Posts Tagged ‘ID’
I subscribed to three or four new magazines and journals this year. Two of them are my concern with this post.
The first is Salvo. I thought it might be fun and some challenging, critical reading. The first issue I received, issue 4, Winter 2008: ID (as in, Intelligent Design).
The second is The Christian Century. This was a trial four-week subscription. The first issue I received, volume 125, no 3. The cover: Faith after Darwin and A Visit to the Creation Museum. (I have already cancelled my trial subscription.)
The problem with both of these journals is that they purport, in some way or another to have some ties to the Christian community. Salvo is from the ‘Fellowship of St James.’ Christian Century…well…Christian sort of gives it away doesn’t it?
In The Christian Century Jason Byassee wrote, “Reconciling Christian claims about God, creation and humanity with the findings of Darwin and his successors is an important and daunting task, one that mainline theology has still not satisfactorily accomplished. AiG [Answers in Genesis; he is review the Creation Museum] can hardly be faulted for attempting the task, though its effort is a spectacular failure.” (26)
The problem here is that Mr Byassee thinks that Christianity needs to reconcile with the world and that the Scripture must be wrong. He builds on the assumption that Scripture is not accurate and that its claims are not truth. He also seems to disregard entirely the notion of the God-breathedness of Scripture. The Scripture does not need to be reconciled with the ‘findings of Darwin’ (which are the spurious rantings of an apostate). Rather, Darwin needs to be reconciled with Scripture. If the finding is not in accord with Scripture, the ‘finding’ must be flawed.
In Salvo, (pages 10-11) there is a list of words that must be defined in order to understand the issue. One of those words is ‘Creationism’ (which is just as pejorative as Darwinism): “A literal belief in the account of creation provided by the Bible. Creationists insist that each of the various animals present today on earth was created separately by God. They are thus opposed to the theory that humans and other species descended from common ancestors. Creationism, which also assumes a young earth, should not be confused with the theory of intelligent design.” [!]
The problem is not with the definition as such, but with the portrayal of those who believe in Genesis 1ff as mere Creationists. The problem is with the idea that those who believe in the literal account of the creation must be somehow not quite as caught up as those who believe in the grand theory of ID or Darwin. If I understand this, ID is little more than an attempt to mingle the two, God and Darwin, so that the best of both worlds can be had.
It’s not just Genesis that speaks of God as Creator: It is the entire Bible! Will those who write off Genesis 1-3 also write off Job? How about Colossians? How about John’s Gospel? How about Hebrews? How about the Psalter? How about Isaiah? How about Romans? How about the Revelation? How about statements made by Jesus himself where he specifically references Genesis as history? Are we to write those off as well? You see it is a slippery slope because once Christians write off the most fundamental statement of faith, ‘In the beginning God created…’, then it becomes easy to write off the rest of the Scripture too; which is exactly what Darwinists do.
The problem here is not with ID or with Darwinism as such. The problem here is with Christians who simply will not accept the testimony of Scripture. I think ID is a wonder mechanism for showing the distortions and flaws of Darwinian evolution, but to the extent that it refuses to accept Biblical testimony it is no better than Darwinism. If we cannot accept that it was God who made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, then how can we ever expect God to be powerful enough to recreate this world when Christ returns? If God is not powerful enough to Creation, then how can God be powerful enough to Redeem? For that matter, if God did not Create, then why would he Redeem?
This simply cannot be both ways: One cannot have Darwin and God. God either Created or He did not. Atheists and Darwinists are convinced he did not. So why would Christians reject Scripture and align themselves with those who do not believe? This is, at its very core, a battle over whether or not Scripture is Truth. This is a problem for Christians right now who feel the need to abandon Scripture and compromise and fornicate with the world’s gods. (I’d like to use stronger language here, but I’ll be respectful for now.) This is about Christians, not Darwinists or atheists, who have abandoned the Word of God. Byassee may mock those of AiG, but they are right. Salvo may have no use for those who believe in the mere literal understanding, but if Genesis is not literal then how can anything else be literal in Scripture?
I should have more to say about this later, but for now I’ll leave you with this thought. The compromise Christians are making in this area is terribly damaging. Christianity is really one short step away from abandoning its entire belief system because we have rejected our Creator. Is this not what the apostle said Romans?
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
It does matter what Christians believe about the Scripture. So mock away, I will take Christians who believe in Scripture over those who don’t any day of the week. And in the end, I suspect the Lord will too.
Soli Deo Gloria!
ps–clearly the issue here is that neither the Salvo issue on ID (Intelligent Design) nor essay in The Christian Century deal adequately with Scripture. I know ID is not trying to and I know that is not the point of ID. Still both issues Salvo and TCC at best mock those who do contend with Scripture. AiG may not have everything right, but being right on all counts is not the issue. The issue is, rather, what point of view does one have of Scripture? AiG takes a high view of Scripture which means, at worst, they take God at His Word so that all that follows Genesis 1:1 is also taken at face value and as Truth. I don’t see such a high view of Scripture coming from either of the other two examples I have referenced.
pss–this post is not about evolution, ID, or Creation as such. It is about the point of view Christians have of Scripture. So please spare me all the atheistic rants about evolution’s proof, and Darwin’s godlike status, and the sanctity of the Natural History Museums in the world.
Here’s some helpful stuff concerning evolution:
First, Intelligent Design is Not Creationism. (Blog entry by Robert Crowther.) I think this is significant. Said Philip Johnson, “Ralph, in my writings and public appearances I can’t even mention God much less Satan. I have a very specific battle to fight, namely, to take apart the logic of unaided evolution. That is all I am trying to do.” (See Ralph Winter: The Religion of Science: The Largest Remaining Frontier) Crowther & Johnson are right. ID is not about Biblical Creation. There may be ID’ers who happen to believe in Creation and use ID to argue against evolution, but ID should not be confused with a specific belief in the specific verses of the Bible found in Genesis and elsewhere.
Second, Casey Luskin has a series of blog entries concerning the so-called 1% difference in genetic material between chimps and humans. He is writing concerning Jon Cohen’s work and a recent Scienceessay (I’m not commenting on the Science essay since I don’t have full access to it. I’m merely referencing Luskin’s blog and pointing to it.) Follow these links: 1 % Difference Myth, Exchange with Cohen, pt 1, Exchange with Cohen, pt 2. Luskin also printed the letter he received from Cohen in the first part. For more information on this debate see Scientific American.
Third, even though this is ‘old news’ by now, I couldn’t leave out a reference to our good friend Dr Watson, and Dr Watson, and Dr Watson. I could probably put a hundred more links to this honest Darwinist, but why bother. It’s funny how every time a Darwinist is honest about the logical conclusions of Darwinism, the rest of the gang hurries to silence him or her. I at least appreciate honesty. Or read this or this or this.
Fourth, here is a brilliant blog entry by Bruce Chapman on the fears of Darwinists: Science Controversies and Public Burnings. He writes:
We all have to get over the childish assumption that scientists are superior beings immune from human pride and ambition, not to mention human guile and bile. Here’s a question though, do these negative qualities derive from evolutionary adaptation—and therefore must be excused—or from a human nature anchored to the very existence of man’s soul, and therefore must be confronted?
Brilliant point. You mean the very thing the Darwinists accuse Christians of is the very thing that they themselves are susceptible to?
Fifth, what about traditional morality? I’ve had Darwinists here tell me that one can be perfectly moral and believe in Darwinian evolution. True? Dr John West argues against this idea. I’ll even give Dr West a plug for his book Darwin’s Conservatives. (The first link will lead you to a page where you can listen to a podcast of Dr West’s ideas.)
OK. I think that is plenty for now. Some of this is for you to consider, some of it is for me to check on later when I have some more time. For now, have fun. Remember, the challenge of ideas is what spurs us on to better ideas. Here we are debating thoughts and ideas. I think you’ll have fun with these pages even if you don’t agree with all the ideas presented.
If you get the chance, visit Dr Michael Denton’s website. I won’t go so far as to endorse all that he has to say, but he has written some very influential books, and written plenty of peer-reviewed papers, concerning Darwinian Evolution and the like. The front page says:
Michael Denton is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His primary research focus is on the molecular genetics of retinitis pigmentosa.
Dr. Denton is well known for his two influential books Evolution: A theory in Crisis and Nature’s Destiny. His most recent work considers whether organic forms (protein, RNA folds, Microtubular forms, tensegrity structures, cells forms, bodyplans) are intrinsic features of nature and essentially the same as chemicals or molecules. He presented this idea most recently in his December 2002 paper, “The Protein Folds as Platonic Forms: New Support for the Pre-Darwinian Conception of Evolution by Natural Law” which appeared in the Journal of Theoretical Biology. In this paper he argued that the way matter is arranged into the higher architecture of life is determined by a set of rules or ‘laws of form’ which determine and predict all biological forms like the laws of chemistry predict all chemical forms.
It does appear that the website hasn’t been updated for a while, but you might be able to search around and find some helpful information that you can use.
The other day, my friend Jeff listed a whole host of blogs that belong to atheists that he has either found helpful or visited or simply found. I probably won’t list as many as Jeff because it’s late and I am tired, but I’ll add to them as I go along, and also add them to my blogroll. (Please don’t think the small number indicates a lack of sites available, I’m just not as ambitious as Jeff .)
Here are some Creation blogs (or ID) that you might enjoy:
Post-Darwinist (Denyse O’Leary)
Uncommon Descent (William Dembski)
Intelligent Design or Evolution Blog (I didn’t really know where to put this one; I think it’s ID)
[Now, I grant you that most of these are not strictly creation blogs. In fact, they are ID blogs (Intelligent Design). I believe in Genesis 1 and these blogs may or may not (mostly not) hold to a literal interpretation of that chapter of the Bible.]
Oh, I keep being told that evolution and atheism are only coincidentally linked. Here’s proof of that Evolution Space. Note the big A and the contrasting title: Evolution space. Right. But they have nothing to do with one another.
At William Dembski’s blog, you can link to a series of essays that will help explain how Darwinists think. See this Essay: Book Review: Science’s Blind Spot: Making Sense of Darwin’s Devout. I haven’t had time to read it all yet. Still, for what it’s worth, maybe you’ll find something to help.
Alright, that’s all for tonight. I have to write a little more on my Sunday sermon. I hope you are blessed.
Soli Deo Gloria!