An Evolution Story From a While Back

* This conversation has run its course. Comments are now closed. Thanks to all who participated. Jerry *

Friends,

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the new friends I have made this week and the conversations I have been having. It never ceases to amaze me that I write things about Scripture and no one says ‘boo’, but the minute I put an article up here about evolution or atheism the walls start crawling with evolutionists and atheists. Their like hound-dogs, some may say they evolved from blood-hounds! Maybe they did; I don’t know. One guy actually had nothing better than (I’m paraphrasing) ‘your writing is bad.’ I thought that was creative. I try to respond to all replies because I truly enjoy the interaction.

Anyhow, for those of you who stop by for meditations from John’s Gospel, I’ll be posting later on one of those. I also owe you some questions that I think the church ought to be asking. For now, I have another ‘evolution’ article. Again, I’m posting it here so that I can get some feedback from some of my evolutionist friends. I’d seriously like some explanation for this. The article is from, of all places, ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story?id=2902981

I’ll put an excerpt here because I don’t know how long they archive articles.

(This article was updated June 13, 2007. It’s an AP article.)

NEW LONDON, Conn. — Call it crustacean discrimination.

A lobster caught last weekend by Steve Hatch and his uncle Robert Green was spared from being cooked and ripped apart on a plate because of its color.

The 1 1/2-pound clawed creature is bright blue, the result of an extremely rare genetic mutation.

. . . . 

Later that afternoon, he put the lobster in a cooler and brought it to the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration, where it will live out its days in an elementary school classroom for children to learn about.

Catherine Ellis, curator of fish and invertebrates at the aquarium, said only one in 3 million lobsters are “true blue,” meaning their color is the result of genetics and not the environment.

The one caught Sunday will join two other blue lobsters at the aquarium.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that the blue coloring occurs when lobsters produce an excessive amount of protein because of a genetic mutation.

9,000,000 lobsters had to live in order for 3 to produce this genetic mutation. Scientists would have us believe that mutations, insofar as Darwinian evolution is concerned, make for better creatures, survival of the fittest, etc. Here are some questions I have for the scientists among us:

  1. How did this mutation benefit this lobster? (Except that it prevented it from being eaten by humans. PS. I don’t eat lobster. I like animals.)
  2. Why does it happen in so few?
  3. Do all lobsters have this mutation?
  4. Why don’t all lobsters ‘use’ it?
  5. Why did this one turn blue in the first place?
  6. Why aren’t Blue Lobsters naturally produced? That is, if a genetically mutated lobster exists, and it mates, why don’t they produce genetically blue lobsters so that there is a whole herd/school/murder/flock whatever of them? (Why are the majority of lobsters not genetically mutated blue lobsters?)
  7. Or, was the article just full of lies?

I’m serious. I’d like a real scientific explanation of how this mutating lobster benefits the species? Or is this just an anomaly? This is no trap. I’m in search of serious responses from my friends who believe that we evolved from lesser species. Just how does this mutation work in this lobster’s favor?

jerry

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  1. Jerry…

    I’m gonna let a biologist or geneticist have a pass at your questions about mutations first, as they are likely much better at communicating these concepts than me. Who said ALL genetic mutations have to be beneficial? (referring to your ‘scientists would have us believe…’ statement)

    But…I want to go back to my questions from a previous post. I still want to know where you stand regarding radiometric dating. When I get into discussions with creationists, I find that I once in a while wrongly assume they are so-called Young Earthers; they believe the Earth is literally (not metaphorically) 6,000 years old. But, then I find out that other creationists do accept the real age of the Earth, but not evolution.

    And then some accept radiometric dating methods and other people don’t. As a scientist who would like to have civil conversations, it is all very confusing.

    I feel we need a creationist classification scheme….there are SO MANY versions of the creationist story to choose from.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Brian,

    Honestly, I don’t know where I stand on the issue of radiometric carbon dating. If I stacked up a bunch on scientists on one side, they would tell me it is a bad method of dating, that it has its flaws. If I stack up another group of scientists they would tell me it is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, etc.

    What I have noticed over time is that it is always used by the scientific crowd to ‘prove’ the age of the universe or dirt or rocks or something. So what does that prove? And the other thing I have never understood is this: How do you know where to begin when you begin your rates of decay? In my mind, because I believe in Creation, God could have made those elements just the way they are. Now, there are plenty who will argue with that theory, and I’ll concede their argument but not their conclusions.

    I believe the world is ravaged by sin. And since I believe that, I necessarily believe that this world is also under curse. Now, if part of the curse for sin was the premature aging and death of man, why can’t it also be the same for the earth, the elements, the solar system, stars and the like? I see no logical reason why it can’t, plus, even scientists use anthropomorphisms to describe stars that are ‘dying.’

    Now, with all that said, let me state my position.

    First, I am a creationist. However, the book of Genesis, as I have pointed out elsewhere, is a book of ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ not ‘when’ and ‘how.’ This is not to say that I believe in macro-evolution. Macro-evolution, and the means that most scientists use to ‘prove’ it, is intellectually laughable (despite the claims of Richard Dawkins). But let me say this about my ‘creationism.’ First, it is a tenant of my faith. The book of Hebrews says, “We believe by faith God made what is seen out of what is unseen.” Those does not mean there is ‘invisible’ matter that he used. It means ex nihilo. Second, I see nothing necessarily incompatible between creation and big bang. The often overworked euphemism ‘God spoke and…bang, it happened’ is not too far fetched. I happen to think that the expanding universe, and so-called ‘red-shifts’ in galaxies and stars are are quite compelling evidence of a singular starting point.

    However, there must have been a catalyst. It is simply scientifically impossible, and philosophically illogical to assume that matter has always been, that the universe had no singular starting point, and that there was no Catalyst putting it into motion.

    Second, I don’t know how old the universe is. Science’s best estimate is what, 7.5 billion years? OK. Who am to argue. But even in that number there is an implied point where the universe was 0. The Bible does not declare how old the universe is. The Bible is not concerned with such things. But the Bible doesn’t disagree with Big Bang either: “In the Beginning…” The difference is the noun that comes next. I say “…God…”; a good atheist would say, ‘…?…’ But God, in my estimation is more than a mere hypothesis. I’m not inserting God because I have nothing better to offer, but atheistic scientists remove him because they simply won’t accept His presence, even though they have nothing better.

    So, the age of the universe is undetermined. I think 6,000 years is a foolish use of Scripture. I think evolution is complete ignorance of Scripture.

    Third, my creationism has one very large implication although it is epistimological and not biological. You see, I believe that human beings are the result of a deliberate, conscience, free choice of a God who stands outside of time. This endues every human being with worth, value, and meaning. I don’t see how evolution can provide such things. In fact, according to the strictest rules of the survival of the fittest (which is redundant anyhow; of course the strongest will survive the weakest), there are no rules governing even human existence. Anyone can do anything they want without fear of repercussions or reprobation. Where do laws come from if in fact there is no God?

    Finally, my creationism has one very profound theological point too. If I cannot trust the first verse of the Book that declares to be the Revelation of God, then how can I trust anything else it has to say? If Genesis isn’t true, how can Matthew or John or Romans or Revelation be true? If God didn’t create, then what maddening thought says God needed or even wanted to redeem through Christ? Eliminating Genesis 1-11 as history reduces Scripture, as Dawkins will tell you, to mere fairy tale, to a collection of myths, to meaningless tribal gobbledygook.

    So, I don’t happen to agree with your statment that there are so many versions of the creationist story to choose from any more than you would agree that there are many versions of evolution to choose from. To be sure, there are some who feel they need to protect God’s Sovereignty by making inexcusable statements from Scripture that Scripture is not inclined to make. However, at the root of all Creation narratives is this: “In the beginning God created…” All creationists affirm the historicity, validity, and veracity of Genesis 1-11.

    Evolutionists on the other cannot make up their minds if Darwin was right or Stephen Gould was right. And within the scientific community there are myriad of theories governing this or that aspect of macro-evolution.

    This is far too small a space to write a detailed and comprehensive explanation of these things and I fear that I may have to go back over this later for error checking (see, I’m not opposed to self-checking 🙂 ). Strictly speaking, however, even though there are probably flaws in the carbon-dating methods, what does that prove? When it all boils down, even the most ardent ‘old-earther’ believes there was a beginning. I believe that Genesis tells me the truth: That in the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. I also believe in 6 days and day of rest (there are theological implications for this too, but I won’t address them now). But I also believe this: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. This means not that 6 days equals six thousand years, but rather, that God as God stands outside of time and is in no way restricted or confined by it. (And the universe is not bigger than God!)

    I probably have more to say, but I will wait for your reply. Ask anything you want, I’ll answer. Remember two things: I’m not a scientist (that is, I have not been formally trained in any of the various disciplines normally associated with ‘science’). Second, I am a theologian. My area of ‘expertise’ is Scripture. My point of view is that I am: 1) a sinner, 2) In need of redemption, 3) that is Provided by Christ, 4) saved by Christ, 5) awaiting the consummation of the age.

    I hope this sheds a little light. In short, you may safely assume that I am not bound by arguments that the Scripture teaches a 6,000-10,000 year old earth. That may be true, but I won’t argue it from Scripture. I’ll presuppose your data on the age of the universe, if you can presuppose that the universe did, in deed, have a beginning.

    jerry

  3. Jerry….
    I realize you are not a scientist…but that doesn’t mean you can make a blanket statement like this without some sort of reference:
    “If I stacked up a bunch on scientists on one side, they would tell me it is a bad method of dating, that it has its flaws. If I stack up another group of scientists they would tell me it is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, etc.”

    And, quoting someone who is being critical of either the minutiae of the method (i.e., it doesn’t change much in the overall utility of the dating method) or in its application does not count as a reference for the ‘stack of scientists who say it is a bad method of dating’. I would not make wrong statements about Scripture because it is not my expertise.

    Okay…so, you aren’t adamant about the 6,000 year old age. Your comments waffle a bit, but that’s the general sense I get. Okay, good. Do you see my point about this…now we can move on with the discussion. Because there are some creationists who take this number to be THE number…no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

    Do you think a single flood is responsible for all sedimentary rocks on this planet? Your comments above are much more thoughtful…so I would hope.

    If these concepts are a ‘foolish use of scripture’ then how come Christians like yourself don’t denounce the Young Earthers and Flood types? You seem much more preoccupied with Dawkins than anything else. I’m not here to discuss or defend Dawkins…so, stop bringing him up. That’s the beauty of strong scientific concept…it is not the product of a single person or book. Dawkins could never have existed, and the field of evolutionary biology would be no different in its principal tenets.

    You say: “So, I don’t happen to agree with your statement that there are so many versions of the creationist story to choose from any more than you would agree that there are many versions of evolution to choose from.”

    What do you mean by different ‘versions’ of evolution? Are you’re talking about how the concept has been revised, refined, tested, and challenged over the years? If so, those aren’t ‘versions’ in the sense of different ideas that exist contemporaneously.

    Most importantly, what you wrote above also happens every time I have discussions with creationists. You pitch your comments within a discussion of origins of the universe. This is the typical getting-off-the-subject-of-evolution tactic that I see again and again. Yes, agreed…the origin of the cosmos is THE question. In fact, that could be a whole different thread and discussion. Why not put that aside and discuss evolution. Your tone attempts to point holes in evolution; discussing the big bang is off-topic. I am tired of the discussion every time veering off this way. Every time.

  4. Brian,

    I need to think a little more on your thoughts, but I will say a couple of things. The reason I don’t ‘denounce’ other Christians is because, at the root of it, they believe in creation, which is what I believe. The age of the universe, or rocks, really, in my estimation, does not alter the central truth of the Scripture that Jesus came to earth to die for the sins of the world. However, I don’t think I necessarily denounce evolutionists either; I do denounce evolution. There is still no evidence for evolution; it is a matter of faith too. (Why aren’t there animals still evolving? For example, why aren’t apes still evolving into humans? Where are all the transitional fossils? etc. There are no answers.)

    I pitch my comments towards the origin of the universe because you asked me about dating rocks and dirt which necessarily involves a conversation about age. It is impossible to discuss an ‘age’ without discussing when that ‘age’ began. I can’t say the universe is 7.5 billion years old if I have no clue as to when that 7.5 billion years begins.

    Even evolution is about origins. Tell me, what is the point of discussing the age of something if we are not going to discuss what that age signifies? I’m not attempting to poke holes in anything, nor is the big bang off topic. You’re tired of the discussion going this way because, most likely, you cannot handle the truth about what ‘big-bang’ signifies, and what ‘age’ really points to. I’m sorry for that.

    As to the ‘versions’ of evolution, I mainly mean the two most prominent variants. The very long, drawn out, linear type espoused by Richard Dawkins and the explosive type (punctuated equilibrium) of Stephen Gould. However, there is also what’s known, for better or worse, as ‘theological evolution’ (or something like that) where it is evolution controlled and used by God (I think this is the most hideous science and theology). There’s three.

    Look, you asked what I thought about carbon-dating. I told you. I gave you theological, biological, epistimological, and logical reasons what I believe about the age of the universe, or about carbon-dating. Interact with what I wrote. Don’t just make blanket assertions about what I can and can’t say at my own blog.

    The stacking up refers to those educated, qualified scientists who think carbon-dating is pure on the one hand; and those who, Christians all, believe that it is flawed–who are no less educated and qualified to make such assertions.

    That’s all for now. I’ll write more when I have time and when I have thought about it a little more. I’m not sure exactly, yet, what your questions for me are or if you are trying to trap me in my words.

    jerry

    PS–Yes, I believe in the Genesis account of the flood. I don’t know if the flood created the sediment you speak of, but it doesn’t change the fact that I believe in the word of Scripture.

  5. 9,000,000 lobsters had to live in order for 3 to produce this genetic mutation.

    Where did this figure come from?

    Scientists would have us believe that mutations, insofar as Darwinian evolution is concerned, make for better creatures, survival of the fittest, etc. Here are some questions I have for the scientists among us:

    I’m not a scientist, but..

    1. How did this mutation benefit this lobster? (Except that it prevented it from being eaten by humans. PS. I don’t eat lobster. I like animals.)
    I like animals too. I like the way some of them taste as well. 🙂

    Your question here assumes that this mutation did, in fact, help the lobster. Yet, you provide no evidence for this (other than that the people that thought he looked neat decided not to boil him). I’ve no reason to think that this mutation conferred any selective advantage to the lobster.

    2. Why does it happen in so few?

    Again, where did the 1 in “X” figure come from?
    In any case, mutations are rare because DNA has very high copying fidelity. For eukaryotes (this would include lobsters), mutation rate averages 10^-4 to 10^-6 per gene per generation.

    3. Do all lobsters have this mutation?

    No, of course not. Otherwise all lobsters would look like this.

    4. Why don’t all lobsters ‘use’ it?

    Because they don’t have it.
    i.e., for the same reason you don’t “use” green eyes (unless you do actually have green eyes, in which case substitute the above green for brown).

    5. Why did this one turn blue in the first place?

    A genetic mutation(s) caused the gene(s) controlling shell coloration to express a blue pigment.

    6. Why aren’t Blue Lobsters naturally produced? That is, if a genetically mutated lobster exists, and it mates, why don’t they produce genetically blue lobsters so that there is a whole herd/school/murder/flock whatever of them? (Why are the majority of lobsters not genetically mutated blue lobsters?)

    Because this mutation has not swept to fixation in the population. Think of albinism in humans.

    7. Or, was the article just full of lies?

    Well, ESPN would be the last place I’d get my science news..

  6. Chris,

    I sent this to you privately. Here’s what I wrote:

    The quoted authority said that only 1 in 3,000,000 will be ‘true blue’ because of this mutation. that’s where my extrapolated number comes from–because they now have three in custody (in an aquarium).

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    jerry

  7. Well, 1 in 3,000,000 may seem like long odds, but it’s really not.
    How frequent a mutation is depends on two things, population size and reproductive rate.

    I don’t have either statistics for lobsters, but here is some food for thought:

    “The haploid human genome is about 3 × 109 base pairs in size. Every time this genome is replicated about 0.3 mutations, on average, will be passed on to one of the daughter cells. We are interested in knowing how many mutations are passed on to the fertilized egg (zygote) from its parents. In order to calculate this number we need to know how many DNA replications there are between the time that one parental zygote was formed and the time that the egg or sperm cell that unite to form the progeny zygote are produced.

    In the case of females, this number is about 30, which means that each of a females eggs is the product of 30 cell divisions from the time the zygote was formed (Vogel and Rathenberg, 1975). Human females have about 500 eggs. In males, the number of cell divisions leading to mature sperm in a 30 year old male is about 400 (Vogel and Motulsky, 1997). This means that about 9 mutations (0.3 × 30) accumulate in the egg and about 120 mutations (0.3 × 400) accumulate in a sperm cell. Thus, each newly formed human zygote has approximately 129 new spontaneous mutations. This value is somewhat less than the number in most textbooks where it’s common to see 300-350 mutations per genome. The updated value reflects a better estimate of the overall rate of mutation during DNA replication and a better estimate of the number of cell divisions during gametogenesis.

    With a population of 6 billion individuals on the planet, there will be 120 × 6 × 109 = 7.2 × 1011 new mutations in the population every generation. This means that every single nucleotide in our genome will be mutated in the human population every 20 years or so.”

    more here:
    http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/07/mutation-rates.html

  8. Jon

    How did this mutation benefit this lobster?

    Most mutations are neutral, in fact. It’s called the “Neutral Theory”, developed by a Japanese biologist named Kimura.

    Why does it happen in so few?

    If a mutation is neutral, that means it has no selective advantage. Therefore this lobster isn’t any better off than the regularly colored lobsters. Which means that the only way a lot of lobsters will get this mutation is if our weird blue lobster friend is inordinately successful at reproducing (which could mean a lot of things; killing off competitors, for instance, or just mating a lot). This is basically the concept behind genetic drift. In other words, the guy has to get really lucky, and his progeny have to get lucky.

    Do all lobsters have this mutation?

    They may. The thing about genes that most people don’t understand is that having a specific gene doesn’t guarantee anything. Some genes are autosomal recessive, which means you need two of the same mutation for the mutation to express itself. In this case, you usually need both parents to have one copy of the mutation. While the mutation may not express itself in them, if you have two copies of it, it will express itself in you.

    Why don’t all lobsters ‘use’ it?

    Again, having a gene doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Some genes only activate due to environmental pressures, for example. Others are completely dormant. Others are simply junk. Others are regulatory sequences, which have no phenotypic effects whatsoever on their own (i.e. they affect other genes, not the actual organism).

    …if a genetically mutated lobster exists, and it mates, why don’t they produce genetically blue lobsters so that there is a whole herd/school/murder/flock whatever of them?

    I think I’ve answered this question.

  9. Jon,

    Actually, it appears that you copied someone else’s answers and pasted them into your reply.

    Of course there’s a neutral theory!!! Just like there is, of course, a ‘fused’ chromosome in humans, giving us 46, all but guaranteeing that we evolved from the apes that have 48. Of course! It all makes perfectly logical sense! Thanks for pointing it out to me!

    And, of course, certain mutated genes only ‘activate’ under certain environmental conditions. Of course!

    Wisdom will certainly die with you evolutionists.

    Thanks for reading and replying!

    your friend,
    jerry

  10. Chris,

    You wrote:

    Your question here assumes that this mutation did, in fact, help the lobster. Yet, you provide no evidence for this (other than that the people that thought he looked neat decided not to boil him). I’ve no reason to think that this mutation conferred any selective advantage to the lobster

    My question does not, in fact, assume that the mutation helped the lobster. However, evolutionists would have us to believe that such random mutations, as they occur in the wild, actually, at times, produce advantageous results. What I don’t understand is how these mutations ‘know’ when it is time to be advantageous and when not. For example, why would a lobster all of a sudden decided, “Well, I’m the one in 3,000,000. I think I’ll turn blue for no apparent reason.”

    Evolutionists would have us believe that any mutation has the potential to be advantageous to the species in which it evolves. I don’t understand how the gene knows that it is time to do so–unless you are suggesting that perhaps something miraculous occurs in the animal at the cellular level. (But I know you are not suggesting miracles. It’s hyperbole.) I can’t figure out why a lobster, going along one day, all of the sudden decided to turn blue. Is it some sort of tribal sign, like when a white calf is born in some cultures? Does a blue lobster signify a season of good lobsters for fishermen? Is it a sign of impending disaster on the seas? Is it am omen? Of did the lobster just prefer to be blue? Maybe he or she was sexually aroused and looking for a mate? Seriously. I can’t accept that things happen for no reason. I don’t think I can accept Jon’s theory of ‘neutrality.’

    What do you think?

    If it was neither advatageous, nor detrimental, why did it do it?

    I’ll wait, because I’m genuinely interested to know what science, that field Jon says I don’t understand, says about this.

    jerry

  11. However, evolutionists would have us to believe that such random mutations, as they occur in the wild, actually, at times, produce advantageous results.

    No need for you to simply “believe” us Jerry. The publications that document selectively beneficial mutations are often open to the general public.

    Here’s an example:
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WXR-4NJP3H9-5&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F01%2F2007&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=7f8f9479158af39ad97db7be4fba7119

    The paper reports on a newly discovered 5 amino acid insertion (a type of mutation) that confers 3 times the resistance to reverse transcriptase inhibitors as compared to an identical virus that lacks the specific insertion. Following their identification of this insertion, the researchers observed the new virus as it continued to spread throughout the patient. In 10 days, the newly mutated viruses went from comprising 5% of the patient’s quasispecies to 20% of the quasispecies. This means the virus has a massive selective advantage, much to the patient’s misfortune.

    This is a perfect example of evolution. A mutation confers increased fitness, and undergoes selection. It’s a black and white example of evolutionary change at the fundamental level of DNA.

    You don’t need to simply “believe” what evolutionists tell you Jerry.

    What I don’t understand is how these mutations ‘know’ when it is time to be advantageous and when not. For example, why would a lobster all of a sudden decided, “Well, I’m the one in 3,000,000. I think I’ll turn blue for no apparent reason.”

    You fundamentally misunderstand how evolution happens. Organisms do not “decide” to get a mutation that will help them out. They just happen.
    Did you read the quotation I posted above about mutation rates in humans?
    A strand of DNA do not make a decision to copy itself incorrectly. Mutations happen randomly.

    I don’t think I can accept Jon’s theory of ‘neutrality.’

    It’s not Jon’s theory. Motoo Kimura first wrote about his neutral theory back in the 70s. It’s still valid today, and it an important piece in evolutionary biology.

    If it was neither advatageous, nor detrimental, why did it do it?

    Jerry, this mutation happened in the lobster’s germline. This means the sex cells of its parents were the “mutants”. These mutations caused the developing lobster to express a blue pigment. This isn’t analogous the somatic mutations that cause cancer(which cannot be transmitted to offspring because they do not occur in sex cells).

    The lobster did not decide to be blue, the mutation happened when the “lobster” was just nucleic acids on a string.

  12. Jerry…
    Thanks for your discussion, but the bottom line is that your faith requires you to refute anything we say above. When you ask for explanations with numbers and details, and ChrisHarrison or Jon give them to you, you must refute them, no? If you ask for details, you’ll say that’s too specific; if you ask for a big-picture viewpoint, you’ll say it’s a blanket statement with no proof. The truth is you can’t accept anything we provide.

    You say: “I believe in the Genesis account of the flood. I don’t know if the flood created the sediment you speak of, but it doesn’t change the fact that I believe in the word of Scripture”

    Firstly, i’m not questioning your personal belief in scripture…that accomplishes nothing. Secondly, you above state that evolution is ‘intellectually laughable’…your creationist peers, that you stand with and at the same time say use scripture foolishly (?), do think all sedimentary rocks on Earth are a product of a single flood. This is intellectually laughable. As a matter of one’s faith, it’s not laughable, but if you’re going to continue to attempt to tear down the intellectual basis of how the world does science, then we will come to your blog and try to communicate better what we are doing.

    You say: “Don’t just make blanket assertions about what I can and can’t say at my own blog.”

    I’m sorry you feel so threatened that you have to get defensive. I suppose scientists are more used to this…all we do is critique and scrutinize each other (ideally, in a cordial and constructive manner). Of course you can say whatever you want on your blog! I love the expressive freedom the blog provides. I guess what I meant by saying ‘you can’t say…’ is that if you are going to enter into the realm of making statements about numbers or percentages of this or that, you ought to have some sort of reference. I did this, because this how me and my colleagues operate…don’t you use passages in scripture to help clarify some point of view you have with your Christian friends?

    You say: “Tell me, what is the point of discussing the age of something if we are not going to discuss what that age signifies?”

    But, we don’t give an age counting up from zero…we start from now and count backwards. If we say a certain volcanic ash layer is 65 million years old…it is 65 million years ago from now.

    You say: “You’re tired of the discussion going this way because, most likely, you cannot handle the truth about what ‘big-bang’ signifies, and what ‘age’ really points to. I’m sorry for that.”

    You sound like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. You accept the big bang theory?

    Like I said above, the bottom line is that you cannot accept the tenets of geology, cosmology, evolutionary biology, etc. as a matter of your faith. I don’t think any of us are here to ‘convert’ you. Creationists are so preoccupied with trying to tear down evolution. You say you aren’t….why did you feel you had to post about that article that started this discussion in the first place?

    Creationists will continue to try and tear down science. Creationists will continue to ask for more information and then turn around and refute it on the basis of their faith. Why do it? Right now, you’re saying, ‘well, you do it too…evolution is a matter of faith too’. Then why are scientists constantly critiquing every last little detail in their colleagues studies and papers? In fact, anti-science types will try and point to the fact that we criticize each other’s work as evidence for it being ‘faulty’ or ‘just a theory’. Science is all about criticizing each other…there is still this big misunderstanding.

    No matter what we say, no matter what explanation we provide, no matter what study we point to….you cannot and you will not accept it. Your faith requires you to not accept it.

    So, why do you keep asking for evidence and explanation?

    If you just want to post about what you think is a ‘hit’ against evolutionary theory on your blog, fine. But, don’t pretend you really want to know the details about the blue lobster….because your faith requires you to not accept it.

    Is it some sort of validation?

  13. Hi Jerry and everyone else 🙂

    I don’t want to ruin this fascinating discussion thread which runs deep into life’s questions, but I’m a bit tired with discussing with my own new friends about creation vs. evolution so I’ll just say this:

    The blue lobster is not a new species. (Blue Homarus Americanus is one in a million though.) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_lobster)

    Therefore, if the cause be genetic or environmental, a blue lobster is just like Ace Ventura in Nibia (yup, i looked that up just for this comment!).

    Therefore, the blue lobster did not evolve from the red or vice versa, nor did Africans evolve from Jim Carrey. (OK, i know that this is a serious matter and i don’t mean to mock anyone, but this is really the perfect example. i often hear people in my field use the term “evolve” carelessly, as in “my skin evolved to be darker when i went to Hawaii”. Careful! No evolution, in the Darwin’s-Origin-of-Species kind, has actually occurred.)

    Regardless of the inaccuracy (well, ESPN ain’t a science journal), again, this is a good diving board for discussion. Discussion is good; i’m all for it; the same thing is happening over at my blog. 🙂 And you raise a good point, discussing atheism and evolution opens up more doors to make new friends ^_^ as opposed to sharing what God revealed to me today 😀 It’s all about how God uses us to serve our audience, and one group definitely needs us more, or more of us, than the other.

    See you around! God bless on your interactions and please pray for my new friends too 🙂

  14. Jon

    What I don’t understand is how these mutations ‘know’ when it is time to be advantageous and when not.

    There’s a severe misunderstanding here. You’re thinking strictly in terms of an organism and its genes, and leaving out the most important element: its environment.

    It’s the environment which selects advantageous mutations. If you’re in the arctic, and you mutate a skinnier fur coat, you will likely freeze to death and die. That mutation is culled from the gene pool.

    On the other hand, if you’re in the arctic and mutate a thicker fur coat, you’ll likely not freeze to death as often as other members of the ecosystem who have much thinner coats. Since you’ll live longer, you’ll have more chances to reproduce and propagate this new beneficial mutation. That’s natural selection.

    It’s the fact that the organism is in the arctic that the selection occurs. If the organism was in the tropics, this mutation would be culled instead.

    Do you see how your question makes no sense? The mutation “knows” nothing of its environment, and it isn’t advantageous or disadvantageous a priori. It’s the organism’s interaction with the environment which determines if the mutation is advantageous or not.

  15. [I replied to the above reply at the author’s own blog. I thought it would be prudent to reproduce my reply here.–Jerry]

    Friend,

    I appreciate your advice, but since you linked to my blog, I’d like to say something to you in the form of a question. In my post about blue lobsters, which you have linked to and which forms the basis of your own ‘rant’, I ask no fewer than 10 questions to scientists or others who have more information available than I do. Now, with that bit of information in mind, don’t you think that is an admission by me that I, in fact, don’t know what I’m talking about? That is, I said I’m making no assertions; I’m asking questions about Blue Lobsters, genetics, mutations, reproduction, evolution, etc. So, while your advice is ‘good’, it is meaningless as far as my blog entry is concerned. The fact that I am asking questions about the subject presupposes that I don’t understand it. Or did you miss that?

    If you wish to stop by my blog and answer the questions I have asked in sincerity, about Blue Lobsters and genetic mutations, please do. Otherwise, follow your own advice and ‘make sure you know what you are arguing against’ before you start ranting about it. That would be the nice and courteous thing to do. Otherwise, you are just another evolutionist who simply cannot or will not answer questions that a serious inquirer asks.

    Thanks again for the link, stop by anytime.

    jerry

  16. Brian, (reply 12)

    I really appreciate your point of view on this subject, but your are right, there really is nothing for us to discuss. It doesn’t matter what I say, you find something wrong with it. As a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, I’m quite certain that I don’t have to worry about your position. The empty tomb is my defense.

    I sound like Jack? That’s cool; I love that movie! But, is that best you have for me? Please, interact with the questions I ask: What does the age of the earth signify? What does the big bang signify? Don’t insult me, argue the questions I ask. Or, I ask at least 10 questions about Blue Lobsters. Answer them with hard evidence! Stop skirting the questions, even if my questions are dumb. Refine them. Teach me, O wise one! I am a student of many subjects and I love to learn and read. Answer my questions as others have instead of being so worried about whether one Christian on the planet, with one relatively small, meaningless blog, asks a few questions about lobsters and whether those questions will turn evolution on its head. If evolution is true, you have nothing to fear by my asking of questions and the answers I seek. (And don’t question my motives. You don’t know what’s in my heart and and how I weep for you blinded people without Christ.)

    I can ask any question I want at my blog. I can have whatever motives I want. I didn’t invite you evolutionists here. I have my own readers. You are the ones who stopped by and started arguing with me, a person who does not hide his faith, your beliefs. I have interacted with you, but you persist in your unbelief. There’s nothing I can do about that.

    I put the link to the story because my readers value my opinion on certain things. I put the link here because I want my friends to be educated and conversant. I specifically said this (for the 100th time now): “I don’t think this proves anything.” Why are you so persistent that I said otherwise? (Although, concerning that yahoo story, I read the research. The yahoo story was accurate. But even there it was a prof at a NY university that brought religion into the fray, not me. It was almost as if she was worried about what the research really meant.)

    I’m not the one who needs to defend anything. The persistent belief, until Darwin, was that God created the world, the universe, humans, etc. You need to prove that Darwin is right. I don’t believe that has been done or can be. You will argue to the contrary. Fine. I’m still waiting for the abundance of evidence to overwhelm me. And that evidence is not forthcoming because it simply does not exist. Where are your transitional form fossils?

    The only numbers and percentages I quoted came from the article I read about Blue Lobsters. The scientist said that 1 in 3,000,000 has this mutation. I simply extrapolated that figure–since she said there are now three in ‘custody.’ It means, mathematically speaking, that 9,000,000 were required to make 3. That’s not my numbers; but yours, hers.

    Finally, and for the record, my goal is not to ‘tear down evolution.’ Evolution, at any rate, is a minority opinion among most people in the world. No Muslims believe it. Most Jews don’t. Most Christians don’t. Most Catholics don’t. I don’t need to ‘tear down’ something that is hardly standing. The paper I read about, from the yahoo story, tells me that scientists are busy tearing down their own theories as the history of evolution continues to be re-written with each new fossil discovery. I don’t have an agenda. I’m a seeker of knowledge.

    I am a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t need validation from you or anyone. Again, I didn’t invite the atheistic and evolutionistic responses. I have my own readers. You all invited yourselves because you think evolution needs defenders. You are the ones who think, every time a story like this is posted, that you need to jump all over Christians. You are the ones who don’t believe it can stand on its own, not me.

    Now who’s being defensive? All I did was post a link and a couple of questions, and a couple of harmless, sarcastic remarks. And look how many evolutionists have hit my blog. My blog! Man, I am a meaningless slug, a nobody! And look how many evolutionists have hit my blog, replied to my blog, linked to my blog–all in an attempt to defend the indefensible! Man, I’m honored that God my Father has entrusted me so much, with so many, that I might tell them about Jesus who died for their sins! Who’s being defensive? I’m honored to be trusted so much! Seriously.

    I just got back from a prayer meeting about an hour ago. I prayed for you. I will again.

    Thanks for reading.
    jerry

  17. Jon, (reply 14)

    Are you serious, all I have to do is will it? What you are speaking of is called micro-evolution and that is a far different bird than macro-evolution. I have no problem developing thicker skin, or more wool. But to suggest that that a bird or a sheep can become and entirely different species simply because of it’s environment is absurd. You seem to be talking about the former and using it to prove the latter. I don’t think that dog will hunt.

    jerry

  18. Chris, (reply 11)

    Why is it that every time I ask a question that one of you evolutionists can’t answer the reply is: You have a fundamental misunderstanding of such and such and I’m going to help you, or, You just don’t know how to define this or that so I can’t help you, or, You are asking silly questions that are beside the point so we won’t answer them but rather send you on a wild goose chase. So, since I’m a nice guy, and so I can help make your case that I have a fundamental misunderstanding, let’s take the link you provided and I’ll ask some questions about it so that you help this poor, uneducated, misguided, Christian understand what only you seem to understand. (Sorry for the sarcasm.)

    (PS–You realize, of course, that there has to be a theory of neutrality right? You realize that the only way your theories work is if there is neutrality at some point right? It’s like ‘survival of the fittest’: It’s perfectly logical.)

    Thanks Chris, now that you have demonstrated that a virus can develop resistence (5x’s) to antibiotics (or, in this case HIV drugs). Well, it has been shown all over that viruses regularly develop resistence to antibiotics–which is why new ones have to be continually developed (and why pharmaceutical companies will never go bankrupt!). This is nothing new. But what does it prove? Three questions Chris:

    First, can similar resistence (or changes) be shown to take place in a species of life larger than a virus? Could we reproduce such resistence in humans to say, the common cold? (Oh, aren’t viruses normally bad things that we would like to get rid of? Why care if a virus can develop resistence to anything? I’d think we should want to decrease its resistence.)

    Second, how does this development prove that all or any mutations are beneficial, and, how does this prove that a mutation will cause one species to evolve into another species? Is the essay suggesting that because there is 5 x’s greater resistence that it is, in fact, a new species?

    Third, wouldn’t the involvement of more drugs eventually overwhelm even this 5-times resistence? Up the dosage, and the virus is no longer resistent. Thus, it can still be overwhelmed by either more medicine, different medicine, or better medicine. Right?

    This example proves nothing. Oh, one more thing. Did this ‘insertion’ happen naturally, in Jon’s words, ‘due to the virus’ environment’, or did it have some help from the 9 scientists who wrote the paper? Because if it had some help, I can’t see how that benefits anyone–except that HIV-1 patients can go to the doctor with more hope, which is good. In other words, the mutation was created; it didn’t simply occur randomly. (I also noticed the presence of the word ‘slight’.)

    Were they setting out to prove evolution in this essay? (Seriously, I only read the abstract you linked to. What was their hypothesis? What were they trying to prove?)

    Now, I’d like you to answer the questions I asked, and please no avoiding the direct questions by using straw men, telling me I’m ignorant or stupid or a Christian, and no red-herrings. Just the fact, sir. Thanks again. (I count at least 5 serious questions.)

    Thanks again for writing,
    jerry

  19. Jon

    [I have edited Jon’s remarks, by removing the posted links. Jon has been banned from my blog because he is ignorant and rude. Jon has lost the privilege of sharing his wisdom with us. My other evolutionist friends, so long as they maintain some order and do not talk down, will be permitted to contiue replying.–Jerry]

    What you are speaking of is called micro-evolution and that is a far different bird than macro-evolution.

    That distinction is something creationists invented. Macro-evolution is simply a lot of micro-evolution.

    I have no problem developing thicker skin, or more wool. But to suggest that that a bird or a sheep can become and entirely different species simply because of it’s environment is absurd.

    What is a species? Generally speaking, two species are different if they cannot interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The quick-fire way to make sure organism A cannot interbreed with organism B is for A or B to evolve a different number of chromosomes than the other. It’s not magic, here. If organism A “micro-evolves” one extra chromosome than organism B, the two can’t interbreed, and they’re two new species.

    Read (THIS ARTICLE) for more detail. (THIS SITE) details the common misconceptions about species and speciation, some of which you’ve fallen into.

  20. Jon,

    I have disallowed your other comments, because I will not allow you to insult me.

    That said, your above reply simply proves the point I’m making. Every time I have an answer, you change the definitions and avoid the specific questions I ask. That is because, as an evolutionist, you have no answers. I learned about the meaning of ‘species’ in 7th grade biology. If you don’t know the difference, you should read the articles, or go back to 7th grade. You are mixing and matching your definitions to suit your idea. As I said, that won’t cut it with me.

    I wrote to my friend Bluerat about this whole chromosome business. You can’t make a newer, better species of animal by adding and subtracting chromosomes. It just won’t work because you will end up with less than ‘perfect’ creatures, not better ones.

    Jon, I’m bored with your point of view mostly because you are ignorant and rude. Please don’t post any more replies to my blog. If you submitted your ideas with a little more respect, I’d continue approving your replies. As it is, you are rude and inconsiderate. I will not approve any more of your replies. For the record, people do just randomly hit blogs. If you don’t know me, then you had no idea I was posting this stuff, and therefore had no idea that you should come here and comment. You were probably tag-surfing. Or one of your sad friends pointed you here and said something like, “Hey, let’s pile on!”

    PS–what does breeding have to do with anything? I never said anything about breeding. That’s not what my comment about sheep and birds and wool and skin was about at all. Once again, the evolutionist can’t read, can’t stay on task, and can only ‘win’ arguments by changing the subject. I was talking about micro-evolution vs. macro-evolution. There is a difference which I don’t think you understand.

    Nice try, but I have not ‘fallen’ into any misconceptions. You are an arrogant buffoon whose theories are worthless. Good-bye, Jon. Time to go back to your chemistry set.

    Jerry

    PS–If you post here again, I will report you as spam.

  21. james

    hey jerry

    im very sorry about the rudeness of my fellow “evolutionist”. You did ask a very simple set of questions and instead of people embracing them in a loving and supportive way, they drew guns and started firing. What should have been done is what i will attempt to do, and in a neighborly nurturing way, express to you my answers to the aformentioned questions. So please excuse my poor grammer and spelling skills and hear me out, as i am attempting to actually answer your blog for what may be the first time on this board.

    “How did this mutation benefit this lobster? (Except that it prevented it from being eaten by humans. PS. I don’t eat lobster. I like animals.) ”

    -it doesnt benifit the lobster, and most mutations are in fact lethal to the organism. that is why one cant have the mind set of SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST because it is in fact failure of the worst. its kinda like weeding out the runts. and that is the main point of “climbing mount improbable” it was written by richard dawkins in the seventies but it has some pretty good information if you are looking into an understanding of what evolution means to the scientific community.

    “Why does it happen in so few? ”

    -well just like rare diseases like asperger syndrome and others, mutations do not happen that often and if it is a reccesive allele that carries the trait then it will make it that much more rare that two parents carrying the mutated gene meet and mate.

    Do all lobsters have this mutation?

    -it would be really hard to find out, and would prally require the mapping out of the lobsters genome… haha… but i think they are a little more concerned in mapping out the human genome. so yeah. but if you want to know about fruit fly mutations then there are thousands of hours done on them and they can do some pretty crazy stuff with the drosophila genome

    Why don’t all lobsters ‘use’ it?

    -saying a lobster is ‘using’ his mutations implies that he/she has control over it, or that the genes themselves are cognitively aware… haha that would freak me out!

    Why did this one turn blue in the first place?

    -well that is the beauty of mutations and gene abnormality, it just happens. dna replicates itself with a very high efficiancy rate but every once in a while something happens. and you get a freakin blue lobster haha. but there is no intention nor is there ever intentions when dealing with genes. mutations occur and then they are put through the gauntlet that is natural selection. end of story

    Why aren’t Blue Lobsters naturally produced? That is,
    if a genetically mutated lobster exists, and it mates, why don’t they produce genetically blue lobsters so that there is a whole herd/school/murder/flock whatever of them?(Why are the majority of lobsters not genetically mutated blue lobsters?)

    -you will have to clearify natural in this case because i think that genetic mutation is a very natural driving force in this world.

    -the reason that you do not see a whole population of blue lobsters is because there has to be the genetic drive. Unless you have a very small population and there is some inbreeding to get the reccessive alleles to come out then there has to be a clear advantage to being a blue lobster for it to spread. and again, the lobster did not choose to be blue, it was just a malfunction of protein production. the blue color is just a phenotype, or genetic material that we can observe. the cause behind it is not always so simply connected

    Or, was the article just full of lies?

    -im not in the position to make that judgement

  22. James,

    Thanks for the explanations. I think the problem is not that anyone particularly denies there are mutations, but that ‘we’ (those who don’t buy evolution) do not think there is any particular value to them when they are climbing the proverbial improbable mountain. In other words, you see pure genetics at work; I see a particular creative act. The natural processes may be involved, but maybe–just maybe–all lobsters were originally created blue and the red ones are the anomally.

    My point is that the color blue in this case serves no particular evolutionary advantage since being blue actually makes the lobsters easier to find, and, to be sure, sought after by hunters/collectors because there are so few, not to mention predators. Also, I think there had to be a catalyst somewhere that caused the change–whether consciously or not–in the lobster. Why would the lobster want to be more conspicuous?

    Well, there are a lot of questions I have about evolution because it seems so contradictory to me. But I thank you for the response and your courtesy.

    Thanks for stopping by,
    jerry

  23. james

    hey again jerry,

    you are very right when you say that there is no value in the protein malfunction in the lobster. That is exactly why you do not see lots of blue lobsters in the wild. the gene that mutated that cause the proteins in the lobsters shell to change didnt know that it was going to change the proteins much less change the color of the lobster.

    okay, so with that being said. What i am trying to convey is that there is no motive. There is no premeditated cause and effect going on here. the genes nor the lobster know not what they do. The ultimate judgment call is that they can effectively spread their genes to more generations. so of course the color serves no purpose because it is a random mistake in the genes ability to copy itself. so yes you are very right when you say that that it serves no purpose in an evolutionary sense. That is why this lobster is not succesfull in the wild.

    so just remember, when you are talking about evolution, always when you are talking about evolution, there is no ‘want’ no ‘desire’ no ‘conscious effort’ of anything driven by genes. they just do what they do completely oblivious of the world around them, but all the while the environment that they reside in shapes them and they are able to adapt. The study of evolution is just the search of what is going on right under our noses and what has been going on for millions of years

    i guess that the one point that i am trying to make is that there is no conscious effort being made here. it has to be looked at not through our eyes, but the eyes of the universe and how things really work

    thanks for listening and responding so quickly to my reply. i was actually looking for a lobster on google that had a malformitty in its hox gene that made the front half of it look like the back half because i think they are cool and i wanted to look at it. I instead stumbled upon this article as seeing that when i type in lobster+gene+malfunction this article comes up like second under wikipedia…. haha, but i think the whole study of what drives nature is fabulous and it makes me tingle when i think about it.

    i hope to stay courtious for you and i will further attempt to explain some of the ideas of evolution if you are confused by them

  24. James,

    Therein lies the problem. IF there is no such thing as “there is no ‘want’ no ‘desire’ no ‘conscious effort’ of anything driven by genes” then how does any organism ‘know’ that one trait is better than any other trait? I don’t see how it is logically possible for any organism to know that it needs one trait as opposed to another trait if there is no ‘want’, ‘desire’, or ‘conscious effort.’ Something has to know somewhere along the line or else the change would never have happened in the first place.

    I’m not even denying that changes might take place. What I am saying is that to me it makes much better sense to say that “God created Polar Bears with white fur because they live in a place of whiteness” than “Some mindless operation of the genes, without knowing, wanting or effort, caused the fur on black bears to turn white when the black bears decided to move north” or any such scenario as that say, for example, “some mindless operation caused apes to decide it would be better to walk upright, talk, and eat with forks than to go on as they have always been and not.”

    How does an ape, for example, know that eating with a fork is better than eating with bare hands, if there is no thinking, desire, or effort at some level? How do the genes know to change fi the ape hasn’t ‘told’ the genes to change?

    Thanks for your time.
    jerry

  25. Adam,

    I’m sure you’ll see this so I will gently say that my blog is reserved for adults who wish to have serious conversations. Thanks for stopping by. If you wish to say something constructive, not-vulgar, and adult like, I will be happy to not censor you. 🙂

    jerry

  26. jerry

    the organism doesnt know. the genes dont know. the phenotypes and genotypes dont know. it doesnt work like that. its like this. if you can think of it like the idiom putting the cart before the horse. the genetic phenotype that an organism is representing is the effects, or the aftermath of natural selection. One must not think of natural selection as ‘survival of the fittest’. this is wrong, it was never survival of the fittest because that implies that there is one steadfast route that is getting better and that is not what evolution is. evolution is surely the failure of the worst, meaning those who are unfit dont pass there genes and those who can survive are survived by their offspring.

    when people talk about evolution, so many times, it is misconstrued and used as a synonym for gaining in ‘complexity’ or ‘intelect’ when really it is just the ability of that gene to replicate itself. that is the closest ‘want’ that you are going to get out of a gene is that fact that it needs to replicate to survive. but how good, or bad, it is at it will determine what phenotypes will be shown.

    as for the ape story, and this is probably the most common missunderstanding about evolution and its basic doctrines. Apes are a modern creature, just as modern as you and me. they live in the year 2008, and they are good at what they do. why would talking or using a fork nessicarily make them more fit to swing on trees and forage for food? i dont understand that quite. I think that apes are wonderfully adapted to playing their game and i know i shure wouldnt want to start climbing trees and eating leaves for a living, being that im just fine in my own niche. so i would expect the same from them, that they have their niche. they are darn good at being apes. so what is the need to use a fork… haha i hope that sheds light on why chimps havent ‘evolved’ into us.

    evolution in no way, shape or form makes the claim that we came from modern apes, but what evolution does say is that you and me are more or less their distant cousin. (saying that we both shared at one point way back on the timeline, the same ancestor.) this is alot different then saying that we came from monkeys or chimps because they are just as modern an animal as we are, we just share the same great great great to the nth degree grandfather/grandmother. and that is what evolution preaches, common descent.

    thanks for sticking through my longwindedness… hehe

    james

  27. Adam

    Jerry,

    This conversation is soooo serious. It really makes a difference in the world. I applaude your efforts. You must be a really smart guy.

    Is that what you want people to think?

    Sincerely,
    Adam

  28. Adam,

    I feel sorry for you. You put all that work into cutting and pasting from Wikipedia (a source or real high quality scholarship and authority) only to have it all deleted. No, I don’t want people to think I’m smart. I want people to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ who died even for you. On the contrary, this conversation is not serious. James cannot prove his theories any more than I can prove mine. We both accept what we accept by faith. I have faith in God; he has faith in Darwin. The only difference this conversation will make is if someone learns about Jesus and surrenders their life to Him. Other than that, I really couldn’t care less.

    I hope you find peace Adam. You sound like a very unhappy young man. I do pray the Lord will enlighten your heart and grant that you come to a knowledge of the truth and hope for eternal life. I wish you could make your point without being so angry, but you like most Darwinists who visit here, are terribly, terribly miserable in your hopeless condition. Good luck in life without Jesus and yet I pray you will soon find Him.

    jerry

  29. James,

    I’m sorry to tell you this, but I have heard everything you are typing. I have read it. I have studied it. I’m sorry to tell you this, because I can see that your entire worldview hinges on whether Darwinism is true or not, but Darwinism, evolution, common descent–whatever you want to call it–is a lie. I don’t believe it and no amount of preaching is going to change my mind. There are so many logical errors, so many biological problems, so many ‘missing links’ (I say that generally, and specifically) that it is inconceivable to suggest we evolved from anything.

    I appreciate that you are taking the time to educate my feeble mind, and to help me see the light of day, but you are wasting your time and I’m sure you have other things you would rather be doing. We did not evolve. We were created in the image of God and we are thus accountable to him. I hope that you, too, eventually see the light of truth that we are creatures made in the image of God through the Word of God who is Jesus Christ. Good Luck!

    jerry

    ps–something had to know. I know you say it didn’t, but something had to know. Somewhere, something or someone, had to decide that one way was better than the other.

  30. Adam.

    I accidentally deleted the one I wanted to leave and I’m sorry for that. There are ministries to help with your homosexual tendencies and I assure you that Jesus Christ can deliver you if you have faith in his work done at the Cross.

    I have no problem with Big Bang theory as long as it is qualified and I have stated elsewhere at this blog my thoughts on that. Thanks again for stopping by.

    jerry

    PS–for others who are wondering about Adam’s homosexuality, he continues to leave rather vulgar posts which I delete. He is a very confused young man and needs our prayers.

  31. Adam

    HHAHHAHAHA^

    You sure are quick to judge.

    hmm…
    That’s very christian of you.

  32. Adam

    Let’s say i am homosexual…
    What happens if i become a christian?
    Does that make me not gay?
    Or does that make me not really a christian?
    Homosexuality seems to be frowned upon by most or all of the christian organizations i’ve heard of.
    Please explain.

  33. hey jerry

    im sorry if i sounded like it was an act of faith that i believe in biology, but it is not. scientists love to prove each other wrong, this is fact. theories turn inisde out over the course of time and this is a given seeing as how we do not believe the world is flat and (after hundreds of years of oppression by the catholic church) we have a developed knowledge of the human body and medical care.

    i am not trying to argue what i believe against what you believe and do not mistake my attempt at answering your questions with preaching. i simply answered your questions about lobsters and nothing more. but seeing as how you already read these books: “the extended phenotype” “climbing mount improbable” “the voyage of the beagle” “the selfish gene” i should tink that you would have a full knowledge of why that lobster is blue and this entire post would be a distraction.

    a distraction from what?

    how come when i typed in lobster+mutation in google this site comes up second, and in reality it takes quite alot of digging to actually find a hox-mutated lobster and information about one?

    those questions are hypothetical and merely for you just to think about. but let me ask you a question (since i indulged in yours) that will shed some light on me as to where you are coming from.

    how, in your opinion, does the bible explain the fossil record? okay, now im sure you have heard this question many many times as it is very generic and universal, but let me put a spin on it… 3.5 billion years, approximately, is how long life has existed. We as a human creatures have existed on this earth as a blink of an eye as far as the age of the earth is concerned. and in that light. do you believe that humans walked on the earth with dinosaurs because a southern baptist ministry came through my town and they preached this doctrine, i was wondering if you shared the same beliefs of our biological and geographical past.

    thanks,

    your friend james

    please answer my questions because im very confused about why god would wait so long to make his choosen creature.

  34. and about the p.s. jerry

    one must not look at life as white and black, we live in a dynamic and beautiful world that is contrasted by the infinite routes and paths that one can choose. Having said that, there is no ‘better’ way per se, but a set of ways in which the worst ones are weeded out by the environment…

    either way this is the most important thing that i have to say so far….

    there is one plain an simple fact of life, life on this earth has changed since the beggining. We do not know exactly how or exactly why but the fact that it did change is self evident. Evolution has been soiled by all the dirt flung by both sides of arguments about fundimantal truths of this universe.

    and having said that, i again wish to reiterate, what have you to say about the age of the world and the account of the vast diversity that has shared the earth for far longer time then we have been here?

    your friend

    james

  35. Adam,

    If you are a homosexual, and you became a Christian, I expect that the Lord Jesus would begin to change you. To be sure, it is not your alleged homosexuality that separates you from God as that is merely an expression of what is in your heart. It is your sin generally that separates you from God. It is practiced homosexuality that is not merely frowned upon but the physical acts of homosexuality that is condemned as perverse, unrighteous, and blasphemous.

    jerry

    ps–I have not judged you at all. You have judged yourself. I am merely pointing out that there is grace available to all who call upon the name of the Lord. But, as Jesus said, it is the sick who need a doctor not the well. If I point out that you are sick, and that I know a doctor, I hardly think that is judgmental. It is grace.

  36. James,

    I don’t think you accidentally came to my blog by typing in something about mutant lobsters and I don’t think I showed up second on the ‘hit list’ by accident either. But neither do I think it happened so that you could ‘prove me wrong’ or ‘convert me to Darwinism.’ You see, blogging is not just a hobby for me, it is an aspect of my ministry in the Word. I actually pray about what I say here, what I post, and the people I interact with. Perhaps the Lord led you here because I have something you need to hear.

    Look, I don’t buy evolution or darwinism. Not one bit of it. There may well be micro changes, but they have never been piled upon each other in such a way as to result in the macro changes darwinists teach. It is illogical.

    As far as black and white worldview are concerned, I think you are inaccurate. There is truth and there are lies. Truth is found in Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    Now, you see I have faith in Christ. But from my point of view if you rip out the first three chapters of the Bible (Genesis 1-3) I have nothing left. The world makes no sense, evil makes no sense, Jesus Christ makes no sense, life make no sense. If I am not the ‘product’ of a Creator, then I cannot possible be the object of a Redeemer.

    All the stuff about fossil records and the ‘age of the universe’ is beside the point. The real question is: Why are we here? Evolution does not answer that question; Scripture does. Genesis answers that question. If I am not a created being then I am not an accountable being. If I am not an accountable being then I am not a redeemable being. If I am not a redeemed being then I am lost, hopeless, and the death of Jesus Christ either a) never took place, or b) if it did take place was meaningless for my salvation. All of this hinges on whether or not Genesis 1-3 are truth. I believe they are. But in the world of evolution, we are meaningless by-products of meaningless ‘progress’ who are lucky to even be here. Scripture says God created us on purpose, at the pinnacle of creation, as the sole creature made in His Image. Evolution is hopeless, meaningless, and purposeless.

    To satisfy you, why did God ‘wait so long to make man’? Well, he didn’t. He waited six days. And it is only man who is made in the image of God. It was only man who was given dominion over the creation to care for it and nuture it, to fill it with life. But also it was only man who sinned and thereby ruined it and sank it into oblivion from whence it has been rescued and redeemed through Jesus Christ. As for the ‘age’ of the universe, well, who knows? I do know this: God is a Big God. But I don’t have to have all the answers to know that Jesus Christ died for my sins and yours. And in that light, the age of the universe is trivial and meaningless. As the Scripture says, “The sky is his handiwork, and the stars cry out his glory.” The universe exists to demonstrate God’s greatness, not to prove we evolved over billions or millions of years. Evolution is small compared to a God who has done it.

    I account for the diversity of life on this planet to a very Big God–bigger than our puny imaginations can enjoy as the Scripture says, “Who can plumb the depths of the wisdom of God?” I think the fossil record is best explained by a great flood and that man has no real significant way of understanding the fossil record. Even the best biologist disagree at times on how to interpret the record.

    But I am not really interested in debating this because I will not change my mind. The world, this universe, and everything it it has been created by God, for God. This is repeated in the Old and New Testaments over and over and over again. (See Genesis and Colossians for example.) We are here for His pleasure and glory and frankly to exist for any other purpose is a waste of time. I am trying to help you see that God’s grace is available to you through Jesus.

    That’s all I have time for now, but please feel free to stop back and talk some more.

    You friend,
    jerry

  37. james

    hey jerry

    so you do not believe in the atruistic nature of life here on earth? because i dog knows how to take care of its pack and you cant call that divine intervention. i believe that all of humanity is born with the innate ability to do good and that that ability is corrupted through ‘man made’ devices. and in that our views are tottaly different because the christian faith resides on the fact that humans basically can do know good with out a baby sitting god watching their every movement. i think this self defeating attitude is what turns me off to the christian faith.

    i am a good person. i strive to be a good person in whatever i do, dispite the media and pop culture tellingg me that i am ugly or unfit or not smart enough for this society. i also believe that god is a good being to have created such a wonderful universe, but the one thing i do not believe is that god is a liar.

    being a liar is not being a christian, and if one advocates lies then what does that say about his/her god?

    okay, so tell me a little bit more about yourself. do you believe that man at one time walked with dinosaurs? im sure you have been to some workshops explaining some of this, but please do break it down for me cause i really want to know some more of your views on the world. and as for biologist and scientist argueing? of course they do, but truth is what ends up coming out in the end and it is that same truth that is pushing our understanding of the universe forward.

    now im sorry but you said your big god made the earth in six days. but i have something for you okay? lets see if you can soak this in?

    my god made the entire universe in the blink an eye! not just earth but all matter anti-matter from the biggest black hole to the smallest of quarks and all of the laws of physics that govern our everyday lives and are unchanging throughout time. surely you can see why i am not intrigued by your god. the finger prints of god are etched into background radiation that gives us a view into when god sparked that first breath of life into the universe. how vast this was is uncomprehensable. and from nothing, there was everything. In one singular moment in time. that has gods signature written all over it, and without all the dogma.

    and in that light i shall say this. We have a free will and a good nature to start out with. so why not focus on making the world that we live in a better place instead of damning our childrens children to a life of poverty and pollution while we secure our place in heaven?

    where is your moral standpoint on what a christian nation like us has been doing to the earth for hundreds of years? and do you think your everlasting soul is more important than the thousands of sould that make up your future?

    your friend

    james

  38. Adam

    Can’t you christians come up with anything different? or better? The same old stuff that happened thousands of years ago is no longer working.
    Gays are everywhere, and they are not convinced. So is god prejudice against gays? you pretty much said “Fight the urge or your’re going to hell”
    If there is a god. He’d kick your “butt” for being an idiot.

  39. Adam,

    You are right. I have nothing different. I have nothing better. “We” have been using the same arguments for 1000’s of years and those arguments do not work. Gays are everywhere. They are not convinced. God is prejudiced against gays (as He is against all sinners!). Yes I said fight the urge or you will go to hell. There might be a ‘god’. He’d kick my butt for being an idiot. I agree with everything you said. I am a sinner who deserves to rot in hell for all of eternity. I am stupid enough to believe that 2,000 years ago someone died for me. I am foolish enough to live it, preach it, defend it, and, someday if called upon, to die for it. I am naive. I am unscientific. And, you are right: you can live however you want. God cannot change you if you are not willing to let him. And, finally, God has given you the free will to live however you like. Any way you like! Have at it. You can love. You can hate. God is not going to get in your way.

    But as for me: I know that my redeemer lives and that in the end, He will stand upon the earth. I’m not going to change my mind just because you are angry at God that life hasn’t gone your way, the way you had hoped.

    I hope all goes well in your life. I hope you find hope. But if you choose not to, I’ll pray for your salvation anyway.

    Good-bye.
    jerry

  40. hey jerry bud

    dont forget about my questions? please?

    james

  41. James,

    I’ll be getting to them soon. I’m thinking about how to word my answers.

    jerry

  42. james

    hey jerry…

    you didnt forget about me did you?

    i still want to talk with you.

    i am very interested in what you have to say, and i guess i will just be waiting for you.

    your friend

    james

  43. James,

    I haven’t forgotten you. I had a final paper to write for my seminary class and a couple of reading projects I needed to finish. If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, give me another reminder.

    jerry

  44. Joey

    Jerry,

    I am quite interested in your answer to James’s simple straight forward non-intrusive question… He was educated well enough in his side of the argument to answer your endless myriad of questions but yet you have not been kind enough to answer any of his questions with anything except by saying that his evidence doesn’t matter. So please I have longed for an educated and rational response for his question. Please enlighten me.

  45. Joey,

    I work two jobs, I am married, I have three sons: two in little league, one in high school. I am taking seminary classes, and I’m in a band. Uh, I’ll get to it when I can. PS–‘endless myriad’ is an oxymoron since ‘myriad’ represents a finite number and ‘endless’ implies without limit.

    jerry

    ps–i’ll get to James soon.

  46. Joey

    ——–*reminder*——–

    “I haven’t forgotten you. I had a final paper to write for my seminary class and a couple of reading projects I needed to finish. If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, give me another reminder.

    jerry”

  47. James,

    I do apologize for taking so long to write you back. I have been busy; honestly. I haven’t even been posting very much as of late. Let’s get some things out of the way first and then I will answer each of your questions point by point.

    First, everything that I am, believe, and hope for is based on the fundamental premise that, as you say, ‘God does not lie.’ This is Scriptural (Hebrews 6:18). In fact, the Scripture says it is ‘impossible’ for God to lie.

    Second, I also believe that God has revealed himself to us. This revelation begins in creation (Romans 1), continues in the prophets (2 Peter 1:12-21), was finalized and historicized in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-4). This message of revelation has been codified through the ages beginning in the time of Moses and continuing on through until the last stroke of ink was made on the parchment that became the book of the Revelation. The length of time, the various authors (men and women alike), the languages used, and the various places it was written remain in the background of the 66 books we call the Bible and testify to its truthfulness. In other words: How could such a diverse book have such a profoundly consistent testimony? The fact is, the Bible has one testimony: Jesus Christ. From first to last the 66 books of the Bible testify to God’s plan of salvation by grace through faith in the work of Jesus Christ (See John 5:39-40; Luke 24:25-27, 44).

    Third, it is not, nor was it ever, God’s intention to keep us in the dark, but to enlighten us and bring us to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). This is the Scripture’s testimony about God’s intentions (see also John 3:16-17 where we are told that God sent his Son not to condemn the world but to save it.)

    All that being said, and I assure you this is but a brief synopsis, leads me to this conclusion: the Bible is telling me the truth. But it is not telling the truth simply because I want it to, or because the people who wrote it want me to or hope I do, but because it is written not with human intentions but God’s intentions. If the testimony of Luke 24 and John 5 is accurate, then the books of the Bible could not have been written simply by man’s genius. Look at the Bible: it is filled with treachery, deceit, murder, adultery, idol worship, slavery, death, destruction, war, violence, infanticide, incest, rape, stealing, trickery, fratricide, homicide, homosexuality, homosexual rape, mutilation, capital punishment, animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, and a lot more. Man would not have written such a book and claimed it to be divine. Do you understand why? We are not prone to favor books or testimony that show us in our bad light. The point is, this book we call ‘Holy’ and ‘The Bible’ shows human beings in the worst possible way and then has the audacity to say: God so loved the World that He gave His One and Only Son.

    That takes nerve. That is the God the Bible is talking about from start to finish. And I don’t think a human being could invent that sort of testimony. Look at the religions of man, created through the ages, there is not one that offers what the Bible offers: Salvation by grace. Not one. You won’t find a religion on the planet that offers any form of grace despite the reputation and character of the one it hopes to save, namely humans. Yet Jesus Christ does. My friend, the testimony of the cross alone is enough to satisfy me that the Bible is telling the truth from first to last and that it was not written under the sole power of human will or observation but that it was, in fact, inscribed by the finger of God, written under the influence and inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit. (Again, see 2 Peter 2, 2 Timothy 3) The testimony of the Bible is that man cannot save himself from his wretched condition. Every other religion in the world claims that man has to work his way out of his condition by ‘making this a better place to live’ or by ‘doing good works’ or by ‘sacrificing to the gods’ or some such nonsense. The Bibl, from first to last, says: You must simply put your faith in the promise of God in Jesus Christ. The Bible testifies to man’s undeniable depravity and then says: God saves man anyhow because man cannot save himself.

    Now, having said that, I offer this: Moses (or Joshua, or whoever wrote Genesis, or the Holy Spirit) could have started that book any place they wanted to start it. They could have started in Genesis 12 with the call of Abraham or in Genesis 6 and the flood or Genesis 22 and the offering of Isaac or Exodus 1-2 and the Israelite’s slavery in Egypt. Could have started Genesis in Leviticus but for some profound reason, reasons I only partially claim to understand, the author chose to begin the book of Genesis with the Creation of the universe. The author chose to begin the first book of the Bible at the most unlikely of places: With something I can neither prove nor disprove. It claims that an invisible spirit spoke and there it was. I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it. I cannot prove it. Nevertheless, the first thing we learn about God—or the first thing we learn about Jesus Christ—is that He created. And not just that he created this or that or set evolution in motion: But that he spoke and it was, all of life, all of matter, all of the universe. Of all the places he could have begun, he began at the one place where there is the most controversy. He started at the place that is most inconvenient. He started at the place that no one can prove. He started at the place where most people trip up and fall. Why do you suppose God, who wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth, would begin at the most difficult place imaginable when beginning to reveal his testimony to the World of his salvation through Christ? I wouldn’t have started there. I would have started at some place that would have been much easier to prove. Ahh, but there’s the rub isn’t it and the place for faith.
    Why not just begin with the story of Jesus? Why not just say, “God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son?” Why begin with, “In the beginning God Created…” and then after a few thousand years say, “God so loved the world…”? It makes no sense to me that God would begin in a place where most would fall unless he is actually thinking that by beginning in this place, in his creative acts, people will find that the most simple place to begin. After all, I posit that in the beginning God spoke and it was and when I look around…well, there it is!

    Thus, I begin with the premise that this world does not belong to you or me or anyone for that matter, but God and God alone. My conversation with you begins with this premise: If this world was not created by God then it does not belong to God. If it was not created by God, does not belong to God, then God has no power or right or will to redeem this world. And if God has not redeemed this world, indeed the universe, then life is simply, profoundly, meaningless. And if God has not created this world, if he does not own this world, if he has not redeemed this world then God is a liar which contradicts even your premise that God does not lie. And if God has lied then he is not God. And if he is not God then Jesus Christ is the greatest hoax every played among human beings. And if Jesus Christ is a mere hoax then there is no a single person on this planet with hope. And the Scripture’s testimony is that man does not make things better with time or effort but worse. We need Jesus Christ.

    So that’s where I begin. Again, this is the briefest of introductions to what I believe but it gets at the nuts and bolts of it. From the very beginning, our belief is by faith. I think the lesson is simple: Even our belief in Creation by God begins with faith and so our belief in the salvation work of Jesus will be by the same faith.

    OK. In my next response, I will get to your questions point by point. Please try to refrain from responding until I have finished my second post.

    jerry

    PS–I hope to write part 2 this afternoon. Thanks for your patience.

  48. James,

    Alright, here’s part two—a bullet point list of your questions with my answers. I hope you get all this. It’s the best I can do under the extreme pressure I have been getting from you and Joey. 🙂 I have omitted parts of your questions in quotes only in the interest of time. I have answered your questions as you asked them.

    • ‘So you don’t believe in the altruistic nature of life here on earth?’ Well, I think that depends on what you mean by altruistic. I have written about this here at my blog which you can find by searching my blog. I suppose that animals to an extent do display some sort of altruistic behavior: I have seen it in plenty of NOVA specials and National Geographic episodes. So what? You would say that it is an ‘evolved’ feature or a ‘natural’ function. I would say that it is a ‘natural’ function only insofar as God has created the animal to behave in such a way. I don’t think animals have any particular awareness that they are ‘dying for one another’ or ‘sharing’. I think they are doing what comes instinctively because that is how God has created them to respond. And you are right, it probably requires no ‘divine intervention’ as such. It only requires that they were programmed in such a way at some point.

    • ‘I believe that all of humanity is born with the innate ability to do good…’ So do I. So? I think we are also born with the innate ability to do evil. It’s not the good that we do that is the problem; it is the evil. The ability to do good is not corrupted by ‘man made devices’ but by sin which is the capacity to do evil. We are pure as far as I can tell until we understand law, the difference between right and wrong. Once we learn right and wrong, then we are lost. This is only ‘man-made’ insofar as we are the ones doing the wrong. And I seriously protest that any human lives altruistically in the sense that, say, a dog in a pack does. The Scripture says, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man…” (Romans 5:7). The notable exception is Jesus Christ. In other words, we are more likely to be selfish before we are generous and just because we are generous doesn’t negate this fact: We still keep far more for ourselves than we give away.

    • ‘…and in that our views are totally different…’ No, Christian faith does not reside in the fact of a baby-sitting God. Fact is, man said in Genesis 3 (I’m paraphrasing) ‘I don’t need God; I can do it on my own.’ You see, many Christians do believe that there is no such thing as true free will. They are called Calvinists. I am not one of them and I don’t think the Bible teaches that either. I believe we do have a choice to make: will we accept God’s grace or not? I believe in free-will which means that I believe God is not in fact baby-sitting us. He has given us up to our own devices (see Romans 1: “Therefore, God gave them over…” 1:24, 26, 28). Now I don’t think this means we have the ability to annihilate ourselves, but I do think it means we have the complete capacity to think for ourselves. We are not controlled in the master of puppets sense that some would have us believe.

    • ‘…turns me off to the Christian faith…’ I disagree because of what you wrote next: ‘I am a good person…’ Christianity, while not denying the innate capacity for doing good (we are made in God’s image after all) says that our innate propensity for doing evil outweighs it and that the only standard of comparison is not one human to another, but every human to Christ. If I don’t measure up to Christ, then I don’t measure up at all. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s what you don’t like. You do not like someone telling you that your ‘badness’ outweighs your ‘goodness’ and therefore makes you accountable for every act, every thought, of evil. Fact is, you are like most humans and that has nothing to do with the media or pop culture. The media and pop culture do not tell you that you are bad; they tell you quite the opposite. They have convinced people that, contrary to God’s Word, we are and can be good enough, that we can save ourselves if we just save enough animals, or plant enough trees, or buy enough carbon credits, or give away enough money to charity, or act altruistically enough. The bible is different in that it says quite the opposite which is: You cannot save yourself. There is nothing you can do to earn anything from God. You are likely offended that you cannot save yourself by your good works no matter how many of the rules you keep each day. Being good enough is not good enough if you expect God to save you. (And this is the gist of your argument especially in the last paragraph where you talk about ‘making the world a better place to live in….’ etc.)

    • ‘…advocates lies…’ I have already dealt with this in my previous post so I won’t revisit it. Suffice it to say, though, that if you think I am a liar there is not much I can do except present to you the Scripture which is all I am trying to do.

    • ‘…do you believe…man…walked with dinosaurs?’ Yes. But so what? I couldn’t care less if you do or do not or if you have evidence to contradict me or not (which you don’t). What matters here is not what we have done with dinosaurs but what we have done with Christ. The dinosaur question is clearly beside the point and a distraction from the real question. In the end, God will not ask us what we did with dinosaurs but what we did with Christ. Dinosaurs did not die to save me from sin, Jesus did. No. I have not been to ‘workshops.’ I don’t go to such things for a variety of reasons—that they are pointless and money-making machines is not the least part of my objection to them. The universe is not, as you say, ‘pushing forward.’ IN fact, the ‘scientific evidence’ (here in agreement with biblical testimony) indicates that it is winding down. It’s called entropy. Things are not, contrary to John Lennon, getting better, but worse and will continue to do so until Christ returns. The main reason I believe that man and dinosaurs walked together, whatever that means, is because for dinosaurs to have lived before man means they would have died before man sinned by breaking God’s law and before man sinned by breaking God’s law there was no death. I can’t imagine how dinosaurs could have lived and died 65 million years before there was death on planet earth due to man’s sin and disobedience. (Genesis 3)

    • ‘…my god made the entire universe in the blink of an eye…’ OK. I’m not going to quibble about times and dates because the Bible doesn’t speak of it. After all, what is six days to a God whose days are like a thousand years and whose thousand year’s are like a day? This is not an argument about whose god is bigger, badder, more creative, or better at time management. It is a conversation about what we will do with the God who reveals himself in creation and ultimately in Jesus Christ in order that He might save us from what we cannot save ourselves from. But you see, it’s not just the book of Genesis that speaks of creation. It is Exodus. It is Psalms. It is Job. It is Isaiah. Jeremiah. Matthew. John. Romans. Colossians. The entire bible is premised on the veracity of Genesis 1. If Genesis 1 is not true, then you may as well throw away the rest of the 66 books. Point is, if I cannot believe the first words in the Bible, “In the beginning God created…” then how can I believe anything else the Bible has to say? If God did not make the first heavens and earth then how can I believe He has the power to make the new heavens and earth which are promised in Isaiah and Revelation? If God did not create, then how can he redeem? Why would he redeem if He didn’t create? So you see, the very work of Redemption hinges on the truth of Genesis 1.

    • ‘…we have free will and a good nature….focus on making the world a better place…instead of damning our children…while we secure our place in heaven…’ Contained within these sentences (the context is above) is the fundamental error of your thoughts: We cannot do anything to secure our position in heaven except have faith in Christ Jesus. And mere altruism will not amount to anything in God’s eyes apart from faith in Christ. I suppose Christians are trying to ‘make the world a better place’ but to what end? That there be no poverty or pollution? Come on! The world could end poverty in a day if the world wanted to and you know it and that has nothing to do with Christianity at all. One generation of sexually pure people could make a remarkable dent in the AIDS population. Just one! But do you think people are likely to give up promiscuous sex and drug abuse in order to end AIDS? No they are not. We could end poverty today if we wanted. We could take the salary of the top ten athletes in the United States, take percentage of their salaries, and we could end poverty in Africa or the United States. But do you think people really want to end poverty? If they did, it would be done. So please, spare me the ‘oh this is why Christians turn me off’ bs. This has nothing to do with the work of the church or Christians. Warren Buffet alone could end poverty in Haiti if he wanted. Bill Gates could end poverty in Mexico City. Michael Jordan could end poverty in Guatemala. The Catholic Church and all their billions could end poverty in Europe and Asia! But people don’t care, so they don’t solve problems. This is a WORLD problem not a ‘christian’ problem.

    • ‘where is your moral standpoint on what a Christian nation like us….’ A better question is, “Where is your moral standpoint on a nation that pays athletes millions of dollars to chase a ball around while the world dies?” Or “Where is your moral standpoint on a government that continues to raise my taxes so as to essentially prevent me from being more generous and doing what I can to help the poor in my community?” Or, “Where is your moral standpoint on a world that spends more money on zoos protecting stupid animals than it does on orphans and foster children and babies?” Or “Where is your moral standpoint on people take little children and put them into prostitution and pornography in order to make a dollar?” Or “Where is your moral standpoint on people who rape children, kill children, abuse children, so that they can get their kicks?” Or, “Where is your moral standpoint on people who make millions of dollars growing crops of opiates they will sell to children?” Or, “Where is your moral standpoint on the alcohol industry in America which kills more people each year than Cancer, heart disease, and AIDS combined?”

    Do you see my point? If people were really as concerned about ‘the thousands of souls that make up my future as they claim to be then they would truly be doing something about those things that are the real problems. As such, Jesus said it best, “There will always be poor among you.” Why? Because the altruism you speak of exists only in the animal kingdom; not among man.

    You will not make me feel guilty about my life. That is typical liberalism: “Make them feel guilty, they will give up more money, they will think they have earned a secure spot in heaven with a god we don’t really believe exists in the first place.” James, my friend, I will take my chances with God’s grace. I do all I can to help out whenever I can and I certainly don’t need to brag about it in order to convince someone else that I am compassionate and caring or concerned about future generations. What I do, I do for the Lord alone because I love Him because He loved me and gave up His Son.

    For me, then, it all comes back to the cross. I do all things because of the cross and because I love God. If they happen to make the world a better place, so be it. But that is not my objective. If they alleviate suffering, so be it. But that is my main goal. If they happen to feed a hungry person, so be it. But that is not my main objective. My main objective, even with this blog, is Soli Deo Gloria! I say that with unabashed sincerity. I do what I do in order to honor Christ, bring glory to His Name, and witness to others of his death and resurrection for their salvation.

    Most of this has nothing to do with whether or not blue lobsters have anything to do with evolution. It does, however, have everything to do with why I serve and believe. For the most part you are right: I cannot prove creation by God ex nihilo. I nevertheless accept it as the fundamental premise to my faith in Christ Jesus. I hope this, combined with my other long post, helps explain my point of view on these matters and why I think evolution, atheistic Darwinian evolution, is a meaningless, pointless, lie. My hope is that through all this someone might see Christ as Savior and acknowledge him as Lord.

    He is the only hope this planet has.

    Your friend,
    Jerry

    Ps—is that your ad at myspace?

  49. james

    haha….ya thats my myspace

  50. james

    Thanks for sticking with me and i will be more patient next time, I understand that you have a busy life and i appreciate you sharing your time with me because I am a very inquisitive place in my life and am in dire need for feedback.
    -About the order of the bible, it’s called chronological order. That has to be the most basic order of any kind of writing period. If it happened first why not write it first? How many other stories are written from beginning to end? I would have to disagree with you and say that the stories that do not conform to this chronology would be far more paranormal than beginning at the beginning. Seing as how starting at the begging of a story with the time earliest in the story is a more common way to tell a story, I do not see what that has to contribute to the sanctity of the bible.
    I’m sorry for calling you a liar; I meant that not as an offense or an attack towards you but just an attention getter. Sometimes I get carried away with the second person view displacement. It is the frustration I have with talking to spin artists and twisters of words. But you have been a very enjoyable person to talk to and address me in a very straight forward way.
    I do not expect you to prove or disprove anything and I am trying to make sure there is no pressure being put on you to do so in my part. I just want you to share your thoughts with me, that is all.

    -About altruism and animals. You do not believe that animals experience emotions? They may have been programmed, and that program may not be as sophisticated as ours. But I believe in a very true sense that animals have feelings (not in the tree hugging wishy washy sense, but in their own right) and that this is a very overlooked reality.

    Jerry-‘Christianity, while not denying the innate capacity for doing good (we are made in God’s image after all) says that our innate propensity for doing evil outweighs it and that the only standard of comparison is not one human to another, but every human to Christ. ………(And this is the gist of your argument especially in the last paragraph where you talk about ‘making the world a better place to live in….’ etc.)’
    James-I completely agree with you about the media. We live in a “just take a pill” society where there are many one press buttons to solve your problems and responsibility is dying out altogether. America is driven by products and the whole market is poised to make you feel good. But don’t get me wrong. Please don’t get me wrong when I say that I believe that I am completely responsible for my actions. I am coming completely from another angle when it comes to responsibility and I believe that it is the Christian people who don’t like to hear that they are bad. I know this is not everyone just like you don’t believe that god dictates everything in our life, (I am relieved, as this view in life really bothers me when it comes to people justifying what they do as “what the lord wants” haha.) but I am of the view that I and only I alone am responsible for my actions. So no I don’t like being called out on my wrong-doings, but instead of just asking for forgiveness I believe that it should be rectified. I believe that rectification can be made without the help of divine intervention. I guess there is a potential for evil that is innately instilled in everyone, but I do not believe that it is more powerful than goodness. That view seems to me to be very pessimistic and despairing.

  51. james

    Okay and now back to dinosaurs jerry.
    Your blog post is about ‘evolution’, the infamous E word, An evil word that is looked upon as a force against Christianity.
    Now evolution means simply this (and it gets no simpler) life changes over time.
    That is no theory it is a fact, evolution and taxonomy may not have a complete grasp of the concept yet but it still holds that this earth does not look remotely the same as it did 3.5 billion years ago and the creatures on this earth were completely different and alien 2 billion years ago, or even a couple of hundred million. Simply put evolution is a theory based on the fact that life changes over time.
    No, I’m sticking with the topic so don’t accuse me of that please. Your topic is evolution and you are tying it with Christianity and talking about different aspects and having an open discussion. That was the whole purpose of your blog no? Its purpose is to mull over possibilities and discuss option after option in search for truth? Or maybe not in search of it but to spread it. Either way, I’m not trying to spin the topic, I just want to know what is so wrong about wanting to know about life prior to the life we have now and the world we live in.
    The fact that I was trying to present is that all life that exists on this earth at this very time accounts for about 2% of the life that ever existed on earth. Now there are two ways of accounting for this. One is that life has changed over time and species grow and die and change and multiply until we get to the point we are at right now. The other way is to believe that all life that has ever existed on earth existed at one time in the beginning and through various mass extinctions all we have left is what is here on the earth today.
    So, once again, I will ask you in a broader sense.
    Do you believe that all life that has existed did so together on one earth or do you believe that the life on this earth is very different than it was millions of years ago?
    And in summation I will reiterate. Do you believe man walked with dinosaurs?
    That is awesome that you do not believe in workshops, I think too many things in this world are tied to making money that are masked in righteous garbs. But they are out there and that is being represented by the Christian church, and it is raising new Christian youths on a foundation of a false doctrine (aka lie) of course I do not blame this on honest people at the bottom but just saying that it occurs and is a tragedy.
    p.s. I am well aware of the laws of entropy. Haha
    your friend james

  52. danielle

    Darwin’s Theory of evolution by means of natural selection proposes irreversible and continual change among species throughout geologic time for the purpose of creating viable, reproductive offspring fit to survive in specific ecological niches. This, biologically, is the meaning of life.

    Not all mutations are beneficial. On the contrary, this specific mutation may be the exact reason that these lobsters are so rare. Being easier to see means being easier to catch and eat. Humans seem to be the only animals that will decide not to consume something because they think it’s unique. Genetically, you would have to take a look at this particular lobster’s genome and compare it to that of an average one to identify exactly how this mutation can occur.

    Thanks for asking questions 🙂

    Danielle

  53. what up jerry… how is baseball season going?

  54. James,

    It is almost over…not. But my sons are doing well even though their teams are struggling quite a bit. I’m looking forward to school being done and the summer to get into full swing. Thanks for asking.

    How is it with you?

    jerry

  1. 1 A Suggestion to the Anti-Establishment « Sum 1 to N

    […] Published August 12th, 2007 evolution , Writing , Science Before you argue against something, make sure you actually know what it is you’re arguing […]




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