Evolutionists: blind to the obvious – UnMasking Mistakes in Memes of Evolution – Part 4

Fossil trilobites

Like the Pharisees of Jesus day, evolutionists make claims that deny obvious truths, unaware that their claims refute their own position and arguments. Let me pause here to make sure you catch the point:

Evolutionists are denying obvious truths.

In fact, the truths being denied are so obvious, one typically doesn’t even bother with a defense. If someone denies that birds fly and fish swim, do you bother with a defense, or do you simply tell them to go look at birds and fish? But Jesus took care to answer even foolish accusations, so let us do likewise. Continue Reading

If evolution is true, Humanity is doomed

Model of the head of Sonny the AI robot from I, Robot

 

Evolution predicts humans will eventually go the way of the Dodo.

I can across an interesting headline in my newsreader the other day:

The beginning of the end: Google’s AI has beaten a top human player at the complex game of Go”[1]

Here is their one sentence summary of what happened:

“Earlier today, AlphaGo, an artificially intelligent  algorithm developed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary, categorically beat Lee Sedol, one of the best players of the Chinese board game Go”

I remember a similar epic match up back in the day (twenty years ago to be precise) in Philadelphia between IBM’s supercomputer “Deep Blue” and the then reigning world champion chess master Gary Kasparov (mentioned in the article above in passing).  In the first match up, Deep Blue won only 1 of the 6 game series. Not satisfied, IBM wanted to win an entire match, so the engineers went off and made improvements for a rematch.

The rematch came the following year in New York City. As the above article notes, Deep Blue used a “brute force” approach to playing chess, evaluating the strength of various possible chess plays. Brute force is a bit of an under statement: “Deep Blue could calculate over 200 million chess positions per second”[2] according to Smithsonian historian David Allison. Kasparov and Deep Blue split the first two games – winning one each, and tied the next three. Kasparov lost the final game to Deep Blue, giving Deep Blue the match. Kasparov, perhaps like many, couldn’t believe he could lose to a machine and IBM’s refusal to requests for computer logs and a rematch seemed to highlight previous charges he had made earlier in the match accusing the IBM team of cheating – having a human (grand master) help guide the machine.

The difference between Deep Blue’s win and  AlphaGo’s win is that: Continue Reading

Misguided attacks by evolutionists

 Those who deny God’s activity in the creation routinely try to kill any evidence that originates from the Bible.

In their zeal to defend evolutionary theory evolutionists often make unfounded and fallacious charges and accusations. Following is the problem with three of those attacks.

1. A Misguided attack on reason: “There’s no evidence of God”

The only alternative to life arising via some form of evolution, is that all life originated from God. There is no other alternative. Thus, in support of the godless theory of evolution, atheists and evolutionists alike tend to use the argument “there’s no evidence of God”, and its variant “there’s no evidence for x” – for any “x” they don’t believe. They don’t believe in God, so they say there’s no evidence of God. They don’t believe in an intelligent designer, so they say there’s no evidence for intelligent design. They don’t believe in miracles, so they say there’s no evidence of miracles, and some will foolishly go so far as to say there’s no evidence of the miracle worker Jesus.  What are we to make of such allegations? 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

What is Religion? Does evolution qualify? Atheism?

 

A Torah scroll containing the first five books of the Bible Text highlighted: The first words of Deuteronomy 6.5 Atheists and evolutionists claim they have no religion. But is that true?
A Torah scroll containing the first five books of the Bible
 Text highlighted: The first words of Deuteronomy 6.5

Atheists are fond of saying that they have no religion, because atheism is not a religion. Here’s an example from Twitter.

Likewise, evolutionists claim that evolution is science, a  fact, and certainly not religion. Here, for example, is a video of Richard Dawkins at big think claiming evolution is a fact. But are atheists and evolutionists correct in asserting that their respective beliefs are not religions? That of course depends on the definitions.

Evolutionists are notorious for redefining evolution to suit their needs for the occasion. In other words to keep evolution from being exposed as the total fraud it is, they keep changing the meaning of the word “evolution”; so they wind up claiming you’re not speaking about the same thing; though you’re speaking of the same evolution the discussion started with.  For instance, you may start out with a statement like “molecules to man evolution has never been observed.” They’ll return something like, “Do you know what evolution is? It’s a change in the allele frequency of a gene pool.” These are two different things; two different discussions, and thus  you can never convince them of anything.   Steven Meyer and Mike Keas have documented 6 of the common uses of the term “evolution” that evolutionists switch between.1  There’s a term for that tactic.  It’s the logical fallacy known as equivocation.

Religion is the basic belief system of the person
Atheism likewise comes in various flavors. The strong position, those who categorically state there is no God, (or as they would say gods); the weaker position, those who simply do not believe God exists; and finally those who try to be a little less arrogant and more rational (knowing that  proving a universal negative like “there is no God” is impossible.

Therefore to say there is no God is arrogant), and thus they simply say “I don’t know if God exists” – the agnostic position.

And with Bill O’Reilly out there confusing people with his repeated claims that Christianity is a “philosophy” not a religion,2 Christianity is not without those who are muddying the waters. So can we claim any of these are religions?  Yes, these are all religions and that can be clearly seen once we understand the difference between how a religion is recognized, and how it is expressed by adherents.

Religion and the Establishment Clause

The courts have been a favored weapon of atheists and to a lesser degree evolutionists in the battle to silence Christians while simultaneously getting their Godless theories to be accepted and promoted in government sponsored venues like schools. The typical approach is to use the first amendment’s “establishment clause” against anything that even sounds Christian.

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States:

The clause reads as follows: Continue Reading

The Problem of Evil – proof that God exists

The Fall of Lucifer - Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina, 1840
The Fall of Lucifer
Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina, 1840
Paradoxically, the problem of evil is proof that God exists.

On Friday, December 14th, 2012 a gunman who shall remain unnamed so as to deny him any further fame, entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut, and shot and killed 20 students and 6 adults. Before driving to the school for the rampage he had killed his mother, and when finally confronted, he killed himself bringing the death toll to 28. In a news conference that same day, Gov. Dannel Malloy summed it up succinctly: “Evil visited this community today”. 

This article is being written, as it turns out, on the 20th anniversary1 of the Oklahoma City Bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building which killed 168 people and caused 680 nonfatal injuries. Additionally it caused an estimated $652 million in damages.

These are but a couple of drops in a sea of evil that in one way or another touches the lives of every single human being that lives and has ever lived. This curse upon humanity is paradoxically an affirmation of the truth of God for Christians, while for those unwilling to believe,  it becomes a reason (in their mind) why they shouldn’t believe God exists. Why is it that people can look at the same evidence and come to diametrically opposed conclusions? How can consideration of a single issue – in this case the existence of evil – result in such radically different reactions and beliefs from people? One might ask the same questions of a phenomenon at the other extreme of the moral continuum – miracles.

When you get right down to it, atheists do not believe the core tenets of atheisms and evolution... Why do miracles cause some to believe, while others only see in them only something to either scoff at or be angry at; or to make accusations that people are being “misled”?  In both cases (reactions to the problem of evil and the reaction to miracles) the root cause is the same: an unwillingness to acknowledge God as Lord who will bring all created things under his control and under his judgment.

The mere  thought of God as Lord manifests itself for many as statements of unbelief.  As particles in the atmosphere are the core around which moisture coalesces to form rain drops or snow, likewise miracles and the problem of evil  are items around which unbelief can coalesce and be visibly expressed.

For those living in disobedience the prospect of a God who will judge all is a scary one. And their unwillingness to face this truth is not because of their ignorance of God – no God has made his existence plain to all (Rom 1.19).  No, it’s not ignorance of God that’s the problem, it’s an unwillingness to be subject to God that causes them to express views inconsistent with their worldview, and thus speak as a hypocrite or express irrational view (or both) as we’ll see. Continue Reading

Denying the Obvious

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Boeing 747 Intercontinental

Those who can’t see the design behind clearly designed things such as a 747 or a human cell are denying the obvious.

In his critique of Stephen Hawking’s “Grand Design”, John Lennox writes:

“…after disparaging philosophy, he then proceeds to engage in it. For, insofar as he is interpreting and applying science to ultimate questions  like the existence of God, Hawking is doing metaphysics. Now, let us be clear, I do not fault him for doing that; I shall be engaging in metaphysics  all through this book. My concern is that he does not seem to recognize this.”1

Stephen Hawking is not the only atheist who doesn’t realize he’s engaging in metaphysics by dealing with questions of God. And  that is not the only truth atheists fail to recognize. As I demonstrate below, many have a problem acknowledging that they are working not from scientific  fact, but from deeply held belief. Lennox is not the first to point out obvious errors to someone who refuses to acknowledge it.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Mat 7:3 NIV)    

With these words Jesus advises careful and close self examination to avoid not only the charge of  hypocrisy, but this current  issue of self denial. After all one can hardly miss a “plank” or “beam” in the eye unless one is  intentionally refusing to acknowledge it. That’s denial. And while some may find it questionable to poke the bear by  appealing to a historical figure that some atheists deny, what is undeniable is the logic and wisdom of the advice.  I mention it because one of the  reasons for this blog is to point out errors, blind spots and logical inconsistencies that atheists tend to be either unaware of, or attempt to avoid by refusing to address. As a creationist attempting to point out such errors and inconsistencies,  I find I keep running into the same kinds of  invalid (and often irrational) arguments from atheists, such as:

  • – Intentionally missing the point, or avoidance of the point being made
  • – Factual errors in their arguments which they refuse to acknowledge or address
  • – Engaging in illicit arguments – based on their beliefs

Often, when you point out these errors, they are not addressed, not because the objection is not understood, but because there  simply is no  reasonable answer to the objection. So instead of acknowledging a problem with their world view, typically the response from atheists or agnostics will be show their inability to address the issue by to changing the subject and/or  launching ad hominem attacks. But in refusing to address a glaring problem in their argument or logic by attempting to side step it, it leads one to an inescapable conclusion:

Many who hold to an atheistic world view and belief system are in denial about the fact that what they consider a “scientific” rational for supporting a “scientific theory” is  actually nothing more than a deeply held, but irrational belief.

By irrational I mean untrue, or in the case of an argument, invalid for any of a number of reasons. By refusing to acknowledge or address such blatant errors what they are actually communicating is – Continue Reading

Can you be A Christian and Believe in Evolution?


Is Evolutions a Fact?
What atheists have noticed that many Happy Thinking Christians have not


Christian Evangelist and defender of the Gospel Ravi Zacharias talks about how to reach the “Happy  Thinking Pagan.” He describes their thought process this way:

“I don’t believe anything but I’m very happy. What does it matter?” And of course, it was also along the time of slogans such as “If it feels good, do it” and “Don’t worry, be happy.”1

I mention it because it is becoming increasing clear to me that when it comes to the creation /  evolution debate, there is a large number of Christians who are walking in the thought process of the happy thinking pagan – namely
“What does it matter?” and “Aren’t they compatible, so why worry about it? Be happy.”  It seems that many Christians are as ignorant of the harm to the faith caused by evolutionary thought as happy thinking pagans are to the reality of God.

Interestingly enough, thoughtful atheists have noticed the incompatibility between evolution and the Christian faith.  Evolutionary evangelist Richard Dawkins has commented:

“I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing  evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I  think they are deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution
and Christianity…”2

In fact, so many atheists have begun proclaiming the incompatibility between Christianity and  Evolution that one blogger Continue Reading

Reclaiming the Intellectual and Moral high ground

Don’t fall prey to logical traps, old arguments, or the emotional baiting of evolutionists.

Obi-wan to Anakin:

“It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground.”

 In my previous post I referenced an article titled “The Top 10 Signs that You Don’t Understand Evolution at All” which is really a  restatement of objections that evolutionists believe they have adequately answered, while at the same time lightly(?) mocking creationists – as evolutionists are wont to do. (Whether lightly or not I’ll leave to you.) As is typical in a list like this, the more important questions (for which they have no answer) are  not even mentioned much less given adequate answers to.  But since I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving you hanging without the answers having myself referenced the article, here are responses to show none of these issues are problems for rational thinking Christians. A word of warning before we begin: Since he couches many of these statements in broad universals (“never,” “always,”  etc. –  which is a dead give away that the statement is almost certainly untrue and a good candidate for the  “all or nothing” logical fallacy);  it follows that the position he’s trying to ridicule may be technically untrue, but the point beneath the ridicule that he’s trying to make  has been thoroughly refuted as I note below. Below in bold is Tyler Francke’s  list of “The top 10 signs that you don’t understand evolution at all”  with my explanations following immediately;  and so there is no mistake on who’s saying what, my comments are indicated by my initials.

 


1. You Think “it hasn’t been observed” is a good argument against it.”

DC>He makes a number of questionable statements here, I’ll just point out a couple. First he notes:

“Interestingly, evolution is observable “

DC>Evolution of the type we’re talking about – molecules to man is not observable. Like many evolutionists he is committing the logical error of equivocation – using the term evolution in more than one sense (which is commonly done to win arguments, though it’s logically fallacious). Natural selection (which is not evolution) is observable; molecules to man evolution is not. 

Second, he goes on to talk about an inference to the best explanation (which I drew upon in my last article) but intelligent design theorists and creationists alike, (not to mention scientists who dissent from evolutionary theory) would say given the evidence, such as the fossil evidence below, he has not drawn an inference to the best explanation by believing it points to evolution. He states:

Making viable conclusions based on inferences from the available evidence is not at all unscientific, and it is this reasoning that has compelled us toward the theory of evolution.

DC>I would challenge him that it is not the evidence that points him to evolution, it’s his a priori beliefs (science is authoritative over scripture) that lead him to the conclusion that evolution is true because judging by evidence alone, (such as the evidence from DNA, the young solar system, etc.)  the correct conclusion is that there was an intelligent designer.

2. You think we’ve never found a transitional fossil.

DC>This is frankly very misleading. A more precise statement would be Continue Reading

What is Rational Faith? Part 1

The Scopes monkey trial, popularized by the decidedly pro-evolution 1960 movie “Inherit the Wind” has been described  by one historian as:

“Lasting just 11 days, the trial became a showdown between faith and reason…”1

The charge to be adjudicated: that a teacher by the name of John Scopes had taught Darwin’s theory of Evolution in the classroom, an act  which, at the time, was illegal. (My how things have changed.) The goal here is not rehash the trial, or discuss perceived winners and  losers. The reason for bringing it up is to point out how it is commonly described: “a showdown between faith and reason.”  This “showdown” has been raging at least since that trial, which began July 21, 1925. Some would locate the origin with

Plato - an early philosopher
Plato
Copy of portrait bust
by Silanion
© Marie-Lan
Nguyen /
Wikimedia Commons
Galileo’s 17th century dispute with the church over whether the earth went around the sun; or the sun went around the earth. Some would take it all the way back to  the early Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle who lived a few hundred years before Christ. The point in bringing up the “showdown”: there is a strong, vocal faction aptly represented by the likes of atheist cheerleader Richard Dawkins, who believes that faith and reason are at odds and are irreconcilable.  In a documentary  called “Enemies of Reason”, Dawkins states: “There are two ways of looking at the world through faith and superstition, or through the rigors of logic, observation and evidence;  through reason. Yet today, reason has a battle on its hands. I want to confront the epidemic of irrational superstitious thinking.”2 
Richard Dawkins Dawkins wants to confront “the epidemic of irrational superstitious thinking.” A noble goal insofar  as he correctly identifies that which is superstitious. Problem is he doesn’t. He has a tendency to group that which is true with that which  is myth. And so one of my goals is to confront the epidemic of irrational atheistic thinking that winds up getting labeled as “scientific”.
Continue Reading