays with a half-life of 138 days directly to Lead 206 (stable), emitting an alpha particle of 5,305,000 electron volts’ energy. (Note the close similarity between this energy and that of the decay from Radon 222 to Polonium 218.)

82 Pb 206 (82 protons, Lead, mass 206). End of the line. Stable Lead. No further decay is possible.

Dr. Gentry’s photographs of Uranium 238 halos, which must contain eight alpha emitting steps, show in all cases only five damage rings. This means that some of the U-238 rings are actually several rings so close to one another that they are microscopically indistinguishable even at powers of 1000X and higher. As it happens, one of those rings, which are actually two rings, is the ring formed by both Radon 222 and Polonium 210. It is known that all eight rings are present in a Uranium 238 halo, yet the double ring Rn-222/Po-210 looks (in all cases I have seen) like only one ring.

Radon is produced during the Uranium-238 decay chain. Radon manufactured in any nearby Uranium mineral particle (uraninite, betafite, uranophane, etc.) would stay attached to the disintegrating particle; an atom with a filled outer shell would not ‘attach’ to the biotite crystal’s atoms, nor would it be likely to remain attached to the disintegrating Uranium mineral inclusion. Moreover, with about four days to move around as single atoms subject to thermodynamic gas laws, it could wander literally anywhere in the mica permitted by the slightest crack, cavity, lattice discontinuity, or separation between crystal planes, “pushed” along by new Radon atoms forming back ‘behind’ it in the inclusion.

Dr. Gentry failed to mention several things about his mica samples: cracks and fissures surrounded by faint discolorations of halo width. In a few cases, these crack-following halos were actually double halos, just as if they had been crack-shaped deposits of Polonium at one time. If Radon 222 were migrating, a few atoms at a time, down these cracks, most of which originated at or near large, obviously radioactive mineral inclusions or at the biotite crystal’s edges where severe radiation damage was apparent, then such ‘crack-halos’ would be expected.

Biotite examples retrieved from other Mica mines did not reveal the same halos as found in the Etta mines by Dr. Gentry. This indicates a contamination at the Etta source. Clearly the relationship between radioactives and radiohalos is that no evidence of radioactivity or radioactive inclusions seems also to indicate no halos.

What has become apparent is that precise identification of “Polonium” halos be difficult due to the impossibility of being sure they were not Radon- caused halos, but also there seemed to be some problem merely correctly identifying a two- or three-ring halo which was not actually a Uranium halo either in some early stage of development or produced by a somewhat oversized particle of Uranium mineral. A very dark Uranium halo, if no detail can be distinguished inward of the Polonium-210/Radon-222 ring (where all the Uranium/Thorium decays are located), cannot be told from a very dark “Polonium-218” halo. They look exactly alike. Only a three- ring “Polonium-218” (or Radon-222) halo which is a) light enough to reveal detail within the innermost ring and b) made by a sufficiently small particle, can be unambiguously identified as such: a light inner halo reveals Uranium/Thorium rings if present, and if the radiocenter is too large, all the inner rings overlap and do not show distinct “ring” structure, yet since both the Po-218 and Po-214 rings are made by much higher energy alphas–thus having much greater range than the inner ring-forming alphas, a Po-214 halo remains a feature of even large- particle Uranium halos. A maximum difference of only 520,000 electron- volts exists between even the farthest-apart inner halos, but between the outermost of these and the Po-214 halo, a difference of 2,200,000 eV exists.

Bottom line is Gentry discovered a Radon anomaly and not a radiohalo cause by Polonium. Radon-222 looks exactly like Polonium-218 “halos” and is easily mistaken when people like Gentry come to a quick conclusion and do not use trusted scientific methodology.

ADAM: “3. Missing Helium.”

This argument was originally put forth by Mormon young-Earther Melvin Cook, in a letter to the editor that was published in Nature. The basis is that Helium-4 is created during radioactive decay and it is not light enough to escape Earth’s gravity. The argument insists that current levels of helium-4 in the atmosphere indicate an Earth age of no more than 200,000 years.

But contrary to Cook and Morris’ statements – Helium can and does escape. Helium-4 has been found in space – it’s getting there somehow. Dalrymple, G. Brent, 1984. “How Old Is the Earth? A Reply to “Scientific Creationism”, in Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division, AAAS 1, Part 3, California, AAAS. Pp. 66-131.

DALRYMPLE: “Banks and Holzer (12) have shown that the polar wind can account for an escape of (2 to 4) x 106 ions/cm2/sec of 4He, which is nearly identical to the estimated production flux of (2.5 +/- 1.5) x 106 atoms/cm2/sec. Calculations for 3He lead to similar results, i.e., a rate virtually identical to the estimated production flux. Another possible escape mechanism is direct interaction of the solar wind with the upper atmosphere during the short periods of lower magnetic-field intensity while the field is reversing. Sheldon and Kern (112) estimated that 20 geomagnetic-field reversals over the past 3.5 million years would have assured a balance between helium production and loss.”

The statement that helium indicated a young Earth is completely and 100% false.

ADAM: “The key parts of the Christian faith rest on undisputed reading. The experts have proved so much. If you don’t believe it, argue with them. They know better than I do what they’re saying.”

I have debated some of those “experts” and found their answers nothing more than silly justifications and rationalizations that are not in accordance with scripture. They often want to re-write the scripture in order to justify their claims.

ADAM: “The great number of manuscripts helps establish the original because we can safely assume that those parts that match up between the majority of the manuscripts are accurate. Thus, if 80% of the manuscripts say the same thing about Jesus’ life, we understand those matching parts to be accurate. It is those areas where there are variations in the majority of the MS that we run into problems.”

The problem is that the manuscripts do not say the same thing about Jesus’ life. The contradictions are too numerous to draw that conclusion. While there is an element of truth to every legend – that does not make the entire legend a reality. While there is no evidence to support that a man named Jesus ever lived – it is probably fair to say that a religious teacher by the name of Jesus did live.

For example, there is no evidence that William Wallace (Braveheart) lived. The legends around Braveheart are incredible and obviously over-exaggerated and fabricated. Does this mean that William Wallace, as a historical man, did not exist? Perhaps – but since there is usually an element of truth in every legend – it is fairly safe to “assume” that William Wallace, as a man, did exist. However, it is still an assumption.

The same goes for Jesus. While there is no evidence to support his existence – it is fairly safe to assume that Jesus of Nazareth, as a man, did exist. The problem then becomes separating the historical Jesus from the theological Jesus. The contradictions contained in the New Testament allow us to conclude that there are blatant over-exaggerations and fabrications in the legend (theological) of Jesus. You have asked for a discussion of Biblical contradictions so I will cover this in more depth when that begins.

ADAM: “However, a fact that supports the Bible is its life-changing power (no, it isn’t scientific, and yes, it’s true). The Bible has changed more lives than all other books combined. That tells me that those thousands of people who translated the MS got something right.”

Many things have changed the lives of people. Christians (those whose lives have been changed) encompass less than 33% of the world’s population (and that number is decreasing slowly as people become more spiritual and less religious). To say something is true simply because people’s lives are affected by a belief in it is ludicrous, at best. Many forms of spiritualisms that are not theistic have changed people’s lives.

ADAM: “How much less inaccuracy would it take for you believe the Bible?”

100% accuracy is required. Even if you remove all the contradictions, inconsistencies, and errors – the Bible would still not be 100%. Because there is no way to verify that God does exist. There is no way to prove that God exists.

ADAM: “That the NT we have now is exactly what was written, and that it conforms exactly to the life of Jesus and the apostles would you really believe it, or would you simply switch the topic?”

There are too many contradictions to assume that it conforms exactly to the life of Jesus. Not to mention that there is no evidence to support that Jesus ever lived.

ADAM: “Please list some of the discrepancies you seem to find in the New Testament.”

I will address the contradictions a little later. I intend to initiate a separate debate for the contradictions so that this debate does not become bogged down by the admission of contradictions.

ADAM: “It is saying that people hate you enough that if you speak one thing that can be proven incorrect, it’s death for you. The apostle Paul was nearly killed several times for merely saying something that the Hebrews considered blasphemy. That kind of thinking is unimaginable in today’s society.”

It’s still irrelevant to the issue. Threats against early Christians for “spreading the Gospel” do not mean the Gospel is true.

ADAM: “I’m using logic and common sense to analyze what the Bible says. To prove any literary work you must rely on what it says to some degree. To prove an encyclopedia correct, you must take a statement from the encyclopedia and use logic and observation to affirm that statement. That’s all I was doing with the Bible.”

If you were truly using logic to analyze the Bible you would not be so eager to use the Bible as evidence for itself. There is a difference between reading and understanding the Bible.

ADAM: “I cannot judge that statement since I, (unlike you??) have never read any of the writings of Josephus.”

I have read Flavius Josephus. I have read Antiquities of the Jews, War of the Jews, and Flavius Josephus Against Apion. You can find those three works at Christian Classics Ethereal Library. It is also important to note that Josephus was born as a Sadducee and later elected to become a Pharisee.

ADAM: “The city of Ur, for example, was considered to be something that was invented by the writer of Genesis.”

As I stated above – the listing of historical cities is not pertinent. Many great pieces of fiction have actual cities and characters in them. But that fact does not mean the remainder of the story is true.

ADAM: “There are also numerous predictions about what would happen to some of these cities. Wherever Archaeology has encountered one of these cities, it has shown the prophecy to have happened. If you’d like I can send you several dozen pages detailing all these fulfilled prophecies.”

Please do. However – please do not send me speculation and hopefulness. Send me information relating to prophesy that has been fulfilled meeting all requirements for a prophecy and which have been backed up by scientific evidence. Of course, even if the Bible did contain a prophesy that fulfilled all the prophetic requirements and later came to pass – it would still not provide proof of God or Jesus. There could easily be alternative explanations for the fulfillment of that prophecy.

  1. The requirements for prophecy fulfillment are:
  2. The prophecy must be clear, and it must contain sufficient detail to make its fulfillment by a wide variety to possible events unlikely. [In other words a prophecy cannot be vague.]
  3. The event that can fulfill the prophecy must be unusual or unique. [A prophecy about a female menstruating during next month is not a prophecy.]
  4. The prophecy must have been prophesied before the event that is supposed to be its fulfillment. [Rather obvious – anyone can prophecy after an event.]
  5. The event foretold must not be of the sort that could be the result of an educated guess. [Anyone could have prophesied that war was going to break out in the Balkans because of existing conditions in the area.]
  6. The event that fulfills the prophecy cannot be staged, or the relevant circumstances manipulated, by those aware of the prophecy in such a way as to intentionally cause the prophecy to be fulfilled. [Pretty obvious, too. If you manipulate the environment to fulfill a prophecy then the prophecy has not come true – it has become “created”.]

Only send me the supposed prophecies that meet those requirements.

ADAM: “Were you trying to be funny? … Why would they have written down his life when he was barely considered an adult and it was assumed that he would be around for many more years?”

For the same reason that we write about people today (and I’m not talking about newspapers). That’s an awfully brash assumption and justification as to why no one wrote about Jesus during his life.

ADAM: “Yes, NT manuscripts were written after he died. In fact, most, if not all, mention his death (and subsequent resurrection). Most of the books written about Darwin’s life were written after he died. Does that make them any less true?”

The difference between Darwin and Jesus encompass two major points. First and foremost is the fact that Darwin is not the supposed Son of God and the messiah. Darwin is not a gateway to Heaven and Darwin was not a messiah. The second is that Darwin left a detailed diary and so did his wife. Darwin wrote his own books and there is historical proof of Darwin. Historical proof like his birth announcement, his diary, the captain’s log from the Beagle, his enrollment papers from his university, and many, many, many, other official documentation that proves Darwin existed – not too mention photographs.

ADAM: “Ask him. I don’t have access to all the documents he had. However, scholars have more evidence that the Bible is reliable than that evolution is true. Evolution comes down to a matter of faith in those who defend it. These are usually not the same people who spend years trying to prove it. I wonder why…”

The Bible is more reliable than evolutionary evidence? That is a completely new concept to me – I’ve never heard that before. What evidence do you have to back up such a claim?

And your comment of evolution requiring faith is an attempt to associate evolution with creationism. By doing this you can say, “Hey, if evolution is about faith – then what’s wrong with creationism being about faith? And since both are about faith then they should both be taught in school as scientific theories.”

Let me assure you that this ploy does not work. During the trials in Arkansas and Kansas, every creationist that testified stated one way or another that creationism was not scientific. Wonder why…

ADAM: “Evidence also supports the idea that partial written drafts or collections of things Jesus said or did were likely in circulation for years prior to being used in the Gospel accounts, as we know them.”

What evidence?

BLAIR: “And the proof is?”

ADAM: “Math. 50 – 32 = 20. 60 – 20 = 40. Etc.”

I’ll ask again. And the proof is? What is the proof that the material was moved from oral to written no more than 17 to 20 years. And what evidence, as I asked above, provides the basis for your mathematical calculations. Your “math as proof” rests on a lack of evidence. While the math may prove the end result – it is the numbers used to arrive at those results that are in suspicion. So I ask again, what is your proof and evidence?

ADAM: “Now you claim that Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh. Please make up your mind.”

I haven’t claimed anything – I am simply passing along what others have claimed – namely those in the Christian faith. Of course I was going to ask you if Christians could make up their minds, too. One belief is that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are one – known as the Trinity. This Triune belief was not adapted until the Council of Nicea when the Creed of Nicea was composed and adopted. Changes have been made over the years – but the basis remains the same.

Jesus was reported to be the Son of God, making him divine. Later it was decided at the Council of Nicea that not only was he the Son of God but he was also God in part – he and God were one and the same.

The Jews did not accept Jesus because he claimed divinity (as the Son of God) and the messiah was not supposed to be divine. The Jews say through the con game. Then they tried Jesus for blaspheme, treason, and for being a false messiah. They handed him over to Pontius and he was crucified. Being the Son of God and being apart of the Trinity are two separate thought processes – causing conflict. If Jesus is the Son of God that means at one time he did not exist. How can Jesus and God be one if Jesus did not exist at one time? That means God created him – that means Jesus is not God’s equal. The Trinity fails.

ADAM: “Also, Passover was not changed to Easter. It was replaced by Easter. Passover was a celebration to remember God’s saving the Israelites from Egypt by sacrificing the eldest sons of all of Egypt. Easter is a celebration to remember God’s saving of humanity by sacrificing his son.”

Passover is still celebrated today – so how can you say it was replaced by Easter? The Passover was moved to coincide with Easter. Neither replaced the other. This is not a disputed fact. Any Christian website will gladly supply this information to you. This is one point that most agree on – so why do you have a hard time with it?

ADAM: “All scripture is divine. All the council did was to weed out those writings that weren’t scripture.”

If all scripture is divine then why was there a need to weed out scripture that wasn’t divine? That makes no sense. That is like saying, “All blood is red, and the council just weeded out the blood that was green.” That is a contradiction in itself.

What biblical passage supports the claim that all biblical scripture is divine?

ADAM: “There’s a big difference between being a man of God (someone who believes in and loves God and does his best to follow God’s law) and a man created by God.”

Again I will ask. What criterions were used to distinguish between the two?

ADAM: “So maybe some divine scripture got thrown out. Does that make the rest of the divine Scripture, which we have in the form of the Bible, any less valid?”

The Bible is already invalid, that is beside the point. If you are willing to admit that they possible threw out divine scripture why are you not also willing to admit that they may have included scripture in the Bible that was not divine?

ADAM: “All it means is that we have to rely on what we have for the message of salvation. This message is the same throughout the whole NT, so we can safely assume that any other divine scripture would simply be saying the same thing about how we can get to heaven.”

If that is true then why were the books written by Jesus left out? If you are compiling a book about Jesus don’t you think you should include the books (supposedly) written by Jesus? Why was the Magical Book by Christ left out? Why was the Letter to Paul and Peter by Christ left out? Seems rather silly to leave out books written by the messiah in a collection that is supposed to fortify the messiah’s position and spread his word. I mean, after all, who is better suited to spread the position of the messiah on views than the messiah himself?

ADAM: “I don’t know. All I know is that today there are thousands – millions – all over the world whose lives have been totally transformed by the message in the Bible.”

Actually there are just over 2 billion Christians (some 3500 sects, thereof) in the world today. But that is irrelevant to the issue, as I have previously discussed. It has no bearing whatsoever on the truth of what is being believed. Millions of people believe in Astrology – so are you going to become a follower of astrology now?

ADAM: “”The people” here is the people of God. Christians. If the Christians felt that scripture was not trustworthy, they wouldn’t use it.”

Again I will ask, what criterions were used to establish trustworthiness?

ADAM: “Actually, I’d love to.”

I will begin a separate debate for this subject later.

ADAM: “The Apocrypha, if you will remember, is a compilation of various other documents. These documents were not called the Apocrypha until St. Jerome labeled them that (apocrypha means “non-canonical”).”

Exactly. So were the Apocrypha written before, during, or after the supposed life of Jesus? You state specifically that those men did not recognize the Apocrypha. I stated that the Apocrypha did not exist at the time for those men to not recognize it. Now you have asserted that they did not recognize specific books that ultimately became the Apocrypha. Very well, what particular books contained in the Apocrypha did the men you mention reject?

ADAM: “The passages all say this, and no more: God inspires all scriptures. They are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”

Again – they are not saying the same thing. The KJV version asserts that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God. The ASV and NEB say that every scripture inspired by God is profitable. It doesn’t say ALL – it says those that are divinely inspired by God – meaning that there are scripture that are not divinely inspired. I fail to understand why you are disagreeing with this assertion since you yourself have stated that the Council of Nicea picked the divine scripture out of the accumulated manuscripts. So did the Council of Nicea pick out the divine scripture from the non-divine scripture or were all the scriptures divine and they chose those that sounded better? Which one was it?

ADAM: “There is such a thing as a thesaurus. If you own one, I suggest you look up some of those words. You will see that they have the same meaning.”

While the words may have similar meaning – the way in which they are presented does not have similar meaning. For example:

All black dogs have black parents.

All black dogs may have black parents.

The words mean the same – but the sentences mean something completely different. The first one asserts that there is no other possibility for the parents of black dogs – they have to be black. The second asserts that there is a possibility that the parents of black dogs may not be black. Even the movement of a simple coma or semicolon can change a meaning, for example:

I say this to you; today you will be in Paradise with me.

I say this to you today; you will be in Paradise with me.

The first indicates that TODAY they will travel to paradise. The second indicates that he is telling them today that they will, at some undisclosed time, go to paradise. The words mean the same but the sentences and the way the words are presented do not.

ADAM: “If you are worrying that the inaccuracy of modern translations keeps you from getting the real truth about Christianity, I suggest you buy two or three versions and an interlinear Greek English bible.”

Again… where are the originals? I know the real truth about Christianity – that is why I’m an atheist (along with the truth of every other religion – so don’t think that Christianity is special or nothing). I have six versions of the Bible, plus CD versions, and several Internet accessible versions. Thanks for offering, though.

ADAM: “Except for grammatical differences, about 99% of them will say the same thing. Until you understand the 99 percent, don’t worry about the remaining 1%. If you’ve really studied the ninety-nine accurate percent of the Bible, you’ll understand the rest for what it’s intended.”

Not to sound facetious, but, “Yeah, right!” Biblical scholars can’t even get it together. There’s a reason there are over 3500 sects of Christianity – because no one can agree on your supposed 99% accuracy. And how did you come about this percentage? I have estimated the percentage around 30 to 35% based on all the contradictions (not counting grammatical errors).

ADAM: “I think we should drop the subject of Bible accuracy unless you’d really take the Bible more seriously if you felt it was more accurate than you consider it now. Otherwise we are just wasting our time.”

It is the fact that I am taking it seriously that I have recognized these problems. Those are major problems in Timothy 6:10. One says money is the root of ALL-evil, another one says all kinds of evil (which in no way denotes ALL), and another says money is one root among many roots, and another says money is the root of all sorts of injurious things (not necessarily evil). So is the love of money THE root of ALL evil, SOME evil, or injurious things? Or is the love of money A root among many that contribute to ALL evil, SOME evil, or injurious things? Which one is it?

Those aren’t minor grammatical errors – each one conveys a completely different message from the other. We’re not talking about not crossing the letter T or dotting the letter I. We’re not talking about saying “Who is” instead of saying “Whose” – we are talking about major differences in the meaning of the sentences.

I would aver to say that most Christians fail to take their Bible seriously enough. If every Christian actually understood the Bible and read it seriously there would not be as many Christians in the world today. We’ll of course cover more of this when I begin the contradictions debate that you have asked for.

ADAM: “So how are these incongruencies you’ve mentioned keeping you from understanding the Bible?”

As I stated before – it is my understanding of the Bible that allows me to see these problems. These are not simple grammatical or clerical errors. These are blatant and completely different meanings. And Christians wonder why there are over 3500 sects of Christianity.

ADAM: “Let me ask again, what parts of these inaccuracies, if that’s what they are, are keeping you from understanding the basic message of salvation the Bible offers?”

Congratulations on completely avoiding the problems found in Cave 4. You have successfully avoided the problems just as every other Biblical literalist has. I completely understand the message of salvation that the Bible offers. I also understand the message of salvation offered in the Koran. I also understand the message of salvation offered in the Verdi scriptures. I also understand the message of salvation offered by every other religion and religious text in the world.

The problem is not the message of salvation. A message is just a message. The problem arises when the validity of that message is brought into question and the validity of those supplying that message comes into question (as they have). In order to assert that the message of Christ is valid – you have to show that the means by which that message is promulgated is valid. That has not been done – nor will it ever be done. Biblicists hopes for the Dead Sea Scrolls have been smothered and only offered more evidence for Biblical errancy. Again the Biblicists remain quiet about these further errors that have been identified.

ADAM: “Luke Skywalker seemed to have a genetic variation (remember, “having the force” was hereditary) that allowed him to interact with some force. The force must have strived toward a goal, because it was the “good” force. And what was “good” in the Star Wars trilogy? “Good” was that which the “good” force wanted.”

I was actually kidding about Luke Skywalker and didn’t expect a response – but that’s okay. In my original statement (after I mentioned the Force as portrayed in Star Wars), I agreed that a “force” with a goal would be considered supernatural in nature.

I will start off the Biblical contradictions in a few days. I want to keep it separate because I envision a very detailed and extended debate over the subject. You have accused me of not taking the Bible seriously because of the few items I have brought up so far. Let me assure you that I take it very seriously and only find humor in the responses I normally get when people try to rationalize and justify the contradictions.

I will cover both the Old and New Testaments because Jesus often referred to the Old Testament and several New Testament books refer to Old Testament books. If Jesus, who is supposed to be perfect, looks to a reference – then that reference should also be perfect.

As you can see I have closed a few of the issues to avoid going round and round in circles. After a few more rebuttals on this debate I will ask that we close the debate and each of us can provide a summary conclusion. If this is okay with you or if you disagree – please let me know.

Adam Rebuttal #005:

BLAIR: “Our debate has become multi-faceted and on many issues we are running around in circles. I intend to end the debate on some of those issues. There are some issues that I want to keep open because either side is still open to more debate.”

Thanks. I was thinking of doing the same thing.

BLAIR: “How convenient for God. And the evidence for this is?”

The evidence that the processes used by God were very different than what we are used to is in the universe itself. In order for the matter and energy in this universe to exist they must have been formed somehow. And anyway you put it this means a decrease in overall entropy. Such a decrease is impossible according to the laws that govern our universe. You seem to think that God is part of the creation. He isn’t, which is what annoys (or scares) materialists. This is shown by the common statement “I would believe in God if I could see, measure, register Him.” People like this wish that God The processes which now operate in the universe are part of the universe. The processes which would create our universe would have to be different since they are outside the universe.

The evidence that supports a six-day creation lies in the fact that the earth is very young. I can send you over one hundred specific categories in which creation supports the facts and evolution/big bang doesn’t.

BLAIR: “Which means that after God created the cosmos he was unable to interfere with it and be a part of it. Which means that there were no godly miracles and that God never revealed himself to any man. If God cannot be part of the cosmos – then where is he? And if he cannot be part of the cosmos or interfere with it – then why pray? I will admit these arguments sound very elementary and kindergartenistic in nature, but that does not take away from the basis of the question. I thought I’d keep them simple.”

A creator can create something and still interact with it later. If I were to create a model railroad I would be outside of it, but would still be able to modify it. I don’t see where the problem is. We can see God interacting with humans throughout the Bible. I believe that the reason miracles and the supernatural aren’t as common in modern life is that Christianity has been watered down so much that for very many people it is simply a feel-good philosophy that doesn’t affect the rest of their life. Secular education and philosophy has given probably the majority of Christians the idea that such things don’t happen anymore, even if they did happen in Bible times.

As for why you and many others don’t see anything beyond the natural?

That may be a problem one of perspective, of preconceived assumptions. The supernatural cannot be observed through science since it is beyond the natural. If it weren’t, it wouldn’t be supernatural. For that reason you cannot logically state that because science hasn’t observed the supernatural it doesn’t exist. The assumption that there is no supernatural is emotional at its root. Yet the whole framework of secular philosophy is based on that assumption that.

Sometimes emotional hurdles keep people from seeing beyond the natural. If a person is angry at God and refuses to believe he exists their mind will irrationally deny anything that suggests that he does exist. The same thing can be said of the fear many people have of God. They see him as an oppressive demanding figure, reminiscent of an abusive or dictatorial father-figure in their own lives..

BLAIR: “And the supporting evidence for this is? Is there any biblical scripture to support this?”

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

1 Timothy 1:17 Glory and honor to God forever and ever. He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen

Habakkuk 1:12O LORD my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal – is your plan in all of this to wipe us out? Surely not! O LORD our Rock, you have decreed the rise of these Babylonians to punish and correct us for our terrible sins.

Revelation 10:6 And he swore an oath in the name of the one who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and everything in it, the earth and everything in it, and the sea and everything in it. He said, “God will wait no longer.

BLAIR: “Again, what evidence supports this? Is there any biblical scripture that supports this claim? How do you know that God wasn’t created if there is no evidence or scripture that says he wasn’t? While the Bible may say he is the “creator” it does not say that he was never “created”. The act of creation itself undermines the basis of the Trinity – which is why Arius dissented from the church in 325AD. His assertion being that if God created Jesus then Jesus did not exist at one point – therefore how can he be one with God and the same as God?”

It seems to me that you are evading the point. Earlier I listed some scriptures that clearly state that God is eternal. If he is eternal he can’t have been created. It was on this fact that I based my statement that if he is eternal he cannot change. This is also supported by the Bible.

James 1:17Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows.

The next scripture is about Jesus.
1 Co. 8:6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

CS Lewis attempts this explanation: “I begin this chapter by asking you to get a certain picture clear in your minds. Imagine two books lying on a table one on top of the other. Obviously the bottom book is keeping the other one up — supporting it. It is because of the underneath book that the top one is reasting, say, two inches from the surface of the table instead of touching the table. Let us call the underneath book A and the top one B. The position of A is causing the position of B. That is clear? Now let us imagine — it could not really happen, of course, but it will do for an illustration — let us imagine that both books have been in that position for ever and ever. In that case B’s position would always have been resulting from A’s position. But all the same, A’s position would not have existed before B’s position. In other words, the result does not come after the cause. . . . The Son exists because the Father exists: but ther enever was a time before the Father produced the Son. Perhaps the best way to think of it is this. I asked you just now to imagine those two books, and probably most of you did. That is, you made an act of imagination and and as a result you had a mental picture. Quite obviously your act of imagining was the cause and the mental picture the result. But that does not mean that you first did the imagining and then got the picture. The moment you did it, the picture was there. Your will was keeping the picture before you all the time. Yet that act of will and the picture began at exactly the same moment and ended at the same moment. . . . . In the same way we must think of the Son always, so to speak, streaming forth from the Father, like light from a lamp, or heat from a fire, or thoughts from a mind. He is the self-expression of the Father – what the Father has to say. And there never was a time when He was not saying it. But have you noticed what is happening? All these pictures of light or heat are making it sound as if the Father and Son were two things instead of two Persons. So that after all, the New Testament picture of a Father and a Son turns out to be much more accurate than anything we try to substitute it.”

BLAIR: “You haven’t ruled it out. You have speculated it out. Again, where is the supporting evidence? Where is the supporting scripture even? If I remember correctly, there are instances in the Bible that claim God moves about (Genesis 11:5, 18:21, and 1 Kings 19:11-12), which conflict with some scripture that say he is omnipresent (Psalms 129:7-11). If God were omnipresent, why would he need to “move about”?”

You are taking what I said out of context. I started on the basis that God is everlasting. I am reasoning the attributes he must have if we believe that. Since he is everlasting and he created this world (and therefore is outside of the world) he is not part of our time-space system and is not confined by it.Secondly, the Holy Spirit has always been God’s ‘representative’ on earth (ie. Gen. 1:2)

BLAIR: “Why accept Cat Scans and Nuclear Medicine but not evolution? Why accept nuclear fusion and thermodynamics and not abiogenesis? Why accept one aspect of science and not another? Seems rather hypocritical to me.”

First of all, your first comparison is not valid. You are comparing tools with an idea. Secondly, while many doctors can tell you from experience that CAT scans and Nuclear Medicine work. However as I am willing to continue discussing, the species-to-species changes that are necessary for evolution to work have never been witnessed. Nor does the fossil record support evolution. For example, you mentioned the Archaeopteryx as a link between reptiles and birds. Why would someone belive this to be a link when it is fully feathered and with a bone structure which can be defined as true bird? The only reason some make a correlation between reptiles and Archaeopteryx is because of its clawed wingtips and a beak full of teeth. What they fail to mention is that there are several species of birds living today that have claws on their wingtips yet are 100% bird. Teeth in an ancient bird say nothing of its ancestral connection to lizards. Since 1984 bird fossil discoveries in Texas have been given ages by evolutionists “millions of years” older than the dates assigned to Archaeopteryx. And those are fully modern birds (in every other respect).

Why accept nuclear fusion and thermodynamics and not abiogenesis? Hmmm… let me see . . .

Perhaps because nuclear fusion has been demonstrated possible and the laws thermodynamics have seemed to hold up to every test applied to them so far. Abiogenesis means spontaneous generation and refers to the ideas held prior to Pasteur’s experiments which proved that molds and yeasts don’t simply appear out of thin air but rather are the result of reproductive cells floating in the air. For the sake of discussion I will assume you mean biopoesis. The only reason this theory holds up is that it is necessary for the rest of evolutionary theory. Remove the possibility of biopoesis and you are left without an explanation for the origins of life.

Here’s why I see biopoesis as impossible not just in theory but also in practice: The famous experiments which have resulted in amino acids were highly controlled tests run by intelligent beings: humans. Humans set up the experiments in such a way as to separate and protect amino acids from their environment when they were produced.

Here’s how the different experiments were conducted:

Everyone has seen the picture of Stanley Miller and his 1953 experiments at the University of Chicago. Miller had mixed simple chemicals and gases in a glass tube, then zapped them with an electrical charge to induce chemical reactions. The idea was to simulate conditions on the early earth and show that simple chemicals could indeed have reacted to create the building blocks of life. To everyone’s surprise, what emerged at the other end of the laboratory apparatus were really amino acids, an important constituent of living things. This experiment set off a domino series of similar experiments, some using heat as an energy source instead of Miller’s electrical charge, others using ultraviolet light to simulate light from the sun.

Most of these experiments have succeeded in producing amino acids, and the amino acids have even linked up in chains resembling proteins. The problem with all these experiments is that no one is asking critical questions about what the experiments really prove. The conventional wisdom is that they support the theory that life evolved spontaneously from simple chemicals in a primeval pond about four billion years. But do they?

Let’s start with the amino acids that came out of Miller’s test tube. The truth is that these differ in critical ways from those found in living things. Amino acids come in two forms, which scientists call left-handed and right-handed. Living things are highly selective: They use only the left-handed form. But when Miller and his colleagues mixed chemicals in the lab, they got both kinds – an even 50-50 mix of left-handed and right-handed. In fact, this is what happens every time anyone mixes the chemicals randomly in the laboratory. There is no natural process that produces only left-handed amino acids, the kind required by living things. All of this means that the amino acids formed in the test tube are useless for life.

And that’s only the first problem. The next step to “creating life” is to get amino acids to link up and form proteins. In 1958 Sidney Fox, a chemist at the University of Miami, started with already existing amino acids and boiled them in water to induce them to react with one another. The result was protein-like chains of amino acids and Fox was promptly inducted into the Modern Hall of Scientific Heroes.

Serious problems are hidden in these experiments, because once again, life is much more selective than anything we get from a test tube. The proteins in living things are comprised of amino acids hooked together in a very particular chemical bond called peptide bond. But amino acids are capable of hooking together in all sorts of different ways, forming several different chemical bonds. And in the test tube, that’s exactly what they do. They hook up in a variety of ways, never producing a genuine protein capable of functioning in a living cell.

In addition, for a protein to be functional the amino acids must link up in a particular sequence, just like the sequence of letters in a sentence. If you scramble the letters in a sentence, you get nonsense; if you scramble the amino acids in protein, you get a nonfunctional protein. Yet in laboratory experiments, all we get are scrambled, random sequences. There is no natural force capable of selecting the right amino acids and lining them up in the right order. As a result, the proteinlike chains that appear in the test tube are useless for life.

If scientists really wanted to duplicate what might have happened in a primordial soup billions of years ago, they would simply mix up some chemicals in a vat, expose them to an energy source (heat or light), and see what happens. (In case you haven’t noticed, no one ever does this!)

In nature, chemicals are almost never found in a pure state. As a result, one cannot predict with confidence which reactions will take place. Substances A and B might react effectively in the lab, where isolated and purified forms are used. But out in nature, there are almost always other chemicals – C and D – lying about, which means substance A might react with C instead of with B, yielding a completely different result from what the scientists expected. In nature there are all kinds of competing reactions.

To avoid the problem of competing reactions, scientists uncap their bottles and pour out only pure isolated ingredients. And when the experiment involves more than one step, such as going from amino acids to proteins, researchers start over each step with fresh ingredients. Obviously this rigs the experiment.

Or consider this typical experiment: Ultraviolet light is used instead of electricity to get the chemicals to react. The idea is to simulate sunlight beaming down on a primeval pond on the early earth. There’s just one little problem: The longer wavelengths of ultraviolet light are very destructive and would destroy the very amino acids that scientists are hoping to synthesize. So what do they do? The screen out the longer wavelengths and use only shorter wavelengths.

Another device that every origin-of-life experiment resorts to is the use of a trap to protect the end products after they have formed. Amino acids are delicate, and they easily break down to the elements of which they are composed. When electricity or heat is used as an energy source to induce the chemicals to link up and form amino acids, that same energy can also break them back down. Hence the researcher has to find some way to protect the delicate chemical compounds. The solution is to build a trap that removes the amino acids from the reaction site as soon as they form, to protect them from disintegrating.

To understand why this trap is so important to the success of the experiment, imagine you are a child eating a bowl of alphabet soup. When you stir the soup, you are an energy source. Stirring slowly, you might cause a few letters to line up and form short words, such as “T-O” or “A-N-D.” But as you keep stirring, your spoon will quickly cause the letters to scatter again – unless you scoop the words out with your spoon and put them carefully on your plate. That’s what the trap does: It takes amino acids out of harm’s way and preserves them.

Trouble is, nature simply doesn’t come equipped with handy traps to protect the delicate building blocks of life. Any amino acids that might form spontaneously in nature would disintegrate just as quickly. A trap is absolutely necessary for a successful experiment, but it just as surely makes the experiment completely irrelevant to confirming any naturalistic theory of life’s origin.

BLAIR: “Why reject the theory completely because a group of people removes God? Sounds very commercialistic to me. . . . Why reject the theory simply because science removed God from the equation?”

The reason Christianity cannot accept a theory that removes God from the equation is that to do this makes Christianity nothing more than a set of man-made beliefs. Saying that we ought to approve of the theory because it fits in with the naturalistic worldview is like saying that evolutionist scientists ought to admit God created the universe because it fits in with the Christian view of the world.

BLAIR: “The processes of phloem and xylem exchange in a plant demonstrate one of the benefits (and requirements) for symmetrical pattern. It is efficient – especially for chlorophyll and photosynthesis?”

You misunderstood me. By symmetric patterns I meant symmetric construction, not the existence of a symmetrically positioned pair of organs. For example, ivy leaves, sycamore leaves, lettuce leaves all, grass leaves and oak leaves are symmetrical. Evolution cannot explain why there is such variety across the plant world. If the shapes were really controlled by the phloem and xylem nutrition delivery system the resulting leaves would have an image much like that generated by the basic Mandelbrot fractal set. This shape is adopted by many ivy and several other plants. But if you assume this, how do you explain palm leaves fern fronds, grasses and iceberg lettuce leaves?

BLAIR: “Many of those animals and plants did die off. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if every species in the fossil record were still alive? Also – it is not the “color”, per say, that draws insects, birds, and other small animals. It is the reflection of ultraviolet light. If it were the color – then bees would be trying to suck pollen out of a lot of people wearing colorful clothing. Bees, wasps, some beetles, etc, are attracted to the radiation of ultraviolet light off of the flower. The flowers that gave off more ultraviolet light were more “attractive” to insects and therefore received more attention from said insects. They became more fruitful because of the help, by said insects, in pollination. Flowers that did not radiate as much ultraviolet light were left alone and either died out over a period of many generations or adapted to self-pollination (which is evident today).”

You just explained away the one reason evolutionists seem to have for the variety of color in flowers.

BLAIR: “So because man looks for a goal that means there is one? What is the goal and logic behind a volcano? Yes – we look for weather patterns and we attempt to predict earthquakes. We want to know what the weather will be like tomorrow and we want to know if Los Angeles is going to disappear of the map. But where is the order? . . . . In meteorology a lot of criterion have been recognized as triggers for certain weather phenomenon. With the latest technological advances we can now see a tornado forming long before it elongates and touches down – providing up to a 45-minutes warning for communities. We know what conditions are best suited for tornadoes and we know basically what a tornado does. But they are still disorderly – appearing from anywhere within a cloud that appears to meet the identified criterion. . . . Volcanoes erupt on their own time. They have no time schedule nor do they care that people live on their banks. Plate tectonics and seismic activity could care less that a house is built on top of a fault. While we know what causes plate tectonics and earthquakes – we don’t know how to establish where the next earthquake or tectonic shift will occur – other than fault and volcano identification and letting people know they live by one.”

As you said, “we look for weather patterns and we attempt to predict earthquakes”. We look for weather patterns and rules because they help us tell people what to expect tomorrow and the day after or that they should be on the alert for a tornado. And what do seismologists do but figure out where the faults are, how they move during earthquakes and figure out why they act like that? If they aren’t looking for the patterns and laws that control when, how and why earthquakes happen then why are we paying them to do just that?

The fact that they haven’t yet managed to predict volcanoes and earthquakes with reliability doesn’t mean it isn’t possible and that it isn’t regulated by some sort of rule or pattern. The fact that we haven’t yet discovered the patterns doesn’t mean they arent’ there!

BLAIR: “You’re pulling straws and you know it. If the “creation” of the universe had been any different then the known laws of the universe might be different. Who’s to say that the molecular structure of water wouldn’t he H3O had the Big Bang been 10,000 times more powerful? The laws of the universe, while constant, are not indicative of eternity. They are the laws that are with us because of the formation of the universe and how it is behaving.”

If the laws of the universe are a result of the Big Bang then the Big Bang cannot have anything to do with science because science can only deal with things that behave in a ‘natural’ way. The reason the Big Bang makes sense is that it fits in with the way the universe works now.

BLAIR: “Mathematicians, physicists, astronomers, and even the Vatican have independently verified the Big Bang theory to be scientifically sound. The formulations, data, evidence, and all other significata were looked at independently and found to be sound. You are thinking in terms of actually “seeing” the Big Bang happen. Although recently scientists created a “little bang” and the result was new plasma.”

The recent “little bang” created matter from energy. The problem with the Big Bang is simply that it doesn’t account for where the matter or energy came from. A Big Crunch couldn’t have caused the Big Bang (there is no mechanism for causing a re-explosion after the implosion and there is no mechanism that reset entropy to 0) and a Big Crunch still wouldn’t explain where matter or energy originated. Also, and I have mentioned this before, the universe would need 10 times as much matter as it has to stop expanding and implode.

Please answer my question. What independent verificatiosn of the big bang theory have been done? The Vatican has not ‘independently verified’ it. They might support it as a tool used by God, but don’t tell me they have found an answer to where matter and energy came from – except from a creation.

BLAIR: “The problem with your scenario is that Frank has neglected to prove that the stewed tomato actually caused the increased happiness and running ability. He has speculated a correlation but has offered no causation. He must, at this point, prove that the stewed tomato in his shoe is actually causing the new feelings of happiness, success, and physical stamina. Do the effects disappear when he takes his shoe off? How does the stewed tomato perform this function? What evidence is there and can it be duplicated?

A good example is faith healing. Faith healing has been shown to be a scam time and time again – put on by con artists out to make a buck or two. . . . There are many documented cases of patients becoming worse after going to a faith healer because they have amplified the injury by attempting to overcome it after an encounter with a conman.”

The second criterion that I mentioned was this: “Second, you’d ask how many other people have had the same subjective experience from being related to the same objective reality?”

The example with the stewed tomato demonstrated that unless others achieve the same effect by putting a stewed tomato in their shoe it is likely not based on an objective reality.

About faith healing – I have no experience with the faith healing movement and can’t say much for or against it.

BLAIR: “Problems and more problems…

1. The objective reality behind the subjective experience is a supposed person named Jesus who was labeled to be the Christ by his followers (Christ is not a last name – it is a title) and was supposedly resurrected (even though there is loose evidence that the historical Jesus probably survived the crucifixion and never died).”

This ‘supposed person named Jesus’ did exist. He is mentioned by greek and hebrew historians of his time. About the crucifixion – Unless the crucifixion and subsequent burial were done completely different than all those before and after it is impossible that he would have survived. Here’s the facts surrounding the whole affair:

1. Philo recorded that Pontius Pilate was responsible “for countless atrocities and numerous executions without any previous trial”. All available evidence shows Pilate to have been an extremely cruel and merciless despot.

2. Jesus went through six trials – three Jewish trials and three Roman trials. For that reason alone he had two groups who wanted to ensure that he died and remained dead.

3. Jesus was whipped by the Romans. The Romans used whips with embedded pieces of bone and lead. Unlike the Jews there was no limit on the amount of whipping convicts could receive.

4. A quote from a modern analysis of the Roman whippings: “At first the heavy thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of te skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles. The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.”

5. A man condemned to be crucified had to carry his own crossbar from prison to the place of his execution. This crossbar weighed about 110 pounds. (Jesus didn’t carry it himself all the way)

6. For a time it was considered certain that crucifixion with nails was inaccurate. However modern evidence has proven that in Israel Roman legions did indeed use nails.

7. A spear was thrust into Christ’s side causing a spill of blood and water. This evidences that he died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.

8. Had he been alive, Roman executioners would have broken his legs below the knees causing him to suffocate. This was done to the two criminals hanging on either side of him because they probably were fighting to stay alive.

9. Pilate required certification of Christ’s death before the body could be turned over to Joseph of Arimathea. He consented to Christ’s being removed from the cross only after four executioners had certified his death.

10. The only recorded instance of survival of crucifixion was recorded by Josephus, whose friends were granted a reprieve after hanging on the crosses for only a short period of time. Still, two of those three died anyway. The Romans were grimly efficient about crucifixions: Victims did not escape with their lives.

11. The NT is very clear that the burial of Christ followed the customs of the Jews. In preparing a body for burial, the Jews would place it on a stone table in the burial chamber. The body first would be washed with warm water. The corpse would then be prepared with various types of aromatic spices. In the case of Christ’s burial, 75 pounds of spices were used. (This was no great amount for a leader: Gamaliel, grandson of the distinguished Jewish scholar Hillel and a contemporary of Jesus needed 86 lbs. of spices. 500 servants were required to carry the spices for Herod’s body after he died.) The body would be sown into grave vestments made out of white linen. No individual could be buried in fewer than three separate garments. The whole body and garments would then be coated thickly with a mixture of the aromatic spices and myrrh.

12. Jesus was buried in a tomb that was shut with a stone that could not have been moved by 20 men. Georgia Tech students have calcuated that the stone weighted 1.5 – 2 tons

13. The tomb was guarded by the Roman guard (a regular Roman guard unit). This guard unit was a 4- to 16-man security force. Each man was trained to protect six feet of ground. The 16 men in a square of 4 on each side were supposed to be able to protect 36 yards against an entire battalion and hold it. Normally, what they did was this: 4 men were placed immediately in front of what they were to protect. The other 12 were asleep in a semi-circle in front of them with their heads pointing in. To steal what these guards were protecting, thieves would first have to walk over those who were asleep. Every four hours, another unit of 4 was awakened, and those who had been awake went to sleep. They would rotate this way around the clock.

14. Roman guards were killed for letting anything happen to what they were guarding.

15. That’s why they went to the hiegh priest, who bribed them to be silent about what they had witnessed.

16. The tomb was protected with the Roman seal. Anyone who broke it would have the Roman equivalent of both the FBI and CIA on their heels.

BLAIR: “2. The subjective experience felt in conversion experiences has been felt by an overwhelming number of people – almost 93% of the world’s population at one time or another has felt a conversion experience. Some of the specific groups of people whom have felt these powerful conversion experiences are Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Wicca, Zoroastrians, Shamans, Hindu, Atheists, and Pantheists? Almost six billion people, from all backgrounds, nationalities, and professions have seen their lives elevated to new levels of peace and joy by experiencing a conversion and turning to faith or rejecting faith.”

Please give me some examples.

BLAIR: “And UFOs must be real, too, because so many people have found new peace and joy by seeing UFOs in the sky and by being abducted.”

You wish. I’ve read all sorts of testimonies from people claiming to be abducted by aliens and not one of them got a lot of peace and joy out of the experience. The most they got were headaches, nose-bleeds and strange dreams.

BLAIR: “There is no denying that religions (not just Christianity) have done some good. But there is a lot of bad there, too. Ethnic cleansing . . . abortion clinic bombings, seclusion of children, denying children medical care, polygamy, abuse of power for molestation, etc.”

While you’re at it, don’t forget to mention that these practices are usually committed by Atheists much more than Christians. But, because atheism has no underlying, absolute right and wrong they can’t be expected to act in a ‘better’ manner. Ethnic cleansing: This was committed by fascist and communist governments. They called it “getting rid of ideas that are in the way of progress”. Abortion clinic bombings: Bombing is a wrong way of solving one’s problems. However no one claims the hundreds of bombings and killings done every year by atheists as an argument against atheism. Seclusion of children: This can’t be used as an argument against any system of belief. If all America’s schools were Christian you would probably ‘seclude’ your children, too.

BLAIR: “Most estimates I have seen place the Earth closer to 8500-years-old. Regardless – there is absolutely no way the Earth is that young (not even remotely close).”

Let’s see… You’re still assuming that if God created the universe he would have (1) used natural methods, (2) not made everything in its final, perfect form.

The fact is that he created the universe using supernatural methods and made everything finished. That means that when he made trees they were fully grown and had rings. He also made animals and humans fully formed (remember, he created man and later woman, not two babies.) I can’t help it if people feel that God is mean to make things in a way that makes them seem older to us.

Now for the evidence. . . .

First I’ll list some evidence that goes totally against evolutionist theories from the science of astronomy:

Many undisputed observations contradict the current theories on how the Solar System evolved. One theory says planets formed when a star, passing near our sun, tore matter from the sun. More popular theories hold that the Solar System formed from a cloud of swirling gas, dust, or larger particles. If the planets and their 63 known moons evolved from the same material, they should have many similarities. After several decades of planetary exploration, this expectation is now recognized as false. According to these evolutionary theories:

Backward-Spinning Planets.

All Planets should spin in the same direction, but Venus, Uranus, and Pluto rotate backwards Backward Orbits. All 63 moons in the Solar System should orbit their planets in the same sense, but at least six have backward orbits. d Furthermore, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune have moons orbiting in both directions.

Inclined Orbits.

The orbit of each of these 63 moons should lie in the equatorial plane of the planet it orbits, but many, including the earth’s moon, are in highly inclined orbits.

Hydrogen and Helium.

Since about 98% of the sun is hydrogen or helium, Earth, Mars, Venus, and Mercury should have similar compositions. Instead, much less than 1% of these planets is hydrogen or helium.

Angular Momentum.

The sun should have 700 times more angular momentum than all the planets combined. Instead, the planets have 50 times more angular momentum than the sun.

Gravitational accretion.

If the earth formed by gravitational accretion (the infalling of small rocky bodies), heat released by the impacts would have made the earth molten. Had the earth ever been molten, dense, nonreactive chemical elements such as gold, which is almost twice as dense as lead, would have sunk to the earth’s core. Since gold is found at the earth’s surface , the earth was never molten and it did not evolve by gravitational accretion. If the earth did not evolve by gravitational accretion, it may have begun in nearly its present state.

Evolving Planets?

Contrary to popular opinion, planets should not form from the mutual gravitational attraction of particles orbiting the sun. Orbiting particles are much more likely to be scattered or expelled by their gravitational interactions than they are to be pulled together. Experiments have shown that colliding particles are much more likely to fragment than to stick together. Similar comments can be made concerning the improbability that particles orbiting a planet will ever grow into a moon. This is why the particles in the rings of Saturn, Jupiter, and Uranus show no evidence of clumping into larger bodies.

Despite these problems, let us assume that pebble-size to moon-size particles somehow evolved. “Growing a planet” by many small collisions will produce an almost nonspinning planet, since the spins imparted by impacts will be largely self-cancelling. All planets spin, some much more than others. Growing a large, gaseous planet (such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune) far from the central star, is especially difficult for evolutionists to explain for several reasons.

Gases dissipate rapidly in the vacuum of outer space, especially the lightest two gases–hydrogen and helium, which comprise most of the giant planets.

Because gas molecules orbiting a star do not gravitationally pull in other gas molecules, a rocky planet, several times larger than the earth, must first form to attract all the gas gravitationally. (The hydrogen and helium on Jupiter are more than 300 times as massive as the earth.) This must happen very quickly, before the gas dissipates.

Stars like our sun–even those which evolutionists say are young–do not have enough orbiting hydrogen or helium to form one Jupiter. Based on demonstratable science, gaseous planets and the rest of the solar system did not evolve.

Origin of the Moon.

Naturalistic theories on the moon’s origin are highly speculative and completely inadequate. The moon did not spin off the earth, nor did it congeal from the same material as the earth since its orbital plane is too inclined. Furthermore, the relative abundances of its elements are too dissimilar from those of the earth. The moon’s nearly circular orbit is also strong evidence that it was never torn from, nor captured by, the earth. If the moon formed from particles orbiting the earth, other particles should be easily visible inside the moon’s orbit; none are. If the moon was not pulled or splashed from the earth, was not built up from smaller particles near its present orbit, and was not captured from outside its present orbit, only one hypothesis remains; the moon was created in its present orbit.

Evolution of the Solar System?

Another theory is this: Some evolutionists claim the solar system condensed out of a vast cloud of swirling dust about 4.6 billion years ago. Many particles that were not swept up as part of a planet would have then begun a gradual spiral in toward the sun. Colliding asteroids also would create dust particles that, over millions of years, would spiral in toward the sun. Particles should still be falling into the sun’s upper atmosphere, burning up, and giving off an easily measured, infrared glow. Measurements taken during the solar eclipse of 11 July 1991, showed no such glow. Therefore, the assumed “millions of years” and this explanation for the origin of the solar system are probably wrong.

Mountains of Venus.

Venus must have a strong crust to support its extremely high, dense a mountains. One mountain, Maat Mons, rises higher than Earth’s Mount Everest does above sea level. Since Venus is relatively near the sun, its atmosphere is 900°F–so hot that its surface rocks must be weak or “tarlike.” (Lead melts at 622°F and zinc at 787°F.) Only if the subsurface rocks are cold and strong can these mountains defy gravity. This allows us to draw two conclusions, both of which contradict major evolutionary assumptions.

First, evolutionists assume that planets grew (evolved) by rocky debris falling from outer space, a process called gravitational accretion . The heat generated by the impacts of a planet’s worth of projectiles would have left the inner planets molten. However, Venus was never molten. Had it been, its hot atmosphere would have prevented its subsurface rocks from cooling enough to support its mountains. Therefore, Venus did not evolve by gravitational accretion.

Secondly, evolutionists believe the entire solar system is billions of years old. If Venus were billions of years old, its atmospheric heat would have soaked deeply enough into the planet to weaken its subsurface rocks. Not only could Venus’ crust not support mountains, the hot mountains them-selves could not maintain their steep slopes.

Now some proofs from physics, astronomy and astrophysics:

A Beginning.

Heat always flows from hot bodies to cold bodies. If the universe were infinitely old, the temperature throughout the universe should be uniform. Since the temperature of the universe is not uniform, the universe is not infinitely old. Therefore, the universe had a beginning.

Big Bang?

Three observations led to the general acceptance of the big bang theory: the cosmic background radiation (CBR), the amount of helium in the universe, and the redshift of distant starlight. All three have been poorly understood.

CBR.

All matter radiates heat, regardless of its temperature. Everywhere astronomers look, they can detect an extremely uniform radiation, called the cosmic background radiation (CBR). It appears to come from perfectly radiating matter whose temperature is 2.73 K–nearly absolute zero. The CBR was initially thought to be left over from the big bang. Many incorrectly believe that the big bang theory predicted this radiation.

Since the CBR is so uniform, the matter from which it originated must have been spread uniformly throughout the universe. But if matter was uniformly distributed, it would hardly gravitate in any direction; even after tens of billions of years, galaxies would not evolve. Since the matter in the universe is highly concentrated into galaxies, galaxy clusters, and superclusters, the CBR does not appear to be a remnant of a big bang.

Helium.

The amount of helium in the universe is not explained by the big bang theory; the theory was adjusted to fit the amount of helium. Ironically, the lack of helium in certain types of stars (B type stars) and the presence of beryllium in other stars contradicts the theory.

Redshift.

The redshift of distant starlight is usually interpreted as a Doppler effect; namely, stars and galaxies are moving away from the earth, stretching out (or reddening) the wave lengths of light we see. While this may be true, other possible explanations do not involve an expanding universe. Besides, many objects with high redshifts seem connected, or associated, with other objects of low redshifts. They could not be traveling at such different velocities and be connected for long. For example, many quasars have very high redshifts, and yet they statistically cluster with galaxies having low redshifts. Sometimes, quasars appear to be connected to galaxies by threads of gas. Finally, redshifted light from galaxies has some strange features that are inconsistent with the Doppler effect. If redshifts are from objects moving away from the earth, one would expect the amount of redshifting to take on continuous values. Instead, redshifts tend to cluster at specific, evenly-spaced values. h Much remains to be learned about redshifts.

A big bang should neither produce highly concentrated i nor rotating bodies. Galaxies are examples of both. A large volume of the universe should not be–but apparently is–moving sideways, almost perpendicular to the direction of expansion.

A big bang would, for all practical purposes, only produce hydrogen and helium. Therefore, the first generation of stars to somehow form after a big bang should consist of only hydrogen and helium. Some of these stars should still exist, but none can be found. These observations make it doubtful that a big bang occurred.

If a big bang occurred, what caused the bang? Stars with enough mass become black holes, so not even light can escape their enormous gravity. How then could anything escape the trillions upon trillions of times greater gravity caused by concentrating all the mass in the universe in a “cosmic egg” that existed before a big bang?

Missing Mass.

Imagine seeing several rocks in outer space, moving radially away from the earth. If the rocks were simultaneously blasted away from the earth, their masses, changing velocities, and distances from the earth would have a very precise relationship with each other. When a similar relationship is checked for billions of observable galaxies, an obvious conclusion is that these galaxies did not explode from a common point in a huge “big bang.” a It is even more obvious that if such an explosion occurred, it must have been much, much less than billions of years ago.

Evolutionists try to fix this problem in two ways. They think the universe is filled with at least ten times as much matter as can be seen. This is maintained even though two decades of searching for this hidden mass has turned up nothing other than the conclusion that the needed “missing mass” does not exist. b

A second “fix attempt” assumes that the rocks (or in the real problem, all the particles in the universe) were briefly, almost magically, accelerated away from some point. Supposedly, this matter reached speeds trillions of billions of times faster than the speed of light by an unknown, untestable phenomenon–not by a blast. Then this matter became controlled by gravity after it reached just the right speed to give it an apparent age of about 10 billion years. c Such flights of imagination and speculation are common in the field of cosmology.

Fast Binaries.

Perhaps half of all stars are grouped in closely spaced pairs called ” binaries.” Fortunately, our sun does not have a binary partner. If it did, the wide range of temperatures on earth would probably not permit life. The mutual gravitational attraction between a binary pair of stars causes them to orbit each other, just as the moon orbits the earth. The closer the paired stars are, the more rapidly they orbit. Distances between a binary pair should not change appreciably, even over long periods of time.

Two particular stars have been found so close together that they orbit each other every eleven minutes! This implies that their centers are about 80,000 miles apart. a By way of comparison, our sun, which is a typical star, is more than 800,000 miles in diameter. There are other close binaries.

The theory of stellar evolution was developed by arranging (on paper) different types of stars in a sequence according to their brightness and color. Stellar evolutionists believe that stars slowly change from one type to another. However, scientists have never observed such changes, and some stars do not fit this pattern. According to stellar evolution, the volume of each star, late in its lifetime, expands to about a million times that of our sun. Finally, it supposedly collapses and becomes a small star about the size of the earth (a white dwarf) or even smaller (a neutron star).

Only such tiny stars could have their centers 80,000 miles apart and still orbit each other. Obviously, they did not evolve from larger stars, since larger stars orbiting so closely would collide. If two stars cannot evolve into a condition that has them orbiting each other every eleven minutes, one wonders whether stars evolve at all.

For a break, let’s look at evidence that the Ark existed or still exists.

Ancient Historians.

Ancient historians, such as Josephus, the Jewish-Roman historian, and Berosus of the Chaldeans mentioned in their writings that the Ark existed. Marco Polo also wrote that the Ark was reported to be on a mountain in greater Armenia. Over a dozen other Christian and Jewish leaders during the period 200-1700 A.D. wrote that the Ark was still preserved.

British Scientists.

In about 1856, three skeptical British scientists and two Armenian guides climbed Mount Ararat to show that the Ark did not exist. The Ark was supposedly found, but the British scientists threatened to kill the guides if they reported it. Years later, one of the Armenians, then living in the United States, and one of the British scientists independently reported that they had found the Ark.

James Bryce.

Sir James Bryce, a noted British scholar and traveler of the mid-nineteenth century, conducted extensive library research concerning the Ark. He became convinced that the Ark was preserved on Mount Ararat. Finally, in 1876, he ascended to the summit of the mountain and found, at the 13,000 foot level (2,000 feet above the timberline), a piece of hand-tooled wood, four feet long, that he believed was from the Ark.

Turkish Commissioners.

In 1883, a series of newspaper articles reported that a team of Turkish commissioners, while investigating avalanche conditions on Mount Ararat, unexpectedly came upon the Ark projecting out of the melting ice at the end of an unusually warm summer. They claimed that they entered and examined part of the Ark.

George Hagopian.

In the unusually warm summer of 1902, an Armenian boy, George Hagopian, and his uncle climbed Mount Ararat and reached the Ark that was reportedly sticking out of an ice pack. The boy climbed over the Ark and examined it in great detail. In 1904 Hagopian visited the Ark for a second time. Shortly before his death in 1972, a tape recording was made of his detailed testimony. This recording has undergone voice analyzer tests which indicate that his account is quite credible.

Russian Pilot.

A Russian pilot, flying over Ararat in World War I (1915), thought he saw the Ark. The news of his discovery reached the Czar, who dispatched a large expedition to the site. The soldiers found and explored the boat, but before they could report to the Czar, the Russian Revolution of 1917 had begun. Their report disappeared, and the soldiers were scattered. Some of them eventually reached the United States. Various relatives and friends have confirmed this report.

Turkish Soldiers.

In 1916, five Turkish soldiers, crossing Mount Ararat, claimed to have seen the Ark; however, they did not report their story until 30 years later when they offered to guide an American expedition to the site. The expedition did not materialize, and their services were not sought until after their deaths.

Ed Davis.

In July 1943, Ed Davis, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was stationed in Iran. There he developed a close friendship with some Lourd tribesmen who told him that Noah’s Ark was on Mount Ararat, which could be seen in the distance. When Davis asked to see the Ark, they first took him to their village. There Davis claims he saw items from the Ark: a cage door, latches, a metal hammer, dried beans, shepherd staffs, oil lamps, bowls, and pottery jars still containing honey. This Muslim tribe considered it a religious duty to prevent outsiders from seeing the Ark, even if it required murder. However, their unusually close friendship with Davis made him an exception.

The tribal leader, Abas-Abas, and his seven sons took Davis on a three-day climb up the northeast side of Mount Ararat. The steep, slick rocks, made worse by the cold rain, prevented them from getting closer than a half-mile to the Ark. Two broken portions of the Ark, lying half a mile apart on their sides, were visible during the moments when the fog and clouds lifted. Wooden beams, three decks, and rooms were seen. Abas-Abas told Davis other details about the Ark: its wood was extremely hard; wooden pegs were used in its construction instead of nails; its large side door opened from the bottom outward like a garage door; and the human quarters consisted of 48 compartments in the middle of the top deck. During 1985 and 1986, Davis successfully underwent several sessions of extensive face-to-face questioning by several dozen Ark researchers, and in 1989 he passed a lie detector test.

George Greene.

George Greene, an oil geologist, took several photo- graphs of the Ark in 1953 from a helicopter. After returning to the United States, Greene showed his photographs to many people but was unable to raise financial backing for a ground-based expedition. Finally, he went to South America where he was killed. Although his pictures have not been found, more than 30 people have given sworn, written testimony that they saw these photographs that clearly showed the Ark protruding from the melting ice field at the edge of a precipice.

Gregor Schwinghammer.

Gregor Schwinghammer claims he saw the Ark from an F-100 aircraft in the late 1950s, while attached to the 428th Tactical Flight Squadron based in Adana, Turkey. Schwinghammer said it looked like an enormous boxcar lying in a gully high up on Mount Ararat. He said that U-2 pilots had taken pictures of it.

There are many other reports of people seeing the ark, but many have been deemed unreliable. The above reports have been confirmed as accurate.

Earth sciences:
Ocean Trenches.

Ocean trenches are long, narrow depressions on the ocean floor, sometimes deeper than seven Grand Canyons. They can be seen in the western Pacific in Figure and Figure . Advocates of the plate tectonic theory say a trench forms when a plate dives down into the mantle, a process they call subduction . How this dive begins is never fully explained. This would be similar to pushing a 30-mile-thick shovel into the ground. What pushes a continental-sized plate down at such a steep angle? Worse yet, when the plate reaches a depth of only several miles, the pressure is so great that frictional forces exceed the strength of rock. Therefore, this movement should be impossible. This is similar to trying to push our shovel, now squeezed in the jaws of a vise, down further. It simply will not move.

Seamounts and Tablemounts.

Notice how many submarine volcanoes, called seamounts, litter the Pacific floor. Some are almost as tall as Mount Everest. Surprisingly, few seamounts are in the Atlantic. If one plate dives (subducts) beneath another, why aren’t seamounts and soft sediments scraped off the top of the descending plate? Why do seismic reflection profiles show almost no distortions of the horizontal sedimentary layers in trenches?

Hundreds of flat-topped seamounts, called tablemounts, are 3,000-6,000 feet below sea level. Apparently, as these volcanoes tried to grow above sea level, wave action planed off their tops. Therefore, (1) sea level was once much lower, (2) ocean floors were higher, or (3) both. Each possibility raises new and difficult questions.

Earthquakes.

A major (but perhaps elusive) goal of earthquake research is to predict earthquakes. Normally, the best way to predict something is to understand how it works. However, earthquakes are not understood. Therefore, much effort is spent trying to find things that often occur before an earthquake. Three apparent precursors are the sudden change in the water depth in wells, the swelling of the ground, and the time interval between regional geyser eruptions.

The plate tectonic theory claims that earthquakes occur when plates rub against each other, temporarily lock, and then periodically jerk loose. Then why are some earthquakes, many quite powerful, far from plate boundaries? Why do earthquakes occur when water is forced into the ground, after large water reservoirs are built and filled?

Earthquakes sometimes displace the ground horizontally along a fault, as occurred along the San Andreas Fault during the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Western California slid northward relative to the rest of North America. Since the San Andreas Fault has several prominent bends, how could movement have been going on for millions of years, as proponents of plate tectonics claim? Just as two interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle cannot slip very far relative to each other, neither can both sides of a curved fault. Furthermore, if movement has occurred along the San Andreas Fault for millions of years, the adjacent rock should be hot due to frictional heating. Drilling into the fault did not locate this heat. Apparently, movement has not occurred for that length of time and/or the walls of the fault were lubricated.

Magnetic Variations on the Ocean Floor.

In the 1960s, an important discovery was misinterpreted. This, in turn, led to a general acceptance of the plate tectonic theory. People were told that paralleling the Mid-Oceanic Ridge are bands of ocean floor that have a reversed magnetic orientation. These “magnetic reversals” alternated with bands of rock having the normal (north pointing) polarity. At a few places, the pattern of reversals on one side of the ridge is almost a mirror image of those on the other side. All of this suggested that periodically the earth’s magnetic field reversed, although there is no theoretical understanding of how this could have happened. Molten material supposedly rose at the ridge, solidified, took on the earth’s current magnetic orientation, and then moved away from the ridge like a conveyer belt.

This story is inaccurate. First, there are no magnetic reversals on the ocean floor. Nowhere on the ocean floor will the north-seeking arrow on a compass point to the south magnetic pole. However, as one moves across the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, the magnetic intensity fluctuates widely, as shown in Figure . Someone merely drew a line through these fluctuations and labeled everything below this average intensity as a “reversal.” The false, but widespread, impression exists that these deviations from the average represent the magnetic field millions of years ago. Calling these fluctuations “reversals” causes one to completely miss a more likely explanation for these magnetic anomalies.

Although textbooks show these so-called “reversals” as smooth bands paralleling the Mid-Oceanic Ridge, there is nothing smooth about them. Many “bands” even run perpendicular to the ridge axis–quite the opposite of what plate tectonics predicts. Furthermore, the perpendicular “bands” correspond to fracture zones. The hydroplate theory will explain these magnetic anomalies.

Submarine Canyons.

The ocean floor has several hundred canyons, some of which exceed the Grand Canyon in both length and depth. One of these submarine canyons is three times deeper than the Grand Canyon. Another is ten times longer (2,300 miles), so long that it would stretch nearly across the United States. Many of these V-shaped canyons are extensions of major rivers. Examples include the Amazon Canyon, the Hudson Canyon, the Ganges Canyon, the Congo Canyon, and the Indus Canyon. How did they form? What force could gouge out canyons 15,000 feet below sea level? Perhaps the ocean floor rose or the ocean surface dropped by this amount so ancient rivers could cut these canyons. If so, how? Most continental canyons were supposedly cut by swift rivers. However, currents measured in submarine canyons are much too slow, generally less than one mile per hour. Frequently the flow is in the wrong direction. Submarine landslides or currents of dense, muddy water sometimes occur. However, they would not form long, branching (or dendritic) patterns that characterize river systems and submarine canyons. Besides, experiments with thick, muddy water in submarine canyons have not demonstrated any canyon-cutting ability.

Coal and Oil Formations.

There are surprisingly large amounts of coal in Antarctica. Various expeditions found thick seams of coal and fossilized tree trunks near the South Pole. Some tree trunks were 24 feet long and 2 feet thick! At another location, there were 30 layers of anthracite (or high grade) coal, each 3-4 feet thick. Was it once warm enough for trees to grow in Antarctica? If it was, how could so much vegetation grow where it is nighttime 6 months of the year? Was Antarctica once at a more tropical latitude? Not according to plate tectonics, which places the South Pole well inside Antarctica ever since the coal formed. Perhaps vegetation floated there in a large flood.

Glaciers and the Ice Ages.

How does an ice age begin? More importantly, how does an ice age end? As glaciers expand, they reflect more of the sun’s radiation away from the earth. This lowers the earth’s temperature, causing glaciers to grow even more. This cycle should continue. In other words, once an ice age begins, the earth’s temperature should continue to drop until the entire globe is frozen. Conversely, if glaciers diminish, as they have in recent years, the earth should reflect less heat, warm up, and melt all glaciers forever.

Frozen Mammoths.

Some fleshy remains of about 50 elephantlike animals called mammoths, and a few rhinoceroses, have been found frozen and buried in Alaska and Siberia. One mammoth still had identifiable food in its mouth and stomach. To approximate this today, one would have to suddenly push a well-fed elephant (dead or alive) into a very large freezer and turn the thermostat to 150°F. Anything less severe would result in the animal’s residual heat and stomach acids destroying the stomach’s food. If the animal remained alive for more than a few minutes, one would not expect to find food in its mouth. What could cause such a large and sudden temperature drop in nature? Even if the sun suddenly stopped shining, the earth’s temperature would not drop rapidly enough to produce these effects. Finally, these giant animals must be buried in what was presumably frozen ground–quite a trick.

Consider, also, how large herds of elephantlike animals, each requiring much food, could live so abundantly in the Arctic. Today the average January temperature in those parts of Siberia is -30°F. If your nose gets unbearably cold after a few minutes in +32°F weather, consider how you would feel if your nose were a six-foot-long trunk and the average temperature were 60°F colder for many weeks. In addition, where would you, or a mammoth, get drinking water?

Major Mountain Ranges.

How did mountains form? Major mountains are usually crumpled like an accordion. (See Figure .) Satellite photos of mountain ranges show that some resemble rugs that have been pushed up against walls. But what force could push a long, thick slab of rock and cause it to buckle and sometimes fold back on itself? Even if a large enough force could be found to overcome the friction at the base of the slab, the force would crush the end being pushed before movement could even begin. Consequently, a mountain would not form. (See the technical note on folded mountains .)

Many of us have seen, especially in mountains and road cuts, thinly layered rocks that have been folded like a doubled-over phone book. How could brittle rock, showing little evidence of heating or cracking, fold? Sometimes these “bent” rocks are small enough to hold in one’s hand. Rocks are strong in compression but weak in tension. Consequently, their stretched outer surfaces should easily fracture. Bent rocks, which are found all over the earth, often look as if they had the consistency of putty when they were squeezed. They must have been squeezed and folded soon after the sediments were laid down, but before they hardened chemically. But what squeezed and folded them?

Overthrusts.

A similar problem exists for large blocks of rock called overthrusts that appear to have slid horizontally over other rock for many miles. If this happened, these blocks should have lots of rubble under them. Many do not.

Why overthrusts occur has never been adequately explained. Anything pushing a large slab of rock with enough force to overcome frictional resistance would crush the slab before it would move. (See the technical note on page overthrusts .) Those who appreciate this problem simply say that the pore pressure of water in the rocks lubricated the sliding, and maybe the slab slid downhill. Not enough water resides in rocks today to make this possible, and overthrusted blocks are not on slopes.

Volcanoes and Lava.

Erupting lava usually exceeds 1800°F. Where does it come from, and why is it so hot? The earth’s mantle and inner core are essentially solid. Only the outer core, which lies 1800-3200 miles below the earth’s surface, is a liquid. The standard explanation is that magma originates in hot pockets, called magma chambers , at depths of about 60 miles. But how could magma escape to the surface? A key fact to remember is that at depths greater than 4 or 5 miles, the pressure is so great that all empty channels through which magma might rise should be squeezed shut. Even if a crack could open, the magma must rise through colder rock. Magma would then tend to solidify and plug up the crack. A second fact to keep in mind is that heat diffuses. So what concentrated enough heat to create the “hot pockets” and melt the vast volumes of rock that erupted in the past? On the Columbia Plateau in the northwestern United States, more than 50,000 square miles of flood basalts spilled out to an average depth of about 1/2 mile. On the Deccan Plateau in western India, 200,000 square miles have been flooded with liquid basalt to an average depth of mile. The ocean floor, especially in the Pacific, has more and larger examples of flood basalts. Escaping magma at the Ontong-Java Plateau in the western Pacific was 25 times more extensive than on the Deccan Plateau. How then does magma form, and how does it get out?

The two deepest holes in the world are on the Kola Peninsula in northern Russia and in Germany’s northeastern Bavaria. They were recently drilled to depths of 7.5 miles and 5.6 miles, respectively. (When holes are drilled below 5 miles and are immediately filled with water or dense mud, they will stay open.) Neither hole reached the basalt that underlies the granite continents. Deep in the Russian hole, to everyone’s surprise, was hot, flowing, mineralized water (including salt water) encased in crushed granite. Why was the granite crushed? In the German hole, the drill encountered salt-water-filled cracks throughout the lower few miles. The salt concentration was about twice that of sea water . Remember, surface waters cannot migrate below about 5 miles, because the weight of the overlying rock squeezes shut even microscopic flow channels. While scientists at these projects are mystified by the presence of deep salt water, the hydroplate theory provides a simple answer for these and other mysteries.

Another surprise at these drill sites was the greater-than-expected increase in the granite’s temperature with increased depth. This raises the question of why the earth’s crust is so hot.

Geothermal Heat.

Outward flowing heat from inside the earth is called geothermal heat. In general, the deeper man has gone into the earth, first in caves and mines and later with drills, the hotter the rock gets. What is the origin of geothermal heat? As children, most of us were taught that the early earth was molten. Another scenario that has been widely taught is that the molten earth was caused by infalling, meteoritelike bodies, as the earth slowly grew and evolved. If either were true, it must have taken millions of years for the earth to cool enough to support life, and even longer for the earth to cool to its present temperature.

This popular story has several problems. First, the increase in temperature with depth, called the temperature gradient, varies at different locations by more than 600%. This is true even when considering only continental rock far from volcanoes. The deep drilling in Russia and Germany encountered rock so much hotter than expected that each project was terminated early. If the earth has been cooling for billions of years, one would expect great uniformity in the temperature increase with depth. Unusually hot or cold regions should not exist since heat diffuses from hotter to colder regions.

Had the earth ever been molten, denser materials would have sunk toward the center of the earth, and lighter materials would have floated to the surface. One should not find dense, fairly nonreactive metals, such as gold, at the earth’s surface. (One cannot appeal to volcanoes to lift gold to the earth’s surface, since gold is not concentrated around volcanoes.) Even granite, the basic continental rock, is a mixture of many minerals with varying densities. If one melted granite and slowly cooled the liquid, the granite would not reform. Instead, it would be a “layer cake” of minerals sorted vertically by density. In other words, the earth’s crust appears to have never been molten.

Complex mathematical solutions of heat conduction in spheres, such as the earth, are well known. These solutions can incorporate many facts, such as the earth’s thermal properties, radioactive heat generation, the range of temperature gradients at the earth’s surface, and many other details. Such analyses are hopelessly inconsistent with the “molten-earth” story and “billions of years of cooling.” (See Molten Earth? on page 26 and Rapid Cooling on page 33.) What then is the source of geothermal heat, and why do temperature gradients vary so widely?

Strata.

In many places the earth’s crust has a layered, or stratified, appearance. The layers, or strata, have many puzzling characteristics. For example, most layers and particles within those layers are firmly and uniformly cemented. What accounts for their great uniformity in hardness? If truckloads of sand and other dry sediments were dumped on your driveway and bags of cement were placed in another pile, anyone would have difficulty mixing them uniformly. Without the right mixture throughout, the concrete would quickly crumble. A typical cementing agent in sedimentary rock is limestone, or calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ). Any geologist or mineralogist who stops to think about it will realize that the earth has too much limestone, at least based on present processes. Sediments and sedimentary rock on the continents alone average about a mile in thickness. Somewhere between 10-15% of this is limestone (CaCO 3 ). How did so much limestone form–much of it quite pure? Most limestone is in extensive layers, tens of thousands of square miles in area and hundreds of feet thick. Under the Bahamas, it is more than 3 miles thick! The presence of pure limestone, without the impurities that normally drift in, argues for its rapid burial. Today, limestone forms either by precipitating out of sea water or by organisms taking it out of sea water to produce shells and other hard parts. In either case, oceans supply limestone sediments. The oceans already have about as much limestone dissolved in them as they can possibly hold. Therefore, where did all the limestone come from, especially its calcium and carbon, which are relatively rare outside of limestone?

Metamorphic Rock.

When the temperature and/or pressure of certain rocks increase and exceed certain high values without melting, structural and chemical changes occur. The new rock is called a metamorphic rock. For example, limestone becomes marble (a metamorphic rock) when its temperature exceeds 1600°F and the confining pressure corresponds to the weight of a 23-mile-high column of rock. Diamonds, another metamorphic rock, forms under confining pressures corresponding to the weight of a 75-mile-high column of rock and 1600°F. Most metamorphic rocks were formed in the presence of water–often flowing water. What could have accounted for the extreme temperature, pressure, and abundance of water?

The standard answer is that the original rock (such as limestone) was heated and compressed under a tall mountain or deep in the earth. Later, either the mountain eroded away or the deep rock rose to the earth’s surface. All of this would, of course, take millions of years. Since Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, is only 5 miles high, it is difficult to imagine mountains 23 or 75 miles high. Raising buried layers of rock 23 or 75 miles to the earth’s surface is even more difficult to explain, but with millions of years available to do it, few consider it a problem. Not addressed in this standard explanation is the abundant, sometimes flowing , water. Surface water, remember, cannot seep deeper than about 5 miles, and even at 5 miles, it hardly flows. Metamorphic rock is a giant enigma.

Plateaus.

Plateaus are relatively flat regions of large geographical extent that have been uplifted more than 500 feet relative to the surrounding regions. Professor George C. Kennedy explains the problems associated with plateaus quite well.

KENNEDY: “The problem of the uplift of large plateau areas is one which has puzzled students of the Earth’s crust for a very long time . . . . Given an Earth with sialic [granitic] continents floating in denser simatic [basaltic] substratum, what mechanism would cause a large volume of low standing continents to rise rapidly a mile in the air? Furthermore, evidence from gravity surveys suggests that the rocks underlying the Colorado plateau are in isostatic balance, that is, this large area is floating at its correct elevation in view of its mass and density. Recent seismic evidence confirms this, in that the depth to the M discontinuity [the Moho, which will be explained later] under the Colorado plateau is approximately 10 kilometers [6 miles] greater than over most of continental North America. Thus, appropriate roots of light rock extend into the dense substratum to account for the higher elevation of the Colorado plateau. We have then a double-ended mystery, for the Colorado plateau seems to have grown downward at the same time that its emerged part rose upward. This is just as startling as it would be to see a floating cork suddenly rise and float a half inch higher in a pan of water. To date, the only hypothesis to explain the upward motion of large regions like the Colorado plateau is that of convection currents. Slowly moving convection currents in the solid rock, some 40 to 50 kilometers [about 30 miles] below the surface of the Earth, are presumed to have swept a great volume of light rock from some unidentified place and to have deposited it underneath the Colorado plateau. A total volume of approximately 2,500,000 cubic miles of sialic rock is necessary to account for the uplift of the Colorado plateau. While it is not hard to visualize rocks as having no great strength at the high pressures and temperatures existing at depths of 40 to 50 kilometers, it is quite another matter to visualize currents in solid rock of sufficient magnitude to bring in and deposit this quantity of light material in a relatively uniform layer underneath the entire Colorado plateau region.

The Tibetan plateaus present a similar problem, but on a vastly larger scale. There, an area of 750,000 square miles has been uplifted from approximately sea level to a mean elevation of roughly three miles, and the Himalayan mountain chain bordering this region has floated upward some five miles, and rather late in geologic time, probably within the last 20,000,000 years. The quantity of light rock which would need to be swept underneath these plateaus by convection currents to produce the effects noted would be an order of magnitude greater than that needed to uplift the Colorado plateau, that is approximately 25,000,000 cubic miles. Even more troublesome than the method of transporting all this light rock at shallow depths below the surface of the Earth is the problem of its source. The region from which the light rock was moved should have experienced spectacular subsidence, but no giant neighboring depressions are known. A lesser but large problem is how such enormous quantities of light rock can be dispersed so uniformly over so large an area.”

Salt Domes.

At many locations, large, thick layers of salt are buried up to several miles below the earth’s surface. These salt deposits are sometimes 100,000 square miles in area and a mile in thickness. Large salt deposits are not being laid down today, even in the Great Salt Lake. What concentrated this much salt? Sometimes a salt layer bulges up several miles, like a big underground bubble, to form a salt dome. Surprisingly large salt deposits lie under the Mediterranean Sea. A discoverer of this huge deposit claims that the Mediterranean must have evaporated 8-10 times to deposit so much salt. His estimate is probably low, but even so, why didn’t each refilling of the Mediterranean basin dissolve the salt residue left from prior evaporations? Jigsaw Fit of the Continents. Do continents drift? Do plates, composed of large pieces of continents and ocean floor, move over the earth’s surface at slow but measurable rates? For centuries, beginning possibly with Francis Bacon in 1620, many have marveled at the apparent jigsaw fit of the continents bordering the Atlantic. It is only natural that bold thinkers, such as Alfred Wegener in 1912, would propose that the continents were once connected , and somehow they moved to their present positions. But would continents, which often extend offshore hundreds of miles to the edge of the continental shelf, really fit together as shown in textbooks? Since the distortion produced by flattening a globe onto a two-dimensional map makes it difficult to answer this question, two plates, matching the shape and curvature of the continents, were formed on a globe.

The classical fit , proposed by Sir Edward Bullard, appears at first glance to be a better fit of the continents than that of the hydroplate theory. Why? First, notice that Bullard removed Central America, southern Mexico, and continental material in the Caribbean. Where did it go? Also, a slice was made through the Mediterranean, and Europe was rotated counterclockwise and Africa clockwise. Furthermore, the area of Africa was shrunk by about 35%. Finally, North America and South America were rotated. None of this has any sound geological justification. Apparently, the sole motivation was to show a tight fit. Bullard certainly took great “latitude” in juggling continents.

BLAIR: “Really? How miraculous it must be to grow a completely new set of teeth! And did this conman release his dental records for verification that an orthodontist did not surgically implant the new teeth? . . . What I am trying to say is that you have been taken in by a con. . . . There have been MANY cases of communities conning their way into something or out of something.”

For your information, the people I am talking about live in a small town in northern Mexico. They earn their keep by fishing. These people don’t have enough money to build themselves a church building in five years – let alone visit a dentist. You are right – it was miraculous for several of them to grow new sets of real teeth!

BLAIR: “Until then, I hope I have established my credibility with you so that you know I’m not making this up. Even though I am an immoral atheist!”

Are you really immoral? ;-)

BLAIR: “If God is as powerful as you say he is then what was the point of having Noah do all the work? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and “create” an Ark? . . . what was the point of having an Ark in the first place? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and send the animals to another realm or planet?. . . .what was the point of the flood in the first place? Why not just snap his fingers and say, “Abracadabra”, and kill all humans and animals at one time (except Noah and two (or seven) pairs of every species on Earth).”

I don’t know. Does it matter? Also, you pointed out that all of the animals couldn’t have fit on the ark. You’re probably right. That would explain why there are so fewer species now than archaeologists think there were long ago.

BLAIR: “Not to mention there’s no evidence of a global flood anywhere in the world.”

I assume you are thinking back to Mark Isaac’s grossly inaccurate and unscientific talkorigins page. However, Isaac himself points out that “The summit of Everest is composed of deep-marine limestone, with fossils of ocean-bottom dwelling crinoids [Gansser, 1964].” He says that this evidence does not supported by a global flood. After all, how could a flood leave deposits so high up? Isaac is forgetting that when the Bible means the entire earth was covered with water, it means the entire earth. A global flood explains this evidence a lot better than evolutionist theories.

Liquefaction is a phenomena that occurs when solid particles are suspended in water. One examples of liquefaction is quicksand. Water flows upward slowly. The water lifts the very top layer of sand grains. This lifts pressure off the second layer and allows it to be buoyed by the water. This lifts pressure of the third layer, etc.

If you’ve ever stood in the shallow water on an ocean beach you’ve experienced liquefaction. When a wave flows over the sand you’re standing on the added pressure packs more water into the sand. When the wave recedes, the water in the sand quickly decompresses, suspending the sand and making a sort of soft, gooey mixture of the sand. If you step on it it, the top layer doesn’t support your weight very well.

One more example is seen during earthquakes. The shaking earth (through some mechanism yet unknown to geologists) causes water particles in most soils to surround and suspend solid particles. This happens especially in clay soils and areas filled with most, loose earth. When cities are built on such soil, liquefaction caused by earthquakes makes the soil underneath buildings soft and spongy. This lack of support can cause a lot of damage to buildings, as witnessed during the large San Francisco earthquakes.

Why is liquefaction important? Here’s why: Liquefaction explains salt domes, oil deposits, fossil beds with all sorts of fossil types all in a bunch. It explains varves, it explains the creation of diamonds (which need pressures equivalent to 75 mi. of rock to form, but are found at the top of the earth). It explains the fossilization of dinosaur footprints. It explains the rapid burial of fossils and the sorting of different shapes and sizes of fossils into the layers they are in now.

BLAIR: “This is one of the issues I intended on “closing”, however, I think the sub-issue of beneficial mutation should be addressed. I will not address each example you provided, as that would be overkill. Most mutations are not harmful. Mutations can be neutral (neither harmful nor helpful), strictly helpful, or strictly harmful. The important thing is that regardless of whether they are helpful or harmful depends on the environment in which the mutation occurs. Most mutations are neutral until the environment decides if they are helpful or harmful. . . . The English peppered moth had a mutation the created black with white specks instead of the normal white with black specks. Kettlewell was a scientist that identified this mutation. Originally he thought it was because of industrialization and the laying of soot on the bark of trees that caused the white moths to die out because birds could see them better. Kettlewell was attributing that to his local environment and not globally. It has now been shown that the pigmentation of the moths changes with the amount of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) in the air.”

I can’t believe you actually dragged out that one – here’s a recent (1999) article on it:

ARTICLE: “The ‘textbook story’ of England’s famous peppered moths (Biston betularia) goes like this. The moth comes in light and dark (melanic) forms. Pollution from the Industrial Revolution darkened the tree trunks, mostly by killing the light-coloured covering lichen (plus soot).

The lighter forms, which had been well camouflaged against the light background, now ‘stood out’, and so birds more readily ate them. Therefore, the proportion of dark moths increased dramatically. Later, as pollution was cleaned up, the light moth became predominant again.

The shift in moth numbers was carefully documented through catching them in traps. Release-recapture experiments confirmed that in polluted forests, more of the dark form survived for recapture, and vice versa. In addition, birds were filmed preferentially eating the less camouflaged moths off tree trunks.

The story has generated boundless evolutionary enthusiasm. H.B. Kettlewell, who performed most of the classic experiments, said that if Darwin had seen this, ‘He would have witnessed the consummation and confirmation of his life’s work.’

Actually, even as it stands, the textbook story demonstrates nothing more than gene frequencies shifting back and forth, by natural selection, within one created kind. It offers nothing which, even given millions of years, could add the sort of complex design information needed for ameba-to-man evolution.

Even L. Harrison Matthews, a biologist so distinguished he was asked to write the foreword for the 1971 edition of Darwin’s Origin of Species, said therein that the peppered moth example showed natural selection, but not ‘evolution in action’.

However, it turns out that this classic story is full of holes anyway. Peppered moths don’t even rest on tree trunks during the day.

British scientist Cyril Clarke investigated the peppered moth for 25 years, and saw only two in their natural habitat by day – no other researchers have seen any. Kettlewell and others attracted the moths into traps in the forest either with light, or by releasing female pheromones – in each case, they only flew in at night. So where do they spend the day? Clarke writes, ‘The latest story is that they rest on the leaves in the top of trees, but it’s not really known …either way, they’re very good at hiding.’

The moths filmed being eaten by the birds were laboratory-bred ones placed onto tree trunks by Kettlewell; they were so languid that he once had to warm them up on his car bonnet (hood).

And all those still photos of moths on tree trunks? One paper described how it was done – dead moths were glued to the tree. University of Massachusetts biologist Theodore Sargent helped glue moths onto trees for a NOVA documentary. He says textbooks and films have featured ‘a lot of fraudulent photographs’.

Other studies have shown a very poor correlation between the lichen covering and the respective moth populations. And when one group of researchers glued dead moths onto trunks in an unpolluted forest, the birds took more of the dark (less camouflaged) ones, as expected. But their traps captured four times as many dark moths as light ones – the opposite of textbook predictions!

University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne agrees that the peppered moth story, which was ‘the prize horse in our stable’, has to be thrown out.

He says the realization gave him the same feeling as when he found out that Santa Claus was not real.

Regrettably, hundreds of millions of students have once more been indoctrinated with a ‘proof’ of evolution which is riddled with error, fraud and half-truths.”

BLAIR: “If you think about it, life has to work this way – mutations (changes in the genetic material) are happening all the time. The average human has (on the average) between 50 and 100 mutations. On the average three of those mutations matter, meaning they actually change a protein. If these mutations were harmful, as you have indicated, then life would be very short and the human species would have been extinct rather quickly.”

What you are forgetting is that for a mutation to be transmitted to the young of any species, it has to be a mutation that is represented in the reproductive cell that helps form the young. That means if you are sunbathing and UV rays make even 10,000 mutations happen in your skin cells, none of those changes – no matter how beneficial – will be represented in your reproductive cells.

BLAIR: “You of course bring up another point about God and creation. If God created the Earth 6500 to 8500 years ago then why create it so that humans would think it was older? Obviously the Earth is older than 8500 years old – there’s no way to deny that. So why would God create an Earth 8500 years ago but create it so that, by all evidence, it would be ascertained at over 4.5 billions years? Why did God make the stars that are billions of light years away shine immediately – when in his omniscience he would know that man would see this and know the Earth was not 8500 years old? Why did God bury dinosaur bones in the ground and create a fossil records? Why did God make the Earth along the East Coast a million years older than the Earth at the Mid Atlantic Ridge? Why did God create sedimentary layers? Why did God hit the Earth with large asteroids and/or comets (over 1,000 craters have been identified on the Earth and more are found all the time)?”

You are basing your view on several misconceptions. I had hoped that we were past these but you seem to be holding on to them for dear life. First of all, you still believe that radiometric dating methods are accurate. Secondly, you assume that God is weakminded? enough that when He creates matter and energy out of nothing, he only makes it half way.

1. Radiometric dating:

In 1993 a rare find was discovered in Queensland, Australia: A fossil of at least part of a tree, complete with root and leaf systems was found, partly encased in basalt. When a section of wood encased in basalt was sent to two reputable dating labs, the labs (Geochron, Boston; ANSTO, Sydney;AMDEL,Adeleide) gave this result: While the fossilized wood was only 45,000 years old, the surrounding basalt was 4.5 million years old. What surprises me is how the tree grew inside the rock, under ground. After all, all the labs confirmed that each others’ results were quite accurate, so the tree must have started growing after the rock was there.

Here’s some more information that goes against the Big Bang theory:

In the late 1920s, evolutionists believed that the universe was 2 billion years (b.y.) old. Later, radiometric dating techniques gave much older ages for certain rocks on the earth. Obviously, a part of the universe cannot be older than the universe itself. This contradiction was soon removed by devising a rationale for increasing the age of the universe.

A similar problem is now widely acknowledged. If a big bang occurred, it happened 8-12 b.y. ago. If stars evolved, some stars are 16 b.y. old. Obviously, stars cannot be older than the universe.

A lesser known problem of this type also exists. Let’s suppose the universe is 10 b.y. old. This is not enough time for certain extremely distant stars and galaxies to form and transmit their light to the earth. The light from these distant objects shows that they contain many chemical elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, such as carbon, iron, and uranium. A big bang would have produced essentially only hydrogen and helium. Consequently, the first generation of stars would not contain any heavy chemical elements. Evolutionists, therefore, believe that the heavier 97% of the chemical elements in the universe were produced inside stars, especially when some exploded as supernovas at the end of their lifetimes. Much later, a second generation of stars supposedly formed from that exploded debris. These were the first stars, then, to have visible heavy elements. If there was a big bang, there must be enough time afterwards to:

  • form the first generation of stars;
  • have many of those stars pass through their complete life cycles then finally explode as supernovas to produce the heavier chemical elements;
  • recollect, somehow, enough of that exploded debris to form the second generation of stars; and finally
  • transmit their light immense distances to the earth.

Some new and sophisticated light-gathering instruments have enabled scientists to discover many extremely distant galaxies and quasars. The current distance record is held by a quasar that has a mixture of heavy elements at its surface. 3 Its light has taken 93% of the age of the universe to reach us, assuming constancy in the speed of light as the evolutionists always do. This means that only the first 7% of the age of the universe is available to accomplish the events that evolutionists believe happened-events a-c above. Only 0.7 b.y. would be available in a 10 b.y. old universe. Few evolutionist astronomers believe that such slow processes as a-c above, if they happened at all, could happen that quickly.

Evolutionists can undoubtedly resolve these time contradictions-but at the cost of rejecting some cherished theory. Perhaps they will accept the possibility that light traveled much faster in the past. Perhaps they will conclude that the big bang never occurred, or that heavy elements were somehow in the first and only generation of stars, or that redshifts do not always imply a recessional velocity, or that stellar evolution does not occur. Each of these ideas is consistent with a recent creation. Most evolutionists are unaware of these contradictions. However, as more powerful telescopes begin peering many times further into space, more attention will be focused on these problems. If scientists find, as one might expect, even more distant stars and galaxies with heavy elements, problems with the claimed age of the universe will no longer be the secret of a few evolutionists.

BLAIR: “What evidence? So the introduction of new breeds of dogs was what? The changing of color by South American parrots to better hide in the loss of vegetation was what? The changing of color because of increased SO2 in the air by English peppered moths was what? Viruses and bacteria that mutate and adapt to drugs are what? Insects that adapt and mutate to resists pesticides are what?”

Sorry, my mistake. I mean that the evidence proves beyond doubt that inter-species changes cannot occur. Radiation, for example, might cause fruit flies to grow double sets of wings or tiny wings or huge wings or extra legs, but they are still fruit flies afterwards. And the experiment is still artificial in the sense that you don’t have that kind of radiation in nature.

I admit that new breeds of dogs are different than old breeds. Or that viruses and bacteria that adapt to drugs are different than the old ones. But the fact remains that the dogs are still dogs and the viruses and bacteria still are classified the way they were before. I don’t see how any of these suggest evolution.

And your example about the Peppered moth: There always have been two types of the moth, a light variety and a dark one. There were no changes from one to the other.

BLAIR: “Yes… they do SEEM to be surviving fine. The California condor has one offspring every five years. There are less than 30 left and that is only because humans helped them breed and raise the young. The Panda has one or two cubs every other year. . . . There are other species as well that have incredibly low reproductive rates either because of mortality rates among the young or by the number of young they have or by other circumstances.”

And if you read environmentalist magazines you will have noticed that the reason for all these problems is . . . humans encroaching on their land! So how does this whole thing support evolution? Why are you bringing it up in the first place?

BLAIR: “The male cat’s penis has spurs on it. . . That is why there can be more than one father for a litter. So why make pain necessary for the release of an egg?”

Maybe it’s what you suggested: the natural number of males for every female is 1. You mentioned that nature doesn’t reflect that. However the Bible tells us this is a fallen world. Man’s sin affected not only his relationship with God but also his relationship with the animals and theirs to each other.

BLAIR: “If God made Adam perfect then why did Adam rebel and disobey? If Adam had been perfect, as you claim, then he would not have had the urge to rebel and disobey. Adam was not perfect.”

There is a commun assumption that perfect humans wouldn’t have been able to sin. According to that view, God should have created humans as mere automatons, or robots that couldn’t do anything except what is right. God created man in his own image — with a soul and mind and the ability to make choices. He wanted Adam to be able to choose to love him. After all, love is not really love if it is forced. However when he made Adam to have a choice whether or not to put himself under God’s authority, he literally gave him the choice — either they would put themselves under his authority, or they wouldn’t. And when they chose to disobey him the were basically communicating that they didn’t want to keep their part of the deal. God had given them the whole garden of Eden — except one small section in which he put one tree. He told them that they were free to do all they wanted except eat the fruit of that tree. Do you get the picture? They were in virtual heaven on earth — they didn’t have to work to survive, there was no danger from the animals, there was plenty of food for them. They could do pretty much all they wanted – except one thing. God put that one thing there so they would have the option of choosing evil. And that’s what they did. The Bible states that our sin nature is a result of the curse that was put on man after Adam sinned. In fact, it was probably easier for him not to rebel before he ate the fruit of that tree.

BLAIR: “So as soon as Adam took a bite of the apple he developed an appendix, lost 50% of his eyesight, lost 40% of his hearing capability, developed cataracts, became afflicted with disease, developed gall stones, infections, had memory loss, and others?”

You’re getting the picture…

BLAIR: “So dinosaurs were not on the Ark? The last ice age ended around 10500 years ago – long before your proposed Earth age of 6500 years. Dinosaurs did not exist at the same time as humans. We do know how the dinosaurs were killed. The Yucatan Impact killed the dinosaurs.”

Actually it is quite possible for dinosaurs and elephants and mammoths, etc. to have been on the ark. After all, the Bible doesn’t specify that the animals were adults. It uses the words male and female which don’t denote maturity. The ice age likely happened soon after the flood and went through several stages of strengthening and weakening before it ended.

BLAIR: “While there are some species that do not have nerve endings and do not feel pain – all mammals have nerve endings and feel pain. Emotional pain is irrelevant to the issue. The female black widow does not always kill her mate (a common misunderstanding). The male widow gets away a lot. The female black widow eats her mate if she is hungry. If she has recently eaten then the male will escape unharmed to play the roulette game again another day. So evolution does know why she eats her mate.”

Emotional pain is very relevant to the issue. Imagine you are walking along the sidewalk and a stranger walks up and slaps you. As you turn to defend yourself, you trip and fall face first onto the sidewalk, scraping up your hands and face. Your face will be stinging from the slap and your hands and face will be scraped up from falling. Yet while the pain of having bleeding hands and scrapes on your face is likely greater than that from the slap, you will resent the slap because a person hit you without reason. You will feel hurt emotionally because you feel you have a right to walk down the sidewalk without being slapped by strangers. Would you resent the sidewalk for scratching you up? Of course not, even though the physcal damage it gave you is much less. In fact, you will probably have forgotten the whole thing by the next day. But if you happen to meet that same stranger in the next year…

My point is this: Pain in itself is a natural sensation that results from conditions that are dangerous to our health. If we stick our hand in the fire we feel pain. If we cut ourselves we feel pain. If the male black widow is eaten by the female, it feels pain. But unless it has a consciousness, a feeling that it has a right not to have that sensation of pain, it does not feel the emotional pain we humans would feel if our spouse killed us. It will simply feel the pain of getting stung by its mate and after some minutes it will all be over. It will not feel the terrible pain humans would feel, the pain of betrayal and the forboding of knowing death is minutes away.

BLAIR: “That is not true. The majority of Christians are evolutionists. The Vatican has officially accepted evolution as scientifically sound. Most religionists accept evolution, as well.”

Are you admitting that the only way evolution can be true is if the how and why is God? If not, why are you saying that they are evolutionists? In my opinion, evolution that is guided by God is not evolution. (And besides that, you still haven’t presented me with any evidence of species-to-species transformation.)

BLAIR: “A major point is being missed here regarding evolution, et al. Evolution is a theory based on the evidence available. If new evidence were to be found tomorrow that forced a change in the evolutionary theory – then so be it.”

And if evidence were to be found tomorrow that forced a rejection of the evolutionary theory — it would be ignored, because evolution is the only theory atheists can have about how human life developed! Your scientific research is based on your theological and philosophical views — not the other way around!

BLAIR: “At least you admit your theory rests on an assumption and not evidence. That’s a step in the right direction. Your theory is egotistical not for yourself – but for the human race. To assume that an entire Universe was created for humans so some God could get his jollies by watching us struggle in an imperfect world with imperfect bodies is… egotistical.”

First of all, I have stated many times that my theory rests on assumptions that are supported by evidence. And, no matter how you look at it, there has to be a supernatural for us to even exist. In other words, even if this universe had a natural beginning, why does anything exist at all?

Another question physicists and cosmologists can’t answer was asked at the “Cosmic Questions” symposium, presented in Washington by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As Joel Primack, a cosmologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz asked Cambridge’s Neil Turok : “What is it that makes the electrons continue to follow the laws?” “Absolutely,” Turok answered with a smile. “Somebody has to do that. I’ve never understood the argument that starting the universe required a Creator, but keeping it going did not.”

BLAIR: “We still agree. Britannica agrees with my statement (only they explained it with more savoir-faire. The bottom line is that that your consideration of the properties of water being “miraculous” does not mean water properties are miraculous. It only insinuates that you consider those properties to be miraculous.”

Yes. I do think that from a molecular standpoint, the various properties of water really are nothing short of miraculous. Of course, Britannica cannot say that without causing an uproar. However in their articles they do admit that it is the very un-typical properties of the water molecule that make it essential to life on earth.

“Water is undoubtedly the most common and most important of all chemical compounds. The properties of water have played a central role in the development of life on Earth–water is essential to all living organisms. The properties of water, though they are familiar, are not typical of most substances.”

“Water is an extraordinary substance, anomalous in nearly all its physical and chemical properties and easily the most complex of all the familiar substances that are single-chemical compounds”

BLAIR: “So the majority of Christians that do believe in Evolution are not TRUE Christians, then?”

You seem to lack an understanding of Christianity’s message of salvation which you claimed to know. The only way to heaven is by putting one’s life in Jesus’ hands and believing that He can save one. What a person thinks about evolution does not matter in salvation one bit.

I also think you understood what I said better than you let on. My point was that (1) I doubt that most Christians are evolutionists, and (2) their opinion on evolution likely stems from them being fed mis-information all their life long or an inner doubt of God’s power.

BLAIR: “Yes… people are easily swayed. That explains the rash of religion on humanity. Great rationalization on why the young-earth view is a minority view, by the way, very justifying indeed. I’ll give you an A+ for effort – but an F for providing a clear answer.”

I answered based on my experience. It wasn’t until I started looking at the evidence that I became a young-earth creationist and started taking those parts of the Bible literally. I think it is that way with most people. They find it hard to believe young-earth theories because they have been indoctrinated with misleading information that seems to support old-earth creation.

BLAIR: “Once again I will give you an A+ for effort and an F for providing a clear answer. And the Bible is NOT clear about how things came into being.”

In that case, let me make it clear to you:

When:

  1. There was no universe, cosmos, etc.
  2. There was, however, a God.
  3. God created the cosmos, including the earth.
  4. God created light.
  5. God separated dry land from water.
  6. God produced vegetation
  7. God set the sun, moon, stars and planets into the rythms they had in order to produce day, night, etc.
  8. God created animals.
  9. God created humans.

How:

Everything had to be created through supernatural processes. Natural processes cannot create the matter that they are based on. In other words, you cannot create something natural with natural processes!

Is this clear enough?

BLAIR: “Okay – so they were able to establish what the Earth’s magnetic field was like at the point of last cooling. But how did they establish the age of the object and the date that it was cooled? I hope they didn’t use one of those dating methods that you claim are inaccurate? How did they prove that Earth’s magnetic field was 40% stronger? What was the evidence and how did they date the objects to determine this? Do you have any scientific links to this data or study?”

Read again — I wasn’t referring to the earth’s crust. The objects I was writing of were pottery and other man-made artifacts. This type of artifact can be usually dated quite accurately through various methods, last of which would be radiometric methods. If, for example, a clay jar is found, with an inscription which tells you that it was made during the reign of Eugenius, you would know that it was made between AD 392 and AD 394. You could then find out the strength and direction of the magnetic field through the iron oxides in the fired clay.

I suggest that you check out http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-242.htm for a short article on the subject by Russel Humphreys. He has a long list of references at the end of the article.

BLAIR: “So God didn’t cause the flood? And where did all the water come from and go to?”

God caused the fluctuations which caused the flood. The water either (1) came from under the earth’s crust (the Bible talks about the fountains of the deep”) or (2) condensed and rained from a thick cloud cover that may have covered the earth at that time. Such a cloud cover would have produced a steady, temperate climate on the whole earth by diffusing the sun’s light and insulating the air beneath it.

As to where the water went to? Evidence shows that parts of the ocean must have at some time been over water. There are huge canyons carved into the sea floor which cannot result from an oceanic water current even over billions of years. Such canyons can only happen through very fast, very narrow water currents. And considering that the Navy’s best submarines can’t do much more than 30 mph it is highly unlikely that water currents could achieve that speed. (Also, these canyons tend to look like extensions of existing river canyons. Many of the largest rivers on earth have such canyons continuing for many, many miles. The speed of water through those canyons has been clocked at no higher than 1mph)

BLAIR: “Incorrect. The striations on the ocean floor are hundreds of feet wide. With a “creation” time of approximately ¼ inch per year – that’s more than a few 1000 years you have there. Across the entire Atlantic Ocean itself is many millions of years.”

Incorrect. If your theory would be correct the striations would only occur north-south (or E-W). However these striations also change from the mantle toward the core of the earth in the same way. If you were to look at a cross-section of the ocean floor you would not see a striped surface but a checkered surface.

Also you are assuming a 1/4 inch per year movement of the continents. As I pointed out this view does not fit the evidence.

BLAIR: “If the reversal of polarity “pushed” the continents apart then when the polarity reverses again back to its original form should then the continents should be “pulled” back to where they were. It does not account for the vast differences of animals found in different areas. If there were a single continent after the global flood it would have been inhabited by all the species on the Ark. You are stating basically that the animals went to special places and did not inhabit every part of this large post flood continent.

And if the continents were zipping around that fast don’t you think the inhabitants would have noticed?”

The reversals of polarity wouldn’t directly “push” the continents. They would create upheavals that caused the movement. Each reversal would further contribute to this movement.

If you give the animals a few years in which to spread you would get exactly the results I explained. Some animals, which need a certain habitat to survive moved to and stayed in that habitat. Others, like certain birds could have existed in various habitats and probably spread out to fill them. Animals can populate regions very quickly if given the opportunity. As I explained, the animals we have in America had about 4500 years to spread out to the extent in which the English found them in the 1600s.

Also, there aren’t many species of animals and plants that existed on different, un-connected continents prior to European colonization of the various continents. For example though there are cows and horses, domestic cats and Eucalyptus trees in America, they all are ‘imported’. They weren’t here before the Spanish and English.

You also forget the fact that the Bible observes that the land masses were being separated: Genesis 10:25 states “Two sons were born to Eber: One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided; his brother was named Joktan”. The word that the manuscripts use for divided meant divided by water, such as creating an irrigation ditch would divide two sections of soil.

BLAIR: “So all the laws, Revelation, stories, etc. are meaningless? And eternal life is not attained through God – it’s attained through Jesus Christ. Which of course means that anyone that died before Jesus was born went to hell. And every stillborn and child that is killed who has not yet heard of Jesus goes to hell, also. And every man or woman on this planet who has never heard of Jesus also goes to hell.”

You mis-read what I wrote. I stated that God was more interested in us getting an idea of the history of humanity than of the biological and geological history of the earth. The laws are not meaningless, Revelation is not meaningless and the stories are clear illustrations of the laws and their proper application. The people who lived before Jesus was born were under a different covenant (agreement) with God. If they followed his rules and held sacrifices whenever they broke the rules God wouldn’t destroy them.

Every man or woman who has never heard of Jesus goes to hell. That is very clear, and that is the reason behind mission work.

STASSEN: “If the solar system formed from a common pool of matter, which was uniformly distributed in terms of Pb isotope ratios, then the initial plots for all objects from that pool of matter would fall on a single point.”

I can’t see how he comes to that conclusion. After all, different stars have different compositions. Different planets have different compositions. The moon doesn’t even have the same composition as the earth. So much, I say, for the uniform distribution of any one molecule.

STASSEN: “If one of these assumptions has been violated, the simple computation above yields an incorrect age. Note that the mere existence of these assumptions does not render the simpler dating methods entirely useless. In many cases, there are independent cues (such as geologic setting or the chemistry of the specimen), which can suggest that such assumptions are entirely reasonable.”

“Note that the mere existence of these assumptions does not render the simpler dating methods entirely useless?” Oh really? so they are just a little useless?

And those independent cues: Geologic settings can only be used to back up such assumptions if they contain some kinds of artifacts whose age isn’t dated with those radiometric methods.

Consider this example: Lucy finds a fossil of a trilobite. She brings it to the paleontologist at her local university. He examines it carefully and she asks him how old it is. “Where did you find it?” he asks. Lucy tells him and he identifies the layer as Cambrian. Next he takes Lucy over to the Geologic Chart on the wall. “Here it is on the chart,” he says. “So how old is that layer?” Lucy looks at the chart and sees that the Cambrian is labeled as about 550 million years before today. “Because you found the fossil in the Cambrian layer, you know it is oh, 450 or 550 million years old.”, he explains. Lucy is not satisfied with that answer so she steps across the hall to see the geology professor. She describes the place she found the fossil to him, asking “How old would you judge this layer to be?”. “Easy,” the professor replies. “What kind of fossils have you found in it?”. Lucy confidently replies “Trilobites”. “Easier still,” he says. “It’s about 500 million years old.” Lucy wants to be doubly sure of her facts, so she asks “How do you know that?” Indignantly the professor answers, “If trilobites are there then we know the layer is that old.”

BTW, what does Dr. Stassen mean with the “chemistry of the specimen”??

STASSEN: “However, the methods must be used with care — and one should be cautious about investing much confidence in the resulting age… especially in absence of crosschecks by different methods, or if presented without sufficient information to judge the context in which it was obtained.”

My point exactly.

BLAIR: “They haven’t excluded the flood because of assumption. They have excluded the flood because there is absolutely zero evidence for it. They have not, however, discounted other catastrophes. They are away that there have been asteroid and comet impacts on the earth. They are aware that there have been major earthquakes, volcanic activity, and tectonic action.”

No evidence for the flood, eh?

Do you considre all the following to be no evidence?

Geologists Walter Pittman and Bill Ryan have uncovered ancient shorelines 100 meters below the surface of the Black Sea. The Black Sea’s water strata led geologists to investigate the theory that a flood once breached the rim of the Black Sea, filling it with salt water, which, due to its greater density still remains in a layer on the bottom of the Black Sea. The investigation centered around research conducted aboard a Russian ship which was equipped with sophisticated seismic profile mapping equipment. These maps pointed to the existence of ancient sea shores some 100 meter deep in the Black Sea. A dive, in a submersible, allowed visual confirmation of their presence. Core samples from the bottom in the ancient shore areas revealed a layer of fine marine mud dumped on top of the shells of fresh water mollusks, encapsulated whole as if still alive. This further supports the fact that a quick severe flood brought about the encapsulation of these fresh water mollusks. Samples of mud from differing elevations were dated by Woods Hole. All samples were found to be the same age, 5600 B.C., indicating their deposit at the same time. Rough mathematical calculations indicate an intrusive velocity of water some 1000 times that of the present day Niagara Falls. The geologic data is overwhelming that the Black Sea was invaded by a huge flood of an extremely violent nature. The characteristics of this flood correspond to the Biblical account of Noah’s flood. Science once again places a piece in the puzzle of creation.

Also, how can you answer these points:

A fossilized jellyfish in a sandstone fossil field in the middle of South Australia. The summit of Mt. Everest is composed of deep-marine limestone, with fossils of ocean-bottom dwelling crinoids.

The discovery of fossil whale bones in Michigan has been a source of some embarrassment for the conventional geologic story of the history of the Great Lakes region, and the notion that the area has remained above sea level for 290 million years since the end of the Pennsylvanian period, as whale fossils are obviously evidence that the land was submerged beneath the sea.

In North Dakota and Manitoba, so-called Glacial Lake Agassiz extended over a vast area, exceeding the area of all five of the present Great Lakes. The evidence extends over more than 300,000 square miles, encompassing the present lakes Superior, Winnipeg and Manitoba. In the region there are 35 shorelines at different levels that can be traced for hundreds of miles, many of which are not horizontal. The flatness of the plains is due to the silts deposited from these waters. The drainage of this vast lake was catastrophic.

Lake Bonneville, a reservoir of water estimated to cover 19,000 square miles through Utah, Nevada and Idaho, left great salt deposits covering 100 square miles and discharged itself suddenly, after filling up, to produce a tremendous flood. The general public believes that the lake filled gradually from rainfall during the Ice Age, then suddenly discharged its water when its north-facing earthen dam burst. The dam presumably collapsed during the same general period as did the ice dam which formed the Washington Scablands. According to Robert D. Jarrett and Harold E. Malde of the United States Geological Survey (U. S. G. S.), the discharged water is now reckoned to have amounted to “2.2 times the discharge previously reported and is the second largest flood known to have occurred in the world….Other recent studies of the history of Lake Bonneville show that the volume of water released was 4,700 km3.”

(Sounds more like a global flood to me!)

Sand hills in northwestern Nebraska are believed to have been caused by water currents; see report from Science Frontiers #93.

Oceanic sharks and sawfish are reported in a New Guinea freshwater lake. In his book “Earth’s Most Challenging Mysteries,” Reginald Daly writes: In order to evade the force of the flood geology argument, modern geology is obliged to invent a separate uplift for each whale, also a separate uplift for the sharks and sawfish (still alive) in a freshwater lake in New Guinea. Every marine fossil, requires an explanatory “uplift.” Daly, Reginald, 1972. Earth’s Most Challenging Mysteries. Craig Press, Nutley N.J. p.115

Florida has an abundance of evidence for a great catastrophic flood, such as fossils of extinct animals and fishes in bone caves. Charles Ginenthal wrote:

GINENTHAL: “In 1984, William R. Corliss stated that a bone bed had been discovered south of Tampa, Florida, with paleontologists declaring it one of the United States’ richest fossil deposits. This bone bed yielded bones of more than 70 species of animals, birds and aquatic creatures. About 80% of the bones belong to plains animals, such as camels, horses, mammoths, etc. Bears, wolves, large cats and a bird with an estimated 30-foot wingspan were also represented. Mixed in with all the land animals are sharks’ teeth, turtle shells, and the bones of freshwater and salt water fish. The bones are all smashed and jumbled together, as if by some catastrophe. The big question is how bones from such different ecological niches–plains, forests, oceans–came together.”

Also, for a detailed discussion of why the story of the Ark would have been possible, see Flood Evidence [Sorry, this web page no longer available].

BLAIR: “Dating of rocks near the Mid-Atlantic ridge were dated extremely young and ocean rocks nearer the American and African coasts were dated extremely old. Lava pulled out of active volcanoes is dated to be a few days old.”

When geologists dated the rocks from Mount St. Helens they knew what they were doing. There is a marked difference between new rock and old rock fragments that are carried down in the new rock.

BLAIR: “The most important statement is the conservative nature of chlorine. If one can count on the fact that the number of chlorine atoms in the hydrothermal fluids are not changed by the trip through the hydrothermal system, and can assume that the chlorine comes from the seawater, then the sodium/chlorine ratio reflects the fate of sodium. Here is the data Von Damm gives for various hydrothermal systems. . . .Now, seawater contains 470 Mmol/kg water sodium, and 550 Mmol/kg water chlorine. The normal sodium/chlorine molar ratio= .8545….To convert this to grams of sodium we find, .0297 moles removed/kg water * 22 g/mole = .65 g of sodium per kg water is removed by the hydrothermal process. Since the annual flow rate of seawater through the hydrothermal systems is (2-9) x 1014 kg/yr (Holland, 1978), this means (using the low point of this range), 2 x 1014 kg/yr*.65 g/kg water= 1.3 x 1014 g of sodium removed per year or 1.3 x 1011 kg per year.”

First of all, let me point out that Von Damm admits that is calculations rely on the hypothesis that the number of chlorine atoms in the hydrothermal fluids are not changed by the trip through the hydrothermal system and that all the chlorine comes from the seawater. Basically he is hypothesizing that through some unknown process, sodium is removed from NaCl atoms at 350°C. Last I heard, NaCl had one of the strongest chemical bonds on earth and didn’t even melt under at least 800°C.

Secondly, your calculations assume that the water which feeds the hydrothermal vents is always fresh water — water with the normal .8545 Na/Cl molar ratio. However, research by the NOAA has shown that the water and chemicals that exit these vents greatly dilute the water that feeds the vents.

Thirdly, research has shown that no measurable amount of either Na, Cl or NaCl is lost during the hydrothermic cycle at the ocean floor.

Fourthly, a Chlorine-water solution is denser than a Sodium-Water solution and will by nature be found at the bottom of the ocean, just as there are very high levels of dissolved halogens (Cl, F, Br) at the bottom of the Dead Sea.

BLAIR: “Evaporation causes Halite deposition. Large underground caves of Halite have been found throughout the world under the oceans. Salt water is forced into the caves and the Halite deposits are made. Afterwards the water is slowly removed leaving extremely large deposits of salt. The salt in the sea is disappearing through Halite evaporation (some salt is removed during the evaporation process), Halite deposits in caves, and desalination processes (especially through the introduction of Chloride).”

And how, pray, does water evaporate under pressures that keep 300°C water from boiling in hydrothermal vents?

BLAIR: “Bottom line is Gentry discovered a Radon anomaly and not a radiohalo cause by Polonium. Radon-222 looks exactly like Polonium-218 “halos” and is easily mistaken when people like Gentry come to a quick conclusion and do not use trusted scientific methodology.”

Actually, Gentry has spent years on this and has used quite scientific methods. He points out that Po halos are found all over the world and that they have been found in granites without even the tiniest of fractures. His books (Gentry, 1968, 197 1, 1974; Gentry et al., 1974) also have a scientifically solid refutation of the theory that these halos are actually Radon halos.

BLAIR: “The statement that helium indicated a young Earth is completely and 100% false.”

Thanks for letting me know.

BLAIR: “I have debated some of those “experts” and found their answers nothing more than silly justifications and rationalizations that are not in accordance with scripture. They often want to re-write the scripture in order to justify their claims.”

Did you really? I am talking about the big guys here, for example Sir Frederi G. Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, or F.F. Bruce, or classical historian A.N. Sherwin-White. However I am sure you’ll point out those passages you have problems with in the Biblical reliability discussion.

BLAIR: “The problem is that the manuscripts do not say the same thing about Jesus’ life. . . . .While there is no evidence to support his existence – it is fairly safe to assume that Jesus of Nazareth, as a man, did exist. . . . The problem then becomes separating the historical Jesus from the theological Jesus. You have asked for a discussion of Biblical contradictions so I will cover this in more depth when that begins.”

Jesus of Nazareth, as a man, did exist. This is a fact, supported by evidence.

Pliny the Younger (Gov. of Bithynia) referred to him in a letter asking the emperor Trajan how to treat the Christians. “They affirmed, however, that the whole of their guilt, or their error, was that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verse a hymn to Christ as to a god . . . ”

Thallus, the Samaritan-born historian (A.D. 52) is mentioned by writer Julius Africanus (A.D. 221) Thallus, in the third book of his histories, explains away the darkness as an eclipse of the sun – unreasonably, as it seems to me” (unreasonably, of course, because a solar eclipse could not take place at the time of the full moon, and it was the season of the Paschal full moon that Christ died)

Phlegon, a first-century historian, quoted by Julius Africanus “during the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon”Philopon recalls this darkness in his history, “Olympiads” He says that “Phlegon mentioned the eclipse which took place during the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, and no other [eclipse] , it is clear that he did not know from his sources about any [similar] eclipse in previous times. . . and this is shown by the historical account itslef of Tiberius Caesar.”

Suetonius (A.D. 120), Roman historian “As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [another spelling of Christus], he expelled them from Rome”

“Punishment by Nero was inflicted on the Christians, a class of men given to a new and mischievous superstition”

Cornelius Tacitus (born A.D. 52-54) “But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the obunties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also.”

BLAIR: “To say something is true simply because people’s lives are affected by a belief in it is ludicrous, at best.”

My point was that the life-changing power of the Bible supports the claim that the MS were translated correctly and that there is something powerful behind the Bible. And your opinion of what is ludicrous or not doesn’t change the fact that the Christian belief changes lives for the better, one little bit.

BLAIR: “It’s still irrelevant to the issue. Threats against early Christians for “spreading the Gospel” do not mean the Gospel is true.”

The threats do not mean the Gospel is true, but they do mean that the contemporary Jewish leaders felt that it was believable enough that it was a huge threat to their beliefs.

I’ll keep this one for the Bible reliability discussion, if you don’t mind.

BLAIR: “Let me assure you that this ploy does not work. During the trials in Arkansas and Kansas, every creationist that testified stated one way or another that creationism was not scientific. Wonder why…”

Creationism cannot by definition be “scientific” because it requires supernatural events. Science can only deal with the natural. In that light, creation is super-scientific in the sense that it deals with something science cannot.

Creation shouldn’t be taught in schools as a scientific theory. However, the evidence that supports creation should be taught, as well as the evidence for and against evolution.

BLAIR: “Passover is still celebrated today – so how can you say it was replaced by Easter? The Passover was moved to coincide with Easter. Neither replaced the other. This is not a disputed fact. Any Christian website will gladly supply this information to you. This is one point that most agree on – so why do you have a hard time with it?”

Christians replaced Passover with Easter. However, as you pointed out, the Jewish still celebrate Passover.

BLAIR: “Again – they are not saying the same thing. The KJV version asserts that ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God. The ASV and NEB say that every scripture inspired by God is profitable. It doesn’t say ALL – it says those that are divinely inspired by God – meaning that there are scripture that are not divinely inspired. I fail to understand why you are disagreeing with this assertion since you yourself have stated that the Council of Nicea picked the divine scripture out of the accumulated manuscripts. So did the Council of Nicea pick out the divine scripture from the non-divine scripture or were all the scriptures divine and they chose those that sounded better? Which one was it?”

The ASV sticks closest to the Greek source text.

BLAIR: “The first indicates that TODAY they will travel to paradise. The second indicates that he is telling them today that they will, at some undisclosed time, go to paradise. The words mean the same but the sentences and the way the words are presented do not.”

The Greek translation has a comma before the today. If you are looking for a literal translation I suggest the New American Standard or the American Standard Versions. Both are very close to the manuscripts and are not paraphrased like some other versions are.

BLAIR: “I would aver to say that most Christians fail to take their Bible seriously enough. If every Christian actually understood the Bible and read it seriously there would not be as many Christians in the world today. We’ll of course cover more of this when I begin the contradictions debate that you have asked for.”

If every Christian actually understood the Bible and read it seriously there might be a few less Christians, but those who would still be there would be a lot stronger in their faith than most are now. From personal experience I can say that the more I read the Bible, the more everything fits together and the stronger I am in my faith. I have heard the same story from all sorts of people.

BLAIR: “Congratulations on completely avoiding the problems found in Cave 4. You have successfully avoided the problems just as every other Biblical literalist has.”

Your welcome. As I’m sure you know, I have no answer to the discrepancies. In order to make a judgment on the matter I would want to, at least, get the opinion of several experts on the topic.

Response to Adam #005: Summary Conclusion

I was hoping your latest rebuttal would be a summary conclusion. But that’s okay. I’ll close the debate out with a summary conclusion and then we can move on to the issue of Biblical inerrancy that we have discussed.

Contrary to the creationist belief there is no evidence whatsoever that God exists or created the universe. Any attribute of “evidence” to God or creation is a need to justify the belief in God. Looking at a phenomenon and declaring it evidence for creation does not make it evidence for creation. By saying things like “the matter of the universe must have been formed somehow” and then contributing that “somehow” to God is not evidence. That is wishful thinking and belief justification.

Is there anything wrong with that approach? Not really. Religious belief in a creator is fine. People can believe what they want. Since the dawn of man, people have been creating gods to explain what they can’t understand. From the first gods that caused lightning and wind to the modern gods that give us life after death – each explains what we didn’t or don’t understand. Another way to look at this is mortality. If medical science were to find a way to make man immortal – what would the ramifications be on religious beliefs? If man were immortal then there would be no need for an afterlife – and no need for a god. If belief in a deity makes the acceptance of death come easier – then believe away.

The insistence of a “young Earth” carries no weight. The supposed evidence of a young Earth is based on the same conclusions that insist there is evidence for a God or a creation. Wishful thinking. Every bit of “evidence” for a young Earth has been refuted and shown that the incorrect conclusions were drawn. From the salt levels in the sea to the Earth’s magnetic field – each of these “arguments” have been shown to be an incorrect conclusion to the data or an obtainment of corrupt data.

The majority of Christians worldwide accept evolution because of the overwhelming evidence at hand. We have, in our lifetime, seen speciation occur. We have seen macroevolution and microevolution occur in our lifetime and also within the fossil record. Is the fossil record complete? Of course there are holes in the fossil record, because we have not gone through every piece of dirt on this planet. Each year the holes are filled more and more – until one day there will be a complete fossil record. Discoveries in genetics have reinforced the evolutionary theory and discoveries in cosmology and astronomy continue to reinforce the theory.

Does evolutionary theory have all the answers? No. Is evolutionary theory 100%? No. But the difference between evolutionary theory and creationistic wishful thinking is evidence. The evidence for evolutionary theory is overwhelming while there is no evidence for creationism. The reason most people cannot accept evolution is because it contradicts a literal translation of the Genesis account in the Bible. As a creationist told me once, “Evolution HAS TO BE wrong – because it contradicts the Bible.” He could care less about the evidence or his intellectual integrity. The whole point was that if it contradicts the Bible – it must be wrong. Of course that leads us into a discussion of biblical errancy – if the Bible contradicts itself then how does that affect anything else that contradicts the Bible? But that is another discussion altogether.

Unfortunately for Biblicists – the Bible is not proof of God, either. We hear people say, “but we can see God doing A or B, and even C in the Bible”. But you can’t SEE anything in the Bible. All you are doing is reading what someone wrote down. There are many sacred texts out there for thousands of religions. There are over 3,500 sects of Christianity – each interpreting the Bible as they see fit. For the supposed word of God – there sure is a lot of squabbling over its meaning. Should not the Word of God be more coherent and easy to understand? Should not the Word of God be written so that the intended recipient understands the message? Should not the Word of God be error free with no contradictions? The very history of the Bible itself brings doubt into the equation and shows that in the long run, the Bible cannot hold up to scrutiny, and that an “all-powerful” God couldn’t even get his “word” right. Not much “all-powerful” ability there.

You had mentioned that the reason people like me don’t “see” God or miracles is because it is a problem of perspective and preconceived assumptions. That, my friend, is religion in a nutshell. When we are justifying a belief – we will see what we want to. We will justify our beliefs by creating things that aren’t there and corrupting data that we receive. Take for example the tornado activity in Oklahoma City on May 3rd, 1999. Fifty-two people died that day from an F5 tornado that ripped through the suburbs of Oklahoma City. As we’re watching the news you keep hearing survivors say, “God was with us and we survived”, “Someone was watching over us”, “Thank God that my family survived”, “Thank God so-and-so survived”, and other such statements. But not once did you hear anyone say, “Thank God those fifty-two people died”, “I guess God wasn’t watching over those fifty-two people”, “I guess those fifty-two people weren’t praying correctly and they were killed by God”, or “Thank God I survived and my next-door neighbor was killed.”

And why didn’t we hear those statements? Because people see what they want to see and ignore what goes against their beliefs. Why would anyone looking to justify their faith announce that it’s God’s fault that their neighbors were killed and they were spared? All they are concerned about is that they are alive – and it must have been God that spared them. They don’t mention the underground shelter they were in that saved their lives. They don’t mention the random path of a tornado that placed it closer to their neighbor’s house than theirs. They don’t mention the physics of a tornado and wind and the engineering of their house. They never say, “Thank God I lived in a regular house unlike my idiot neighbor that bought a mobile home. I guess God doesn’t like mobile homes – because he killed that neighbor of mine.”

Supernatural is an odd word. It can mean many things. It can mean “that which we do not understand”, it can mean “beyond natural”, or it can mean “anything that we can’t prove”. Many things that used to be considered supernatural now have scientific explanations and are considered natural events. Swamp lights were considered to be supernatural occurrence; the spirits of dead people walking through the swamps were causing the lights. We now know what causes swamp lights and they are a natural occurrence – no spirits or ghosts are walking around the swamps of Louisiana. To say that anything supernatural cannot be measured by science is justification of the lack of evidence for a supernatural God. If God is all-powerful, then he can be tested and seen. God, in the Bible, has shown himself to man several times. God has performed miracles and done things on Earth that would allow him to be seen and tested.

What it boils down to essentially is that as long as God is not making himself visible or available and there is a speculative and wishful, “but he has to be there” then the atheist and other non-theists will continue to state that, “The likelihood of a god existing is nonexistent.” Science does not state that “because we cannot see it (regardless whether or not it is “supernatural”) means it does not exist. Science predicted the presence of atoms before human eyes ever saw them. What science is saying, is that based on the evidence available at hand and the lack of evidence in other areas – the feasibility of a god that manipulates the universe and cares about prayer is nil. Science cannot say the same thing about a god that created the universe then kept on walking and could care less about us, prayers, or how the universe and life is evolving.

Many Christians, including the Vatican (officially), have accepted evolution as scientifically sound. They add the caveat that God manipulated the evolutionary process and guided it. That is a possibility, of course. Evolution is a fact – we see it occurring and we’ve seen it occur. Why evolution occurs is the evolutionary theory – the mechanism behind evolution. Is God the mechanism behind evolution? Possibly – and there’s no way to say either way. But one thing for sure is that if there is a god out there that has manipulated life on Earth – it is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible, as defined and manipulated thereof, does not exist.

You said, “If a person is angry at God and refuses to believe he exists, their mind will irrationally deny anything that suggests that he does exist.” After reading that it sounds like one of my remarks about theists. My remark goes, “If a person believes in God and their faith is strong, they will refuse to understand and accept evolution, because their mind will irrationally deny any and all evidence. They will forsake their intellectual integrity.” Then of course comes the issue of what exactly “suggests” that god exists? Designs that we fabricate in our minds (the brain searches for patterns where there are none), our hopes and fears that there’s more to life than this, an inner stirring of subconscious spirituality? Many things can “suggest” a god if we want them to and use “coincidence” to justify our beliefs. People justify their beliefs and actions all the time – and not just when it comes to religion. People justify the act of murder, adultery, genocide (Hitler was good at justifying his actions), ethnic cleansing, and racism, et al, its human nature.

While I cannot speak for everyone else, I can speak for myself. I’m not “angry” at god, I don’t “fear” god, nor do I “desire” god. I have looked at all the evidence, assumptions, speculation, and other significata and have come to the conclusion that god does not exist. God didn’t “piss me off” and make me reject him. There is no psychological reason for “rejecting” God. It is a simple matter of intellectual integrity. I could not maintain a belief in a supreme being while looking at the evidence against said being. I couldn’t look myself in the eye with self-respect if I believed in a god. I did not let my wishful thinking and my desire to justify a belief in a god overwhelm my intellectual capacity.

It is ironic that Christianity and the Bible have done more damage toward the belief in God than any hard evidence. When humans wrote the Bible and began to define their beliefs in the god and how their god “operated” they tore him apart. By defining their god and laying attributes upon him/her/it they made it scientifically, philosophically, and theologically possible to show that the defined god did not exist. The person whom has the easiest time defending their belief in a god is one that believes in a creator of the universe that kept on walking, doesn’t care about us, never interfered after creation, and will never be seen or heard from again. Saying that god is everlasting, infinite, all-powerful, all knowing, et al, only serve to provide ammunition against the belief in that very god. Using the Bible to defend God is like using a dead fetus to defend a pro-life view. It just doesn’t work and goes against the grain.

From the creationist and theist camp we hear a lot of interesting words that can lead us to a conclusion of where they are coming from and where they are going, such as:

  • Suppose…
  • We can assume…
  • It can be interpreted as…
  • It might be…
  • It could be…
  • It may have been…
  • The Bible says…

So where do statements like this leave us? They leave us with the impression that creationists and theists are pulling straws and justifying their beliefs. They look for coincidences and attribute them to a creator. Rationalization and justification of an irrational belief can be very persuasive for the personal making such judgments.

Rationalizations for the creation side include many incorrectly informed and wrong conclusion “arguments”. They range from “not enough right-handed amino acids” to “levels of salt in the sea”. But are any of these arguments worth their weight? Do any of the really poke holes in the non-theistic and non-creationistic view? No, they do not. Each argument presented by the creationist side has been shown to be incorrect or a complete lie and deception by the creationists. It is amazing what people will do and say to justify a belief. I’m not going to discuss each one. We’ve covered a few and you’ve added a few more. The information is out there that refutes all the young-Earth and creation arguments. Creationists couldn’t get creationism taught in school so now they are attempting to attack evolution itself. Changing tactics does not change the fact that creationism is non-scientific, has no evidence, and cannot even put a ding in the evolutionary theory. As I stated before, evolutionary theory is not 100%. It never will be in our lifetime until we are able to dig through every square inch of dirt and rock on this planet. Saying things like “the odds are astronomical” does not mean they are impossible. If this supposed astronomical event happened – it wasn’t so astronomical in the first place, was it? There are roughly 50,000 habitable planets in our galaxy alone. There are billions of galaxies that we have seen (especially since the Hubble). Those previously thrown around astronomical odds are not so astronomical anymore. While the odds of getting a white M & M in a bag of 1000 is astronomical – the odds of getting white M & M in 1 million billion billion is not so astronomical – and can be rather good.

Christianity created the Big Bang Theory and was rather proud of it – until science declared it scientifically sound and accepted it. Then Christianity dropped it like a hot potato. Why? We can say all day that it was because “we took God out of the equation” and justify that any way we can. One need only look at the multiple creationist web sites and publications out there and see that the sole reason for objecting to evolution is because God is removed from the equation and it contradicts the literal translation of the Bible.

I’m not going to go through your list of “evidence” because it would be a waste of my time. Reading through them I notice that everyone one of them was incorrect, had been refuted, or was simply an incorrect conclusion. And several of them were so outdated it was rather funny. I recognized most of them from the ICR web page. The information is out there – you just have to look for it and be willing to maintain intellectual integrity.

And discussing the Ark is too funny. I can’t maintain a straight face when discussing the Ark. I’ve been to Turkey and I’ve talked to the Turkish Embassy in Washington. I’ve watched countless expeditions fail. I’ve seen the tests of pieces of “ark” be exposed as hoaxes. Even the CIA and NASA have photographed the mountains and shown that there is no Ark. There is no Ark. The official Turkish view is, “There is no Ark. However, we have added a visitor’s center because people refuse to believe there is no Ark. We make a lot of money each year from visitors – so we decided to keep the visitors center there and have made a national park out of the area where this supposed ark is.” That was what I was told over the phone when I called the Turkish Embassy. I was inquiring because in another debate someone told me that the Turkish government was preventing people from climbing the mountain and I didn’t believe them. They were wrong (or lying). This supposed ark has been tested and it is not fossilized wood – it is basalt – a volcanic rock. And no one seems to notice that 100 yards from this supposed ark is another rock formation that looks just like the “ark” does. And as you look around the mountains you see this formation everywhere. Was there a fleet of arks?

It seems that we have arrived at an impasse with each other. This is the usual occurrence, though. As I read through your lengthy reply (which is why I have submitted a summary instead of responding to each individual issue) I see corrupted data, outdated data, incorrect conclusions, speculation, unscientific reasoning, and justifications. Not on your part (will not initially, anyway) – but on the part of the creation “scientists” that have switched tactics to get creationism taught in school. And if you look back at the history of creation science you will notice that it did not become a predominant factor until after the Supreme Court said creationism couldn’t be taught in school. And why is that? Because they thought that by attacking evolution they could get creationism in school. This is about an agenda and not a scientific process. It is about coming up with anything and everything because we don’t believe in God to attempt to poke holes – so that creationism can be taught in schools.

The funny thing is that the United States is the only (industrialized) country in the world where literal creationism is still viewed as factual by the majority of the populous. That puts us right up there with Bangladesh regarding religious convictions. That is really scary.

Well, it has been a pleasure debating you. You appear to be an intelligent person. I can only hope that you research what you have presented as “evidence” for a young earth and find out why that data is incorrect. But like I have told others – it is not the conclusion that is important – it is the journey that takes us to those conclusions that is important. No matter what conclusion you arrive at – more power to you.

Adam Rebuttal #006: Summary Conclusion

It has become increasingly evident to me through this debate that we started and ended on the wrong track. Most of our debate concerned the field of science. Yet science is not the foundation on which atheism is built. Atheism is a belief, a theological premise, on which is built the humanist framework. In light of that, I will direct the focus of my summary conclusion toward the materialist worldview as a whole.

1. What basis does atheism provide for human dignity?

The short answer is “none.” The long answer is this: “Humans are animals. They happen to be more complex than monkeys. We should respect the morals of other cultures because their morals are right for them, except when they interfere with our goal of getting richer. So what if people are sold into slavery in Sudan, widows are burned on their husband’s funeral pyres in India and lives are sacrificed to appease angry gods in various primitive cultures! What’s right for them may not be what’s right for us.”

In the novel “1984”, by Orwell, there is a word called “doublethink.” It describes the ability to consciously believe two conflicting and opposite ideas, choosing whichever happens to be most convenient at any one moment. This word beautifully describes the state of mind of many atheists in our postmodern culture.

Take, for example, the man who boasted of his company’s efforts to remove the Ten Commandments off of classroom walls in his city. When asked why he did he replied “To be sensitive to all faiths.” After it was pointed out to him that most faiths (Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus) don’t object to the Ten Commandments, he responded that the “Separation of church and state” required the removal of the posters. Again it was pointed out to him that the historical roots of our legal system are the Decalogue and the Lex Divina. That’s why Moses is included among the people represented in the fresco that adorns the walls of the House of Representatives chamber. His reply this time? “Tolerance, sir. Times have changed. We must recognize that.” It wasn’t much later that this same man asked this question: “Two-thirds of our kids cheat in school, and a third admit that they steal. What can we do about it?”

This “doublethink” pervades our society. The same people who constantly advocate tolerance toward all lifestyles have no tolerance toward people who don’t share their view. The same people who publish books advising children that often divorced parents and their kids are happier than they were before the divorce, are very surprised when statistics show the very opposite: 60% of rapists grew up in fatherless homes, as did 72% of adolescent murderers and 70% of all long-term prison inmates. Children in single-parent families are six times more likely to be poor, and half the single mothers in the US live below the poverty line. Girls in single-parent homes are at much greater risk for precocious sexuality and are three times more likely to have a child out of wedlock. Children from disrupted families have more academic and behavioral problems at school and are nearly twice as likely to drop out of high school. Adults are also greatly harmed by divorce. Studies have shown that of two-thirds of divorced couples, one partner is still depressed and financially precarious ten years after the divorce. In fact, in 25% of all divorced couples, both former partners are worse off, suffering loneliness and depression. Divorced men are twice as likely as married men to die of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer. They are four times more likely to die in auto accidents and suicide and their odds are seven times higher for pneumonia and cirrhosis of the liver. Both divorced men and women are almost five times more likely to succumb to substance abuse. The problems don’t just affect the immediate family. Neighborhoods without fathers are often infected with crime and delinquency. They are often places where teachers cannot teach because misbehaving children disrupt classrooms. Moreover, children of divorce are much more likely to get divorced themselves as adults, so that the negative consequences are passed on to the next generations.

And despite these terrible statistics, the central character of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire reassures a young girl after her parents’ breakup that after divorce some parents “get along much better . . . and they can become better people and much better mommies and daddies.” Reality check, anyone?

The truth is that humanistic beliefs leave very little room for human dignity. The only arguments against murder, rape, theft and cheating are socioeconomic: If you murder, rape, steal or cheat you are inconveniencing someone else or perhaps hurting society. Let me ask you this: How much is a person who kills people going to care about whether or not he hurts society?? People who consider these things don’t really care about their fellow humans in the first place. Otherwise they wouldn’t be killing or raping or stealing or cheating!

Christianity, on the other hand, has a very strong basis for human dignity. Christians believe that all men are created in God’s image and are to be treated with the respect that such a creation demands. People are commanded not to kill, steal, commit adultery, lie or lust over the possessions of others. Just think how many problems would be solved if people took even these five commands to heart! On top of that, they are commanded to honor their parents and to set aside a day of rest each week. Humans are seen as being a step above the rest of the earth – animals and material resources. Humans have a purpose in life. Though there have been times where Christian cultures wrongfully attacked or oppressed other peoples, if you look at history as a whole it is the Christian cultures that have been most successful. It has been Christians who have started most of the oldest, most respected universities in the world. It was Christians who copied and protected vast amounts of manuscripts (both religious and secular) in the Irish monasteries during the Middle Ages. It was the Christian code of ethics, especially as elaborated by John Locke and William Blackstone, on which our Founding Fathers based the American legal system.

2. How can atheism give people a sense of meaning or purpose?

Atheism simply cannot give people a sense of meaning or purpose. As I have explained previously, the humanist view of humanity is simply this, that people are well-endowed primates. The human life is reduced to a scramble for happiness through emotional fulfillment, career success or wealth. Many modern Americans have lost any sense of a higher destiny. Their lives are like a trip in a car without any destination in mind, without time constraints and with no limit of choice to their recreation. If someone where to say to you, “Load your family into your van. Go on a vacation. Take as long as you wish, and return whenever you choose. It’s all yours. You’re free. Go.”, you would consider them out of their mind. Who would want to take their family on an aimless journey?

The only logical philosophical consequence of atheism is existentialism – the understanding that nothing matters, whether past, present or future, that this life is all that we have, and that it ultimately doesn’t matter what we do. The heroes of existentialism are those who look life bravely in the face: the few people who dare to accept such a horrific view of reality.

Pleasure, freedom, happiness, and prosperity – none of these is ultimately fulfilling because none can answer that ultimate question of purpose. What is the purpose of human life? Knowing that we are fulfilling God’s purpose is the only thing that really gives rest to the restless human heart.

3. How does atheism provide a sense of assurance about our ultimate destiny?

Existentialists have pointed out that if there is nothing beyond the grave, then death makes a mockery of everything we have lived fore; death reduces human projects and dreams to a temporary diversion, with no ultimate significance. Thus, atheism does provide a sense of assurance about our ultimate destiny: We can feel sure that our ultimate destiny is fertilizer for marigolds and cemetery grass.

But if our souls survive beyond the grave as the Bible teaches, then everything we do here has a significance for all eternity. Then this life is invested with profound meaning. The life of each person, whether in the womb or out, whether healthy or infirm, takes on an enormous dignity.

4. How does humanism provide as certain a motive for service and care of others as Christianity?

Humanism cannot provide much in the way of motives for anything, let alone unselfish tasks. What is the logical goal of humanists in life? To get as much pleasure out of the few years we have.

There are people who say that simply the knowledge that society won’t survive very long if people don’t help each other. They attribute all good deeds to selfish ends (i.e. If we don’t help others society will fall apart and we will perish, or If I don’t help my neighbor he won’t help me when I need his help.) Others attribute all good deeds to our survival instinct, putting them in the same category as the instinct that makes dogs group together for protection.

There are problems with both these theories. First, if good deeds are the result of selfish ends, I would ask “Why go to such lengths to achieve personal pleasure?” There are hundreds of easier ways of getting a thrill out of life than helping orphans or widows or homeless people. There are easier ways of getting rich than feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and educating the illiterate.

The second theory, that all good deeds are results of our survival instinct, fails when we consider the fact that it is quite easy to disobey any urges to help others. Yet none of our other instincts can be disobeyed.

5. What is going wrong with our culture? Why do statistics show that “bad” actions are on the rise? Why are our kids shooting up their schools? Why are employees going on shooting rampages every month now?

If he is honest, the humanist must answer that nothing is going wrong. Instead, the collective morality of our society is changing. Those of us with the view that cheating, stealing, murder, etc. are wrong are going to have to adapt to the views of the rest of society because the rest of society doesn’t think these things are wrong.

If morality is merely the collective morals of a society (the main idea behind Political Correctness), then those people whose views disagree with those of the majority of society are wrong.

In fact, if we take the humanist principle all the way we must get rid of all ideas of morality. After all we are no more than advanced animals, just like monkeys, or earthworms, or pigs, or cows. And if we are no more than animals, what is wrong about treating each other like animals? So what is wrong about killing people? We kill animals every day. We kill animals for food, for fun, or because they annoy us.

What is it, then, that makes it such a crime to kill other humans? Why is there such an uproar when the police kill an unarmed black man? Why is it such a big deal when two psychos shoot up their school?

Some might say that we know what it is like when people we know die so we conclude that it is bad, or wrong, or harmful. But we get the same types of feelings during divorces and the natural deaths of other people. Should we then outlaw divorce because it hurts the people involved?

Others might say that such crimes are bad because they hurt society. Intellectually this makes sense, but practically – who’s going to use that as a reason not to cheat, or steal, or murder? If murderers and thieves don’t care about the consequences of killing and stealing (imprisonment or other punishment), why should they care about their own long-term survival?

Why do young children take guns to school, aim at their teachers and shoot? Why do they afterwards say that they don’t know the reason they did it?

The reason they don’t know why they killed someone is that they don’t have the intellectual ability to deal with right and wrong. In schools, kids are taught their values through “values clarification”, a seven-step process through which kids can discover their own values. Teachers are instructed not to be directive in any way but to coach students in a process of weighing alternatives and making up their own minds. Students’ choices are considered acceptable not because the choices agree with a transcendent standard but because the students have gone through the required process – regardless of the outcome. Do you understand what this means? This means that if a student feels that it is OK to wipe out the world – teachers must approve of his choice because he used some process to decide that this was part of his set of values.

The only true solution to lowering crime is to teach people that a transcendent moral standard exists and why it exists. If even half the people in the US would treat “their neighbors as they would like to be treated themselves,” the world would be a much more agreeable place to live in.

6. Is it possible to logically defend your belief that there absolutely is no God? Is it possible to be an atheist without blind faith? Let’s see . . .

Do you know everything? No, to claim so would be absurd.

Is there a possibility of a God or gods existing outside of your knowledge? You must answer yes since you admittedly don’t know everything. You can’t be sure that there isn’t a God or gods, so you are an agnostic.

7. Can any effective, fair, legal system be based on humanistic beliefs?

Not really. Legal systems are established to provide a fair and impartial decision in disputes. That means that the legal system is there to apply the law to practical situations. If one denies any absolute right or wrong, one undermines the authority of the law. If our law is not based on something higher, if it is simply there to cater to our current needs, there is nothing that motivates us to keep it.

Let me explain it in a different way. What reason is there for obeying laws?

  1. Consideration for the needs and desires of other people.
  2. The threat of punishment. (i.e. existence of a law that requires punishment for breaking other laws)
  3. The intellectual conclusion that in the long run, one’s own crimes hurt one by hurting all of society.
  4. The knowledge that disobeying laws is Wrong, with a capital “W”.

The first reason is based on unselfishness. The Bible teaches that “even Christ pleased not himself”, and to “love your neighbor as yourself”. An atheistic worldview does not – cannot – place any value on unselfishness and still stay true to its cause. Atheism denies the existence of such abstract concepts because they can’t be supported or disproved by science (the only true way of finding truth, after all). In fact, David Hume, an eighteenth-century philosopher, recommended that library shelves be purged of any book dealing with religion, ethics, and metaphysics – anything that cannot be reduced to empirical facts. If a book does not deal with mathematics or empirical facts – that is, with science – ,” wrote Hume, then “it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.”

The second reason is based on revenge or punishment of the majority for committing what they think is a crime. The motivating factor behind this reason to keep laws is fear. People fear punishment or embarrassment or the loss of respect, and don’t commit crimes. While threatening punishment in order to keep people from disobeying laws may be quite effective temporarily it will eventually lead to tyranny or a “Big Brother” type government. As we have seen over and over these past two hundred years, people are not good by nature. A person will go to very great lengths to get richer or more powerful. It doesn’t take very long before someone will find a way to circumvent every law you make, to escape from your police force, to endure your punishments. The only way of stopping such a person is to enforce more laws and to make the punishments even stricter and crueler. Soon you find yourself in a micro-managed society where people have very few freedoms.

The third reason is brought forth most often by intellectuals who sit in university classrooms and try to avoid the conclusion that there is something outside of this world which has an effect on us. It might be a valid answer if people really thought that way. Sadly, it takes only a quick look at kids’ opinions about cheating in school to kill that idea. The children in today’s schools know that they are cheating themselves when they cheat on tests. Does that stop them? It hasn’t yet.

The fourth reason requires the existence of a deity who has revealed that he doesn’t want us to break laws. This reason is incompatible with the atheist beliefs. As a result, it is only useful in a theist society.

So what have we learned? In an atheistic world, the only reason to obey laws is that we will be punished if we disobey them.

The Biblical outlook, on the other hand, is that certain people have authority over us and that we are to obey them. Slaves are to serve peacefully under their masters (though, if possible, they should buy their freedom); children are to submit to their parents, wives to their husbands, men to the governing authorities over them; governments should ensure that their citizens live in peace. The whole structure of society is designed to ensure that everyone is accountable to someone else. There are certain circumstances in which the authorities should be disobeyed, but these are few and very specific.

Modern society has given people the idea that being in submission to an authority is bad, or unfair, or unjust, or weak. This should not be: If a person in authority does not misuse their authority it can be a pleasure to work under them. If a person’s boss, or supervisor, or superior officer in the case of the military, makes sure that he is administering his duty fairly without overstepping his authority it is not hard to serve under him.

8. There is one more question I want to touch on, and that is the problem of pain. I am sure you already know what I am going to present you with, so I will try to keep it brief.

So, why does evil exist?

  1. Does God not exist?
  2. Or is evil simply an illusion?
  3. Maybe God isn’t powerful enough to vanquish evil?

1. If God doesn’t exist, talking about good and evil is futile because they those terms denote moral absolutes. Moral absolutes are absolute only because they are commanded by God. Thus, if there is no God and we are merely advanced monkeys, evil is simply something that inconveniences us. Nothing matters if there is no God.

2. If evil is simply an illusion, as proposed by many eastern religions, then by reflecting on our inner natures we can come to realize that there is no evil. But this idea doesn’t hold up to reality. We know and feel pain and suffering. Illusions don’t kill our bodies. Suffering does.

3. Some people have proposed that God is part of this world and is evolving with it (pantheism). This ideology might eliminate the apparent paradox of God’s good nature and the suffering we experience on earth, but it doesn’t solve any problems. We still have the problems of evil and suffering, just now we have a knowledge of God as an incompetent heavenly bumbler.

The only way the existence of evil and suffering can be reconciled with God is found in the Bible: God wanted someone to interact with, to relate to, so he created humans. He gave them the choice to disobey him, to deny his authority over their lives. If he hadn’t given them that choice, how could they have had a meaningful relationship with him? You can’t call a prisoner peaceful simply because he is chained hand and foot to a wall. Nor could humans have truly loved God if they didn’t have the choice of loving something else instead of him. But this they did and at that point, sin entered the world. At that point, the human body became sinful. Every man and woman after that point had a nature that was not loyal to God by default anymore. Thus we can see that humans brought sin and evil down on themselves. And I am sure that you agree that a God who forced us to do good would remove that aspect which is so central to our humanity – freedom of will, the choice to do good or bad, etc. How can our actions be called good if there is no action that can be evil?

Before I continue, let me explain what God I am talking about: You must admit that we cannot reach any conclusion about any God if we are looking at different gods.

I am talking about the Christian God. This means that conventional means cannot prove or disprove Him. If I were able to grab God and pull him out of a bag for you, he would not be the Christian God. If I were able to show Him to you by means of a large telescope, he would not be the Christian God.

The Christian God is not part of this universe. If he were, he would be no more or less important than anything else in the universe. He would not be the cause of the universe, but simply an effect of it, confined by the laws that keep the universe running smoothly. But this is not the God of Christianity, no! For then he would be just like everything else in this universe: changeable, finite, hurtling through space-time like a comet or an asteroid.

No, the Christian God is outside of this world. He made our universe. He made people. He made the rugged mountains of Montana and the sunny hillsides of the Mediterranean. He made the animals, the ocean and the sky: warm and beautiful at day, fierce, cold and vast at night.

The God of Christianity is outside of the world and he cannot be changed, manipulated, controlled by his creation. It is true, at times he does take and answer requests. Yet he is still a supremely powerful being who has the ability to do anything He wants with us whenever he wishes.

That said, I will proceed . . .

I was raised a Christian. From the day I was old enough to understand my parents, I have been taught about my God. As long as I can remember, my family has had prayers before each meal and at night. No one in my family ever had religious “seizures” or sudden revelations, or anything of that sort, but Christ as Lord and Savior was woven into my life at a very early age. My mother would read the Bible at noon and Sunday School taught me all the interesting stories of the Bible. I was raised a Christian in the sense that Christ was a part of my life just like my parents, or supper, or the various places I have lived were a part of my life. In other words my belief was never truly a choice based on deep philosophical reasoning, it was simply part of my life.

Ah, I can see you thinking. It is all a matter of environment. Adam’s Christian faith comes down to blind belief in something that he was taught never to question.

So let me ask you, how were you raised?

You say that you were raised in a military family. You traveled a lot. Very likely you got to see more of the world in your early years than most people see in a lifetime. And, most important, you were raised without the bias that I was raised with. Correct? Well, I must disagree. For just as I was influenced by my environment, you also were influenced by your environment. If you say that I had no choice but to believe in God, I agree. And you must admit that you had no choice but not to believe in God. You were not raised as neutral as you might think. You see, to be neutral simply means to be standing in the place that to you seems least controversial or biased. To you, raised to believe in no God, your own opinion seems the least controversial opinion. It seems to you simply undebatable by nature. But if we are to stand back and look at the big picture we would see that there is no neutral ground. Either you believe in God, or you do not believe in God. I was raised at one end of the spectrum, you at the other.

As a result of our training, we see reality in different lights. I have always seen myself as a creature of God. I have always seen Him as my creator. My view of reality has been greatly influenced by this knowledge. Though I haven’t always obeyed his commands, I have always had a working relationship with Him. You on the other had were raised to believe that there is no God, so he couldn’t have created the earth. You have always believed that He didn’t really create you. So if He does exist, where does that put you?

If God really exists, then your current attitude is very unfair toward him and you have personally insulted Him by denying his existence and your reliance on his providence. In other words, you and He ain’t on speaking terms. You know that if He does exist he will punish you for your disrespect. This gives you a very good reason for denying his existence, and is itself the reason for the facts and reasons you give for not believing in him. Everything you think and say is tinted by the knowledge that you are at ‘war’ with God; whether is about science, submarines or earthworms.

For example when you ask for evidence that God exists you want empirical evidence. Of course you know that even if – or, especially if – I gave you empirical evidence, you would still be able to find a materialistic cause for whatever it is I showed you, or perhaps say that science will find the cause for that effect at some point.

Another example is that of the Bible. I look at the Bible and see God’s revealed word. When I see discrepancies in the ages of Old Testament kings, for example, I know that discrepancy was caused by a slip of the hand or mind on the part of the manuscript copyist. When you look at the same discrepancy you see yet another proof that the Bible is not reliable.

Or take my feelings as an example. If I say, “I feel sick”, you will jump to the conclusion that I feel sick because I am sick. That connection is logical. If I feel cold, the reason is just as clear: I am cold. Yet if I say, “I feel that I am a creature of God”, you will say “Impossible! We know that there is no God, so you can’t be His creature!”.

Having gotten this far, what must we conclude? First of all, you are looking at the world through tinted glasses. They are stuck on your nose by your education, experience and habits and there is nothing in the world but God that can remove them, and then only if you let Him. Secondly, you know that God exists. You are looking at the world through tinted glasses, but even tinted glasses give you a good idea of what you are looking at. Are you bothered by what I am saying? I hope you are.

Your life needs unity. It needs a hope, a goal, and a future. But you don’t want God to be that hope and goal and future. You are refusing to be transformed to what you were made to be. That would take humility. That would take hard work. That would mean you are no longer in charge of your own life.

I have that unity. I have a hope, a goal and a future. But I have put all that into the hands of the one who sincerely want to give me unity, hope, and a future. Just as in a marriage relationship, there are always issues that neither partner can quite figure out, the Christian faith has aspects that will, for all I know, never be solved. And that, in my opinion, is good.

I pray that you God chooses to remove the tinted shades from your eyes. Only He can do it. For if anyone else were to change your perspective, how would you know that what he or she have shown you is correct? No, it is best that the one who knows everything shows you how to look at the world in the right way.

Finally, thank you for carrying on these debates with me. I know you spent a lot of time writing rebuttals and appreciate your effort.

This entry was posted in Debates.

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