Monday Monkey “What if You Cross a Monkey With Time?” (Episode 28)

A Little Late

I am sorry that this edition of Monday Monkey did not make it out on Monday, but life is not a picnic – or is it? Life is not a bed of roses – or is it?

Picnics have scavenging insects and flying blood-suckers, while roses are covered with thorns. If you were to lay on a bed of roses while out on a picnic without insect repellent, you could die from blood loss and starvation.

Yesterday was not a good day. Let’s just say my family and myself would appreciate your prayers.

A Little Different

This edition of Monday Monkey was done in black and white. Believe it or not, I had to take multiple videos with my Socialcam app in order to achieve the effect. I could not find a single app for my phone that would record in black and white the way that I wanted, especially for free.

It is also a little different because I made up an accent. I don’t know what it really is. Maybe it is a combination of French, Russian, and Romanian. I don’t know.

And believe it or not, I did everything by myself this time. I had no help in the “camera girl” department. I even did the music on an old Yamaha Clavinova.

A Little Controversy

Where’s the controversy? Well, one could say that it is the fact that I call a certain kind of bread “monkey bread,” when it isn’t. But the real controversy can be found in the fact that I make it perfectly clear where I stand with the issue of Creation and Evolution. It’s quick, but it’s in there.

I’m sure, based on previous experience, that some will come on this blog and challenge my beliefs. That’s OK. The last thing I want to be known for is cowering from expressing my beliefs.

A Little Encouragement

That brings me to a final thought. There is no reason for Christians (or those who just believe that the world did not just appear out of nothing or by accident) to cower under the attacks from evolutionists. Sure, a lot of those guys are smart, but that doesn’t mean they are right (I’m sure that won’t set well, either). If you have the truth, don’t be afraid to stand up for it. Just be sure you are able to defend your beliefs with something solid, not just tradition or feeling.

One well-known “scientist” was recently shown telling parents to stop teaching their kids about creation. He said, “We need them [to be engineers, scientists, etc.].” Immediately my mind recalled one of the greatest scientist this country has known, George Washington Carver (1864-1943). Carver said, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”  – Brainyquote.com

“What if You Cross a Monkey With Time?”

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57 Comments

Filed under Apologetics, God, Humor, Monday Monkey, Uncategorized, Witnessing, World View

57 responses to “Monday Monkey “What if You Cross a Monkey With Time?” (Episode 28)

  1. It doesn’t matter whether you “believe” in evolution or not. That’s the funny thing about science…it doesn’t require belief. Facts are still facts. Indeed, if scientists got together and held hands and sang songs about “gravity, oh gravity, we believe in you, what goes up, must come down!” …people would assume we were a little insecure about what we study.

    Further, you can claim all day you understand evolution. You don’t. This is clearly evident each time you mention it. Also, I just want to point out that nobody says “evolutionist” anymore. It’s a scientific theory, not dogma.

    As Bill Nye the Science Guy pointed out in his brilliantly pointed video, the idea of Creation is untenable. It’s intellectually dishonest. It’s patently baffling in the face of presently observable evidence.

    You said Christians need to be able to defend what they believe (ostensibly Creation in this case) above tradition and feeling. How, might I ask, would this be accomplished? All evidence contradicts Creation. Please refrain from citing tired and dismissed (and weak) ideas like irreducible complexity. Because scientists have shown the fallacy in that (and it still revolves around intellectual dishonesty).

    So, feel free to subscribe to facts or don’t. Science will carry on with or without you.

    • Andrew some of your comments on Anthony’s blog have challenged me to ask why I believe in God? Apart from the response to a challenge to believe when I was twelve years old (conviction) I could list many reasons. I am not a scientist so you will have to bear with me. I am a former ship’s navigator who subsequently acquired a geography degree. Perhaps for me that background is more important because it helps me to see where God has been? In no particular order I believe in God:

      Because of grapefruit. My wife and I start each day with half a grapefruit. When the flavour of my favourite fruit explodes on my taste buds I just know that there is a God. Then I think of other fruits. Raspberries, red currants, black currants. Fruits of the forest, all of which call out creation to me every time I taste them. The sharper the better. Who needs sugar?

      Because I have stood on the bridge wing of many a ship in the mid-ocean at 02.00 and gazed at a cloudless sky to see the universe displayed in a way that it just cannot be seen from land. I learned the names of the stars at sea and used them for navigation long before GPS replaced the sextant. I recall being overwhelmed by what I know was the presence of God. I wasn’t living a ‘Christian life’ at the time but I knew there was a God.

      Because of storms. There have been occasions while serving at sea when I wasn’t sure if we would see out the night. I well remember being broken down on an old ship in hurricane force winds twelve miles off the coast of Newfoundland in winter. Our aerials blew down and all sorts of other damage occurred. That was a night when I was aware of my mortality. And I knew there was a God.

      Because of my children. I have been present at the birth of all five of my children. I cannot put into words what I felt when my first son was born in 1980. Thoughts of evolution never entered my mind because I knew that this child was created, and once again the presence of God was very real in the delivery room.

      Because I have received healing for a serious medical condition. Coventry Cathedral July 2002. Ten years have passed and I am still fighting fit.

      Because of the birds. I put food out daily and I watch the birds feed in my garden. I marvel at the intelligence of some, and at the stupidity of others. The starlings have worked out how to get what they want from the feeder designed for smaller birds, while the pigeons struggle to understand anything. The finches have the best manners, while the blackbirds and the robins are the bravest and will feed while I am standing there. I look at the birds and I know there is a God. A God who cares even for the sparrows.

      Because I choose to believe. You choose not to believe. We all have a choice. I believe I am right. You believe you are right. But who is the risk taker here? If I am wrong I have lost nothing, but gained plenty. If you are wrong ….. ? I pray that God will open your eyes as He opened mine.

      • Hi David. Thanks for the very thoughtful and honest reply! I’d like to point out a couple of things:

        First, many of the examples you mentioned are better-explained by science than they are by any deity. Take medical conditions for example: the advent of modern medical science, and its practitioners / professionals, is truly amazing and is making great strides every year. The problem with attribution to a deity, is there is no correlation between prayer and healing. Why did God heal you, but not another patient praying just as earnestly? Why does God ensure you have food that you thank Him for, but people praying just as earnestly are starving to death everywhere?

        It should also be noted that none of your examples are inherently unique to the Judeo-Christian God. Couldn’t the god of the Muslims create the sweetness in berries or the majesty of the night sky? At least in theory? Of course He could.

        By the way, Muslims pray for healing and are healed. Who is to say they’re wrong?

        And in your conclusion, you mentioned Pascal’s Wager, perhaps without realizing that’s what it is. Sure, I could be wrong. I could go to hell for failure to recognize whatever truth God wants me to know. But, what if YOU are wrong? What if you’re making God very upset for your failure to recognize his profit Mohammed? Or what if God hasn’t sent His messiah yet and He is becoming increasingly angry that we worship Jesus and ignore most of the OT Law? Or, what if God gave you a mind with the ability to reason and He created a fantastical story and wanted to know who had the courage to use the reason He gave us, and reject that story?

        I’m glad you mentioned the brilliance of the night sky though. It’s a personal favorite of mine. One of my newest hobbies is amateur astronomy and cosmology. I just need my girlfriend to give me the green light on that telescope I’ve had my eye on ;)

        People, mankind, has been worshiping the sky for many thousands of years. Ancient people, who could not have begun to understand the complexity of the universe they were citizens of, attributed its manifestation to God. Maybe not the one you worship now, but God.

        Since then, though, our understanding has become greater. Much greater. And the gaps we previously called God are not being filled, and rapidly.

        Could there be a god out there? A Creator of some kind. Sure. There could be. I choose to say “I don’t know” rather than “YES, I do know” until we know more. One thing I am quite sure of, however, is that the God of the Bible, simply doesn’t exist.

        I would encourage you to look into the faith of the Founding Fathers. Many were deists, as opposed to theists. It’s really interesting! Thomas Jefferson even wrote his own version of the New Testament and removed all miracles and references to Jesus’ divinity.

        Sorry, I am rambling now…happy reading and have a great day!

  2. How did I know you would reply, Andrew? (insert winking smiley face)

    Talk about dishonesty, how can you talk about not believing anything? You don’t believe anything? Get real. Of course you believe something, or you wouldn’t talk about it. And with regards to science, are you telling me scientists operate with no presumptions? You behave on what you believe, not on what you don’t believe.

    And you are constantly telling me that I do not “understand evolution.” What is there not to understand? Are you saying that I don’t understand that at some point in time there was chaos, then it became unchaotic, after which it became more complex, changing with the environment, until life, then intelligence finally emerged from nothing? Was it too simplistic to suggest in my video that mankind came from apes? That used to be the standard understanding, but then I guess it “evolved.” Do you not assume, by looking at nature, that macro-evolution has resulted in the complex world we live in?

    With regards to Bill Nye, he may be smart, but he sure did insult a lot of people who aren’t exactly numbskulls, as you imply. One of those guys is Matt, who told me to invite you to call his radio program sometime. He’d enjoy talking with you (www.carm.org/radio), incidentally. And then, of course, there’s the man I mentioned above, George Washington Carver. His work assumed there was a creator.

    And I’m curious, what makes you think that irreducible complexity is based on a fallacy? I’ll tell you, it takes a lot of brain power to try to figure out ways to explain away what is patently obvious. It takes a person who is wholeheartedly convinced beforehand that there is no God, to look at the complexities of not only the cell, but of the termite and the bombardier beetle. You look at those things and say, “Sure, as it is right now they couldn’t exist with any of their parts missing, but I’m absolutely positive that it must have worked at some point (even though I can’t prove it) because creationism is untenable.”

    Andrew, I am not a scientist, but there have been many, many who do not even claim to be Christian, who have been run out on a rail because they suggested intelligent design. They have seen the same evidence and come to a different conclusion, which causes them to be blackballed in the academic society. But they are there. They do exist. And their Ph.d’s are just as valid as anything Bill Nye possesses.

    But seriously, I know right off the bat that you will bring up “then where did God come from,” but where did everything come from. That is the ultimate question, isn’t it? Where did matter come from? Where did energy come from. From where did the first rays of light come from. Did it always exist? What about the laws of conservation? How does something so complex as a cell evolve from nothing? How do you reproduce that in a lab? How can you talk about science, anyway, when you say unequivocally that there is no God? Have you been to every corner of the universe? Are you sure that God is observable? Does he have to be observably and testable to prove that He is real? If He is beyond the realm of science, then do you not have to either believe or not believe based on something else besides the scientific method?

    But I tell you what, Andrew. I work under the assumption that there is a God. I look at the universe and amazed at what He has created. As more things are discovered, I am not less amazed, I am MORE amazed. Believing in God in no way hampers discovery. THAT is absurd (i.e., George Washington Carver).

    Now, I am only going to assume that you will have a hard time not replying and calling me an uneducated buffoon. Whatever. But because I will be going to the hospital to visit people who are having surgery tomorrow, I will not be able to immediately reply to you. Also, because I am working on my masters, and am behind in some critical work, I don’t have time to be going back and forth in these exchanges. I will primarily be busy offering hope to hurting people (something you cannot do), which is emotionally and spiritually taxing, especially when death is a possibility. I have other writing to do.

    Oh, before I go, I did think of you Sunday (and I have mentioned you in prayer by your first name, only) when I was teaching a class. In Luke 16 the rich man winds up in hell and asks if someone could go and tell his brothers about it, so they would not end up there, too. But the answer is “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” What’s the point? Earlier you told Steve C. that if you could be given proof, you would believe. The problem is that even if someone could come back from the dead, you would chalk it up to something you ate before you believed. If you don’t believe “Moses and the Prophets (the Bible),” then you will not believe. Your heart is hard, my friend, and only getting harder. I just pray that something will open the eyes of your soul and soften your heart before it is too late. Until then, you will interpret the evidence, not matter what it is, as proof of what you have already committed to believe.

    • I don’t believe in anything. Being vocal isn’t professing a belief. People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large. Take, for example, the debate regarding the LGBT community. One groups, believers, pushing their beliefs (that LGBT-ism is wrong) onto the public at large. That’s not okay. My observation of that transgression, again, is not indicative of dogma.

      You also asked if scientists operate on no presumptions. I am not sure if you’re serious or if you are really just showcasing your lack of scientific knowledge. That is EXACTLY what science is! It is research based on no known knowns! The only “presumptions” are not presumptions at all…they’re predictions based on a set of previously observed and assessed data. Scientists, and I, indeed operate on precisely not what we don’t believe but what we don’t know. It is the spirit of inquiry that drives learners forward. It reminds me of Bertrand Russell who quipped “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”

      Your assessment of evolution is a gross oversimplification. This is why evolutionary biologists won’t debate creationists in public anymore: it amounts to an illogical shift in the burden of proof combined with willful ignorance of fact. You can’t argue with willful ignorance. So, we don’t.

      And creation is, indeed, untenable. Please do not continue to posture that you, and other Christians, have examined the same evidence as evolution, and concluded Creation. That idea is not rational. As far as irreducible complexity goes, here’s the ruling from the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District Case, in reference to Dr. Behe (who came up with the idea): “We therefore find that Professor Behe’s claim for irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large.”

      Why is it, do you think, that the best and brightest scientists we have largely reject ID? Surely their mental faculties would dispose them to having a clearer perception of God’s handiwork, no?

      So I say again, please cite even a shred of evidence (just one!) of Creation. Thanks.

      Bill Nye said what needed to be said. Scientific illiteracy is astonishing in the United States. Frankly, its embarrassing. The road to fixing it starts with having a candid conversation about the merits of science and exploration vs the idea of aggressively maintaining iron age ideas about the world. I’ll take Science & Exploration for invaluable, Alex.

      I’m glad you’re more and more amazed at these discoveries but it begs the question how you marry those discoveries to your presuppositions regarding the universe. We know, for example, that you reject the discovery of the phenomenon of natural selection as it doesn’t fit your worldview. I suppose all other sciences that don’t comment on Biblical ideas are just peachy…and exciting! But boo on the science that fails to confirm ridiculous ideas like the universe coming to be in 6 days. Come on now.

      It’s not that you’re unintelligent Anthony. The truth is quite the contrary in my opinion. Where you stumble is your willful ignorance of facts, which can be considered irrational depending on how its examined. You, like any of us, are free to examine factual evidence, and draw logical conclusions from it. Your assessment, however, is contrary to that evidence. Whether you admit that or don’t, it doesn’t change the factyness of the facts (took a little literary license there…).

      Thanks for thinking of me Sunday. My heart isn’t hard man, but you can keep telling yourself, and your congregation that. I spent a long time in daily study of my Bible, devotionals, concordances, etc. God had his opportunity to demonstrate his existence, in even a tiny fashion.

      I realized the distinct absence of God in combat areas in Iraq. Even near so much death, I knew clutching to an ancient deity was going to do nothing save cloud my judgement to survive, if needed.

      As a rational, logical, and inquisitive person, I’ve reached my own, exciting conclusions. THAT, my friend, is spiritual freedom. The alternative is ancient spiritual tyranny. And I have all the hope in the world.

      • Andrew, you wrote: “I don’t believe in anything. Being vocal isn’t professing a belief. People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large.”

        I find this a very confusing statement. Do you believe that you have no beliefs? If not, then are you stuck in a mire of utter confusion about whether you do or don’t have beliefs? Because I could see that as being all there is left.

        But you also wrote:

        “Why is it, do you think, that the best and brightest scientists we have largely reject ID?”

        Do you believe that statement is true? Do you believe that the best and brightest reject ID? How do you know they are the best and brightest if you have no beliefs? Do you not believe that they know what they are studying? And if not, then how can you think that this is a problem for ID? After all, you have no beliefs, so who knows if they really are the best and brightest?

        But even then, even if the ‘best and brightest’ in some strange ill-defined sense reject ID, how is that in any way an argument against ID? After all, as you are quick to point out: the facts are the facts. If the facts lean towards ID and the best and brightest reject ID, which should we ‘believe’? But again, you say you have no beliefs, so you can’t possibly believe either.

      • Actually, Andrew, Darwinism is a belief. It is not science. It is a philosophical myth which Darwin devised to bolster his belief in deism and his rejection of Christianity–following in the footsteps of his grandfather and others before him (including the ancient Greeks who actually thought up the basic idea of evolution by natural selection a couple of millennia before Darwin). It is not something that has been observed. No one has observed anything that resembles the common descent of all life from a single simple living organism. And of course, we can’t–because there is no such thing as a simple living organism. Every living thing is complex beyond Darwin’s wildest imagination.

        And that would explain why neither you nor Bill Nye have presented a shred of scientific evidence for your belief in the fanciful story of how a microbe became a microbiologist.

        I find it interesting that you say: “People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large.” This is true. And I have never known anyone more pushy than an evolutionist. I have seen evolutionists bully people in many contexts. If evolution were science, evolutionists could simply pull out the scientific evidence and say: “Here. This is how we know that evolution is true.” But the fact is they can’t, so instead they just make a lot of strong assertions (like you and Nye are doing), guilt people into feeling like they are holding the rest of the world back, and try to make people feel stupid, etc.(all of which Nye does).

        Your commitment to your worldview has blinded you so much that you can actually make a very judgmental statement about others being pushy with their beliefs at the very moment that you yourself are going out of your way to comment on this blog and push your beliefs on others.

        In his recent interview, Bill Nye exhibits the same worldview myopia. Below are 3 quotes from that interview. Apparently he does not see the stark irony in his words. He openly presents the very evidence that opposes his conclusion and doesn’t even see it. (Not good science, by the way):

        (1) “Denial of evolution is unique to the United States. I mean, we’re the world’s most advanced technological—I mean, you could say Japan—but generally, the United States is where most of the innovations still happens.”

        (2) “People still move to the United States. And that’s largely because of the intellectual capital we have, the general understanding of science.”

        (3) “When you have a portion of the population that doesn’t believe in that, it holds everybody back, really.”

        It’s quite ironic that he acknowledges that the country where half of the population believes in the Biblical account of creation (versus a small minority who believe in atheistic evolution) is the country that leads the world in intellectual capital and innovation. Hmmmm…..Apparently it has not held us back at all. In fact, “denial of evolution” (as he says) has made us the world’s leader–which is not surprising, since most of those who started the scientific revolution believed that God created the world as the Bible says. And since that time until this day, many of America’s leading scientists operate from that understanding. Well, actually all scientists do (some just don’t recognize it).

        For more evidence of the irony, see Dr. Jason Lisle’s article posted below: http://www.youroriginsmatter.com/

        **And if you really think that evolution is science, see if you can use science to answer these 15 fundamental questions related to evolution:
        http://creation.com/15-questions

  3. In response to Andrew (reply button not showing – sorry) I talk about my healing on my son’s blog (http://nwelford.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/healing-is-in-his-hands/). It wasn’t something I asked for, and to be honest it wouldn’t have mattered how many times the man at the front called for the person with the colon problem to go up I would not have gone. I just could not stop myself. I have no other way to explain what happened. But I agree that there is often no correlation between prayer and healing. If there was I’d never get another cold.

    I’m gutted about Pascal’s wager. How could a Frenchman have come up with that? It’s just that I work in risk and am naturally risk-averse.

    There are many things I cannot explain about God. In a way that helps my belief. I am not sure I’d want to know it all. But my experience of God is as real as the chair I am sitting on. He exists. If science could explain Him He would not be God.

    As for the telescope. Go for it. I’d love to have one. The night sky still fascinates me even from land. The view is far better from the middle of the ocean, but you would lose the stable platform for the telescope!

    Take care Andrew. I am sure I will see you on Anthony’s blog again soon.

  4. Jamie

    I think when we say we don’t believe in anything we mean we don’t believe in a supernatural anything. Scientists certainly do operate under presumptions, but you seem to be implying that those presumptions are comparable to belief in God rather than based upon observable, measurable data?

    He’s constantly telling you you don’t understand evolution because by my reading of your explanation of it here, you appear not to. First of all, you seem to confusing the theories of the Big Bang, abiogenesis, and evolution; The Big Bang is the origin of the Universe, abiogenesis is the origin of life, and evolution is the origin of diversity. “From nothing” is inaccurate for a lot of reasons, but primarily because the theory of evolution presumes (there’s that word) life already existed. When you say evolution asserts we came from nothing you’re wrong because evolution asserts, instead, we came from life. If you want to argue abiogenesis then that’s fine too, we can, but when you say you do understand evolution and then say what you’ve said, it’s apparent you don’t really understand it (biologists make no distinction, by the way, between micro and macro evolution. Micro changes result in macro ones over time. Nor did we evolve from apes. Apes and us alike evolved from ape-like ancestors. These distinctions are important to make if you want us to think you’re thinking critically about evolution and trying to earnestly understand it).

    Plenty of smart people believe in God, but that doesn’t make any difference as to what Bill Nye said. Facts are facts. Most Christians and religious people I’ve encountered are not scientifically literate because they’re taught that science is a corrupting influence. You’ll probably argue that’s not what you’ve personally encountered (ignoring your own seeming unfamiliarity with the theory of evolution), but I suspect if you personally ask members of your church about the theory of evolution or The Big Bang or abiogenesis that you’ll encounter misinformation that’ll give even you pause.

    I’d like to point out that I don’t say there is no God; I say there is no evidence for belief in a God. In my youth I remember praying in class telling God how amazing he was. Don’t presume (that word!) that what “it takes” for a person to think what they think to always be one thing. I suggest you read the Wikipedia article on irreducible complexity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreducible_complexity). What I personally like to use as an example for why irreducible complexity is wrong is the human eye. The eye began simply as a light sensitive cell. The usefulness of such a cell should be self-evident to you. Suddenly you can detect prey and predator passing in front of you. As you can see (pun?), I’ve reduced the irreducibly complex to its most primitive form.

    Technically, by the way, by any human understanding of what logic is, he does have to be observable and testable to be proven real. It’s interesting you try to justify belief in God with the idea that scientists cannot yet tell you how existence exists otherwise. I disbelieve God because it’s simply an extra step. Logic is conservative. Why can’t existence just exist? Here you might tell me that then we’re not very different! If I believe in an existence (I should be clear, existence and the Universe are not the same thing, you might want to check out The Big Bang Wikipedia too) that just “is” then you can believe in a God that just “is.” The problem with that is that I am being more logical then you because we know existence “is.” Insofar as human perception and logic can account for what “is.” We interact with matter and space. The mystery of its being is not solved by proving yet another mystery. That is what you’re doing when you try to solve a mystery with another mystery and I should point out the mysteries are not even equivalent. God would be more complex than the existence considering he has absolute mastery over it and exists everywhere within it.

    I feel strongly though that belief in God does hamper discovery because belief in God often leads to ignorance and rejection of good science. When early Christians were sick they thought it was demons. Science developed germ theory. When early Christians saw the sun they though it revolved around us! Science developed heliocentricity theory.

    • Jamie, You can’t just talk about existence existing while at the same time talking about science….because science has confirmed in at least 3 fundamental ways that there was a time when this physical universe did not exist and that it came into existence at a precise moment in the past. In fact, this entire mind-bogglingly massive universe came into existence within a very brief moment–complete with a suite of mathematically elegant physical laws that give order to everything that we observe everywhere. And since that time it has been running down, dying a slow heat death that will one day end in a state of complete motionlessness everywhere in the universe–that is, except for the intervention of the One who created it, sustains it, and controls it.

      To say that everything just exists and that’s all there is to it is as intellectually dishonest and disrespectful to the Creator as going to an exhibition of Monet’s paintings and telling everyone: “Monet never painted a single painting. He simply found these canvases lying out in his backyard. They were just there. That’s all.” Well, of course, that’s just complete nonsense. But it would not be nearly so insulting or glib as speaking of this amazing universe as just existing.

      Or imagine visiting the Great Pyramids in Egypt and saying: “I don’t believe in the ancient Egyptians. Positing ancient Egyptians is just an unnecessary extra step. Obviously, logic is conservative and demands that we not invent ancient Egyptians that we have never seen build anything in order to explain the existence of something that just exists.” Hmmmm…..Surely, Jamie, you must see that your logic has broken down somewhere.

      Just a couple more brief points and I need to get to bed: (1) Your statement about the eye totally misses the point of irreducible complexity. You have not even begun to think about the complex chemical reactions and interactions that must take place between even a simple light sensitive cell and the rest of the organism in order for that light sensitive cell to have any value to the organism at all. Nor have you considered the myriad of differences between that light sensitive cell and the human eye. (2) You say there is no evidence for God, but there is evidence for God everywhere you look. You just refuse to see it. (3) As far as Bill Nye goes, you can read my response to Andrew above.

      Finally, you say:
      “I feel strongly though that belief in God does hamper discovery because belief in God often leads to ignorance and rejection of good science. When early Christians were sick they thought it was demons. Science developed germ theory. When early Christians saw the sun they though it revolved around us! Science developed heliocentricity theory.”

      You ended your comments above with what is probably the most ironic thing that you said. Belief in God hampers discovery? Christians thought all sickness was caused by demons? (No they did not.) Science developed germ theory? Only Christians thought the sun revolved around the earth? (No everyone did.) Science developed the theory of heliocentricity? (Actually, science doesn’t develop anything. It’s just a tool used by people.)

      What’s really ironic here is that you say that belief hampers discovery and then you give two examples of advances in science–BOTH of which came from……..Bible-believing Christians!

      Well, I hope I’ve given you something to think about. And I hope you have an enjoyable Labor Day weekend. And more than anything, I hope your eyes begin to open to the evidence of the Creator that He has put all around you. Peace.

      • Brad, your analogies are poor.

        By the way, those Bible-believing Christians that initiated science and understanding were under such pretenses because they had no choice. The church has a nasty habit of BURNING people who disagreed. Funny how power works, isn’t it? Better get back to your history books to see how science was treated shortly thereafter.

        Anyway, you keep talking about Bible-believing Christians. I assume you accept the genesis story of creation as how the world actually came to be instead of an example of ancient literature, which it is. Do you also believe the Earth is less than 10k years old. This I must know.

        Also, what’s your explanation for the thousands of other faiths, spirits, deities, and other persuasions that pre-date your bible? Just crazy pagans?

  5. John

    Andrew, I am just curious…when you say “I don’t believe in anything”…do you believe that statement to be true?

  6. “I don’t believe in anything. Being vocal isn’t professing a belief.”
    >>>

    To take a stand, is to take a position, and to take a position is to assert a belief.

  7. To all who responded – here’s another blogger’s opinions to consider.

    http://www.cvm.org.uk/blog/demolition-squad/what-i-believe/

    • c’mon David…in the third paragraph he says, “I don’t like words such as evidence of proof or logic.”

      I guess that kinda sums things up now doesn’t it?

      Indeed, Christian leaders have recognized the incompatibility of the Bible (and theism in general) with reason for centuries. Here is Martin Luther:

      “Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.”

      ouch.

      Guess I will keep being reasonable.

      • Andrew – he was jesting in the first part of the blog, quoting things that have been said to him. He states; “All the above statements are obviously moronic, but all of them are genuine accusations I’ve had thrown at me by friends.” I have all the evidence I need. Have a listen to Louis Giglio if you have a spare 45 mins. David

    • David, I see now! I was pressed for time and didn’t real all the way through. I apologize.

      That post is a great, level-headed statement. I like it. If more Christians conducted themselves like him or, you know, like Christ, I would probably spend less time worrying about Christians’ attack on the sciences and other intellectual pursuits.

      It is funny though…I initially quit reading because those are the exact statements echoed by many Christians and, indeed, even some in this very thread.

      Enjoy your weekend!

  8. @JW

    I assumed the context of my previous statement was obvious. Evidently it was not. Allow me to clarify: I hold no belief in any supernatural beings, implications, or causes. The lack of supernatural belief is not equivalent to faith or dogma. So, I believe there is nothing to believe, supernaturally speaking.

    …that clarification should summarily dispatch with the remainder of your argument.

    • You wrote, “People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large. Take, for example, the debate regarding the LGBT community. One groups, believers, pushing their beliefs (that LGBT-ism is wrong) onto the public at large. That’s not okay. My observation of that transgression, again, is not indicative of dogma.”

      I take it from this more recent comment that you have decided to throw this entire statement out the window. According to you in context, you don’t have an actual belief about this issue. But now you say you do. Which is it? Are you dogmatically opposed to those who say LGBT-ism is wrong?

  9. @Brad

    I more or less stopped reading after you said “Darwinism…is not science.” A statement so inane, so vapid, is hardly worthy of scholarly debate. This is, again, why the science community has stopped wasting its time debating the willfully ignorant. We’re tired of wasting our time. We’ll happily move forward without you (and, indeed, that is precisely what we’re doing).

    Still, I suppose curiosity got the best of me as I continued reading.

    You say I am blinded by my worldview, which seems the ultimate irony of projection. What about your worldview, which lacks complete evidence? Or what about the thousands of supernatural worldviews that predate yours? That also lack evidence? Why are they wrong? You’re effectively making the same, unverifiable claims regarding the origin of the universe.

    I also, much to my chagrin, clicked on the link to creation.com. Psuedo-science in its most laughable form. Still, the questions posed are good ones. Great ones in fact! They’re exciting questions about the universe, and life, that we don’t know the answers to yet. Well, chances are science has answered a number of them and if it hasn’t it certainly is studying it. Abiogenesis, for example, is the study of the origins of life from inorganic material through natural processes.

    The difference between you and I is I have the courage to say “I don’t know.” Because I don’t. You don’t either, in all reality.

    But what you don’t know you call God, and you go about wallowing in your half-measured answer.

    I, in the spirit of inquiry, keep looking, keep understand, keep researching.

    And we keep finding answers which, as I can imagine, must be terrifying to someone who thinks they already had all the answers.

  10. @JW (again)

    Reading through your website…you may want to leave reasoning to the logicians. False premises much? Your explanations of the premises are equally hollow.

    It really amazes me that the supreme author of the universe requires such (at first glance) complicated explanations of his existence. It would be laughable in any other context! Why does god need a little army of so-called “apologetics” to demonstrate he’s real? I think the real answer is clear.

    See above for how reason fits into faith…or perhaps you’re wiser than Martin Luther?

    • Luther was a man and can be mistaken. Furthermore, when he reacted against reason he was reacting against the wanton rationalism of his time. Now anyone who takes the time to actually investigate the historical background and/or sociological contexts of statements made would know this, but I admit it is much easier to just quote mine for people to agree with you. What that shows, however, is a lack of honesty when dealing with the other side. I hope that you will learn to be less disingenuous when it comes to these discussions. I haven’t seen much of that demonstrated however. All I’ve seen is quote mining and rehearsed arguments from random sites on the internet. Perhaps you’d do better to be more thoughtful and considerate when in a discussion like this.

      Furthermore, God doesn’t need me to demonstrate He’s real. Either God is real, or He isn’t. That’s just a fact of the universe. As you’ve been so quick to point out, it’s the facts that matter.

      • I’d also like to note, Andrew, that it seems like you refuse to answer any pointed questions. I’ll reiterate what I said and I’d like you to answer it rather than dodge the question:

        “You wrote, ‘People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large. Take, for example, the debate regarding the LGBT community. One groups, believers, pushing their beliefs (that LGBT-ism is wrong) onto the public at large. That’s not okay. My observation of that transgression, again, is not indicative of dogma.’

        “I take it from this more recent comment that you have decided to throw this entire statement out the window. According to you in context, you don’t have an actual belief about this issue. But now you say you do. Which is it? Are you dogmatically opposed to those who say LGBT-ism is wrong?”

        Finally, if you’re actually interested in genuine discussion and looking into things before you just rattle off whatever quotes you can mine to support your position, here’s a great book on Luther’s view of reason and how it was a product of his historical-social context reacting to rationality: http://www.amazon.com/The-Foolishness-God-Reason-Theology/dp/0810001551/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346519651&sr=8-1&keywords=the+foolishness+of+god.

        Luther wasn’t right on everything. I think he was at least partially wrong on reason. But to use his quote as you did is, to be fair, dishonest or confused.

  11. Andrew. I will be happy to grant you macroevolution. If you want, I’ll also grant you an eternal universe or a multiverse or even both. Whichever one you want is fine. I just want to know how any of those can demonstrate that Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead. Could you explain that?

  12. Those ideas don’t demonstrate that Jesus did or did not rise from the dead.

    They demonstrate predictions of the origin of the universe based on observations.

    Jesus’ resurrection is a separate topic.

  13. JW, are you a Biblical literalist?

    Do you believe there is a hell and I am heading there?

    • I don’t know what your spiritual status is. Answer my question.

      • I’m just asking you to stop trying to divert the discussion. Every time I present you with a challenge, you change subjects. Answer the question.

        “You wrote, ‘People with belief have a bad habit of pushing their system of beliefs on the public at large. Take, for example, the debate regarding the LGBT community. One groups, believers, pushing their beliefs (that LGBT-ism is wrong) onto the public at large. That’s not okay. My observation of that transgression, again, is not indicative of dogma.’

        “I take it from this more recent comment that you have decided to throw this entire statement out the window. According to you in context, you don’t have an actual belief about this issue. But now you say you do. Which is it? Are you dogmatically opposed to those who say LGBT-ism is wrong?”

  14. “I believe oppressing people is wrong. So I oppose people that oppress people.”
    >>>

    So you just oppress the people who you think that are oppressing others? Kettle black?

  15. Your question is loaded. I do oppose them. That belief is not dogmatic.

  16. lol Anon, okay

    Let me spell it out for you: Christians have a long, storied history of bloodshed, rape, misogyny, and cannibalism.

    I’m sure this will be chalked up to “hey guys look at the inconsistency” but facts are facts.

    • Yes, Christians have a bad track record. It is however trivial to compare the actions of these people with what Christianity teaches and come to the conclusion that this is not necessarily the fault of Christianity. At worst, Christianity’s failing is that it does not live up to its promise of making people better, and even that is maybe too bold a statement: Do you actually know that it doesn’t, in general, for the larger majority, make people better?

      I actually had that debate with a friend recently. I pointed out that Atheism has a pretty attrocious track record, I mean seriously, looking at the last century or so, it outnumbers the religious deaths at least ten to one (I am of course referring to atheistic regimes of the twentieth century). My friend then pointed out that just because atheism was arround does not mean it was responsible for all the bloodshed, to which I replied: Sure, but if you’re going to make a concession like that, surely it should cut both ways?

      I thought about this some more and realised it is a bad comparison anyway. Religions come bundled with a morality-suite, but atheism does not. This is not necessarily meant to be a criticism of atheism, it just means that in a comparison between atheism and the various religions, you really need to compate atheism+x to the religion, where x is most likely secular humanism. For some of those values of x, we have certainly seen some pretty horrible things.

      • Izak, for the record, I do not equate Christians to what happened during the Crusades, or the Inquisition, or the general torture of apostates, etc. But, I would ask how many people have been murdered by atheists IN THE NAME of atheism, or even under its banner? Let me know if you find any.

        To use your illustration, we also routinely see Christianity + x. Typically, it’s the relatively basic teaching of Jesus: love people, coupled with hardline interpretation of the Bible that serves as a conduit of what amounts to contemporary, fashionable bigotry. The church, and it’s followers, can call it whatever they want. The fact remains that people are oppressed (they can’t enjoy the public, legal benefits of marriage) and there’s a group orchestrating the oppression. To argue otherwise is a walking exercise in cognitive dissonance. That is to say that Christianity has been bastardized in history. So have other religions.

        Nobody has died as a result of atheism, however. (The despots of the 20th Century were sociopaths whose individual beliefs had no bearing on their conduct.)

      • Andrew,

        I’m just leaving the funeral home where I have been visiting family. I didn’t want to comment, but I couldn’t help it.

        I understand that it may be difficult to associate killings with atheism, especially if you must include psychological disorders in the mix. However, I met plenty of people in eastern Europe who suffered under the hands of those who wanted to wipe out any trace of the “opiate.” In countries such as Romania, Albania, and Benin, secular governments have made it official policy to oppress religion, if not irradiate it. That has also been the case with North Korea. Of course, you could argue that they were not strict atheists, but humanists and idealists. Nevertheless, they were atheists in every practical sense. Wouldn’t you agree? Probably not.

      • I think it too bold a statement to say that nobody has died as a result of Atheism. I suppose the temptation to write off all the bad things that happen to other factors is as large for the atheist as it is for the Christian. I think you know what I mean, Christians will often tell you that “those people were not real Christians”. I think on some level they were (real christians, if only shallowly), and they should have known better, and if we are fair then the same thing applies to the atheist: You should be better than the theist you’re criticising.

        How much your religious (or lack thereof) views impact the decisions you make is likely not all that simple to decipher. Consider if you will, what Aldus Huxley wrote (he is frequently misquoted by apologists, but I’m using an atheistic source here so I should be okay):

        “The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantegous to themselves…”

        Huxley, as it seems to me, is contrasting those who find meaning in the world with those who don’t. Those who do (find meaning) spend a lot of time indicating how this is expressed in their chosen religious moral code, yet somehow they often have no problem justifying a personal will to power. But likewise, those who don’t find that meaning has much the same problem: They have to prove why such power cannot by seized and used for personal gain. No philosophy is completely disinterested.

        (just as a note, I do not necessarily equate atheism with a lack of ALL meaning, I am aware that you find your own meaning, which is the whole point of the brave new world.)

        I don’t think atheism is an exception here. I think that in a great many cases, atheism was a necessary condition that had to exist before the perpetrators could do what they wanted. Atheism definitely cannot absolve itself from the great attrocities of the twentieth century.

        Atheism is of course not alone in this regard, for there are two types of totalitarian governments: Those who think God is telling them to do it, and those who got rid of God so they could do it. I just fear that at least some atheists are completely ignorant of this, but even that is understandable: (Huxley again) Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence.

      • The reality is this doesn’t even matter. It’s a red herring. What are we going to say “Jesus was raised from the dead thus vindicating His claim to be the King whom God chose but we choose to not believe in Him because some Christians are jerks?” The only question that has to be asked is “Did Jesus rise?”

      • True. True. (as Annoying Orange would say)

  17. also Anon, way to emulate Christ with your sarcasm. It’s closed minded people like yourself that led to my apostasy.

    • That’s sad, I must say. I’m sorry that anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ caused you pain. But you know, I used to abhor Toyota because my ex-fiancé drove one. That was over 20 years ago. But now, I’d take a new Toyota in a heartbeat (if it was given to me)! Maybe there will come a day when you can see beyond the people to the Person. For one, I know I want to be like Jesus, but I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t arrived.

  18. Well, Pastor Baker — you’ve certainly done it with this one. I love it. :]

  19. @apologianick It is a red herring to the ultimate question you identified (Jesus’ resurrection) but the question isn’t irrelevant.

    For ostensible followers of the risen Christ, Christians have an atrocious track record. Not just kind of bad. Really bad.

    And since you brought it up…can you point to some scholarly sources/evidence of Christ’s resurrection?

    • Andrew. It is an important question, but not one relevant to the truth of Christianity. It’s relevant to Christian practice. Look at it this way Andrew. Are you going to tell me that if you find out that Jesus rose from the dead that you’re going to say “Well I refuse to worship Him anyway because His followers are jerks.”? I can assure you that if you’re waiting for perfection, you won’t find it amongst Christians. We’re all hypocrites to some extent.

      But as for scholarly resources, I do. I think the premier work you could read would be Mike Licona’s “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.” Also helpful would be N.T. Wright’s “The Resurrection of the Son of God.”

  20. Pingback: Monday Monkey “Monkeys Hate Alarm Clocks” (Episode 29) | The Recovering Legalist

  21. From childhood I’ve believed in creation because it made sense.
    Earlier this year, however, I came across the http://www.wildbranch.org/. One of the teachings is on the meaning of ancient Hebrew words. Wow! It opened up the creation “story” and gave me eyes to see God’s word in an even more expanded way. The glory of creation is too wonderful. Hugh Ross’ book, “Why the Universe is the way it is,” was the cherry on top.
    The Lord has created us with an innate curiosity. One can watch this as a new born baby grows and starts exploring his world. If only we can all continue that way, then we’ll see that the creation account is an exciting adventure that speaks of even more to look forward to.

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