Creation Science and the Trustworthiness of God

While appearing to be stronger, faith based on literalism and inerrancy is actually weak. It is shallow in understanding and break when contrary evidence comes to light. It resists growth because there can be only one true interpretation.


Two books I found very interesting:

(Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art (Bloomsbury Sigma): Sykes, Rebecca Wragg: 9781472937490: Books - Amazon)


Based on the author’s first-hand experience at the cutting-edge of Palaeolithic research and theory, this easy-to-read but information-rich book lays out the first full picture we have of the Neanderthals, from amazing new discoveries changing our view of them forever, to the more enduring mysteries of how they lived and died, and the biggest question of them all: their relationship with modern humans.

(The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life: Quammen, David: 9781476776620: Books)


In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. .

Allen, you could be correct; i am not dogmatic, but it just seems to be periods of time symbolically and poetically refered to, but you might be right - just see it a little differently

Tim, how does any of this show mutation driven evolution?

This is an assumption, even a long shot assumption.

The silver Ketef Hinnom scrolls do quote form the books of Numbers and Ex or Deut. Dated from just before the destruction of Jerusalem, late first temple period. They were amulets, texts worn on the arms. This from Wiki:

The 2004 team described the scrolls as “one of most significant discoveries ever made” for biblical studies. Apart from their significance for our knowledge of the development of the Hebrew alphabet, the scrolls “preserve the earliest known citations of texts also found in the Hebrew Bible and … the earliest examples of confessional statements concerning Yahweh.” The reference to Yahweh as “Rebuker of Evil,” found in later incantations and amulets associated with Israel, is evidence that these artifacts were also amulets.

Dr. Wayne Pitard has stated that although evidence for the antiquity of the Priestly Blessing is now compelling, this does not necessarily mean that the Book of already existed at that time. Dr. James R. Davila has similarly pointed out that while the scrolls show that “some of the material found in the Five Books of Moses existed in the First Temple period”, the suggestion that they are “proof that the Five Books of Moses were in existence during the First Temple period” (as described in an article in the Israeli newspaper * is “an overinterpretation of the evidence.” End quote.

Did numbers exist? “Over-interpretation” but not out of the question. In other words the amulets do not prove that Numbers did NOT already exist, but certainly may have.

There are pot shards that also quote from the Bible found from the first Temple period.

Many scholars believe that the book found in the Temple and taken to Josiah was the book of Deuteronomy. This book is attributed to Moses in the text itself, his speeches.

So no, 200 BC is not there earliest date for passages attributed to Moses.

I went to Med School. We did not study evolution, nor did anyone say it was all based on evolution. Genetics is not based on evolution. You are making an over-generalization.

I don’t think evolutionary theory explains why, etc.

I have read The Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins and innumerable articles by evolutionists on various topics, and chapters in books. I am not ignorant of the matter, and do know the weaknesses of my position. Do you know the weaknesses of yours?

My problem is the age of the earth and the geologic column. Yours is that you have no mechanism to explain how evolution could have occurred. Waving your hand over the geologic column does not count. The genetic differences required to make new body types are huge, and the mutation rates noted today do not give nearly enough time to do what has to be done. And the design seen in the cell is just too exquisite to have happened by chance. Or you need to show how it could have happened by chance.

You speak with such assurance that it tells me you do not realize the problems your case has.

Tim, I read your article form USA Today, 'Evolution is not a matter of belief: Column", not exactly a science jounal. A quote:

For starters, “belief” means something different in a religion conversation than it means when we’re talking about science. In the case of faith, it usually means accepting the moral and spiritual truth of something and giving it your trust and devotion. In talking about evolution, it is more precise to call it “scientifically valid” or “an accurate account of what we observe.” No leaps of faith or life-altering commitments required.

No leaps of faith? I Jost showed one on the origin of life. So, well, not exactly a convincing article.

the Bible says God wrote the 10, He spoke many things, but wrote the 10. That is my point.

This whole statement is wrong. I have faced all kinds of contrary evidence, yet still believe. I can deal with other interpretations, and have gained insight from them. As an example, Bart above is so convinced of the truth of his view, that he can see no other position, or the problems with his position. I bet he feels there are none… I can see his easily, and still hold to mine, and know the weaknesses of mine. He is not ignorant, but doesn’t have insight into all things.

From Wiki on Hor. Gene Trans. in humans *

One study identified approximately 100 of humans’ approximately 20,000 total genes which likely resulted from horizontal gene transfer, but this number has been challenged by several researchers arguing these candidate genes for HGT are more likely the result of gene loss combined with differences in the rate of evolution End quote.

All this HGT is speculative in higher organisms.

While I admit to having only a limited interest in the topic of evolution as I’m convinced it leads to arguments about questions that probably cannot be answered, I did read Dr. David Berlinski’s book “The Devil’s Delusion” which was written in response to Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” and found it very interesting.

Being a secular Jew, Berlinski’s leaves his position on the existence of god as an open question but he utterly refutes the argument that the theory of evolution somehow supports the atheist’s “null” position.

He also points out, as have many others, that belief in evolution requires not just one leap of faith but a virtually limitless number of them to evolve from one species to another, to say nothing of the leap from inanimate minerals to living, sentient creatures. That is, it behooves all evolutionists to keep in mind that theirs is an origin of species theory as opposed to be an origin of life explanation.

A word of warning, however. I recommended this book previously and was told that Dr. Berlinski has also written a book in which he attempts to make a case for astrology (which I have not read) . But I’m a firm believer in the notion that truth is where you find and that the points Berlinski makes in “Devil’s Delusion” (which has nothing to do with the occult, BTW!!!) are scientifically sound, logically coherent and, perhaps most importantly from my perspective, those points are made with a lighthearted touch which is utterly lacking in so many of Dawkins’ absolutist diatribes.

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Do you mean the books I linked to? If so, they both discuss evolution quite extensively.

Here is a book you would need to understand the latest research on mutations and evolution–I think you would enjoy it-- Darwin Devolves by Michael J. Behe

Back to Genesis One.

The first day does NOT BEGIN, “Evening, morning, day one”!

The first day begins with the creation of light:

“And God said, ‘Let there be light: and there was light.’”

Then God fine tunes the light, finishing the first day’s creating.

Then evening comes, then night, then morning (dawn) and

the announcement that the first day has finally come to its end.

When the sixth such day ends, God begins His rest from creating

that still continues.

This narrative comprises a beautiful poem that is not at all compatible

with the older Adam and Eve story.

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I cannot find where is says that. Where does it say that?

And why is this your point? How does it matter?

There is no evidence prior to the 200’s BCE that the Pentateuch was attributed to Moses. That tradition was added to give credibility to the documents as the Jewish canon was being formed. Even at that time, it is questionable that this had become the consensus view. One has to get to the first century CE to find Mosaic authorship simply assumed. Note: I’m not discussing the dating of the documents themselves or their evolution…only the date of Mosaic authorship claims.

Critical scholars do not think that Moses wrote the Torah, nor do they think it likely that he even existed as a historical figure. He, along with the entire exodus narrative, were founding myths with no convergence with actual events.

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I’ve heard SDA evangelists try to make the seventh-day sabbath important by saying God Himself wrote the 10C, but those commandments didn’t survive Moses’ hike down the hill! As Moses reconstructed them, God was quoted as speaking about Himself sometimes in the first person, sometimes in the third. Tain’t likely He’d be that careless.

It gets worse. In Ex 34, God tells Moses to make blank tablets so that He (God) can make a perfect copy. But God changed His mind and told Moses to do the chiseling.

But the duplicate copy quoted in Ex 34 is hardly a duplicate! Compare Ex 20:1-17 with Ex 34:11 or so through 34:26…

As I recall EGW avoided Ex 34…as SDA preachers still do.).


I looked this up, and it can be downloaded as a PDF! What a book! The sarcasm and irony literally drip form its pages. I often burst out laughing at his sharp barbs. Thanks for the heads up.

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@DarrelL I read about the book at the site you linked to and then looked it up on Amazon. Based on its self-description and reviewers’ comments, the ideas it pushes don’t appear to be serious science or peer-reviewed.

It seems the book is pushing Intelligent Design, which is Creationism cloaked in quasi-science.

The problem I have with Intelligent Design is that it is neither sound religious doctrine nor is it sound science.

The idea that evolution is real, but it is guided by a higher power, is not helpful. It essentially adds magical properties to the mix, which is what you have to do for example, to think that all humans literally came from one created pair - which is genetically impossible and all evidence points to facts that indicate that never happened. Instead genetic research indicates that Homo sapiens emerged from the past as a group of no less than 20,000 - 30,000 individuals, if I remember correctly.

Similarly, the idea that a God created everything, as described in the bible, but instead of just creating He used deep time and evolution to do it, isn’t really helpful either. First, it’s complete speculation as there not one shred of evidence that points in that direction (even when you first have the idea and then try to make it the evidence fit), and second it seems to take from - to reduce - such a God’s power.

Wait a minute. Joshua, 500 BC (according to the scholars) or so does attribute at least part of Deuteronomy to Moses. The other books are anonymous so it may be that they were attributed as noted. But there are attributions before 200 BC of some of he Pentateuch to Moses.

Of Course Paul and Jesus attribute the books to Moses, so I am at least in good company. I guess I will take my chances.

Most scholars, including Jews who venerate Moses, no longer think Moses wrote the Torah. There are many reasons for this change in thinking, some detailed here:

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I understand resisting the concept of ID, Tim, and I wouldn’t have mentioned the book if it had as I find that attempt to explain the evolution of species essentially flawed, as you’ve pointed out.

However, I think Berlinski does a good job of pointing out the “Just so” nature of the evolution stories while leaving open the question of how nature actually moves from one level to the next.

In any case, my commission is precisely the same whether you buy the book or not (:rofl:) but I think the writer raises fundamental questions about the notion of “natural selection” which challenges its adherents should be ready to address.

Further, and to my mind, he utterly refutes Dawkins’ implication that evolution theory has somehow conclusively disproved the existence of a creator of some sort, so I’d be I interested to know what you think after you’ve read the book…or not!!!

(BTW, and not to overly promote my pet theory of panpsychism, but I find the concept of “conscious selection”-where every thing naturally and consciously chooses to evolve toward the next higher level of consciousness-an alternative middle ground between “survival of the fittest” and a transcendent being who knows everything but actually does nothing!)

(Or were you talking about another book recommnded by @DarrelL ? If so, my bad!!:flushed::wink:)

Oops, I just saw the other comment about Behe’s book and you’re right. He is an ID sycophant who makes the fallacious assumption that just because we do not yet understand something we can refer back to millennia old hearsay and insist that guys who probably thought the world was shaped like a flying saucer still had a better explanation for everything than 500 years of scientific observation!!!:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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I don’t think that was me. I have no problem with evolution via natural selection. It makes perfect sense to me and appears to be what happened - and what continues to happen as observed by scientists.

Yea… I’ve been swayed a few times by arguments against evolution. Generally those that argue against it - almost always because of their religeous beliefs - use one or more forms of flawed logic in their arguments.

One of the classics is, “You don’t have any evidence that species A is a decedent of species B! Where are the intermediate fossils?” Then when paleontologists produce species C, and note it appears to be the intermediate species the denier make an objection about, the denier then says, “yea but where are the species between A and C and B and C?” This, of course, can go on forever.

Another is something like “There is no way structures as complicated as the eye could have evolved”, to which paleontologists and biologists will point out a series of specimens that show a progression from a very basic light sensitive tissue found in simple creatures, to more and more complicated structures, and finally those that appear in fish - ancient and modern - and their decedents (us).

Which one of these embryos is human?

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@NY_G_PA2 Then I strongly encourage you to read Devil’s Delusion as Berlinski makes strong and entertaining arguments against the theory.

I’ll do that when evolutionary biologists start writing, in peer reviewed and published papers, that they’re seeing issues with accepted evolutionary theory.

The reviews of the book suggest it’s not scientific, and that Berlinski is conflating science and atheism and then railing against them.

I looked him up. He doesn’t appear to be qualified to critique evolution. He has a PhD in philosophy and seems to be well schooled in math as well. Neither of which applies. Basically, he’s not a scientist.

Per Wikipedia, he’s: An opponent of evolution, he is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, an organization dedicated to promulgating the intelligent design.[1]

The Discovery institute is a conservative crackpot organization that has been attempting to get Intelligent Design taught in public schools, as an alternative to actual science.

Also, he wrote a book promoting astrology as a way to predict the future, which is further evidence that he’s not a qualified scientist:

The Secrets of the Vaulted Sky: Astrology and the Art of Prediction

I put the two books in the same category: Fiction