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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Criticizing Neo-Darwinism

THOMAS NAGELAtheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel, has dared to criticize neo-Darwinism in his new book Mind and Cosmos. Of course, the Darwinists have not taken his opinions very kindly. According to tothesource:

Fact one: Thomas Nagel is an atheist. As he’s made clear on many occasions, he wants to be an atheist. As he said, famously, in The Last Word, “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

HOWEVER:

Fact two: Thomas Nagel is brave enough to have a clear and critical look at one of the great intellectual supports of modern atheism, the neo-Darwinian account of nature. He has found it “prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.”

Continue reading this interesting article by Dr. Benjamin Wiker. . . .

The Ultimate Good of the Gospel

God is the GospelJohn Piper:

“The ultimate good of the gospel is seeing and savoring the beauty and value of God. God’s wrath and our sin obstruct that vision and that pleasure. You can’t see and savor God as supremely satisfying while you are full of rebellion against Him and He is full of wrath against you. The removal of this wrath and this rebellion is what the gospel is for. The ultimate aim of the gospel is the display of God’s glory and the removal of every obstacle to our seeing it and savoring it as our highest treasure. “Behold Your God!” is the most gracious command and the best gift of the gospel. If we do not see Him and savor Him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.” (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God’s Love as the Gift of Himself)

Wanted: Woman willing to give Birth to a Neanderthal Baby

NeanderthalDoes this sound ridiculous or what? Even if we have the technology to create Neanderthal babies, should we? Jennifer Lahl writes:

No, this is not a tabloid headline you read while waiting to checkout at the grocery store or something you might read on Craigslist in their Help Wanted ads. This was a casual comment by Harvard University’s prestigious geneticist, George Church, made in a recent interview for Germany’s Der Speigel magazine. . . .

But just how far-fetched is this idea? In 2009, scientists in Germany reconstructed the Neanderthal genome and boldly proclaimed that with these new technologies (and $30 million) they could produce a living Neanderthal. . . .

As scientists pursue this technology in hopes of resurrecting an extinct species or of dealing with endangered species, one has to wonder what limits should be placed on this new science? What are the moral criteria that will be used in making these decisions? And who gets to decide? …

Again, what are the ultimate goals, the ends and purposes of this biotechnology and medical progress? Cloning a Neanderthal and impregnating a woman with such a clone is not progress. We must advocate for and demand progress based on rigorous and fact-based biotechnologies and medical therapies that honor and secure human dignity rather than undermine it. We must insist upon virtuous character in both the scientist and physician, and recognize the limits of the natural moral order, which promises us a truly human future, deeply situated in the dignity of the human person.

Read this entire article at tothesource. . .

Scaling the Peaks of Ignorance

Robert JastrowRobert Jastrow:

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

Creation Clues

Irreducible Complexity

Science and Creation:

Irreducible complexity is very similar to a mouse trap in which all the pieces must exist in the assembled form in order to function. Any one of the pieces on its own (the board or the pin or the spring or the wire hammer) are useless unless they work in harmony with the other pieces. There is a task “minimum” requirement here. You cannot reduce the mousetrap beyond a certain point. There are a minimum number of pieces that must be assembled to make the trap work. It must be at least this complex in order to function at all. This level of reduction is called “irreducible complexity”. It is the minimum point beyond which the machine cannot function! Now think about the flagellum. It too has a minimum level. It has an irreducible complexity. It requires all 40 parts to appear at the same time, assembled in a specific way in order to work! But if this is true, then it defies the teaching of natural selection even as it was recognized by Darwin. He agreed that if there were organisms with this type of irreducible complexity, his theory was faulty. (From: Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe)

Evolution or Design? Part IV

Science and Evolution:

(Continued from yesterday. . . .) The evidence clearly teaches us that we have a complex universe! Let us look at another required element in the argument for evolution. Is the smallest matter assembled in a random way or is it specifically ordered and organized in a required way? Random chance is not only an inadequate explanation of simple proteins; it cannot explain the existence of the smallest cells. Look at the simplest amoeba cell which is made up of about 2000 proteins. The odds of this kind of organism arising randomly are one chance in 10 to the 40,000th power! The odds of catching a single specific atom out of the entire universe are only 1 in 10 to the 80th power! Imagine just how impossible it is to form an amoeba! When Sir Fred Hoyle realized this fact, he said that the odds of random assembly are “enough to bury Darwin and the whole theory of evolution. There was no primeval soup, neither on this planet nor any other, and if the beginnings of life were not random they must therefore have been the product of purposeful intelligence.” Therefore, the argument for design provides a better hypothesis for the creation of life than Darwin’s ill-informed conclusions. To God be the Glory!

According to Charles Darwin:

“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would break down.”

Evolution or Design? Part III

Science and Evolution:

(Continued from yesterday. . . .) If Darwin were alive, he would have to explain how the individual amino acids came together to form the first protein. We now know that the amino acids have to come together in a specific way, like writing a sentence with letters, to form the protein. There are at least 30,000 different types of proteins that are constructed from the same 20 amino acids. If the amino acids are not arranged correctly, they don’t form functional proteins!

The odds of these acids coming together in a meaningful, specific way are extremely remote. It is the equivalent of being able to throw Scrabble pieces into the air and a meaningful sentence forming after they fall on the floor. The odds of this happening are remote. The very simplest of proteins are made up of a large number of amino acids. The odds of a simple protein forming spontaneously are less than one chance in 10 to the 65th power (that’s a 1 with 65 zeros behind it)! These odds are similar to the odds of finding the winning state lottery ticket lying in the street and then finding another one the very next day, and every day for a thousand years!

Scientists have estimated that if our planet were covered in “primordial soup” and filled with complete sets of all 20 types of amino acids, the time necessary to assemble a simple functioning protein would be about the estimated age of the universe which is 15 billion years multiplied by 10 to the 60th power. There is not enough time in the history of the universe to form a single protein by chance. Darwin assumed that cells are simple, but he was wrong. He believed that the smallest elements would have the smallest number of parts and processes. Now that we have powerful, modern microscopes we can see the incredible complexity of the miniature universe within a cell. Darwin’s hypotheses was completely wrong at it’s very beginning! (Continue reading tomorrow. . . .)

Evolution or Design? Part II

Science and Evolution:

(Continued from yesterday. . . .) Darwin made a huge leap of faith and everything he proposed after this was dependent on a simple, uncomplicated view of the cell. Darwin’s belief was that as things get smaller, they actually get less complicated. He assumed this simplicity for the basis of his theories of natural selection which later formed the foundation for the modern view of evolution. Darwin believed that somewhere in time there existed a primordial lake with all the basic ingredients for life. This lake was somehow energized in such a way that small changes occurred in the relationships between the elements of matter. The changes became more and more complex over time, resulting eventually in the formation of simple single cell organisms that eventually became the life we see today. However, in the many years since Darwin, our ability to look closely at the cell has advanced to the point that we now know that there is no such thing as a simple cell. We now know that a cell’s complexity is incredible. Modern microscopes show us that a single thimble filled with cultured liquid can contain over four billion single cell bacteria. Each is like a tiny machine packed with information and complexity that Charles Darwin never imagined! We now know that the simplest of cells are actually made of amino acids assembled into proteins which form the structure of all matter within the cell. Therefore, Darwin’s leap of faith stumbles before it can even walk. (Continue reading tomorrow. . . .)

Refuting Evolution

Science and Evolution:

In the 1980s, researcher and lecturer David Watson noted an increasing trend that continues today, which very much disturbs those who want evolution to be perceived as the accepted scientific consensus:

“…A tidal wave of new books… threatens to shatter that confidence [in evolution]:

Titles like Darwin Retried (1971), Macbeth;

The Neck of the Giraffe: Where Darwin Went Wrong (1982), Hitching; The Great Evolution Mystery (1983), Taylor;

The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution (1984), Fix;

Darwin Was Wrong – A Study in Probabilities (1984), Cohen;

Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (1987), Lovtrup; and Adam; and Evolution (1984), Pitman.

Not one of these books was written from a Christian-apologetic point of view; they are concerned only with scientific truth – as was Sir Ernst Chain when he called evolution ‘a fairy tale’.”

Samuel at Gilgal: Many more books refuting evolution have been published since the time of this quotation which I am sure you would find very interesting reading:

Genetic Entropy & The Mystery of the Genome (2005) by J. C. Sanford, PhD

The Edge of Evolution – The Search For the Limits of Darwinism (2007) by Michael J. Behe, PhD

Darwin’s Black Box (1996) by Michael J. Behe, PhD

Icons of Evolution – Science or Myth? (2000) by Jonathan Wells

Intelligent Design Uncensored (2010) by William A. Dembski and Jonathan Witt

Exposing Darwinism’s Weakest Link (2008) by Kenneth Poppe

Darwin’s Demise (2002) by Dr. Joe White and Dr. Nicholas Comninellis

The Darwin Myth – The Life and Times of Charles Darwin (2009) by Benjamin Wiker, PhD

Evolution Exposed (2006) by Roger Patterson

The Distorted Gospel

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19 ESV)

People today believe they are more intelligent and wiser than the people who lived in centuries past. They assume that such an ancient book as the Bible has very little relevance to modern living. Therefore, these cultural Christians, feel they must import the “revelation” of modern writers, psychologists, and various pseudo-scientific books to modernize the “Old Time Religion”. Such actions, however, deny that the Bible is the Word of God.

Bogus teachers avoid submitting to the Bible’s original intent by ignoring what Scripture actually means; instead, they manipulate it to seem to mean what they want it to mean. They will look to unorthodox sources as their authority to support their unworthy claims. They suppress the truth because they do not wish to live their lives under the authority of God. (Romans 1:18-20)

The Word of God has been under assault since the serpent visited Eve in the Garden. Satan knows that the Word of God leads to salvation. Therefore, this creature plants in men’s minds the seeds of doubt about the Bible. Rejecting or altering the Bible is also a part of his diabolical plan. God, however, has strengthened His Word, that it may stand against any assault. According to Martin Luther, “The Bible is like a lion; it does not need to be defended; just let it loose and it will defend itself.”

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6 ESV) The term “sola Scriptura” or “the Bible alone” represents the simple truth that there is only one special revelation from God and that is the Bible. God’s truth is seen in the light of God’s truth. In order to support the purity of God’s written word, the source of interpretation must be from the same pure source as the origin of the Scripture itself. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26 ESV)

The Bible clearly exposes the human element in the distortion of the Word. Such people go beyond rejecting the Word of God in their own lives. They want to change the Scriptures in order to be justified in their sins. Many profess themselves to be Christians. Yet, they take inspired Scripture and bend it to match their own twisted teachings. Such blasphemers are interested only in wealth, fame, and followers. In their pride, they make a mockery of the Word of God.

You must not allow the leaders and teachers in your church to add to or take away from God’s Word. Awake sleeper and read God’s word for yourself. “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2 ESV)

0+0=1?

Quoting R.C. Sproul:

“Nothing could be more irrational than the idea that something comes from nothing.”

Laughing at Evolution by Dr. Edward Blick

I want to extend my thanks to Tim Shey at High Plains Drifter for pointing out this article to me. According to Edward F. Blick—Emeritus Professor of Engineering, University of Oklahoma:

“In 1870, Adam Sedgewick, leading geologist of England, wrote Darwin: ‘I read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts, I laughed at till my sides were sore; others I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false—you deserted the true method of induction.’”

“The discovery in the 1950s of DNA by Francis Crick and James Watson crushed the hopes of biological evolutionists. It provided clear evidence that every species is locked into its own coding pattern. Only variation with a kind (microevolution) can occur. Mathematicians showed the odds against forming DNA by chance were ‘quad-zillions and quad-zillions to one.’”

The quotes above represent only a few lines of this article. I encourage you to continue reading this very interesting piece of writing at High Plains Drifter. . . .

Truth

Quoting Blaise Pascal:

Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.

Science – Atheism – Christianity

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, Fellow in Mathematics and the Philosophy of Science, and Pastoral Adviser at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an adjunct Lecturer at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University and at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and is a Senior Fellow of the Trinity Forum. His most recent book, on the interface between science, philosophy and theology, is God’s Undertaker – Has Science Buried God?, Oxford, Lion-Hudson 2009. He has lectured extensively in North America, Eastern and Western Europe on mathematics, the philosophy of science and the intellectual defense of Christianity.

He debated Richard Dawkins on “The God Delusion” in the University of Alabama (2007) and on “Has Science buried God?” in the Oxford Museum of Natural History (2008). He has also debated Christopher Hitchens on the “New Atheism” (Edinburgh Festival 2008) and in Samford University, Alabama on the question: “Is God Great?”

Below are videos of Lennox’s lectures on “Has Science Buried God?” They are well worth the time to watch:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEcGKIQLTo4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Sav9fp5swE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEu-P475dPs&feature=related

John MacArthur On Evolution And Morality

John MacArthur

Quoting John MacArthur:

Evolution is simply the latest means our fallen race has devised in order to suppress our innate knowledge and the biblical testimony that there is a God and that we are accountable to Him (cf. Romans 1:28). By embracing evolution, modern society aims to do away with morality, responsibility, and guilt. Society has embraced evolution with such enthusiasm because people imagine that it eliminates the Judge and leaves them free to do whatever they want without guilt and without consequences. (The Battle for the Beginning, W Publishing Group, 2001, p. 24)

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