Pell vs Dawkins on Evolution

I’m mystified by this segment of an otherwise bland debate between Richard Dawkins, Tony Jones and Cardinal Pell on Q&A, the ABCs political discussion program.

Pell handles himself pretty well against Dawkins on many issues, and even has to combat Jones, who was supposed to be the neutral host, but interjects all over the place with his own atheistic questions, much to Dawkins frustration.

But Pell utterly blows the question of how we came into existence, and even seems to confuse himself, handing the initiative to Dawkins, who rightly poses the question ‘If there was no literal Adam and Eve where did original sin come in?”

Apparently Pell thinks we were descended from Neanderthals from somewhere in Africa who were descended from apes. Somewhere along the line the immortal soul was added to the first human. I’m afraid I had to switch off at this point, not wishing to be embarrassed any further!

Your thoughts?

396 thoughts on “Pell vs Dawkins on Evolution

  1. My pentecostal pastor (who has neither formal training in theology nor science) asks :

    “If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?”

    The whole congregation nodded and clapped in aggreement.
    These are the same people who would do whatever the pastor asks without question.

  2. Yes they should have had Brian Houston as a fundie on there to provide some laughs and entertainment.

    The RC Church has long accepted evolution and other scientific advancements and discoveries as part of God’s natural revelation.

    It was a Catholic priest who developed the Big Bang theory.

    And yes original sin is indeed not supported by scripture especially the Old Testament.

  3. Well, goodness me, Greg has come out at last!

    You’re a…………………….(drumroll)


    Ever remember a time when you became aware of your own sinfulness, Greg? Ever have a sense of resposibility owning those “deeds”? When did that sense of guilt kick in?

    Where on earth did that sin nature come from, that knowledge you needed to change………

  4. St Augustine writing 1400 years before Darwin believed in a form of evolution.

    But to quote Darwin, a Life in Science on evolution,

    Saint Augustine (353-430) painted an even clearer picture. He taught that the original germs of living things came in two forms, one placed by the Creator in animals and plants, and a second variety scattered throughout the environment, destined to become active only under the right conditions.

    He said that the Biblical account of the Creation should not be read as literally occupying six days, but six units of time, while the passage `In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth’ should be interpreted:

    As if this were the seed of the heaven and the earth, although as yet all the matter of heaven and of earth was in confusion; but because it was certain that from this the heaven and the earth would be, therefore the material itself is called by that name.

    Augustine likens the Creation to the growth of a tree from its seed, which has the potential to become a tree, but does so only through a long, slow process, in accordance with the environment in which it finds itself.

    God created the potential for the heavens and earth, and for life, but the details worked themselves out in accordance with the laws laid down by God, on this picture.

    It wasn’t necessary for God to create each individual species (let alone each individual living thing) in the process called Special Creation. Instead, the Creator provided the seeds of the Universe and of life, and let them develop in their own time.

    In all but name, except for introducing the hand of God to start off the Universe, Augustine’s theory was a theory of evolution, and one which stands up well alongside modern theories of the evolution of the Universe and the evolution of life on Earth.’

    His views were influential throughout the Middle Ages, and followed by such important thinkers as William of Occam (in the fourteenth century) and, most importantly, by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century.

    Aquinas simply quoted Augustine’s teaching on the subject of the Creation and the interpretation of Genesis; but as he was one of the highest authorities in the Christian Church at the time, and has been one of the most influential since, this amounted to an official seal of approval for the idea that God had set the Universe in motion and then rested.

  5. So you’re actually saying that God didn’t create man at all, just the environment in which humans evolved?

    How then did God know that men would evolve, since the permutations in evolution are such that any species or adaptation could eventuate?

    And how then did God know that sin would enter the world if he could not be sure that whatever evolved from the environment he created would enter such a state as sin or develop a sin nature?

    And how could he know that man would evolve into his won image?

    And how could he prepare Jesus to become a human to save the human race form their sin before the creation?

  6. The error is to assume that evolution is the only explanation of how things came to be formed aside from creation. But it is so full of holes it is harder to actually believe for the truly rational person than creation is for the agnostic.

    The time factor in evolutionary faith is so extreme and yet necessary to its premise that one has to wonder why there are, in fact, so few species and those species, or kinds, that do exist are so fully formed and consistent within their kinds, without a single mutated transitional species, either on record or in existence.

    You would have to think that, with the amount of time projected for evolution to bring us to where we are from a single sudden spark of life which was instantly able to reproduce itself – two extraordinary events in themselves if we are to claim an inadvertent, coincidental event which triggered life and reproduction – but for them to occur spontaneously and in tandem makes the odds so extreme that it boggles the mind to consider how it could possibly have taken place without assistance, because, with the amount of time projected, there would have to be literally millions of intermediary species and beings which would be ample evidence that evolution is indeed the solution to conundrum of life without a creator.

    Yet there are no intermediary species or cross-species. Each kind is of itself and they do not inter-polinate. Even hybrids by nature are unable to reproduce. There may be a few rare exceptions, but they are in no way evidence of the likelihood or confirmation of the evolutionary process.

    There may be another explanation no one has come up with yet which produces a solution we haven’t thought of, but for the Roman Catholic church to be so cowered into submission to adopt this idea as being of God and part of his plan is more evidence of the way in which they will accept any untruth to keep the door open for people who can’t actually accept that God might be great enough to pull of an amazing event like a Biblical Creation.

    Incidentally, I think it’s stretching things to claim that Augustine preempted evolutionary thinking towards a Darwinian concept, but he did look at alternative possibilities to explain how God put things together.

  7. To explain further and pose a question. At which juncture does a mutated species become a species in its own right, and lose the inter-genus or subgenus ability to mate with the species it was derived from to produce a third, fourth or ad infinitum amount of species through the mating process with its former species or sub-species?

  8. From John Bloom – Biola University

    “Did God intentionally make us in his image? If humans gradually evolved, and our sinfulness is merely the inherent selfishness resulting from a Darwinian process, then human history is progress, not corruption, so shouldn’t humans ultimately be good enough not to need a savior? Given Psalm 19:1–3 and Romans 1:20, why must we assume that God’s actions and attributes are absolutely undetectable by science? And if we think that Adam and Eve are mythical, who else is? Noah? Abraham? Moses? Samuel? David? Such skepticism towards the historical accounts in early Genesis (and elsewhere by extension of the same methods) is typical of liberal theology, which historically evangelicals opposed.”

  9. @ Greg – I pray you have some really good grip on your shoes because that slope you’re on is getting really slippery! 🙂

    I’m beginning to understand why it’s easy for you to sit under a woman when you hold to your particular “biblical” world-view – looking at scriptures that point us back to a literal Adam and Eve, also place men is a particular position of leadership (1 Timothy 2:12-14). Interesting…..

    And this for you to consider….

  10. The error is to assume that evolution is the only explanation of how things came to be formed aside from creation. But it is so full of holes it is harder to actually believe for the truly rational person than creation is for the agnostic.

    You’re kidding, right.

    The holes in accepting the Biblical accounts as literal facts are monstrous. Genesis 1 and 2 can’t even agree with each other.

    And people want it taught in our schools as a valid scientific theory.

  11. Steve “At which juncture does a mutated species become a species in its own right, and lose the inter-genus or subgenus ability to mate with the species it was derived from to produce a third, fourth or ad infinitum amount of species through the mating process with its former species or sub-species?

    At precisely the juncture that they lose their ability to breed and produce fertile offspring, is the time that they become a new species.

    This is by definition, because the definition of a species is a group of organisms which can interbreed.

    And how?
    By mutation of course – and usually geographical separation so that interbreeding of mutations with the rest of the community is not possible, and different conditions encourage different adaptations.

    Also, a mutated individual attempting to breed with another will not produce a separate species, third, fourth or ad infinitum. They will either be successful in which case they are of the same species, or unsuccesful in which case they may be of separate species. You cant cross breed species by definition.

    Its often helpful to do a bit of research before writing about something and making an argument. In this case a look at the wikipedia entry for “species” would have saved a lot of time.

  12. Also have a look at the entry for genera. There is no inter-genus breeding. Unless you have successfully produced a cat-dog hybrid.

  13. There may be another explanation no one has come up with yet which produces a solution we haven’t thought of, but for the Roman Catholic church to be so cowered into submission to adopt this idea as being of God and part of his plan is more evidence of the way in which they will accept any untruth to keep the door open for people who can’t actually accept that God might be great enough to pull of an amazing event like a Biblical Creation.

    Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation? Are you a Young Earth Creationist? Many, many other Christians believe in a form of Theistic evolution not just RCs. RCs learned from the Galilieo case not to get involved in scientific discoveries.

    Protestant fundamentalists, however,would still have Galileo condemned if they could.

  14. So you’re actually saying that God didn’t create man at all, just the environment in which humans evolved?

    That kind of thinking reminds me of this prayer by Jimmy Stewart :

    God didnt grow the food, He didnt harvest it or cook it … they did. so why are they thanking Him?

  15. “How then did God know that men would evolve, since the permutations in evolution are such that any species or adaptation could eventuate?”

    I think they might argue that God knew/knows everything.

    “And how then did God know that sin would enter the world if he could not be sure that whatever evolved from the environment he created would enter such a state as sin or develop a sin nature?”

    Once again, you could argue that God knew/knows everything. And that He can be sure about everything – because He’s God.

    “And how could he know that man would evolve into his own image?”
    He’s pretty smart.

    “And how could he prepare Jesus to become a human to save the human race from their sin before the creation?”

    Because He’s God. Actually, these questions about how God foreknew/predestined/planned things all make my head spin – regardless of evolution/creation/young earth/old earth.

    All I know is that the majority of scientists accept the evolutionary framework and Christians need to study it if they want to go through science courses. So, we are doing kids an injustice if we don’t want them to study evolution.

    There are questions re evolution that I don’t how eyes evolved, but in the end I wasn’t there, and I’m also not a scientist.
    But I also don’t feel up to teaching the first couple of chapters of Genesis as a science lesson either.

  16. From the OP, ‘Somewhere along the line the immortal soul was added to the first human.’

    Well he’s got very confused here also. Was God keeping tabs on
    development and thought that when man discovered fire, say, that was the time to give him an immortal soul; or when he became agrarian; or had the capability to smelt metals? It’s such poor thinking as to be comical to most.

    Man has never possessed, or been given by God, an immortal soul. He IS a soul, and immortality is the sole (pun intended) preserve of God, who alone is immortal (1 Tim 6:16). It is he who gifts us immortality at the resurrection based on our faith, or not, in his son Jesus. It is the blessed hope, not a foregone conclusion.

  17. The question has to be then, Zeibart, what is the soul?

    Are animals, ‘souls’? How do we know if they are or aren’t? Which could make when humans came to possess a soul as a moot point.

  18. Bones, God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul.

    I guess you’d not believe that because your dependence on evolution means that God actually had no part in the creation of anything except to somehow cause the ‘big bang’.

    In fact it is becoming increasingly unclear what you actually do believe that is confirmed as Biblical.

    Yes, God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.

    My point is that God could not have an active part in evolution except to watch it unfold and wonder how it would randomly come about over the course of millions of years. The very nature of evolution demands that there is no interference of involvement of God in its development whatsoever.

    Otherwise we would have to lean on the Christian evolutionists pet theory of Intelligent Design.

    Does Bones or Greg hold to Intelligent Design as an option, or is their belief in evolution that of the purists who state there could not have been an intelligent designer, and that the universe evolved completely without assistance.

    Quite what part God would have needed to have in evolution is a huge mystery to me, since everything came together by chance and of the accord of coincidence.

    God, it occurs to me, doesn’t have to do anything or be involved in any way shape or form if evolution is indeed factual.

    again, the reason I brought up species and genus wasn’t to find out how evolutionists contrive to assume how it could have happened that they evolve form one species and thereafter are, mysteriously and suddenly, unable to continue breeding with that prior species, and how the varies species, even though they are derived form a common ancestor of some kind, were magically, mysteriously, unexplainably and suddenly unable to then interbreed, which would have thrown up all kinds of weird and wonderful permutations had they been able to, but how you would actually answer this conundrum.

    Predictably you come up with the incredible answer that they mutated! It just happened at some point when somehow there was something that happened or took place which ended the capacity for breeding.

    By what incredibly uniform, neat and tidy, sudden, conclusive and magical means did this occur with no intervention at all except the extremely random chance?

    Wikipedia doesn’t answer this. It only throws up more questions and curiousities.

  19. Genesis 2:7
    “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (soul = nephesh in Hebrew)” KJV

    Leviticus 17:11, 13-14
    “For the life (nephesh in Hebrew) of the flesh is in the blood…..Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers
    who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust; For it (i.e. the blood) is the life (nephesh) of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life (nephesh) of it: therefore I said to the children of Israel “You shall not eat the blood of any flesh: for the life (nephesh) of all flesh is its blood”

    A soul is simply that which has God’s gift of circulating blood, sentient existance and, therefore, life. So, yes, Bones, animals and humans are both ‘souls’ in that sense. Ecclesiates 3 says: v18 ‘I said in my heart, “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are like
    animals.” 19 For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. 21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? 22 So I perceived that nothing is better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?’

    The difference between man and animals is that man is God’s highest created order and has ‘eternity placed within his heart’ ie a capacity to reach for the eternal, to relate to God, to yearn for the spiritual which animals cannot. That sets us apart. And when the Ecc writer refers to spirit, it is interchangeable with soul in that there is no separate entity which travels up to heaven (otherwise we all would experience that regardless of faith), but more that the life God gave us and animals to exists goes back to him in a representative fashion.

    A soul is a living being. When we believe on the Lord Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit and that is something no animal can ever claim.

  20. Bones,
    again, the reason I brought up species and genus wasn’t to find out how evolutionists contrive to assume how it could have happened that they evolve form one species and thereafter are, mysteriously and suddenly, unable to continue breeding with that prior species, and how the varies species, even though they are derived form a common ancestor of some kind, were magically, mysteriously, unexplainably and suddenly unable to then interbreed, which would have thrown up all kinds of weird and wonderful permutations had they been able to, but how you would actually answer this conundrum.

    Predictably you come up with the incredible answer that they mutated! It just happened at some point when somehow there was something that happened or took place which ended the capacity for breeding.

    By what incredibly uniform, neat and tidy, sudden, conclusive and magical means did this occur with no intervention at all except the extremely random chance?

    I haven’t mentioned anything about species, genera nor mutation!

    I did ask if you were a 6 day and Young Earth Creationist.

    Is the purpose of Intelligent Design to get it taught in schools because that’s where it keeps creeping up? It seems to be the Creationists compromise. Intelligent Design deals with faith not science and has no place in a science curriculum. It belongs in religious education.

  21. At what point in the evolutionary process did humans attain the “Image of God”?

    The meaning of “the image of God” has been debated for centuries in the Christian community. Most evangelical theologians argue that the image of God is not a physical image. Some see image-bearing as our abilities, such as language, rationality, or consciousness. Others see it as our spirituality, such as the soul, free will, or morality. Still others see it as our commission to care for this planet and represent God’s kingdom on earth. The exact moment we became image bearers and whether it was a sudden or gradual process are less important than the fact that we are called to bear God’s image in the world.

    The Image of God

    In the account of man’s creation, found in Genesis 1, God declares, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Gen 1:26). The multifaceted debate over the meaning of the image of God has gone on for centuries in the Christian community. Most theologians argue that the image of God is not related to the way we look. Rather, the fundamental qualities of the image of God are characteristics of the mind and soul, however we understand them, including the ability to love selflessly; engage in meaningful relationships; exercise rationality; maintain dominion over the earth; and embrace moral responsibility.

    Humans did not have a fully formed moral consciousness prior to the time of Adam and Eve.1 However, general consciousness must have already evolved so that a moral consciousness and the associated responsibility were possible.2 When Adam and Eve entered into relationship with God, they became capable of “imaging” God.3 Now, as a result of being in relationship with God, they knew it was possible to disobey God; they understood the difference between good and evil. They were free to choose evil, to remove themselves from being in an open and free relationship with God, and sadly they did so (see Gen 3:1-13).

    When Did Humans Become God’s Image Bearers?

    We cannot know the exact time that humankind began to bear God’s image. If Adam and Eve were two historical people chosen by God for a special covenant relationship, it may have occurred instantly. If, on the other hand, Adam and Eve were representative of a larger group, the image of God may have emerged gradually over a period of time. Perhaps God used the evolutionary process to equip humankind with language, free will and culture so that they might then enter into a meaningful relationship with God through obedience, prayer and worship. When we became image bearers and whether it was a sudden or gradual process is less important than the fact that we were created—and are still called—to be God’s image bearers in the world.4

    What is the Significance of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

    After receiving the image of God, Adam and Eve were capable of living in a full, perfect relationship with God. They were instructed only to avoid eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil with the consequence of death for disobeying (Gen 2:16-17).

    The serpent, we are told, approached the woman at one point, telling her that she can become “like God” by eating of the fruit. In what way did eating from this tree actually make her like God? What does it mean to know good and evil? Why, after knowing good and evil, would God banish them (and us) from the Tree of Life? These are rich theological questions which get to the heart of what it means to be living in a fallen world.5

    Adam and Eve consciously chose evil when they disobeyed God’s orders and ate from the tree, and humankind has been doing the same ever since. We seek to establish our own form of morality rather than God’s—our own definition of what constitutes good and evil. Following their sin, Adam and Eve became self-conscious and ashamed; they covered their naked bodies and hid from God. In essence, by their actions, they removed themselves from their peace-filled abode with God. They were alienated from God through a spiritual death. So it is with us. This event is widely known as the Fall. Humankind is in need of redemption and it was Christ whose perfect life and death on the cross makes it possible for us—each of us—to enter into a perfectly restored, intimate relationship with God again.

    What About the Soul?

    The soul is a complex, mysterious concept representing the essence of a person. Author Walter M. Miller, Jr., described it this way: “You don’t have a soul . . . You are a soul. You have a body, temporarily.”6 There are many opinions about the meaning of the soul, but nothing about its existence is threatened by the BioLogos view.

    Perhaps the soul was bestowed as a part of humans receiving the image of God (Gen 1:27).7 Perhaps human souls appeared with the breath of life that God breathes into his creation, as described in Gen 2:7. We also cannot know whether God supernaturally intervened in the evolutionary process at this point, or whether the unfolding evolutionary process produced the human soul.8 That humans live and breathe and have their being in relationship with God is one of the deepest mysteries of our existence; for Christians, it is also our greatest source of joy.

  22. OK Bones, so that last section pretty well tallies with the verses I put forward to back the point that we ARE a soul, and don’t HAVE a soul. What’s your opinion? Is it the Biologos opinion, which seems to want a view but not relate it to scripture? If we are in the image of God, the full picture will be complex, multi-dimensional and varied, so I will hold back from trite pocket explanations. It is suffucient, and truly awe inspiring that God should have created a race of beings who reflect, emulate, represent, copy, intertwine, model and refract their creator.

    The more we shy away from referring to the bible in seeking answers to these questions, the more new-age, pseudo-spiritual, man-made, emergent, and liberally PC will be our solutions. General observation, not aimed at anyone particular.

  23. So if we have no immortal soul, and ‘from dust we came and to dust we’ll return’, what do you think happens to us when we die?

  24. So if we have no immortal soul, and ‘from dust we came and to dust we’ll return’, what do you think happens to us when we die?

  25. You and Norm are going to be rather disappointed

    I suppose there’ll be no virgins there either.

  26. To the supporters of evolution: if evolution is the journey of simple organisms to complex ones (by random mutation and accident), then man is simply on the path to higher evolutionary development and not the destination of evolution. Why then does man need a saviour at this point in his allegedly constant improvement? You only have to read the news to see that we’re not exactly the finished article, and yet Jesus stepped in 2 millenia ago? Random, or perhaps it was an accident and he played his hand a million years too soon.

    But it’s alright. If there was not a literal Adam and Eve, there was no Fall and no original sin, so we don’t need a saviour do we, since we’re not separated from God (who clearly is only on the margins anyway since the entire universe is a product of accidental advancement)?

  27. ”I suppose there’ll be no virgins there either.”

    There’s already 1 there, so I have been told.

  28. She might be somewhat busy interceding to give you much of a hearty welcome, however. Don’t take it personally.

  29. So Biologos, in the end spends a long time saying it doesn’t know about the human soul and being made in the image of God. Waste of time trying, really, if you don’t actually know. Waste of time reading the piece also. Might as well just say it from the outset, or say nothing.

    You completely avoided the issue I raised. I understand it is hard for evolutionists to answer since they have insufficient data, and are very unlikely to find any. It, like many other intricacies, is a flaw in their premise.

    Then you went on to ask me about Intelligent Design, but you miss, or avoid, the point of what I was saying. For you and Greg to hold to God, or a Creator and evolution means you must, then, have some kind of reference to an intelligent designer who had some involvement in the process. If so, at what level?

    If you do not, and believe, as most scientists, that evolution cam about without any involvement of God or a Higher Being, or any external force or intelligence, then plainly there is no need for God, and there is no need for a concept such as creation, and there is no Creator.

    It is one or the other. You can’t be in between. Neither can Pell. That is a serious flaw in his argument.

    Evolution, without an intelligent designer, does not allow for a Creator, or outside interference in the process. It must come to pass in its own random and unaffected way.

    Therefore, what is God to you?

  30. You only have to read the news to see that we’re not exactly the finished article, and yet Jesus stepped in 2 millenia ago? Random, or perhaps it was an accident and he played his hand a million years too soon.

    Heads up down the back. A bit of history will show that we are the only species hellbent on its own destruction and of the world it lives on.

    Fairly compelling need for a Saviour.

  31. Steve are you Young Earth creationist and do you believe in a literal day creation?

    That goes for you too, Zeibart. Is the Universe 6000 years old?

    Has God’s creation finished?

  32. I find this issue fascinating, especially when the questions thinking people ask about how evolution can actually possibly work at a micro level, and, in most instances, at a macro level, there is a certain fog which enters the room, which afets the ears and sensibilities as well as the eyes, os that all is obscured and the subject moves on. Bones just did it!

    I noticed it with Dawkins’ brief summary of how species evolved, as if by magic, without any intervention, by pure happenstance, yet with so many missing pieces that he even brought up the idea of ‘the God of gaps’, and not Pell, to thwart any attempt by Pell to mention the inconsistencies, and present a strawman answer to a question Pell never had to raise, since the question plainly asks itself, ‘why are there so many missing pieces?’

    It’s as if a veil comes over the minds of people when you ask them questions about their contrary belief in a concept which is so terribly at odds with that of a Creator God.

    2 Corinthians 4
    3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
    4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

    One of problems with those who embrace a non-creation world-view is their denial of Biblical truth. Somewhere along the line they have to reject what the Word says through his Apostles and Prophets.

    They have to deny the creation, therefore the creature, and consequently the Creator, even though, if they were truly saved, when they accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour, they also received the Spirit of Christ, who writes on our new heart that God is Creator, and makes it impossible for them to deny him as such.

    For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor.4:6)

    If they do not see the creation, they do not see the Creator, they deny God, they deny the gospel.

    Romans 1
    20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
    21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

  33. God is the Creator. How He chose to do it is up to Him. I’m certain and confident that evolution is part of that process. Far more certain and confident than the literal Genesis account which is being compared to modern scientific theory.

  34. Bones, those are peripheral questions you keep asking. Could you answer the questions I am asking, because they are far more important, and far more crucial to the concept you are advocating.

    You cannot reconcile evolution with a Creator without some kind of divine input.

  35. You still haven’t answered the questions.

    Are you a Young Earth Creationist? Do you believe in a literal 6 day creation?

  36. Boes,
    God is the Creator.

    And you believe in evolution.

    Then, because of the nature of evolution, what part did God have in evolution, and is he, then, the Intelligent Designer of the Universe?

  37. No, Bones. stay with what we are discussing. Maybe I’ll go to the time factor later. For now, I am not engaging in the shallow detour debate over Genesis semantics.

    The more important discussion is on how evolution and a Creator can be reconciled.

    Saying God can create any way he likes is not good enough. How would that have stood up against Dawkins’ in the debate? He would have knocked that for six.

  38. 15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)

    1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)

    …in [Christ] all things in heaven and earth were created, things visible and invisible…all things were created through him and by him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:16,17 NRSV).

    John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

    Gee I didn’t realise I was debating with Richard Dawkins as well as 6 day creationists. Is anyone else joining in the debate? Hindus perhaps? Maybe they want me to explain why the Earth really isn’t supported by giant elephants.

    God is the creator of the heavens and the Earth, including the stars we can see still being formed, including the dinosaurs and extinct species, including the chaos of the birth of the Solar System. God is continually active in His creation and is Lord over it. I agree with the modern scientific consensus on the age of the earth and evolutionary development of all species, seeing these as descriptions of how God created, especially as all truth leads from God. I reject atheism.

    As for how He did it. By Jesus and His Spirit I guess.

  39. Steve just out of curiosity, did God create different strains of viruses and bacteria, which mutate to more virulent and resistant strains causing disease and infections?

  40. I know that God cursed the earth after sin entered and the very presence of sin caused corruption to thrive, affecting all things, spirit soul and body.

    I do not have a conclusive theology on the time element. We simply weren’t there. Neither was Moses. He wrote by inspiration, by passed down oral history, folk wisdom and by experience.

    Genesis is clearly not a scientific or specifically mathematics, physics, biology or any other modern science. When atheists and scientists attempt to decry what is being written by assuming it is a scientific treatise they do themselves and the account a disservice.

    Days and weeks in Hebrew thinking and language can refer to longer periods than literal 24 hour days or seven day weeks.

    What I do not agree with is the idea that everything we know and see of the Universe happened by circumstance through random accidents of nature commencing with nothing to form everything without the involvement of a divine Being.

    I also believe it is possible there was a time span between what is recorded as verse one and verse two of Genesis one, and that the creation account is based on the way in which God prepared the earth as a habitation for man so he could fellowship with us in an ideal environment, but that sin ruined this arrangement.

    I believe that a literal six day creation is possible for God, but very hard to defend against atheists and evolution believers, since their worldview is science-based and ours is faith-based, and the two are hostile in most cases.

    I believe it is impossible for science to prove or disprove faith.

  41. @ Steve – amen. And we could add evolution to this “downgrade”…

    Interesting how soon everything in the bible is up for conjecture once we walk down that rabbit trail.

  42. It’s my opinion that Pell put back the Christian debate with atheists several years because he chose to support an irreconcilable fallacy rather than press to define the supernatural and spiritual difference between the unbelief of atheists and the faith of Christians.

    Although I am not a great fan of RC dogma, Pell was selected to represent me as an Australian believer on the basis of his claimed faith in Christ and his leadership of the most populous denomination in the land.

    Dawkins, although British, represented the atheistic science block, who remain a minority in Australia.

    There are more Catholics than there are people who claim no religion. There are fewer atheists than agnostics, so it is an extreme minority, yet they are given an extreme voice, especially on the ABC, the public broadcaster paid for by Australian tax-payers, the majority of whom align themselves with Christianity.

    Pell did not represent the bulk of Bible believing Christians with his affirmation of evolutionary theory as part of he plan of God.

    It would have been far better to have been represented by Archbishop Peter Jensen who, despite being controversial choice, is a Bible believing leader with a far greater intellectual ability to deal with angry, deceptive, manipulative minnows like Dawkins.

    Pell did very well in some areas but his denial of the Creation in favour of evolution was a serious let-down which left Bible believing Christians with the quandary of having to contradict the opinion of one of the leaders of the churches, someone who is recognised by secular media as a spokesman for Christian thought and theology in Australia.

    He had the double dilemma of having to negotiate both Dawkins and Jones but they are godless men with no spiritual power. If we are going to toe the line and be even minded with the faithless and profane in these kinds of debate we might as well pack up and go home now.

    These are the opportunities to call down words of supernatural fire from heaven to consume the ideology of these false prophets and their earthly wisdom and demonology with the simplicity and power of the truth.

    That is what the majority of viewers are looking for in these discussions – leaders who will stand up and say it as it is, as the Bible states it, and stop messing with sacrilegious fools at their level by introducing the reality of Christ into their low-life world.

  43. OK, I find out that Peter Jensen is theistic evolutionist. He would have nodded at most of what Pell was saying! Probably said said it more articulately!

    Lord spare us! So he’s out then.

    Dear God, how many leaders are there in the nation who actually believe their Bible and preach the full gospel!

    Someone call down heaven! The altar of twelve stones is erected, the bull cut to pieces, the meat drenching in water from the Jordan, the false prophets lined up and cutting themselves to pieces. All we need is fire!

  44. We have beautiful posters on Creation out in the children’s hall and morning tea area. There they are in their full glory – Adam & Eve, the Fall, the Flood etc etc…..that along with the Gospel in all its beauty preached every Sunday.

    Children taken throught the OT at the moment, in quite a mature way. All the gory bits and they love it! 🙂 🙂

  45. Glad to hear it, margot. Kids love blood and guts!

    I fear for Moore College though!

    Bones, are you Pell? Your doctrine seems similar. He doesn’t believe in Adam and Eve either, and says atheists might go to heaven! And the wine turns into Jesus at mass, of course!

  46. Wow that’s really nice, Margot. My aunt has some nice pictures of Adam and Eve and the Flood in her Watchtower magazine.

  47. @ Bones – your sarcasm is wasted on me.

    I’m a self-confessed young-earth creationist.

    You continue to denigrate those who hold that view, when as far as I’m concerned, you can hold to whatever view you like.

    Whatever floats your boat (there’s probably a few holes developing, but you can always bail out).

    Jesus, our God in human flesh, views Genesis as literal history so “I’ll have what He’s having”……

  48. The most common denigration that I’ve come across on this issue is that Christians who accept evolution are somehow inferior to literalists (who can’t even agree with each other on how Genesis 1 and 2 are to be interpreted as seen on this thread).

  49. OK, I find out that Peter Jensen is theistic evolutionist. He would have nodded at most of what Pell was saying! Probably said said it more articulately!

    Lord spare us! So he’s out then.

    Keep going then Steve, there must be someone reputable who agrees with you. Its a little difficult because it such an extreme view but I’m sure you can find someone.

    Now for your argument that the ABC is supported by taxpayers the majority of whom align themselves with Christianity, and your claim that Pell did not represent the “Bible believing” christians. A 2010 survey found that 79% of Australians believe in evolution. A 2009 study found that 32% believe in an evolutionary process guided by God – presumably these people are theists. This is larger than the less than 25% that believe in the literal Biblical account of human origins.

    But your single-mindedness and persistence in this belief in the face of contrary evidence is not half as scary as Margot’s and your nonchalence about the idea of feeding the gory OT accounts to young children – even delighting in their love of the violence!

    I’m sure this wasnt how it was meant to be… but of course you know best … and at least you’ve got all the verses to prove it.

  50. Brian told me… Brian told me… Brian told me so, I know everything I need to know ’cause Brian told me so.

    “I believe in creation. The Bible starts in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If I waver on the first 10 words of the Bible I think I’m going to have problems properly representing the rest of the Bible. However, timeframes, over what period of time that was, whether there was room for any evolving in some areas of life as well, I’m more than open to that. I’m happy to leave that to the experts.” (

    On no Brian, not you too! You’re out.

  51. As a Young Earth Creationist you might agree with Answers in Genesis.

    Using the Bible, well-documented historical events, and some math, we find that the Flood began approximately 4,359 years ago in the year 1656 AM [anno mundi] or 2348 BC.

    So there you have it. Only 8 people left alive on the planet in 2348 BC.

    Which is interesting as ancient history tells us:

    In 2334 BC – only 14 years after the flood – Sargon the Great began establishing the powerful Akkadian empire. This task involved defeating in battle a variety of Sumerian city states, some of which had populations in excess of 100,000 inhabitants (e.g. Lagash and Uruk).

    By the time of Noah’s flood, the Egyptians were just wrapping up their 5th dynasty band and Pharaoh Unas was in the middle of building the Pyramid complex at Saqqara. The worldwide flood didn’t seem to slow the Egyptians down. Not a bad achievement considering they all drowned.

    The Indus were in the middle of their Mature Harappan Period (beginning in 2600 BC).

    The Minoan civilization was in the middle of their Bronze age in 2348 BC.

    Tha Aborigines tread water for a whole year of their 40000 year existence in Australia.

  52. Yes Wazza, can’t wait to see some of these OT inspired youngsters killing every last heathen for Jesus.

    The blood and gore will be wonderful.

  53. We really need some women of God like Jael to go around and hammer some tentpegs through the brains of heathen leaders like the leaders of North Korea and Iran like Jael did with Sisera.

    That would be wonderful.

  54. Get over yourself Wazza!! See the smiley face attached to my remarks.

    What’s more horrifying by the way, feeding children a lie so they can find YOU out later on and losing their trust, or being truthful in light of the need of all to come to a saving knowledge of Christ and His redeeming work. I’m not talking about infants but children asking honest questions.

    Biologos will have do a politically-correct version of the bible to satisfy you guys I guess. (Without the “gory bits” and with an “in the beginning ” point after the flood that didn’t happen?)

  55. Whats more horrifying by the way, feeding children a lie so they can find YOU out later on and losing their trust, or being truthful in the light of the need of all to come to a saving knowledge of Christ and His redeeming work.

    Well thats a matter for the philosophers, but in the meantime I’d say its better to err on the side of caution and DONT feed children the lie of Young Earth Creationism and also DONT scare the willies out of the poor young-uns with stories of wars, genocides and a vengeful God.

    Many more people have rejected the whole notion of God through a strict/unfeeling literal presentation in their childhood (including YEC) – which they found not to be so strictly tied down and agreed by all when they got to their teens/twenties, than those who have been given some freedom to explore and interpret from the start.

    Biologos – is that a term for the Word made flesh?

  56. Wazza2 – the Lord will lose none that the Father has given Him and those were chosen in Him before the foundation of the earth. Prove me wrong in that statement….

    We don’t get to interpret, only the Author does.

  57. Well I’m happy to go along with it if you can explain how it works, wazza or Bones.

    Let’s hear it!

  58. Can’t resist posting this…..

    “Arguing With Liberals – It’s like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how good I am at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, c…p on the board, and strut around like he’s victorious”

  59. Margot, did it ever cross your mind that the real task wasnt to get your oponent in check, but maybe to dance around a bit, knock over a few things and have some fun?

  60. What intelligent person can imagine that there was a first “day,” then a second and a third “day”—evening and morning—without the sun, the moon, and the stars? [Sun, moon, and stars are created on the fourth “day.”] And that the first “day”—if it makes sense to call it such—existed even without a sky? [The sky is created on the second “day.”]

    Who is foolish enough to believe that, like a human gardener, God planted a garden in Eden in the East and placed in it a tree of life, visible and physical, so that by biting into its fruit one would obtain life? And that by eating from another tree, one would come to know good and evil? And when it is said that God walked in the garden in the evening and that Adam hid himself behind a tree, I cannot imagine that anyone will doubt that these details point symbolically to spiritual meanings, by using an historical narrative which did not literally happen.

  61. ‘What intelligent person can imagine that there was a first “day,” then a second and a third “day”—evening and morning—without the sun, the moon, and the stars? [Sun, moon, and stars are created on the fourth “day.”] And that the first “day”—if it makes sense to call it such—existed even without a sky? [The sky is created on the second “day.”]’

    ‘For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”‘ 1 Cor 1:19

    Who is foolish enough to believe that, like a human gardener, God planted a garden in Eden in the East and placed in it a tree of life, visible and physical, so that by biting into its fruit one would obtain life? And that by eating from another tree, one would come to know good and evil?

    ‘The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.’ 1 Cor 2:14

  62. So, Bones, wazza, Greg,

    How does evolution reconcile with a Creator?

    I’m ready to listen. The floor is yours…

  63. Bones,
    Does that mean the Trees are still growing somewhere?

    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’ Rev.2:7

    ‘And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.’ Rev.22:1-2

    ‘Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.’ Rev.22:14

  64. So they must be growing somewhere then, Steve.

    Somewhere where we haven’t looked perhaps. A tree that bears twelve fruit. Are they all different fruit?

  65. Hi Zorro, those words werent actually mine, but those of the church father Origen from around 200AD. Maybe he wasnt a very spiritual guy, I cant comment on that. but at least it shows that the non-literal view of interpreting the Bible is quite ancient.

    In fact it is the literal view that is relatively recent… late 19th/early 20th centuries.

  66. A fruit for every month, Bones. Enough fruit for an entire year of life. And leaves to heal the nations.

    They grow before the Throne of God either side of the river which flows from the Throne. They are in the Paradise of God, Eden, which Jesus brought with Him to Heaven.

    But these things are all mythology to you and wazza. Just like Adam is an alegory for something, but not a created man.

    So, Bones, wazza, Greg,

    How does evolution reconcile with a Creator?

    I’m ready to listen. The floor is yours…

  67. Wazza, if you quote someone could you give the source, please, and not make us think those are your own words. I’m sure you don’t deliberately plagiarise, but it would be useful to know your sources. Thanks.

  68. If you read the Bible like any other book, you would conclude that Adam and Eve were real. Simply because the Bible records father and sons in an unbroken line. Moses, Abraham and the disciples of Jesus I’m sure all believed that Adam and Eve were literal people.

    I’m wondering on what we can agree on. i.e., how far back can we accept Genesis as history or at least historically based?

    Was Moses a real figure? Abraham? Noah? Was there a flood of any size?

  69. Steve, it shouldnt matter much who made the argument. The important thing is the truth or otherwise of the statements being made.

    Sometimes I do put unattributed quotes in as my comments, just to see who will argue against them by putting me down. I always attribute them to the correct source in the end though.

    Zorro tried the old trick of saying that I cant understand these things because I am not “spiritual” enough to understand God’s wisdom.

  70. I realised what you were doing, wazza, which is why I refrained from commenting, so it backfired and spoilt the conversation. It means you’re tricky as well as wrong on occasion.

    So how do you reconcile evolution with the Creator?

    Are you an evolutionary theist, a deist or a believer in Intelligent Design, or all three?

  71. “Zorro tried the old trick of saying that I cant understand these things because I am not “spiritual” enough to understand God’s wisdom.”

    You asked the rhetorical question “Who is foolish enough to believe […]”, and I gave you God’s answer as revealed in the Bible. So you are incorrect – I didn’t say that, God did. If you think the hat doesn’t fit, you need to take that up not with me, but with God.

    Here’s some more for you, since you don’t appear to read very much:

    ‘For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.’

    ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing’

    ‘But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise’

    Lots of luck leaning on your superior intellect in order to gain insight and understanding.

  72. Are you listening to this Origen? He’s kicking your ass. You might think you were one of the earliest Church fathers with access to first hand accounts of Jesus, but Zorro knows best. His interpretation of the Bible is the same as God’s

  73. Nothing like plucking a verse out of nowhere or out of context to justify your own argument.

    Scientists discover a cure for cancer.

    Aaaah but “The Wisdom of the world is foolishness in God’s sight”.

    Science has eradicated smallpox and other infectious diseases.

    Meh. “For the message of the cross is foolish to those who are perishing”.

    Look there’s Brian Houston’s book “You Need More Money”.

    “But God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”

    Aaaah I see how it works now.

  74. If the leaves of the Tree heal nations, do you take that literally?


    How can leaves of a tree heal nations?

    Surely that is symbolic.

    Maybe someone more spiritual than me can explain that.

  75. I am an evolutionary theist. Do I know exactly how it works, No, but we believe that God orchestrates a number of things even though we also have perfectly good natural explanations for their occurance.

    For example we give thanks to God for food. But we know that someone has cooked the food, we know someone bought it, we understand the economic systems that allowed us to earn money to buy the food, and the vendor to transport it from the farmer. We understand the principles of agriculture and animal husbandry that the farmer used to produce the food. We even understand many of the biological processes that caused the plant or animal to grow and reproduce, sometimes down to the molecular level.

    So even though the food didnt magically appear, spontaneously before our eyes we still thank and attribute the provision to God. Why?

    I think theres something in that for all of us, dont you?

  76. “Are you listening to this Origen? He’s kicking your ass. You might think you were one of the earliest Church fathers with access to first hand accounts of Jesus […]”.

    So you think that:

    a) Origen’s status as a “Church father” gives him credibility, and
    b) Origen had a better understanding by virtue of his access to first-hand accounts of Jesus.

    It appears that you are into both cross-generational spiritual hierarchies and gnosticism. Do you go to a pentecostal mega-church, by any chance?

    P.S. Who said “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” ?

  77. Thanks Zorro.

    Great answer.

    A bit like what is 3+3?

    The answer:


    Because Jesus is the answer to all our questions.

  78. Well that’s a logical argument isn’t it.

    If I ask how did all the animals fit onto the ark or how many Israelites were actually in the Exodus then I am naturally questioning the actual resurrection of Jesus.

    So don’t ask questions of the Bible. To do so is the question whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.

  79. So Zorro, who actually is Mystery Babylon in Revelaton?

    Do you believe Revelation to be based on factual events or are they symbolic?

    I’d really like to know because I’ve heard thousands of explanations by people all purporting to be authentic Bible believing Christians inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    When Jesus said “I am the vine” did he literally start growing vines out of his body.

  80. So you understand that Jesus rose from the dead – that’s a good start.

    How do you think He did it, logically speaking? How would explain it to an atheistic scientist?

  81. Can you bring a person to faith in Christ by arguing with them? Paul in Acts 17 used an interesting approach with the rationalist Epicurean and Stoic philosophers (these guys were pantheists as well) at the Areopagus. By claiming their Unknown God was actually the same God that raised Jesus from the dead. He could have easily said “bah, you guys are pagan worshipping and sacrificing to an idol. Heathen pagans.” By doing so he would have turned all of them off the Gospel. And that is how many Christians would have and have responded. Paul’s response however was to give witness to the risen Jesus. Some rejected, but some wanted to hear more.

    Paul and the disciples message was simple: Jesus is risen. Their witness was their evidence. Many heard and believed, many heard and didn’t.

    Also we need to remember who brings people to repentance and faith?

    The Lord Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”, and again, “no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (John 6:44, 65).

    So if an atheist professor can’t find the rationale to believe that Jesus is raised then it’s between him and God. I can only give my witness to what Jesus did for me.

    He is risen. Alleluia.

  82. “Also we need to remember who brings people to repentance and faith?

    The Lord Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him”, and again, “no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (John 6:44, 65).

    So if an atheist professor can’t find the rationale to believe that Jesus is raised then it’s between him and God. I can only give my witness to what Jesus did for me.

    He is risen. Alleluia.”


  83. And if I was witnessing to an atheist about Jesus, I sure as heck wouldn’t be talking about evolution or using that as a stumbling point for belief in the Risen Jesus.

  84. “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” Matthew 18:9

    Why are there so many Christians that still have both eyes? Or is this passage somehow allegorical?

    But if Christ used allegory or symbol in this case, what is to say He didnt use it in other places? Maybe even when referring to Adam and Eve?

  85. or is that the ones who interpret this literally are exactly the ones who dont need to be told it, because they are so spiritual that their eyes never caused them to sin?

  86. As did this guy

    HAYDEN, Idaho (AP) — A man who believed he bore the “mark of the beast” used a circular saw to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called 911, authorities said.

    The man, in his mid-20s, was calm when Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies arrived Saturday in this northern Idaho town. He was in protective custody in the mental health unit of Kootenai Medical Center.

    “It had been somewhat cooked by the time the deputy arrived,” sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. “He put a tourniquet on his arm before, so he didn’t bleed to death. That kind of mental illness is just sad.”

    It was not immediately clear whether the man has a history of mental illness. Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Johnson would not say whether an attempt was made to reattach the hand, citing patient confidentiality.

    The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury.”

    The book of Matthew also contains the passage: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

    Wolfinger said he didn’t know which hand was amputated.

    And this guy

    SALAMANCA . – A young man of 30 years cut off his penis and threw it down the toilet in Salamanca, where he is admitted to the Hospital Clinico Universitario, safe barring complications and favorable developments in his health, sources of Territorial Delegation of the Board.

    The man, residing in Alarcón Street in San Bernardo district of Salamanca, used a sharp object early on Thursday to amputate his penis because he “did not want to sin any more” , as published by the newspaper “La Gaceta Regional Salamanca ‘.

    A relative of the victim , who was in the same house, alerted the Emergency Service at 5.00 pm, after which he traveled to the scene a mobile ICU who took the injured to the Hospital.

    For now unknown facts about the identity of the young and if you have some sort of psychological problem that could have led him to cut his penis.

  87. “The answer: – JESUS.
    Because Jesus is the answer to all our questions.”

    That’s great. Can’t wait to use that line.

  88. Steve, Zorro and Margot on one side, Wazza and Bones on the other.

    And I don’t know….

    To Steve, Zorro and Margaret, would any scientific evidence of evolution convince you?

    And to Wazza and Bones, what part of Genesis to you take as being fact. In particular which biblical characters do you think actually lived?

  89. Good question, SM. We’re talking about people who were written about thousands of years after they lived and after the purported events with no eye witnesses.

    That to me is a big difference between say Adam and Eve, Noah as opposed to David and the Chronicles of the nation of Israel and the life of Jesus and the accounts of the Apostles.

    In the end I’m not going to worry about who did or didn’t actually live,but what does God the Author want to say to me through His writings. That’what’s important.

  90. wazza,
    Origen: believed that souls existed before they were born, in fact, before the creation; held to a form of uiversalism where the wicked, and even Satan, would be reconciled to God at the restoration of all things; considered the Son of God to be subordinate the Father, and therefore contradicted what would be the doctrine of the Trinity.

    So even though the food didnt magically appear, spontaneously before our eyes we still thank and attribute the provision to God. Why?

    The context for giving thanks for food:

    1 Corinthians 10
    25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake;
    26 for “the earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness.”
    27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake.
    28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness.”
    29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience?
    30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
    31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
    32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,
    33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

    Romans 14
    1 ¶ Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
    2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
    3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
    4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
    5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
    6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
    7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
    8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
    9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
    10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    11 For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
    12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
    13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
    14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
    16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
    17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
    18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
    19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
    20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
    21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
    22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
    23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

    1 Timothy 4
    4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
    2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
    3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
    4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;
    5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    I don’t think the passage you put up in reference to why we give thanks for food has anything at all to do with the real reason for thanksgiving.

    It’s all just poppycock!

  91. Bones,
    You asked were the trees were. I showed you, believe what you want to believe.

    I don’t know why you’re so snarky when I show you scripture. Shouldn’t scripture, particularly of the New Testament, be part of what a Christian utilises as a guide to life and living?

    And where has anyone said anything about science being wrong or not having contributed. You absolutely made that up in your temper! Science is marvellous. I’m more with Faraday and the like than Darwin, that’s all. Like Faraday I believe one of the great opportunities of science is to prove God, not to deny him.

    Do you think God is absent from scientific discovery and utilisation?

    But trying to align the Genesis accounts with modern science is folly. It’s also disagreeable, especially when wielded by atheists with the mission of discrediting God and liberals with the objective of shaming evangelicals.

    The other controlling element of the antichrist atheists is singling out passages of scripture for ridicule, such as the creation account, the flood and the death and resurrection of Christ.

    Rather than prove the missing elements of evolutionary theory, they invariably attack the more difficult passages of scripture, which require spiritual wisdom, faith and understanding, from a purely reason and scientific perspective, with the basic premise of evolutionary theory as their starting point.

    My attempt on this thread has entirely been to ask you to demonstrate why evolution is a believable option, and how the anomalies, and I produced one simple example of interbreeding, could be explained.

    Thus far not one convincing example or slice of evidence has been produced, only the expected juvenile attack on seeming Biblical aberrations.

    Can you reconcile evolution with the Creator? If so, how? If not, there is no reason to accept that you are correct in your evolutionary theism, and neither is the Catholic Church, or Archbishop Jensen, or Origen!

  92. I knew you would go away and google some dirt on Origen!

    I dont care if he tortured puppies in his spare time… The point is that the argument should stand on its own merits.

    You dont like it when I dont attribute the source of the quote, because the first thing you do is to check the authorship of a statement, not the truth or otherwise. Once you have found out who said it, you can then decide whether to fully agree, partially support or argue against the statement.

    And your long list of Bible quotes about eating and drinking have nothing to do with my point. They are about being free of religious restrictions and false piusness, not to do with the basic practice of being thankful for God’s provision.

  93. Actually, wazza, my response was to the claim that someone who is considered a patriarch is therefore untouchable as far as opinion is concerned. That was how you and Bones argued it.

    In fact, by your own admission, that was how you set it up.

    Now when it’s pointed out to you that Origen was far from orthodox you squeal, when, in fact, the Church he was involved with put out 15 anathemas against him, which, if anyone refused to consider them anathemas, the church would condemn them!

    I don’t agree with their hogwash either, but it does come from other ‘patriarchs’ who condemned the patriarchal patriarchs, although it’s your contention that the patriarchs are out of bounds when it comes to criticism of anything they say.

    The only people who count as untouchable as far as doctrine is concerned are those who are separated and recognised by Christ.

    The rest of us have to put up with scrutiny by the Word of Gd and the Spirit, even if, like Origen, we were born and lived closer to the time of Christ.

    Maybe most of what Origen said was relevant and worthy, but to hold him up as unimpeachable simply because he says something which backs up your opinion is rather arrogant.

  94. wazza,
    And your long list of Bible quotes about eating and drinking have nothing to do with my point. They are about being free of religious restrictions and false piusness, not to do with the basic practice of being thankful for God’s provision.

    What? Read again. They tell us exactly what giving thanks is all about. They all mention giving thanks.

    Your point is ridiculous and you know it.

    It is absurd because it is based on your unbelief, and your refusal to admit that God has anything to do with harvests, with seasons, with seed sown, with the increase, with the weather, with empowering people to get wealth by giving them the ability, strength, ideas and conditions to forge a living out of the land and out of industry, with natural conditions, or anything to do with the creation.

    You think the birds feed themselves, and are not supplied by God, as Jesus told us. You think the lilies clothe themselves, and God has nothing to do with their beauty. You think Solomon gained his wisdom and wealth without any contact with God. You think people have sown, produced, harvested and supplied without the influence of God in any way.

    Why should anyone give thanks for the input of God when there is none, you mock!

    In fact, you think everything was evolved from nothing completely without the influence and assistance of God, even though you refuse to explain how, because you don’t know how.

    Evolution, by its very definition and premise cannot include the involvement of God, or a Creator, or an Intelligent Designer.

    It had to take place completely by circumstance, chance and in a random, unpredictable fashion.

  95. You, like all evolutionists, remove the Husbandman, and think the garden grows in neat, pleasant, fruitful rows by itself.

    But we know what happens to the untended vineyard left to itself. It grows nothing but wild vines and tangled branches, fruit bitter to the taste, choked by thorns and brambles.

  96. @ Bones – then you better consign Jesus to the Ripley Files as well.

    The Sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-42)

    “38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

    @ Bones – how do you discern what God wants to say to you through His word, when you continually reject, as true, a lot of what He says…..?

  97. Steve, I cant really tell if you have totally missed the point, or if you just dont want to get it.

    In either case what you have produced is a tirade that is quite inaccurate, offensive and not worth the elctrons used for its transmission.

    It really is not worth discussing the issue any further with you.

  98. “but what does God the Author want to say to me through His writings. ”

    What makes you sure that he is the author and that he wants to say anything to you?

    Also, if Jesus talked about Jonah do you think he did so on the basis that He knew it was just a fable but that he knew that the listeners ignorantly believed it was a true story and he was getting down to their level? Or do you believe that the listeners then also knew that the story of Jonah was a tall story written just to make a point and it was only later that people got it mixed up.

    I dunno Bones, the same people who say that Adam, Eve, Noah, the story of the Exodus, and Jonah and the whale were all just stories also say the same thing about the miracles of Jesus and those recorded in the Book of Acts.

    How do you personally determine what from Genesis to Acts actually happened? Do you think Jesus fed 5000 with a few snacks? Why or why not? And do you think Jesus physically rose from the dead? And ascended into the clouds?

    And do you think there is an actual heaven somewhere? And why?

    My theology professor didn’t believe in Adam or Eve, or Noah, or the Red Sea crossing, but he didn’t believe in Jesus walking on water or being born of virgin either.for the same kinds of reasons. He also knew that you couldn’t prove that after you cut up someone’s body into a million pieces that a soul or spirit went anywhere.

    iow, why do you believe in God at all, and why do you believe that the Bible is “God’s word” in any way.

  99. @ Greg – ever done a study on prescriptive and descriptive texts?

    Love you as a friend but can give you no credibilty for sound exegesis of biblical texts. If He needed to draw a point to himself (agree) why use the example of Jonah (descriptive)?

    By the way there more than one Judas in the bible too. 🙂

  100. Greg, re your Popeye analogy, that’s my question. Some parents would talk about Popeye, knowing that their kids mistakenly believe he exists. In your opinion, did Jesus use a Jonah illustration knowing that the listeners were “children” in their thinking?

    Some parents don’t tell their kids about Santa Claus, Popeye or the truth fairy.

  101. And what do you believe, SM? You seem to be sitting on the sidelines throwing out questions when it is apparent your mind is made up. Are you a 6 day creationist? Are you Young Earth or Old Earth? Is evolution fact or not, given your previous post that said it is an injustice to not teach children evolution and that Genesis shouldn’t be a science lesson. Was there a worldwide flood or not? Which is when the human race was kicked off again.

    I notice evolution has supporters in the Evangelical camp like JI Packer and John Stott. Does anyone doubt their belief in the risen Jesus or a Jesus who can do miracles? Are they unsaved and compromising the Gospel?

    Stott wrote

    It seems perfectly possible to reconcile the historicity of Adam with at least some (theistic) evolutionary theory. Many biblical Christians in fact do so, believing them to be not entirely incompatible. To assert the historicity of an original pair who sinned through disobedience is one thing; it is quite another to deny all evolution and to assert that separate and special creation of everything both subhuman creatures and Adams body. The suggestion (for it is no more than this) does not seem to be against Scripture and therefore impossible that when God made man in His own image, what He did was to stamp His own likeness on one of the many hominoids which appear to have been living at the time (John Stott, The Church of England Newspaper, June 7, 1968).

    I notice the creationist side didn’t even bother responding to your question.

  102. Please add me to Margot, Steve and Zorro’s team.

    Young earth, literal Adam and Eve, actual trees and a purpose-built garden of Eden, really walking with God, really meeting a talking snake, really disobeying God, actually banished and clothed by sacrificial animal skins with consequences we know todaqy, real angels guarding the entrance, real flood, with a small family saved by a real ark to re-establish humanity, following an actual lineage tracing its path to Joseph…..and happy that Jesus was also in this camp too.

  103. SM,

    “To Steve, Zorro and Margaret, would any scientific evidence of evolution convince you?”

    No, it wouldn’t. Of course, no conclusive proof will ever arise.

    Bones asked “How can leaves of a tree heal nations?”, to which I responded “How can a man rise from the dead?”. Bones thought my answer to be trite, and so missed the point. Bones believes that Jesus rose from the dead – something that is logically impossible – yet other things in the Bible he refuses to believe, on the basis that they are logically impossible. He has “selective faith”, and chooses to believe some things but not others.

    Isn’t it true that if Jesus rose from the dead, then the account regarding, say, the flood, could also be true? “Oh no!”, they say, “the account of the flood is really just a fable – it couldn’t possibly be true!”. If they were consistent in applying their logic, they would hold that the resurrection of Jesus couldn’t have actually occurred, since it is likewise “impossible”. So how did the blind receive their sight? How did the deaf receive their hearing? How did the crippled and lame walk?

    God reveals His glory when He does things that no man can explain or understand, and we glorify Him when we believe – indeed, blessed are those who have not seen, and yet still believe. Spiritual schizophrenics who want to cherry-pick the truths that they will accept on the basis of mankind’s incomplete and flawed understanding of God’s creation do not give glory to Him – and they don’t do themselves any favours, either.

  104. Re Popeye, Santa Ckaus etc, Jesus isn’t talking to an audience in pre-school. They were firm believers in the Pentateuch and would subscribe to the authenticity of Adam and Eve. Luke 3 records the full historical line back to Adam, and Jesus uses the audience knowledge of Adam and Even in Matt 19 to make his point. The Abraham and Lazarus story comes at the end of a series of parables, and fits in neatly to this type of story-telling.

    SM, the only thing ‘mraculous’ about evolution is how species continually improve themselves apparently and evolve into higher order beings. It would be remarkable indeed if we were surrounded by a plethora of species in transition to the next level up the scale – but it’s not in evidence. Whales and elephants, with their huge brains, are still the same as they we when created, as are dogs, horses and spiders. Why is it that monkeys made the great leap to form complex languages and invent stuff? Why haven’t we got a water-borne race of intelligent life? Dolphins have had enough time you’d think. If living on land was the key to success, why didn’t every bony fish jump out and start growing amphibious or reptilian legs? Call me ill-informed, but I don’t get the answers to these elementary questions from the Darwinians.

    Thankfully, the bible never declared the earth to be flat, which got comprehensively outed as false 500 years ago, but it did say God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed into him his life. A different creative technique and description from all of the other animals, yet evolution would have us related to the ape, and back through small mammals to dinosaurs and eventually primordial soup, ignited by meteors.

    My faith is not that large to accommodate such a claim.

  105. Is there something wrong with you? I asked a question of a verse and I received a non-answer. Don’t think about it, just believe it. Did God give us a brain and critical thinking skills? Do you take Song of Songs as literal? Is your literal interpretation of Revelation the same as Steve’s, Margot’s, Zeibart’s. Steve’s quite happy to try and add to Creation account that there are supposed gaps between days.

    Actually to say that no scientific evidence will sway your belief sounds cultic.

    Many cults say the same.

  106. Bones, I don’t take Revelation literally because it was given as a vision and imparted in such a way as to be representative of future events without being totally prescriptive. The first 5 books of the bible are, however, supposed to be taken as they were designed to be read – as historical accounts.

    At what stage are we to start reading the bible as firm history? Babel, Nimrod, Abraham, Joseph – when do the fairy stories finish and actual events begin in Genesis? I’d like to know.

  107. So how did Moses write about the creation account if it was not revealed to him through a vision from God? God was the only eyewitness.

    How long after Adam, Eve, Noah and the Tower of Babel were those events written down.

    Thousands of years after they lived.

    But yeah. They can’t be wrong as historical recounts.


  108. In the Wiki article, I notice the science gets all fuzzy when it comes to explaining lactation (milk production). But it’s very good at creating cool names for fossil bits of animals which makes the authors seem really authentic.

    When evolution hits a problem zone, it just mumbles to itself and hopes that because it is confident about some other stuff, this bit we can just gloss over.

    I won’t insult your ability, Bones, to google the science in support of creation.

  109. “Is there something wrong with you? I asked a question of a verse and I received a non-answer. Don’t think about it, just believe it.”

    As I observed, you found the answer trite, and so missed my point entirely. It’s not that one should “just believe”, but that your inconsistency – believing some things that are impossible, but refusing to believe other things because they are impossible – has more than a whiff of the absurd about it. Theology for Monty Python fans, as it were.

    “Did God give us a brain and critical thinking skills?”

    Why do you ask? Do you think that my manner of expression betrays an intellectual lack?

    “Actually to say that no scientific evidence will sway your belief sounds cultic.”

    Sure. Either that, or someone who is firmly convinced in God – that is to say, someone who is not a spiritual schizophrenic.

  110. There is much we dont know, that science only gives the gist of.
    The universe appears to be fine-tuned to support concious life – if any of the universal physical constants were different by a minute amount the universe would be a very different place, incapable of supporting life as we know it.

    Quantum theory shows that the universe at its most basic level is not as we think it is, simultaneously existing in two states which are only resolved when someone observes them. God then may be able to influence the world merely by observing it. But this all depends on the I-word, yes even scientific theories must have interpretations – that word that fundies dare not speak.

    The fact that the human mind can even grasp some of these ideas of our incredible universe through the use of mathematics speaks to me of a creator who created not only the universe but the conciousness which can observe it.

  111. If all scripture is indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit, he must be wanting us to gain something from it. Genesis lays down the beginning of things and rationale for a saviour in concise form without any of the apocolyptic language and pictures that are in Revelation. John records images and sounds that are ‘like’ other things in an attempt to describe them (see ch 1-2). There is no ‘like’ in Genesis; God stated, through Moses, ‘this is how it was’.

  112. Not sure if the student really was Einstein, but it makes a good point:

    Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

    Student : Yes, sir.

    Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

    Student : Absolutely, sir.

    Professor : Is GOD good ?

    Student : Sure.

    Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

    (Student was silent.)

    Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: Is satan good ?

    Student : No.

    Professor: Where does satan come from ?

    Student : From … GOD …

    Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor: So who created evil ?

    (Student did not answer.)

    Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

    Student : Yes, sir.

    Professor: So, who created them ?

    (Student had no answer.)

    Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

    Student : No, sir.

    Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

    Student : No , sir.

    Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

    Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

    Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

    Student : Yes.

    Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

    Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

    Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

    Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

    Professor: Yes.

    Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

    Professor: Yes.

    Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

    (The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

    Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

    (There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

    Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

    Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

    Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

    Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

    Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

    Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

    Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

    Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

    Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

    Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

    (The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

    Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

    (The class was in uproar.)

    Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

    (The class broke out into laughter. )

    Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

    (The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

    Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

    Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

    By the way, that student was EINSTEIN (allegedly)

  113. Zeibart, this is the same God who speaks in parables and allegory.

    That’s a pretty poor diagnosis of Revelation. How often did John use ‘like’? Even if he did, so what. eg “I saw the sky open like a scroll.” He’s not saying the sky didn’t open. The point is the sky opened.

    Yes it’s full of metaphorical language but I think a lot of it is based on early Church history.

    And did I say that there was no purpose of the accounts?

  114. The universe is incredible and deeply humbling, and which is in the span of God’s hand, where we see his awesome handiwork through such technology. He is a God of life and new beginnings at the stellar level and micro too, and all the glory is his.

  115. Zeibart, you can find a lot more of those stories here.

    And of course it wasn’t the Deist Einstein. That’s a concoction dreamed up by Creationists to make them look better and feel better about themselves.

    I bet that Professor wasn’t Dawkins. But given that’s the only way you can respond

  116. Bones, the first chapter of Rev has many descriptions that are not reality, merely attempts to convey the unconveyable. There is not that linguistic sense in Genesis 1-3. It’s all very matter of fact (or faith). Family lines, geographical locations, lifespans and so on.

    I am sure science would have a few things to say about the Red Sea, the global flood, Moses time on Sinai, water from rocks, manna ie scoff that none of this was possible and could be explained away by cool, calm equations. We believe it happened nevertheless, um, don’t we?

  117. Bones, it was a light-hearted aside, and I’m forever shooting down internet circulars from family and friends using snopes. I wouldn’t give that conversation any more credence than the theory of evolution.

  118. So I gather that you give no credence then to any of the other sciences as well. That it is all just a conspiracy from astronomers (the age of the Universe, the process of Solar System formation), astrophysicists, geologists (the age of the Earth), biologists, anthropologists.

    We will believe medical that tells us viruses and bacteria mutate and evolve because um, the baddies might kill us and our kids.

  119. zeibart,
    In the Wiki article, I notice the science gets all fuzzy when it comes to explaining lactation (milk production). But it’s very good at creating cool names for fossil bits of animals which makes the authors seem really authentic. When evolution hits a problem zone, it just mumbles to itself and hopes that because it is confident about some other stuff, this bit we can just gloss over.

    That’s also what I have found generally about evolution theory. It gives lots of impressive names, lists and events but fails to tie them up with any kind of string, so it would, in fact, fall apart on real scrutiny.

    I still haven’t heard how evolution ad a Creator God can be reconciled. I can’t find exactly what the evolution theists propose or believe.

    Bones, is there a reference for this which is easily accessible? I’m happy to have a look, but what am I looking for?

    You come on here and bang away making personal comments and slick one-liners about people, and even setting them up with trickery, then when your motives and theology are firmly challenged you scarper.

    You actually started to show some convictions about your own belief for a while there, but when push came to shove you spat the dummy and decided not to take the opportunity to show me why I am wrong to assert that your evolutionary theism is flawed.

    On thanksgiving, perhaps you should explain your point if you think I’ve missed it.

  120. Bones, a discussion of time and eternity would be interesting to attempt to establish whether the universe is young or old. I think scripture gives it aeons, and that it is even present in Genesis. The argument about a young earth is answerable also, because the second verse tells us that after the creation the earth was without form and void. It existed in a state between the beginning and the investment of a life support system for mankind and the ecology God placed here.

    How this took place isn’t mentioned except that God spoke it into being. If you want to make it an evolutionary process you need to explain how that could take place without the involvement of God, or if you hold to a form of intelligent design where things evolved but with God’s assistance.

  121. The perennial problem is to view all this as creation VERSUS evolution rather than science COMPLEMENTING and INFORMING the creation account. It can be done. When you get into the detail of these hugely complex topics such as astrophysics, geology, biology etc, there are some fundamental absolutes missing. All it takes is for a rogue neutrino to be found where it shouldn’t be and quantum mechanics is in disarray.

    Steve put forward the Gen 1 gap between v1&2 theory, which supposedly allows for much longer time periods to have existed, a previous world destroyed by water that we join in the first scene of the bible. I’m not ruling it out, but if it’s just to get around the age problem, then we need to make some non-biblical assumptions. I don’t want to tear down the ‘science’ and be viewed as just sticking my head in the sand, but 99.9% of scientists can’t bring themselves to use their skills and technology to support ancient middle-eastern writings because that would appear to be totally counter-productive to their academic employability and sources of funding would be terminated immediately. So we remain at loggerheads. Pity.

  122. I’m not the one seeing it as a competition.

    Is it the role of scientists to support ancient middle-eastern writings? Umm, no.

    Their job is exploring science. Not validating which religious text is right. Whether the Koran is right or exploring Hindu myths is not the domain of the scientist. If a Hindu wants to believe that the world is held up by elephants and that earthquakes happen when one of the elephants move, they can. The scientist will say that in their observations and based on the physical and photographic evidence of the Earth that is not so. The Hindu however might decide to ignore the scientific evidence as being part of a conspiracy and keep believing their myths and maybe want it taught as fact as part of the school curriculum as it is an important part of their holy text.

    Then the scientists might start making some noise.

  123. Steve, you keep saying for me to put forward some sort of evolutionary theory or something for you to look at.

    Look, I believe that whether you look at Genesis as a 6 day Creationist or Old Earth Creationist or an evolutionary Theist (I don’t like intelligent designer – use God for crying out loud – I’m not ashamed of Him), God speaks to us the same. The message is still there for all of us. God created everything, He saw that it was good. Humanity has sinned and gone it’s own way, neglecting the God of Life to our own destruction as witnessed through history.

    I’m only interested in presenting an alternative view to creation in a forum where Christians who believe in evolution have been described as embarrassing or falsely described as Deists who believe that God has simply abandoned creation or as schizophrenic Christians (including Stott, Packer, Augustine).

    It’s a reason that I don’t speak of it at my own church which holds a literalist view of Genesis. The only time I spoke about it was when a father was berating his son at church about learning stupid evolution from atheist teachers at school. I felt that was over the line and that evolution wasn’t evil. I expected a please explain from the Pastor. The other reason is we are to build each other up in Christ and it’s really only a discussion I would have with like minded Christians or mature Christians who could handle it without having their faith threatened.

    I’m not putting anything up for you to read because I don’t really care whether you accept it or not. I can only say that like I accept that Jesus 2000 years ago rose from the dead. The conclusion I’ve come to is based on years of study of the Bible, astronomy, some evolution, discussion with scientists. I just think that billions of years ago God spoke the Big Band and, wow, it happened. Galaxies flying everywhere. All sorts of amazing stars and planetary material was flung out. And God spoke our solar system into being with it’s little Star and weird planets and wonderful blue one. And He had fun doing that. And on that little blue planet over the millennia, He shaped the planet preparing it for us creating all sorts of wonderful creatures like the dinosaurs. Why? Why not? Because He’s God and dinosaurs are cool and God said “Wow you’re cool.” Over the millennia while God was shaping the Earth the dinosaurs died, eventually becoming an essential fuel for His precious creation that He was planning for. God knew that as cool as T Rex was, He couldn’t live with humans. God had fun as well shaping and forming animals, watching as they changed over eons. Somehow, (I don’t know how) God created the ones He had been preparing everything for and bestowed on them His image.

  124. I think religion once followed the scientific theory that the world was flat and there was a dome over the top.

    Maybe science should admit its limitations, especially when it come to metaphysics and faith.

    Saying belief is not relevant because it can’t be scientifically proven is preposterous.

  125. Bones, you’ve mentioned conspiracy theories earlier, in a way that suggestes the creationist Christian thinks his worldview is being deliberately undermined by scientific developments. I can imagine the biggest cover-up the world has ever seen if the ‘science’ for evolution or the age of the universe turned out to be as flimsy as anthropogenic climate change – which it is in some quarters.

  126. Well the only conspiracy theories I see are the deviousness and dishonesty of Creationists who will go to any lengths to get creation taught in schools eg the recent court case Kitzmiller v. Dover

    This was the first legal test of intelligent design as a scientific theory, with the plaintiffs arguing that it is a thinly veiled form of creationism, the view that a literal interpretation of the Bible accounts for all observed facts about nature.

  127. Bones, I don’t know.

    And I said that in a post a while back.

    The questions I asked were not meant to stump you, or as accusations. You’re a smart guy and I honestly wanted to know your position better.

    I actually was going to add a sentence at the end saying that I was trying to attack.

  128. Bones, I liked that lengthy post of yours. Also, my post just above was meant to be sent last night. (Went to sleep in front of the computer).

  129. Once again, if you reread my post with all the questions on the basis that I’m just trying to find out what you believe.

  130. Some interesting excerpts from the manuscript of the documentary on that case

    NARRATOR: The Dover school board demanded that science teachers read their students a one minute statement claiming that gaps in the theory of evolution exist, and putting forward intelligent design as an alternative. The statement also directed students to an intelligent design textbook called Of Pandas and People that would be made available.

    NARRATOR: The 139-page opinion ruled that intelligent design is not science. Finding it had been introduced for religious reasons, Judge Jones decided it was “unconstitutional to teach intelligent design” in Dover science classes.
    JUDGE JOHN E. JONES, III: Both defendants and many of the leading proponents of intelligent design make a bedrock assumption which is utterly false. Their presupposition is that evolutionary theory is antithetical to a belief in the existence of a supreme being and to religion in general.
    To be sure, Darwin’s theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis, grounded in religion, into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions. The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the intelligent design policy.
    NARRATOR: Citing what he called the “breathtaking inanity” of the school board’s decision, he found that several members had lied “to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the intelligent design policy.”
    JUDGE JOHN E. JONES, III: The crushing weight of the evidence indicates that the board set out to get creationism into science classrooms, and intelligent design was simply the vehicle that they utilized to do that.
    NARRATOR: Jones recommended to the U.S. Attorney that he investigate bringing perjury charges against Buckingham and Bonsell for lying under oath. And “the overwhelming evidence at trial,” he said, “established that intelligent design is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”
    JUDGE JOHN E. JONES, III: In an era where we’re trying to cure cancer, where we’re trying to prevent pandemics, where were trying to keep science and math education on the cutting edge in the United States, to introduce and teach bad science to ninth-grade students makes very little sense to me. You know, garbage in garbage out. And it doesn’t benefit any of us who benefit daily from scientific discoveries.

  131. As for what I believe – like I said, I’m not as dogmatic as either camp. But this is my position at the moment, and call me wishy washy if you like, but I’m no great theologian, and certainly no scientist.

    First, I have no trouble believing in the miracles of Christ, the resurrection, the Exodus story, and I have no problem believing that we all came from Adam and Eve who were expelled from a garden that God placed them in.

    I am all for science, but I also know that scientists sometimes make new discoveries that are revolutionary and change the way they have looked at things for decades. There were times when archeologists dismissed some bible accounts until a discovery was made that changed the game. Maybe that will happen with this debate.

    I simply don’t know. I wasn’t there. So I don’t know if the earth is 10,000 years old, 5 million, or a billion. I understand that the majority of scientists believe in an old earth, so I can’t dismiss that so easily as others, because I really admit to being woefully ignorant. I could argue that I don’t understand how complex things like eyes fit into natural selection and evolution. And I still don’t understand why there aren’t more bones showing the gradual stages of evolution.

    BUT …I wouldn’t win an argument with a Professor, or someone with a PHd, or a basic degree in biology. And they can probably answer the questions I would put forward.

    I am open to the earth being very old, even there being life on earth before Adam and Eve. (Some say that the original text can mean that the earth “became void”.

    I don’t think Christians who believe in evolution should be villified, and I understand that it can be dangerous in some circles to admit you believe in evolution. But I’ve also heard that scientists who don’t believe in evolution can have a hard time in their careers too.

    I don’t get the order of creation in Genesis – so I can understand those who see it as not being a history or science lesson.

    I asked you those questions because I really want to know more about your position.

    I am fully aware of the traditional conservative view. It’s the one I grew up with, and hold to. It’s simple. The gospel accounts were real. And the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, and Paul and Jesus talked about the Old Testament accounts simply because they were true.

    I also understand the viewpoint that there may or may not be a God, but probably not and everything can be explained by science, and if it can’t, probably will given time. I don’t think a person is stupid for accepting the CURRENT established views on evolution and the age of the earth. It would be more incredible if scientists sad that they have decided that the first men lived 6000 years ago. Then what?

    What I want to know is if you are a Christian who believes in an old earth and evolution, and parts of the Bible as history, how do you decide which is history and which in not. If we go by the latest discoveries of archeologists, historians and scientists, then we might be jumping around every five years on the basis of the latest finding and theory. So, if you believe in evolution, then did Adam and Eve exist at all? Was there a real Adam who God related to and held accountable for sin because he had reached the necessary stage of evolution? What about Adam’s father, grandfather, or 50 generations before that? Or did God intervene and decide to make a spiritual creature at a time around the time of a few generations before Noah?

    So for me, these are really hard questions. To me creation, theistic evolution, atheistic evolution – they all present questions that baffle me.

    God creating Adam and Eve several thousands of years ago, I can accept. It makes spiritual, biblical sense to me. And I’m still not convinced that scientists can really know beyond a shadow of a doubt how old the earth is.

    btw, I don’t mind people asking me questions. and I don’t mind answering “I don’t know”. I’m not here to win arguments.

  132. SM, I’m quite open to changing my mind when new things come along which challenge my old world view. Is there something wrong with that? Can you imagine a world where we didn’t change our minds or ask questions or doubt especially when confronted with overwhelming evidence? Changing your mind and the way you think is such a big deal in Christianity. You’d swear that if you change your mind about something God’ll consign you to Hell for it.

    Did Adam and Eve exist? Not in the way we believe.

    There has been archaeological evidence found of the Exodus from the Egyptian side as well as much of the Old Testament.

  133. No evidence has been found of a garden of Eden, talking snakes, worldwide flood (is that guy still in Turkey looking for the ark?)

    btw after the flood, how did the Aborigines get to Australia?

    And why are their different human races?

    Anthropology can give us an answer so I don’t know is not an option.

  134. ” I’m quite open to changing my mind when new things come along which challenge my old world view. Is there something wrong with that? Can you imagine a world where we didn’t change our minds or ask questions or doubt especially when confronted with overwhelming evidence? Changing your mind and the way you think is such a big deal in Christianity.”

    Totally understand and agree.

    But re the exodus, from what I understand, the current position among archeologists is that there is little evidence of such a huge migration of people. Most academics I am aware of consider the stories in Exodus to be gross exaggerations based on the lack of archeological findings and historical records.

    Does that make me doubt Exodus and Joshua? No. I just think they haven’t found everything that can be found yet.

  135. The archeaological digs on Sodom and Gomorrah have found some interesting stuff.

    Maybe things didn’t happen exactly as written but that doesn’t mean they didnt happen at all.

    I’m more concerned with the creation account because I’m a teacher and I don’t teach lies (eg evolution is a lie myth).

  136. “No evidence has been found of a garden of Eden”

    Not yet. Maybe there won’t ever be. But there have been cases where historians didn’t have evidence for towns mentioned in the bible and so dismissed them as myths. Do you think everything has been found?

    “talking snakes”
    The Bible never says that there were hundreds of talking snakes”.

    “worldwide flood (is that guy still in Turkey looking for the ark?)”
    I don’t know if he’s looking, but that doesn’t mean anything either way. Frankly, I’m disappointed that you’d make such a silly comment. You’re smarter than that.

    I also think it’s possible that the flood mentioned was localized. There are theologians who take that position. Look up the use of the term “the whole world”. It doesn’t always include Tasmania.

    btw after the flood, how did the Aborigines get to Australia?

    Have you heard of boats?
    People thousands of years ago traveling long distances is amazing and hard to believe but so are the pyramids, stone hedge, and the stuff on Easter Island.

    “And why are their different human races?”

    I think you might be surprised if you studied races, genes, breeding etc. I have no problem with accepting that I share a common ancestor with aborigines. People are more alike than you think.

    “Anthropology can give us an answer so I don’t know is not an option”

    I think it is, because I don’t believe anthropologists know everything. How much do you know about anthropology anyway?

    I guess this is the difference.
    You base all your beliefs on the latest majority scientific opinion, and then are willing to change along with that.. It means you might have to change your opinions radically every 20 years. I accept that.

    I don’t dismiss the latest scientific findings as ridiculous or not worthy of consideration, but I realize that even in 2012 we don’t know everything. So, I’m willing to say that “I don’t know” regarding
    knowledge in some fields regardless of the scientific consensus of 1812, 1912, or 2112.

  137. Bones, with all due respect, there is one thing that always bothered me and continues to bother me about teachers. They often seem to think they know more than they do outside of their field. Too used to pontificating. It’s a big problem. Most teachers I had even in primary school seemed to think they knew everything.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know”. Teachers….

  138. Different topic, and you won’t want to hear it, but I cringe to think of the kids in my year who became teachers. I really hope they stick to their subjects!

  139. I shall expand your comment about teachers to Christians. They often think they know more than they do outside of their field. Too used to pontificating. Most Christians I know think they know everything.

  140. Bones is only articulating the mainstream view, mainstream in terms of Science and also of Christianity. The major denominations accept Evolution.

    The big push against it came in the early 1900s with the fundamentalists who couldnt reconcile it with the Bible. It culminated in the Scopes monkey trial and a huge defeat for the fundamentalists. They then went underground until the 1980s and then tried to make some noise about it again. But it has always been a minority view and one that is increasingly difficult to argue for. The Dover school board case is their latest defeat and one that has brought scorn and ridicule upon their cause, and unfortunately upon Christianity in general, due to the devious and dishonest tactics used by the proponents of ID.

    Both the Scopes monkey trial and the Dover intelligent design trial were brought on by principled teachers who stood up to the religious law-makers of the time.

    Yes there are a lot of Christians who think that because they can read the Bible, they automatically know a lot more about the world than the combined knowledge of centuries of Science.

  141. Bones, good retort. But the difference is that teachers have a captive audience.

    You asked me for what I believed and I told you. And you hardly answered any of my questions.

  142. What did Adam and Eve have grandparents?

    Here is a theological perspective on the transitional fossils of hominid skulls. There are now 15 different hominid skulls and even whole skeletons found of our ancestors and cousins.

    Heads up. We didn’t come from apes or monkeys.

    Theological Commentary
    I’ll begin with some definitions. According to “The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible” (1991) edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Genesis uses the Hebrew word Nephesh in reference to humans and animals, meaning “that which breathes” (page 5). This word is usually translated “soul.” The human soul is our personality, our behavior, our intellect, our desires. Humans also have an immortal “spirit” (sometimes Hebrew Ruach) in the image of God (Hebrew Tselem) that animals don’t have. The human “spirit” is our immortal essence in the eyes of God, our sense of responsibility, our capacity for real love, the spiritual thing that goes to heaven or hell when a person dies. Thus we can make the following inferences:

    Plants have a body, but no soul or spirit.
    Animals have a body and soul, but no spirit.
    Humans have a body, soul, and spirit.
    Babies who die in infancy have a body, a spirit, and an under-developed soul.
    Since God is a spirit according to John 4:24, God the Father has no physical body.
    God has a soul, and that soul is Love (1 John 4:8).

    I’ll admit that these classical definitions are not what I’m used to in everyday conversation. When I hear a street preacher declaring that “Jesus Christ is in the business of saving souls!”, I understand that “soul” refers to the immortal spirit saved from hell. Nevertheless, I will employ the classical usage in this discussion. Let us proceed.

    Anyone who has read the first chapters of Genesis probably wants to know the answer to the Big Question: Which one is Adam? How does the lineup of fossil hominid skulls above fit with the creation accounts given in the Bible? Either Adam has a biological ancestor, or the intelligent designer has come up with some near-human special creations that have greatly confused us! Why create near-human creatures if we Homo sapiens are to understand clearly our special status? I don’t think that God is in the business of confusing or tempting us (James 1:13). I prefer to believe that Adam has a biological predecessor.

    Adam is the adopted son of God, adopted from a biological line of descent. God raised Adam, provided for him, taught him, cared for him, and gave Adam His love. That’s what matters. Have you ever spoken with adoptive parents? Have you ever made the mistake of asking who are the “real parents” of their child? Adam is truly the son of God in every way that matters.

    Still, this is not the creation process that I learned back in Sunday School. My childhood impression was that God took a lump of clay and formed it into a human shape, much like I would have made mud pies out in the back yard. God breathed life into it, and the “man” ran off like the proverbial gingerbread man.

    The childhood impression takes us only so far. For starters, my body is more than just animated clay. I have veins, organs, bones, a heart, a brain, lungs, and lots of other useful innards. We adults understand the creation process as more complex than the childhood story. When God tells Adam in Genesis 3:19 “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.”, we understand that the first “dust” is symbolic of the temporary and frail nature of our physical bodies. When Adam dies and is buried, his body will turn into literal dust.

    Genesis 1:11, 20, and 24 do not specify direct creation; those verses state that life forms shall arise from the earth at God’s command. That’s exactly what theistic evolution says. Genesis 2 says that life forms were created from dirt, from the soil, and given life. Evolution says that life arose from the soupy seas, from dirt, from nutrients, from decaying organic matter, from previous less-developed creatures. That’s dust! That’s dirt. That’s the earth.

    One may ask if this process is truly Creation, or merely Conversion of a previous life form? Biological evolution doesn’t sound spectacular enough to warrant the treatment that Genesis gives it.

    It’s not. However, biological evolution is the smallest part of what Genesis is describing. Genesis is primarily a faith account. The human spirit did not evolve. It was created by God in a sudden, miraculous, and creative act of supreme love! That’s what Genesis 1-2 is all about. The Author of Genesis does not care very much about the musty old bones pictured above, because He has much greater truths to impart. The creation of humans does involve our long descent from previous and lower life forms, but the most important aspect is our spirit and our relationship with God Almighty! God stepped into a biological line of succession and made something spiritually special happen. When Adam’s spirit was created and somehow infused with his soul and physical body, at that moment the earth saw something new that had not been witnessed in 4.5 billion years of history. A new creature lived in the spiritual image of God; capable of talking with God, walking in His ways, and returning God’s love freely and joyfully. That is spectacular!

    St. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”(NIV). We may say that the person has been converted, not created, but the Apostle Paul uses language of creation to describe the transformation. It’s a big deal! We pray with the Psalmist in 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.” The cells of our heart organ do not get replaced, but instead we pray for a brand-new life of righteousness. When we are born again, we are truly a new creation.

    The feline theologian Hobbes (in the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes”) says to the boy Calvin with disdain, “Your fingernails are a joke, you’ve got no fangs, you can’t see at night, your pink hides are ridiculous, your reflexes are nil, and you don’t even have tails!” [There’s Treasure Everywhere, by Bill Watterson, 1996, page 157] All true, and from the perspective of a Bengal tiger we are pretty pathetic. And yet – it is the Bengal tiger Hobbes that is now in danger of extinction, not humans. Yes, we are much smarter than other animals. But it seems that we have humble beginnings, as a bipedal primate in some corner of Africa.

    Is that a problem? Would people rather draw their ancestry from something as physically majestic as an elephant, as powerful as a lion (the “King of Beasts”), or as comfortable in the wild ocean as a porpoise? Quite frankly, many people think that apes are hairy, ugly, and smell bad! The little orphan orangutans that I met at Camp Leakey in Tanjung Puting Reserve on Borneo were all that, but they were also endearing and in great need of affection. That’s why they climbed up the legs of a tall jet-lagged tourist and snuggled into my arms. God also has great regard for the lowly and the humble. I learned it from Him.

    In the Virgin Mary’s song of praise to God (The Magnificat), she emphasizes how God has brought her up from lowly stature and exalted her to high degree (Luke 1:46-55, especially 48 and 52): “so tenderly has He looked upon His servant, humble as she is. … He has brought down monarchs from their thrones, but the humble have been lifted high.” I believe that God also exalted Adam, because (like Zaccheus) God knew that Adam had a curious nature and a willing heart. Christians do not glory in our physical or mental prowess, nor in our privileged position at the top of the food chain. We glory in what God has done for us.

    I will close with Psalm 8, that great hymn of praise to the Creator for His wondrous creation and for mankind’s place in it. The Psalmist indicates in verse 4 that without God we humans don’t amount to much. It is God in verses 5-6 who has lifted us up from our lowly position and made us stewards of His marvelous creation: “You have made him little less…”, “You made him master…”, “You put everything under…” God did all that, and not we ourselves (Psalm 100:3). Praise God!

    3 When I look up at the heavens, the work of Your hands,
    The moon and the stars that You set in place,
    4 What is man that You are mindful of him?
    Mortal man that You care for him?

    5 Yet You have made him little less than a god,
    With glory and honor You crowned him;
    6 You made him master over all Your creatures,
    You put everthing under his feet.

    7 All sheep and cattle, all the wild beasts,
    8 The birds in the air and the fish in the sea,
    And all that moves along the paths of the ocean.

    9 Oh Lord our sovereign,
    How glorious is Your name in all the earth!

  143. Wazza, I’m well aware that the mainline denominations accept evolution. I’m not interested in the Dover ID trials. Like I’ve said before, I have no problem with the teaching of evolution, and I’m not interested in pushing for the teaching of ID in schools either.

    I believe that schools should be teaching students the current consensus. No problem with that at all.

    I’m interested in knowing what part of the Bible Christian evolutionists take to be fact. I ask because I know ministers in mainline denominations who don’t consider the miracles recorded in the gospels as history either, and for many of the same reasoning.
    Unscientific, no historical proof.

    It’s no evidence for the truth, but it’s a fact that mainline denominational churches who deny the history of the Bible are dying. You can make fun of the fundamentalists, but that’s where all the growth is.

    The time will probably come when the mainline western denominations won’t believe in much at all.

    Do you and Bones believe that Jesus turned water into wine, fed the 5000, walked on water, and rose physically from the dead and ascended into heaven. If so, why?

    ( It won’t surprise me if you don’t, and I won’t call you nasty names).

    But I am sincerely interested in whether you believe in supernatural accounts as recorded in the gospels and the Book of Acts and why.

    Adam, Eve, Jonah and the whale, talking serpents are all myths in your view.

    So, how about a water-walking, wine-maker, fish multiplying Jesus, and Paul who cast demons out of people? Were those stories real or to make spiritual points?

  144. “Did Adam and Eve exist? Not in the way we believe.”

    You say that with a certitude that would be worthy of a statement of faith. And that is what evolution is – faith in something which has not been shown to be true.

    For the resurrection you have faith in God, and for creation you have faith in science (which is, by extension, faith in man). There is a word for that: syncretism.

    God gave most a mind with which to reason, but the free gift of faith He bestows only on those whom He chose before the foundation of the world. Faith can move mountains, faith makes a way for miracles, faith has seen the sick healed and the dead raised to life. Faith glorifies God, and is pleasing to Him – indeed, it is the only way we can come to him. Faith is the means by which men are saved; it is the way to everlasting life in God’s kingdom. So tell me, exactly what great and glorious matters of eternal import are wrought by virtue of a man’s intelligence?

  145. The old you believe in science therefore you don’t believe in miracles routine. Actually I think the whole of the Universe, our Solar System, Our Star, our Moon, our planet, our lives are all miracles. As awesome as Jesus turning water into wine.

    I believe that the Gospels and Acts are true historical accounts. Why?

    Jesus is God! He is Risen!

    What leads me to say that. Jesus Himself.

    12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

  146. Yeah you’re right, Zorro. Next time you get an infection, don’t go to the doctors. Just pray it away and have faith, brother. I wouldn’t recommend that as a parenting strategy though. Welfare would call it neglect.

    After all what would science know?

  147. “I prefer to believe that Adam has a biological predecessor.”
    “God stepped into a biological line of succession and made something spiritually special happen. When Adam’s spirit was created and somehow infused with his soul and physical body, at that moment the earth saw something new that had not been witnessed in 4.5 billion years of history. A new creature lived in the spiritual image of God; capable of talking with God, walking in His ways, and returning God’s love freely and joyfully.”

    Bones, thanks for taking the time to post that. Here are my questions.

    1. So there was a literal Adam whose father was didn’t have a spirit. From my understanding of evolution, there would have been many generations of humans who were of remarkably similar physical and mental development as Adam who could speak, love, hate, argue, reason, but God didn’t relate to them or require obedience in the same way he did with Adam?

    2. God began “relating” to humanity in terms of requiring obedience, love, worship with Adam who lived in what is now referred as the Middle East. Were there humans at similar levels of development in other countries? When did they receive their spirits? If Adam is traced back somehow as an ancestor of Abraham, and before him Noah, where do the aborigines fit in to this picture? You implied that you thought it was impossible for them to have come to Australia after a massive flood. Scientists believe they lived in Australia well before the dates you could consider Adam lived in. So where is the connection and the time-line there?

    3. Would Richard Dawkins etc have scientific problems with this God intervention? Is there any evidence for Adam? For the sudden “spiriitualization” of man beginning with Adam?

    4. Why does this man think Adam even existed? Or is Adam a synonym for homo sapien?

    5. It doesn’t seem strange to you that there are only 15 skeletons (and not even whole skeletons)?

  148. I reject the idea that evolution and Christianity are always and must be in opposition to each other. I reject the notion that if the scientific theory of evolution is true, then Christianity must be false. I reject the idea that people who accept evolution must be atheists. I reject the idea that the scientific theory of evolution fundamentally denies the idea of God the Creator. I reject the idea that evolution and Christian faith are inevitably in conflict with each other and cannot be reconciled.

  149. “The old you believe in science therefore you don’t believe in miracles routine. ”

    No I am not saying that. I was asking. No routine at all.

    “Actually I think the whole of the Universe, our Solar System, Our Star, our Moon, our planet, our lives are all miracles.”

    Fair enough.

    ” As awesome as Jesus turning water into wine.”

    You think he did that? Literally?

    I believe that the Gospels and Acts are true historical accounts. Why?

    Jesus is God! He is Risen!

    You believe in all the miraculous accounts in the gospels which defy reason and science and which no historians or anthropologists have verified or accept in anyway ….

    because “Jesus is God”? No proof. What do the scientists say about that?

    He’s risen? From where to where? You accept that he went up into the clouds…? Then kept going into outer space?

    What leads me to say that. Jesus Himself.?

    You then quoted Paul I believe who was arguing with people who called themselves Christians but didn’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, or that Jesus died. But you believe that Jesus rose from the dead because you feel faith?

    Or because you accept that there was a man called Paul who went around preaching that Jesus rose from the dead….?

    You are so sure that Paul existed and that he was absolutely sane when he went around telling people that Jesus was God and rose from the dead even though Paul doesn’t claim to have seen Jesus after the resurrection but to have heard voices when he fell off his horse?

    And how do you know that Jesus said what he said? I don’t know many anthropologists or historians who can say with any certainly that Paul is a reliable witness, or that Jesus ever claimed that he was God or that he rose from the dead, or even said that he would rise from the dead.

    Why? Because if you didn’t your faith would be in vain? Or that Paul’s preaching would be useless?

    Try telling that to the anthropology society.

  150. “The old you believe in science therefore you don’t believe in miracles routine.”

    Evolutionists are a little on the cynical side. I suspect that it’s an adaptive survival mechanism.

  151. SM, I am not nor have I ever been a believer in the Jesus Seminar. The ultra liberal section of Christianity.

    I read the Gospels as eye witness accounts. Written some 50 years or less after the events which is pretty darn close ancient document wise.

    Can you tell me who the eye witness of Creation was? (Aside from God) Do you believe Revelation is literal? If not, why not? If not how can you be sure the rest of the Bible is true.

  152. The fella from the theistic evolution website begins with a wrong definition of the human person. He clearly believes in a body, soul and spirit – a trichotomy. Most Christians would agree, or go with a dualistic view ie that we have a body and a soul/spirit. Either way, they deduct (wrongly in scripture’s opinion) that we have an eternal component that goes to heaven or hell on death.

    If I am anywhere near the atheistic evolutionist, it is that we are flesh and blood and that’s it. No ethereal, ghostly part that floats off somewhere to live in some cavern in the earth, or fluffy outer court of heaven called paradise. Nope, I’m having none of that, and nor was Paul, Jesus or the key early church fathers.

    BUT, I differ from the evolutionist in that we do have a separation from the animal kingdon. We are not of it nor from it. We are unique and enjoy God-given life, breath, free thought and, most importantly, the ability to act out of faith in someone unseen, unknowable (but who becomes known through Christ) and unprovable.

    I stand by the POV that when we erode a literal comprehension of early Genesis, we pull the rug out from all of scripture and it becomes an eclectic pick ‘n’ mix of what we want to believe and what mere science has told are the facts. I’d wager ‘science’ could prove Genesis correct, but it’s chosen an atheistic path that is totally at odds with such a motive. The scientific community, spearheaded by the like of Dawkins, can’t stand that seemingly illogical aspect of human nature called ‘faith’.

  153. Well of course it’s all a conspiracy, Zeibart.

    Science does not exist to ‘prove’ Genesis correct. Nor the Koran. Nor the teachings of Buddha. Nor the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Nor any of the pagan accounts. Nor any other religions creation story.

    All of whom believed that their creation story is just as true.

  154. Hey Mr Bones, I am okay with your list of rejections.

    The questions regarding Adam tying in with evolution are still problematic for me. Lots of questions there. But like I said in the first post, regardless of the viewpoint there are lots of questions.

    Revelation for me is not literal, but it’s a vision in the first place, not a recording of events which supposedly happened so I see it as different to Genesis or Exodus.

    I understand your position re eyewitnesses. But you are no doubt aware that most secular historians have problems with the credibility and lack of bias of the eye-witnesses. Somewhere, we all make a faith decision.

    Unless you’re a Calvinist and that decision is made for you.

    I really wish I could be as certain as all of you are in your respective positions. I hoped I would get more sure of things as I got older, but the opposite is happening.

  155. Anyway, too much time spent on this. If I understand your position Bones, you see the Gospels and the Book of Acts as historical accounts recorded by eyewitnesses, accept parts of Old Testament as fact or based on fact, apart from some which was never meant to be a science/history lesson but rather to explain God’s dealing with man. Esp, the first few chapters of Genesis, and you base that on the style of writing and the overwhelming scientific consensus.

    Is that right?

  156. “SM, someone once told me the opposite of faith isn’t doubt but certainty.”

    Sounds like something George Orwell would have said.

  157. Bones, thanks for the answers.

    The aborigine question was in response to the Adam article.
    The author claims that Adam was a real figure and that he was a special creation where God intervened in the evolutionary process.
    So this man believes that Adam was created as a spiritual being and was fundamentally different to all humans before him and I assume his contemporaries. i.e.. At the time we think Adam lived he was not the only human – there were humans in Australia too right? Unless he dates Adam as living more than 40,000 years ago.

    He wrote
    “The human spirit ….was created by God in a sudden, miraculous, and creative act of supreme love!
    God stepped into a biological line of succession and made something spiritually special happen. When Adam’s spirit was created and somehow infused with his soul and physical body, at that moment the earth saw something new that had not been witnessed in 4.5 billion years of history. A new creature lived in the spiritual image of God;…”

    So did this happen to Adam’s contemporaries at the same time?
    There are a host of problems with this explanation. About how many thousands of years did this happen? 40,000 years ago? 6000 years ago? According to evolutionary theory there would have been lots of humans like Adam all over the world 6000 years ago. But we have a line of fathers begetting type genealogy.

    You implied that the Aborigines in Australia disproves a world wide flood. My question is, when God made this “human spirit” with Adam, what happened to Adam’s contemporaries. Are their lines of humans descended from Adam who are spiritual beings and others who aren’t?

    I understand this guy’s point – but there are many scientific problems, questions and criticisms with his theory too.

    With this I’ll bow out.

  158. PS

    “Anyway, too much time spent on this. If I understand your position Bones, you see the Gospels and the Book of Acts as historical accounts recorded by eyewitnesses, accept parts of Old Testament as fact or based on fact, apart from some which was never meant to be a science/history lesson but rather to explain God’s dealing with man. Esp, the first few chapters of Genesis, and you base that on the style of writing and the overwhelming scientific consensus.”

    This wasn’t an accusation – but a clarification of your position.

    I have no problem with it by the way. I’m probably similar except that I am less certain, and have more questions than you.

  159. It’s interesting that Augustine believed in special creation of humans long before Darwin.

    As for Adam’s contempories I’ll leave you with this:

    Adam means “(red) earth.”

    ‘Adama’ is earth, ‘adom’ is red and Adam literally means man. They’re all spelled the same way in Hebrew but have different pronunciations.

    (Ad´am) [Earthling Man; Mankind; Humankind; from a root meaning “red”].

  160. Zorro’s quote about science made me laugh. The Holy Spirit inspired me to post this clip of Life Of Brian. Instead of Romans, insert science. What has science ever done for us.

  161. Apart from Boyle’s Law, and gravity, oh, and Schrodinger’s Cat, and General Relativity…

    not much.

  162. ““The old you believe in science therefore you don’t believe in miracles routine.”

    Actually, Bones, it’s more like this: I have faith in God and I believe in science, whereas you have faith in science and you believe in God.

  163. Thoughts from Doug Wilson on “Does Tim Keller live On An Old Earth?”….Friday, 13 April 2012 06:13

    “Tim Keller has provided us with a brief introduction to his thinking on the relationship of the current science and biblical revelation. You can find that essay here in six parts at BioLogos.

    After reading it, there were a number of questions I wanted to ask, and so then I decided to go right ahead. I thought that Keller did an admirable job laying out the basic questions, but I was either dissatisfied with the answers, or wanted to ask a follow-up question or two. You know how it is. So here they are, in no particular order.

    1. Keller takes great pains to distinguish evolutionary biological processes (EBP) from evolution as a grand theory of everything (GTE), and he stresses how important this is. He says that if they get muddled in the minds of Christians, then we might be tempted to skew how we read Scripture for the sake of guarding against the atheistic GTE. Point taken, and even for those of us who disagree, it is a distinction worth having. Don’t throw the EBP baby out with the GTE bathwater. But what about those of us who don’t believe that EBP is a baby at all, but rather a particularly ugly chimp that somebody smuggled into the nursery? Some of us want to say, “Hey! That’s not baby Jane!”

    So here is the question. If this confusion besets nonbelievers also, as Keller acknowledges it does, including their scientists, then how can we know that this is not skewing how they are reading the natural realm, e.g. the science itself? And if that is the case, then how do we know the science we are being asked to “come to grips with” is not a secularist tract or screed? How do we know that they are not policing their ranks, looking for any sign of heresy, sniffing it out, in order to make sure that nothing in the realm of pure science be allowed to challenge their GTE — including any evidence that stands against EBP?

    2. Keller makes the perfectly acceptable point that Scripture is not to be taken woodenly. Faithful Christians accept the Bible as God’s Word to us and they accept it the way it presents itself to be taken. Fair enough and we agree on that.

    He uses the example of one chapter of the Bible saying that the stars in their courses fought against Sisera, while in the previous chapter, in the account of the battle itself, there is no mention of the stars doing this, and so Keller takes the former as a poetic expression. Okay, but that doesn’t highlight the actual tension believers feel when they are up against the snark of high secularism.

    Keller also mentions how Luke begins his gospel, saying that he made a careful record of eyewitness accounts, and so on (Luke 1:1-4). His account is to be taken as a straight up narrative of what happened. But in the very next chapter of Luke, we have . . . more stars! And this should not be countered with the idea that they were not stars — it says the heavenly host (Luke 1:13), which is what the stars are throughout the entire Old Testament. And these stars don’t show up in some bard’s poetry after a battle, but rather come down and present the poetry themselves to some very startled shepherds (Luke 2:9ff). And Keller is right — Luke presents this as a stone sober historical account, and this is very much at odds with what so-called “science” would say to us about that particular possibility in the natural world.

    Now as a biblical absolutist, confronted with this particular embarrassment, I would say that even in our world, flaming gas is not what a star is, but only what it is made of. I am personally inclined to further speculate that these stars were all singing in the key of B flat, for wouldn’t it be pleasant if stars were all pitched like clarinets? But back to what the Bible actually says. When they all thwapped back up into the sky — the Greek verb describes something akin to what the stars look like in Star Trek when the Enterprise goes into hyper-drive — the historical claims being made here are enough to humiliate a full seventeen evangelical seminary professors who don’t want to be laughed at when they go to scholarly conferences. And when these angelstars went back up into Heaven, I am inclined to think that they did so in order to prepare that pie in the sky we have all heard so much about. Not only do I believe in that pie, I also believe in the ice cream on top of it.

    Where was I?

    Biblical absolutism need not entail a wooden fundamentalism. Indeed, in many ways it precludes it. The New Jerusalem does not come down like the space shuttle, and so on. But it must also be said, with the appropriate degree of merriment, that the biblical cosmology is absolutely at odds with what passes for respectable science these days. Until we are prepared to respond to the demands of that respectable science with a throaty kind of horse laugh (which, if throaty enough, would also be a hoarse laugh), we will never be free to love the Lord God with all our minds.

    All truth really is God’s truth, and that is something you can put in the bank. The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. But this is not the same thing as saying that any random thing said by a faithless one in a white lab coat is God’s truth.

    3. Keller does a fine job in stating the most formidable objection to theistic evolution, but then provides no adequate answer for it whatever. He says, “The process of evolution, however, understands violence, predation, and death to be the very engine of how life develops. If God brings about life through evolution, how do we reconcile that with the idea of a good God? The problem of evil seems to be worse for the believer in theistic evolution.” If, as I believe, the answer to this dilemma is that we can’t, Keller appears to grant this point by default because what I say we can’t do, he doesn’t do.

    The reason for postulating millions of years of life on this planet is to provide an account for the fossil record. But the fossil record is made up entirely of bodies. It is a graveyard record. It is a record of death. But this means that Adam did not bring death into the world — rather death brought Adam into the world. But Paul says that it was the other way around (Rom. 5:12). Moreover this would mean that God settled on millions of years of “nature red in tooth and claw” as His ideal means of creation — entirely apart from any sin or rebellion on anyone’s part — and that He looked down on this agonistic morass and pronounced it good. Talk about the problem of evil.

    Since the work of the Church in this world is the restoration of Eden, it is worth noting that theistic evolution mandates a complete reversal of the definition of creational good. It turns out that Eden was as bloody as the post fall world. What did we fall into then?

    4. The differences between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are neither here nor there. I think that everybody grants that they are two different kinds of accounts, and we all have different ways of accounting for it. I am a young earth creationist (YEC, if you want to know the code), and I am in agreement with Keller’s point that Genesis 1 is elevated prose. My commitment to a young earth comes, not from the first chapter, but from my acceptance of the genealogy given later in Genesis (Gen. 5:3ff), along with my acceptance of the laws of addition and subtraction. If Jazzbo begat Jazzbo Jr. when Jazzbo was one hundred and thirty two, it doesn’t matter if Jazzbo was actually the grandfather or great-grandfather. The math works the same way, and we find ourselves back in Eden right about the time Archbishop Ussher thought it would be there.

    While we are here on this subject, I will acknowledge I have before entertained the possibility that the days of Genesis 1 were days of revelation, when Adam was first learning to write, and the evening and morning were the first day, and then his hand was tired. But when this possibility arises, my first reaction was not to shoehorn millions of years in there so that I could win the approbation of people I have no interest in impressing. Those people think that the bright yellow canary and the sea lion are related by blood, entirely by chance, and on top of that, they think that anybody who doubts it is a certified moron. So I have other thing to do than chase the whistling wind.

    The secularists have created a scenario so unlikely that only God could make it work (theistic evolution to the rescue!), and as a result the secularists have announced that they have dispensed with the need for God. Reminds me of something my brother-in-law told me about his stint in med school. He had an unbelieving instructor who argued that the liver was so complicated that God couldn’t even make one. I guess that shows us.

    5. I have no problem receiving old-earthers as brothers in Christ, and further, I have no difficulty in recognizing that their ranks contain many fine thinkers, with way more heft and throw-weight than what I’ve got. But as Jube Tarbox might put it, where he here, “Thet don’t change what the Book says.”

  164. Enjoyed that post Margot.

    Ironically, the line that has got me thinking is

    “Since the work of the Church in this world is the restoration of Eden”

  165. Here is one thoughful reponse…..

    Pastor Wilson,

    I’m sorry this got so long. I don’t expect you to say anything about it, but I think it needs to be said.

    I also deny theistic evolution, and I don’t accept that the earth is billions of years old. I believe Adam and Eve were real people and that Genesis 1-11 are real space and time history. But I find myself in the curious position of believing that neither the OEC nor the YEC sides have quite seen the whole picture. OEC polemics seem too willing to accept “the findings of Modern science” as their starting point, forgetting about embarrassments like phlogiston theory, the absolutization of Newtonian mechanics, and the ever-changing healthiness-quotient of cholesterol. But YEC polemics too often glory in virtually Know-Nothing “Bible thumping,” which merely increases the insular self-perception of “Fundamentalists” as a culturally-defeated minority who, doggone all the dummies who don’t see it, is just plain RIGHT.

    One of the rhetorically problematic YEC claims is this complex of ideas that (1) a good God wouldn’t create good things progressively in a way that involved death, let alone lots of death over a long period of time, and (2) death per se came from the Fall, so we can’t accept any notion of substantial death and decay before the Fall. From your agreement to the point I raised, we see that we have to make a fairly subtle distinction about “death” and its relationship to the Fall. One wonders what other fairly subtle distinctions we need to make that in our haste to be militant defensores fidei we don’t think to make.

    I have recently come to see how big the Evangelical flirtation with EBT (and possibly even the scientific GTE) has gotten, and yes, it is a troublesome matter. But as a student of the Liberal Arts, I am concerned about the rhetoric of these creation disputes. We shouldn’t want the intellectual approbation of unbelievers if it means throwing the Bible under the bus, but the response to science as practiced by unbelievers shouldn’t, in my opionion, very often be “throaty laughter.” Modern science isn’t all of a piece, nor are today’s theologians as liberally minded (in the old Medieval sense) as they ought to be.

    (Do we really have to say, like Al Mohler recently and extremely unhelpfully said, that the reason the universe [i]appears[/]i to be old is because that’s just somehow one of God’s judgments on the Fall? Does our theology take into account that Einstein’s idea of the relativity of space-time reference frames, and so of the relativity of the flow of time itself, has been experimentally proven, and so is no longer a mere theory that we can dismiss with ad hoc “save the YEC theology” ideas such as that light speed has changed over time, or is very different in other areas of the universe? Do we really have to believe that the Grand Canyon is an artifact of the Flood, or that the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which enables work itself to occur, only started operating after the Fall? These and many more quite reasonable questions arise because of the desperate, culturally-non starting “Bible thumping” attitude that too often characterizes our engagement with Modern science.)

    We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against demons, yes – but this is complicated by the fact that the actions of the demons we’re wrestling against are all confusedly mixed up with the thoughts and actions of other flesh-and-blood image bearers of God. Unbelievers are fellow image bearers, not alien monsters. It’s not their fault they’re not regenerate, and anyway, what do we who are have that we have not been given? Who are we to boast – let alone laugh – because we have and believe the Bible? Augustine well says that we must remember that all converts to the City of God come from the City of Man, so we must bear patiently with them until we find them confessing the truth. We often must dispute with them, yes, but the disputing shouldn’t be like a “war to the knife” street fight.

    There’s a rhetorically harmful tendency in the self-described “Fundamentalist” camp (deriving from Bryan’s foolish behavior at Scopes) to pretend first to be experts on the Bible and second, to therefore be in little need of taking care in our remarks about science. Science is “their” world, the world of “the secular humanists,” the world of dummies who absurdly don’t believe “what the Book says.” This attitude ties in with the error you have identified over the years as “solo Scriptura” or “Scripture solitaire” – the idea that the Book is the only reliable source of knowledge, and since we, being regenerate, understand the Book we can and should laugh at everything that doesn’t match our understanding of the Book. If solo Scriptura is bad theology when we’re thinking about tradition, it’s also bad theology when we’re thinking about science.

    It seems odd to me that we are so keen on claiming that it is easy to misunderstand the data of general revelation, but we’re unwilling to consider the possibility that it’s easy also misunderstand the data of special revelation – especially when we have a psychologically immature need to define ourselves with reference to our brave fight against the hordes of barbarians at the gates. Older generations of Protestants, properly trained in the Liberal Arts, did not do their theology from a primarily defensive posture, nor did they substitute laughter (psychological self-reinforcement) for the search for wisdom that begins by admitting maybe we don’t know all that we think we know.

    We need to look closely at the relevant biblical examples of rhetoric. Who is Paul talking to when he rails against the foolishness of unbelief in Rom. 1 and 1 Cor. 2 and 2 Cor. 4? He’s talking to other Christians, people inside the camp. But how does he act when he’s talking to unbelievers, people outside the camp? There’s no “throaty laughter” or “Bible thumping” in Acts 17, despite the evident foolishness of paganism. Rather there’s an appeal to what they know in order to take them beyond what they know. This is how our discussions of creation ought to proceed, and not with the defensive posturing of people who, because of their own foolishness 100 years ago, lost the culture war for what vision of origins would be public orthodoxy, but today inexplicably pretend, mostly by a distortedly vituperative use of rhetoric, that they are still in charge.

    Lastly, if we really respect other Christian brothers who differ about matters like the age of the earth and who find themselves having to wrestle with the interface of faith and reason in a more rigorous way than we ourselves do, let’s stop this rhetoric of “That don’t change what the Book says.” They believe the Book is true too. They just don’t believe our account of what that truth is that the Book says. We should never forget that Truth itself is one thing, and our perceptions of Truth another.

  166. There were some impressive discussions there, Margot. I really liked the maturity that Christians displayed with each other without resorting to hysterics, mocking, name-calling and false generalisations which we all do. In fact it was quite humbling really.

    I appreciate that Biblical literalists are struggling with these issues and not putting their head in the sand.

    I really liked this

    One of the most intriguing ideas I’ve ever seen is from a Jewish scientist, Gerald Schroeder, who in his Genesis and the Big Bang argues that both the billions of years and the six-24 hour days are true. How? Because taking for granted that Genesis is divinely inspired, and so has both divine and human elements, we may appeal to Einstein’s now proven notion of the relativity of the flow of time to see two different, but simultaneous space-time reference frames in Genesis. The billions of years is our reference frame; the six-24 hour days are God’s. Schroeder then argues, with a lot of interesting support from ancient and Medieval Jewish commentators on the Torah, that Genesis 1 is quite an unusual document precisely because it is trying to describe, for finite human minds, the interface of two entirely different space-time reference frames.

  167. i think I’ll pass Bones. I probably will just come back to my original conclusion.

    That “I don’t know”. And I’m amazed at how dogmatic everyone is where firstly, they weren’t there, so can’t say anything with absolute certaintly, and secondly, there are experts who are clever who come to strikingly different conclusions.

    So how is a person like me to be sure?

  168. It’s all familiar you know. Take Copernicus. We all agree that the Sun is the centre of the Solar System and the earth is not the centre of the Universe. When Copernicus put forward his theory, he was pilloried by Catholics and Reformers alike on the grounds that it undermined Holy Scripture. Those Christians, Protestant and Catholic, took the Bible literally.

    How entwined the pre-Copernican theory was in theological circles can be seen in a sample of the works of John Calvin. In his Commentary on Genesis he said that “We indeed are not ignorant that the circuit of the heavens is finite, and that the earth, like a little glove, is placed in the centre.”[93] Commenting on Job 26:7 Calvin wrote “It is true that Job specifically says ‘the north,’ and yet he is speaking about the whole heaven. And that is because the sky turns around upon the pole that is there. For, just as in the wheels of a chariot there is an axle that runs through the middle of them, and the wheels turn around the axle by reason of the holes that are in the middle of them, even so is it in the skies. This is manifestly seen; that is to say, those who are well acquainted with the course of the firmament see that the sky so turns.”[93] Calvin’s commentaries on the Psalms also show a reliance on the pre-Copernican theory; for Psalms 93:1 “The heavens revolve daily, and, immense as is their fabric and inconceivable the rapidity of their revolutions, we experience no concussion – no disturbance in the harmony of their motion. The sun, though varying its course every diurnal revolution, returns annually to the same point. The planets, in all their wanderings, maintain their respective positions. How could the earth hang suspended in the air were it not upheld by God’s hand? By what means could it maintain itself unmoved, while the heavens above are in constant rapid motion, did not its Divine Maker fix and establish it.”[93] Commenting on Psalms 19:4 Calvin says “the firmament, by its own revolution draws with it all the fixed stars”.[93] There is no evidence that Calvin was aware of Copernicus, and claims that after quoting Psalm 93:1 he went on to say “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above the Holy Spirit”, have been discredited and shown to originate with Frederic William Farrar’s Bampton Lecture in 1885.[93] Unlike Calvin many theologians did become aware of Copernicus’ theory which became increasingly controversial.

    The sharpest point of conflict between Copernicus’ theory and the Bible concerned the story of the Battle of Gibeon in the Book of Joshua where the Hebrew forces were winning but whose opponents were likely to escape once night fell. This is averted by Joshua’s prayers causing the sun and the moon to stand still. Martin Luther would question Copernicus’ theory on these grounds. According to Anthony Lauterbach, while eating with Martin Luther the topic of Copernicus arouse during dinner on 4 June 1539 (as professor George Joachim Rheticus of the local University had been granted leave to visit him). Luther is said to have remarked “So it goes now. Whoever wants to be clever must agree with nothing others esteem. He must do something of his own. This is what that fellow does who wishes to turn the whole of astronomy upside down. Even in these thing that are thrown into disorder I believe the Holy Scriptures, for Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and not the earth.”[88] These remarks were made four years before the publication of On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres and a year before Rheticus’ Narratio Prima. In John Aurifaber’s account of the conversation Luther calls Copernicus “that fool” rather than “that fellow”, this version is viewed by historians as less reliably sourced.[88]

    Luther’s collaborator Philipp Melanchthon also took issue with Copernicanism. After receiving the first pages of Narratio Prima from Rheticus himself, Melanchthon wrote to Mithobius (physician and mathematician Burkard Mithob of Feldkirch) on October 16, 1541 condemning the theory and calling for it to be repressed by governmental force, writing “certain people believe it is a marvelous achievement to extol so crazy a thing, like that Polish astronomer who makes the earth move and the sun stand still. Really, wise governments ought to repress impudence of mind.”[94] It had appeared to Rheticus that Melanchton would understand the theory and would be open to it. This was because Melanchton had taught Ptolemaic astronomy and had even recommended his friend Rheticus to an appointment to the Deanship of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at the University of Wittenberg after he had returned from studying with Copernicus.

    Rheticus’ hopes were dashed when six years after the publication of De Revolutionibus Melanchthon published his Initia Doctrinae Physicae presenting three grounds to reject Copernicanism, these were “the evidence of the senses, the thousand-year consensus of men of science, and the authority of the Bible”.[95] Blasting the new theory Melanchthon wrote “Out of love for novelty or in order to make a show of their cleverness, some people have argued that the earth moves. They maintain that neither the eighth sphere nor the sun moves, whereas they attribute motion to the other celestial spheres, and also place the earth among the heavenly bodies. Nor were these jokes invented recently. There is still extant Archimedes’ book on The sand-reckoner; in which he reports that Aristarchus of Samos propounded the paradox that the sun stands still and the earth revolves around the sun. Even though subtle experts institute many investigations for the sake of exercising their ingenuity, nevertheless public proclamation of absurd opinions is indecent and sets a harmful example.”[94] Melanchthon went on to cite Bible passages and then declare “Encouraged by this divine evidence, let us cherish the truth and let us not permit ourselves to be alienated from it by the tricks of those who deem it an intellectual honor to introduce confusion into the arts.”[94] In the first edition of Initia Doctrinae Physicae, Melanchthon even questioned Copernicus’ character claiming his motivation was “either from love of novelty or from desire to appear clever”, these more personal attacks were largely removed by the second edition in 1550.[95]

    Another Protestant theologican who took issue with Copernicus was John Owen who declared that “the late hypothesis, fixing the sun as in the centre of the world’ was ‘built on fallible phenomena, and advanced by many arbitrary presumptions against evident testimonies of Scripture.'[96]

    In Roman Catholic circles, German Jesuit Nicolaus Serarius was one of the first to write against Copernicus’ theory as heretical, citing the Joshua passage, in a work published in 1609–1610, and again in a book in 1612.

    In his 12 April 1615 letter to a Catholic defender of Copernicus, Paolo Antonio Foscarini, Catholic Cardinal Robert Bellarmine condemned Copernican theory, writing “…not only the Holy Fathers, but also the modern commentaries on Genesis, the Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Joshua, you will find all agreeing in the literal interpretation that the sun is in heaven and turns around the earth with great speed, and that the earth is very far from heaven and sits motionless at the center of the world…Nor can one answer that this is not a matter of faith, since if it is not a matter of faith ‘as regards the topic,’ it is a matter of faith ‘as regards the speaker’: and so it would be heretical to say that Abraham did not have two children and Jacob twelve, as well as to say that Christ was not born of a virgin, because both are said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of prophets and apostles.”[97]

    Perhaps the strongest opponent to Copernican theory was Francesco Ingoli a Catholic priest. Ingoli wrote a January 1616 essay condemning Copernicanism as “philosophically untenable and theologically heretical.”[97] Though “it is not certain, it is probable that he was commissioned by the Inquisition to write an expert opinion on the controversy”,[97] (after the Congregation of the Index’s decree against Copernicanism on 5 March 1616 Ingoli was officially appointed its consultant). Two of Ingoli’s theological issues with Copernicus’ theory were “common Catholic beliefs not directly traceable to Scripture: the doctrine that hell is located at the center of Earth and is most distant from heaven; and the explicit assertion that Earth is motionless in a hymn sung on Tuesdays as part of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Divine Office prayers regularly recited by priests.”[97] Ingoli also cited Genesis 1:14 where YHWH places “lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night.”[97] Like previous commentators Ingoli pointed to the passages about the Battle of Gibeon and dismissed arguments that they should be taken metaphorically, saying “Replies which assert that Scripture speaks according to our mode of understanding are not satisfactory: both because in explaining the Sacred Writings the rule is always to preserve the literal sense, when it is possible, as it is in this case; and also because all the [Church] Fathers unanimously take this passage to mean that the sun which was truly moving stopped at Joshua’s request. An interpretation which is contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers is condemned by the Council of Trent, Session IV, in the decree on the edition and use of the Sacred Books. Furthermore, although the Council speaks about matters of faith and morals, nevertheless it cannot be denied that the Holy Fathers would be displeased with an interpretation of Sacred Scriptures which is contrary to their common agreement.”[97]

  169. Indeed, the story of Copernicus is a fitting parallel to this debate. There was a good interview on Late Night Live last year with Dava Sobel the author of a biography of Copernicus

    In the interview she says that after giving a talk on Copernicus she found anti-copernican literature stuffed under the windscreen wipers of the cars of her audience. It was from a Christian fundamentalist group warning people not to believe it.

    Yet when I raised this subject earlier on this forum it was just dismissed as a loony-fringe argument.

    Copernican astronomy is seen as accepted science and the apparent contradictions with the Bible are never discussed – they are simply not an issue.

  170. I guess in the end whether you see anti-evolution as a loony-fringe argument, like whether you see the sun as revolving around the earth – depends on where you stand.

  171. The difference is that our position in the Galaxy and relationship to the sun is demonstrable, both mathematically and visually.

    There are still so many anomalies to the evolution story that it has a way to go before it can actually be proven beyond any doubt.

    It is the same, of course, for creation. But if there is a Creator, and I am sure there is, then we have to say that the concept of evolution works against creation because it relies on chance and not design.

  172. You can claim it to be you if you like, Bones, but don’t include me in that. They look rather apelike to me.

    The claim is of intermediary transition, but that is based on the premise that evolution is fact. If you look at it from a creation perspective you could just as easily state that these are merely extinct apelike creatures.

    I mean I can look at my saucepan and see similarities in it to my frying pan, and, being older, surmise that the saucepan is transitional evidence of my frying pan evolving from a cup, but, in the end, a frying pan is a frying pan.

  173. One creationists raises a few issues which make it plain they have difficulty in accessing specimens despite their apparent prevalence.

    Blocking Access to Creationists

    The difficulty that creationists and others have in obtaining access to fossils is another problem. Museums and other human fossil remains’ repositories commonly refuse access requests made by creationists. As Tattersal and Schwartz wrote:

    Science is a system of provisional knowledge that constantly requires re-examination and testing. It cannot function as a system in which assertions have to be left unchallenged for want of free access to the primary data and Schwarts 2002, p. 239). The difficulties that confront creationists, such as Dr. Jack Cuozzo when he attempted to access fossil humans, illustrate the problem in challenging existing interpretations. His experience is detailed in his book Buried Alive: The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Man (Cuozzo 1998).

    And conflicts within the paleoanthropological community.

    The Hobbit Bone War

    One of the latest paleoanthropology conflicts was over the so-called Hobbit fossil man bones believed to be those of eight individuals discovered in 2003 in the Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores. The bones are from a creature now given the scientific name Homo floresiensis.

    The bones’ discoverer believed they represent a new branch of human evolution. A major problem in this interpretation is the bones were dated at only 18,000 years old. Although discovered by a team led by Mike Morwood, a rival team soon had taken possession of the skeleton. The conflict was exacerbated when Indonesian paleoanthropologist Teuku Jacob, noting that pygmies still live nearby, concluded that the bones are not from a missing link, but rather are a “modern human pygmy with microcephaly” (Culotta 2005a). Morwood judged this conclusion mindboggling (Culotta 2005a).

    Wasn’t Piltdown man found to be a fraud? Yes, indeed:

    Charles Dawson’s Many Forgeries

    Although most well known for his connection to the Piltdown fraud, Charles Dawson was also involved in numerous other questionable paleoanthropology finds that relate to human evolution (Bergman 2003; Russell 2003; Walsh 1996). Dawson “achieved recognition as a great, if not the greatest,” British paleoanthropologist of his day (Russell 2003, p. 10). Although Dawson earned a living as a solicitor, since his youth he spent much time exploring in search of, and collecting, fossils. He worked with Samuel Beckles, a distinguished geologist (Russell 2003, p. 13). Dawson eventually amassed a considerable collection of reptilian and mammalian fossils that “aroused the interest of the Natural History Museum, which promptly bought it” (Walsh 1996, p. 16). So great were his achievements that in 1885 he was elected a fellow of the Geological Society at the young age of 21! Russell documents Dawson’s enormous productivity, enabling him to sell his many fossil discoveries to the British Museum’s “Dawson Collection” throughout the late 1880s to the early 1900s for large sums of money. His many important finds included…

    three new species of dinosaur, one of which was named Iguanodon dawsoni by the palaeontologist Richard Lydekker. Later discoveries included the finding, in 1891, of teeth from a previously unknown species of Wealden mammal, later named Plagiaulax dawsoni. Dawson periodically continued his fossil-hunting activities up until 1911, at times working with Marie-Joseph Pierre teilhard de Chardin, a young Jesuit priest and keen amateur geologist, discovering more unique remains, including a new species of mammal named Dipriodon valdensis and two new forms of fossil plant, Lycopidites teilhardi and Salaginella dawsoni (Russell 2003, p. 14).

    Another problematic example was Plagiaulax dawsoni, a new mammal species and an “important missing link” in the evolutionary tree leading to humans. The find, a single tooth discovered in 1891, was submitted and evaluated by the curator of the British Museum of Natural History, Arthur Smith Woodward (Walsh 1996, p. 16). Woodward’s conclusion, based on the single tooth, was that the tooth was of a “transitional form between reptile and mammal” (Walsh 1996, p. 182). Then, 20 years later, Dawson discovered two more teeth, and soon after, Teilhard de Chardin found another tooth, all which they concluded confirmed their original conclusions. Since then, no more evidence of Plagiaulax dawsoni has come to light (Russell 2003, pp. 28–29).

    I mean, how do you make an entire elephant out of a single tooth?

  174. Oh, sorry, forgot to qualify that last piece on Dawson:

    As was true of many of Dawson’s finds the “date and location of the discovery are both vague” (Walsh 1996, p. 183). Research has now conclusively shown that Plagiaulax dawsoni is a fake (Russell 2003, p. 30). Dawson was an avid collector of fossils and likely modified some of the teeth in his collection to make them look more like those of the hypothetical missing link. All of the major persons involved in the Plagiaulax dawsoni fake were also involved in the Piltdown affair, and Dawson was the likely hoaxer. Dawson also used some of the same deception techniques used in perpetuation of the Piltdown hoax. All of his fossil and other finds eventually came under suspicion, causing a careful re-evaluation that proved many, if not most, of his discoveries questionable, if not outright forgeries.

    Weiner concluded that the fieldwork that brought Dawson to the notice of paleontologists, from his first discovery, Plagiaulax, to his last, Piltdown, were evolutionary links (Russell 2003, p. 167). The scientific method is an ideal approach to gaining knowledge, but it is an especially difficult way to “prove” certain scientific hypotheses, such as those involving human origins. A good example of this difficulty is “the theory of evolution [which] is . . . a theory highly valued by scientists . . . but which lies in a sense too deep to be directly proved or disproved” (Broad and Wade 1982, p. 17).

    As I said earlier, if you start with a premise you will look for evidence of the premise and if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, unless you are scrupulously honest, you may be tempted to come up with something which at least tilts towards the direction your personal compass is indicating, even if it isn’t true north!

    Maybe if you come away from the magnetic interference the compass can do its proper job!

  175. The discussion that Margot linked to was a very erudite and interesting read; the planetary physicist clearly struggled to match YEC views with his work that dealt in the billions of years.

    I thought it is a smudge and dodges the issue to say that God made the universe to appear this old, in the same way that 15 billion years can be as 6 days to God. Neither answer really satisfies.

    A good resting place (which might be construed as fence-sitting) is that science has done an incredible job in unveiling the majesty of God’s creative force. Let’s begin with the premise that God is God and he chose to create the universe that we are gradually discovering, rather than there is no God and it all happened by chance. Consequently, we don’t get wrapped around literal axles in early Genesis trying to account for 24 hour creative periods.

  176. Steve said “The difference is that our position in the Galaxy and relationship to the sun is demonstrable, both mathematically and visually.

    There are still so many anomalies to the evolution story that it has a way to go before it can actually be proven beyond any doubt.”

    But neither I nor I dare say you have demonstrated mathematically or visually that the earth revolves around the sun. Yet we accept the scientific consensus even though it is not intuitive, (it appears that the sun moves over the sky and the earth remains still), and it appears to contradict the Bible.

    The concept of evolution is fundamental to biology. Why for instance do human embryos go through stages of looking like other animals, having pharangeal slits like gills, and tails? Evolutionary theory provides an explanation. Why are we 98.7% genetically the same as a chimp? Evolution, or just a lazy designer?

  177. “That is a misleading image, as there are now thousands of hominid fossils. They are however mostly fragmentary, often consisting of single bones or isolated teeth. Complete skulls and skeletons are rare.

    It is not true that there are thousands of skeletons of each of these 15 species of Neanderthal.

    I read the article. What I’d like to know is how many fossils there are of each of these 15 species, and how complete they are.

  178. Interesting to look at how Jewish rabbis, including Orthodox see this issue. Most Jewish rabbis accept evolution. Even orthodox.

    If many Orthodox jewish Rabbis can accept evolution, why can’t conservative Christian ministers?

    They have a big stake in the first five books too.

  179. Science may yet shed light on how God created ‘light’ without the need for suns on day 1. The sun only came along later. But the beauty of this is that it ties into the very last chapters of the bible, in Revelation. History concludes with the people of God again enjoying personal visible fellowship with their creator, and there is no need for a sun to provide light for he will be all the light the universe requires.

    This is something scientists have yet to unravel in terms of equations and formulae. That on day 1 God created light ie permitted his own glory to permeate the vastness of space, which would be an awesome physical display. After all, darkness is only the absence of light, so God allowed his light to shine forth, yet also brought about the absence of light and separated light from dark. He is the author of good and what we call evil. This would account for the presence of the snake in a garden that was supposed to be perfect.

    It also allows for the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, entropy or decay, to be in existence from the beginning as a hard-wired aspect to his creative order. Death and decay were still all part of what God saw as ‘good’ when he surveyed his work.

  180. That argument Steve is well used by Creationists. Can scientists be trusted when some scientists are dishonest?

    Can we turn that around. Can Christianity be trusted when Christians engage in abusive, fraudulant and devious behaviour and even murder others in the name of Jesus Christ? Does their behaviour mean the Bible isn’t true? NO!

    Steve, who discovered that Piltdown man was a fraud?

    Other evolutionary scientists.

    In 1912, archeologist Charles Dawson and Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, keeper of geology.’ at the Natural History, Museum, presented an amazing discovery, to the public, a discovery that shook the very foundations of science at the time. What they presented was a reconstructed skull that they claimed was the “missing link” between apes and humans.

    The reconstruction, dubbed “Piltdown Man,” consisted of a piece of skull and a jawbone. Named after the Piltdown quarry, in Sussex, England, where a laborer discovered the fragments, the Piltdown Man had the noble brow of the Homo sapiens and a primitive jaw.

    Then, in 1915, more remains turned up in the Piltdown quarry: a second partial skull and an odd-looking bone artifact that resembled a cricket bat. Now even those who had been skeptical of the first finding were convinced: the Piltdown Man discovery was real.

    The Hoax Unravels Over Time

    As time passed, scientific discoveries in other countries, including the “Taung Child” in South Africa and “The Peking Man” in China cast doubt on the Piltdown Man by illustrating contradictory evidence in the pattern of human evolution. However, Piltdown Man supporters remained loyal and rebuffed arguments against its validity.

    But by the late 1930s, the Piltdown Man was marginalized and by the 1940s and 1950s ignored. The truth began to unravel with a new dating technique in 1949, the fluorine absorption test, which dated the Piltdown fossils as relatively modern. Then, in 1953, after further testing, the fraud was exposed. A group of scientists lead by Kenneth Page Oakley revealed that the skull’s fragments were from a modern human and the teeth and jawbone were actually from an orangutan. The teeth had been filed down (microscopic examination revealed scratch marks), and the bones had been stained with an iron solution and chromic acid to make them appear ancient.

  181. Steve your comment at 8:40am is exactly how Creationist scientists use science. They start with the premise of trying to prove that the Bible is true and make the evidence try to fit. That is a false scientific approach.

  182. SM, Some species they’ve found hundreds of specimens, some they’ve only found a few.

    At the time Charles Darwin wrote On The Origin of Species (1859), we had no fossils of Human ancestors. Through tremendous effort in searching for fossils the next chart can show about 13-14 “links” between modern Humans and our Gorilla cousins, going back about 5 of the 10 million years to our split in lineage. For each of the species in this chart there are from 5 to 500 fossil or sub-fossil specimens. We have the most specimens for Neanderthals. As new fossil sites are discovered it may be expected that our confidence in this chart will grow (or it will be modified) and that even more intermediate links will appear on it.

  183. I’d be very wary of Answers in Genesis btw.

    At first glance it appears to be chock full of interesting articles dealing with the creation/science debate. However, further investigation reveals its many flaws, including a lack of proper scientific argument, a propensity to quote prominent scientists out of context, a willingness to use the words of long dead scientists and to offer up lists of scientists who prefer creation over evolution and who operate in such diverse fields as psychologists, plant physiologists (tropical fruit experts) medical doctors, theoretical chemists, chemical engineers, professors of statistics, aeronautical engineers, mechanical engineers, dentists, plastic surgeons, veterinary surgeons, philosophers, etc., etc., in an attempt to lend the creationist argument some credibility.

    And believe it or not, there is not ONE link on the AiG-USA’s site to a reputable scientific site – no museums, no universities or other sites devoted to scientific learning.

    AiG-USA fails the scientific test with flying colours.

    So, dear seekers of the truth, find a comfortable chair, take a deep breath and read on, but remember – AiG-USA is considered the premium creationist site. Doesn’t say much for the rest of them, does it?

    Note: AiG and its Australian arm have parted company. The Australian arm is now called Creation Ministries International and the American arm Answers in Genesis-USA.

    Answers in Genesis’ latest “Prayer News” (October-December 2005) takes umbrage with Frederick Turner, Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Dallas Texas when he claims they (creationists) are sinners. Professor Turner had this to say in his article Darwin and Design: The Evolution of a Flawed Debate:

    On the polemical creationist side, the sin is intellectual dishonesty. It begins innocently as a wise recognition that faith must precede reason, even if the faith is only in reason itself (as Gödel showed, reason cannot prove its own validity). But under pressure from a contemptuous academic elite the appeal to faith rapidly becomes anti-intellectualism and what Socrates identified as a great sin, “misologic” or treason against the Logos, against reason itself — in religious terms, a sin against the Holy Spirit. Under further pressure it resorts to rhetorical dishonesty and hypocrisy, to an attempt to appropriate the garments of science and reason, and so we get “creation science”, the misuse of the term “intelligent design”, the whole grotesque solemn sham of pseudoscientific periodicals and conferences on creation science, and a lame parade of scientific titles and degrees. A lie repeated often enough convinces the liar, and many creationists may now have forgotten that they are lying at all.

    The Professor is not claiming that creationists are prone to committing all the common or garden sins they ascribe to “atheistic evolutionists” and many mainstream Christians. He merely highlights what has been common knowledge in scientific circles for many years – that creationists are intellectually dishonest and happen to lie a lot! The good Professor rightly sinks the boot into creationists, referring to their “pseudoscientific periodicals and conferences on creation science, and a lame parade of scientific titles and degrees”.

    Answers in Genesis and other influential (in creationist circles) organisations cannot claim the moral high ground while ever they operate dishonestly. The sad fact is that they can no more change their dishonest modus operandi than fly to the moon. As William J. Bennetta, editor of The Textbook Letter once stated, “In all of these efforts, [to promote creationism in schools] the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must”.

  184. Bones, what do you think of Hugh Ross and his viewpoint?

    btw, anyone remember the old Jack Chick tract about evolution?

    Guess what Bones, I can remember Ken Ham coming to my high school. I also saw him at some Uni Christian group and he was blasting women in leadership. It was funny because the leader was a woman!

  185. Chimps and humans sharing 97% of the same DNA doesn’t indicate a lazy designer at all.

    What’s the percentage for rats?

    Anyway, this topic is beyond me. Here’s something I found.

    “Despite the similarities in human and chimp genomes, the scientists identified some 40 million differences among the three billion DNA molecules, or nucleotides, in each genome.”

    Pretty deep. Whatever it means! Genetic scientists sound like an incredible bunch. I think I’ll take their word for it.

    To me, evolution is equally amazing – almost miraculous. If God sat back millions of years ago, and set this all in motion, planning that in millions of years in the future humans would get to this point and be
    arguing about this, that would be incredible. That wouldn’t make me less in awe of God.

    And maybe the day will come when scientists can duplicate it. And God will be so proud that it only took a couple of hundred millions of years for man to get to that point.

    In other words, I can’t create a man, and I couldn’t create some kind of amoeba that will evolve into humans either. Either way, it’s an incredible story. So, maybe the theistic evolutionists have more faith in some ways? Think of all the things that could have gone wrong over millions of years. But we’re here.

  186. Hugh Ross is an excellent astrophysist and extremely bright man.

    As for Ken Ham and Answers In Genesis, people should look at the lawsuit with its breakaway Creation Ministries International (CMI). There is some really nasty stuff there.

    A legal and personal dispute broke out between the Australian and US arms of AIG in 2005, involving claims of unethical dealing in the handling of magazine subscriptions and autocratic leadership on the part of Ken Ham. AIG, in return, accused the leaders of the Australian ministry of “spiritual problems”,[2] asking, in correspondence to the Australian CEO Carl Wieland, if he had issues with immorality, and enlisting a former enemy to exhume decades old allegations[3] of witchcraft and necrophilia against a CMI staffer (now Wieland’s wife). A brief analysis of the situation is described in an account in the Reports of the National Center for Science Education.[4]

    In March 2006, the ministries split, and the offices in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa, “by unanimous vote of their respective Boards, rebranded” as CMI.[5] Only the US and UK offices still retain the AIG brand.

    A lawsuit was filed on 31 May 2007, by CMI in Supreme Court of Queensland against Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis, seeking damages and accusing “unbiblical/unethical/unlawful behaviour” in Ham’s dealings with the Australian organisation.[6]

  187. AiG sets itself up as a scientific alternative. When they go digging up dirt on another organisation in trying to expose witchcraft and necrophilia (what the..) says something about the ethics of AiG let alone the science of it.

  188. Yeah! But Piltdown man was still a fraud, eh, Bones!

    I love it when you go to a museum and they have an exhibit of some huge monster of a beast on display which is very impressive, or an illustration of our supposed ancestors, and you read the small print only to discover that the whole display was a figment of someone’s imagination based on the discovery of a very small fragment of a bone.

    That’s when you realise that, impressive though it is, the exhibit actually belongs in the Tate, not the British Museum!

    They used to have a large picture at the entrance of the Darwin Museum of the ascending ape to man theory, with a total acceptance of this as fact, with no presented evidence or alternative ideas, even though there were only fragments of possible evidential connections to a presumed theoretical assumption that this could, possibly, have been the way we evolved from another completely removed species and suddenly and unaccountably been unable to reproduce with this species even though we are supposedly derived so closely from this species that we are practically, apparently, kin.

    In fact, until there are definitive quality indesputable specimens, the missing piece in most of evolutionary theory is the word ‘alleged’.

  189. That’s incedibly ignorant, Steve, if you believe that all the evidence they have is a small bone. It’s simply a case of denying evidence and sticking your head in the sand.

    Your argument is like saying well because doctors prescribed leeches and blood letting in the past, then medical science is a fraud.

    It’s the same argument.

  190. “That’s incedibly ignorant, Steve, if you believe that all the evidence they have is a small bone. It’s simply a case of denying evidence and sticking your head in the sand.”

    Maybe Steve’s ancestors evolved from Ostriches.

  191. Nebraska Man
    Nebraska man lasted for a total of five years in 1927. Further discovery eventually proved that the unusual tooth on which Nebraska man was founded (there were less than a cupful of bone fragments used to construct the complete Nebraska Man) was not actually from an ape-man but from a peckery, a type of wild pig. Professor Henry Osbourne’s ape- man was constructed from the tooth of a pig. Nebraska Man is still used in some modern text- books, despite the fact that Osbourne himself admitted that his findings were really that of a pig.

    Neanderthal Man
    Secondly – the Neanderthal Man. This exhibit was supposed to be slightly more sophisticated than the chimpanzee, walking stooped forward, and walking with his knees bent in a hairy, animalistic fashion. The mistake regarding his brain capacity was corrected by the great Marcellin Boule, one of the greatest paleantologists of his day. Boule proved that Neanderthal Man had a bigger brain than modern man. Evidence then emerged that Neanderthal Man believed in the supernatural and there was substantial evidence that Neanderthal man had intermarried with modern type man. To cap it all, in 1929 Professor Boule proved that Neanderthal man walked upright. Neanderthal Man is now regarded as our brother, just another group of homo-sapiens [].

    Zorro Man
    Walked upright but was shown to actually have been constructed from the brain of a dugong inside a Madame Tausaud’s dummy, and held up by a frame of indignation glued together by innuendo, supposition and presumption, especially towards the antievolutionary Pentemen, whom he claimed never existed, but became his obsession, ultimately resulting in the extinction of any kind of sense.

  192. Creationist Arguments

    Nebraska Man

    Nebraska Man should not be considered an embarrassment to science. The scientists involved were mistaken, and somewhat incautious, but not dishonest. The whole episode was actually an excellent example of the scientific process working at its best. Given a problematic identification, scientists investigated further, found data which falsified their earlier ideas, and promptly abandoned them (a marked contrast to the creationist approach).

  193. The difference between Creationists and scientists

    But what creationists ridicule as guesswork, and trial and error, and flip-flopping from theory to theory are the very essence of science, the stuff of science. Error correction is part of the creative element in the advance of science, and when disagreement occurs, it means not that science is in trouble but that errors are being corrected and scientific advances being made. Creationism comes on the scene arguing that the Bible is inerrant as a source of scientific truth and that “creation science” cannot admit of error because it simply does not exist.

    We cannot conceive of two more diametrically opposed methods of explaining the world around us. One uses the correction of error as an inherent part of the process of searching for the truth, or ultimate reality in nature; the other rejects error or cannot admit its existence. Although it may be human to make mistakes, it is scientific to correct them. That is the nub of the issue between creationism and science.

  194. Creationist Arguments

    Neandertal Man

    Actually, Neandertals are usually classified as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, a subspecies of humans, in recognition of consistent differences such as heavy brow ridges, a long low skull, a robust skeleton, and others. (Some scientists believe the differences are large enough to justify a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis.) Evolutionists last century claimed that these were real differences between us and Neandertals, and they were right. Creationists claimed that the differences were a result of various diseases or environmental factors, and they were wrong. For Parker to claim that creationists won this debate is a rewriting of history.

    Amazingly, a century after scientists knew otherwise, most creationists still believe that Neandertals were merely modern humans, deformed by diseases such as rickets, arthritis or syphilis. Some, but by no means all, Neandertals have been found with signs of health problems such as arthritis. But Neandertals have many distinctive features, and there is no reason why these diseases (or any others) would cause many, let alone all, of these features on even one, let alone many, individuals. Modern knowledge and experience also contradicts the idea that disease is a cause of Neandertal features, because these diseases do not cause modern humans to look like Neandertals.

  195. “Zorro Man

    Walked upright but was shown to actually have been constructed from the brain of a dugong inside a Madame Tausaud’s dummy, and held up by a frame of indignation glued together by innuendo, supposition and presumption, especially towards the antievolutionary Pentemen, whom he claimed never existed, but became his obsession, ultimately resulting in the extinction of any kind of sense.”

    LOL. Where there’s a sense of humour, there’s still hope.

  196. I love that quote from Zorro the Gay Blade.

    Esteban: A little clumsy, are you not, my friend?

    Zorro: To be your friend I would have to be more than clumsy. I would have to be stupid.

    Sounds just like Zorro.

  197. Matthew 13:35
    So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

    Matthew 25:34
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

    Mark 10:6
    “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

    John 17:24
    “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Romans 8:19
    For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

    Romans 8:20
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope

    Romans 8:21
    that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    Romans 8:22
    We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

    Romans 8:39
    neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Ephesians 1:4
    For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

    Colossians 1:15
    [ The Supremacy of the Son of God ] The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

    Hebrews 4:3
    Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.

    Hebrews 4:13
    Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

    Hebrews 9:11
    [ The Blood of Christ ] But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.

    Hebrews 9:26
    Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

    1 Peter 1:20
    He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

    2 Peter 3:4
    They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

    Revelation 3:14
    [ To the Church in Laodicea ] “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

    Revelation 13:8
    All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

    Revelation 17:8
    The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

    So glad I can replace all the references to ‘creation’ with the word ‘evolution’. It was just getting too awkward.

  198. Anyway, what did those uninspired writers know about a proper scientific worldview? The simpletons.

  199. Zeibart, most of those verses can still apply if the “creation” took 6 minutes, 6 days, 6 years, or 6 hundred millions years.

  200. You stumped yourself with your first quote.

    God speaks in parables eg Genesis 1, 2.

    There is a difference between creation (God created everything)and creationism (God created everything exactly as written in Genesis 1 and 2 and anything that disagrees is wrong ie Genesis is a science textbook).

  201. Are we aware that no one knew anything about ova and sperm until the Western Enlightenment in the 18th and 19th century?

    The ancient belief was that men had the seed (embryo) which they implanted into the woman. The woman was merely the receptacle. That’s what the ancient Jews believed and its bourne out in the Scriptures.

    Although it has been known in the West for centuries that both males and females contribute formative biological materials to a future child in the act of sexual intercourse, much beyond that remained mysterious. Exactly when and how peak fertility occurred in females, for instance, was not known until 1827 when the Estonian embryologist Karl Ernst von Baer discovered an ovum in a female dog and charted female ovulation. His work, combined with the late-eighteenth-century experiments of the Italian physiologist Lazzaro Spallanzani proving that sperm was necessary for fertilization, led to the insight that conception occurs when sperm from a male successfully fertilizes an ovum or ova released by the ovary of a female when she is ovulating.

  202. What would the ancient writers know about:

    molecular biology – not much
    genetics – not much
    cosmology – not much
    the condition of man – a lot

    Actually to say people from past eras are simpletons is grossly unfair. The fact is that we know more about science and our world then past generations. In 500 years time, we’ll probably appear like simpletons.

  203. Bones quote on evolutionary science techniques:
    Error correction is part of the creative element in the advance of science,/i>

    Very creative! That is ironically hilarious, and so true!

    But, if you think it through, you’ll see that it is oxymoronic. How can science be advanced by error if it relies on demonstrable fact? When does error cease to be the fact of the day?

  204. SM – Not directly, but the Genesis account as we know it would have been the implied default setting for every reference to ‘creation’.

    Bones – not heard of irony? It’s means to communicate an idea. I was being ironic, not ‘grossly unfair’. You make a mockery of the word of God, by your twisting and turning, and ‘it could be read through our ‘enlightened scientic eyes’ typre interpretations of those vereses. They stand as written and as designed to be understood by the authors and speakers. To think that the first verse means creation is a parable because it mentions creation is fanciful mangling of scripture.

  205. The way Paul writes in those quotes clearly indicates a very quick creation process not evolution.

    Viewed from his time, which is eternal an our time which is finite, but works within his eternity, things could be understood differently. God lives in dimensions of time and space which we can only grasp through the disciplines of mathematics or physics. We can’t live in them, apart form a short space of time, without his influence or impartation, so attempting to reconstruct the eternal past of his influence and conceive of the future is way beyond our scope.

    That is why evolution can only remain an assumption, a clever one, admittedly, and not without thoughtful merit, but it fails to add up to the necessity of their to be a Creator, and Eternal Being Who is without beginning or end, who can live in an through all dimensions and one without compromise or vanity.

    When someone comes up with a plausible explanation of the true origin of space and time and the appearance and expansion of the universe which doesn’t involve a Creator, I’ll start listening.

  206. Bones, isn’t saying that the Creator wasn’t involved.

    One thing that we have to simply accept is that as of 2012, the overwhelming majority of scientists accept both an old earth and evolution, and on that assumption or conclusion, science is advancing.

  207. Interestingly enough, having not thought about this much for ages I did some googling and some say that human races are evolving apart rapidly now. That surprised me. Every day I seem to just become more aware of my ignorance.

  208. Greg,
    The fact is Steve/Margot?Zeibart eta al, that evolution does occur – we see it all the time – evolution by natural selection – the survival of the fittest – those that can survive in the environment they are in do survive and are the ones which reproduce themselves, and over time as changes occur that match the environment those species and sub species that can adapt do so and those that can’t die off and the ones that survive once again reproduce and we get changes in species. No one is saying in evolution that one species changes into another species.

    So, without invoking Godwin’s Law, according to your theory, the human race should never have stopped Hitler from allowing the experiments on humans, or his Arian race proliferation scheme to eliminate the weakest, most ignoble and non-white, dark-skinned or Jewish races?

    And war is just because it merely enforces the concept of survival of the fittest?

    Bullies and tyrants are merely developing the species?

    And God is wrong to choose the base, weak and foolish because it weakens the species?

  209. “Henry Fairfield Osborn’s last name was not Osbourne – you are thinking of Ozzy.”

    So tell me, Greg: did Henry Fairfield Osborn ever bite the head off a live peccary?

  210. Yes, we’re to overcome our base instincts which makes us like animals. Our base instincts are to fornicate; the male base instinct is to have more than one sexual partner to ensure survival of the species; to survive; to be powerful and chief of the herd; to covet and take from others by force if necessary.

    All human behaviours which are observable in animals. Our base desires. Sound familiar to anything in the Bible. Why might God have given us His Word? To show a better way? To show that we are not to live according to the animal code. To our base desires. The sins of our flesh. That’s why Jesus’s teaching is antithetical to survival of the fittest.

    Yet it still happens. Many cannot control it.

  211. Bones – ‘It simply didn’t happen that way.’

    That settles it then. Glad you’re so secure in your position. So if science ever stumbled upon incontravertible proof that the earth was indeed only a few thousand years old (not that such a find would ever see the light of day), would you be crushed or delighted that it married with the bible in a more literal way?

    Greg, if you mean by ‘evolution’ there is no morphing of one species into another, higher order species (‘No one is saying in evolution that one species changes into another species.’), then don’t you run counter to the entire thrust of evolution as understood and espoused by Bones and the mainstream scientific community?

    I agree that species adapt and can alter certain attributes they possess over time (I mentioned the finches on Galapagos on another thread), but that’s not evolution. There is no species jump.

  212. Zeibart, nothing would thrill me more than have scientific evidence of the Biblical creation account. And yes, if new evidence was brought forth that proved the Earth was 6 thousand years old then I would recant. And I would say we were wrong. It’s ok to be wrong so lonng as you learn from your mistakes.

    I know that’s a heinous thing for a Christian to say. But Christians have been wrong before. About many things.

    There is no conspiracy theory. Scientists are not out there trying to disprove the Bible.

    Do you really think that scientists in their fields are honestly asking if the Bible is real or not?

    Do you really think every geologist, biologist, paleontologist, cosmologist (and more) are all trying to disprove the Bible?

    Someone isn’t living in reality.

  213. What I don’t comprehend is the Christian evolutionist having a meaningful trust in the bible. If creation is just a story, and Adam and Eve, and the fall, the flood, Babel, the plagues, Exodus, the Sinai encounters with God, Elijah’s antics, the virgin birth, the transfer of sin onto Jesus, the resurrection, all these and more become diluted, questioned and ambiguous, open to challenge and multi-interpretation. None of these stories are in the scientific realm, but that of faith, which is the cornerstone of a Christian walk. When we rely on science to provide every answer and verify biblical claims, we do away with faith and God comes down to our level, of stumbling in the dark, refining our latest discovery.

    Please tell me – how does God have any mystery or majesty for you?

  214. My faith is based on the risen crucifed One. Is there not enough majesty and mystery in that one event?

    Do we need more?

  215. “My faith is based on the risen crucifed One. Is there not enough majesty and mystery in that one event?

    Do we need more?”

    Well apparently you do, Bones. You need a scientist to hold your hand when you read Genesis, or any other book of the Bible that you find difficult to comprehend.

  216. “nothing would thrill me more than have scientific evidence of the Biblical creation account. And yes, if new evidence was brought forth that proved the Earth was 6 thousand years old then I would recant. And I would say we were wrong. It’s ok to be wrong so lonng as you learn from your mistakes.”

    Actually Zorro, I think this statement pretty much shows you his exemplary attitude to truth.

    Bones has said in replies before that he believes in the cross, the literal resurrection, the miracles of Jesus as recorded in the Bible. So, he’s not anti-Bible, and not anti-faith. But as far as he has studied, he agrees with the overwhelming majority of scientists when it come to evolution, and he sees Genesis as being quite different to the Gospels in nature.

    (that’s if I’ve been following him correctly).

  217. Nah. But I’m not terrified that if one part of the Bible didn’t happen my whole faith will crash like a stack of dominoes.

    Like typical Creationists in the face of OVERWHELMING evidence which they haven’t argued against because they simply can’t, Zeibart and Zorro attack the messenger.

    That is the standard Creationist fall back response. Attack the messenger, not the message. Shout out CONSPIRACY THEORIES.

  218. Spot on, SM.

    On Christ, the Solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. (That includes science btw)

  219. “But as far as he has studied, [Bones] agrees with the overwhelming majority of scientists […]”

    And if you put all the scientists in a room with God, and they took a vote, guess who constitutes the majority. (Hint: it’s not the scientists).

  220. “Is there not enough majesty and mystery in that one event?”

    To me the real mystery is that Jesus came and became a man. And that is equally mysterious in the case of a 6 day creation, or if evolution is true.

    If God could create the world and man in six days, then for me it’s not hard to understand that he could raise Christ from the dead.
    If God could speak the world into existence millions of years ago and man could evolve into this amazing creature, then God being able to raise the dead is not hard to accept.

    What’s mystifying is that God would come and dwell with us, suffer and then endure the cross in a human body just like ours.

    That to me is the great mystery.

  221. Zorro, true.

    I remember though a debate at a uni between some soviet scientist who became a Christian and believed in creation, and one of the science professors. They didn’t convince each other, but I remember the Prof ending by saying that he’d be delirious with joy if he could convince him with evidence for creation within 10,000 years etc, because it would be so revolutionary that they could write a paper together and win the Nobel Prize.

  222. Bones, the OVERWHELMING evidence seems compelling when studied with the evolutionary end in mind, but that is not the whole picture. There are sufficient holes, blurred bits and guesswork on the part of the scientists to make the theory remain just that.

    As to conspiracy theories, you seem to have latched on to this retort regularly without any shred of comment by me in that department. I don’t feel conspired against, just sometimes ill-informed by the pious bloke in a white lab coat. I also know that science has wrought great discoveries on behalf of mankind in some fascinating and incredible areas. I’m not blind to its advances, just wary of throwing my all behind evolution, and on balance prefer being part of the ‘loony blind faith brigade’ at the moment.

    Secret admission: I actually thought the big black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey was a alternative religious attempt at creating the ‘leap’ between ape and mankind, but then we’re in another quagmire regarding God as an alien lifeform who shares our universe and who gave man a kickstart several million years ago. There are probably scientists who would prefer that scenario than Genesis ch 1-3.

  223. And if you put all the scientists in one room, with God, and they took a vote, guess who constitutes the majority. Hint it’s not the scientists.

    Zorro, that flawed argument was used with Copernicus and Gallileo.

    Look how well it worked.

  224. Wow. Heads up. 2001 – A Space Odyssey was not a documentary. Nor a scientific theory.

    Can you put some videos of Star Trek/ Aliens, they are my favourite Sci/Fi movies?

  225. Wow. Heads up, the theory of evolution still can’t explain why some apes developed into man leaving behind our poor chimp cousins to soldier on for million of years as chimps.

    Oh, wait, it’s alright. Bigfoot to the rescue.

  226. Evolutionary science

    Lesson 1

    Apes didn’t develop into men.

    All scientists agree with Zeibart with that.

  227. 1. Did we evolve from monkeys?

    Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Humans are more closely related to modern apes than to monkeys, but we didn’t evolve from apes, either. Humans share a common ancestor with modern African apes, like gorillas and chimpanzees. Scientists believe this common ancestor existed
    5 to 8 million years ago. Shortly thereafter, the species diverged into two separate lineages. One of these lineages ultimately evolved into gorillas and chimps, and the other evolved into early human ancestors called hominids.

  228. Why did they diverge? What evolutionary desire took hold so forcefully as to require divergence? Upright chimps (hominids) became Nobel Laureates, whilst gorillas just sat around in Africa picking the fleas off each other. Phew, I’ll sleep well tonight.

  229. Evolution:
    2. How did humans evolve? Since the earliest hominid species diverged from the ancestor we share with modern African apes, 5 to 8 million years ago, there have been at least a dozen different species of these humanlike creatures. Many of these hominid species are close relatives, but not human ancestors. Most went extinct without giving rise to other species. Some of the extinct hominids known today, however, are almost certainly direct ancestors of Homo sapiens. While the total number of species that existed and the relationships among them is still unknown, the picture becomes clearer as new fossils are found. Humans evolved through the same biological processes that govern the evolution of all life on Earth. See “What is evolution?”, “How does natural selection work?”, and “How do organisms evolve?”

    Yeah! That’s really scientific! Lot’s of maybes and don’t knows in there.

    ‘Almost certainly’! Can you actually say that scientifically? Is it even good grammar? ‘Still unknown’! Very hopeful, that one! The implication is that they must be out there, but they’re still unknown. A bit like aliens and UFOs, really!

    And they diverged from this mysterious unknown possibility, did they? That’s not even anywhere near a scientific remark. It’s pure baseless supposition.

    So, apparently, we didn’t evolve form apes, but both apes and hominids evolved from a common ancestor as yet undiscovered.

    I’ll stick with being made in the image of God at the creation, thanks!

  230. I’ll also look with interest for the artist’s impression of this ‘common ancestor’ after someone discovers another peccary tooth under the mulberry bush!

  231. Why did they diverge? What evolutionary desire took hold so forcefully as to require divergence? Upright chimps (hominids) became Nobel Laureates, whilst gorillas just sat around in Africa picking the fleas off each other. Phew, I’ll sleep well tonight.

    Only some of the hominids became Nobel laureates. Those were the ones more likely to take science seriously, rather than sitting around looking for fleas on science.

  232. You and Bones both go for this claim that people who question evolution are against science. We’re not. We’re for it.

    What we’re asking is whether evolution is science, or if scientists are chasing an illusion.

  233. The best people to answer that question are scientists, and their answer is that Evolution is science.

  234. Greg,
    And yet you denigrate science when it comes up with things that you can’t accept because it challenges your dearly held beliefs and presuppositions. Becuase one (maybe even more) scientist lied about stuff – you claim the whole science of evolution is shaky – well in that case the lies Creationists have been telling should therefore mean the whole of Creation ‘so-called-science’ is shaky

    I do not denigrate science. I question evolution as a science and as a concept. It cannot be measured alongside Creation. That has always been my point, and one that no one has even attempted to refute.

    Science does not challenge my beliefs. It enhances them. I do not look at what the record says in terms of evolution but of the amazing power and grace of the Creator.

    I am always amazed when I look at Attenborough amongst the glorious creation spouting off improbable evolutionary supposition when missing completely the complexity and beauty of God’s handiwork right in front of his eyes, and deeply magnified by the technology his team is able to access.

    The more he delves into what he calls evolved nature, the more I see God at work. The more he is astounded by chance, the more I am astonished by God’s brilliance.

    Several so called scientists have been shown to have lied about stuff. Others have begun with a premise for a recipe which they are still pursuing but without much fortune in uncovering the very stark missing ingredients to their pie.

    I like the way you attempt to explain things from an evolutionary perspective, but they are equally applicable to the creation. That is what you do not see.

    It is impossible for evolution to be compatible with creation. Evolution relies entirely on ages upon ages and chance upon chance.

    The odds of so many biological components randomly evolving simultaneously to initiate, produce and reproduce clearly incredibly complex codependencies between distinctive parts of living nature and tissue, and to operate effectively and uniformly generationally, are so remote as to be highly improbable even in the time scales of evolutionary supposition.

    It all points to a Creator, and the development of kinds within the micro and macro worlds of, not just our planet, but the universe, is rationally understood by those of faith who see, in every microscopic or gargantuan scene the Hand of Glory at work.

  235. Greg, Bones, Wazza, take a long look at this and all the associated sections that go with it. Come back to us in a week or so after you have compiled your 439 page rebuttal because they make a very solid case for creationism. It’s got science in there and exposes the ‘science’ behind evolution. It’s more compelling than some of the desperate fudging required to make old earth evolution work.

  236. Greg,
    and yet here we are – Bones, Wazza and myself all accept evolution as an explanation of how we have progressed on this planet…and believers in the fact that God created the world and the universe.

    And yet you won’t or can’t explain how evolution is compatible with the Creator.

    Looking at the outward ape and comparing it to a hominid is easy. Evolution has a superficially presentable case, but when it comes to the inner structure and the micro-world things become far more complicated and incredible, and much less simple to explain in terms of chance, mutation, and the formation of complex mechanisms.

    Tell me, for instance, how the human brain evolved with all its complexities and strands simultaneously with the nervous system, the skeletal frame and the organs which support its very existence, alongside the DNA which defines it genrationally.

  237. GTE,

    “for example girrafes with short necks never made the cut and so the dominant genetic material is for girrafes with long necks.”

    I don’t know a lot about animals; one thing I do know is that a girrafe is very different to a peckery.

  238. Wazza2,

    “The best people to answer that question are scientists, and their answer is that Evolution is science.”

    Yeah, they said that about global warming too.

  239. Another point consistently avoided by the evolutionist Christian on here, is where the bible ceases to be poetic nonsense (in their eyes) and starts to be believable. I am still waiting on that one.

    Admit it boys, it all boils down to this: we, the scientific community are profoundly atheist and have no room for faith in a God who presents no empirical proof of existance. Consequently, we refute the Genesis account on those grounds alone. To back our refutation, we will use some scientific knowledge to say we all evolved into higher organisms by chance mutation over billions of years despite the lack of hard evidence existing to support the tough questions, gaps and contrary findings. We will be taken seriously because we are sober scientists intent on experiential proof, not reliant on blind faith. Therin lies our start point and credible foundation.

    The big picture looks convincing but, thankfully, the devil is in the detail for evolutionism.


    10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

    12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.

    From verse 12, Paul specifically says that it is his words, not the Lord’s. This passage cannot have been inspired by God, because how could God inspire someone to say that they werent inspired by God? That would be a lie.

    So the whole of verses 12 and probably 13 and 14 are just a piece of advice from a man, not from God.

    And by your formula, that means that we cannot trust anything in the Bible at all – how can we know which bits are inspired and which are not?

  241. Let me ask you this, Wazza. How much of NT (non-gospel) scripture is prefaced by the phrase ‘not I, but the Lord’?

    Verily I say unto you – none that I can instantly recall. Conclusion (by your extrapolation): none of the NT letters are inspired bar a single verse: 1 Cor 7:10.

    Paul is simply reminding the Corinthians of Jesus’s direct command, but the remainder of his relationship advice, together with the rest of the letter, can still be regarded as inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    And on that bombshell – good night.

  242. Do you even know what ‘inspired’ means, wazza?

    I can’t believe how determined you and Bones are to diminish both Christians and Biblical teaching.

    Do you see yourself as some kind of antichrist crusader? I’m not trying to use this as an ad hominem attack, but as an observation, because I have never seen anyone purporting to be a believer go at disproving anything to do with genuine faith with such obsessive verve and devotion.

    I’ve seen unbelievers and atheists go for it like you and Bones, albeit with more ferocity, but never have I seen such consistent antipathy towards Christian thought from people claiming to be brothers.

    And the other issue of supposed ad hominem attacks. I consider just about everything you have said to have been personal towards some member of this fraternity at some time or other, maybe not as obviously or aggressively as Zorro or Mosco, but in a very subtle way, still with a superior air and a gotcha mentality.

    Many times you have entered a conversation simply to attempt to trip some commenter up with a personal dig which is unrelated to the actual conversation. I’ve been at the end of some real humdingers from you, so the fact people are calling you out on this is interesting.

    The Paul quote you gave was a pathetic exercise, by you, in oneupmanship gone wrong.

    Maybe you need to examine whether you actually are saved.

  243. Bah don’t come all high and mighty after those rubbish threads on Catholicism and Hislop. You proved to me that you refuse to acknowledge when you’re wrong. And you will condemn all of Early Christianity in doing it. FALSELY.

    I notice of course who the ones on here who are questioning the other’s salvation.

  244. I haven’t written any posts on Hislop, Bones. On purpose! To deny you the ability to even raise that as a possibility. I based the Catholic posts entirely on their own writings and admissions.

    If you can come up with one reason any true Christian shouold accept the dogmas of purgatory, canonising of saints, Mary as mediatrix, or the mass as a means to bring Christ down form the throne of God daily, then I’d be interested to hear form you.

    The truth is that you have utterly failed to refute one single part of the posts I put up.

    And I would question why, if you are a true Christian, why you would even bother to defend the dogmas of Mary, which are anathema.

    Why? Bones? Why?

    Am I questioning your salvation?

    No I am questioning why a saved person would defend error with such verve.

  245. I based the dogmas of mary on the words of the most recent popes, in fact, Bones. Their own words.

    And you defended them. You stood with them in the muck of their own outpouring of slime.

    You heralded the Queen of Heaven above the throne of God and of Christ with your consent for their error.

    You crowned her with your purring for their folly.

  246. No, no! Your defence was completely theirs.

    Your defence was agreement with the error.

    The error is plain, and consistent and continued.

    I put it to you that, if the Lord tarries, within two popes Mary will be made mediatrix by dogma.

    That is not just error, that is blasphemy.

    And you defend it.

    End of!

  247. You shouldn’t be criticising Dawkins’s spitefulness. There’s enough venom and poison in your own words to go way beyond his.

    I’m glad Jesus isn’t like most Christians because He wouldn’t be worth following.

  248. That is not what Pius IX or Pius XI say.

    The one and only, eh! Someone should let the popes know.

    By the way, the article you posted also says:

    Newsweek ran an article in it’s August 25th, 1997 issue about a movement within the Catholic Church. Millions of Catholics signed and submitted a petition to Pope John Paul II in an effort to name Mary, the Mother of our Lord, as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate for all Christians. This would be the fifth and final Marian dogma. Members of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (“The Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix”) spearheaded the effort.

    Supporters include Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta; the late Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, OP, papal theologian emeritus; Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, the Philippines; Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses; over 480 bishops including 40 cardinals; prominent lay leaders and ordinary faithful from all parts of the world. Hardly a fringe group!

    Here’s a short description from the petition submitted to the Pope:

    When the Church invokes Mary under the title, “Coredemptrix”, she means that Mary uniquely participated in the redemption of the human family by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour. At the Annunciation (cf.Lk.1:38) Mary freely cooperated in giving the Second Person of the Trinity his human body which is the very instrument of redemption, as Scripture tells us: “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb.10:10).

    And at the foot of the cross of our Saviour (Jn.19:26), Mary’s intense sufferings, united with those of her Son, as Pope John Paul II tells us, were, “also a contribution to the Redemption of us all” (Salvifici Doloris, n.25). Because of this intimate sharing in the redemption accomplished by the Lord, the Mother of the Redeemer is uniquely and rightly referred to by Pope John Paul II and the Church as the “Coredemptrix.”

    It is important to note that the prefix “co” in the title Coredemptrix does not mean “equal to” but rather “with”, coming from the Latin word cum. The Marian title Coredemptrix never places Mary on a level of equality with her Divine Son, Jesus Christ. Rather it refers to Mary’s unique human participation which is completely secondary and subordinate to the redeeming role of Jesus, who alone is true God and true Man.

    Mary’s role was unique. If she had said ‘no’ to Gabriel … to God, would we have a Savior, would we have our true Redeemer … our Lord …. the Messiah? Mary played a definite role in our salvation. But back to the original statement … that role is entirely dependent and subordinate on Jesus.�

    Mary is called to give her free and full consent to conceive this child. She is not merely a passive recipient of the message, but she was given an active role, and heaven awaited her free choice. It is precisely by her free consent to collaborate in God’s saving plan that she becomes the Coredemptrix. The prophecy of Simeon to Mary, “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also” (Luke 2:25), affirms Mary’s unique participation in the work of redemption, as it warns her that she will undergo an unspeakable pain that will pierce her soul, for the salvation of mankind. John 19:25 tells us of Jesus’ Mother at the very foot of the cross, persevering with her Son in his worst hour of agony, and therein suffering the death of her Son.

    Thus in her own suffering too, the Mother of the Redeemer participates in the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ.

    I think you’ve missed the point and plot of the existing four dogmas of Mary.

    Do you know what they are?

    Pray tell…

  249. Bones,
    You shouldn’t be criticising Dawkins’s spitefulness. There’s enough venom and poison in your own words to go way beyond his.

    Oh, so you want to up the ante and become more assertive and then when the person you’re attempting to stand over refuses to back down, suddenly you’re a better Christian because you can quote scripture, which, up that point you had been denying with a fervency!

    Now, having become brusk and pushy, you want to call the person who stands his ground a poor example of Christlikeness!

    Yeah, well, if it means that much to you, here’s the other cheek, buddy! But I warn you, it has a tough hide.

    Why not ask Mary Queen of Heaven of she’ll intervene on your behalf! You never know!

  250. Anyway, Bones, admirable defence of wazza. Commendable!

    And of marionism and the mass and purgatory and canonised saints.

    And evolution.


  251. I’m in good company there.

    Do you even know what ‘inspired’ means, wazza?

    Obviously not because I cant for the life of me see how God could inspire someone to write a statement that says it wasnt from God.

    Could you please tell me what ‘inspired’ means?

  252. “[…] I cant for the life of me see how God could […]”.

    And that’s the key: you can’t see how God could do anything.

    You can’t see. That’s a result of spiritual blindness.

    The religious leaders of Jesus’ day couldn’t see how God could raise up a saviour from Galilee. They couldn’t see how someone that they thought was of illegitimate birth could perform miracles. They couldn’t see how one who was in their estimation a common man could be filled with the wisdom of God. They couldn’t see how Jesus could avoid their cunning and crafty traps. They couldn’t see how He could possibly have the authority to cast out demons. They couldn’t see the Glory of God the Father revealed in His only Son.

    That’s how you are Wazza2 – trapped in a prison of your own preconceptions, hobbled by your pride in refusing to humble yourself like a little child and simply accept God at His word, and manifestly unable to discern even the smallest grains of spiritual truth.

    You need to repent.

  253. Just on David Attenborough

    Attenborough reveals creationist hate mail for not crediting God

    Sir David Attenborough has revealed that he receives hate mail from viewers for failing to credit God in his documentaries. In an interview with this week’s Radio Times about his latest documentary, on Charles Darwin and natural selection, the broadcaster said: “They tell me to burn in hell and good riddance.”

    Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give “credit” to God, Attenborough added: “They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.”

    Attenborough went further in his opposition to creationism, saying it was “terrible” when it was taught alongside evolution as an alternative perspective. “It’s like saying that two and two equals four, but if you wish to believe it, it could also be five … Evolution is not a theory; it is a fact, every bit as much as the historical fact that William the Conqueror landed in 1066.”

  254. I repent Zorro, I believe. Help my un-belief.

    Tell me, please, as someone who is spiritually sighted to a blind man :

    How can God inspire someone to write a statement that says it wasnt from God?

  255. “How can God inspire someone to write a statement that says it wasnt from God?”

    How can a man be raised from the dead?

  256. So what you are saying, Zorro, is that it just has to be taken on faith.

    What seems from a natural perspective to be impossible – even a logical contradiction – can be believed to be true by faith.

    Is that the case?

  257. “So what you are saying, Zorro, is that it just has to be taken on faith.

    What seems from a natural perspective to be impossible – even a logical contradiction – can be believed to be true by faith.

    Is that the case?”

    Tell me, Wazza, who was it who said “Everything is possible for him who believes” ?

    Do you think that He was mistaken? Or perhaps that He was lying?

  258. Jesus said that quote. I dont think he was mistaken or lying.

    So in that case there really is no point in arguing with scientists, is there? Scientists work on observation, reason, repeatable experiment, falsifiability.

    But God can do things which are logically impossible for him to do (according to our natural minds). So God could have made it look exactly like the universe was formed gradually 6 billion years ago, but actually have created it in a week, 6000 years ago. He could have made it look exactly like the species were evolving, but actually created them individually in that same week.

    The scientists, with all their experiements and their white-coats would be working away essentially for nothing. They would be doing experiment and observation over and over again, but there’s no real point to it, because we know (by the Holy Spirit) that it actually was completely different to how it looks (to the natural man).

    Why try to argue against evolution at all, especially trying to use reason and evidence when you actually need something beyond reason and evidence to understand it?

  259. “So in that case there really is no point in arguing with scientists, is there? Scientists work on observation, reason, repeatable experiment, falsifiability.”

    Ah, now we are getting somewhere! There is no doubt that science has its place, but he is a wise scientist who understands that he is delving into the mysteries of a universe created by God, and who thus keeps a sense of perspective in his work. On the other side of the coin, it is a wise Christian who understands that God has given us minds with which we may enquire – but who, at the same time, doesn’t get their knickers in a twist when science seems to contradict God or the Bible. I say “seems to contradict” because the things of God are received by faith, and since God’s wisdom is infinite and our intelligence is finite, there are bound to be apparent contradictions – even to the extent that we can puzzle over conundrums raised by our own understanding, let alone what others may introduce into the mix.

    “Why try to argue against evolution at all, especially trying to use reason and evidence when you actually need something beyond reason and evidence to understand it?”

    Precisely. That’s why I haven’t attempted to use reason or evidence to either refute evolution or support creation in any of my posts. (Since science is not for me an area of subject matter expertise, why would I? In any case, I don’t believe that one can persuade others regarding spiritual truths by arguing in worldly terms.)

    I have not put my intellect into neutral; I have rather submitted it to God. I am not totally ignorant of science, nor am I anti-science or threatened by science. But I know that it is written “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known”, and I believe that in the end there will be no mystery the truth of which will not be revealed. So if there are things that I don’t understand, matters that I cannot fathom, then I can wait patiently, in full confidence that all will be plainly revealed in due course. On that day scientific endeavour will come to an end – God’s Kingdom, on the other hand, will last for all eternity.

  260. Steve,

    “By the way Zorro. I have concluded you are probably not a JW!”

    That is correct; I am not a JW.

    Out of interest, what is it that gave me away? And can you discern what it is that I am?

  261. You must forgive Steve as discernment is not his gift. It was obvious you were not a JW.

    Given your great love of Pentecostals, Catholics and liberals, I’d say Reformed.

  262. Yes, I think we are getting somewhere on this issue.

    I also think faith and science are completely different fields. It is as silly for a Christian pastor to be trying to poke holes in evolution, as it is for a Geneticist to try to poke holes in the Christian faith.

    The Christian faith and science have nothing to do with each other, they are based on totally different foundations and methodologies.

  263. So what we have here is a hybrid form of evolution theory completely removed from the traditional Darwin view, or standard scientific prognosis, which excludes all necessity for divine initiation, interaction or intervention?

    Your idea of evolution includes God in the process.

    Is that correct, Bones, wazza, Greg?

    So, is God the initiator, an interjector, or an interventionist according to your theory?

  264. By the way, I haven’t seen any pastors trying to ‘poke holes’ in evolution, or what you are proposing. I’ve seen a couple of people ask you exactly how it happens, and for an explanation of how evolution as you see it is reconciled with the fact that God is the Creator.

    So far you have resisted giving any information on how things actually

    a) came into being,
    b) evolved from one species to another,
    c) developed into such complex and numerous and expansive species without evidence of intermediary species,

    or how God initiated or interacted with evolution as you see it,

    and how this would impact the understanding of evolution scientists who scoff at the idea of divine initiation or intervention.

  265. God and Evolution
    1. Definitions
    A method of determine how the universe works by use of the scientific method.
    Scientific method
    The process of proposing a hypothesis, and then testing its accuracy by collecting data on events the hypothesis predicts. If the predictions match the new data the hypothesis is supported. Generally the best supported hypothesis is considered correct.
    The fact the frequency of the apperance of alleles in a population of organisms changes over time.
    The pieces of DNA that cause a particular trait, ie. “blue eyes”.
    The theory of evolution
    A number of theories that explain, to the best of current knowledge, by what mechanisms evolution occurs.
    The theory of common descent
    The theory that all living creatures on earth share a common, remote ancestor. More specifically, given any two living creatures there was a creature that is ancestor to both.
    One of several beliefs that incorporate a literal interpretation of Genesis. There are variations that allow some figurative interpretation.
    Young Earth Creationism
    An interpretation of Genesis 1 in which days are taken to be 24 hour events, and that by saying animals reproduce “after their kind” evolution is precluded.
    Old Earth Creationism
    An interpretation of Genesis 1 in which days are taken to be figurative lengths of time, and the time scales given by geologists are generally correct. However, the special creation of man precludes common descent.
    Theistic Evolution
    An interpretation of Genesis 1 in which the story line is considered as an explanation for the why and who of creation, but not the exact method. The purpose of this FAQ is to show that this position is not contradictory.
    2. Evolution and Religion
    Q1. Doesn’t evolution contradict religion?

    Not always. Certainly it contradicts a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, but evolution is a scientific principle, like gravity or electricity. To scientifically test a religious belief one first must find some empirical test that gives different results depending on whether the belief is true or false. These results must be predicted before hand, not pointed to after the fact.
    Most religious beliefs don’t work this way. Religion usually presupposes a driving intelligence behind it, and an intelligent being is not always predictable. Since experiments judging religious beliefs cannot have predictable results, and may give different results under the same circumstances it is not open to scientific inquiry. St. Augustine commented on this in _The Literal Meaning of Genesis_.

    Some religious beliefs do make predictions. These predictions can be tested. If a religious belief fails a test, it is the test that contradicts that religious belief. The theory which makes the correct prediction should have nothing to say on the matter. This does not mean that scientists don’t sometimes make the mistake of saying a theory contradicts something.

    Q2. Isn’t evolution a religion?

    Evolution is based on the scientific method. There are tests that can determine whether or not the theory is correct as it stands, and these tests can be made. Thousands of such tests have been made, and the current theories have passed them all. Also, scientists are willing to alter the theories as soon as new evidence is discovered. This allows the theories to become more and more accurate as research progresses.
    Most religions, on the other hand, are based on revelations, that usually cannot be objectively verified. They talk about the why, not the how. Also, religious beliefs are not subject to change as easily as scientific beliefs. Finally, a religion normally claims an exact accuracy, something which scientists know they may never achieve.

    Some people build up religious beliefs around scientific principles, but then it is their beliefs which are the religion. This no more makes scientific knowledge a religion than painting a brick makes it a bar of gold.

    So the answer is no, evolution is no more a religion than any other scientific theory.

    Q3. Does evolution contradict creationism?

    There are two parts to creationism. Evolution, specifically common descent, tells us how life came to where it is, but it does not say why. If the question is whether evolution disproves the basic underlying theme of Genesis, that God created the world and the life in it, the answer is no. Evolution cannot say exactly why common descent chose the paths that it did.
    If the question is whether evolution contradicts a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis as an exact historical account, then it does. This is the main, and for the most part only, point of conflict between those who believe in evolution and creationists.

    Q4. If evolution is true, then isn’t the whole Bible wrong?

    First let me repeat that the underlying theme of the first book of Genesis can’t be scientifically proven or disproven. No test has ever been found that can tell the difference between a universe created by God, and one that appeared without Him. Only certain interpretations of Genesis can be disproven.
    Second, let us turn the question around. What if I asked you “If the story of the prodigal son didn’t really happen, then is the whole Bible wrong?” Remember that the Bible is a collection of both stories and historical accounts. Because one part is a figurative story does not make the entire Bible so. Even if it did, the underlying message of the Bible would remain.

    3. Evolution and God
    Q5. Does evolution deny the existence of God?

    No. See question 1. There is no reason to believe that God was not a guiding force behind evolution. While it does contradict some specific interpretations of God, especially ones requiring a literal interpretation of Genesis 1, few people have this narrow of a view of God.
    There are many people who believe in the existence of God and in evolution. Common descent then describes the process used by God. Until the discovery of a test to separate chance and God this interpretation is a valid one within evolution.

    Q6. But isn’t this Deism, the belief that God set the universe in motion and walked away?

    While it could be Deism, the Bible speaks more of an active God, one who is frequently intervening in His creation. If the Bible represents such a God in historical times there is no reason to assume that He was not active in the universe before then. A guiding hand in evolution could exist, even in the time before humans came around. Just because people were not there to observe does not mean that there was nothing to observe.

    Q7. So if God directed evolution, why not just say he created everything at once?

    Mainly because all the evidence suggests otherwise. If God created the universe suddenly, he created it in a state that is indistinguishable from true age. If he did create it that way there must be a reason, otherwise God is a liar. Whatever that reason may be, a universe that is exactly like one that is old should be treated as if it were old.

    Q8. By denying creation, aren’t you denying God’s power to create?

    No. Because God did not create the world in seven days does not mean that he couldn’t. What did, or did not, happen is not an indication of what could, or could not, have happened. All evidence suggests that evolution is the way things happened. Regardless of what could have happened, the evidence would still point to evolution.
    4. Evolution and Proof
    Q9. Nobody can really prove anything anyway.

    Except, of course, in mathematics. However, science does not require absolute proof, otherwise science textbooks would be empty. Science works by use of the scientific method: explanations are found, and tests made to tell which ones are correct. Evolution has passed thousands of tests, many of which separated it from theories indistinguishable to non-biologists.
    Few people are aware, for instance, that Darwin’s original hypothesis predicted the existence of genetic information. As said before, even if the theory is not correct in every detail, it is very close to the truth.
    Q10. Theories have been proven wrong in the past, why not evolution?

    When Einstein proposed general relativity, he revolutionized physics. The theory replaced most of Newton’s laws of physics. General relativity, though, still incorporates Newton’s laws. This is due to the enormous number of observations and tests that Newton’s laws had passed, so any new theory would have to account for them also.
    Similarly, if another theory replaces evolution, the new theory must somehow explain why the current theory passed all the tests. So any new theory that replaces evolution would have to explain why it works so well. Creationism, then, is not a possible replacement.

    Q11. Doesn’t evolution promote evil?

    Even if evolution did do this, it would not be a reason to assume it is wrong. Chemistry is responsible for millions of deaths every year, but we do not reject its findings because of this. How people use a theory is not a judgment of its accuracy.
    Fortunately we do not face this dilemma. Evolution does not say what is right and what is wrong, but merely what has happened. A historical account of the sacking of Rome does not say that the act of sacking Rome is good or bad, just that it happened. Similarly evolution does not say that any conclusions people might draw from it are good or bad.

    While many people have claimed the theory of evolution supports their injustice, never forget that many people have done the same with the Bible. One person’s opinion should not be considered the whole truth.

    Q12. So what would I need to have creationism accepted scientifically?

    You need to propose a test that would give different results depending on whether creation or evolution is true. Most important, however, is the willingness to abide by the results, even if they disprove creationism.

  266. Hello again Wazza. Sorry if you didn’t understand my post last night. You said, ‘What?’. I assume you don’t watch Top Gear.

    You seem to think that because Paul was putting forward a personal opinion, that discounts it from being ‘inspired’ or of God’s heart, or him speaking with the Holy Spirit’s unction. You assume that because Paul says this, my house of cards faith in the inerrant scriptures (ie not containing error) will come crashing down. Wrong.

    If it was good enough for Paul to utter, even if a personal declaration that made it into a letter, it is good enough for me to regard as God’s best for me, without getting into legalism or doctrine to the n th degree.

    Do you understand that concept? If you are a Christian, and Paul has blown inerrancy out of the water for you due to your example in 1 Cor 7, I am really sad that the bible is just so many stories or interesting vignettes that mention God, Jews, Jesus, the church etc. What a desolate place for you to exist if that’s the case.

  267. Bones are you spending all your time on the anti-creationist websites and ignoring the steers I have given you to get some science from the biblical perspective into your head? If you took the time to read the link I gave yesterday, your defiance of scripture in favour of the popular theory would, I suspect, melt away pretty quickly.

  268. “I also think faith and science are completely different fields.”

    Largely, yes. I personally believe that science can be informed by faith (I think that some of the great men of science would concur with that), and it’s clear that there are instances where science can confirm things pertaining to faith (for example archaeological finds that are consistent with Biblical accounts). But there are limits, and there have been tensions, and these will doubtless continue – it really depends on the world view of those involved in discourse, and their consequent biases and presuppositions.

    “It is as silly for a Christian pastor to be trying to poke holes in evolution, as it is for a Geneticist to try to poke holes in the Christian faith.”

    Poking holes in evolution is not something I’d personally try to do. I simply don’t feel called to do that, and to my mind there are more important fish to fry; although others may see it differently.

    The upshot of all this for me is that I can believe what I believe (faith) and know what I know (a little bit about science) without suffering from the nasty effects of cognitive dissonance. Some of a strongly fundamental bent appear to me to be working pretty hard to keep all their ducks in a row and ensuring that absolutely *everything* is in perfect agreement, not realising that there are some things that are simply beyond us, and that are therefore best left to God. And if someone’s Christianity is forced rather than natural, why would they want it? And, more importantly, why would anyone else?

  269. So when Paul said “I say this (I, not the Lord)” are you saying he was wrong, that in fact it was the Lord’s word after all?

  270. Zorro, this thread started with an article attacking Christians who hold to a belief that God used evolution as part of the creative process. That is what the discussion has bee about.

    Though you might be ambivalent about the topic, there is a very real agenda from the Creationist side to have their belief in Genesis 1 and 2 recognised as a scientific theory. To the extent that it is taught alongside and hopefully to them,replace evolutionary theory which is regarded in differing degrees as satanic, evil, etc.

    If someone wants to read Genesis 1 and 2 as a historical account. Fine. No problem. The problem comes when Christians use science to justify the Bible. Christians have fallen into the Western intellectual trap that for something to be true it must be proven. The problem then arises when the evidence doesn’t fit with the proof those Christians are seeking.

  271. “The problem comes when Christians use science to justify the Bible.”

    I agree that it’s the wrong approach. I would say that the Bible stands as true in its own right by virtue of being inspired by God, and that attempts to use science to justify it tend to obscure that fact. These endeavours to prove the Bible as being true thus have the opposite effect of devaluing it.

    It’s a case of fighting the wrong battle.

    “Christians have fallen into the Western intellectual trap that for something to be true it must be proven.”

    I agree with that as well. So it’s a case not only of fighting the wrong battle, but of fighting it on the wrong ground.

    “The problem then arises when the evidence doesn’t fit with the proof those Christians are seeking.”

    I can see the rabbit hole, but I’m not going down there lest I get lost…

  272. ‘Bones – ‘The problem then arises when the evidence doesn’t fit with the proof those Christians are seeking’.

    I hope you’re using the word ‘evidence’ in the loosest sense of its meaning ie nothing that would stand up in court under an amiable cross-examination. That is the quality of the evidence.

    I am not seeking the science to verify the Genesis account but I won’t stand by and see so-called science distort it to match the prevailing Western atheistic view.

  273. ‘So when Paul said “I say this (I, not the Lord)” are you saying he was wrong, that in fact it was the Lord’s word after all?’

    What is it you don’t understand about my answers on this? Am I being so opaque?

    All scripture is God-breathed (inspired) and suitable for instruction, teaching, rebuking, correction and so on. Therefore, all that Paul writes is inspired, including his personal opinions, of which he ventures quite a number throughout his letters.

    He makes the distinction between his own view, that still has the backing of the Holy Spirit, and a direct edict from Jesus (that he may have heard in conversation with the disciples – who knows), and says as much in the brackets. Paul would not dare quote Jesus without giving him the hat tip, but when he offers his own word, it is still inspired scripture.

    Are being deliberately obtuse?

  274. In fact, Bones, the post does none of the things you suggest. It is actually rather short, with few comments:

    Pell utterly blows the question of how we came into existence, and even seems to confuse himself, handing the initiative to Dawkins, who rightly poses the question ‘If there was no literal Adam and Eve where did original sin come in?”

    Apparently Pell thinks we were descended from Neanderthals from somewhere in Africa who were descended from apes. Somewhere along the line the immortal soul was added to the first human.

    As you can see it addresses the question of sin and the denial of the literal presence of Adam as the initiator of sin in mankind.

    Pell makes the astonishing claim that Adam did not, actually, exist, which you have also said.

    You have, like him, also failed to address the question of how the immortal soul was added to the human race if, as you claim, we were descended from neanderthals, and if, as you suggest, we evolved from a single cell ancestor.

    it is not an attack on those who believe or not in evolution theory, but raises the issue of whether a man of God should publicly deny what God has declared.

  275. “From verse 12, Paul specifically says that it is his words, not the Lord’s. This passage cannot have been inspired by God, because how could God inspire someone to say that they werent inspired by God? That would be a lie.

    So the whole of verses 12 and probably 13 and 14 are just a piece of advice from a man, not from God.
    how can we know which bits are inspired and which are not?”

    The fundamentalist has no problem with this Wazza. It’s self-explanatory. It shows that when Paul wrote he did so with the understand that he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they weren’t his opinions, but those of the Lords.

    But, as you say, he says that regarding one issue, he has nothing to say, so he gives his own opinion. So yes, vs 12-14 are not what we would refer to as “God’s Word”. Paul says that himself.

    So those reading his letter could say, “No Paul I don’t agree with you on this one”. But, no doubt they, as I do, would consider his opinion as an Apostle who knew God, and risked death for the gospel, as being worth more than their own.

    ON this topic, the more intriguing questions are re the inspiration value of statements by others – Job, his friends etc.

  276. “You have, like him, also failed to address the question of how the immortal soul was added to the human race ”

    Bones did give a link where one person answered that. Interesting thought – that there was an Adam, and that there GOd intervened and Adam was different from all those before him.

  277. wazza2,
    I also think faith and science are completely different fields. It is as silly for a Christian pastor to be trying to poke holes in evolution, as it is for a Geneticist to try to poke holes in the Christian faith.

    The Christian faith and science have nothing to do with each other, they are based on totally different foundations and methodologies.

    So, on the one hand, Pell should not be debating evolution science with Dawkins, even though he supports evolution as a theory and concept.

    And Dawkins should write books which call faith in God a delusion, or go on Q&A to debate his perspective with Pell.

    In your opinion, a pastor should just get up in church and teach or preach on his own field, which may include a discourse on Genesis, or on the creation, and should not present any arguments for the creation which might oppose evolution, even though someone like you or Bones or Greg might be sitting in the congregation completely in disagreement with the very point of view you have said publicly the pastor should stick to.

    And a pastor with strong convictions about how the universe and earth were formed should refrain from discussing contrary arguments which may include reference to evolution on the basis that some claim it to be scientifically proven and sound, even though there are anomalies an intelligent pastor could, with sufficient research, successfully refute even though he doesn’t have a doctorate in any of the evolution disciplines.

    This, of course, is ludicrous, and the pastor, if he was in your church, would be the object of your ridicule.

    You make the assumption that everything scientific is beyond reproach and a person who actually believes the Bible should put up and shut up, even though he may be led by the Holy Spirit to speak on the wonder and power of the creation during the course of his ministry, and, in fact, if he didn’t have some understanding of the origins of man and the creation of the worlds he would not be considered qualified to speak to a congregation.

    If he did not discuss, at some juncture, what his understanding of scripture and theology on the beginnings he could be held up as insufficiently qualified to minister on the major issues of grace, mercy, sin or righteousness, because these are covered within the scope of the creation account.

    Yes, they are covered and emphasised in the first Books of the Bible, but you, as a follower of Darwinism, deny the very essence of why Christ had to come, and the purpose of the cross.

    Your words, in fact, and your new rules for preaching, opinion and contribution to the debate work towards silencing pastors and shutting down debate or discussion so that you can further your personal cause for evolution.

    Faith and science are intertwined in reality, but it is the scientific fraternity which often seeks to deny the reality of faith.

    Sadly your regulatory words support this cause.

  278. Sometimes I think we all need to lighten up periodically.
    Like “and now for something completely different”

    But I have a request for a future discussion – doesn’t have to be now. But it’s something that I’d like answers for.

    It’s this. We all know that we are not perfect. That we sin. I’d like to think serious Christians get better at resisting sin – that they become increasingly more like Jesus – holier. (regardless or whether you are reformed, liberal, pentecostal etc)

    So if someone sins, the older I get the less it surprises me.
    BUT, what about these cases of not a moment of weakness, or a single case of “stumbling”, but super respected leaders being found to be involved in the worst sin imaginable. What gives?

    We don’t know the full story, but you may be aware that a leader of a very well respected ministry committed suicide recently. (in the midst of a terrible allegation).

    I don’t know what the truth is – but if the allegation is true it’s astounding and bewildering. How could someone like that…do something like that?
    But if not true, it’s tragic to me that someone supposedly such a hero of the faith, surrounded by the Godliest people around, could take their life like that.

    Is it that leaders can’t share with peers? those under them? those over them?

    Feel free to delete this post if it’s inappropriate or whatever.
    But, really. what gives? I don’t think these men are fakes, or deceivers. But, this is getting ridiculous. Are the standards we put on ourselves so high that we go the opposite direction?

    Anyway, when you guys have come to a consensus on evolution, give that one a shot for me.

  279. Why does an immortal soul have to come into the equation for a creature to be regarded as a man? We are of the dust of the earth. Immortality is God’s alone and the blessed hope of the saints. I wish we could divest ourselves of this wrong thinking.

  280. Zeibart, I read some of that article you posted. I’ll take it that you haven’t read it. I specifically read Section 4: Time and Age: Red Shift and the Cosmological Models 1 and 2 all of which delved into the age of the Universe. Given that it is fairly universal in the scientific community that the universe is billions of years old. I thought I’d start there.

    They begin
    Thus, if the earth and the universe are older than the timeframe of 6,000 to 10,000 years, then creationism’s historical origination is shown to be incorrect, creationism’s underlying record of observations is shown to be unreliable, and creationism itself is shown to be the product of flawed development and unreliable observations.

    They question the various cosmological theories like the Big Bang, Steady State, Hubble’s Constant and the fact that scientists can’t decide if the universe is 10 billion years or 20 billion years old.

    They actually don’t deny that the Universe is billions of years old so to get around it they place the Earth at the centre of the Universe (sound familiar – where are you Copernicus?) and say that time moves slower on Earth than in the rest of the universe.

    Consequently, the closer that all matter is, the greater the gravitational attraction and the greater the warping of space and time. More importantly, the greater the gravity, the slower that time moves. And here is where redshift becomes supremely significant concerning the origins debate and the age of the universe. Redshift indicates both that the universe has expanded and that the earth is near the center of the universe. This means that when the expansion was just beginning and all the matter in the universe was much closer together, the time dilation near the center of the universe where the earth is located would have been enormous. The effect would even cause time on earth to be moving so slowly that while billions of years passed farther from the center and the gravity well, only days would pass on earth. The starlight would have billions of years to travel from distant stars to earth while only 6 days pass on earth, just as the Genesis account asserts. Physicist, Dr. Russell Humphreys explains.

    Naturally I could find no scientist who supports the assertion that the Earth is at the centre of the Universe which is their premise to try and validate their opening premise.

    They also said that there is no theory for the formation of spiral galaxies. Which there is. Just google it.

    Also I’m wary of multi quotes from scientists which aren’t hyperlinked or able to be verified as to the context they were writing.

    Oh and it uses a guy called Humphrey’s Cosmology

    Strict creationist Russell Humphreys has proposed a cosmological model which claims to solve the problem of distant starlight for young earth supporters. The “starlight problem” as it has come to be known, is that light reaching the earth from stars millions of light years away would seem to imply that the universe is at least millions of years old. Humphreys’ model holds that the earth is near the center of the universe, and that due to relativistic principles relating to gravity, light, and time dilation, only a few thousand years of time would transpire on earth while the rest of the expanding universe experienced billions of years of time. Humphreys described his model in a paper at a creationist conference in 1994 (Humphreys 1994a), and in a book entitled Starlight and Time published the same year (Humphreys 1994b).

    Although soon hailed by many creationists as a landmark resolution to the starlight problem, the work has been severely criticized by physicists and astronomers. They report that it contained serious flaws in its math and physics, and is demonstrably incorrect (Conner and Page, 1998). In response, Humphreys has made a number of modifications to his model (Conner and Ross, 1999). However, critics assert that the modifications actually deepen the problems and errors. Although Humphreys denies this and insists that his model is still valid (Humphreys, 2002), it is overwhelmingly rejected by the scientific community (Isaac, 2006).

    Other proposed solutions to the starlight problem, such as the suggestion that God created light from stars already en-route to earth, have been seriously questioned on logical and theological grounds even by other creationists (as it would imply that events often depicted in such light that never happened, making God a deceiver). Thus, the starlight problem seems to remain a major challenge to the young earth position.

  281. Steve, maybe you should write to Dawkins that he shouldn’t call believers delusional. While you’re at it explain to him that christianity has mainly been about adopting paganism but now it is much better.

  282. Steve re your post at 10:24pm

    My dad took his own life. He was a godly man. I understand the darkness that plagued him, plagues me as well.

  283. That’s very sad indeed Bones. I’ll be praying that the our father, the King of Light, floods your darkness and banishes to where it belongs..

  284. Bones,
    maybe you should write to Dawkins that he shouldn’t call believers delusional

    I think you may not be following the thread. I was responding to wazza. In fact I quoted wazza in the comment at 10.21pm. He suggests pastors shouldn’t comment on science and scientists shouldn’t comment on the Bible. That is a dopey idea of course, but we still have to say why, don’t we. So I did.

    The comment at 10.24 was SMs, by the way, but I hope you get over the depression thing. I also hope I don’t add to it by questioning some of the things you say! ;-D

  285. By the way, Christianity didn’t adopt paganism. Roman Catholicism did. I wouldn’t bother with Dawkins though. He’s chosen his bed, methinks.

  286. zeibart,
    Why does an immortal soul have to come into the equation for a creature to be regarded as a man? We are of the dust of the earth. Immortality is God’s alone and the blessed hope of the saints. I wish we could divest ourselves of this wrong thinking.

    You think the soul is not immortal?

    You’re in interesting company with that one. That’s also JW/SDA theology.

    If the soul doesn’t survive after death how will God call up every soul from the grave?

    Revelation 20
    11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
    12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
    13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
    14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
    15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    I guess someone will claim this is another parable! In fact t’s a prophecy. It foretells a coming event.

    The dead will be delivered up for judgment.

    I guess it could be said that this is an unexpected event amongst evolutionists.

  287. Steve, I realise that other more fringe Christian and cultish groups hold this view, but no matter if an immortal soul is not in scripture. That passage in Rev 20 does foretell the judgement, but we will all have been resurrected, us in the first and the remaining dead in this one, the second. Ergo, there is no immortal soul standing before God, simply resurrected people awaiting their final destiny.

    I would add that the souls under the altar is imagery, not a snapshot of activity in heaven.

  288. So the soul just ends at death?

    No wonder you don’t grasp the significance of sin, or of Adam’s role in ushering it in.

    Or the importance of the error in what Pell said.

    So, if a person merely lives a sinful life of tyranny and debauchery, thinking his life will merely vanish at death, why not just do what they want and to the grave with it.

    No reward or recompense for sin, then, is there? The soul is not forfeit. It cannot be saved because it does not go on after death.

    No urgency in preaching the gospel to persuade men to be saved before they die.

    No reason for the Church to establish its borders in every community to teach people how to live a godly life.

    No point in the cross.

    No reason for Jesus to come in the flesh.

    No tomorrow.

    No cause.


  289. Romans 1
    3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
    4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
    5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
    6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”:
    7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
    8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness–indignation and wrath,
    9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
    10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
    11 For there is no partiality with God.

  290. ”No wonder you don’t grasp the significance of sin, or of Adam’s role in ushering it in.”

    How can you level that accusation? I have articulated a perfectly sound understanding of both those issues in many posts.

    From what you say at 7.20am, it seems clear that you don’t have a sound comprehension of what comprises a human, what are his constituent parts, and the importance of that understanding to our eternal destiny. I have spoken as such before on other threads and you didn’t squawk then.

    In simple terms, a soul is not an entity that lives on after we pass away as if our bodies are a physical host. That’s why clear-thinking in Genesis is vital. Ch 2, for instance: God breathed his life into Adam who became a living soul (Hebrew – nephesh). All subsequent references to ‘nephesh’ describe a person, not a ghostly immaterial object. SOS – Save Our Souls is a cry to save the whole person.

    Your view of salvation and the afterlife is severely skewed by thinking we die and something floats off to reside somewhere. That robs the power of the resurrection completely.

    So, to say ‘no point in the cross, no reason for Jesus to come in the flesh’ is ridiculous. How else can we be resurrected if we don’t follow in his footsteps? Just because there is no eternal ‘soul’, doesn’t mean anyone can act tyrannically and get away with it. What do you suppose the judgement is all about? You’re in error if you think we all get judged at the point of death. Jesus’s teaching is very clear, as is Revelation; we get judged after being resurrected, some to eternal life, some to everlasting destruction. What’s the point in the resurrection if we had all been judged previously and were off in some immaterial existance? A tyrant will be judged for his actions, just will one who claimed to be Christ’s but Jesus knew him not. The clue here, I believe, is whether that person ever received and subordinated their lives to the Holy Spirit. If they did, they will be raised up at the return of Christ in an instant.

    The bottom line is, Steve, none of your statements add up just because we don’t have an immortal soul. Just as you lambast the RC for subsuming pagan rites and rituals, as well as other dodgy doctrine, you are guilty of allowing Greek dualistic thinking into your interpretation of scripture, which frankly is not there.

    You are a man, gifted life by the blood in your veins and oxygen in your lungs, with extraordinary power in your human brain to be drawn to your Creator God (unlike any animal). When we die, we die like the animals and our life blood stops circulating (Ecc), so it is vital that we preach to as many as possible, for this life is the only opportunity to be judged and not found wanting. If you are truly saved on death, the dead lie in ‘blissful sleep’ (a metaphor for being content that they will be in Christ on his return) and await a glorious resurrection. Eternity is solely of God and we have no part in it until resurrected in Christ. The devil would like you to think that you live forever however.

  291. Actually, zeibart, it’s God who is offering eternal life, not the devil!

    Your doctrine of the soul is as orthodox as Watchtower doctrine.

  292. I don’t think you understand, Steve, what the bible says about who we are or how we’re saved. I don’t mean to be rude or arrogant, but that’s what it boils down to judging by what you’ve written. First off my last line doesn’t say the devil offers eternal life, I said he wants you to think that you will live forever. That’s Greek philosophical teaching regarding a separate body and soul (the root of gnosticism) and it permeated early Christian teaching in corrosive fashion because it truly is a doctrine of devils.

    If your soul is eternal, then God cannot offer eternal life because it is already ours. God offers us ‘conditional immortality’ ie we are given new eternal, spiritual bodies a la 1 Cor 15 if we are saved through faith in Christ. There is no salvation for a soul and separate salvation for the body. Nowhere is that concept in the bible. The reason why physical resurrection is central to good doctrine is for that reason alone – that a dead body is raised to life by the power of the Holy Spirit and deemed fit to live forever by God’s judgement. It is an eternal soul by the scriptural definition of a soul being a body that is alive. The difference between life pre-resurrection and life post-resurrection is that we will be made alive purely by the Holy Spirit and not by blood circulation through veins (this is how Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection – no blood).

    The scriptures all point to a soul being a living body, not a separate entity. Once you go down that path it all gets confusing and scripture gets compromised.

    Your references to JW and Watchtower are supposed to say what? That because they might believe the same, it’s wrong? That’s ad hominem and you’re not tackling the issue.

  293. Greg/Steve/others with posting rights. I have an article I wrote in response to an email exchange with someone that covered the origins of man, our human constitution, the nature of salvation and our eternal destiny. It’s about 7 and a bit sides of A4. It would explain my position in more detail and allow comment without sidetracking this thread. How can I get it on here?

  294. It is the soul which is saved, zeibart. The body is resurrected.

    Hebrews 10
    35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
    36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
    37 “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
    38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”
    39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

    1 Peter 1
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
    5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
    7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
    8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
    9 receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.

    James 1
    16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
    17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
    18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
    19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
    20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
    21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

    The soul of the believer is saved. And the body is the last thing to be redeemed:

    Romans 8
    18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
    19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
    20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;
    21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
    22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
    23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
    24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?
    25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

    If he soul can be saved then it an also be condemned. It is not the body which is condemned but the soul.

    I do not separate the soul from the body as the Greeks or gnostics. I reiterate scripture.

    But even the Word can discern between the body, soul and spirit.

    Hebrews 4
    12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

    1 Thessalonians 5
    23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Although the scripture doesn’t say anywhere that the soul is immortal, like the doctrine of the Trinity, there is sufficient information to suggest that it is the soul which is either saved or condemned and the body which is resurrected.

  295. Thanks Greg.

    Steve, you say, ‘I do not separate the soul from the body as the Greeks or gnostics. I reiterate scripture’, and then go on to state ‘the soul which is either saved or condemned and the body which is resurrected.’

    This is an illogical conclusion and those two statements are at odds with each other. If there is no separate soul, then there is nothing to save. You need to see the verses you quoted above in the light of what ‘soul’ means in scripture. When God breathed on Adam, he brought his life into a previously inanimate creation and created that substance which keeps us ticking which is our blood.

    Gen 9:4, Lev 17:11, 14, Deut 12:23 and Acts 15:29 all say that the life of an animal or person is in its blood. The blood was not to be consumed since it was to be respected as the source of life (translated ‘nephesh’ in Hebrew, the same as ‘soul’). So a soul is one who is alive, and one who has no soul is dead (resists reference to James Brown).

    Consequently, there is nothing to save – you can’t save blood, or the fact of being alive. But the resurrection does the whole job in one go – it brings us life, not through blood, but by the Spirit hence we become spiritual bodies as Jesus was. The fact that Jesus shed his blood for us, his soul life, is all the more poignant. When he ‘gave up his ‘ghost’ on the cross, he surrendered his status as a living person, not released an immaterial object up to his Father. That’s Greek philosophical thinking.

    That last verse you mentioned is not to be taken as some sort of anthropological fact, more that the word of God is so powerful as to penetrate every fibre of our thinking and existence.

    God saves us bodily, which is why physical resurrection is so important, and a Genesis understanding of our creation is vital too if this is all to make sense. The evolutionist cannot makes these connections without compromising their position, in my opinion.

  296. Steve, look at Romans 2:7 – why do we need to seek immortality and, as believers, expect to be given this gift from God, if it is something that, as you say, we inherently possess?

    Doesn’t that strike you as odd?

  297. Nor did I mention ‘sitting under’ a teacher. It’s possible to look a teacher in the face, you know!

    I take it, then, that you’re self-taught on this.

  298. A bit of reading around the subject and referring to the relevant scriptures, so yes – why?

  299. Is there a difference between the soul and the spirit?

    Was David talking of his physical body, as in his flesh when he said “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul” in Psalms 103 and 104?

    Is there a definable difference between the flesh and the spirit, or the flesh and the soul?

  300. What does Paul mean when he refers to the inner or inward man?

    Where does the heart come into this?

  301. zeibart,
    I would add that the souls under the altar is imagery, not a snapshot of activity in heaven.

    Well, no. I reread that passage and it is certainly not merely ‘imagery’, otherwise it has no significance and is pointless. If it is allegorical, the rules of allegory and parables clearly indicate that what is references has one degree of reality to be compared to another.

    Referencing souls separated from their bodies through death and kept under the altar in heaven has a greater significance than mere imagery.

    The reality of it is that there will be others who are martyred and those who had already been martyred were to wait for God’s wrath on the perpetrators of their martyrdom.

    If there was no difference between the soul and the flesh, why mention it?

    If it were the only mention of the soul maybe you would have a point, but there are other references to the soul which indicate it as a defined part of our make-up.

    Revelation 20:4 tells us exactly who these people are – the souls of those who are beheaded for their faith, who do not bow down to the beast or worship his image.

    If you consider those martyred through history past and even those in the present to be merely imaginary, then you need to seriously rethink your doctrine.

  302. I think you’re confusing what I said, which was ‘imagery’, with your word ‘imaginery’. I don’t imagine the existence of martyrs. That passage simply personifies the question those being persecuted would be asking God, namely, ‘How long will we have to wait to be avenged?’

    Are you expecting 4 persons on coloured horses to travel the earth as well?

  303. ‘Is there a difference between the soul and the spirit?’

    No, the 2 words are generally interchangeable and used on alternate occasions throughout the NT. Nearly every reference to ‘spirit’ (pneuma) describes the Holy Spirit, however.

    ‘Was David talking of his physical body, as in his flesh when he said “Bless the Lord, Oh my soul” in Psalms 103 and 104?’

    He was thinking wholistically not dualistically, so he regarded his mind and body to be in one accord in blessing the Lord.

    ‘What does Paul mean when he refers to the inner or inward man?

    Where does the heart come into this?’

    The heart or inner man reflects our deepest thoughts and desires, as in the phrase ‘the heart of the matter’ – it’s central point. God placed eternity in the mind (heart) of man; a yearning to know him that resonates from the time Adam walked with God.

    ‘And what does Paul mean by the new creation?’

    The old inclinations have been overcome by the newly in-dwelling Holy Spirit who now renews our mind so that our thinking reflects a new God-leaning nature, not the old self-focussed one.

  304. Yes, well, I’m not going to even discuss this particularly with you zeibart, since it is clear what path you are on.

    If something is imagery and it is not fact it is also imaginary.

    What John saw was real.

    The four horses are real horses. That is what he saw. Whether they represent another means of dispensing the judgments is another issue. The fact is the reference point and ‘imaginary’ allegorical allusion was to horses, which are real and exist and can be understood, even with the imagination.

    Which tells us that even if the souls reference was illusory in an allegorical sense, it is referenced to our ‘imagination’ by something which is real and understandable – that there is a soul. The people referenced had had their heads cut off. They were physically dead. Is that real enough for you?

    In other words there is a soul and it is part of the human make up, as is confirmed in two separate scriptures I have already shown you, where the soul and the spirit are defined as separate, in essence, from the body.

    Leaving out certain aspects of doctrine and scripture to conveniently pursue an unsustainable perspective or objective is cultish.

    You need to be careful.

    If you continue on this track, with the doctrinal stances you have, you will be continually bitterly disappointed with the Church, universal and local, and with those who teach, and remain on a critical path. That is my prediction.

  305. You’re not really making much sense Steve. After all the scripture I put forward that says we ARE a soul, not HAVE a soul, you throw your teddies out of the cot and deny it all because you choose to read in to John’s vision what suits your viewpoint.

    Your (uninvited) prediction has already failed in coming to pass, but I don’t recall you claiming a prophetic gift. If my understanding of the bible keeps me outside your herd, so be it. I’m over being disappointed by the reaction.

  306. So you’re already in it. OK.

    I think you’re caught up with Greek dualism and missed what scripture is saying about the soul, spirit and body.

    The whole man is the spirit, the soul and the body. “I pray your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved’, etc. ‘The word…divides between the soul and spirit, bones and marrow [physical body]’, etc. The body without the soul is dead, lifeless, returns to dust and ash. Adam was lifeless until God breathed into him.

    The breath, ruach, is more significant that the soul, nephesh, but the OT writers didn’t have the same revelation of the spirit and soul as Paul in the NT. Psuche, Sarx and Pneuma are all distinct parts of the makeup of man, and is what distinguishes us from animals whose life is not God-breathed, but they are only discernible through the Word and Spirit, being a part of the whole of man.

    But it is the soul which is saved. The spirit is revived. We are dead in our sin, and yet we live. Why is that? Because the spirit is dead through sin, and revived at the new birth. It is not looking for salvation at the end of time, yet we are, according to scripture. It s not the body which is saved. It will be renewed, in the twinkling of an eye, it will be converted form the corruptible into he incorruptible, so it is not the body which has to ‘work out’ its ‘salvation with fear and trembling’. It is the soul which is saved. It is the soul which has to be changed, to repent, to be renewed.

    The soul is the mind, the will, the emotions, the senses. We are not led by the soul, or by the senses, but by faith, because our sense will be distracted every time. We are led by the Spirit. God speaks to us through our spirit by His Spirit, according to 1 Corinthians 2, and at another places.

    Paul says, ‘for me to live is Christ, but to die is gain’. How? Because he goes to be with the Lord, but his body is buried, and lifeless. Gd is the God of the living not the dead, yet many saints’ bodies are in the ground, rotted and decayed.

    The story of the rich man and beggar illustrate this perfectly. You will say it is a parable, but if you read Jesus carefully you will know it is not, because it doesn’t illustrate anything but what it actually says. there is no other interpretation to what Jesus tells us. the warning is that if we do not repent in this life we will not be able to in the next even if some was sent from the living to the souls or spirits of the dead to tell them.

    However, when in the grave, Jesus preached to the spirits in the grave.

    No their bodies, because they were dust or ashes.

    I think you are being distracted by Greek thought and missing what Jesus, David, Peter and Paul and others have said.

    The critical man can never listen to truth from one he does not respect.

  307. Anyway, I sense it is better to leave you with this.

    I was disappointed with Pell’s lack of understanding and inability to explain basic Christian doctrine with a complete philistine. Two complete philistines actually, because Jones was no better than Dawkins.

    Pell did well initially and had the audience on side, but he was completely lost on some basics later on.

    We need better Christian leadership than he provided at this time.

  308. OK, Steve, you can keep grinding away until the will to construct meaningful reposts is eroded to nothing. Your 1.29am comment is at least true in the last line – you don’t respect my POV.

    It is also a mish-mash of contradiction, false extrapolation and wayward traditional thinking that I could collapse quickly; however, I’m not wasting my time any more.

  309. Steve,

    “I was disappointed with Pell’s lack of understanding and inability to explain basic Christian doctrine […]”

    Duh. Pell is a roman catholic – his allegiance is to a religion that worships Satan. He doesn’t hold to Christian doctrine, so how would you expect him to be able to explain it? And why on earth would you want him to even try?

  310. Are Jesus and Satan one and the same?

    It’s interesting that some Reformists believe God uses Satan as His tool so to speak.

  311. Of course you guys would have done better on National TV. You’d have both Jones and Dawkins saved with your inspiring because the Bible says so.

    I can just imagine the whole audience with Jones and Dawkins holding hands ans singing Jesus Loves Me.

  312. “Are Jesus and Satan one and the same?”

    In the roman catholic “church”, yes, they are the same thing.

    It is a false jesus before whom the catholics bow.

  313. “Of course you guys would have done better on National TV.”

    Yes, I would have. You haven’t seen me speak, but perhaps one day you will.

    “You’d have both Jones and Dawkins saved with your inspiring because the Bible says so.”

    Probably not – I suspect that they would have fled from the studio. It’s happened before: there have been times when I have rebuked JWs, and they didn’t want to hang about to argue – in fact they couldn’t get away fast enough. It’s a funny thing to see.

    Did you know that God can give his children wisdom with which none can contend? Your “faith” seems to be an entirely cerebral affair that has left you sadly ignorant of what it’s like to move in the power of the Holy Spirit. If you’ve ever once seen someone minister under the unction of God, you will never in your life forget it.

  314. As I said, your “faith” seems to be an entirely cerebral affair that has left you sadly ignorant of what it’s like to move in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  315. Yes Zorro, you have more “faith” than me. You probably have a bigger penis too. But I’ll get over it.

  316. That’s an interesting comeback from someone who likes to present themselves as the rational thinker par excellence and who devotes their time to endless intellectualising.

    I understand that you’ve run out of ideas, but I’m amazed that you have done so in such short order. It seems like you could really use a little of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, doesn’t it?

  317. Bones,
    Of course you guys would have done better on National TV.

    Probably not, but then I’m not considered by the media to be one of the leaders of the national church in Australia.

    Since he took up the offer to debate Dawkins, he must have known what was at stake, and what was coming.

    The point is that he didn’t handle doctrine very well for a man of his position.

    Or, as Zorro points out, maybe he did for a Catholic leader.

    Eliminating Adam from Christian doctrine was unforgiveable.

  318. Zorro. You have one ‘saving grace’ [colloquially speaking].

    You appreciate Smith Wigglesworth. That alone eliminates the possibility of being a JW! 😀

  319. Pingback: Bethlehem solar
  320. “Duh. Pell is a roman catholic – his allegiance is to a religion that worships Satan. ”

    We really haven’t come very far have we.

  321. “Zorro. You have one ‘saving grace’ [colloquially speaking].

    You appreciate Smith Wigglesworth. That alone eliminates the possibility of being a JW! ”

    Ah, yes – that would have constituted a dead-set give-away.

    And what a great man Wigglesworth was – a shining example of what can be wrought through a man who humbles himself, and who takes God at His word and submits to Him.

  322. “We really haven’t come very far have we.”

    Some of us don’t need to, SM. Personally, I’m right where I should be; it’s a shame that the same can’t be said for Mr Pell.

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  324. Who let the Loonies Out, Who, Who, Who, Who, Who

    Good to know our kids’ minds are in safe hands with Christians.


    I hope Australia never goes down this path.

    School kids taught Nessie is real
    June 26, 2012, 11:00 am

    Children in US schools are being taught the Loch Ness monster is real, and its existence disproves Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    The pupils attend privately run, fundamentalist Christian schools which teach creationism – the idea that the entire universe was a creation of God’s will – rather than the scientifically accepted theory of evolution.

    Other claims in the book include the belief that dinosaurs were fire breathing dragons, and that a Japanese whaling boat once caught a dinosaur.

    The bizarre claim in the schools’ textbooks stems from a desire to explain the millions of years Earth existed that the Bible doesn’t account for if a literal interpretation of the Bible is applied.

    The schools believe that if it can be proved that man once walked the Earth with dinosaurs, then Darwin’s theory of evolution will be disproved.

    The books, produced by Accelerated Christian Education, read more like a children’s fantasy novel than a school textbook.

    “Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland?” the book asks, “‘Nessie’ for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.”

    The revelations about what kids are being taught have sparked anger across the US, especially because the classes are partly publicly funded.

    Bruce Wilson, a professor who specialises in the US far-right, says these teachings are typical of Christian fundamentalism.

    “One of these texts from Bob Jones University Press claims that dinosaurs were fire-breathing dragons. It has little to do with science as we currently understand. It’s more like medieval scholasticism,” The told The Scotsman.

    “The majority of parents now home schooling their kids are Christian fundamentalists too. I don’t believe they should be publicly funded, I don’t believe the schools who use these texts should be publicly funded.”

    Jonny Scaramanga, a former student who now spends his time speaking out against fundamentalism says teachers re-write history to suit their religious beliefs.

    “The reason for that is they’re saying if Noah’s flood only happened 4,000 years ago, which they believe literally happened, then possibly a sea monster survived.
    “If it was millions of years ago then that would be ridiculous. That’s their logic. It’s a common thing among creationists to believe in sea monsters.”

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