Think About IT: The Case of the Missing Rib—SOLVED

Some skeptics as well as some sincere questioners ask, “If God took a rib from Adam to make Eve, then why don’t men have one less rib than women?”

The answer is simply, he would not pass on a lost rib onto the next generation anymore than he would pass on a missing finger, toe, foot, etc. Further, Adam’s loss would probably not have been permanent since ribs can regrow if the surrounding membrane is intact.

Think About IT: Can a Fish Become an Attorney?

It is often said that all mutations are bad, but this is not actually true. There are cases of beneficial mutations, but what is needed for evolution to make a fish into an attorney is not merely a beneficial mutation, but rather the creation of new information, and therein is the problem. Even advantageous mutations lose rather than add new information. Consider the following from http://creation.com/qa#bad_arguments:

  1. Evolutionary theory requires some mutations to go ‘uphill’—to add information.
  2. The mutations which we observe are generally neutral (they don’t change the information, or the ‘meaning’ in the code) or else they are informationally downhill—defects which lose/corrupt information.
  3. The rare ‘beneficial’ mutations to which evolutionists cling, all appear to be like this wingless beetle—downhill changes, losses of information which, though they may give a survival advantage, are headed in precisely the wrong direction for evolution.

“All of our real-world experience, especially in the ‘information age,’ would indicate that to rely on accidental copying mistakes to generate real information is the stuff of wishful thinking by ‘true believers,’ not science.” ((http://creation.com/qa#bad_arguments accessed 11/26/11.))

Genetic Engineering

Recently Doug Gray presented a concise, detailed explanation of Genetic Engineering to the Roundtable in Ethics.  He begins with the scientific research that forms the basis for the current biotechnology, with an explanation of terms and events along the way.  He ends by considering the moral and ethical impact of this genetic altering technology.  This is not a lengthy article, and if you are not familiar with the topic, this would be a good source of information for you.

Continue reading →

Think About IT: The Cruelty of Darwinian Compassion

Darwin says, “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts…” ((Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 111))  He further states,“Nor could we check our sympathy, even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.” ((Darwin, Descent, 111.))  Hard reason says that this sympathy is deleterious, because he said regarding natural selection, “And as natural selection works solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.” ((Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, (Originally published by John Murray, London, in 1859:  reprint with introduction by Michael T. Ghiselin, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2006), 307))  Consequently, we can’t stop it even though reason and the path to perfection demands it, and it thwarts the noble work of “natural selection” which produces, “the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals…” ((Darwin, Origin of Species, 307.))

He talks about the surgeon knowing that he is “acting for the good”, but in light of the perfect being reached through natural selection, is it fair to ask, what good, good for whom, temporary or ultimate good….He says that to “intentionally…neglect the weak and helpless” can be only with “contingent benefit” and even that brings “overwhelming present evil.” ((Darwin, Descent, 111.)) What evil?  His conclusion, “We must therefore bear the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely, that the weaker and inferior members of society do not marry so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage, though this is  more to be hoped for than expected.” ((Darwin, Descent, 111 -112.))   Note the he says the weak surviving produces “bad effects”, whereas Christianity would say the opposite.  However, he is heartened that these “hereditarily inferiors” are less likely to marry as the fit, thereby giving the secularist some hope, and hopefully they will refrain all the more, but that is just Darwin’s wishful musings.

Think About IT: Darwin the unbiased, benign observationist

Darwin is often presented as a simple scientist, with no axe to grind, to wit no preconceived ideas tainting his conclusions, and simply following the facts to wherever they lead.  The following are a few quotes that may call that noble description into question.

Darwin said, concerning man’s origin and descent, “The main conclusion…is that man is descended from some less highly organized form.  The grounds upon which this conclusion rests will never be shaken, for the close similarity between man and the lower animals…are facts which cannot be disputed.” ((Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871. Reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 544.))  Now whether one believes that is true or not, they must admit that it cannot be proven; however, Darwin’s diaphanous veil of science cannot hide his faith in naturalism, for surely all can see that his absolute surety that his conclusion will never be overturned is anything but science, which by nature is open-ended.

Of man’s creation, Darwin notes,  “He who is not content to look, like a savage, at the phenomena of nature as disconnected, cannot any longer believe that man is the work of a separate act of creation.” ((Darwin, Descent, 546.))  So all of the intellectuals, the evidence that man was created, is summarily dismissed as “savagery”.  On what does he base this?  Well similarities, the idea of natural selection (NS), and the commitment, which he mentions regularly regarding NS, “if one will accept evolution.”  Of course, if you accept by faith his premises, then some of what he says may follow, but he did not, nor have Darwinists today, proven the premises upon which their naturalistic worldview stands or falls.

He states, “…man is descended from a hairy, tailed quadruped…” ((Darwin, Descent, 548.))  Man, advanced from “semi-human condition to that of the modern savage….with savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health.” ((Darwin, Descent, 111.))  Again he says we “will feel no doubt that all the races of man are descended from a single primitive stock.” ((Darwin, Descent, 148.))

Of course these are ideas that he sought to promulgate in order to prove naturalism.  Darwin’s belief in God, which he briefly mentions as the creator who breathed the first life into…is actually irrelevant.  The reason is that Darwin sought to explain all of life apart from God, other than the absolute beginning, in a way that absolutely excluded God.

Darwin, as his successors, still confuses philosophical and religious assertions with science, which they disdain unless they are the ones making them.

Think About IT: Marriage according to Darwin

Darwin expresses his dismay and discouragement because, in comparison to how very scrupulous a man is about the pedigree of his livestock, when it comes to his own marriage, “…he rarely, or never, takes any such care.  He is impelled by nearly the same motives as the lower animals, when they are left to their own free choice…” ((Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 556.))  Of course, marriage in Jewish and Christian traditions is an exalted spiritual covenant between the two and God.  With regard to how the “inferiors” should approach marriage, he says, “Both sexes ought to refrain from marriage if they are in any marked degree inferior in body or mind; but such hopes are Utopian, and will never be even partially realized until the laws of inheritance are thoroughly known.  Everyone does good service who aids toward this end.  When the principles of breeding and inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.” ((Darwin, Descent, 556.))

Not only is physical or mental deficiency reason to not marry, but he also said, “All ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children, for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage.  On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, while the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society.” ((Darwin, Descent, 556,557.))  In absolute contradistinction, the Bible and many other religions, assign no evil to poverty.  Oh well, the Darwinian Decalogue says, Thou shalt not marry if you are physically or mentally weak and/or unable to provide…enough Darwin dollars.

Think About IT: Darwin’s influence on The sanctity of human life

Darwin asseverated that,   “…Species are produced and terminated by slowly acting and still existing causes, and not by miraculous acts of creation and by catastrophes.” ((Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, (Originally published by John Murray, London, in 1859:  reprint with introduction by Michael T. Ghiselin, Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, Inc., 2006), 305.))  He was so confident of his own acuity that he further averred, “…we may feel that the ordinary succession by generation has never once been broken, and that no cataclysm has desolated the whole world.” ((Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 307.))  So much for science being open ended, at least as far as Darwin was concerned!

Darwin clearly determined that what is observable at the time is sufficient basis and guide for all hypotheses concerning past, present, and future. ((This is the common theme of thought, argument, and emphasis throughout Darwin’s books On the Origin of Species and Descent of Man.))  It is sufficient for understanding all about man, some about God—at least one can say that God is not involved in His world in any real or substantive sense but has left everything to “impressed laws upon matter”.  Of course, Darwin and every other scientist has disproven his hypothesis; for example he thought the cell was just a blob, and of course now we know that each cell is a highly developed factory; moreover, the history of modern science is densely populated with examples of more factual and clear knowledge being dependent upon technological advances.  Another example is that not only is the DNA the source of information, as once thought, but there is a highly developed hierarchy of information of which the DNA is a part. ((Steven Meyer explores this in his book Signature in the Cell.))

Darwin believed that study of the anatomy and behavior of animals could be analogized for man since he concluded that man was merely an animal.  He viewed the difference between man and animal one of degree rather than kind.  He said, “But everyone who admits the principles of evolution must see that the mental powers of the higher animals, which are the same in kind with those of man, though so different in degree, are capable of advancement.” ((Charles Darwin, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, (originally published 1871: reprint with introduction published New York: Barnes & Noble, 2004), 548.))  This is the same naturalistic philosophy by which the Princeton Ethicist Peter Singer concludes that parents should be able to kill their babies up to 28 days after birth if a defect is found.

Concerning the beginning of human life, the membership of the National Academy of Sciences weighed in with a resolution declaring that the question of when human life begins was “a question to which science can provide no answer…Defining the time at which the developing embryo becomes a person must remain a matter of moral or religious value.” ((John G. West, Darwin day In America: how our politics and culture have been dehumanized in the name of science (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2007), 333.))  However, scientists then cried “separation of church and state” and went on to argue scientifically about when human life begins. They used the same arguments of recapitulation of phylogeny (evolution of a group) by ontogeny (developmental history of an organism), as captured by Ernst Haeckel, 19th century German biologist, that at a particular time fetus and fish are the same.

Of course he, as well as a Darwinist, is simply carrying on the fallacious philosophical idea that the seeable is the sum of reality.  For example, Darwin compared the process where a frog passes through the condition of a fish to a fetus, “inasmuch as at one period of its life the tadpole has all the characters of a fish, and, if it went no further, would have to be grouped among fishes.  But it is equally true that the tadpole is very different from any known fish….In like manner, the brain of a human fetus, at the fifth month, may correctly be said to be not only the brain of an ape, but that of an arctopithecine or marmoset-like ape;” ((Darwin, Descent, 175.))  He said of man, “viewing him in the same spirit as a naturalist would any other animal.” ((Darwin, Descent, 141.))

So, the subreptions from anatomy continue; if a fetus does not look like a fully developed human then it is not.  Of course, doffing one’s Darwinian spectacles, one can see that the fetus is a fully developed human for a fetus.  It is quite “elementary my dear Watson.” ((Yes I know Sherlock never actually said this, but he sure should have.))

As one who is keenly aware of the benefits of modern science, I am extraordinarily grateful, but all of the advancements will never counter balance the rapacious depredation of man by naturalistic tyrants swathed in the diaphanous respectability of being a scientist.

Think About It: The Difference between Evolution and Darwinism

Biologist Jonathan Wells elucidates the critical distinction between evolution and Darwinism.  He notes, “Evolution means change over time” ((“change over time” “cumulative change through time” “a change in gene frequencies over generations.”…Darwin’s phrase “descent with modification” is okay in a limited sense.  Jonathan Wells, Ph.D., The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006), 1-2. “Even hypotheses that some closely related species (such as finches on the Galapagos Islands) are descended with modification from a common ancestor are not particularly controversial…”  Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide, 3.)) and of course no one doubts that.  “But Charles Darwin claimed far more than any of these things.  In The Origin of Species he set out to explain the origin of not just one or a few species, but all species after the first—in short, all the diversity of life on Earth.  The correct word for this is not evolution, but Darwinism.” ((Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide, 3.))

He then gives three distinguishing characteristics of Darwinism: “(1) all living things are modified descendants of a common ancestor; (2) the principal mechanism of modification has been natural selection acting on undirected variations that originate in DNA mutations; and (3) unguided processes are sufficient to explain all features of living things—so whatever may appear to be design is just an illusion.” ((Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide, 2.)) Darwin’s theory specifically “applies only to living things… [even though he] speculated that life may have started in ‘some warm little pond’ but beyond that he had little to say on the subject.” ((Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide, 4.))

Remember, (1) is an unprovable idea, requiring unprovable assumptions, although there is evidence that can be used to support the idea; (2) does not tell the whole story since we now know that the information flow is hierarchical; (3) is actually inadequate to explain all features, and the concept of “unguided processes” is a faith statement to which science cannot legitimately speak.  Of course, the proposition that the appearance of design is an illusion is a faith statement extraordinaire.  To wit, Darwinist real claim is that even though things may appear designed, they cannot be since natural selection is true, regardless of the evidence to the contrary.  This is not a scientific statement but rather a faith statement. If they were not intransigently committed to Darwinism, it would make far more sense to recognize that the reason some things appear to be designed is because they actually were designed.  Of course, that proposition is absolutely unacceptable since design requires a designer, which any true Darwinist rejects maugre the evidence!

It behooves Christians to be careful about accepting Darwinism under the guise of science or evolution, lest some become unwitting Darwinists and disgrace their Lord and their God-given minds.

Think About IT: Darwinian Evolution, is it mathematically possible?

The following is Antony Flew’s recitation of the point by point refutation of “the monkey theorem” by Gerry Schroeder, ((Dr. Gerry Schroeder has a B.Sc. Chemical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) M.Sc. Earth and planetary sciences, M.I.T., PhD Earth Sciences and Physics M.I.T.; He addresses a similar question “Can random mutations produce the evolution of life? That is the question addressed herein” on his website and he demonstrates the mathematical impossibility of such a notion.  In his article, Evolution: Rationality vs. Randomness, http://www.geraldschroeder.com/Evolution.aspx)) which led Flew to conclude that the ‘monkey theorem’ ((Also known as the “infinite monkey theorem.”  See similar type experiments, all of which fail to produce support for the mathematical probability of Darwinism.  The “Shakespeare simulator” did after 1 ½ years, which equals 2,738 trillion trillion trillion monkey-years, produce 24 letters from a line in The Second Part of King Henry IV, (a year later the total was up to 30 letters “which took trillions and trillions more monkey-years to produce.”).  However, notes biologist Jonathan Wells “the universe isn’t big enough… to hold all the ‘monkeys’ it would take to type even one of Shakespeare’s sonnets—much less his collected works.  And real monkeys don’t type a letter every second without stopping”, which is what the simulator was programmed to do.  ((Jonathan Wells, Ph.D., The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006), 93.)) ‘was a load of rubbish.’” ((Antony Flew with Roy Abraham Varghese, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, (New York: HarperOne, 2007), 77.))

“Schroeder first referred to an experiment conducted by the British National Council of Arts.  A computer was placed in a cage with six monkeys.  After one month of hammering away at it (as well as using it as a bathroom!), the monkeys produced fifty typed pages—but not a single word….the shortest word in the English language is one letter (a or I)….A is a word only if there is a space on either side of it….The likelihood of getting a one-letter word is one chance out of 27,000.  Schroeder then applied the probabilities to the sonnet analogy.  ‘What’s the chance of getting a Shakespearean sonnet?’…He continued, ‘All the sonnets are the same length.  They’re by definition fourteen lines long.  I picked the one I knew the opening line for, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”  There are 488 letters in that sonnet.  What is the likelihood of hammering away and getting 488 letters in the exact sequence….What you end up with is…10 to the 690th.

[Now] the number of particles in the universe—not grains of sand, I’m talking about protons, electrons, and neutrons—is 10 to the 80th.  Ten to the 80th is 1 with 80 zeros after it.  One to the 690th is 1 with 690 zeros after it.  There are not enough particles in the universe to write down the trials; you’d be off by a factor of 10 to 600th.

If you took the entire universe and converted it to computer chips—forget the monkeys—each one weighing a millionth of a gram and had each computer chip able to spin out 488 trials at, say, a million times a second; If you turn the entire universe into these microcomputer chips and these chips were spinning a million times a second [producing] random letters, the number of trials you would get since the beginning of time would be 10 to the 90th trials.  It would be off again by a factor of 10 to the 600th.  You will never get a sonnet by chance.  The Universe would have to be 10 to the 600th times larger.” ((Flew, There is a God, 77.))

Flew concludes, “if the theorem won’t work for a single sonnet, then of course it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance.” ((Flew, There is a God, 77.))

Think About IT: Biblical Principles for loving the dying

The vast majority of Christians will face difficult decisions regarding impending death of a loved one.  I am refining this list, as well as still thinking through other principles, but these have proven to be quite helpful in guiding me to think biblically about such eventualities.

  1. Strong families are essential since family members are the ones who will be making some if not all of the decisions, and some decisions will require great sacrifice on the part of the caregivers.
  2. Remembering that all life is sacred, valuable, and worthy of love because of being created in the image of God.  To decide their worth, fate, or just desert based merely upon anatomical considerations is Darwinian to the core and should be rejected.
  3. One should never withhold nutrition, water, and love. The amount of nutrition and water given should be limited to what is ergogenic for the patient, which at times could necessitate limiting them to what the body can use or void.
  4. A willingness on the part of decision makers to do what honors God, the “grey haired”, parents, etc., which may be quite costly for the decision maker.
  5. Limits should be set by what is actually “impossible” rather than what is economically, physically, and emotionally difficult, or extraordinarily challenging.
  6. Medical opinion alone is not sufficient to end a life.
  7. Heroic measures are appropriate so long as life is being extended.
  8. There is a difference in dying a “natural” death and facilitating an “untimely” death.
  9. Seek wise biblical counsel concerning long-term care or life and death decisions because there are nuanced considerations that may shape one’s decisions either in the Biblical or Darwinian direction.

I have given these in order to assist, and granted, they may still leave some questions unanswered, but I believe most of those are better addressed on an individual basis.  Safe general guidelines are to treat them as created in the image of God, regardless of their present or future capabilities, and honor them according to the commands of Scripture; e.g. “honor your father and mother”, “honor the grey haired”.