Posted tagged ‘Answers in Genesis’

Free thinkers to protest the freedom to think?

July 13, 2013

Really? People who tout themselves as “freethoughts” activists are going to protest free thinking? Where? When? Why? How? What should I do?

Where: Outside the Texas Homeschool Coalition’s annual homeschool convention in The Woodlands.

When: August 2 & 3, 2013. The protesters (atheists) are planning an orientation meeting Thursday, Aug. 1 from 8-9 p.m at the Bayland Community Center.

Why: The freethoughts activists are protesting the freedom of Americans to trust God’s word as true in every aspect, including historically true. For some reason, they are particularly concerned about dinosaurs. They are upset with how Christians like myself interpret dinosaur history!And historical interpretation is what they are protesting, not testable, repeatable science.

The fossil record shows many things lived at the same time as extinct dinosaurs, including extant (meaning still alive) starfish and coelacanths. Apparently, the so-called freethoughts activists say we’re lying about the human-dino coexistence thing because we have yet to uncover a fossil of a human riding a dinosaur while holding a coelacanth that ate a starfish. Unless this fossil grouping is found, then atheists will claim the Bible is a book of lies and Christians who believe it are liars. Therefore, since freethoughts activists apparently never lie, and possess a perfect understanding of history, we can trust them over God’s word! And if we don’t buy into their belief that freethoughts activists are the source of historical truth instead of God, they will make laws to suppress our skepticism. Of course, I’m joking here, but are the atheists? Unfortunately, I don’t think so.

How: So how did all this come about? Well, it started when some Houston-area atheists realized that Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis would be a keynote speaker at the THSC Convention. Because Mr. Ham trusts the authority of Scripture, he trusts the Bible’s account of history over other versions that attempt to insert evolution and millions of years to the story. Mr. Ham blogged about the atheists intolerance to Christianity, as well as their unprofessional debate challenge.

What should I do?: First, pray! Then, do! Pray that if the protest actually happens at all, that it will be peaceful. Pray that all Christians (including you!) will make an effort to show the love of Christ to the atheist protestors, and engage them in thoughtful discussion. And bring your friends who may be considering homeschooling, too!

Pray for opportunities to kindly show atheists the folly in their reasoning about so many things. Using reason, the law of non-contradiction (a law of logic created for us by God) states that you cannot be “A” and “not-A” at the same time. You cannot promote yourself as a “freethoughts activist” or a “skeptic” while at the same time protesting someone else’s right to think freely and be skeptical about the way you think yourself. You can’t be “pro-freethoughts” AND “anti-freethoughts”, “for skepticism” AND “against skepticism”, “pro-science” AND “anti-science”. Only an unreasonable fool would think they could.

Pray for opportunities to show atheists that their protest is not about scientific things, but about historic things. Christians are not anti-science. In fact, click here and watch how to start a Christian homeschool science co-op. Or click here to learn more about my company and our goal to encourage homeschoolers to finish calculus in high school, and add a few science and math CLEP and AP exams to the transcript along the way. Our goal is to raise the standard in math and science education, not lower it to government school levels or worse.

Pray for ways to show the atheists that they cannot be pro-science and anti-science at the same time. Science confirms human life begins at conception. Therefore, in order to protect all human life, we need to protect all babies in the womb, from the moment of conception onward. Anything less is murder. To defend the right to murder a baby in the womb is anti-science and just plain wrong.

Also, in the 21st century, high school and college biology textbooks are becoming bloated monsters. Something has to go to make room for teaching 21st Century advances in biology, including epigenetics and bioinformatics. Many chapters have way too many pages devoted to speculative historical claims about origins, dogmatically asserting only one interpretation (evolutionism). A pro-science person would want to reduce or remove the history to make room for 21st Century science. An anti-science person would reject the 21st Century science in favor of page after page about origins. Ask the atheist which they would choose to include in an already oversized biology textbook, new science or history? If they would rather keep the history, then they are anti-science, which contradicts their claims of being pro-science.

A great analogy I read recently said “To use science to promote atheism is like using a man’s child to prove he does not exist.” Only a fool would say Christians are anti-science. One of God’s first commands to Christians in Genesis 1:26-28 was to think scientifically. Do we have different interpretations of history than atheists? For the most part, yes. But even Christians don’t all have identical interpretations of history, and neither do non-Christians for that matter. Natural history research is not the same thing as scientific research, and not discerning these two is what generates most of the anti-creationism hysteria.  Francis Bacon, the founder of the scientific method and a young-earth creationist, warned us to be careful about muddling the two. The way we each interpret history is something to discuss, not protest. 

Finally, pray for repentence! God changes hearts, and He can change the heart of the most hardened anti-Christian activist. Remember what He did with Paul, a man who was wise in his own eyes until God opened his eyes and allowed him to see the true Source of everything, including reason. Simple logic reveals you cannot claim to be a freethinker, while at the same time protest the rights of thousands of Christian parents to freely consider the best educational options for each of their children. Pray that God will use the THSC convention to remove the blinders from many.

Bill Nye Links Creationism With American Creativity

September 3, 2012

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A lot has been said recently of a viral YouTube video by “Bill Nye the Science Guy“, where he makes many ridiculous connections between science and his personal beliefs about origins. Others have responded with their own videos, including Answers in Genesis here and here, and Creation Ministries International here. And, in an unrelated incident in 2011, AiG’s Creation Museum cameras picked up Bill Nye stalking around in their museum parking lot. I guess he thought he was “Bill Nye the Spy Guy”, gathering intel for “his side”. Why not just go inside and have an open, friendly discussion instead?[Jan 2014 update: Bill Nye has decided to go inside the Creation Museum and debate Ken Ham. Kudos to Mr. Nye for wanting to debate this important topic!]

After filtering through all the noise in Nye’s video, I found one correlation that Mr. Nye missed. Nye starts by saying “denial of evolution is unique in the United States”. What he means is that 40% or more of the United States population believes in “young earth creationism”. But, immediately after this, Nye proclaims how the United States is “where most of the innovation still happens”. Innovative people are creative people. Innovative….creative…creationist….creationism, do you see the connection?

Creativity of God is at the foundation of a Christian education. And in Genesis 1:27, we learn that God created man in His image. God, in His infinite power and creativity, made us like Him. He uniquely designed us to be amazingly creative and purposeful. So, it makes total sense that a country where a large portion of the population believes in a creative God who made them like Himself, would also be the world leader in technological innovations.

Compare giving a child a proper Christian education, as opposed to brainwashing them into believing they evolved for no purpose from godless goo a long time ago. Which form of education do you think is more likely to produce creative, helpful people? Which form is more likely to keep people in a state of godless foolishness (Psalm 14:1)?

Thank you Mr. Nye, for making that great connection between creationism and American ingenuity. It makes perfect sense. More public acceptance of our Creator sparks more creativity, while more acceptance of evolutionism sparks less creativity.

So, what about you? Are you a humanist whose manifesto requires you to believe in evolution? Atheist? Theistic evolutionist? If yes to any of those, perhaps today is the day to turn a corner and be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Your hysteria over “evolution deniers” is totally unreasonable. Open your mind, open the Bible, and relax about all the creationists in your midst! God can change your heart and mind, and I pray that He will.

If you have a question, leave a rational comment (no cussin’ and no rantin’!) and let’s discuss it. Or, if you would rather just hear some silly atheist camp songs sung by Tim Hawkins, click here.

Is theistic evolution a disease of learning?

March 26, 2011

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Francis Bacon, the founder of the modern scientific method, believed that if we were to truly advance learning, Christians should study what God said in His word, and study what God made in Creation. But,  he also cautioned that we should avoid unwisely mingling or confounding these learnings together. Confusion exists regarding Francis Bacon and his beliefs, but everything I have read by him leads me to conclude that he believed God’s word was the ultimate authority. According to Bacon, humans err when their pride inclines them to “leave the oracle of God’s word and to vanish in the mixture of their own inventions.”

Bacon called problems like this “diseases of learning”. In Bacon’s time, a major disease of learning was that at institutions of higher learning, students’ minds were open to the ideas of only a handful of authors who were treated more like dictators whose words must stand, rather than counselors to give advice. Four centuries later, Christians are still making the same mistakes about learning. Instead of setting God and His word as the immovable foundation that directs our learning, we constantly feel like the foundation will be stronger if we add some of man’s ideas to it or if we try to change the Bible’s story to fit the latest, greatest, goofiest idea we can come up with.

Instead of making the creativity of God the foundation and focus of a Christian education, the creativity of man is often overemphasized. Currently, I think one of the biggest hurdles to advancing learning is the idea of “theistic evolution.” Proponents of theistic evolution believe this is the proper answer to reconciling “science” and the Bible. I see two problems with this view. First, the theory of evolution is not real science. Second, science is man’s interpretation of God’s works, and we should never set man’s interpretations as equal or superior to His Word. A hierarchy exists, and Francis Bacon nails it again when he says to study “first the Scriptures, revealing the will of God, and then the creatures expressing His power.” Bacon believed in a hierarchy because he believed God’s word, and His word says in John 1:1 that “In the beginning was the Word.” His word should direct our study of His works. There is nowhere in His word that suggests we should equate the study of His word and His works, or let the study of His works direct our study of His word.

The theory of evolution is not real science. It is an idea used to explain unverifiable events from natural history. Real science follows the scientific method, where questions are asked, hypotheses made and tested, data collected and analyzed, and conclusions drawn. Then, the hypothesis may be  tested by another scientist in order to verify the claims made by the original researcher. It is unreasonable to call bacteria-to-biology teacher evolution a purely scientific endeavor. We cannot observe this process occurring, so we cannot verify any claims made about it, and that is not real science.

Another part of real science is that data is collected and models are made, which are then used to make future predictions. Of course, the accuracy of those predictions can be verified. This is impossible with claims made about past events, and this is why evolution is about researching natural history, instead of being a real scientific endeavor.

An honest evolutionist will tell you that evolution theory cannot predict how things will evolve in the future, only that they will evolve. What they may not tell you is that this would be like a weather forecaster saying “I can’t predict how the weather is going to change tomorrow. All I can tell you is that it will be different than it was today.” Or it might be like NASA saying to some astronauts “We cannot predict how you will land on the moon. All we can tell you is that you will land on the moon.” I hope you are starting to see what I mean when I say evolution is not real science, but instead is an unnecessary idea used by some Christians and others to explain natural history. Evolution is not needed to explain gravity, understand chemistry, find better cures for diseases, or manage wild salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest. If anything, it interferes with the advancement of learning about God’s creation.

There is evidence for evolution though, and you can be a Christian and believe in evolution. If all life evolved from a common ancestor, we would expect all life to have some things in common, and it does. All life needs water, and all life has DNA.  However, if all life were created by the same Designer, we would also expect all life to have some things in common. In fact, we would expect more than just life to have some things in common. Take visible light for example. All visible light can be classified as electromagnetic radiation. All visible light has a magnetic field perpendicular to an electric field. Our best understanding of light tells us that all light behaves as both a wave and a particle. But red light is not blue light, yellow light is not green light, etc. All colors of light share similar physical characteristics, but there are definite differences. This does not mean that red light evolved from blue light, etc. All forms of electromagnetic radiation do seem to be designed using the same pattern. In Genesis 1:3, God said “Let there be light, and there was light.” I don’t know anyone, theistic evolutionist or otherwise, who argues against this verse. There is no “millions of years theory for the evolution of light”. So, when God says He created in 6 days, and He created different kinds of living organisms, why not just believe that, too? Everybody has the same set of evidence, the differences come in the interpretations, and some interpretations are better than others.

Theistic evolution is a compromise

We should never set man’s interpretation of God’s works on an equal footing with His word. However, this is the goal of theistic evolution. In the movie The Genesis Code, theistic evolution was promoted as the “answer” to the supposed battle between science and religion. A good critique of the movie can be found here.

Biologos, an organization whose sole purpose is to promote theistic evolution, provides many opportunities to see how this idea results in setting aside the oracle of God’s word, replacing it with “a mixture of their own inventions.” In a lecture at Westmont College, Biologos Senior Fellow of Biblical Studies, Dr. Peter Enns, presented the following slide:

This graph is wrong. God's word and man's word (science) are not on the same plane, nor do they share a common origin. "In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1)," then came man, then came man's flawed interpretation of God's works (science).

I have some real concerns about the “Biologos version” of Scripture. And I’m not the only one. Theologian John Frame said a recent book by Dr. Enns “says nothing to promote confidence in the truth of the biblical text.” Others, like Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham, believe Enns is compromising Biblical truth. Creation Ministries International says Biologos has a “low, really low view of Scripture.” The Institute for Creation Research warns parents to “beware” of Biologos and Enns’ teachings. The Westminster Theological Seminary “parted ways” with Dr. Enns back in 2008 over concerns about his writings.

I also think Dr. Enns’ (and Biologos’) understanding of Paul, Adam, and many other things has a lot to be desired. There is no man and no church that has a perfect interpretation of Scripture, but some interpretations are definitely better than others. Atheists have the worst interpretations of Scripture. I think the best way to interpret Scripture is to apply Sola Scriptura, that is, to let Scripture interpret Scripture. If we really believe II Timothy 3:16, that God inspired men to write His word, then we should believe that the words of men like Paul, Peter, John, Moses, etc., have more authority than the words of other men, even (and especially) deep thinkers like St. Augustine, St. Basil, or C.S. Lewis. Men like these should be thought of like “counselors to give advice”.

The concerns I have about the teachings of Biologos are too numerous to go into here, but I will give one example. In Dr. Enns’ lecture mentioned earlier, he showed how Paul described Adam as the first man, and if you read Romans 5:12-21, it is easy to come to the same conclusion. Paul thought Adam, like Jesus, was a historical figure. Paul even calls Adam a “type” of Christ, a head over all humanity. Dr. Enns has a different view though, and he thinks Adam was a symbolic figure who represented Israel. He also stresses that Paul was an “ancient man”, and in this Biologos video, states that he doesn’t expect Paul to have conversed with Francis Collins about the Human Genome Project and how “common descent is essentially assured scientifically.” Dr. Enns goes on to explain that in “Paul’s mind”, there may be a connection between the real man, Adam, and the real Christ, but that we don’t have to make the same connection in our minds.  He also says Paul does not determine modern scientific discoveries of humanity for us.

Truth doesn’t change

Certainly, Paul was writing to first century Christians, and no, he didn’t have a conversation with Francis Collins. However, here is the big mistake I think Dr. Enns and other theistic evolutionists make. Paul’s words in Romans were not his alone, they were inspired by God. When Paul writes about the man, Adam, he is writing God’s words, not his own. He is writing Truth, and Truth doesn’t change. When we read books penned by Paul’s hand, we should be more concerned about “why did God have him write that?” than “what was Paul thinking?” The story of Adam and Paul promoted by Dr. Enns is twisted because God’s authority and inspiration is at the very least, minimized, and at worst, removed from the conversation. Instead, it is replaced by a mixture of Dr. Enns’ own invention.

So why would theistic evolutionists be so interested in tearing down what God says about Adam in the book of Romans? The main reason is because evolution is supposed to work on populations, not individuals, and evolution is a philosophy of death. Through the deaths of billions of animals over long periods of time, a population of humans finally came into being. If Adam wasn’t a real man, but instead a symbolic population of people known as Israel, then evolution is compatible with Scripture. But that’s not what God’s word said happened, and it’s not what His works say happened, either.

Theistic evolution is a disease of learning

So is theistic evolution a disease of learning? I would say yes. I would also say anyone who believes it is deceived. Colossians 2:8 says “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (NKJV).” In Genesis, God said He made everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. This is confirmed in Exodus 20:11. In Genesis, God said he created different kinds of living organisms. Charles Darwin thought God was lying about this, and set out to develop a theory that claimed all life descended from a common ancestor. Darwin knew this would take a really long time, so he used Charles Lyell’s idea of uniformitarianism to justify the long ages. Charles Lyell also thought God was lying about Noah’s flood, and that there was no such thing as a global cataclysm.

Without putting much thought to it, many scientists jumped on the bandwagon of evolutionism and its crutch, uniformitarianism. These speculative beliefs about the past reached their peaks in the 2oth century. However, we are in a new century now, and some of this century’s scientists are showing us how these two ideas, based on the premise that God was lying, are becoming less accepted. 21st century science is showing us time and again how genetic mutations, the supposed “engines that drive evolution,” mostly result in death or cancer! It is obvious that animals adapt to their environment and change some with time, otherwise we would all be clones. But this is not evolution. For evolution to be true, new information must be created, and this has never been observed in the wild or in the laboratory. And there are no longer any real uniformitarians, because the obviousness of catastrophism is accepted by virtually all scientists. Most still reject the historical account of a worldwide global cataclysm that killed all the land animals, even though dead animals are buried under tens, hundreds, and thousands of feet of sedimentary rock all over the world, and the Earth is still mostly covered with water. I think it is very interesting that evolutionism and its crutch, uniformitarianism, both ideas based on the premise that God’s word is wrong, have caused so many setbacks in the advancement of learning.

If you are a Christian and you want to believe in theistic evolution, you are certainly free to do so, but I think you are being deceived and you are letting manmade speculations direct your reading of some Scriptures instead of letting Scripture help you interpret the scientific and historic claims made by fallible men. And because evolution is not real science, there is no reason to believe any sort of “tension” exists between science and Christianity. Science and Christianity are not at odds, but evolutionism and Christianity are. If you are ready to get on a road that will lead you to rejecting the damaging theology of theistic evolution, get out your Bible, click here and start researching. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to continue the conversation.