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Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:50 am

I have a couple buddies Im bringing over here. I will come as well. Post to come...

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:11 am

Lets get a general discussion going as our focus will narrow as it always does. A good opening question would be...Evidence from genetics, biology, geology etc reveal that living things connected in a certain way, have gone through massive change over the eons, or at the very least share common ancestry with more primitive kinds the further we look back in the history of the planet. Given that the mechanisms of natural selection and genetic mutation don't seem capable of yielding the diversity we have today, what is the obstacle that prevents those, more pointedly, Christians from believing God created in this way? What are the implications of the character of our God if He did create in this way rather than special creationary acts?

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:46 pm

For me, this question has to be asked in two separate ways. First, What does is say about God if all of nature, except Adam, was created this way. Second, what does it say about God if all of nature, including Adam, was created in this way. The first way is inclusive of the teachings of Paul, and of Jesus, who both treat Adam as a real, actual person, who as one man was responsible for "Original Sin". This way doesn't cause me to re-examine any view of God that I currently have. The second way, with the assumption that Paul was wrong in his teachings on original sin, and that Jesus, even knowing the truth, taught a falsity would definitely cause me to have to re-examine a fundamental understanding who God is, as well as the Bible as a whole.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Spinks on Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:56 pm

I'm getting the popcorn ready for this one!

How about someone with a dog in this fight throw in some scripture to validate your position?

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:35 am

1 Corinthians 15:45-49... Paul's treatise on the the first Adam. Romans 5:12-Paul's discussion on sin entering by one man, Adam. It is historically understood that Paul treated Adam as a real person, specially created and singly responsible for sin entering the world. These verses, as well as Paul himself, are suspect without a single man, Adam, who is responsible for sin entering the world.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Spinks on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:51 am

Jeremyshall wrote:1 Corinthians 15:45-49... Paul's treatise on the the first Adam. Romans 5:12-Paul's discussion on sin entering by one man, Adam. It is historically understood that Paul treated Adam as a real person, specially created and singly responsible for sin entering the world. These verses, as well as Paul himself, are suspect without a single man, Adam, who is responsible for sin entering the world.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Schenck13 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:14 pm

While I don't believe we serve a deceptive God, I do believe, through my reading of Scripture (which is not adequate enough for me, but adequate for this discussion), that God has made our world very flimsy. Material joys are so fleeting, and this ironical God has fashioned a world where our hopes and dreams outside His due Glory are quickly dashed and destroyed.

Romans 1 is so spot on in it's diagnosis of sin, starting in 18: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not give him thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and of foot-footed animals."

So while what we can know about the creation we live in is given by God for His glory, darkness permeates every aspect of my understandings of God's creation, laws, process. And not only that, but when I begin to glory in the wisdom of worldly knowledge, idolatry is at the doorstep, as I begin to put faith in what is revealed outside my own heart, and in light of knowledge about other animals and natural creation. At this point you either believe that sin creeps into the accumulation of obersevational data and is always as flimsy as every other knowledge we can have, or you begin to put faith in your own understanding of things.

I'm not anti-knowledge by any stretch. Math is where we ride God's coattails. It was most easy for me to see the invisible attributes of God, in math, even as a small boy. But when we reach the edges of understanding of what God has revealed in math, to begin speaking in absolutes that can only demote the understanding of things as God revealed in His Word, we stand as a ringing endorsement for what Paul says in Romans. Ironically, here God gets all the glory as well, and Scripture is established quite well.

That the Lord gives us a revealed Word about creation, the way in which He wanted to reveal it, is something to believe on faith alone, not by extra-bibilical work of reason. The issues of Scriptural infallibility and of it's rank in logic and revealed truth come into play. Because there is plenty that God does not fully reveal within Scripture, but Christians must be diligent to make sure that profitable knowledge outside of Scripture never run contrary to what God has revealed by the same Word through which Christ is known.

Even if none of what is ultimately revealed in the scientific community about the way things came to be was contrary to Scripture, but all things were found to be in step with God's work and wisdom; at the current, the academia of natural sciences promotes a God belittling paradigm of cold mechanic processes, void of the personal reflection of all things being made by God. This inevitably has led to people's hearty acceptance of being "for science, not spirituality."

The "how" should not overshadow, rank above, be in conflict with the "why" in regards to a man's journey as a Christian. While I think that hermeneutics are redeeming, knowing exactly the end is impossible, because God has left mystery and we must accept what is given, sufficient. Scripture says that the wisdom of the world is futile, why do we exclude "theories that have not been disproven" as outside of darkened understanding? "Why" He made is something God reveals much more than the "how," even though both are Jesus Christ.

I saw where they now can tell you everything about what your fetus' DNA will house, pretty much giving you a sneak peak at genetic makeup of a baby in the womb. Pretty incredible and scary. That they used known science to get to the point of understanding of how to do that is absolute. No doubt that many things come from advancement of worldly knowledge. But if this begins to streamline abortions until couples get the baby they want, the truth known about "how" babies are knitted is sinfully abused and makes enemies of "why" God gives every child just as they are, for our acceptance of His' providential care.

Knowing anything absolute of the processes of God's creation does not guarantee us the understanding of WHY He made it that way, and the Bible only warns us that too much stock put into made things is not the same as glorying the Maker of them, but an idolatrous overpursuit of things that should point to Jesus Christ and His' righteousness, and God's eternal power and might.

More to come...






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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:28 pm

Lots here.

Romans 1 - We suppress the truth by worshiping the creation(what we can see) instead of the Creator(what we can not)Its human tendency. Moses went up on a mountain for just a little while, came back down and the idiots had built large gold animal statues to bow down to. (Moses descends from peak as the spectacle comes into view- I imagine Moses mumbling "WTH") Im unsure of how this applies to what we are talking about other than our innate pride problem or those who go too far to believe natural science can reveal the "WHY". But where you are mistaken is most naturalists would tell you the exact same thing a Christian scientist would and that is " observational science is ill-equipped to answer why". The assumption that there are large numbers of people, who in your assembly of the straw, ascribe that observational science can yield purpose or "why" is a fallacy. Even strict naturalists are not saying natural processes show us why- they are merely avoiding the why or are comfortable saying they have no need for why.


But when we reach the edges of understanding of what God has revealed in
math, to begin speaking in absolutes that can only demote the
understanding of things as God revealed in His Word,
we stand as a
ringing endorsement for what Paul says in Romans. Ironically, here God
gets all the glory as well, and Scripture is established quite well.
- Give me an example of what this looks like? Are you saying something like..people who say "God created species through evolutionary advance, not special creation"- in absolute terms like this? IMO, it is only out of pure arrogance and ignorance that any would speak in ABSOLUTES with regard to observational science. That is the beauty of the method-absolutes can never be reached. Its like the formula in special relativity that demonstrates Clint is in a spaceship increasing his speed to as fast as he can go. As he approaches the speed of light, it takes more energy to get closer to the speed of light, and the closer you get to the speed of light it takes exponentially greater amounts of energy to get there. Because we don't have unlimited energy, you can't reach the speed of light. So you are lumping in the nuts who say that "rule" will never be broken with the 99% who understand from history not to stick your neck out and say "never"

the academia of natural sciences promotes a God belittling paradigm of
cold mechanic processes, void of the personal reflection of all things
being made by God. This inevitably has led to people's hearty acceptance
of being "for science, not spirituality."
This is the reason I love this topic. There is little more dangerous as this mischaracterization. Its true in the sense that the man of science and the man of faith merely talk past each other. But it iis patently false to say its necessary. A brilliant essay by the professor of astronomy at U of A Bill Keel (read the conversation at the end between the man of faith and the man of science) http://www.astr.ua.edu/keel/dialogues.html

Knowing anything absolute of the processes of God's creation does not
guarantee us the understanding of WHY He made it that way,
again see above. It doesn't guarantee the "why"; it doesnt attempt to.

Jeremy: Yes, the historicity of Adam is a problem. I do believe he was real. Real in what sense is what Im unsure of. The main problem with this logic is the "sin entered through one man".

Genetic evidence shows that humans descended from a group of several
thousand individuals who lived about 50-100,000 years ago. This conflicts
with the traditional view that all humans descended from a single pair
who lived about 50-100,000 years ago. While Genesis 2-3 speaks of the pair
Adam and Eve, Genesis 4 refers to a larger population of humans
interacting with Cain. 1) view Adam and Eve as a
historical pair living among many 10,000 years ago, chosen to represent
the rest of humanity before God. 2) view Genesis 2-4
as an allegory in which Adam and Eve symbolize the large group of
ancestors who lived 150,000 years ago. 3) view
Genesis 2-4 as an “everyman” story, a parable of each person’s
individual rejection of God. "a parable of each person’s
individual rejection of God" makes the most sense to me.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:15 pm

Firstly, while Genesis 4 does speak to a group of people, it can just as easily be interpreted as members of his own extended family instead of a group of people outside of his family. Gen. 4:14-"Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.".
Secondly, with any of your possibilities, my answer is the same as to your original question. It seems to force you to espouse the idea that Paul was incorrect and that Jesus was somehow "in on the joke". Like we have discussed before, when there are two opposing ideas, you have to decide what you will choose as the repository of ultimate truth. Will it be the scientific community (you know, I almost typed science, but I watched a TED talk last night where a cosmologist posited that in the far flung future, the scientific community will unequivicolly state that we live in a universe that is devoid of any other galaxies. This was based on the finding that the rate of expansion is increasing and therefore the distances between galaxies will one day be so great that the light will not be able to overcome the rate of expansion. So, to that scientific community, they will hold Truth, but they will be dead wrong!) or the Bible? I know that it can be said that these are not opposing ideas, but that it is our understanding that is limited.
But, just for the sake of argument, if you unequivocally acknowledge that science shows one thing and that Scripture shows the exact opposite, have you considered which is going to be held as the ultimate repository of truth?

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:10 pm

Paul was incorrect and that Jesus was somehow "in on the joke"
- Option 3 is compatible with Paul and Jesus' reference to Adam in my opinion. Adam is the head figure who is the representation of the separation from God. ie sin. But then again I could be playing mental gymnastics.

if you unequivocally acknowledge that science shows one thing and that Scripture shows the exact opposite,
- I have yet to find any such instance but the Bible wins. Have you found any instance where current understanding albeit incredibly flawed is in direct opposition to the Bible?


Last edited by tuscaloosatanning on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:21 pm

And Jeremy I dont agree that
it can just as easily be interpreted as members of his own extended family instead of a group of people outside of his family.
- God smiles on or (ordains in this instance) incest to multiply? That, to me, is inconsistent with the rest of Scripture.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:12 pm

After responses, I would like to pose a question or two...We always tend to focus on the theological implications and never get to evolutionary theory so for once I would like to focus some discussion of the merits of darwinian evolution.

For those espousing special creationary acts what rebuttal would you offer against strong evidence for common descent concerning:

1) Human chromosome #2
2) Vestigial remnants
3) Whale feet. Yes whale feet
4) The countless transitional forms pointing to common ancestor see below
5) Geological strata that the deeper you dig(further back in time) species are more primitive
6) The human appendix
7) The fossil record
We can start there and if more are needed I can provide.


Transitional Forms
Bactritida is a transitional form between nautilus and modern ammonoids.
From octopod to cephalopod – Vampyonassa
Archimylacris is the ancestral to cockroaches and termites from the earliest known insects
From invertebrates to fish- This is an important transition – The ancestor of modern invertebrates Pikaia. Then Conodont. Haikouichthys Then guiyu.
Cyclobatis- An ancestral form of stingrays
Leptolepis – One of the teleosts
Palaeoperca- a primitive perch
Nardovelifer- ancestor of all lamprids

Fish to Tetrapods.

Osteolepis- This is a perfect transition from fish to tetrapod
Panderichthys- almost a tetrapod
Tiktaalik- This is the greatest Link between fish to land dweller-perfect form
Ventastega- this is transitional between tiktaalik and acanthostega
Acanthostega- perfect form- toes rather than fins but still with gills

Hynerpeton- Walking four legs salamander like
Tulerpeton-lung breathing
Pederpes-transitional between early and late walkers
Eryops ancestral of amphibian

Gerobatrachus-transitional to modern amphibians
Triadobatrachus- link between early amphibians and frogs
Prosalirus- another perfect transitional between early amphibians and frogs


Eocaecilia-amphiban to reptile
Proterogyrinus-early reptile a transition from amphibian to reptile
Limnoscelis-amphibian like reptile
Casineria- the first reptile

Eileanchelys-link between sea and land turtles


From lizards to snakes-
Eupodophis
Najash

Lizard to pterosaurs-Darwinopterus
From archosaur to dinosaur!
Proterosuchus

Dinosaurs to birds!
Anchiornis
Scansoriopteryx-dinosaur with feathered wings
Archaeopteryx-perfect transitional form between dinosaur to bird
Ichthyornis-teeth of a dinosaur and the first modern bird


Reptiles to mammals- Archaeothyris dimetrodon
Yanoconodon


Mammals-Sivapithecus- ancestral between ape and orangutan

Whales-from land to sea!



Land dwelling to sea dwelling Eotheroides

Ape to human- Apidium- this is an early monkey leading to modern monkeys
Transitional between old monkeys and modern monkeys-Aegyptopithecus
Monkey to ape-Proconsul
From ape to great apes leading to humans-Pierolapithecus
The common ancestor of chimps and humans-Ardipithecus
This is the link between quadruple and bipedal apes-Australopithecus they are walking now!!

Link between hominids and humans-Homo habilis
Ancestral link between humans and Neanderthals-Homo erectus
Ancestral to modern humans-'Archaic' sapiens

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Spinks on Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:16 am

I have a rather simplistic question concerning evolutionary theory.

Ape to human- Apidium- this is an early monkey leading to modern monkeys
Transitional between old monkeys and modern monkeys-Aegyptopithecus
Monkey to ape-Proconsul
From ape to great apes leading to humans-Pierolapithecus
The common ancestor of chimps and humans-Ardipithecus
This is the link between quadruple and bipedal apes-Australopithecus they are walking now!!

Link between hominids and humans-Homo habilis
Ancestral link between humans and Neanderthals-Homo erectus
Ancestral to modern humans-'Archaic' sapiens


If the lesser evolves into the greater, why does the lesser version still exist? If God gave the organism the tools to change into something better does it make sense that great apes and humans coexist today? Or, am I misunderstanding the entire idea?

I'm not trying to be difficult. I just want to understand the positions being presented.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:13 am

Great question Bill, Defining helps.
Ancestral forms and "transitional" forms. Two terms key in understanding evolution.
Ancestral forms are merely the common ancestor between two species. Ardipithecus is the ancestral form between apes and humans.
Transitional forms is the most misleading term in evolution. Similar to the BIG BANG THEORY(where the layman immediately associates BIG BANG with accident=chance=no God=Big Bang not true) the term transitional has been associated with a "missing link". This is deceptive. I am a transitional form. Apes are transitional. Dogs. Cats. Butterflies.

Every species that does not end in extinction is a transitional species
because selective pressures are always present.
I
t's merely the forms that are extinct that we see in the fossil record are simply ones that couldn't adapt etc.You might say why does the labrador retriever still exist? The lab is transitional between the gray wolf and the chihuahua. How can they coexist? Well, in this case, human pressure. In cases of the dinosaurs, natural pressures like climate or catastrophic collisions.


Dinosaurs no longer exist, but some of them were "transitional forms" between crocodiloids and birds. See archeopteryx I believe.

So Bill the idea of the lesser into the greater is misleading.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:22 am

A question I have is this: Are natural selection and genetic mutation enough to produce the variety of species we have today? Does punctuated equilibrium describe massive quick bursts of evolution like the Cambrian explosion. This is a major doubt that I have.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by XianSmitherman on Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:02 pm

tuscaloosatanning wrote:After responses, I would like to pose a question or two...We always tend to focus on the theological implications and never get to evolutionary theory so for once I would like to focus some discussion of the merits of darwinian evolution.

For those espousing special creationary acts what rebuttal would you offer against strong evidence for common descent concerning:

1) Human chromosome #2
2) Vestigial remnants
3) Whale feet. Yes whale feet
4) The countless transitional forms pointing to common ancestor see below
5) Geological strata that the deeper you dig(further back in time) species are more primitive
6) The human appendix
7) The fossil record
We can start there and if more are needed I can provide.

Man. This is going to take a while. Don't you have a job or something? XD

1. Human Chromosome #2

Yes, they may have come from two different chromosomes, but this is an example of genetics working in a conservative (as creationists say) way instead of a creative one (evolutionary). No new information, actually a loss. The HC2 position also incorrectly assumes that HC2 comes from ape chromosomes 12 and 13, which it could just as likely be that it came from two HUMAN chromosomes. This is completely possibly because centric fusions and rearrangements can happen without affecting the health and well being of an animal as well as its productive fitness as was shown with sheep that were the same species but of a different karyotype. All of the same information is there, just a different order. Reading the New Testament before you read the Old Testament doesn't change the Bible. Neither does it with chromosomal information.

2. Vestigial Remnants

Did you know that humans used to have about 134 vestigial remnants? Now the number is somewhere in the 20's, I believe. This is because as science and medicine has evolved (I wish there was a better word, progressed maybe?) to the point that we understand what they do. Since you put appendix under another number, I'll address it later, but I'll address instead another evolutionist favorite: the coccyx. Supposedly the leftover remnants of a tail, it actually anchors the anus into place as well as being the the anchor point for the muscles that form the entire pelvic diaphragm. If humans can live without it, I will personally take out a student loan to surgically have yours removed. All vestigial organs have a purpose, science just has to catch up.

3. Whale "Feet"

These bones, which I admit have the appearance of legs, serve a very different function. They actually aid in reproduction to help put "the motion in the ocean."

4. Transitional Forms

I don't have time today since that is the largest section of all, but I'll get to it another time.

5. Geological Strata

Of course they are more primitive the further you dig! This is easily explained by a global flood in two ways. 1.) When you shake up sediment and dead animals together (I used to have a link to an experiment, but I can't find it anymore), they will ALWAYS settle according to density. The more "primitive" animals such as mollusks are more dense and tend to be found lower. 2.) This other argument is actually complementary as well. It sates that as the flood waters rose, animals and humans around the world said "Oh s***." and started moving to higher ground (and birds can only fly for so long). More primitive species, well as fish, would have been taken out near the beginning in large amounts (accounting for their number of fossils) while humans would have been the last to go. Since humans would have been near the top, their bodies would have decomposed too quickly and wouldn't be deep enough for fossilization to occur.

6. The Appendix

Recent studies have shown that the appendix houses good bacteria in the body and while you can live without it, it doesn't benefit you in the least as you are more prone to infection and disease. Animals can also live without their legs, but it doesn't improve their quality of life. One should not assume that ignorance of a function means there is no function. http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/10151

7. The Fossil Record

This actually goes with 4 too much to be separated, so I'll go into further detail later, but ranking does absolutely nothing to prove evolution. Unless there is documented first-hand evidence, one cannot prove that one set of fossilized remains came from another.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:07 pm

tuscaloosatanning wrote:
Paul was
incorrect and that Jesus was somehow "in on the joke"
-
Option 3 is compatible with Paul and Jesus' reference to Adam in my opinion.
Adam is the head figure who is the representation of the separation from God.
ie sin. But then again I could be playing mental gymnastics.

I will also need to include Jude and Luke in the list of NT writers who treat Adam as a singular person, not as figurative "head" or everyman. Jude 1:14 -Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, 67 even prophesied of them, 68 saying, “Look! The Lord is coming 69 with thousands and thousands 70 of his holy ones. According the NET lexicon -67 tn Grk “the seventh from Adam.” sn The genealogical count is inclusive, counting Adam as the first, for Enoch is really the sixth in descent from Adam (Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch). In this way, the picture of perfection/completion was retained (for the number seven is often used for perfection or completion in the Bible) starting with Adam and concluding with Enoch.
Jude clearly treats Adam as a singular individual by his presentation of him as the first in the genealogy. Assuming "mankind" in this place does not make sense with what Jude is saying.
Luke 3:38 - the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. The NET lexicon has this to say - 82 sn The reference to the son of God here is not to a divine being, but to one directly formed by the hand of God. He is made in God’s image, so this phrase could be read as appositional (“Adam, that is, the son of God”).

tuscaloosatanning wrote:
if you unequivocally acknowledge
that science shows one thing and that Scripture shows the exact
opposite,
- I have yet to find any such instance but the Bible wins.
Have you found any instance where current understanding albeit incredibly
flawed is in direct opposition to the Bible?


Do you mean, have I found something that I absolutely am convinced that is diametrically opposed? If so, then the answer is no, I have not. But, at what point do you begin to question if this might be one of those issues? How many NT writers are going to be called into question before it becomes an issue of being forced to take sides?

Just as a reminder though, as my first post stated, for me, the idea of special creation is only theologically necessary for Adam. So, if there is a middle ground where what is currently shown by the scientific community can be used to explain everything else, leaving Man alone as a being specially created by direct divine intervention, then I do not think that it in any way has to be two sided.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by kdcarden on Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:49 pm

in reply to Smitherman:

1) Chromosome 2 may very well have fused after humans split from other great apes. But the issue is not whether Chromosome 2 could have arisen within a species. The issue is what Chromosome 2 tells us about our relation to the other great ape species. There is information in the banding structure and centromeres of the ape chromosome that tells us that we come from a common ancestor. There is a very distinct reason that I say it points to common ancestry and not to a common designer. The similarities are in areas that could have used a number of different "ingredients". It's like making a recipe in which there could be 1000 different substitutions and still create something that produces the exact same taste. So when we look at the human chromosome and the ape chromosome, if God created them in two separate acts, the question we have to ask is 'why would he make it look like they were related?' For instance, similar genetic information in other animals or plants perform the EXACT same function, but use much different "ingredients". Why is it that apes and humans share the same "ingredients"? It's not due to common design because we can swap an enzyme from wheat that performs the exact same function in a human cell and produce the same result. So He very well could have done it with different ingredients. But we don't see that. What we see is that human and apes have these "books" in their genetic code written in a way that only points to common ancestry and not to common design.

I do agree with Adam though that it is hard to make a case for naturalism to completely explain all of evolution from the first life forms to the diversity we have now. Maybe this is lack of knowledge and we will be able to explain it in the future; maybe not. But even if it could explain all of evolution, it doesn't change the fact of 'why' should we have a physical universe with the properties it has that should allow for life to arise and evolve. I think this is the evidence of God's eternal power of which Paul speaks in Romans 1.

2 & 3 & 6) Of course you would expect the number of vestigial remnants to be small. When a component loses all benefits, it will likely eventually no longer be passed on to future generations. The issue is whether some remnants are serving the original purpose for which they evolved. Sure, I could "use" my 8-track player as a paper weight on my desk, but looking at the 8-track player tells me that it was likely originally used for some other purpose. Same with whale legs.

4) I'll respond to 4 after you have a chance to respond.

5) It's far too simple to state that primitive animals would have settled near the bottom of a flood. Geologists don't just identify age by depth. Meteoric and volcanic events are recorded in the stratification as well as all sorts of other atmospheric markers that clearly differentiate time periods and biologic evolutionary progress.

7) If all we had was the fossil record, I would probably be a little skeptical of evolutionary theory too, but I do think it has supported the evidence for evolution we have found in the genetic record. I would recommend the book "Written in Stone" for a good treatise on how the fossil record supports evolutionary theory. I can provide some specific examples from the book if anyone is interested.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by kdcarden on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:04 am

The question I have for my fundamentalist friends is: 'Is there any amount of evidence that could prove to you that either evolution is true or the Bible has errors?' I'm not asking you to agree that either of those statements are true, just whether there is anything that could prove it to you. If the Lord himself were to come into your living room, allow you to touch the nail scars in his hands, then tell you that evolution is true and the Bible has a few mistakes, would you believe him? If the answer is no, I think you are worshiping the Bible and tradition. I have asked this question of a number of people who were honest enough to admit that even that wouldn't change their mind. I think it's a scary place to live to not admit any possibility of being wrong. As someone told me recently, the problem with being deceived is that you are deceived. Those that are deceived don't know they are deceived. A passionate lover of the truth is always willing to admit that any of his beliefs, no matter how cherished, could be wrong.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by kdcarden on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:20 am

Clint, I think you have misinterpreted Romans 1. Paul is not stating that the unbeliever's error was in the wisdom they had gained. On the contrary, the knowledge actually proved 'God's invisible qualities and divine power'. Their error was in not 'glorifying God as God or giving thanks'. What we have to fear from knowledge is the associated pride that comes with it, not the information itself. All of the Biblical admonitions supposedly against wisdom are really just appeals to higher or deeper wisdom. So I don't think it wise to use the crutch that knowledge can't lead us to the truth.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:47 am

But, at what point do you begin to question if this might be one of those issues?
I agree Jeremy this is one of the real stinkers for me.

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:12 pm

I want to jump in on this question because it is a more philosophical/theological question, rather than the more scientific points made earlier.
kdcarden wrote:The question I have for my fundamentalist friends is: 'Is there any amount of evidence that could prove to you that either evolution is true or the Bible has errors?'..... If the Lord himself were to come into your living room, allow you to touch the nail scars in his hands, then tell you that evolution is true and the Bible has a few mistakes, would you believe him?
I am assuming that you mean that without a doubt, not a figment of imagination, not a drug induced vision, not an emotionally charged burrito night, but that God himself came and spoke to the so-called "fundamentalist". If this happened, then anyone who would say no is either lying to you to keep you from making your point or is lying to themselves in pride.

My question though is this - If God, in the same way as previously described, showed up in your living room, and stated that, regardless of what science ever shows, the Bible is absolutely true as it is written in a version that we currently have, would you be able to believe Him? I would assume, from your question, that you would have to say yes. Because that would be truth, and truth is the ultimate goal. The condition of both of these scenarios is that at the point at which you describe, the search for truth is over because it has been laid in your lap, so to speak, and any further searching would be pointless.

With this scenario in mind, are you saying that the current view of a portion of the scientific community is solid enough to use it as a comparison to God literally showing up in someone's living room? Do you think that science alone can ever provide this type of ultimate truth?

A secondary question that I have been wrestling with is one of preconceived ideas. It is apparent to me that anyone who would say "No, I would not change my mind!" in response to your question, is a person who is seeing the question through a lens of preconceived notions. How prevalent do you think this type of thinking is, not from the "fundamentalist" perspective, but from scientists? Is it at all possible that they carry a bias, and do you think this bias could be transmitted into their study?

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by tuscaloosatanning on Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:00 pm

When you shake up sediment and dead animals together (I used to have a
link to an experiment, but I can't find it anymore), they will ALWAYS
settle according to density. The more "primitive" animals such as
mollusks are more dense and tend to be found lower.
- So primitive= denser?? This seems laughable. IMO that is intellectually dishonest.

"All of the Biblical admonitions supposedly against wisdom are really just appeals to higher or deeper wisdom." - Well said.

Do you think that science alone can ever provide this type of ultimate truth?
- Jeremy , No science can't get you to ultimate truth. In our universe is ultimate truth possible to perceive or do we merely get whiffs of it like a muffled poot through thick denim?

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by Jeremyshall on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:10 pm

Adam, just a quick note-primitive = denser doesn't seem to me to be the argument... I think it goes denser = deeper, which would then give the appearance of being more primitive... Not that I am positive of the validity of the statement, just a clarification of the argument... Christian can talk to the validity of the argument... The question of how we see truth is, I think, possibly the most important question that has been presented so far so I definitely want to think through it before posting my opinion...

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Re: Special Creation/Evolution - Implications and Methods

Post by XianSmitherman on Sat Jun 23, 2012 8:33 pm

Yes, denser=deeper, and more primitive animals have a denser makeup than other animals, and a rejection of that would be intellectually dishonest on your part.

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