UnMasking Mistakes in Memes of Evolution – Part 2

As I explained in the opening article of this series, the purpose of this series is to unmask the faulty logic and science behind defenses given for evolutionary thought. These faulty reasons wind up in memes presented as pseudoscientific (read false) explanations for why creationists are supposedly wrong when pointing out the various and numerous problems of evolution. So in this series I’ll point out why the claims evolutionists use to defend their faulty theory are wrong and why such explanations actually provide no defense for the failed theory of evolution.

In this group of evolutionary memes we’ll see primarily three types of problems:

1. Denials of basic evolutionary belief
2. Claims with no evidence, and/or no defense
3. Claims which avoid the issue and never address the problem that has been pointed out

Okay, so here we go. Links are provided for easy sharing Continue Reading

Pulling Back the Veil – What Cosmologists are Hiding

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

(Or: Big Bang Magic Part 3:
Pulling Back the Veil on the five biggest questions about the universe)

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, cosmology these days is not an objective science, devoted  strictly to the scientific explanation of the origin of the universe. There is an agenda that rules cosmology. An agenda that has nothing to do with science as confessed by Richard Lewontin: Continue Reading

Should Christians believe in a multiverse? 7 Reasons Against

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Cor 4.2

Non-believers will likely consider the above scripture irrelevant and unpersuasive and will ponder the wisdom of starting an article on the multiverse with a verse of scripture. In so doing they will have confirmed the scripture (blind to spiritual truths) while setting up my two points: First – this is not merely a discussion of physics – but of metaphysics. (Metaphysics being those things that lie beyond the realm of observable physical reality and so strictly speaking, are beyond the realm of the questions that physics can answer.) Second, not only is the multiverse “pure metaphysics”[1] as Christian apologist William Lane Craig puts it, but many scientists seem blind to the fact that they are engaging in metaphysics – not physics – when proposing the multiverse as a “scientific” answer to a number of the problems their theories have. They have fallen into the same error that  philosopher of science and apologist John Lennox chides theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for: engaging in metaphysics while failing to recognize he is doing so.[2]

Truth in advertising

Having identified multiverse theories as claims that deal with the metaphysical, we can make the following observations: Continue Reading

Is Creation Relevant? Part 2: Undisputed Evidence

In part 1 of this article, we began to explore the dynamics around the question, “Is creation relevant?” What we found is that to God, it is quite relevant – it is the first thing he wants us to know about himself, as indicated in the first verse of the Bible – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” But today, due to a desire to make and live one’s own reality, people are throwing away what God has clearly created and instituted in order to fashion a world made to their own likings and tastes – whether such a world is true or not. And since they have rejected God’s truth – the world they fashion is increasingly distant from the truth of what God created. And thus like the shadow of Mordor over Tolkien’s middle earth, the shadow of self deception grows increasingly long over the lives of people today.

In our previous exploration, we left off pondering the  question “how do we begin to address this problem of a rejection of absolutes and the creator?” – the Creator being of course the ultimate absolute. Which is where we pick it up today.  In order to address the problem, we must understand what is at the root of the problem of people rejecting the Creator and His teaching on creation. Otherwise we will merely  be treating symptoms, while the disease continues to ravage the body (Some of those symptoms – 80-90% who make a profession of faith fall away; 2/3 of professing young adults leave the faith by the time they leave college; the falling numbers of people adhering to Biblical truth, etc.). Thus we must understand why people reject the creator. Continue Reading

Everyone should have one

The Watchmaker Analogy –
Only those with an agenda to deny design would deny the design clearly apparent in a mechanical watch.
A mechanical watch such as this see through one aptly illustrates the principle of clearly apparent design.

I tend to be hard on watches. The bands break, the crystals crack, they get scratched up – something usually befalls them. So I tend to ask for watches as gifts – especially around Christmas time. This past year was no different. My family gave me an extraordinary gift – two watches – one digital, one mechanical. What’s extraordinary is not that I received two watches (though that was very nice), it’s the type of watch I received.

The one watch – a mechanical one featured above – is an amazing sight to behold. It has a see through design, so you can see the inner mechanisms from both the front and the back. I’m not a watch maker, so bear with me as I try to describe just a few of the marvelous mechanisms in this mechanical wonder with terms borrowed from Wikipedia. As I said, it’s mechanical – not battery operated, so it has a  mainspring; but it is also self winding, so it has an “eccentric weight” which you can see from the back moving back and forth with the motion of the watch, attached to a mechanism that winds the mainspring. From the front, in addition to the regular motion of the sweeping second hand, you can see the oscillating motion of the balance wheel marking out regular intervals of time. You can see the mainspring and the various gears which make up the gear train, and particularly the escapement mechanism and its back and forth motion moving the gears at a set rate and producing the familiar ticking sound mechanical watching are known for.

When I saw it, I couldn’t help but marvel at the ingenuity of the device. The design elements which are clearly present have made this made favorite watch – so much so that I don’t even allow myself to wear it – lest I break it like all my other watches. And of course, seeing the inner mechanism, I couldn’t help but be reminded of William Paley’s argument for the existence of God from his watchmaker analogy. All the carefully designed, produced and assembled parts noted above, Paley calls “contrivances” – an appropriate word he uses in his Natural Theology to describe the clear elements of design evident in such a watch.  His watchmaker’s argument for the existence of God is a classic argument. If you’ve never read it, or haven’t read it recently, I encourage you to read it.  From his 18th century vantage point he anticipates and counters objections still used by 21st century atheists and other objectors to the argument from design. That argument is also known as the Teleological argument (from the Greek Telos – meaning end or goal). Teleological arguments focus on an intended outcome, a goal which is clearly manifest in the item under consideration. Of course intentions are only possible by a being who intends them, thus if a goal or intention is apparent, there was obviously a being who initially had that goal or intention.

Paley isn’t the first to use the argument. A version of the argument was used by Socrates, and a well developed version was presented by Thomas Aquinas. In his Summa Theologiae, Aquinas presents five proofs for the existence of God. His fifth proof is a Teleological one – based on the “guidedness of nature.”  He considers inanimate, unaware objects – like an arrow – which tend toward a goal and notes “Nothing that lacks awareness tends to a goal, except under the direction of someone with awareness and understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer.”1

This is a perfect description of the watch and its “contrivances”; you can see the watch clearly and very effectively tends toward the goal of marking the passage of time. It marks of the passage of not just one unit of time but multiple units of time: marking off the passage of seconds, minutes and hours as does the one depicted above. Other watches also include days, months and years.  This is clearly not by accident, and the mechanisms are clearly designed and obviously point to an intelligent designer. In my opinion this watch is so clearly and obviously designed, the conclusion that it was designed by a watchmaker is inescapable. 

A mere cursory examination of the watch, combined with a consideration of the goal or purpose that it achieves, when considered along with the fact that inanimate objects have no goals or intentions  (as atheists readily admit2), can lead you to no other conclusion. And thus the title: everyone should have one of these see through mechanical watches. Just as the tefillin of the old testament reminded you of God’s commands3; such a watch  cannot help but remind you of the designer, and in so doing allude to the designer of the universe and all life.

You’ll note that those who claim to refute the analogy from the design in a watch never offer to demonstrate how non-guided, random forces can produce such a watch. Which is why Dawkins’ “Blind Watchmaker” thesis – that complex creatures can come about by purposeless processes is so utterly ridiculous, and lays bare his intention to deny design at all costs. Without an intelligence to guide the process,  unguided forces would not tend toward any goal as Aquinas notes, and thus you could not get any of the required components of living organisms that are complex and fulfill a goal – such as proteins, cellular structures, and entire organs like hearts, lungs and eyes. Continue Reading

Evolution falsified – Again

The irreducibly complex bacterial flagellum

The irreducibly complex bacterial flagellum


Darwinian evolution has been falsified many times. With the recent bacterial find, it’s been falsified again.
A recent bacterial discovery once again demonstrates that evolution is false, and that adherents believe it on a faith basis, not an evidentiary, scientific basis. To fully appreciate that point one must understand how faith is expressed. As a Christian, there are certain things that I believe that you will not change my mind on. For instance, I hold the following as true:

  • God exists
  • God is good
  • God is love
  • Jesus is the image of the invisible God

I have good reasons to believe all these things1, which makes my belief a rational one. (More on that here.) But the fact that regardless of what you show me, I will still believe them indicates that they are un-falsifiable statements, which make them statements of faith, not of science.

That is precisely how faith is supposed to work. Care must be taken that you place your faith in an object worthy of faith. Such as Jesus and the Bible.  Once that requirement is met, you continue to have faith in revealed truth because your object of faith (God) has presented evidence of the truthfulness of what you believe.  More importantly he knows more than you do about things you now question, like why or how did __x___ (fill in the blank) happen.  God will at some future date resolve your questions and make sense of apparent contradictions, but that which he has made clear – like the fact of his existence2
– he expects us to continue to believe regardless of the nonsense and lies unbelievers present.

On the other hand, science is not supposed to work that way. Continue Reading

Bat Flight – Evidence of Design Surprises Researchers

 Bat flight -a sophisticated flip to landing made possible by a neronal compass and sophisticated geometry Evidence of a sophisticated navigation system in bats is evidence of Intelligent Design
A bat performing a complex flip to land maneuver navigates with a system based on a sophisticated geometric shape.


The website of the prestigious science magazine Nature recently published an article titled:

Bat-nav’ system enables three-dimensional manoeuvres1 Study reveals surprising neural code based on bagel-shaped coordinate system.

 

The article states that bats are able to navigate because their brains function as a sophisticated compass, programmed with a complex geometrical shape (a torus – a figure similar in shape to a bagel).  In their words:

“The brains of bats have a neuronal ‘compass’ that enables them to navigate in three dimensions.

The discovery, published in Nature2 on 3 December, explains the long-standing mystery of how bats — and perhaps other mammals such as monkeys, which do not fly but swing between branches — manage to orient themselves in the air as well as on the ground.

The ‘bat-nav’ system is “surprising — but also surprising in its beauty”, says May-Britt Moser, a neuroscientist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim…

Computational neuroscientist Andreas Herz, from the University of Munich in Germany adds that the simple elegance of the neural coding that makes up the compass has wider implications for how the brain computers.

This article was based on a paper which talks about the requirements for such a sophisticated system:

Navigation requires the knowledge of one’s location (‘map’) and direction in space (‘compass’). The neural representation of spatial location in mammals includes place-cells which compute position, together with grid cells that encode distance.3

Here is a video of a bat performing a complex landing maneuver which includes a flip to the inverted position that such a system allows:

  During flips, bats are able to keep track of their orientation in space thanks to a surprisingly complex ‘head-direction’ system. 

Notice researchers are surprised not only by the sophistication of the system, but also it’s elegant beauty. These are unmistakable signs of intelligent design, but when you subscribe to a worldview that says there is no design, then yes, such sophistication is quite surprising – especially when the design is complex yet elegantly beautiful. Still, researchers do not want to stray beyond the bounds of orthodox evolution. Here are those bounds, in the words of William Provine, professor of the history of science at Cornell University:

Continue Reading

Windtalkers and DNA

 DNA - coded information  DNA – a highly complex very efficient information storage and retrieval system

In the 2002 movie “Windtalkers”, Sergeant Joe Enders, played by Nicholas Cage is given this charge: “Protect the code.” It’s World War II and the Marines are using the code for critical tactical communications that they cannot afford to have  intercepted. They’ve developed a unique code that proves to be unbreakable. That’s because it’s double coded.

According to this Wikipedia article,  in a moment of luck mixed with a touch of genius reminiscent of the insight highlighted in “A Beautiful Mind”, Captain Lawrence of the U.S. Army overheard two men speaking in the Choctaw native American language – and had an inspiration for the code. The article gives further details on the “Code Talkers” but the point I want to make is this: The communication employed by the Marines was coded. Coded information always requires someone – an intelligence – to create the code. If that is not obvious, this particular case clarifies things because the communication is double coded – which highlights the intelligence required. It’s quite obvious that there is no process in the universe that can create double coded information without an intelligence behind it.

Consider the complexity of creating and decoding a double coded message. Suppose the word they wanted to communicate was “Plateau”. Plateau may be coded (in English) to the word “horse”. “Horse” would then be translated into the word used in the Choctaw language for horse, which is issuba.1  The process looks something like this:

Plateau > Code word: Horse >Horse re-coded : issuba

Notice the process of mapping meaning to a symbol that takes place. It’s clear to see why this code was unbreakable. Even if they could catch the syllables of the Choctaw words which were spoken (which would have been difficult enough) – the enemy wouldn’t know what those syllables “is-su-ba”  meant. Let’s say the enemy managed to catch the word, they next have to determine the convention used. It’s not English, French, Spanish, etc. They need to figure out the language convention: Choctaw. If they manage to figure that, they  additionally need to  find someone who speaks Choctaw. If you do, you now have the meaning of the word in Choctaw – “horse” but you still haven’t intercepted the message, because the message is still in code. “Horse” isn’t the message, “horse” must be again decoded by an intelligence to retrieve the originally intended message using yet another code. And for that you must have the code. And I’ll say it again because it’s a critical point: Codes are not created by random processes, they are the result of an intelligence. Intelligence is required to create a code, to  encode a message, and to create a process to decode the message.

Clearly coded messages require intelligence. Both to encode and decode. But in fact the need for intelligence goes beyond that. The coder must use a system of pre-defined symbols as the medium by which the coded message is transferred or carried. (And if one does not exist, the communicator must create such a system.) For example on this web page, the system employed is the specially formed black marks  called “letters” used to represent small units of meaning that represent sound. The letters are then formed into a concept by arranging them in the pre-selected units of the code or language, in this case English words. Once the concepts are encoded into words, an intelligence must further arrange the words to communicate something even more complex: a complete message – a phrase conveying meaning. Consider this string of letters and characters:

lb)rah ured(e sy(eir)

It has what appears to be letters arranged into words, but it is meaningless. This is what you get from random processes – Darwinian processes. Now consider the same letters, after being arranged by an intelligence into words – which when strung together with further intelligence,  properly convey meaningful information:

(red hair) (blue eyes)

So an intelligent coder uses the letters of a pre-defined system (or creates one), and superimposes a pre-defined message (in this case hair color, eye color) on those letters by arranging them according to a pre-defined code (or language) such that the component parts (the individual words) communicate the intended message when decoded by the pre-defined code (in this case the code is the English language).  This process of information encoding and decoding is far beyond what random processes alone can achieve. Random processes could not even create a complete set of letters, much less a word or message.

Now consider DNA. DNA is highly complex, very efficient information storage and retrieval system. It contains coded information. There is not a biologist (or any other scientist) in the world that denies these facts. Consider what this means. For DNA to have originated, the following  would have had to have occurred:

1. An intelligent designer had to create a system of symbols to carry the message. In the case of DNA it is a chemical alphabet that scientist represent by the letters ACGT – representing the nucleobases in DNA –  Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine, Thymine. These function as the letters of an alphabet

2. An intelligent designer had to create a “language” that communicates a message when the 4 letters are arranged in a certain way.

3. An intelligent designer had to arrange the letters in an intelligent, specific ways to encode and transmit the instructions necessary to create chemical words that specify the various traits we see in the many creatures that exist – such traits being things like hair color or eye color.

4. An intelligent designer had create a system capable of decoding the coded message.

On this point of the information bearing properties of DNA, Stephen Meyer, philosopher of science and author of the book “Signature in the Cell” which details this process correctly observes:

“NeoDarwinism and its associated theories of chemical evolution and the like will not be able to survive the biology of the information age, the biology of the 21st century.”2

The random processes claimed for evolution are simply incapable of creating such a system because random processes do not create complex, specific, organized information nor the systems that store such information. Since evolution could not have created DNA, those seriously seeking the truth about the origins of life  are left bereft of any plausible naturalistic explanation. Since evolution is eliminated as an explanation for the origins of life (which Darwinism never provided in the first place3), the only source of such a super complex information storage and retrieval system and  the information contained within – is an intelligence capable of creating them both. In the face of such clearly designed, intelligent systems and complexly coded information, Darwinian random processes and undirected mutations don’t stand a chance. For those seriously seeking the truth, I direct you to a testimony  of the Creator:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139.13-14

As this testimony from the psalms of David shows, the works of the Creator are evident even without knowledge of the complexities of DNA. Truly, those with knowledge of DNA and still denying God are “without excuse.”4


Duane Caldwell – posted 2-26-2014, revised 12/29/2015  | Print Format
 


Notes
1 Chahta Anumpa Aiikhvna, School of Choctaw Language, 2013
http://www.choctawschool.com/vocabulary/vocabulary/for-all-chapters.aspx

2 Stephen Meyer in Lee Strobel’s DVD Documentary “The Case for a Creator”, Illustra Media, 2006

3 Darwinian Evolution cannot operate until life already exists. Thus claims that processes like natural selection created DNA are non-starters since natural selection cannot operate until life (include DNA) already exists. So much for Dawkin’s “intellectual fulfillment”. (Richard Dawkins says evolution allows him to be a “intellectually fulfilled” atheist The Blind Watchmaker (1986), page 6)

4 The Apostle Paul, Romans 1.20


Image: DNA – Public Domain, National Institutes of Health