Is Evolution a Problem?

If macroevolution was true, would that destroy Christianity? Let’s discuss it today on Deeper Waters.

On the Facebook page supporting Mike Licona, there has been discussion about the work of Peter Enns. I do not know enough about that at this moment to comment on that. However, in discussing all of that, the question has been raised about the role of science in interpreting Scripture and what it would mean if macroevolution was true.

Please note in all of this that I am not stating whether macroevolution is in fact true or false. Frankly, I am not a scientist and do not know enough about the scientific study to make a proper assessment of the data. What I simply wish to ask is if it would be a defeater for Christian theism if it was found to be true. Note what it would take is to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead.

I think much of the problem is that we moderns read Genesis in a way the ancients would not have. We are so scientific that we read it as if it was a scientific account. This is a mistake old-earth and young-earth creationists both make. The question we should be asking is why did God include it and why would the ancients care?

To begin with, is God telling us something just to satisfy our intellectual curiosity? No. The Bible is a book meant to tell us about Jesus and not to tell us superfluous truths. In all of this, the creation account is meant only secondarily to tell us something about creation but primarily to tell us about God.

For the people, knowing the time it took to create would not help them in their debates with pagans. Then what? Could it be that the accounts were written more to show the purpose of creation? If so, then God is using something like storytelling in a unique way to us, but something ancients would have understood.

But what if I am wrong and in fact the Bible is wrong? Well my being wrong would not be the first time, but a lot of Christians would have a problem with the Bible being wrong. I do not think that it is, but as a believer in Inerrancy, I would have to certainly rethink some matters, but I would not throw out the baby with the bathwater. More on this in a bit.

What if someone presumes evolution and comes to the Genesis text and interprets it in that light? The reality is we all do something similar. We come to the text that speaks about the four corners of the Earth in Revelation, but due to knowing the world is not flat, and knowing that the ancients knew that, we know it means something else. We know of texts that seem to teach that the Earth cannot be moved, but due to our knowledge of heliocentrism, we know that that understanding would be false.

If we want to know if evolution is true, then the place to go is a science lab. Let us suppose you say “We have Scripture and Scripture teaches it is not.” Fair enough. Then you should want to open the doors to the science lab and be able to say “Do your best research and in the end you will find that it does not hold up.” If you take a stance of not wanting to examine the evidence, then I would question how much faith you really have that the Scripture is true.

If on the other hand, you are evangelical and believe macroevolution is true, you should also be willing to say “Bring forth your toughest objections!” After all, if your belief is true, it will stand up to scrutiny. If you do not want to open yourself up, then the same question applies though to your science instead.

Now we return to this. Let us suppose for the sake of argument that macroevolution is true. Furthermore, let us suppose for the sake of argument that Scripture is incompatible with this, thus demonstrating that Scripture has an error. Again, I do not think this. I am merely taking the worst-case scenario.

Even here, Christianity is safe.

Why? One mistake does not prove it all false. For instance, Scripture teaches that Jesus existed. Are we going to deny what all scholars of the NT and ancient history would affirm just because the Bible would not be inerrant? Well then you ask, “How do we know what’s true in it?”

Let me ask you. How do you know what’s true on the internet? How do you know what’s true on TV? How do you know what’s true in that book you’re reading? If the answer is “Well I examine the evidence and I go where it leads,” then congratulations on answering your own question. We’d study the Bible the same way we do Tacitus, Josephus, or anything else.

Thus, we can believe that the Pauline epistles do contain a strong case based on the 1 Cor. 15 creed that Jesus rose from the dead alongside the information we have in Galatians. Because Genesis would be wrong, it does not follow that Paul has to be wrong. We also need to realize that people were arguing for the resurrection before any epistles or gospels were written.

In conclusion, this leaves Christianity in a powerful position. We can take what is assumed to be a defeater for our faith and show it is not. We could even for the sake of argument grant contradictions in the Bible and still demonstrate that Jesus rose from the dead. After all, we do believe for a great miracle, God left great evidence. Indeed He did, even if it was through fallible men who made mistakes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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49 Responses to “Is Evolution a Problem?”

  1. Daniel Eaton Says:

    In practice, young-earth creationists don’t think macro-evolution is impossible at all. In fact, their flood-theology model *requires* not only macro-evolution, but even hyper-evolution, in order to obtain the million or so species we have today from a very small selection of “kinds” on the ark. If that isn’t descent from a common ancestor (or set of ancestors), I don’t know what is. They just don’t CALL is “evolution”. You even have displays at Ken Ham’s Creation Museum that proposes that animals that have vastly different DNA (twice the number of chromosomes) all come from the same “kind” on the ark. Yet they claim that one species can’t change into another? Seriously? But as long as you have all this evolution in the past 4,500 years – but none before that – It’s fine. And, as such, it doesn’t disagree with the Bible at all.

  2. apologianick Says:

    Thanks for that comment Dan. Maybe it can get some discussion going. I appreciate that you take time to read the blog.

  3. Daniel Eaton Says:

    No problem. I appreciate bloggers who are not afraid to state an unpopular truth or challenge the establishment and, most importantly, make me think.

  4. Futurity Says:

    It is very important to understand what YEC believes. They believe that God created kinds of animals, that later boarded the Ark(not all kinds were on the ark though).
    What is a kind? Bible describes different living things as “multiplying after its kind”. Animals that are/were able to interbreed are one kind. It is very important to understand that evolutionists may qualify two animals as being two different species(species is an evolution related term), but YEC would qualify them as one kind(based on above definition of kind). For example dog kind includes: wolves, dingoes, coyotes, or domestic dogs, yet evolutionary theory they are different species(or holds many species). This means that changes are limited to each kind and that different kinds cannot interbreed.
    The main engine of change within kind is genetic variation present in the initial kind and the genes that are passed and/or activated in offspring(Genetic drift and gene flow). Thus YEC those not have a problem with rapid changes within a kind. YEC believes that God created kinds with vaaast genetic variability. YEC also believes that some variants are selected by process of natural selection. Note just in case: YEC also believes in mutations.

    In contrast is Evolution. Evolution is a very broad term. Small subset of evolution is micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Macro-evolution is evolution on level of species(creating new species). We already established that YEC kinds can consist of species, yet YEC would deny that he believes in Evolution. How come? When YEC says that he does not believe in evolution, he means that he does not believe in changes that change one kind into another(whether change is micro or macro level in evolutionary terms). Sometimes YEC would say that he does not believe in molecule to man evolution. It is clear that by using the term macro-evolution you cannot describe the controversy with YEC.
    The main engine of molecule to man evolution (whether micro or macro) are mutations. The reason is that according to evolutionary story, the first organisms were veeery simple. They did not have the genetic code that would allow them to change into higher animals through genetic drift and gene flow. That leaves mutations as mechanism for change. Evolutionists also believes that some variants are selected by process of natural selection.

    Now to the heart of the matter. I would like to ask the author and readers two simple questions:
    Can you observe and test(scientifically) molecule to man evolution that happen over million of years?
    Can you observer and test(scientifically) that God created animals that bring forth after their kind, several thousands years ago and heavily diversified over the period?
    For author it is a “scientific study”, that can be tested and observed is a lab. I would argue that the questions cannot be answered scientifically(observed and repeated) as we do not have access to the past(we cannot observe it). Those are historical questions as both frameworks use set of unique events that happened in the past(not observable today). The controversy is not about what we observe today (through scientific study), but what happened in the past. Obviously, the author does not comprehend that science is limited and it is limited to the present. Contrary to author statements, for YEC this is not a scientific question, but a historical one.

    YEC takes his history from the Bible. Mainly, he believes that Genesis is written as historical narrative, just like accounts of resurrection of Jesus.
    Now would the ancients read Genesis as historical document? Maybe. Definitely YEC believes so. You can read about his reasons on websites like answeringenesis.org. What is important is that the author does not ask this question, because for him question about Genesis is a scientific matter.
    Or rather would the ancients read Genesis as to mean molecule to man evolution or even the evolution of the universe? Good luck.

    The author claims that we must understand what ancient would understand, but when it comes to the question of molecule to man evolution, he apparently does not care. He says: “We come to the text that speaks about the four corners of the Earth in Revelation, but due to knowing the world is not flat, and knowing that the ancients knew that, we know it means something else.”. Why therefor the author does not use the same standard of what ancients knew when it comes to the question of evolution and Genesis? The answer is easy, because it would “mean something else”. Instead the author presupposes evolution. The double standard is obvious.. In fact the author does what we, according to him, should not do(read Genesis as man who presupposes his own ideas like evolution rather than as ancients would do).

    Let use author’s own logic:
    Let assume that resurrection of Jesus is scientific question that must be answered in a lab, just like the author assumed that question about Genesis and macro-evolution is a scientific question.
    One can therefor conclude that resurrection of Jesus is an open question that must be decided in a lab. Since today we do not observe people rising from the dead, therefor there is strong scientific evidence that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Since there is strong evidence against Jesus rising from the dead, therefor maybe God meant it as … a change of state of man rather than as a historical event and Jesus was the first one who had his state changed.
    It is clear that the author believes that the resurrection of Jesus is a historical account. Again double standard.

    “The Bible is a book meant to tell us about Jesus”.
    There is no doubt that the Bible tells as about Jesus. But do you understand why Jesus had to die on the cross? Where in the Bible does God speak for the first time about the promise of the Messiah? Why the Messiah was needed in the first place?
    Yes, in Genesis.
    Jesus is meaningless without Genesis historical account of very good creation(including Adam and Eve), that was destroyed by sin and death entered into the world.
    “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.
    Paul considers death of Adam as a historical event. And this is why YEC stresses the importance of Genesis. Because if Genesis record is not history therefor Adam and his death are not also. Therefor we all did not die in Adam and therefor what is the point of making something alive that is not dead?

  5. Daniel Eaton Says:

    You over-simplify things and are playing word games, Futurity. For the most part, YECs do believe “kinds” cannot inter-breed. But they also believe that since the flood that NEW species have come to be from these original ones that can’t interbreed with the original species. We pretend that it’s a “kind”, not a “species” – but it is BOTH. The animals on the ark were species themselves. As such, one common ancestor species produced multiple descendant species that cannot interbreed with either the original or with each other and, in the YEC timeframe, did it in an extremely short period of time. Under any definition imaginable, this is “evolution”. Yet out of the other side of their mouth they claim that it cannot happen – even given millions of years.
    As far as your challenge goes about testing, yes you CAN test a lot of this. Actual science (not the “creation science” variety) creates a prediction and tests for it. And their prediction have been validated because of the things they found. It happens on a regular basis. And now that we have the complete genomes of a number of species all documented, the evidence is even stronger. That is a LOT more testable than the YEC model which, even though it says it is from the Bible, is actually just one of MANY interpretations of the Bible. The Bible says that the earth brought forth living things. Doesn’t say when. Doesn’t say how. Doesn’t speak to the process at all. The YEC denies what science shows about that process even though it is tested a number of way and can’t test their own belief in something else. That’s not science. That’s not even faith in what the text says. It is denial of both.

  6. Futurity Says:

    I do not over-simplify things. Species is an evolutionary term. If YEC uses terms like species, family, they relate their classification system of kinds to evolutionary one of families, species etc. It is utterly silly to dismiss one classification system over another, because by definition, both classification systems classify same things differently.

    Here Dr. Georgia Purdom from AIG explains[1]:
    “Creation researchers have found that “kind” is often at the level of “family” in our modern classification scheme. For example, zebras, horses, and donkeys all belong to the family Equidae and can mate with each other to form hybrid animals such as mules (from a horse and donkey) and zonkeys (from a zebra and donkey). However, there is no reason to assume a one-to-one correspondence between our manmade system and the biblical terminology. So “kind” may be at a higher taxonomic level in some cases, lower in others. ”

    You wrote:
    “The animals on the ark were species themselves.”
    You misrepresent YEC or you are just ignorant of what they believe. We do not believe that animals on the ark were species, but kinds. Please, read again Dr. Georgia Purdom comment about relation of kind to our modern classification system(hint: it is mostly on the level of “family” not species).
    It is true that if you want to relate YEC classification system to evolutionary one, then in evolutionary terms one specie changes into another. That is irrelevant for YEC as they are still one kind.

    You wrote:
    “But they also believe that since the flood that NEW species have come to be from these original ones that can’t interbreed with the original species.”
    And? How that even matters? It is still a kind, because the new species(evolutionary term) came from the initial kind. YEC would say that those are one kind, just as it is written in Genesis.
    Dr. Georgia Purdom from AIG explains[1]:
    “According to Genesis 1, God made each type of creature “according to its kind.” Within their DNA, God placed the potential for tremendous variety, including new species. But every species belongs to its original kind—cats are still cats, and dogs are dogs.”

    You wrote:
    “Under any definition imaginable, this is “evolution”.”
    No, it is not. It is not molecule to man evolution, which breaches the barrier of a kind.
    You do not have to be a scientist to understand that there is much in common in both models. Both models use same process of change(genetic drift, gene flow, mutations, natural selection). As I pointed in previous post, they emphasis different process of change though.(YEC: genetic drift and gene flow, Evolutionists: mutations).

    “Yet out of the other side of their mouth they claim that it cannot happen – even given millions of years.”.
    Indeed, because they cannot breach the barrier of a kind.

    “As far as your challenge goes about testing, yes you CAN test a lot of this.”
    I agree. But as in my initial post I pointed out this is not about what we can observe and test, but about past which we could not. It is true for molecule to man evolution or initial created kind. Those are not scientific questions, but historical ones, and answers to them are determined by what we believe about past. YEC has his history from the Bible (created kinds, global flood), just like we have resurrection of Jesus. Where do evolutionists have their history of unobserved molecule to man evolution from? They don’t have it. They only devised a hypothesis that extrapolates to the unobserved past, which many Christians sadly believe. If God did not give us Genesis, we would be the same as evolutionists(we would not know about the past). But YEC trusts God and not man about history of this world.

    “The Bible says that the earth brought forth living things. Doesn’t say when.”
    Yes it does. We get this date from genealogies that are written in Old and New Testament. We can make the calculations and get the date. In fact the author of the initial poster said that it doesn’t matter, because “knowing the time it took to create would not help them in their debates with pagans.”
    He could not be further from the truth and reason is the genealogies which the time is base on. The genealogies in ancient time were very important as children would get their honor from family. It is used to show, even today, that we are adopted to the greatest family of all, God’s family. And we know that because of the genealogies.
    “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” Rom. 8:15

    “Doesn’t say how”
    Yes it does. He created initial kinds by his Word. And the kinds are to multiply after their kind. Exactly the process YEC uses to describe changes in a kind. What do you think genetic drift and gene flow is about?

    [1] http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n2/variety-within-kinds

    • Daniel Eaton Says:

      “Species” is NOT an evolution term. The field of taxonomy traces its roots all the way back to Theophrastus, a disciple of Aristotle. Finding and naming new species in Latin goes back to the middle ages. The more modern version of taxonomy was created by Carolus Linnaeus in the mid 18th century, who was not an evolutionist at all, but thought that he was documenting unchanged items of God’s creation. So neither the concept nor the word are somehow blemished by Darwin. And even if he HAD invented the word, it doesn’t mean that the animals on the ark would not have had a classification of a family, genus, species, or whatever just because they were also a “kind” of animal. I fully realize that the YEC denies this uncomfortable fact, but EVERY living thing can be classified on the taxonomy hierarchy. Saying that they were no species on the Ark makes as much sense as saying there were no mammals or carnivores because they were “kinds”. That is simply a false dichotomy used to ignore an inconvenient truth.
      I know you like the talking point of “molecules to man” evolution. But in a way, that is an oxymoron because it conflates different fields of science under the term “evolution”. Evolution is the study of changes in living creatures. It is biology. Abiogenesis, the study of life from non-life (molecules) is a different branch of science. It’s more chemistry than anything else. The origins of the molecules itself fit more in cosmology and astrophysics, and they may not even HAVE an opinion on evolution of life. Just because the theologian is focused on origins doesn’t mean that the biologist is or that we can characterize all of the countless fields of science that prove AIG to be wrong as “evolution”.
      As far as evolutionists not having a history they can test, that is simply not true. Lots of sciences study the evidences of history. Archaeology, paleontology, cosmology, and so forth. A paleontologist can, for example, make a prediction that X species existed between W species and Y species and go out searching for it. And when that “link” is found, they can then date it to show that it did in fact live between the two. That is actually following the scientific method. If the YECs did that, they would be able to do things like show us this missing universal silt layer or show us all the human remains in the same rock formations as the dinosaur remains. But they can’t because the science and the facts don’t support their interpretation. But instead of recognizing that they are wrong in their understanding of when/how the earth produced living things by admitting that, at best, they can only come up with a rough date for Adam based on incomplete and contradictory geneologies and everything prior to that makes calendar assumptions not in the text, they double-down on their error and spend millions of dollars on a “creation museum” and ark because that rated up there so high in the list of priorities of the great commission….
      You should really try to get your science from some group that is reputable and honest on the topic, and no AIG doesn’t fit that bill. They are well meaning and practicing theologians, but are NOT practicing scientists. As such, they can and do make any kind of science claim necessary to support their theology. Their assumption is that since their theology is correct, any scientific claim they can make about it is correct science. But that is NOT science. A real scientist can’t do that because those pesky facts get in the way. They actually have to test that theory. And Purdom, who spoke at my daughter’s commencement, would be the LAST person I’d quote from as some authority. I’ve never seen a more dishonest and damaging address to seniors in all my life. But the dangers to both theology and science of the YEC mindset where anything can be said and nothing objectively tested is another topic.

      • Futurity Says:

        Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate the debate and I hope other readers also.

        You wrote:
        ““Species” is NOT an evolution term. The field of taxonomy traces its roots all the way back to Theophrastus, a disciple of Aristotle. Finding and naming new species in Latin goes back to the middle ages. The more modern version of taxonomy was created by Carolus Linnaeus in the mid 18th century, who was not an evolutionist at all, but thought that he was documenting unchanged items of God’s creation. So neither the concept nor the word are somehow blemished by Darwin.”
        It is evolutionary term today and is used as evolutionary classification system since “Darwin offered an explanation as to how species changed over time (evolution)[1]”.
        In fact the term specie is quite vague and changed over history[2]. It is quite irrelevant if it is called an “evolutionary” term though. What is relevant to the discussion is whether modern classification system(for purpose of the debate lets call it evolutionary classification system) describes what YEC calls kind. It does not as indicated in my previous post. Thus YEC devised a new classification system(YEC classification system) for their model.

        I think you still do not understand that two completely different classification systems can describe the same thing.
        Think of it as two ways of looking at the same thing.
        I will give you an example from recent past, when two classification systems describing same things were presented, thrived and competed(later, one was proven to be wrong). Both classification systems described the relation between heavenly bodies in space. One was geocentric which classified Earth as being in the center and devised proper mathematical model, thus called geocentric model. The other was heliocentric which placed Sun in the center and devised proper mathematical model, thus called heliocentric model. When it comes to predictions/observations of that time those models did not differ [3].
        Now to the point. Imagine back then that a geocentric opponent of heliocentric would say as his proof that heliocentric model is wrong; “Your heliocentric model is wrong because it does not use my classification system of Earth being in the center ha ha ha”. Absurd right?
        Sadly you keep doing that. You keep saying that YEC MUST use evolutionary classification system in their model. And obviously they don’t have to. YEC model and classification system must be internally consistent. It does not have to be consistent with other competing models and classification systems.

        You said:
        “I fully realize that the YEC denies this uncomfortable fact, but EVERY living thing can be classified on the taxonomy hierarchy”
        Yes we know, that ALL living things can be classified in evolutionary classification system, but so can in YEC classification system, just like geocentric and heliocentric could describe ALL observed heavenly bodies.

        You said:
        “I know you like the talking point of “molecules to man” evolution. But in a way, that is an oxymoron because it conflates different fields of science under the term “evolution”. Evolution is the study of changes in living creatures. It is biology. Abiogenesis, the study of life from non-life (molecules) is a different branch of science. It’s more chemistry than anything else. The origins of the molecules itself fit more in cosmology and astrophysics, and they may not even HAVE an opinion on evolution of life. ”
        Of course you are right. I hoped that readers would understand and limit the definition to biology as I was only writing in its context. On other hand I remember that in school they thought me about evolution of universe, first life etc. In fact I remember it from my text books.

        “As far as evolutionists not having a history they can test, that is simply not true. Lots of sciences study the evidences of history. ”
        The evidences of history are not history. Example:
        fossils. We can observe them today so they are evidences of history. We do not know their history as we were not there to observe it.

        “That is actually following the scientific method. If the YECs did that, they would be able to do things like show us this missing universal silt layer or show us all the human remains in the same rock formations as the dinosaur remains.”
        You clearly do not understand YEC model, yet you are quick to say what predictions it should have….

        “and spend millions of dollars on a “creation museum” and ark because that rated up there so high in the list of priorities of the great commission….”
        No offense, but you are not the judge here. I think I made clear that YEC does it because they believe that this issue undermines the gospel. And as ex-atheist who loved mock Christians through evolution, I am a living proof that they have great commission in their hearts, minds and souls.

        “You should really try to get your science from some group that is reputable and honest on the topic, and no AIG doesn’t fit that bill.”
        Ad hominem and guilt by association.
        Prove their dishonesty.

        “They are well meaning and practicing theologians, but are NOT practicing scientists.”
        I thought that many have PhDs in scientific fields. Are you saying that non-practicing scientists cannot do science? How then one becomes practicing scientist from non-practicing scientist?

        “As such, they can and do make any kind of science claim necessary to support their theology. Their assumption is that since their theology is correct, any scientific claim they can make about it is correct science. But that is NOT science.”
        Got it, because in order for them to do science, you must first declare them as “practicing scientists”

        “And Purdom, who spoke at my daughter’s commencement, would be the LAST person I’d quote from as some authority. I’ve never seen a more dishonest and damaging address to seniors in all my life.”
        Ad hominem and guilt by association.
        PROVE HER DISHONESTY.

        [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem#From_Darwin_to_Mayr
        [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem#History
        [3] John Henry, Moving Heaven and Earth (Totem Books, 2001), 87.

      • The Black Vegetable Says:

        Mr Eaton, I’m with you on species; I can’t see how this concept undermines any party in this debate. Good to see Linnaeus get a mention, too; whoda thought one of those wacky Bible-believers could actually contribute something useful to biology? However, I was a bit puzzled by this:

        ‘I fully realize that the YEC denies this uncomfortable fact, but EVERY living thing can be classified on the taxonomy hierarchy.’

        OK, so we wouldn’t call it a ‘hierarchy’ but what living things don’t YECs think can be taxonomically classified?

        ‘[YECs] spend millions of dollars on a “creation museum” and ark because that rated up there so high in the list of priorities of the great commission….’

        Maybe the disconnection between the fall and our need for redemption was not so entrenched in the 1st century. For instance, Peter mentioned Noah’s ark and the flood in both his epistles but didn’t try to defend the reality of that episode, which suggests there was no need to do so. Nevertheless, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down [imaginations | reasonings] and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” [2 Cor 10:4-5].

      • Daniel Eaton Says:

        I’m getting lost in all the comments here and HOPE this is the last one that addresses something to me. If I’ve missed something, point it out. 🙂

        BV asked what things don’t fix the taxonomy classification. I believe EVERYTHING does. But you will see YEC arguments, and it has even been suggested here, that we don’t have a species evolving to another species, but God creating a “kind” that evolves [or rather “changes over time”] into different species. You can’t pin them down and try to get them to apply taxonomy to anything that came off boat or was initially created because they don’t think it applies. It’s just verbal gymnastics though. Just because something is a “kind” of animal doesn’t mean that it isn’t also a “species” of animal.
        Peter mentioning the Ark doesn’t really add much to the conversation. TEs and OECs have no problem with Noah being a historic figure and there being an ark. Where you may see (and likely will) is in the extent of the flood and effects of it. That opens up a whole new topic though. And since that gets us far from the OP, I’d suggest we take it up over on Theologica (theologica.ning.com) where there is a whole forum category devoted to creation/fall/flood topics.

        FUT gets back into the species thing. I realize that “kind” and “species” can belong to totally different classification systems. In the creation accounts in the Bible, particularly in Chapter 1, purpose of/for things is a big focus. I think Nick has mentioned that as well. The kinds of animals and plants mentioned there are divided into categories that often align with purpose. John Walton, I believe, writes a lot about that focus and context of these passages. What I am saying is that the cow may be a “beast of the field” “kind”, but it is also a species. So to say that we can’t have one species evolving into another (the point of the OP) because God created “kinds” and Noah saved “kinds” just doesn’t work because that “horse kind” that Noah saved was ALSO a species. So when you have that developing into another one, it DOES indicate evolution and the fact that it was also classified as a “kind” does not change that. And saying that “kind” would be further up the taxonomy scale from “species” doesn’t help either. To say that God created a “mammal kind”, not a “horse species” doesn’t change the fact that whatever “mammal kind” God created would also have specific traits that would further classify it as with hair or not, living on land or in the seas, or whatever. So it is not that I am arguing that there is some one to one correlation between “kind” and “species”. A kind of animal could have multiple species in it. But Noah took one pair of each kind on the ark and those specific animals we not just some generic kind, but also a species. And anything that came from them are a species. As such, you have species to species change over time from a common ancestor that was both a species and a kind. If that is still not clear how God creating a “kind” or Noah preserving a “kind” doesn’t resolve the evolution question of the OP, I don’t know how else to explain it. And if bringing “kinds” into the discussion was never intended to refute the idea that one species can change/evolve/mutate into another, I’m not sure why it was brought up. The fact that Noah’s dove might have represented a “bird kind that can dig though the geologic column and find growing olive trees that have also been submerged under an ocean for a year” doesn’t mean that the REPRESENTATIVE of that “kind” on the ark, a dove, was not a species as well.
        And to say that evolution is accepted within a “kind” doesn’t resolve anything either because the idea that man and apes are both “primate kinds” doesn’t stop folks from saying that men can’t share a common ancestor with a monkey. Sure, we quote Bible verses that say Adam was specially created, but we ALSO argue that from science (or at least the YECs do). And their argument is totally inconsistent. Forgetting for a moment the huge hurdle that whatever “dog kind” was on the ark was also a species, Ken Ham’s museum says that “The dogs leaving the Ark generated all the species in the present, including coyotes, wolves, and foxes.” To make the term “kind” so vague that it can encompass both dogs AND wolves AND foxes when the first two have a genome of 78 chromosomes and the Fox has a genome of 34 solves the issue of how can the ark hold enough animals, but it makes macro-evolution and even hyper-evolution that much more of a *requirement* in the 4,500 years since the flood. Sure, a fox and a wolf might LOOK the same, but they are genetically quite different. But you can look them up and see that they are not of the same species. They are not even of the same genus. They are not even of the same tribe. You have to go back to the taxonomy category of Family (canines) to find something that they share. So, according to Ham and using his example here, then a “kind” somewhat relates to a “family” (when he wants it to). And everything in that “family” is related and comes from a common ancestor. But if that was true, all hominids (another family) would be related. Ham would be the first to criticize Darwin for suggesting that just because two things look the same or serve somewhat the same purpose that they are related, but that is what he does with “canines”. But he won’t apply it to “hominids”. That is why you can’t pin them down to use precise scientific definitions. Only by staying very generic and loose can they apply things in a way that sounds good to the choir but doesn’t really follow any kind of scientific principle. On one hand, they say that a “kind” is anything that can inter-breed (as in “multiply after its kind”). Yet on the other, they say that animals that have grossly different genetics and even one with twice the same number of chromosomes as another are in the same “kind”. The definitions become so self-contradictory and arbitrary as to be meaningless. And that is why I shy away from the “kind” argument. You can’t pin it down. It becomes whatever you want it to be. To me, then, saying that all canines are related to a single common ancestor on the ark doesn’t solve anything. If something with 78 chromosomes can evolve into something with 34 and it still be considered a “micro” evolution and accepted by the YEC’s, we may as well throw out ALL their definitions because they are meaningless and don’t move the conversation forward in any productive manner.

      • Daniel Eaton Says:

        Ultimately, the bottom line of this whole kind/species thing is that YEC’s claim that one species/kind can’t change into another. All evolution has to stay WITHIN a created kind that can “multiply after it’s kind”. So one kind can’t change into another either. Yet Ham himself says that two different animals that can’t inter-breed came from the same shared ancestor kind. As such, you have one kind of animal as a common ancestor being able to change into MULTIPLE kinds that can only replicate within those kinds. Plus you have them allowing change WITHIN the kinds as well. Yet they say this kind of genetic change can’t happen and if it did over millions of years we’d be able to see it today – yet their own model requires it to have happened over a span of 4,500 years. It’s nuts… and that is the NICE word for it.

  7. apologianick Says:

    Futurity: Now to the heart of the matter. I would like to ask the author and readers two simple questions:
    Can you observe and test(scientifically) molecule to man evolution that happen over million of years?

    Reply: I’m not a scientist so I don’t answer that. It’s an irrelevant question to me.

    Futurity: Can you observer and test(scientifically) that God created animals that bring forth after their kind, several thousands years ago and heavily diversified over the period?

    Reply: See above.

    Futurity: For author it is a “scientific study”, that can be tested and observed is a lab. I would argue that the questions cannot be answered scientifically(observed and repeated) as we do not have access to the past(we cannot observe it). Those are historical questions as both frameworks use set of unique events that happened in the past(not observable today). The controversy is not about what we observe today (through scientific study), but what happened in the past. Obviously, the author does not comprehend that science is limited and it is limited to the present. Contrary to author statements, for YEC this is not a scientific question, but a historical one.

    Reply: I disagree entirely. By this standard, forensic science would never work because we never can observe the past and never can see that the murderer did the crime, therefore, he is free. Furthermore, if we are to say we cannot observe the past, then I believe Christianity is in great danger because the claim is that in the past, Jesus rose from the dead even though no one observed the event itself. If we cannot demonstrate a past event happened, then what do we do? Note also that it had to be demonstrable sans Scripture at one time, as the message was being spread without the aid of gospels or epistles for a few years.

    Futurity: YEC takes his history from the Bible. Mainly, he believes that Genesis is written as historical narrative, just like accounts of resurrection of Jesus.

    Reply: So can an OEC So can a TE. Are they just like the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus however? Well that is something that must be demonstrated.

    Futurity: Now would the ancients read Genesis as historical document? Maybe. Definitely YEC believes so. You can read about his reasons on websites like answeringenesis.org. What is important is that the author does not ask this question, because for him question about Genesis is a scientific matter.

    Reply: Any question relating to the material is in some way a scientific matter. You may definitely believe that is how the Jews would have read the account, but where do we see the Jews doing any science or having any interest in it? If they did not, then why would they suddenly read this passage as scientific?

    Futurity: Or rather would the ancients read Genesis as to mean molecule to man evolution or even the evolution of the universe? Good luck.

    Reply: Or would it be neither? Have you even read Blocher’s work on “In The Beginning” or something like “The Lost World of Genesis 1” by John Walton?

    Futurity: The author claims that we must understand what ancient would understand, but when it comes to the question of molecule to man evolution, he apparently does not care.

    Reply: Correct, because the ancients would not have cared. If the account is not a scientific account, but rather a functional account, then the science behind the account would not have been important or the main thrust of the passage.

    Futurity: He says: “We come to the text that speaks about the four corners of the Earth in Revelation, but due to knowing the world is not flat, and knowing that the ancients knew that, we know it means something else.”. Why therefor the author does not use the same standard of what ancients knew when it comes to the question of evolution and Genesis?

    Reply: Because the ancient Jews did not know about evolution. I propose they were not scientists and would not have read the account in any scientific way. The ancients did not know about Darwin, but they did know about the Earth being a sphere and it’s okay to read the Bible with that knowledge in mind and let external knowledge influence our reading of the text.

    Futurity: The answer is easy, because it would “mean something else”. Instead the author presupposes evolution. The double standard is obvious.. In fact the author does what we, according to him, should not do(read Genesis as man who presupposes his own ideas like evolution rather than as ancients would do).

    Reply: No. I say we should not presuppose our culture. There is a difference. Furthermore, your statement here is stating that I am a theistic evolutionist. Do you have any evidence of it? Is saying that it does not matter one way or the other saying that one subscribes to one way? Why not the other way? Please. Give me this evidence that I’m a TE that you’ve found.

    Futurity: Let use author’s own logic:
    Let assume that resurrection of Jesus is scientific question that must be answered in a lab, just like the author assumed that question about Genesis and macro-evolution is a scientific question.

    Reply: It’s not. It’s a historical question seeing as this relates to a miracle and that science cannot answer the question of miracles. It’s also about what happened in the course of human interactions at a specific place and time and not about what happens generally in several places and times.

    Futurity: One can therefor conclude that resurrection of Jesus is an open question that must be decided in a lab. Since today we do not observe people rising from the dead, therefor there is strong scientific evidence that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Since there is strong evidence against Jesus rising from the dead, therefor maybe God meant it as … a change of state of man rather than as a historical event and Jesus was the first one who had his state changed.

    Reply: Again, the objection concerns people who read the account of creation as scientific. I suggest that be called into question. It is not an all-or-nothing game. You would need to demonstrate that the resurrection accounts are scientific rather than simply historical accounts and that the accounts are meant to tell us about the science of resurrection. Good luck.

    Futurity: It is clear that the author believes that the resurrection of Jesus is a historical account. Again double standard.

    Reply: No. The gospels are in the genre of Greco-Roman biographies that were historical works and not scientific. I am asking as well about the genre of Genesis 1-3 and asking that it be read that way. Was there a genre of scientific narrative?

    Futurity: “The Bible is a book meant to tell us about Jesus”.
    There is no doubt that the Bible tells as about Jesus. But do you understand why Jesus had to die on the cross? Where in the Bible does God speak for the first time about the promise of the Messiah? Why the Messiah was needed in the first place?
    Yes, in Genesis.
    Jesus is meaningless without Genesis historical account of very good creation(including Adam and Eve), that was destroyed by sin and death entered into the world.

    Reply: So you believe that if Genesis was somehow in error, which I do not, then it does not matter that Jesus rose from the dead and proclaimed the gospel? It can’t be true? I find this all-or-nothing game disturbing. Furthermore, one can believe Genesis 3 to be historical while still not believing Genesis 1 and 2 in the creation accounts are scientific.

    Futurity: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.
    Paul considers death of Adam as a historical event. And this is why YEC stresses the importance of Genesis. Because if Genesis record is not history therefor Adam and his death are not also. Therefor we all did not die in Adam and therefor what is the point of making something alive that is not dead?

    Reply: I would say that we are all in sin is very easily empirically verifiable. Just watch the evening news. Nevertheless, I do think Adam was historical despite questioning that Genesis 1 and 2 are scientific. Furthermore, I know several OECs and TEs who also believe Adam was a historical figure. To believe Adam was historical is not the same as believing in YEC.

  8. The Black Vegetable Says:

    Evolution (by which I mean not merely descent of different species from a common ancestor but the hypothesis that this can and does account for all forms of life on Earth) could not prove Jesus’ resurrection one way or the other. However, it would raise serious questions as to what His resurrection accomplished. Our faith is not just that Jesus rose from the dead but that we will rise from the dead (unless we’re still around when He comes back), that we will put on our incorruptible bodies and be with God forever and that death, tears, sickness, injury, pain and suffering will be no more.

    The obvious question this raises is, why didn’t God create the world like this in the first place? Genesis declares that He did and that it was mankind’s sin that put the curse upon His very good creation. Evolution says no, sorry, death and suffering pervaded the world for hundreds of millions of years before mankind even existed, let alone sinned. Pain, predation, plagues, parasites, prickles and passing away are wholly and solely the responsibility of God, if He even exists.

    If protozoa-to-people evolution is true then I believe that makes the fall of man a lie. Not a mistake, not a metaphor, not an
    allegory; a flat-out lie as shameless and dastardly as anything Satan could concoct. Death did not enter the world through sin; it was there all along. We just get the blame. So why do we need Jesus’ death and resurrection to atone for us? What does sin matter?

    “By this standard, forensic science would never work because we never can observe the past and never can see that the murderer did the crime, therefore, he is free.”

    Forensic science works because it is consistent with what people have observed. If we touch certain surfaces with our bare hand, we leave fingerprints. If we stab someone, their blood splashes on us. And if a dead animal is left out in the open, it rots away or is torn apart by scavengers in a matter of days or maybe weeks.

    “The gospels are in the genre of Greco-Roman biographies that were historical works and not scientific. I am asking as well about
    the genre of Genesis 1-3 and asking that it be read that way.”

    Amen to that. Yet evolutionists declare that the forensic science proves Gen 1-3 ahistorical, hence the controversy over what we
    can truly infer from the forensics.

    “So you believe that if Genesis was somehow in error, which I do not, then it does not matter that Jesus rose from the dead and proclaimed the gospel?”

    If the error is that sin caused death rather than post-dating it by aeons, what does it matter?

    “It can’t be true?”

    It can but so what?

    “I find this all-or-nothing game disturbing.”

    Either death preceded sin or sin preceded death. What are your alternatives?

    I’m glad you think Adam was historical but do not most atheists believe Jesus was historical? The question is, why do you believe Adam was significant? Paul did not just affirm Adam’s historicity; he declared that death entered the world through his sin (Romans 5:12). Luke (3:38) called Adam the ‘son of God’, not the son of a beast like unto a man but stooped in posture and without speech. Jesus Himself declared that God made male and female from the beginning (Matthew 19:4), not after more generations of sexless tiny creatures than there are grains on the seashore. The Genesis creation account is not just some figure of speech; it is an explanation of the state of the world to which several later Bible passages, some critically important, allude. If someone declares it to be a cunningly devised fable, we can’t just say “it wasn’t meant to be read scientifically”.

    I’m not saying evolutionists can’t also sincerely believe in Jesus’ atoning sacrifice or be effective servants of God (I’ve seen the latter for myself); I just don’t believe that position is logically tenable. I appreciate you raising this matter and I look forward to your replies (painful though they might be).

  9. Daniel Eaton Says:

    Futurity, your example about the heliocentric model and geocentric model is a good one for several reasons. First, it is a classic example of why we should not use our Bible as a science book and how it is possible to change our interpretation of the text to match the facts and still hold to the teachings of the Bible being inerrant. Second, it is a great example of why we shouldn’t double-down on error and become the laughing stock of the world. Third, just as it would be illogical for me to say that the heliocentric model is wrong because it disagrees with my assumed correct geocentric one, it is also begging the question for you to quote ICR and AIG as evidence that science is wrong.
    I think that instead of getting the latest talking points from non-scientists who may have been to school (or purchased) a lot of initials after their name and make long lists of scientific claims that folks that actually have to put that training into practice and test it (you know, like that pesky verse that tells us to “test everything and hold on to the good”), we would be much better off listening to an OLD voice on this topic…Augustine. He said the following: “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. “

  10. Daniel Eaton Says:

    And, Futurity, it is also a great example of how the geocentrists using the term “earth” doesn’t mean that the heliocentrists can’t use it because it is term from the other side. Your whole argument about “species” is an evolution term is full of logical flaws. Noah, for example, took a dove on the ark. I’m sure that dove is some kind of “kind”. But a dove also has a species classification. So any NEW species that came from that original kind/species is an example of the kind of evolution that folks like Ken Ham says cannot occur. One might make the claim that the “kinds” on the ark were not known species (ignoring specific references to the dove and so forth), but some kind of classification ABOVE “species” and more generic and genetically diverse. But that is just word games. It doesn’t solve the problem. Even if that pair of animals don’t fit any kind of taxonomy classification (something I’d deny), according to the flood-geology model, they are the common ancestor of all of the million or so diverse species we have today. The creation museum itself lists animals that have vastly different DNA and even twice the number of chromosomes as another as being descendant of the same initial common ancestor. They may say it was caused by something other than mutation, but that too is just a word game. Just because I propose some cause to a genetic change doesn’t mean that it isn’t a mutation. And just because that proposed cause of the mutation is something I can find Scriptural support for doesn’t mean that the change doesn’t qualify as “evolution”.

  11. Daniel Eaton Says:

    Nick, your point about scientific study and forensic science is spot on. ALL testable science is looking at the present to determine effects of the past. Everything we know is based on history. As soon as the teacher says something, it is already history. So this whole “were you there” shtick of Ken Ham is popular with the choir, but totally illogical. His whole theology is based on Genesis and it wasn’t written by a first-hand account. According to Ham, Adam wasn’t even there in chapter 1. And since it speaks of God in third-person, we can’t assume that God wrote this about himself and then gave the written record to people who didn’t even have an alphabet yet. It was written by someone else later. They were not there. We can’t test it (according to Ham). So should we dismiss it outfight like he suggests we do with science? Of course not.

    The irony of this whole “we can’t trust science because they were not there” bit is so hypocritical because of the history of creation science. Scientific claims were the very reason why, in the early 60s, most Christians were convinced from an old-earth interpretation of the text to Henry Morris’ flood-geology model. But those scientific claims that caused the paradigm shift have long since been proven to be false. But while you can still find absurd scientific sounding claims about moon dust and such in the local Christian bookstore, they now claim that you can’t trust science but have to trust the Bible (or rather THEIR interpretation of it) and only look at the evidence through the “lens” of their interpretation. They may as well stamp “You Must Beg The Question” on the cover of every Bible and Science book out there.
    But the irony gets even worse. Darwin predicted that the fossil record would show a slow progression of change from one species to another. Creationists would be the first to play the “where’s the missing link” card. They point to all the things that science DIDN’T end up finding as evidence against evolution. So the science is sound and should be used to discredit a theory – but only when it is an opposing theory. Henry Morris did the same thing. He based a “NEW” model on scientific claims and said we should trust science to shape our understanding of Genesis. But his science failed. And his scientific predictions haven’t come to pass. (Wiki has a whole article just on his predictions at http://evolutionwiki.org/wiki/Henry_Morris'_Fossil_Sorting_Predictions_in_%22Scientific_Creationism%22) His hydrology based sorting prediction of the fossil record has been disproved over and over and over. So while the YECs of the world will be the first to say that Darwin got his science predictions wrong so we should discard his entire theory (and any word like “species” that he might have used) and go back to what we believed before him, you DON’T see them applying their same logic to their OWN failed predictions and suggest that we should go back to the gap theory or day-age interpretations that most Christians believed in 1960.
    But wait! There’s more! The YEC’s are the first to bring out the racist aspects of Darwin’s theory and link him to everything from Hitler to the KKK. This guilt-by-association linkage is really popular among the folks that famous for applying circular firing squads in enforcement of not being unequally yoked to something horrid. But yet the totally cover up the fact that the epic book by Whitcomb and Morris “The Genesis Flood” that convinced the Christians of the day that their popular old-earth interpretations was not new ideas from theologican, but were largely based on the works of another person, a person who not only helped edit their book but whose involvement was covered over, but a guy with no scientific training himself who got his “this is how it happened” revelation from the visions of his cult leader. So if it is logical for us to discard Darwin because he was a racist, and if it is logical for us to distance ourselves from all things non-Christian, how much more should we distance ourselves from a theory that is derived from the visions of Ellen G White, the founder of the Seventh Day Adventists? I’m not saying that flood geology is wrong because history shows that the SDAs came up with it. I’m saying that the YECs are inconsistent in their logic, their science, and their interpretations. And the biased nature in which the present their case and attack the beliefs of others borders on the dishonest.

  12. Daniel Eaton Says:

    @Black Vegetable: Yes, Adam’s sin brought a curse. But the death that it brought him “in that day” was not physical. And a lot of the things we chalk up to as “the curse” are not necessarily due to drastic changes in the laws of nature and physics and so forth, but the fact that they were no longer going to be living in a carefully prepared paradise for them, but out in the wild where they were going to have to create their own habitable place. So trying to link “the curse” with animal death before the fall is a non-starter because Romans specifically says that the death that is a result of sin came to ALL MEN. It doesn’t say that the foraging elephant that stepped on a grasshopper didn’t kill it.

    • The Black Vegetable Says:

      ‘But the death that [the curse] brought him “in that day” was not physical.’

      Then what was it and on what do you base that?

      ‘And a lot of the things we chalk up to as “the curse” are not necessarily due to drastic changes in the laws of nature and physics and so forth, but the fact that they were no longer going to be living in a carefully prepared paradise for them, but out in the wild…’

      You mean out in God’s “very good” creation?

      ‘So trying to link “the curse” with animal death before the fall is a non-starter because Romans specifically says that the death that is a result of sin came to ALL MEN.’

      But you said earlier that the death the curse brought Adam ‘was not physical’. So did our physical death come from sin or didn’t it? Also, what Romans specifically says is: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all that have sinned.” The declaration that death entered the world by sin makes no distinction between human and animal death. The declaration that death passed upon all men merely follows logically from that.

      ‘It doesn’t say that the foraging elephant that stepped on a grasshopper didn’t kill it.’

      Whether grasshoppers count as nephesh chayyah is unclear but putting that aside:
      Before the fall, God’s creation was “very good”. Built on the corpses of countless animals, including Adam’s own ape-like but nearly-human forebears, and with natural disasters and survival-of-the-fittest raging outside Eden? If anyone knows of an interpretation of “very good” that can cover this can they please share it?
      Before the fall, God gave man fruits and herbs as his “meat” and there is no mention at all of animal death. After the fall, God gave Adam & Eve animal skins. Coincidence? Maybe.
      Isaiah prophesied that in the new heaven & new earth (from which the curse will be gone according to Revelation) the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock, and we’ll be back to eating fruit. Hyperbole? Perhaps.
      Yet a straightforward reading of all this suggests that animal as well as human death resulted from the curse.

      • Daniel Eaton Says:

        I base it on the fact that they didn’t DIE that day, but lived on to procreate and other stuff. So the idea that it was a SPIRITUAL death is one that the church has accepted going way back to early church fathers. Think about it for a second. Why would you put a tree of life in a garden where things were never going to die? And if this were speaking of physical death, why didn’t you see God mentioning it when he laid out the punishments for their actions? He talks of toils and sweat, but forgets to mention, “Oh, and BTW, one day you are going to die, and since you have no concept of that, let me explain death to you.” Finally, why should we assume that this is speaking of mortal physical death when the eternal life we receive once we accept Christ isn’t a physical one. We still die. Nothing is damaged in theology to believe that whales actually ate sardines prior to Adam eating a fruit. So Biblically, there is no reason to assume this was physical death. Logically, there is no reason to assume it is physical death. Scientifically, there is literally TONS of evidence from the fossil record of physical death before the fall. Yet folks still want to interpret “death came to on men” as “all that stuff in the fossil record can’t pre-date Adam because no snail died no fish ever ate another…so they must have all died in the flood.” Only problem with that wishful thinking is that it is not only contradicted by the evidence, but there are way too many fossils in the fossil record for them to all be alive at the time of the flood. The earth would not support it. So when you ask what I would base this on, take your pick.

  13. Daniel Eaton Says:

    One last post before I give this a break. Black Veggy suggests that if evolution is true, Adam and his fall isn’t historical. I beg to differ. We have two creation accounts in the Bible. One speaks of Adam being specially created in a very specially prepared place with timing (before plants) that don’t really line up with it being day six from chapter one. In say six, we have the earth bringing forth living things just as the sea had done earlier. It is ASSUMED that these are the same events being described differently, but I say the differences are significant enough that we should NOT make that assumption. It’s possible. Maybe. But it is ALSO possible that God used very natural processes in Chapter 1 to accomplish general things and very special creative acts in Chapter 2 for His promised land and covenant people. So it isn’t forced to be an either/or. BOTH could have happened. And it is only our assumption that Chapter 2 is just a recap of Day 6 that prevents that from being the case. Just something to think about…

    • The Black Vegetable Says:

      Genesis 2:5 specifies the plants “of the field” (i.e. domesticated) that grew after Adam, not necessarily all plants in general. Whether you buy this interpretation or not, I don’t see how this puts animal death before sin, or the connection with God using ‘very natural processes’ to create life as we know it. Sure He could have, He made natural processes after all, but it beggars my belief that a loving, wise and all-powerful Supreme Being would set off a violent, wasteful, hit-and-miss, aeons-long genetic gladiatorial contest involving organisms that did nothing to offend Him, just to arrive at an ecosystem He could have conjured in a googolplexth of a second, and call it “very good”. And just what were these processes? Mutations? They aren’t processes; they’re mistakes. Even the comparatively few beneficial ones we’ve observed, e.g. flightless birds & insects on small islands, change or remove existing body parts; they don’t make new ones. Natural selection? Its very name gives it away; nature cannot select something that does not already exist. If God’s use of protozoa-to-people is a possibility, it is one I find deeply troubling.

      • Daniel Eaton Says:

        I realize it says plants of the field. My point though is that most folks put plants on day 3. It doesn’t say that plants that grew in rocks came about on day 3 and those that grow in open fields came on day 6. You also have animals coming before man in chapter one and after man in chapter two. There are other things as well that you can easily find in those long lists of alleged Bible contradictions. But it is only out of order and such if the two chapters speak of the same event.
        How does this impact the death debate or evolution debate? As chapter 1 says, the land and sea could have produced living things in a designed but natural way. So you could have what we now call biological evolution describing a process in which the land and seas produced things in chapter 1, and yet maintain a view of a specially created historical Adam in chapter two. As to where this fits in the death debate, it is kinda the same way the gap theory answers the age debate. It separated “the beginning” from day 1. If the creation of animal and plant life in general were a different creation from what happened in the garden, they they are that much more divorced from the ramifications of what happened there. If the human couple and animals that were formed/created in the garden had access to the tree of life, their life wasn’t DIRECTLY cut short because of the fall, but INDIRECTLY cut short because they no longer had the access to the tree. But the stuff outside the garden didn’t have access to it to begin with. So death would have been quite natural in that environment. And since the YEC timeline dates Adam, and not “the beginning” without additional assumptions, if you divorce the events of/in the garden from the rest-of-the-world events from chapter 1, it allows for death in general of items that are not connected in any way with the covenant people, the covenant land, and so forth.

        This separation also helps in other areas. It *might* answer where Cain found a wife and enough people to build a city. It *might* impact the “sons of God” (Adam’s line) and “daughters of men” (the generic mankind of Chapter 1) debate of Genesis 6 and the comment about Noah being “perfect in his generations” (not mixed between the covenant line of Adam and the “others”). It might even resolve some of the debate about who Christ died for and the “elect” and so forth. It has a lot of ramifications and things it possibly solves if you don’t take two accounts, arguably written at different times by different authors speaking in a totally different context, as speaking of the exact same thing.

        John Sailhamer proposes that chapter 1 AND chapter 2 are a very localized account and don’t speak of world-wide events. By saying that the 6 days refer just to the creation in the garden, it opens up things for age and fossils and such outside and before the garden creation. I like that idea. But I’m wondering if the separation being at 2:4 instead of “the beginning” doesn’t solve even more issues. Saying the 7 days refer to the garden solves the age issue. Saying that the garden creation is separate from the world-wide creation not only solves the age issue, but also the evolution versus special creation of a historic Adam issue.

  14. Futurity Says:

    “Futurity: Now to the heart of the matter. I would like to ask the author and readers two simple questions:
    Can you observe and test(scientifically) molecule to man evolution that happen over million of years?

    apologianick: I’m not a scientist so I don’t answer that. It’s an irrelevant question to me.”
    I think you misunderstood me. I was not asking you to engage in science in a lab. I questioned your assumption that science in a lab is the right tool to answer this question in the first place. I remind you that you assumed that science in the lab is capable of answering this question, here it is in your own words: “If we want to know if evolution is true, then the place to go is a science lab”.
    It is your assumption, that the science in a lab is the right tool for the job. I argued that it isn’t.
    Since this is your assumption then I am sure you can easily prove it.
    I used your own logic and asked whether science in the lab is the right tool, look I will use you own wording: “If we want to know if resurrection of Jesus is true, then the place to go is a science lab”
    Or “If we want to know if birth of Jesus is true, then the place to go is a science lab”
    Or “If we want to know if death of Jesus is true, then the place to go is a science lab”
    To show your error, you can use this pattern; “If we want to know if is true, then the place to go is a science lab”. Just replace with any historical event from the Bible.
    You uncritically assumed that “science in the lab” is the tool to solve this issue and since you are not scientists therefor “It’s an irrelevant question” to you.
    I simply called you on that assumption.

    ======
    “Futurity: For author it is a “scientific study”, that can be tested and observed is a lab. I would argue that the questions cannot be answered scientifically(observed and repeated) as we do not have access to the past(we cannot observe it). Those are historical questions as both frameworks use set of unique events that happened in the past(not observable today). The controversy is not about what we observe today (through scientific study), but what happened in the past. Obviously, the author does not comprehend that science is limited and it is limited to the present. Contrary to author statements, for YEC this is not a scientific question, but a historical one.

    apologianick: I disagree entirely. By this standard, forensic science would never work because we never can observe the past and never can see that the murderer did the crime, therefore, he is free. ”
    We cannot observe the past, I know that J P Holding sometimes in his animations uses devices that teleport his characters to the past, but those are cartoons, such devices do not exist in reality.
    With forensic science, I will follow your example with a murderer(I will make it simple to demonstrate my point).
    There is a crime scene a dead body and a man covered in blood(lets call him Nick), there is also a knife – the murder weapon. The scientists took this weapon and tested if for finger prints(science in the lab, that we can repeat, we can repeat the observation on the weapon for finger prints). The scientists concluded that the finger prints belongs to Nick. One can easily see the obvious, Nick is the murderer. But investigators question Nick and he says that he did not kill the guy, that he was passing by and saw a man covered in blood, he run to help him, saw a knife that was on the guys chest, grabbed and threw it away so that he can stop the bleedings. Crazy story. Now what is important is that investigators have two stories or scenarios that is consistent with the science made (finger prints).
    And that is my point that science in the lab is limited and is limited to the present. And when scientists are talking about unobserved past, they really are making stories or scenarios. There can be many scenarios that are consistent with the science in a lab.
    So no, we cannot observe the past, but we can use science in the lab to limit the number of stories/scenarios.
    In fact the scientists can devise as many scenarios as they want as long as it is consistent with the science in the lab. In fact all of their stories could be wrong.
    But that is not the end, because a credible witness was found and he reported what he saw and added yet another scenario.
    Now which scenario would be true?

    Side note: You must be careful when people talk about science, I learned that many people equivocate the word. Sometimes they use science to mean science in the lab(hard sciences), and sometimes it just means body of knowledge(weak sciences, like history, archeology).

    apologianick: “Furthermore, if we are to say we cannot observe the past, then I believe Christianity is in great danger because the claim is that in the past, Jesus rose from the dead even though no one observed the event itself. If we cannot demonstrate a past event happened, then what do we do?”
    Just because we cannot observe the past, does not mean we cannot know it. We have creditable eye witness accounts of what happened. The question is who would you believe? A scientist who uses science in the lab and then make stories about the past, or a statement of the creditable witness who was there and observed the whole thing?

    Unfortunately, many Christians believe stories devised by scientist today regarding the past(evolution over millions of years), rather than the word of God(Genesis).

    apologianick: “Note also that it had to be demonstrable sans Scripture at one time, as the message was being spread without the aid of gospels or epistles for a few years.”
    Sure, not a problem for me. I think J P Holding tackles this one somewhere, how the stories were circulating by oral communication.

    ===========
    “Futurity: YEC takes his history from the Bible. Mainly, he believes that Genesis is written as historical narrative, just like accounts of resurrection of Jesus.

    apologianick: So can an OEC So can a TE.”
    I yet to find work of OEC or TE that would do that. At best they say it contains historical events, at worse they say Genesis is only symbolic.
    Of course when I say that Genesis is written as historical narrative, it means it holds events in a sequence. All OEC/TE I know would deny that, because stories devised by evolutionists does not follow the sequence of events as written in Genesis.

    ============
    “apologianick: No. The gospels are in the genre of Greco-Roman biographies that were historical works and not scientific. ”
    I agree. And I would claim the Genesis was a historical work also, written as historical narrative.

    “apologianick: I am asking as well about the genre of Genesis 1-3 and asking that it be read that way. Was there a genre of scientific narrative?”
    Your question is really disturbing because I never claimed that Genesis 1-3 is genre of “scientific narrative”. In fact the phrase “scientific narrative” was used once in this debate and it was just now, by you.

    ============
    “Futurity: “The Bible is a book meant to tell us about Jesus”.
    There is no doubt that the Bible tells as about Jesus. But do you understand why Jesus had to die on the cross? Where in the Bible does God speak for the first time about the promise of the Messiah? Why the Messiah was needed in the first place?
    Yes, in Genesis.
    Jesus is meaningless without Genesis historical account of very good creation(including Adam and Eve), that was destroyed by sin and death entered into the world.

    apologianick: So you believe that if Genesis was somehow in error, which I do not, then it does not matter that Jesus rose from the dead and proclaimed the gospel? It can’t be true? I find this all-or-nothing game disturbing.”
    If Genesis was in error, then God-breathed scripture would. That makes spirit of truth, a spirit of falsehood. Then yes. Because it would place Bible on the level of other books and that I find disturbing, though when I was an atheist, I really liked that idea.

    apologianick: “Furthermore, one can believe Genesis 3 to be historical while still not believing Genesis 1 and 2 in the creation accounts are scientific.”
    Again I never claimed them to be scientific, I claimed Genesis to be written as historical narrative.

    ===============
    “Futurity: Now would the ancients read Genesis as historical document? Maybe. Definitely YEC believes so. You can read about his reasons on websites like answeringenesis.org. What is important is that the author does not ask this question, because for him question about Genesis is a scientific matter.

    apologianick: Any question relating to the material is in some way a scientific matter.”
    Prove it.

    “apologianick: You may definitely believe that is how the Jews would have read the account, but where do we see the Jews doing any science or having any interest in it? If they did not, then why would they suddenly read this passage as scientific?”
    Again you make the same false assertion.
    I claimed Genesis to be written as historical narrative.
    Science question is irrelevant.

    ===============
    “Futurity: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22.
    Paul considers death of Adam as a historical event. And this is why YEC stresses the importance of Genesis. Because if Genesis record is not history therefor Adam and his death are not also. Therefor we all did not die in Adam and therefor what is the point of making something alive that is not dead?

    apologianick: I would say that we are all in sin is very easily empirically verifiable. Just watch the evening news.”
    Hardly an argument as you presuppose sin. I could easily say that it is not sin, we just happen to be this way – a typical rhetoric of an atheist.

    apologianick: “Nevertheless, I do think Adam was historical despite questioning that Genesis 1 and 2 are scientific.”
    Yeah they are not scientific, but historical events presented in the Bible in a sequence. There is nothing scientific about it.

    apologianick: “Furthermore, I know several OECs and TEs who also believe Adam was a historical figure. To believe Adam was historical is not the same as believing in YEC.”
    Agreed.

    Note: I skipped through some of the replies because I think you misunderstood me and the post was getting long. If you want me to come back to them, let me know. Thank you for respectful debate.

  15. apologianick Says:

    Futurity: We cannot observe the past, I know that J P Holding sometimes in his animations uses devices that teleport his characters to the past, but those are cartoons, such devices do not exist in reality.

    Reply: Thank you for clearing that up. I was about to go on Amazon and look for a teleportation device.

    And I do know about Holding’s material. He is my ministry partner after all and has no problem with my origins position, which you’ve yet to demonstrate.

    Futurity: With forensic science, I will follow your example with a murderer(I will make it simple to demonstrate my point).
    There is a crime scene a dead body and a man covered in blood(lets call him Nick), there is also a knife – the murder weapon. The scientists took this weapon and tested if for finger prints(science in the lab, that we can repeat, we can repeat the observation on the weapon for finger prints). The scientists concluded that the finger prints belongs to Nick. One can easily see the obvious, Nick is the murderer. But investigators question Nick and he says that he did not kill the guy, that he was passing by and saw a man covered in blood, he run to help him, saw a knife that was on the guys chest, grabbed and threw it away so that he can stop the bleedings. Crazy story. Now what is important is that investigators have two stories or scenarios that is consistent with the science made (finger prints).
    And that is my point that science in the lab is limited and is limited to the present. And when scientists are talking about unobserved past, they really are making stories or scenarios. There can be many scenarios that are consistent with the science in a lab.
    So no, we cannot observe the past, but we can use science in the lab to limit the number of stories/scenarios.
    In fact the scientists can devise as many scenarios as they want as long as it is consistent with the science in the lab. In fact all of their stories could be wrong.
    But that is not the end, because a credible witness was found and he reported what he saw and added yet another scenario.
    Now which scenario would be true?

    Reply: The scenario to go with is the one consistent with the evidence. We can rule out theories that are not consistent. It is the same with logic. Logic cannot tell you what is true. It can tell you what is false. Note also the problem with this illustration. You’re using it to demonstrate that we cannot know the past so when you ask “Which scenario would be true?” the answer would be “We cannot know.” Now since we cannot know, then we’d best throw out the court system. Any criminal can just say “You weren’t there!” Congratulations! You’ve given a great way for any criminal to commit a crime! They just have to make sure no one is there and they can get away with anything since we cannot know that they did it.

    Futurity: Side note: You must be careful when people talk about science, I learned that many people equivocate the word. Sometimes they use science to mean science in the lab(hard sciences), and sometimes it just means body of knowledge(weak sciences, like history, archeology).

    Reply: In this discussion, I generally mean the study of the material world, although I know quite well about the more proper meaning of a body of knowledge.

    Futurity: Just because we cannot observe the past, does not mean we cannot know it. We have creditable eye witness accounts of what happened. The question is who would you believe? A scientist who uses science in the lab and then make stories about the past, or a statement of the creditable witness who was there and observed the whole thing?

    Reply: I’d want to have both and weigh them together. Witnesses can be wrong after all. Even credible ones can be wrong.

    Futurity: Unfortunately, many Christians believe stories devised by scientist today regarding the past(evolution over millions of years), rather than the word of God(Genesis).

    Reply: This assumes that the view of Genesis is YEC even though numerous Christians disagree. Your assumption is that if they are not YEC, then they are believing in scientists instead of Scripture. Keep in mind numerous OEC’s argue against macroevolution.

    Futurity: Sure, not a problem for me. I think J P Holding tackles this one somewhere, how the stories were circulating by oral communication.

    Reply: Correct.

    Futurity: I yet to find work of OEC or TE that would do that. At best they say it contains historical events, at worse they say Genesis is only symbolic.
    Of course when I say that Genesis is written as historical narrative, it means it holds events in a sequence. All OEC/TE I know would deny that, because stories devised by evolutionists does not follow the sequence of events as written in Genesis.

    Reply: THen how many have you talked to? Several OECs are non-evolutionists and believe that the events follow the sequence described in Genesis. I can’t think of one who thinks otherwise. Furthermore, suppose one goes with a Framework hypothesis that does not believe in a literal sequence but that the account is written in a more metaphorical sense. Can you demonstrate for them that the text should not be read this way?

    Futurity: I agree. And I would claim the Genesis was a historical work also, written as historical narrative.

    Reply: Claiming is not showing. You need to show it.

    Futurity: Your question is really disturbing because I never claimed that Genesis 1-3 is genre of “scientific narrative”. In fact the phrase “scientific narrative” was used once in this debate and it was just now, by you.

    Reply: What’s disturbing? You say the account should be read in a scientific way and that it is a narrative. That’s just putting two and two together.

    Futurity: If Genesis was in error, then God-breathed scripture would. That makes spirit of truth, a spirit of falsehood. Then yes. Because it would place Bible on the level of other books and that I find disturbing, though when I was an atheist, I really liked that idea.

    Reply: Does your whole faith hang on Inerrancy then? I believe in Inerrancy, but my faith does not hang on it and I believe the events of the Bible that are essential, like the resurrection, can be demonstrated even if the Bible is not accepted as Inerrant.

    Futurity: Again I never claimed them to be scientific, I claimed Genesis to be written as historical narrative.

    Reply: I said I question that the accounts should be read as scientific accounts. You disagree. I just figured that meant you thought they should be read as scientific.

    Futurity: Prove it.

    Reply: Let’s see. The sciences that we speak of are the study of the material world. So you have something that is material that you think is an exception? I think it would be up to you to demonstrate that creation is exempt from scientific study. If it is in fact, then you need to throw out AIG since you can’t study creation scientifically. There’s no more creation science then.

    Futurity: Again you make the same false assertion.
    I claimed Genesis to be written as historical narrative.
    Science question is irrelevant.

    Reply: So they did see it as a scientific account but it isn’t scientific?

    Futurity: Hardly an argument as you presuppose sin. I could easily say that it is not sin, we just happen to be this way – a typical rhetoric of an atheist.

    Reply: Fine. We all fall short since I would establish the existence of objective goodness on metaphysical grounds and demonstrate that we fall short of it and that is the problem of sin.

    Futurity: Yeah they are not scientific, but historical events presented in the Bible in a sequence. There is nothing scientific about it.

    Reply: At this point, it seems you have confused your position. I started with saying the account should not be read as scientific and you disagreed. Now you agree?

  16. Futurity Says:

    apologianick: “And I do know about Holding’s material. He is my ministry partner after all and has no problem with my origins position, which you’ve yet to demonstrate.”
    J. P. Holding:
    “Genesis is a historical narrative that likely originated with separate oral units of history that were combined into a written volume.”[1]
    I think the claim of Genesis being historical narrative is a refutation of Framework hypothesis, mainly because historical narrative forces sequence of events, while in Framework hypothesis the sequence of events does not matter. So if the sequence of events differ, then the interpretations are in conflict.
    He even links to YEC ministry for science: “For issues related to science, I recommend my friends at Creation Ministries International.”[1]

    My whole point was to show you your false assumption that science in a lab is capable of answering whether evolution is true, you wrote: “If we want to know if evolution is true, then the place to go is a science lab.”
    In fact on this basis alone I knew your position was in support of evolution, because it is common for evolutions to claim that evolution is science, that can be done in a lab. Some of it is, but the rest are just stories about past. This is exactly the point YEC stresses and shows that we do not have believe these stories, they are not science.

    apologianick: “The scenario to go with is the one consistent with the evidence.”
    I gave you at least 2 scenarios which are consistent with the evidence. That was my point. That there can be many scenarios that are consistent with the evidence. Saying that we should go with the one that is consistent with the evidence when there are many scenarios that are consistent with the evidence does not answer the question which one we should go. Science in a lab is not capable of answering this question.

    apologianick: “You’re using it to demonstrate that we cannot know the past so when you ask “Which scenario would be true?””
    No, I demonstrated to you that science in the lab on its own is not capable of demonstrating the past. And that was the point.
    And again in your own words YOU assumed that science in the lab is capable of demonstrating the past: “If we want to know if evolution is true, then the place to go is a science lab.”

    “apologianick: In this discussion, I generally mean the study of the material world”
    And this definition can be easily applied to History or Art. What do you think History does, study imaginary world?
    The difference is not a study of the material world, but rather what tools do we use to study the material world.
    The tool used for “science in a lab” is scientific method[2].
    This means empirical repeatable experiments.

    “apologianick: I’d want to have both and weigh them together. Witnesses can be wrong after all. Even credible ones can be wrong.”
    Sure. But I wouldn’t say that eye-witnesses in the Bible are wrong, especially the witness of creation.

    “apologianick: THen how many have you talked to? Several OECs are non-evolutionists and believe that the events follow the sequence described in Genesis. I can’t think of one who thinks otherwise.”
    I think you don’t know what historical narrative is. Ask J. P. Holding. They don’t follow the sequence exactly because Genesis was written as historical narrative.

    apologianick:”Furthermore, suppose one goes with a Framework hypothesis that does not believe in a literal sequence but that the account is written in a more metaphorical sense. Can you demonstrate for them that the text should not be read this way?”
    That is really irrelevant to me as in your initial poster you did not tackle this issue. From the beginning I was arguing with your shady definition of science and what science in the lab can and cannot do. Proof:
    “For author it is a “scientific study”, that can be tested and observed is a lab. I would argue that the questions cannot be answered scientifically(observed and repeated) as we do not have access to the past(we cannot observe it).”
    Thus proving that scientific method[2] and therefor science in a lab cannot be applied to the past.

    Side note: if you want to debate Framework hypothesis then create another blog post, who knows, maybe I will respond there.

    “apologianick:: I said I question that the accounts should be read as scientific accounts. You disagree. I just figured that meant you thought they should be read as scientific.”
    Again with your mantra of scientific accounts….You wrote that science in a lab is the tool to answer the question whether evolution is true. I disagreed and proved to you that science in a lab is not capable of answering this question.
    You also said that YEC and OEC read Genesis as scientific account, but you did not inform your readers that you have this ridiculous definition of science, here it is in your own words: “I generally mean the study of the material world”. Which as I said could easily describe History. Todays definition of science is: Study of material world through scientific method[2]. Observation, repeatable tests, experimentation.

    “apologianick: At this point, it seems you have confused your position. I started with saying the account should not be read as scientific and you disagreed. Now you agree?”
    Hardly, you just have this really ridiculous definition of science, that you forgot to mention to you readers. On top of it, your definition of science can easily describe History.

    [1] http://www.tektonics.org/TK-GEN.html
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

  17. Daniel Eaton Says:

    BTW, just for the record, I think this whole “we can’t see/prove the past” argument is ridiculous. Astronomers, for example, are seeing past events all the time because the images of those events take so long to reach here. So they DO observe the past. In my opinion, this whole “we can’t really study historic events” argument (coupled with that ridiculous “were you there” argument) is nothing more than an attempt to gloss over the fact that the YEC’s, in the beginning, DID believe that study of the effects of things like their global flood would prove that historic event. But it didn’t. The evidence showed otherwise. So they abandoned that argument and switched to one that leads to a “can’t trust science, must trust Ken Ham” interpretation. Yet the logic is only applied in this area. In no other area do you find it argued that what someone SAYS about an object is the best form of evidence over studying the object itself. Eyewitness testimony is notably unreliable. But the forensics don’t lie. The DNA doesn’t lie. In fact now, folks are so accustomed to the “CSI Effect” that it is difficult to get convictions based on just a witness account. So if the DNA test on a baby comes back and shows he’s 95% genetically connected to the handyman next door that raped your daughter and produced your grandson, it is seen as undeniable fact and you wouldn’t doubt it at all….even though it is indicating a historic event. Yet if the human genome and ape genome is compared and is genetically linked in so many ways with common mutations and such that are too significant to be just random chance, suddenly our argument changes because we don’t like the conclusion. And that, in a nutshell is the illogical foundation of “Creation Science”. They only will apply an argument if it appears to prove their assumptions. Yet as soon as you try to show them that their tests are invalid because of bad assumptions or bad data and then apply their accepted logic and those same arguments elsewhere to show that they are wrong, suddenly you can’t trust the science and the mountain of evidence against them becomes some mass anti-God conspiracy. A “scientist” who keeps shopping for an argument to prove a pre-conceived position is no better than a preacher that shops around for a translation that best fits his theology. And, in many cases, they are one and the same….

  18. apologianick Says:

    This could also be discussed at TheologyWeb.com in the Deeper Waters section.

  19. Futurity Says:

    I have not responded to Daniel Eaton, because at some point he said he is not debating anymore.

    Daniel Eaton: “BV asked what things don’t fix the taxonomy classification. I believe EVERYTHING does. ”
    Fix different classification system? We use our own classification system to show what kind is.

    Daniel Eaton: “But you will see YEC arguments, and it has even been suggested here, that we don’t have a species evolving to another species, ”
    If we use evolutionary classification system, then one can argue that a specie changes to another specie. In fact I already wrote it:
    “It is true that if you want to relate YEC classification system to evolutionary one, then in evolutionary terms one specie changes into another. That is irrelevant for YEC as they are still one kind.”

    Daniel Eaton: “but God creating a “kind” that evolves [or rather “changes over time”] into different species. ”
    We would say that they animals are one kind and that is the point. Again, your point about changing into species is irrelevant:
    “It is true that if you want to relate YEC classification system to evolutionary one, then in evolutionary terms one specie changes into another. That is irrelevant for YEC as they are still one kind.”

    Daniel Eaton: “And to say that evolution is accepted within a “kind” doesn’t resolve anything either because the idea that man and apes are both “primate kinds” doesn’t stop folks from saying that men can’t share a common ancestor with a monkey. ”
    YEC believes that there is a human kind. You just made your own classification of kinds to prove that our classification system of kinds is wrong. Straw man on steroids.

    Daniel Eaton: “Forgetting for a moment the huge hurdle that whatever “dog kind” was on the ark was also a species, Ken Ham’s museum says that “The dogs leaving the Ark generated all the species in the present, including coyotes, wolves, and foxes.” To make the term “kind” so vague that it can encompass both dogs AND wolves AND foxes when the first two have a genome of 78 chromosomes and the Fox has a genome of 34 solves the issue of how can the ark hold enough animals, but it makes macro-evolution and even hyper-evolution that much more of a *requirement* in the 4,500 years since the flood.”
    Sure, YEC believes that those are one-kind. There is nothing vague about it. The definition of kind is quite simple also.

    Daniel Eaton: “Sure, a fox and a wolf might LOOK the same, but they are genetically quite different. But you can look them up and see that they are not of the same species. They are not even of the same genus. They are not even of the same tribe. You have to go back to the taxonomy category of Family (canines) to find something that they share. So, according to Ham and using his example here, then a “kind” somewhat relates to a “family” (when he wants it to). And everything in that “family” is related and comes from a common ancestor. (…) Yet on the other, they say that animals that have grossly different genetics and even one with twice the same number of chromosomes as another are in the same “kind”.”
    Sure we believe that coyotes, wolves, and foxes share common ancestor. In fact evolutionists also believe it [1] and some base their belief on this data [2]: “Recent DNA analysis shows that Canini (dogs) and Vulpini (foxes) are valid clades. (See phylogeny below)”

    Daniel Eaton: “If something with 78 chromosomes can evolve into something with 34 and it still be considered a “micro” evolution and accepted by the YEC’s, we may as well throw out ALL their definitions because they are meaningless and don’t move the conversation forward in any productive manner.”
    Don’t evolutionists believe that macro-evolution consist of many steps of micro-evolution? In fact they believe that the process underlying micro and macro evolution is the same. Magnitudes are different.

    Daniel Eaton: “BTW, just for the record, I think this whole “we can’t see/prove the past” argument is ridiculous. Astronomers, for example, are seeing past events all the time because the images of those events take so long to reach here.”
    No, observations are by definition done from the point of view of observer. You only proved that you uncritically assign a theory to observations.

    Daniel Eaton: “In my opinion, this whole “we can’t really study historic events” argument (coupled with that ridiculous “were you there” argument) is nothing more than an attempt to gloss over the fact that the YEC’s, in the beginning, DID believe that study of the effects of things like their global flood would prove that historic event. But it didn’t.”
    They would not say proved, but definitely the evidence is consistent with what we would expect from the global flood. Trillions of dead things buried in stratified layers.

    Daniel Eaton: “But it didn’t. The evidence showed otherwise.”
    Personification of the evidance. The evidance does not show, the evidance is interpreted in light of a theory. And the evidance is consistent with YEC theory.

    Daniel Eaton: “So they abandoned that argument and switched to one that leads to a “can’t trust science, must trust Ken Ham” interpretation. ”
    Straw man. We say that science is limited. And we love science.

    Daniel Eaton: “The DNA doesn’t lie.”
    Oh really? [3] Just googled “DNA test wrong”.

    Daniel Eaton: “Yet if the human genome and ape genome is compared and is genetically linked in so many ways with common mutations and such that are too significant to be just random chance, suddenly our argument changes because we don’t like the conclusion.”
    Interesting. Can you link to actual studies that prove that human and ape genomes is linked with common mutations?

    Daniel Eaton: “A “scientist” who keeps shopping for an argument to prove a pre-conceived position is no better than a preacher that shops around for a translation that best fits his theology.”
    All scientist do that, it is called “Hypothesis development”[4].

    [1] http://www.carnivoreconservation.org/files/actionplans/canids.pdf page 9
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canidae
    [3] http://www.scientific.org/DNAProblems/DNA-Problems.htm
    [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method#Hypothesis_development

  20. Daniel Eaton Says:

    I have no idea where I said I didn’t want to debate this any more. LOL Let me address some of these points though.

    It is true that YECs don’t like to use taxonomy and want to use their own nebulous ideas of “kind” and their own definitions of “macro” and “micro” evolution. But it doesn’t change the fact that they are speaking of the same things with different terms. And that is proven to be the case when they actually address the topic in scientific terms and use things like “species”. When pushed, they admit that species change – even to the point of becoming carnivores or something. But as long as you credit it somehow to some supernatural event (like the flood) or some event with supernatural/spiritual consequences (like God allegedly allowing for carnivores after the flood), and you don’t use the term “evolution”, they are fine with it. Ultimately, their problem isn’t with the process, but crediting natural forces as an influence to the process.

    Here is where their “kind” solution actually creates a problem though. If we make “kind” something so vague that we basically end up with very broad kinds, we have God creating very few things and Noah preserving very few things. If we are going to say that one “kind” is somehow “fixed” within that kind and doesn’t change to a different “kind”, then we have to allow for a kind to so broad as to include things like all snakes. This would includes land snakes, water snakes, poisonous snakes, non-poisonous snakes, constrictors, those that lay eggs, those that give live birth, and so forth. This gives us several problems though. First, genetic research shows that everything doesn’t go back to a single mating pair 4500 years ago. The diversity is too great. But it gets worse. The fossil record (allegedly from the flood) shows snakes with legs or with leg bones attached to a pelvis. And this corresponds with the belief that the serpent in the garden walked and was cursed with crawling on his belly. So “kind”, if it is truly fixed, has to expand to include things that STILL have legs, the lizards. It basically becomes all scaled reptiles – plus all those amphibious lizards as well. And if we are going to include all the water snakes and amphibians, it would likely include all the eels as well.

    The more you push the YECs on specifics, the broader “kind” becomes – to the point that it is ridiculous. But, since the YECs are so good at this game, let’s pretend. Pretend that the non-turtle reptiles, amphibians, lizards, crocs, and eels are a “kind” and came from the same pair 4500 years ago after the flood. Further pretend that this single mating pair of this “kind” had BOTH of them survive the sudden change of animals eating animals as soon as they get off the ark and nothing else left to eat because it is all covered over with the geologic column and has soaked in salt water for a year. We can do it. It’s pretend, after all. 🙂

    We have about 350 species to turtles, a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of the numbers, so lets include them as well. There are about 8,000 to 9,000 species of reptiles (including the 350 turtles). There are over 600 species of eels. There are over 5,000 types of salamanders. Then you add in the geckos (over a thousand), newts, and other types of lizards. I could think of other things similar to add, but that would be piling on. Just to use round numbers, that is roughly 15,000 different species from this one “kind”. 15,000 species coming from one pair “kind” 4500 years ago is a rate of change of about 3.6 per month. But most of these can be proved to have been around a lot longer than months. So the change would have to be a lot more rapid. Yet out of the other side of their mouth, the YECs claim that if this were happening, we’d be able to see it and don’t. I disagree with both of those ideas, but this IS their belief. And they have no evidence for it. As such, there is no evidence for their idea of “kind”. It isn’t a scientific term at all. It’s just some vague general description with no scientific value. And that is why they use it. It can mean whatever they want.

    And, BTW, the idea that trillions of things, way to many to have been alive all at one time, being buried mean that they were all buried at the same time is nuts. The fact that they are not sorted as if they were buried at the same time but at DIFFERENT times blows the whole flood geology model out of the water. It just doesn’t work. The fact that there are things like footprints in the MIDDLE of the geologic column proves that things were walking around in it. There is also lots of evidence of different seasons, things drying and cracking out, and so forth. Which reiterates my comment about the Christians that went into geology expecting to prove a global flood and were left with such overwhelming evidence to the contrary that they abandoned the idea. There is just way too much evidence against it and nothing other than one of two interpretations of “land” to support it. But that is a different topic.

    As far as common mutations between the human and ape genome, Google will provide you with several. Francis Collins work on the genome lists a lot. You can find his (and others) work on BioLogos. A good place to start would be http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/venema_genesis_genome.pdf

    At the beginning of this, I said I was not avoiding the debate. But I would like to limit the debate to some format that I can follow a bit better and not repeat a lot of stuff. Can I ask that you join me at http://bit.ly/theogen for more discussion. You will find many folks there that believe as you do, and it is a much easier format for in-depth discussions like this. I’m discussing many of the same issues with someone else there right now.

  21. Daniel Eaton Says:

    Just came across this and thought it was relevant.
    http://biologos.org/blog/creation-evolution-and-christian-laypeople-part-1

  22. The Black Vegetable Says:

    Mr Eaton:

    “BV asked what things don’t fix the taxonomy classification”

    No I didn’t. I asked for examples of YECs denying that organisms fit into one.

    “I base it on the fact that they didn’t DIE that day,”

    Understandable, but the Hebrew word refers to a process (“Dying, you shall die”) which started on that day. The same Hebrew expression was used in Numbers 26:65

    “Why would you put a tree of life in a garden where things were never going to die?”

    That’s like asking ‘why would you put air in an atmosphere where things can breathe?’ The tree of life was what sustained eternal life; Adam & Eve caused it to become off-limits.

    “And if this were speaking of physical death, why didn’t you see God mentioning it when he laid out the punishments for their actions?”

    He did: ‘In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’ [Gen 3:19].

    “…when the eternal life we receive once we accept Christ isn’t a physical one.”

    I think Paul might have had a few things to say about that. See 1 Cor 15.

    “So you could have what we now call biological evolution describing a process in which the land and seas produced things in chapter 1,”

    But you told Futurity “Evolution is the study of changes in living creatures. It is biology. Abiogenesis, the study of life from non-life (molecules) is a different branch of science.” Either evolution covers the emergence of life from earth and water or it does not. Which is it?

    “As to where this fits in the death debate, it is kinda the same way the gap theory answers the age debate.”

    You mean by playing fast and loose with the Hebrew, calling God (Ex 20:11) and Jesus (Mark 10:4) liars and believing that a creation built on a wasteful, disease-ridden bloodbath punctuated by multiple mass extinctions could in any sense be described as ‘very good’?

    “This separation also helps in other areas. It *might* answer where Cain found a wife and enough people to build a city.”

    We already have an answer to that. A&E lived for hundreds of years and had sons and daughters, who also lived for hundreds of years. The curse was not in place long enough for in-breeding to be a concern (it was not outlawed until after the exodus). Plenty of time, no genetic issues with the children. Besides, your answer raises questions of its own. Where did these extra-Edenic people come from? Had God breathed into their nostrils? Were they fallen too? If so, what caused their fall? If not, did they “catch” the curse from Cain?

    “…two accounts, arguably written at different times by different authors speaking in a totally different context”

    Who has argued this and what is their rationale?

    “When pushed, [YECs] admit that species change”

    Very funny. CMI & AiG expressly deny fixity of species (under the conventional definition) on their websites and have done so for years.

    “But as long as you credit it somehow to some supernatural event (like the flood) or some event with supernatural/spiritual consequences (like God allegedly allowing for carnivores after the flood), and you don’t use the term “evolution”, they are fine with it. Ultimately, their problem isn’t with the process, but crediting natural forces as an influence to the process.”

    Wrong. There is no reason to believe that, say, a fish changing to the point of speciation by getting smaller, changing colour or losing its eyes necessarily has any spiritual significance. Our problem (other than the already-mentioned implications of God impersonating Dr Moreau for millions of years instead of getting it right the first time) is that processes such as these do not demonstrably lead to the process of a shark becoming a bony fish or a bony fish becoming an amphibian. The effects of mutations & natural selection are the reverse of what protozoa-to-people evolution requires.

  23. Daniel Eaton Says:

    BV: My time is short, so I won’t be addressing a lot of your assumptions. Might get to it later. But, for now, I’ll just say this. The text can me read to support no death of any kind before the fall. But it can also be read to accommodate that. And reading it that way doesn’t make Jesus a liar just because YOU read him differently than I do. The Bible doesn’t say that Adam witnessed something dying. Nor does it state that nothing ever died before the fall. Both are seen in the text based on our assumptions and worldview in which we interpret it. And because written accounts can be understood so many different ways, and because even if the words are clear, the context is often debatable. And that is why we can’t just pretend that the text is all we have to go on when it comes to this topic. Just because a written account is true doesn’t mean that it is the best evidence of something. I could read a true article about cats, but in order to REALLY understand cats, having and examining one in person is a lot better evidence. So while I accept what God said ABOUT creation as truth, the best information about what God did is not in studying what He said about what He did, but studying what He did directly. And the evidence is overwhelming. The earth is old, and things died before 4004BC. That is what His General Revelation reveals. And if it wasn’t trustworthy, He wouldn’t tell us to look at it to see evidence of Him and His attributes (like truth).

    • The Black Vegetable Says:

      I appreciate what time you have given me. You’ve been respectful and you’ve encouraged me to look more deeply into the subject. Let’s wrap it up for now though; I’ll check out theogen and see what they’re about.

  24. Futurity Says:

    Daniel Eaton “I have no idea where I said I didn’t want to debate this any more. LOL Let me address some of these points though.”

    Daniel Eaton “One last post before I give this a break. ” [1]

    “It is true that YECs don’t like to use taxonomy and want to use their own nebulous ideas of “kind” and their own definitions of “macro” and “micro” evolution. ”
    This is not true in fact already pointed to what Dr. Georgia Purdom from AIG wrote:
    “Creation researchers have found that “kind” is often at the level of “family” in our modern classification scheme.”

    In fact there were many classification system today: You can classify all living things by taxa[2], even modern Taxonomy has many ranks[3]. All living things can be classified by species, just like all living things can be classified by family or genus or class.
    YEC uses its own classification system of kinds. And saying that all living things cannot be classified by kind, because they must be classified by species is the same nonsense as claiming that all living things cannot be classified by family, because they must be classified by species. Utter nonsense.

    Daniel Eaton “Here is where their “kind” solution actually creates a problem though. If we make “kind” something so vague that we basically end up with very broad kinds,”
    Definition of kind is not vague, it is very simple as I already wrote(you never responded). But if you believe kind is so vague what about taxonomy rank of family or order? Or kingdom, those are much higher than kind. This means those classification systems are wrong? No, it means they are different classification systems, that is all.
    You also equivocate the definition of kind with general usage of word kind: ” If we make “kind” something so vague that we basically end up with very broad kinds”
    I gave very specific definition of a kind. Stick to it, don’t be dishonest.

    Daniel Eaton “When pushed, they admit that species change – even to the point of becoming carnivores or something.”
    You are dishonest. All YEC websites I know admit that species change into another species. There is nothing the had to be “pushed” to. And nothing special about. Since the taxonomy rank of kind is on the level of family in modern classification system, then it is easy to see that many species share the same family, just like many species share the same kind.
    But it easier to destroy a strawman right?

    Daniel Eaton “Ultimately, their problem isn’t with the process, but crediting natural forces as an influence to the process. ”
    You misrepresent YEC position again. As I wrote the underlying processes for molecule-to-man evolution and diversification of kinds is the same, look I wrote about YEC:
    “The main engine of change within kind is genetic variation present in the initial kind and the genes that are passed and/or activated in offspring(Genetic drift and gene flow). Thus YEC those not have a problem with rapid changes within a kind. YEC believes that God created kinds with vaaast genetic variability. YEC also believes that some variants are selected by process of natural selection. Note just in case: YEC also believes in mutations. ”

    molecule-to-man evolution:
    “The main engine of molecule to man evolution (whether micro or macro) are mutations. The reason is that according to evolutionary story, the first organisms were veeery simple. They did not have the genetic code that would allow them to change into higher animals through genetic drift and gene flow. That leaves mutations as mechanism for change. Evolutionists also believes that some variants are selected by process of natural selection.”

    Now check the four processes used for microevolution[4]:
    Mutation, Selection, Genetic drift, Gene flow.
    Those are the same for both models.

    So you are wrong, we credit natural forces for the diversity of leaving things after the flood. Natural forces that were active on animals that had a lot of genetic variability in them.

    Daniel Eaton “It basically becomes all scaled reptiles – plus all those amphibious lizards as well. And if we are going to include all the water snakes and amphibians, it would likely include all the eels as well. ”
    Your logic escapes me. I already gave you definition of kind. You like to deviate into strawman don’t you?
    Then you beat that strawman through several paragraphs. Congratulations.

    “The fact that there are things like footprints in the MIDDLE of the geologic column proves that things were walking around in it. ”
    No way. That definitely is the proof that YEC is wrong. Oh wait, no I just think you are ignorant of what YEC believes or rather what is written in the Bible, that is that the flood lasted one year, that it didn’t happen at once(rained for 40 days).
    Footprints are great example that those things were buried by the flood:
    “we find fossilized footprints of amphibians and reptiles in places that are much lower (in the Supai Group, Hermit Shale, and Coconino Sandstone, Figure 5) than the fossils of their bodies (in the Moenkopi Formation). ” [5]

    “As far as common mutations between the human and ape genome, Google will provide you with several. Francis Collins work on the genome lists a lot. You can find his (and others) work on BioLogos. A good place to start would be http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/venema_genesis_genome.pdf
    This study only compared the genomes. I have no doubt those are similar as they both have the same designer.
    On what grounds though do you interpret this fact that those genomes are similar due to “common mutations” and having common ancestor?
    To me it seems that you simply assumed that those similarities
    are proof of common ancestry and common mutations.

    [1] https://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/is-evolution-a-problem/#comment-5287
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxa
    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomic_rank
    [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-evolution#The_four_processes
    [5] http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n1/order-fossil-record

  25. Daniel Eaton Says:

    FUT, you have a couple of things going against you here. First, Quoting Ms Purdom does you no favors and isn’t convincing at all to me. She lost all credibility with me when I saw her in person. Second, you insist on quoting AIG as evidence that “kind” is not ambiguous and widely defined. And that is odd because your very quote from them that puts it at a “family” level shows how broadly it is defined. And as far as it being ambiguous goes, pointing to one source and one quote and what they are saying about it today is just one data point. You don’t even find a consistent answer from one YEC spokesman to another. Look at what they and other YECs have said over time and you will find repeated quotes that one species can’t evolve into another. And they do so based on “kinds” being able to multiply after its’ kind. I know because I too was once a YEC and had all their book and even debated using their talking points. So the idea that I don’t know what they believe is ludicrous.

    Finally, you accuse ME of being dishonest. Personal attacks are expected from those that don’t have the evidence on their side, but that doesn’t mean that I’m here to volunteer for them. I’m here to interact with Nick, who has the courage and honesty to ask hard questions. I’m not here to get into some tit-for-tat with someone who is unable to see the flaws in a creation model that doesn’t work. I love this topic. I’ve studied it for over 30 years. I’ve debated it, I’ve written on it, and I’ve lectured and spoken on it. And, to be honest, I’ve forgotten more about it than most people ever know. The fact that you can’t deal with it doesn’t mean that I’m being dishonest or fighting a straw man. The flood-geology creation model of folks like Ken Ham is so weak and fraught with so many problems that I don’t NEED to be dishonest about it and, as such, it isn’t worth me throwing away my integrity on it. And the accusation is rich coming from a Ken Ham fan considering Ham’s own credibility issues. He’s been caught more than once distorting the facts to make his point. Things like editing Spurgeon so that he looks like a young-earther were actually predicted before it happened and his reputation for sloppy, dishonest apologetics came to pass just as expected. It wasn’t until they were actually publicly called on it by multiple people that they said that the reference to millions of years had been “accidentally” left out. They also edited Spurgeon’s references to the earth having stages of existence to him referring to “stages of creation” – as if it is the same thing. They are on at least their third (if not more) version of that one page. If they are going to misrepresent history, what makes you think that don’t also do it with science? If you are not familiar with the dishonest representation of evidence by the young-earth organizations, perhaps you should do come research and do some house cleaning in your own house before addressing mine. I’ll talk about this topic all day long, but I am not going to waste my time doing so with someone who refuses to see facts and resorts to personal attacks. And using a site with it’s known credibility issues as evidence of my own alleged dishonesty shows more about your own bias and lack of objectivity than it does anything else.

  26. Futurity Says:

    Daniel Eaton: “Quoting Ms Purdom does you no favors and isn’t convincing at all to me. She lost all credibility with me when I saw her in person. ”
    You called her dishonest and I asked you to prove it. You did not. You just keep saying she is.

    Daniel Eaton: “Second, you insist on quoting AIG as evidence that “kind” is not ambiguous and widely defined.”
    Kind is not ambiguous as it is defined as multiplying after their kind. it is simple.

    Daniel Eaton: “And that is odd because your very quote from them that puts it at a “family” level shows how broadly it is defined.”
    It is broadly defined when you look at today’s world, but when Noah took the animals on the ark there were mostly two of each kind and this is definitely not broadly. In fact the definition does not care whether there are many animals under it or not, it is irrelevant to the definition.

    Daniel Eaton: “Look at what they and other YECs have said over time and you will find repeated quotes that one species can’t evolve into another. And they do so based on “kinds” being able to multiply after its’ kind. ”
    Yet again you prove you ignorance. If they defined species as multiplying after their species, then goes what, they are right. And you apparently understand this as you wrote: “And they do so based on “kinds” being able to multiply after its’ kind. “.
    But this is not a good way to argue, because of species problem[1] and the specie definition is ambiguous as opponents would use different definition of specie. But you would know that if you were YEC, because in every single debate/source I saw of YEC who uses word specie, they defined it beforehand. Many YEC gave up on this tactics, because many lay people did not recognize the difference in definitions. Also, you couldn’t quickly convey the point you were trying to make as you first had to define the term specie. I used to debate like that, it did not work well, especially with lay people.

    Daniel Eaton: “I know because I too was once a YEC and had all their book and even debated using their talking points. So the idea that I don’t know what they believe is ludicrous.”
    Considering that you did not know the basics of YEC approach to science, that it is limited and that past it not scientific question, but historical one, you seem very badly informed. In seems to be you do not know the basics of scientific method, and its limitations. In fact I made simple arguments about it, ones you did not address.
    You did not know what are the underlying processes that would allow rapid changes in kinds(my previous post). You do not know the basics of YEC belief.

    Daniel Eaton: “Finally, you accuse ME of being dishonest. Personal attacks are expected from those that don’t have the evidence on their side, but that doesn’t mean that I’m here to volunteer for them.”
    The difference between me calling you dishonest and you calling other dishonest is that I actually caught you being dishonest.
    You defined yourself as professional ex-YEC, yet you keep misrepresenting what they believe.
    On other hand I asked you about Purdon, and to prove she is dishonest. You did not.
    Also if you knew basics of YEC belief you would know that evidence is on no one’s side. It is just evidence which is interpreted in light of a theory. The evidence does not belong to anyone, this is silly. And that is the point YEC is making.

    Daniel Eaton: “The fact that you can’t deal with it doesn’t mean that I’m being dishonest or fighting a straw man.”
    This is your straw man:
    Daniel Eaton: “Pretend that the non-turtle reptiles, amphibians, lizards, crocs, and eels are a “kind” and came from the same pair 4500 years ago after the flood.”
    You defined crocodiles which are CLASS: Reptilia (reptiles), eels which are CLASS Actinopterygii, amphibians, that is of CLASS Amphibia as one kind. Though, I already wrote the definition of a kind and what is its relation to modern classification system(level of FAMILY)[2]. You then proceeded to destroy your straw man.
    You defined animals from different CLASSes as one kind, despite YEC claim that one kind is mostly on level of FAMILY.
    In light of your claim that you are a pro ex-YEC, it really hard to argue that you are extremely ignorant of what YEC teaches, therefor one must conclude that you deliberately created a straw man.

    Daniel Eaton: “And the accusation is rich coming from a Ken Ham fan considering Ham’s own credibility issues. He’s been caught more than once distorting the facts to make his point. Things like editing Spurgeon so that he looks like a young-earther were actually predicted before it happened and his reputation for sloppy, dishonest apologetics came to pass just as expected. ”
    You keep calling people dishonest, but I do not see any proofs of that, could you substantiate you claim, just like I did when I called you dishonest?
    A quick look at AIG websites reveals, that they acknowledge that Spurgeon believed in an old earth[3].
    “Spurgeon was indeed opposed to liberal theology and to evolution, at least human evolution. But he compromised with the “millions of years” idea proclaimed by the geologists.”

    Even if Ken Ham made a mistake and called Spurgeon a YEC and then, presented with evidence that Spurgeon believed in old earth, Ken Ham retracted the statement. How does that make Ken Ham dishonest?
    In order for him to be dishonest, he must have known that Spurgeon was old-earther, yet he wrote he isn’t. Just like you a pro ex-YEC, who knew that kind is on level of family, yet defined it as being higher than class!

    “I’ll talk about this topic all day long, but I am not going to waste my time doing so with someone who refuses to see facts and resorts to personal attacks. ”
    I see facts, but I do not agree with your interpretation of them.
    I did not personally attacked you, I simply proved that you are dishonest by constantly misrepresenting what YEC believes, just like you defined kind as consisting of Classes of animals, while YEC claims they are on level of Family.
    That is not an attack, but a fact. Also by calling someone dishonest without substantiating your claim is being dishonest. And this is what you did with Dr Purdom. You did that twice in this debate.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem
    [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomic_rank#Ranks_in_botany
    [3] http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v5/n4/readers-respond

    • Daniel Eaton Says:

      I didn’t wade into the quicksand of “prove it” with you because it wouldn’t matter and would be a total waste of my time. You believe what you want and reject whatever doesn’t already fit your view. So it doesn’t matter what I tell you of what she said, you won’t accept it any more than you have accepted anything else that I’ve explained. You do basically what she advocated when I saw her. You strongly defend what you believe to be true regardless of the mountain of evidence showing that it isn’t. That isn’t faith though. It’s delusion. And the loss of credibility when we do that is why places like AIG and their “creation museum” that isn’t practicing creation science at all is a way that is even vaguely familiar with 1 Thessalonians 5:21 and, instead, is only reinforcing error under the umbrella of being spiritual. This whole idea that we need to examine things through their rose colored glasses of preconceptions isn’t Biblical at all because the “glasses” never get “tested”. They are just accepted. Yet you have the hubris to accuse someone like me that has actually struggled though that and found the deceptions and illogical arguments and done things the Biblical way as being dishonest and ignorant. Seriously? Keep drinking the kool-aid if that makes you happy. But don’t confuse your delusions with reality. I pray that you will honestly examine the facts one day and that the truth will set you free.

    • Daniel Eaton Says:

      Fut, I have one last piece of advice for you. Stop relying on current arguments and current web page contents as evidence of what YECs argue. Just as a single data point doesn’t prove a trend or the current state of AIG’s Spurgeon page doesn’t show all the changes to it that they were forced to make when they were called on their distortions, your whole bit about “kinds” and other things are being presented as “what YECs believe”. What you obviously don’t recognize is that YEC arguments evolve over time. They change into whatever supports their conclusion. In the 60s, for example, we were supposed to trust science. It proved their flood-geology model…until it didn’t. Not we are NOT to trust science and only trust the Bible. So they use science to back up what they propose as a “new” interpretation of Genesis, convince everyone of a theological interpretation, and then when the science fails, tell them that they have to start with the theological interpretation and only accept the science that supports it. And all the while, they call it “creation science”. It isn’t science at all. And the hubris of it all is that Ken Ham now comes out with warnings about adding to the Bible when (1) that is what got his flood geology model accepted in American protestant circles to begin with and (2) his entire career and income is built on doing just that. So stop the name-calling when I present something as YEC history and you pretend to disprove it with whatever their story is this week. Go pick up a copy of “The Creationists” by Ronald Numbers. It fully documents the evolution of creationism here in the United States and how the whole thing was built on a cover-up of its SDA roots. Do, like I did, and locate some pre-1960 commentaries and books on creation and Genesis and look at how it used to be taught. And then consider why it is that the YEC flood-geology movement, like the KJV-Only movement, is only popular in fundamentalist US churches in the last 50 years. The Catholics accept old ages. The Orthodox church does as well. So do the Anglicans, So do the overwhelming percentage of Christians in other countries and denominations here in the US. And, according to Ken Ham when he’s trying to justify the need for his ministry, most colleges, universities, and seminaries teach an old earth. “Compromise”, as they pejoratively call it, is accepted truth just about everywhere except the back woods of Kentucky. But the last thing Ham Inc will contemplate is that perhaps the reason why everyone else seems to be upside down is because they are the ones standing on their head. I’m sure Ken Ham thinks he’s right. But his thinking is wrong. He doesn’t approach things looking for truth. He approaches things accepting as truth whatever agrees with him. If he were infallible and omniscient, it would be a valid approach. But he’s not and it’s not. So stop making someone with a diploma in education from Down Under some cult leader that is to be blindly followed. Do your research into the ever-changing creationist positions. And then ask yourself how credible is it for creationist groups to still sell you materials with such disproved claims and illogical arguments in it while complaining that the science books in the local school are out of date. Pot, meet Kettle.

  27. apologianick Says:

    I can easily say this about Daniel Eaton. I interacted with him for years on PALtalk and we had great interaction together debating non-Christians and I do believe he does come with what he’s talking about with real study of it. That doesn’t mean that I agree with him on everything, but it does mean I respect that he’s at least come to the table in preparation.

    To say he’s ignorant is really inaccurate.

    On the other hand, since he has made statements about this lady Futurity keeps referring to, I would like to really see a direct statement about what she said that turned her off to him so much. I frankly don’t know enough on the particular to comment.

    btw, in all of this, I have not stated my stance on evolution or the age of the Earth. There’s a reason for that.

  28. Daniel Eaton Says:

    If you want to read about some of what I referred to when I said, “I’ve never seen a more dishonest and damaging address to seniors in all my life”, you can read some of what I posted in a blog about it.The link is http://theologica.ning.com/profiles/blogs/provisional-theology-aka-my. Basically, this was right after some comments that she and Ken Ham had made that got Ham dis-invited from some homeschool conventions. Their comments were seen as mean spirited and unchristian. And she basically double-downed on it in an audience she knew would be friendly to her. As far as I am concerned, she proved the homeschool groups right.

  29. apologianick Says:

    Daniel. When I read the way she was treating Enns and pointing to a kind of slippery slope, I couldn’t help but think of the way Norman Geisler has been treating my father-in-law. Now I am very certain about Inerrancy, but if someone was really doubting it, and my father-in-law isn’t, then let them present their case. It will take a lot more to convince me as I am certain, but I should always be open to the evidence. How can we expect non-Christians to be open to what we have to say if we refuse to listen to them?

  30. apologianick Says:

    I do like it.

  31. Futurity Says:

    I am Polish and I was raised as Catholic, then I became an evolutionists because of molecule-to-man evolution over millions of years. While I retained a belief in a god, it was not God from the Bible. I see exactly the same trend today in my colleagues, but many went further and became atheists. BTW Catholic church did not put his stand on the age of the earth.

    The real issue here is that Genesis was written as historical narrative and thus it does not fit evolution(universe, chemical, biological) over billions of years.
    The evidence is overwhelming that Genesis was written as historical narrative and I encourage you to learn about it, I think J P Holding[1] is a person you both trust and he does believe that Genesis was written as historical narrative. Start there.

    Daniel Eaton: “What you obviously don’t recognize is that YEC arguments evolve over time.”
    Sure I do and that is something good. I already proved it when I wrote that some creationists argued that species(own definition) do not change, and changed their arguments to mean kinds don’t change.
    AIG has list of arguments that creationists should not use[2], so they admit that their arguments evolve.
    When it comes to scientific arguments this is expected. As this is what science is, if something does not fit, you go back to drawing board. This is what today’s scientists do. This is not something that is wrong, contrary, it is good, it makes our models better and allows us to better understand the world. So, you are wrong, we should engage in the most recent models and arguments, in both sides. This is science, the fact you do not recognize this basic truth about it is most telling.

    What did not change is treating Genesis as historical narrative.

    Daniel Eaton: “Not we are NOT to trust science and only trust the Bible. ”
    No, as I wrote, we should not believe scientist who observe the world today and make stories about the past that fits the evidence. As I proved, there can be many stories that fit the evidence.
    What is the most important here is that we have the history of the world revealed to us by the word of God, as Genesis was written as historical narrative.
    Today, many Christians believe in a story made up by scientists, instead of what is written in Genesis and they interpret Genesis to fit those stories that are made up today.
    We trust science, yet we know it is limited. For history, we go to Bible.

    Daniel Eaton: “1 Thessalonians 5:21”
    1 Thessalonians 5:21 is not about science at all. Just read the passage “Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”. Is about spiritual things, and their results and what is good and that we should hold to that which is good.

    But let for the sake of the argument assume that this passage is about testing everything. Do you test this sentence also: “Test all things;”?
    If so then this passage is self-refuting, because you cannot assume that the sentence “Test all things” is true(because you are testing it) and therefor you do not have to test it.

    It is a division of argument that science can prove everything, all you have to do is ask to prove scientifically that sentence “science can prove everything” is true to refute it.

    Daniel Eaton: “This whole idea that we need to examine things through their rose colored glasses of preconceptions isn’t Biblical at all because the “glasses” never get “tested”.”
    Of course we do, this is what testing is. All testing is done against oracle(truth). For example children at school write tests and then those tests are checked against right answers(oracle). The children are tested against right answers. Notice that oracle(right answers) are not tested when the test happens, but are assumed to be true.
    I assume that my oracle is God and his revealed word. Only problem I have is to learn what was the intention of the author and to whom he was writing, historical context etc. And I think the evidence that Genesis is written as historical narrative is overwhelming.

    When testing, truth is crucial, and that is why God is truth.

    From my experience evolutionists when testing past, use their own truths(oracles), which are not compatible with Genesis.

    apologianick: “To say he’s ignorant is really inaccurate.”
    I have shown, that he is ignorant what of YECs believe. I have shown for example that he defined a kind as animal of different classes. This is outrages, but it relates to science, so you may not understand it(as of your own admission you do not know much about science).
    He made one claim that was not scientific, he said that “So they use science to back up what they propose as a “new” interpretation of Genesis, convince everyone of a theological interpretation”. So is treating Genesis as historical narrative a “new” interpretation of Genesis?
    Another instance is the issue of Spurgeon. Even if AIG was wrong and retracted it, how that makes them dishonest? It is to contrary, they are honest about it, they are honest that they were wrong. Nobody is perfect. But to seek evil in them and call them dishonest, you need more than something they were wrong about and then they listen to the critic and changed it.
    He needs to prove it that they knew it was wrong from the beginning and they put it to deceive people.

    apologianick: “btw, in all of this, I have not stated my stance on evolution or the age of the Earth. There’s a reason for that.”
    But I just happen to get it right from the very beginning. How come? How come is so easy to decipher you?

    Daniel Eaton: “Purdom”
    I cannot verify your claims in that article, but at least you gave me some reasons why you think she is dishonest.
    I would I agree with AIG, that Mr Enns’ approach is wrong as he seeks to accommodate stories about past made by scientists.
    About being provisional: I think the most important part left out is truth. You see if the people are divided by truth, this is good because we should preach the truth. If the people are divided by falsehood, this is wrong because we should preach truth and be one church. If by falsehood we are joined together with unbelievers, it is wrong for we should not do it(what has leaven with unleaven?).
    I could be wrong, you could be wrong, we both could be wrong. And I think it is better to be quite than to preach falsehood.

    Daniel Eaton: “I pray that (…) the truth will set you free.”
    John 8:30-34:
    “31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
    33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
    34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. ”
    The context is clear here, so on what bases are you claiming I am unsaved, that I am slave to sin and not slave to Christ?

    [1] http://www.tektonics.org/TK-GEN.html
    [2] http://www.answersingenesis.org/get-answers/topic/arguments-we-dont-use

  32. apologianick Says:

    Futurity. What is my stance on origins? Could you describe it for me?

  33. Daniel Eaton Says:

    Statements like “The evidence is overwhelming that Genesis was written as historical narrative” ignores all the evidence that it was likely written by multiple people over time and that Genesis 1, in particular, isn’t written as historical narrative at all, but rather a poetic “framework” focused more on function than material or history. John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate” clearly shows this. It also gets into all the temple symbolism in the chapter. It is more about theology and God than is is the history of the world.

    We like to focus on six actions over six days, but it is God that is the focus and not the details of how things came to be. We like to focus on the small number of times it refers to God ambiguously “making” things, but making isn’t the focus. God is mentioned something like 40 times in the account. And when it talks of “making” thing, the item isn’t the focus of the sentence. Things were made TO BE for something or to serve some function or purpose for us. The focus is God as sovereign provider of all we need. And when we say things like it is overwhelmingly history, we not only distort the text into something else, but loose all the theology in the process. In effect, we take a chapter that clearly points to HIM and make it about the creation. I’m sure the Great Deceiver loves that. He doesn’t have to get us to deny God to win. All he has to do is get us to focus on When or How instead of Who.

    As far as your question about testing goes, it IS possible to test a process and see if it brings truth. The fact that you so quickly dismiss that or say that it only applies to spiritual things ignores all the other places that the Bible does things like endorse the actions of the Bareans or encourage us to reason or to listen to both sides of an argument. If your idea that only spiritual things could be or should be tested was valid, then Romans 1 would make no sense. General Revelation, the creation itself, can be trusted, tested, and seen as a pointer to a Designer. But if you want to take the point that “everything” means something different, feel free to try to make that claim.

  34. Futurity Says:

    apologianick: “Futurity. What is my stance on origins? Could you describe it for me?”
    Because you wrote: “Or would it be neither? Have you even read Blocher’s work on “In The Beginning” or something like “The Lost World of Genesis 1? by John Walton?”
    Which means, it is not an issue to you, because you think you can relate to both groups YEC and OEC etc. I think you are wrong as the whole reason YEC came to be is the belief that Genesis is written as historical narrative. By saying to YEC, that they can believe in Blocher’s work/framework hypothesis and YEC, you say to them that they don’t have to believe in YEC. Unknowingly, you sided with OEC. YEC was created because of belief that Genesis is written as historical narrative. Take that belief away and you took the foundation of YEC. Unknowingly, you sided with OEC, because if Genesis does not describe history, then you can believe what you want about it and people quickly choose what culture believes(which today is evolution and old earth). And evolution is not a nice story, it is full of death, suffering, thorns and thistles, which God pronounced very good. Old earth is essential to evolution.

    Daniel Eaton: “Statements like “The evidence is overwhelming that Genesis was written as historical narrative” ignores all the evidence that it was likely written by multiple people over time”
    Could you substantiate your claim that Genesis having many authors, disproves it being written as historical narrative?
    This is quite novel to me as I also believe that it had many authors.

    Daniel Eaton: “Genesis 1, in particular, isn’t written as historical narrative at all, but rather a poetic “framework” focused more on function than material or history. John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate” clearly shows this.”
    Poetic “framework”? Do you mean poetry?
    I am quite familiar with framework hypothesis proponents and they at best claim, it is semi-poetic.

    Daniel Eaton: “It is more about theology and God than is is the history of the world. ”
    Can you comprehend that is about both? That God by describing these events, describes Himself and the His relation to his creation?
    That by denying historical account of the creation you distort what God did and communicated?

    Daniel Eaton: “We like to focus on six actions over six days, but it is God that is the focus and not the details of how things came to be. ”
    I agree, it is God who is in the center of Genesis, but how that disproves that Genesis is written as historical narrative?
    Just because God is the actor who acts, does not disprove his detailed acts.

    “Daniel Eaton: And when it talks of “making” thing, the item isn’t the focus of the sentence. Things were made TO BE for something or to serve some function or purpose for us.”
    Indeed, God is, but this does not disprove that God describes his relation to the creation and later to us. In fact your statement proves it as you said: “Things were made TO BE for something or to serve some function or purpose for us.” . So it does describe the relation of an item to God. Even you acknowledge that. And this is what the debate is about. What relation does God described in Genesis towards his creation.
    Implying that YEC does not recognize that God is the center of Genesis is not only false, but really low.

    Daniel Eaton: “The focus is God as sovereign provider of all we need.”
    I agree, how that disproves my claim that Genesis is written as historical narrative?

    Daniel Eaton: “And when we say things like it is overwhelmingly history, we not only distort the text into something else, but loose all the theology in the process. In effect, we take a chapter that clearly points to HIM and make it about the creation.”
    Again on what grounds do you claim that the fact that God is the center of Genesis, disproves that Genesis is historical account?

    Daniel Eaton: “He doesn’t have to get us to deny God to win.”
    I agree.

    Daniel Eaton: “All he[Satan] has to do is get us to focus on When or How instead of Who. ”
    You are wrong. All Satan has to do is make us doubt/deny His word.
    Do you remember how humanity fell? What serpent said?
    “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden”?”
    Which later followed by: “”You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.” And she ate the fruit.
    Notice that serpent never denies God, only what God has communicated, so in effect Eve also does not deny God, but what he said.
    So every word of God is important and if God communicates Who, When and How, then it is important.

    Daniel Eaton: “As far as your question about testing goes, it IS possible to test a process and see if it brings truth.”
    Exactly my point, that you will use an oracle to do it. In other words to test a process you need to assume truths that this process will evaluated against. Every time you test, you must assume truths. Something you denied we should do.

    Daniel Eaton: “The fact that you so quickly dismiss that or say that it only applies to spiritual things”
    You misrepresent me and take spiritual things out of context.
    Futurity: “Is about spiritual things, and their results and what is good and that we should hold to that which is good.”
    Clearly, I was alluding to the Semitic Totality Concept [1].
    “Applied to the individual, the Semitic Totality Concept means that “a man’s thoughts form one totality with their results in action so that ‘thoughts’ that result in no action are ‘vain’.””
    Just like I wrote, the oracle that we must use when testing is Gods word.

    Daniel Eaton: “General Revelation, the creation itself, can be trusted”
    Trust creation? That sounds like idolatry, especially since God cursed creation. Is it even worse because instead trusting God, many Christians trusts scientists who devise stories about the past. I chose God over scientists who devise stories about the past.

    Daniel Eaton: “But if you want to take the point that “everything” means something different, feel free to try to make that claim.”
    I already did:
    “But let for the sake of the argument assume that this passage is about testing everything. Do you test this sentence also: “Test all things;”?
    If so then this passage is self-refuting, because you cannot assume that the sentence “Test all things” is true(because you are testing it) and therefor you do not have to test it.”
    So what oracle would you use to test “Test all things;”?

    [1] http://www.tektonics.org/af/baptismneed.html

  35. apologianick Says:

    Futurity. You claimed to know my position. You said I think I can relate to both OEC and YEC. So what? That doesn’t state what my position is. Please tell me what mine is.

  36. Daniel Eaton Says:

    My point, Fut, is that you lump in lots of work under the umbrella of “Genesis is history”. I believe there is very good reason to believe Genesis has multiple authors, so saying that Gen. 1 is “historical narrative” because some of the other passages are is a broad-brush statement. I’d agree that MOST of the book is historical in nature, but I don’t read the first chapter (up to the “generations of the heaven and the earth” statement) as historical narrative. It’s too structured. And there is too much there that doesn’t line up with reality if it is to be taken as literal history on the planet. It is full of theological truth. But we can’t say it is full of historical geographical/cosmological truth. If it is science/cosmology or the history of it, it’s wrong on several levels. Its very vivid picture of making God responsible for the three-tiered universe understanding of ancient cosmology of the day should be your first clue that it’s not teaching cosmology, but rather theology. This whole water canopy idea is one of the arguments that AIG has now abandoned (to their credit), but it is clearly described in the text as being “above” the sun, moon, and stars. The heavenly bodies are “in” the firmament and the “waters above”, held back by flood gates, is ABOVE the firmament “dome”. So the cosmology is totally wrong. So how could this be literal history of that cosmology? Spend some time looking over all the references in http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/godawa_scholarly_paper_2.pdf and re-examine this idea that this is literal history/cosmology or something else. If you want to defend that cosmology, go for it. You can’t claim Genesis (and other passages) are the history of the world without defending what it SAYS about that world. The idea that the cosmology should not be argued shows how indefensible it is, but the contention that it should still be believed just shows how out of touch with reality AIG really is.

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