Further Study: Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth
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Further Study: “The work of creation can never be explained by science. future_studyWhat science can explain the mystery of life? “The theory that God did not create matter when He brought the world into existence is without foundation. In the formation of our world, God was not indebted to pre-existing matter. On the contrary, all things, material or spiritual, stood up before the Lord Jehovah at His voice and were created for His own purpose. The heavens and all the host of them, the earth and all things therein, are not only the work of His hand; they came into existence by the breath of His mouth.”-Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, pp. 258, 259. “Just how God accomplished the work of creation he has never revealed to men; human science cannot search out the secrets of the Most High. His creative power is as incomprehensible as his existence.”-Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 113.

Discussion Questions

  1. In class, discuss your answer to Sunday’s final question.
  2. Science talks about what it calls “anthropic coincidences” (from the Greek word anthropos for “man”), the incredibly fine-tuned balance of forces in nature that make it possible for human life to exist. Notice, though, the built-in bias revealed in the word coincidences. If you don’t believe in God, you have to attribute these amazing balances to mere coincidence. Why is the belief that these balances were the product of a Creator God a more reasonable explanation than to simply call them “coincidences”?
  3. Consider the love of the Creator as He formed Adam and Eve and provided them with a beautiful garden home, knowing that He Himself would suffer and die on Calvary at the hands of the race He was creating. What do we learn about God’s love from the decision that He made to go ahead with the creation anyway?
  4. How does the “Big Bang” theory compare with the Creation statement in Genesis 1:1? Might the “Big Bang” be a description of the way in which the universe came into existence at God’s Word? What issues or problems do you see in this idea? Why would it be dangerous to link our theology to any scientific theory, especially when science so often changes?
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Further Study: Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth — 41 Comments

  1. indeed we people we cannt make things from nothing, but He created things from nothing which shows His greatness.

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    • but we always take it for granted, we have to consider it well and understand everything spiritually, He created everything and he owns everything in the world, happy sabbath to you all

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  2. To understand and believe that God is the Creator, it can be the first and last step of believe on him that he is everything in your life, so he is the alpha and omega. Thanks

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  3. I thank God because He is love, in him there is truth all what he says is true. if we read carefully Genesis 1 we will see that there is no room for us to call anything that exist a coincidence coz God reveals Himself thru His creative power, as we read that He created all things just by word and he saw that it was right. no one on earth ever showed anything he/she created so it is indeed Jesus alone, the creator. About man`s existence, we have a proof again that it is God who created man. After making a man in His own image he provided all the necessities for this man to live and appreciate. He was given a beautiful garden, best food, best clothes. rules of living which the world today long to have, admitting that God the creator gives the best for He knows what is necessary for His creatures.

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  4. In this age when people try to make religion complicated, it is very important to go back to the beginning and remember that God should be the center of our worship. Today, many have taken the Christian religion and turned it into a personality cult, elevating preachers, counselors and educators above God. For many, their Christian experience is intricately woven in the belief that once they cling to their church leader and support that leader, their salvation is secured. Though they deny it, many professed Christians; some professed Adventists among them, will hop from church to church and drive miles away in search of a good sermon. While that might be okay once in a while, to constantly seek gratification in worship, instead of seeking to serve is wrong. In the beginning, God did not think about Himself. He created the universe, filled it with all comfort and placed Adam and Eve to enjoy the fruit of His labor. For our Christianity to be genuine and fruitful, we have to go back to the beginning and read the story of creation, and how a loving God created a perfect world just so that humanity could enjoy peace and tranquility.

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  5. Science can only explain matter but it does not tell us where that matter came from. In the absence of matter science has no virtue. But in the expanse of God's kingdom, He spoke and matter came to being, He spoke and breathed and the earth came to life. I believe in creation wholly.

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  6. It is so refreshing and Spirit driven to see that the subject matter for this semester is about our origins! I have had in the past 2 weeks a lengthy debate with this gentleman who carries my last name, but we don't even know each other. We became curious about each other because of our last name, which is quite a peculiar one. In any event, This gentleman, to whom I grant the pseudo "Koz" says that he is atheist after having been brought up in the church all his life. He has admitted that he has experienced enough church hopping. He has come to the realization that there is no God and that the Bible is a book full of fables. He says the bible contradicts itself. Because of that atheism is a necessity. He bases his atheistic approach on the idea that most intellects reject the existence of a Creator God. Therefore, He trusts that God doesn't exist and that neither good nor evil do.

    I was quick to ask him a few questions, such as how he explains the breath of Life. He concocts a reply which goes along the lines that the air we breathe is oxygen found on an ancient planet about 2 billion years ago and such. When I offer the hypothesis of going to all the morgues, funerals, cemeteries with enough oxygen supplies to revive the dead, He counteracts by saying the human body has a life expectancy which cannot be overcome. LOL! I was laughing because it was hard trying to take this guy seriously. In any event, I did a terrible job trying to summarize how this debate went. After all the points I made, he rested on attacking the veracity of the bible and the people who translated each version. I gave him all the verses that I thought of at the moment including Genesis 1:1, Psalms 51, Isaiah 59, Matthew 7, John 3:16, Revelation 1:7 and so many more. I told him I will continue to pray for him so God will help him to surrender to His Holy Spirit for guidance, because the Word of God is the reflection of God's character. Since He is Spirit we who worship him must do so in Spirit and in truth. This week's lesson complemented my approach!

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  7. Is it God or Jesus who created the earth? And why was Jesus silent on the subject of creation of the universe by him when he was on earth? Or did Jesus create the earth and God created the other planets and the universe?

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    • Paul, when creating man God said let "us" make man in our own image. And from the lesson it did explain that Jesus created. So I believe since we can not understand fully the mystery of the 'Trinity' they both created the world. AS far as Jesus being silent on His part of creation, in my humble opinion, every aspect of Him could not be explained. His mission was to show us the Father among other things.

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      • Dear Paul,
        It is true that when creating man God said, "Let 'us' make man in our own image". However the very next verse states that the deed was done be a single person - "And God created the man in 'His' own image; in the image of God 'He' created him. 'He' created them male and female." Gen 1:27

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        • Hello Lowell,
          In Gen 1:27 `God`is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim, which is plural. Another way to say it would be to say that the `Godhead` created mankind in His (one God, three Persons) own image.

          Note that the Godhead created `male and female` in His own image. It took both male and female to complete the image of a tri-une God. (The Holy Spirit is not specifically mentioned here, but He is mentioned in Gen 1:2.

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        • Dear Inge,

          I thank you for your reply. I am new to using such forums, so I am not sure what the lack of a "Reply" button on your post means. I have therefore replied to my own post.

          You are correct in stating that the Hebrew word "Elohiym" is a plural. However the word is used almost exclusively in a singular context in the five books written by Moses. A prime example is Exodus 7:1 where God says to Moses, “See, I have made you a god to Pharaoh...”. The word translated as “god” here is "Elohiym". There was only one Moses thus there can be no doubt that the word was used in a singular context. Another example is in Exodus 32 which is the story of the golden calf idol. Throughout this story the Hebrew word used for the false idol was "Elohiym" regardless of the fact that there was only the one golden calf.

          There are 682 usages of the word, "Elohiym" in Moses' books each of which I have checked, and in only ~40 (6%) of those uses does the context show that the plural is meant, and in none of those cases is it used to refer to Jehovah. (The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon calls this singular use of a plural the Plural-Intensive.)

          There several places in the first five books of the King James Bible (KJV) where the translators have translated "Elohiym" as “gods” and thereby obscured the the scripture, e.g. Exodus 22:28 which is translated, “Though shalt not revile their gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people” but should read, “Though shalt not revile thy God, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” In the original translation it gives the impression that God is asking for respect to be given to other gods!

          Letting the bible translate itself, it is clear that when Moses used the word "Elohiym" in Genesis 1:26, he used it as a singular, which conforms to what he writes in Genesis 1:27, and also in Genesis 2:7 where the context is clearly singular.

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        • Lowel, you have replied about the only way you could. The website only nests replies to a certain depth then after that there is no more reply button.

          The word "Elohiym" causes a lot of difficulty and has been debated among scholars for a very long time. What we do know is that the Holy Spirit was present during creation as Inge has pointed out. We also know through the writings of John and the book of Hebrews that Jesus was the active one in the creation process. Other parts of the Bible point to God or to Jehovah as the creator. Beyond that I think we are at a loss to explain how things were created and probably would be better off just leaving the whole thing alone.

          I believe the main point is that God (El, a very generic name) created everything from nothing. It didn't come into existence on its own and we certainly didn't have anything to do with it. We are therefore indebted to God for everything - that is what our relationship to God is in this world even though another being has stuck his nose in the middle and usurped God's rightful place as the true owner.

          Another thing that says volumes about God and His relationship to us is the fact that He died for us rather than discarding a significant portion of life in the universe.

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        • Dear Tyler,

          I understand your referring to scripture in the New Testament, and the confusion that this subject seems to present. This is the point introduced by Paul's question at the beginning of this subject thread, regarding Jesus' silence on the subject of his part in creation. It was an important question.

          We must remember that everything that occurs in the bible has its foundation in the books of Moses; Everything that occurs in the New Testament is subject to what Moses wrote, and not the other way round. Moses makes it clear that Jehovah was the Creator and He alone. The bible itself proves unequivocally that this is so, (see previous post); it is not a matter of interpretation by one scholar or another. The bible acts as its own translator, and cannot be gainsaid.

          This being the case would it not be grossly disrespectful to leave the "subject alone"
          as you suggest? I cannot not dare do such a thing. Moses certainly did not. Far from leaving it a mystery, Moses was quite clear about who Jehovah was and what He did - Genesis 1:1, Exodus 20:11, Deuteronomy 4:39, Deuteronomy 6:4, Deuteronomy 32:39. J ehovah clearly wanted the subject known and consistently staked His claim throughout the Old and New Testament scriptures, beyond the writings of Moses, e.g. Job 38:4, Psalms 19:1, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 48:13, Jeremiah 51:15, Amos 4:13, Jonah 1:9, Zechariah 12:1, Acts 17:24, Romans 1:25, Revelation 4:11, Revelation 14:7. Jesus himself quotes from Moses' account of creation (Matthew 19:4-6).

          If Moses says that Jehovah is the Creator and the vast majority of the bible backs him up, then, either our understanding of the few references in the New testament which seem to suggest otherwise is at fault, or the bible is contradicting itself. Of course I believe that the former is the case, and it is an understanding that needs to be addressed. The very first angel's message in Revelation 14:7 requires us to fear Jehovah and give glory to him as the Creator. We must not fail to do this, nor think that it is unimportant. Jehovah certainly doesn't (Isaiah 42:8).

          Finally, having the foundation of Moses regarding who the Creator is, puts into proper perspective the plan of redemption. It strips away the mystery that we have constructed for ourselves, making it, as it should be, simple. Jehovah did not die for us. That was not His plan. Jehovah gave His son Jesus, who died for us (John 3:16, Isaiah 42:1-5). Jesus was the seed of Eve (Genesis 3:15); of the line of David (2 Samuel 7:16, Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 1:20, Matthew 9:27, Romans 1:3, Revelation 5:5); the son of God (Matthew 4:3, Matthew 8:29, Matthew 16:16, Mark 3:11, Luke 1:32, John 1:34; the one mediator between Jehovah and man (John 14:6, 1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is the way to the Father, made possible by his immeasurable sacrifice for us, giving us the opportunity of eternal life (John 3:16).

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  8. You ask: "Why would it be dangerous to link our theology to any scientific theory, especially when science so often changes?"

    Science is indeed provisional in the sense that it allows new discoveries to refine or even debunk existing theory. For instance, you have Newton's physics superseded (though not entirely displaced) by Einstein's. Though dynamic and open to change, these theories -- as opposed to mere hypothesis -- describe the universe precisely and elegantly.

    In contrast, theology has the tendency to be frozen. Having been touted as the immutable Truth, any fundamental change puts into question its very legitimacy. The literal reading of the book of Genesis is one clear example: it sharply contrasts with our modern scientific worldview.

    This is also the source of my deep disappoinment with SDA theology. Even though I grew up within the SDA church, I cannot bring myself to believe that the earth and the stars were created only some 6,000 years ago in six literal 24-hour days. For example, Genesis states that God made the stars on the fourth day of creation; that is, even after the plants. And yet, we now know that stars have existed for millions and millions of years. How do we explain away the fact that starlight have travelled for millions of light-years and therefore have existed just as long? I've read some dismissive arguments that strike me as not only unscientific but anti-scientific.

    Should the SDA Church insist in this literal reading of Genesis and share the fate of the Catholic Church during the Galileo debacle?

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    • Andrew, before addressing the main thrust of your comment, I do want to remind you and other readers that Seventh-day Adventists generally do not subscribe to the idea that the Genesis account describes the creation of the whole universe. Distinct from other Christian bodies who believe in the literal Genesis account, we believe that other inhabited worlds existed in the universe before the creation of this solar system. As a matter of fact, a literal reading of Genesis 1:2 does not necessitate believing that this planet was created out of nothing at that point in time. The verse says that the planet was formless and empty. So, while Gen 1:1 states that God created everything, it does not say that He created everything at the same time some thousands of years ago.

      Also please note that a literal reading of Gen 1:14-16 indicates that the Lord made the sun and the moon appear in the firmament at that time. They could have been created at that time, or they could have been made visible through a change of atmospheric conditions. Note that in Gen 1:16, "He made the stars also" seems very much like a parenthetical statement, as in, "Just so you know, God also made the stars." While the appearance of the sun and moon are dealt with in some detail, the stars are not.

      It is true that some have interpreted the Bible in a wooden fashion antithetical to intellectual inquiry. However, it is equally true that some treat science the same way: Whatever the current paradigm, anything outside that paradigm is considered non-science. Please do consider that the subject of origins is not within the realm of science. It is within the realm of philosophy. And there we have the two competing paradigms of something arising from nothing without cause or purpose and the universe being created by an intelligent Creator. You get to choose your paradigm. The scientific evidence will fit equally comfortably into either paradigm -- something you may find difficult to believe if you have been educated in only one paradigm. For an introduction to how the scientific evidence fits into the creation paradigm, please see our page Creation/Science.

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      • Dear Inge, I cannot agree that “the subject of origins is not within the realm of science.” While purely theological issues (such as the Trinity) are outside the concern of science, there is really no reason why science should be prevented from inquiring into the origins of the universe. It is not the concern of science, however, which religious belief systems it comes into conflict with.

        But I do agree that “you get to choose your paradigm.” Having been baptized an SDA, I can fairly say that I was “educated” in both paradigms. It is only that in my case I later came to reject the SDA Church’s fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis in the face of what I see to be overwhelming empirical evidence to the contrary. I just cannot accommodate the assertion that life on earth, among others, was created a mere 6000 years or so ago. I felt that if I continue to believe this, I am committing intellectual dishonesty.

        It’s a matter of consistency. If one maintains that life on earth was created during that 6-day period a few thousand years ago, why equivocate when it comes to stars? If one takes the events of the third day quite literally, why treat some events differently on the next day?

        There is really not much room for equivocation in the Genesis creation story. It says: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky ...”

        The narrative plainly tells us that the sun, the moon, and the stars were “made” in series on the fourth day. There is even a hierarchy of what the author must have thought to be the largest to the smallest heavenly bodies. It does not come across to me as parenthetical.

        This shows the pitfall of making a literal reading of Genesis. One is bound to make exceptions as more and more empirical evidence piles up until the position becomes untenable.

        Lastly, I have to mention that I have read literature defending young-earth and old-earth creationism as well as intelligent design, but I came to the conclusion that scientific creationism is a misnomer. I do not see a comfortable fit. There is a selective and biased treatment of empirical data, willfully ignoring those that do not conform to preconceived conclusions. As it does not really follow the rigors of scientific method, it qualifies more as theology rather than as real science.

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        • Hi Andrew, You bring up a lot of points that would take time to address. But you have not suggested an alternative solution.
          Just how do you think life came about on this planet?

          As for the actual words in Genesis, we may have to call in some Hebrew scholars to help us with the issue, I'm afraid. As it is, I see no problem in the stars having been in existence before the creation of this planet. Neither do I see a problem with God having created the raw materials of the planet some time earlier, even though my husband does. ;) I don't see these things as an salvation issue. However, there are larger issues in connection with origins that impact our view of who God is and what He is like. And those are salvation issues.

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        • Andrew, no one has all the answers and there are problems on both sides of the debate. Science still cannot account for life on this planet and there is a lot turmoil in many areas of science concerning origins.

          For the creationist the radiometric ages and the sorting of fossils present two of the biggest problems but there is also a lot of evidence that there is something wrong with the base assumption of long ages. Unfortunately, most scientists choose to relegate most of that to anomalies which they tend to use as a sort of file thirteen.

          A very good example is all the soft tissue they are finding in dinosaur fossils. In spite of the fact that numerous experiments have been conducted to determine the rate of decomposition of biological matter and have concluded through them that soft tissue cannot exist for more than a few hundred thousand years science still proclaims the fossils to be hundreds of millions of years old. While there is an obvious conflict between data it is not science to discard all the experimentation in preference to other data. To be real science the two need to be factored in and sense made out of the conflict which is not being done. The preference is always in favor of the atheistic philosophy that there is no God and that everything just happened.

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      • Wow! your comments are very refreshing to read. After reading the Genesis account of creation today for the umpteen time i came to the same conclusion. i left church very disturbed as i felt i was alone in this interpretation. i resolved to do some further readings and came across your comments. it has strengthened my resolve to study this topic further

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        • Excellent! It's so good to hear about someone, like you, choosing to give the Bible another chance. I'm sure you'll not be disappointed. Taken as a whole and used as its own interpreter, it really makes a great deal of sense. I've personally found the Bible to grow more and more in credibility the more and more I learn about it and the world and universe in which we live.

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    • Your question regarding the creation of stars is relevant. Several theologians have looked at this issue in the last decade and have concluded that the Creation account does not necessarily state that the sun, moon, and stars were CREATED in the fourth day. The Hebrew seems to indicate (ar at least, allow) the interpretation that the stars and the moon were created earlier (though we don't know when) and were APPOINTED for their function on day fourth. This makes sense in the Near East culture in general, where objects and people had not real existence until they had a FUNCTION, regardless whether they physically existed or not. Western civilization lacks this viewpoint. So I don't see the problem with stars and the moon showing up on the fourth day.

      Regarding whether Scripture agrees with science or not, it's a matter of knowing both in depth and really well, and so far no human being is capable of that.

      I am an earth scientist who, because of the nature of my job, has to deal with issues that seem to contradict Scripture and Christian religion. Almost every day there are new discoveries of fossils, and other geological features that seem to contradict short ages, creation or the Flood. Let me tell you three things about that:

      1) I learned that it's just a matter of time that those new discoveries turn NOT CONTRADICTORY with the Bible at all, but it takes further study and patience. The problem is that people hear the news and think "hah, this is contrary to the teachings of the Bible" and become puzzled or skeptical of the Word of God. And that's all the hear, because they either don't have interest in more or don't have time to track down the news or research over long time. If they did, they would realize how many of the claims by evolutionary, long-age scientists turn not so positive for their theory. I could give you many examples, from fossil turtles to Tiktaalik, from depositional rates to radiometric dating. Many problems and unsolved questions remain, but it's not like science has it all right all the time. the problem is that when their ideas turned flawed, they do not come out in the news to correct them.

      2) There is an increasing body of evidence from Science AND Scripture that support Creation and the Flood. The problem is that it takes time to read it and become really acquainted with it. In my own profession I'm amazed at how much research supports the worldwide Flood. I encourage you to start reading about it, you may realize that Scripture is well founded.

      3) Science changes, we all know that, and changes very fast. That is also true in earth sciences and biological sciences. There are hundreds of examples. Science is also very good at providing better things (and many bad things too, including weapons, and some killing medicines, etc.). As science and scientists realized how good they are in solving problems, providing better life, and innovation (from roads to computers, from medicine to airplanes, etc.) we have acquired this sense of infallibility. It seems that science can answer everything given enough time and resources.

      In a sense we have become so confident in science that we disregard other sources of information, including the Bible. We give more credit to two pieces of clay with a date for a lunar eclipse in ancient Babylonia than a Hebrew scroll from the same period telling the life of Daniel. Why? I think that we have become too arrogant in using science. And I think that was the problem in the time of Noah, they used their scientific knowledge to assess Noah's claims and concluded that he was wrong about the rain (what was rain anyway?). Their science told them that Noah was wrong. And they perished.

      In the times of Jesus, the scholar community failed to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, despite all their knowledge about the science of hermeneutics and exegesis of the text. But not all scholars failed: Simeon and the scholars from the East came to worship the Baby as the Messiah, because they had been studying the SIGNS and the TEXT (both science and Scripture). And that's what we need to do.

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    • Most people don't know the facts about the Galileo "debacle." Let me share a few....

      Galileo was accosted for his views primarily from the academic community. When he resisted this, his detractors sought church leadership to help. And since the Catholic Church had adopted a Greek-based philosophy regarding nature (in this case, an earth-centric universe), and because they had invested in it to the extent of interpreting Scriptures to support it, they joined in the attack on Galileo...and have since been justly condemned for it.

      Today our Protestant and Catholic churches have likewise adopted a Greek-based philosophy regarding nature (most recently that nature started simple and evolved in the complex systems we see today)...and re-interpret Scripture to support these views. The creation myth of evolution gets lots of play in Christianity today; we are indeed following in the tracks of the medieval church against good science.

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  9. My fellow,help me to answer this question.
    Evening passed and morning followed- that was the first day.
    I believe that the sun was created on the fourth day. How it was possible to have morning and evening on the first day if the sun wasn't created until the fourth day?

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  10. Since I speak to secular and religious groups about the subject of origins, I've been asked to contribute to the above discussions. I do so with hesitation, as precious few people genuinely want answers. Most want to simply present their views!

    The heart of any discussion on origins (at least, for those claiming to be Christians) is the image of God. Is there a God Who created and is He capable of and/or interested in sharing accurate information about it to us? Was Jesus' view of inspiration ("every word proceeds from the mouth of God" and then quotes Moses' works) misplaced or misinformed? Then that affects your view of Jesus. Did God really write the Ten Commandments with His finger in stone and recite them orally to Israel, stating that He made the heavens and the earth in six days? Or do we agree with some that "camel herders" made this all up? But then, how do you view God as a result of that take?

    The Bible warns that those disinclined to following God will get their views of nature wrong (see Romans 1 and II Peter 3). So why do we give credence to atheistic science proclaiming creation myths that a huge explosion can bring about warm puppies and roses?

    We should feel confident in the only worldview that is consistent with logic and with experience...that we are indeed "marvelously made" by a marvelous creator. And we should feel humble enough to admit we don't have all the answers. But when we feel our observational skills are superior to a word from God, then we are back at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.... And for the record, science failed us then, too.

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    • Stan I personally welcome people from the science community adding to the discussion and I don't see why you should be hesitant about doing that, after all you already spend time talking to a wide range of people on the subject. I think we need you here as much as you are needed anywhere else.

      I have to be honest and say that there are things that the evolutionary camp brought out that I feel has actually helped creationists. For one it got us off of a ridged fixity that had no flexibility at all. We should have seen along ago that kinds do have a lot of variation and that through breeding that variation can be manipulated to a certain degree.

      Even so I still have problems in several areas with evolution and distrust anything coming out atheism. I just can't see God bypassing His people in favor of those that hate Him even though at times God certainly must work through other agencies when His people reject what He has to say. The wise men coming to see Christ in the manger is one of those times and the fact that shepherds were given information that was denied to the leaders in Jerusalem is another example. Outside of that I will go to those that at least believe that God exists for information long before I go to those that try to sidestep the obvious evidences of creation by their multitude of theories. And that is probably my biggest gripe - they make a conscious effort to deny the possibility of an intelligent creative agent.

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  11. I truly believe that God is the Creator. My only question is, did God created this world including Adam and Eve to further prove to Lucifer that He is a God of LOVE?

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  12. Dear Inge, since there's no reply button below your last comment let me just post my response here.

    If we really need to put a supernatural being into the equation, I see theistic evolution as a good alternative. This idea of God may not exactly be to your liking, but I find it to be a clear-headed synthesis of religious belief with the undeniable reality of scientific facts. I can respect people like Dr. Francis Collins, who does real science while maintaining faith in the Christian God. Which I cannot say for people doing scientific creationism who, with their biased methods that turn the scientific method on its head, are doing a disservice to both science and religion.

    My gripe, as should be clear by now, is with the doctrine that creation only happened a few thousand years ago. I find these calculations based on the literal reading of Biblical text as simply wrong-headed. Just as William Miller came up with the year 1844 as the date of the Second Coming, SDA theologians came up with this 6000 years figure. The same mindset is operating here, with the same sorry outcome.

    Why is this important to me? It's because of the nature of religion, which is based on divine revelation. If a religious group gets something so wrong (as I believe the SDA Church is with regard to the date of creation), then the rest of its claims as the possessor of Divine Truth is put into question. It's about credibility.

    I have to say that I view the doctrine that life on earth started only a few thousand years ago on the same level as the claim that the earth is flat or that the sun revolves around the earth. These are things that many religions defended before, but which science has since shown us to be untrue.

    Science has no diabolical agenda. It simply describes the natural world with empirical facts. Whether its discoveries come into conflict with other people's belief systems is no fault of science. Indeed, science has no obligation to placate, say, the Flat Earth Society.

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    • Andrew, I find your comments that the scientific community operates objectively and is truth-seeking differing from my own experience as a geology major. This was "back in the day," as my son would say.

      A Harvard-trained physicist, Dr. Thomas Kuhn, wrote the book "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions." In it he shared the now-acknowledged truth that science and scientists operate using models to interpret facts. They don't come to facts objectively.

      I would pick this as an example: the Grand Canyon's geologic column. An evolutionist would say "look at those millions of years," and interpret data accordingly. A creationist would say "look at that evidence of the flood," and likewise interpret data accordingly. We all do this.

      Kuhn's contribution (and he was an evolutionist!) was to show that scientists are quite human, interpreting data according to their own worldview. And since their worldview generally excludes God (since He isn't available for laboratory testing, so to speak), they MUST interpret what they see as nature doing everything on its own, including creating and organizing itself ("evolution"). They have literally "no other game in town" than to assume evolution is true. They pass over the lack of a biological mechanism for major change, a contradictory fossil record, difficulties of explaining simplicity going to complexity and the origin of life...because there is no other tower to flee to than Darwin.

      I personally lost faith in the objectivity of the science community when I saw a corporate closed-mindedness to discussing alternate theories. There is in science a sort of medieval church mentality operating, complete with orthodox representatives (evangelical and fundamentalist reps are there, too!); and it even has mechanisms for rooting out heresies and heretics.

      When the Lord got a hold of me, He led me into the world of religion, which had a surprisingly fresh and open atmosphere by comparison. Who knew?

      I hope that someday you place your obviously very active faith in Someone more unchangeable. It was Christ Who said the words of Moses had come from "the mouth of God," not the SDA Church. Don't let human observation trump that sure word; you would be joining Eve at the tree, if you do.

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  13. Andrew’s post presents at least four ideas that should be evaluated. These are
    1. Should we link our theology with science?
    2. Does modern science disagree with a literal reading of Genesis?
    3. Does Genesis say the stars were created on Day 4?
    4. Will the SDA Church suffer the fate of the Catholic Church in the Galileo affair?

    Here are some points to consider with respect to these four issues.
    1. We can identify at least three reasons we should not link our theology to science.

    First, religious views deal with a consistent and unchanging God who has revealed Himself to us in Scripture. To adopt a viewpoint contradictory to what the Bible teaches is to reject the trustworthiness of the revelation and, by implication, the trustworthiness of God.
    In contrast, scientific understanding changes frequently. Scientists generally regard this as a good thing, because they know their understanding is tentative and incomplete. Hopefully, new discoveries will result in a better and more accurate understanding, although this is not always the case. Sometimes new discoveries merely lead to a blind alley. In any case, scientific ideas are not a suitable basis for an enduring religious faith.

    Second, science, as presently practiced, excludes the possibility of any divine action even before examining the evidence. Science is based exclusively on the presupposition that humans are, at least in principle, able to discover the truth about nature. This approach works very well for phenomena that are governed by known natural laws. (A religious person would identify such laws as the consistency with which God governs the universe, and not an inherent property of matter.) Thus, scientific experiments provide the basis for the marvelous advances in technology that we all enjoy.
    However, if an event were to be divinely caused through some mechanism different from the ordinary laws of governance, scientists would unavoidably construct an explanation that was false. This is not much of a problem in ordinary scientific inquiry, because God’s governance is so consistent. However, when we study origins, we encounter events outside the scope of our experience, and which scientists have failed to explain. Two outstanding examples of this are the origin of the universe and the origin of life. From this, we should not be at all surprised if science has a wrong explanation for origins, and we cannot follow scientists in that direction.

    Third, history provides at least two major examples that illustrate the damage done to Christianity when it incorporated into its theology ideas that everyone knew to be true but which were not derived from the Bible. These two examples are the incorporation by the Christian Church of the Greek ideas that the earth was the center of the universe and that species are based on invariant perfect types that exist only in theory. I will elaborate on this more in part 4 of this post.

    2. Science does indeed disagree with Genesis. This is both inevitable and problematic. It is inevitable because science rules out divine activity before examining the evidence, while the Bible is a record of divine activity. There is no logical way to harmonize a system that excludes divine activity with a system that is based on divine activity. Nevertheless, one could examine the natural world without the presupposition of no divine activity, which the vast majority of the pioneers of science did. Even from this perspective, there are many observations in nature that seem problematic with respect to the biblical account. We must admit that we do not have satisfactory answers to many of our questions, especially about the length of time for the history of our world. It appears that either we have misunderstood Genesis or we have much yet to learn about the history of the world. As believers, we think science has more to learn. Believers should not, and most are not, surprised to discover that we don’t know how to answer all questions raised by science. We believe by faith, a response that Jesus approved of.

    The choice of belief system – either the Bible or materialistic science – is not itself a scientific choice. It is a philosophical choice. Once one chooses whether to accept the Bible or to accept some other thought system, the implications fall into place. There will always be some evidence in support, and some unresolved questions. We can choose which questions to live with, but we cannot choose whether to live with questions – they are unavoidable.

    3. With respect to the stars and Day 4, it is important to realize that Genesis was written in Hebrew, not English. If you look at the English KJV text in Genesis 1:16, you will see the phrase “He made the stars also.” You will notice the words “He made” are in italics. The reason for this is that they are not a translation of Hebrew words, but were added by the translators. The Hebrew text can be translated something like this: “Then God made (“asah”) to great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night with the stars.” This would be consistent with Psalm 136:9, which reads (NKJV) “The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever.” There is no statement in the Hebrew of Genesis that the stars were created on Day 4.
    The Hebrew word “asah” is not usually translated “create.” Instead, it has a variety of meanings, including “made” or “appointed,” etc. Thus, some interpreters suggest that the sun and moon were “appointed” their function on Day 4, without reference to when they first came into existence. Whether this interpretation is correct or not, it can be fitted with Genesis 1:14 as is sometimes translated (roughly): “Let the lights in the sky be to divide the day from the night, and for signs and seasons, etc.”
    Most of the criticism of this issue comes from reading the English translation and failing to check the Hebrew original.

    4. Andrew’s warning against falling into the same trap as the Catholic Church did in the Galileo affair is critically important, but for reasons that may differ from his position. The Galileo affair came about because the Church had incorporated into its theology the teaching of the Greeks about the earth being the center of the universe. Of course, everyone “knew” this was true, and it was convenient to find Bible texts that seemed to support this idea, and to gloss over those that did not. Once the secular idea was incorporated into Church teaching, it was embarrassing to have to publicly correct the error.

    An analogous incident occurred in Darwin’s day, when Darwin showed that species were not invariant, but could change. The Church had incorporated into its theology the neoplatonic idea of types and ideals. It had applied neoplatonic typology to the issue of species fixity, and had found some biblical texts that could be used to support this idea, while ignoring those that did not. It had accepted some theological ideas about perfection of creation, ignoring the biblical teaching about the Fall and the curses. Thus, when Darwin showed that species can change, the Church was caught in the embarrassing position of having to expunge the Greek ideas posing as biblical ideas. This is not to say that Darwin was correct in his ideas – he greatly exaggerated the power of natural selection far beyond the empirical evidence, rejected any role for God in the processes of nature, and glossed over the evidence contradictory to his views. This leads us to the present situation and the value of history.

    At present, many people have accepted Darwin’s view of universal common ancestry, but they realize the inadequacies of Darwin’s theories to explain the origins of disparate body plans and organs. There are numerous gaps in the evidence pertaining to Darwins’s theories, and it is tempting to supply a “god of the gaps” to fill in the missing evidence. The theory that all of biodiversity has come about through evolutionary processes, aided by God whenever a gap is encountered, is a popular theory at present, and many people urge that Christians adopt some form of “theistic evolution” as a way to harmonize science and Scripture. There are many reasons why this attempt fails.

    First, adding God into the evolutionary story is bad science. Science looks for physical explanations, theistic evolution appeals to mysterious forces. No one would consider that to be a scientific explanation. Darwin himself explicitly rejected such ideas.

    Second, adding God to the evolutionary story is bad theology. The god of evolution is not the God of creation. The god of evolution is an evil god, intentionally choosing violence, suffering and death as his method of creation. The God of the Bible is capable of creating by His word, as recorded in the Old Testament and demonstrated in the life of Jesus. An example of the reaction of scientific community to theistic evolution is seen in the words of Steven Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner: “but the God of birds and butterflies would have to be also the god of birth defects and cancer.”

    Third, theistic evolution denies the Fall and the curses recorded in Genesis 1. In the evolutionary worldview, there is no discernible difference in nature related to the appearance of humans. If there is no Fall or curse, there is nothing from which we need to be saved. If we are improving gradually, there is no need for the story of Jesus. The story of Jesus does not fit with theistic evolution.

    Fourth, theistic evolution implies that Jesus condemned in the flesh the very principles of violence and suffering that He Himself supposedly used in creation.

    Fifth, theistic evolution is contradictory to the biblical picture of creation, God’s character, and the plan of salvation.

    Sixth, in order to fit in redemption with theistic evolution, the most common resolution is to propose an immortal soul, which is contrary to biblical teaching, and revealed to be part of the end-time deception.

    Seventh, theistic evolution denies a six-day creation, which leaves no basis for a seventh-day Sabbath. Instead, any day of the week would do, especially Sunday, the day the Lord rose from the tomb.

    In short, those who incorporate evolutionary ideas into their theology are setting the stage for a repeat of the embarrassment of the Galileo affair. This does not need to happen, and will not if we remember the lessons of history.

    Much more has been written about these issues. Some references can be found in the bibliographies of papers on the Geoscience website, at http://grisda.net/subGi/article/

    Best wishes,
    Jim Gibson

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  14. Let me clarify that in theistic evolution, the synthesis of science and belief in a supernatural god essentially occurs on the personal level, in the person’s mind. It does not mess with science itself; it leaves alone the integrity of the scientific process. It is therefore not bad science because it does not claim to be one.

    Indeed, theistic evolution is not necessarily limited to the Christian God, or the Hindu Gods, or any other personal god. Its theism can just be a very diluted form as expressed by Einstein: “a superior reasoning power” as his idea of God. (Needless to say, this is unacceptable to fundamentalist Christians; but the resulting theological problems are only meaningful to those who believe in such theology in the first place.)

    It is also mistaken to fault science for excluding “the possibility of any divine action even before examining the evidence,” as Jim suggests. This is to misunderstand the nature of science. As science is an objective endeavor, it has no obligation to consider anyone’s subjective beliefs just as it has no business investigating the unicorn. If science injects a supernatural being into its investigations, it is not science anymore.

    As for Raul’s mischaracterization of those who abandon their beliefs as fickle-minded people who changed their mind after hearing some “news” but don’t have the time or interest to do research at all, I say: quite to the contrary. People who lose their beliefs (including many scientists who apparently also heard the “news”) are often the ones who have done the thorough study and the hard thinking about how their beliefs square with the empirical world and happened to arrive to the conclusion that their beliefs are no longer tenable. Lack of faith, perhaps, but not gullibility.

    As it is, authority in science does not come from simply calling oneself a scientist. It comes from the quality and validity of one’s scientific output. And strong conviction that one’s theories are correct is not enough. The accepted theories become so because they survived (and continue to survive) the intense scrutiny of the scientific community. Unfortunately for those who are engaged in scientific creationism, their work falls far too short to the exacting standards of science to be even considered as the real thing. In fact, as the leading evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne said: “The ‘science’ was ludicrously wrong.”

    Which lead us back to the matter of why it is dangerous to link theology to any scientific theory. Ironically, this is exactly what is happening now, although with some twist. As science has become too advanced to be ignored, religion is forced to “evolve” some of its doctrines. That’s why the rigid certainties of some theological positions are softened to accommodate the undeniable scientific facts.

    But some, such as the fundamentalist reading of Genesis, are too contradictory to the modern worldview as to preclude meaningful integration or compromise. These discussions remind me of the exasperation I felt when I read the 4th Quarter 2006 Bible Study Guide. It says: “a loving, benevolent Creator-God purposely created life on earth in a process that took six literal contiguous 24-hour days.” This statement demands us to reject well-established scientific facts in favor of its falsified certainties.

    But when some obvious logical contradiction occurs, we hear some modest equivocation. To quote from the same Study Guide, regarding the stars: “why these are depicted here, in this manner, in this part of the sequence, is one of the questions we’ll probably have to wait to get answered in heaven.” Papering over some serious factual problems with obfuscation is, however, often not enough. Walling in is no longer a viable option.

    So what to do? Develop tailor-made “scientific” theories to support a literal reading of the pre-scientific creation account of Genesis. Thus we get scientific creationism, which is bad science because it perverts science to accommodate its preconceptions. This is unfortunate. It is dangerous enough for believers to hitch an essentially static theology to a dynamic science because the latter is bound to falsify some pre-scientific doctrines. But to prop up theology with pseudo-science is much worse. But this is exactly the situation: to make it more palatable, creationism is now hinged on the flimsy framework of pseudo-scientific theories.

    It is the most cruel of ironies that “scientific” creationism as exemplified by the work of the Geoscience Research Institute -- whose credibility is going down the drain as real science marches on -- will ultimately deal the critical damage to the fundamentalist theology it intends to defend.

    This is the danger of trying to let the “camel” of science pass through the “needle’s eye” of a narrow and limited theology.

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    • Regarding theistic evolution - what good is a "religion", theistic or otherwise, if it cannot be tested in any rational way in an potentially falsifiable manner?

      Which brings me to your next point. If God never acted in an empirically detectable manner within our universe, again, any belief in any kind of "God" would be no more rational than a belief in Santa Claus or the Celestial Teapot. The only type of religion that has any real practical value when it comes to establishing any kind of rational or otherwise solid hope in the future is one that provides some real empirical basis for belief - some real evidence backed up by a form of scientific reasoning.

      Science is not, by definition, prevented from detecting the actions of a superhuman alien intelligence - not even a god-like intelligence if such a being so chose to reveal himself to us through empirically-detectable means. Even you, no doubt, would recognize the need to invoke god-like levels of intelligence and creative power if you were to recognize certain types of artifacts within the nature world. Such is the basis of many types of sciences - to include forensic science, anthropology, and even SETI.

      Also, it seems that you think of scientific processes or methodologies in far too objective terms. As Thomas Kuhn famously pointed out, the process of science is highly subjective. Scientists, even as a group or community of scientists, come to the table with pre-established biases that always color how they interpret the evidence at hand. There is always a subjective element at play when doing real world science. And no scientific hypothesis or theory can be absolutely proved - only falsified (and sometimes only falsified in degrees of certainty).

      And, when it comes to the "science" of naturalism, you're talking about a position steeped in philosophy and religious-type fervor - not real objective science.
      The Darwinian mechanism of random mutations combined with natural selection is clearly bankrupt as any kind of creative mechanism beyond the lowest levels of functional complexity. There are no demonstrable examples or even relevant statistical theories regarding its functionality beyond the level of qualitatively novel systems of function that require more than 1000 specifically arranged amino acid residues - none at all. In fact, it is quite clear that the gene pools of all slowly reproducing species, including all mammals, are degenerating at a rather rapid rate. For example, far far more detrimental mutations enter the human gene pool in each generation than can possibly be eliminated my natural selection. The death rate required for natural selection to effectively compensate for the high detrimental mutation rate would far outpace the reproductive capacity of humanity (i.e., each woman would have to give birth to tens of thousands of offspring in each generation for the gene pool to simply stay neutral with respect to functional quality).

      In short, we're devolving. We're not evolving. We're headed toward eventual genetic meltdown and extinction - and always have been in every generation since our original parents.

      It seems to me that origin by evolution is one of the greatest hoaxes in history - not science.

      Sincerely,

      Sean Pitman
      www.DetectingDesign.com

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      • While scientists (being only human) are subjective, the rigorous requirements of scientific methodology are there to minimize bias. Science strives for objectivity; it’s not a relativist field where there’s no way of knowing which competing ideas are valid. It’s disingenuous to claim that as long as a hypothesis is potentially falsifiable, it remains a valid proposition. But science cannot falsify what is not there (like the unicorn). So, following this clever but questionable reasoning, any proposition (from any religion’s deity to Santa Claus) can therefore be “rationally” accepted.

        Fortunately, there are standards (say, publishing in a peer-reviewed scientific journal) to determine which propositions are valid. It is this exacting process that established the theory of evolution. Any challenge to it has to go through the process to gain currency.

        It is the failure to live up to these standards which discredited the claims of scientific creationism. That’s why it is reckless to use these falsified claims as the “empirical" basis to the truth of one's religion, to one's idea of God. In this light, the belief that God created life on earth in a week’s time a few thousand years ago becomes as absurd as believing in the Celestial Teapot.

        Science excludes supernatural beings (i.e. gods) in its investigations because they are beyond natural law and not falsifiable. Take note that SETI is searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life, not supernatural beings. That's why I have not heard of any scientific program searching for Vishnu, Zeus, or Yahweh. That would only be a mockery of both science and religion.

        So if creationists are not winning in the arena of scientific ideas, should they impute malice on those who do? The claim that the theory of evolution is a "hoax" implies that thousands of malicious scientists are systematically taking part in a vast conspiracy involving the fields of biology, geology, paleontology, chemistry, physics, among others.

        Indeed, this conspiracy “theory” can be regarded as another figment of the creationist's fertile imagination.

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        • Andrew, I don't see how asserting ideals of what science ought to be (e.g. "rigorous requirements of scientific methodology") negates the fact that there is no known mechanism for evolution from simple to complex to take place. Sean Pitman demonstrated that very clearly, and if you want more documentation on that, you can find it at his website, or perhaps you can ask specific questions. If you know a mechanism by which evolution can take place, and if you can describe that mechanism clearly, I'm guessing you will enter the science hall of fame of all time. ;)

          Darwin may be excused for his ideas because the science of genetics was in its infancy and he knew next to nothing about it. But today's top biologists know that evolution from simple to complex does not happen, and to postulate that it happened some time in the past is in the realm of faith based on nothing at all, whereas faith in a Creator God whose activity is described in the Bible is based on much evidence.

          What Sean has suggested is that if God is real, then traces of His activity ought to be evident in creation, and his web site is dedicated to the proposition that nature reveals unmistakable evidence of a Designer.

          To understand that evolution is a hoax, it is only necessary to recognize that the fundamental tenet of evolution is physically impossible, no matter how much time is available. It is not necessary to believe that "thousands of malicious scientists are systematically taking part in a vast conspiracy." Most of these scientists don't even think of the implications of the current scientific paradigm. They just do their work. And this is as good a time as any to recognize that evolutionary teachings have zero effect on good science. The theory has no predictive value, because, as Sean demonstrated, mutations do not work the way they should in order for evolution to function. In other words, evolution is irrelevant to real science, which is done by atheists, Christians, evolutionists and creationists and others.

          Evolution, as an explanation of origins, is only an explanation of the past. But it's in trouble there too, because if it doesn't work in the present, on what basis can we believe that it worked in the past?

          It seems to me that you meant your assertion of "real science marches on" as some kind of denigration of the work of the scientists of the Geoscience Research Institute, some of whom have posted here. In fact, that statement is irrelevant to the current discussion, as I suggested above, because evolution is irrelevant to real science. It only came into play when scientists attempted to interpret the past in terms of uniformitarianism. And that theory has rather fallen out of favor too, but I digress.

          Rather than outrightly dismissing statements by creationists, it would be more productive to ask for details and/ or documentation. Since what Sean writes flies in the face of what many biologists claim, you might want to ask him some questions.

          It would probably help to recognize that claims of "evolution" in biology do not generally refer to changes from simple to complex, but to an apparent change in the genome, whether positive, negative or neutral. (It's a fascinating field of study, by the way, and Sean has a fair bit of material on his site.) Creationists recognize that change (evolution) happens. What creationists dispute is that this pattern of change can account for the development of life from simple to complex, as taught in evolutionary biology. In fact, as Sean has pointed out, the observable "evolution" is generally a loss of genetic material or a negative mutation.

          As I recall, almost every classic illustration of evolution happening, as provided in high school text books twenty or so years ago (when I taught a bit of biology) was a hoax one way or another. Try researching those illustrations that you studied in high school, for instance.

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        • While it is true that scientific methodologies are the best we have when it comes to trying to be rational about what we believe, it is not true that subjective bias, even for a community of scientists, can be eliminated. What this means is that one is left to determine truth individually. One simply cannot put one’s entire faith in popular theories of scientists simply because they are popular - if one wishes to remain scientific and as objective as is personally possible that is. Popular theories can be and often have been painfully wrong and real scientists throughout history have often opposed the popular theories of the day.

          But, you argue, “Science cannot falsify what is not there (like the unicorn).” Well, that’s certainly true. And, as I've already explained, if a hypothesis cannot be subject to testing in a falsifiable manner, then that theory isn’t scientific.

          However, you go on to argue that, “It’s disingenuous to claim that as long as a hypothesis is potentially falsifiable, it remains a valid proposition.”

          I think you misunderstand the basis of science. It is not at all disingenuous to claim that a hypothesis is scientifically valid as long as it is testable in a potentially falsifiable manner – for as long as it remains unfalsified. And, it doesn’t matter what kind of hypothesis or theory you’re talking about. All that matters is that it can be tested in a potentially falsifiable manner. If it avoids falsification upon testing, it gains predictive value. Otherwise, it loses predictive value. That’s how science works.

          As far as your suggested requirement that publishing in a peer reviewed journal is part of scientific methodology, this isn’t quite true. The scientific method isn’t based on publication or popularity. It is based on falsifiability and predictive value – that’s it. The requirement for a popular vote actually produces science by majority – which is more subject to popular biases and ends up slowing down scientific progress. For example, eliminating minority perspectives or ideas from scientific journals actually stifles scientific progress since the paradigm held by the majority often blinds the majority to truths that have been discovered which conflict with the popular paradigm of the day.

          As far as creationism or intelligent design theories are concerned, if they are presented in a testable potentially falsifiable manner, it matters not if they immediately reach popular acceptance. The only question you should ask yourself, if you wish to remain scientific, is, “Has the hypothesis being proposed been presented in a testable potentially falsifiable manner? If so, has it been tested and has it passed the tests thus far?” You need not ask yourself what anyone else thinks of the hypothesis. You should be able to determine the validity of the hypothesis for yourself if you truly understand what’s going on. Those who appeal to the opinion of the scientific community above their own independent opinion are really appealing to arguments from authority – not any kind of personal understanding or real comprehension of the issues in play.

          For example, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the scientific community still believed that the Sun traveled around the Earth. You look at the evidence presented for the hypothesis that it is the Earth that rotates on its own axis and travels around the Sun. Would you be willing to stand up on your own two feet and tell the majority who oppose you that they’re all wrong? Well, that’s what many real scientists have done throughout history – to include those like Galileo or Harlan J Bretz in more modern times. Obviously then, you’re simply mistaken in your argument that real science cannot be done on an individual basis if the scientific community at large is long opposed to one’s work and ideas.

          You also go on to argue, “Science excludes supernatural beings (i.e. gods) in its investigations because they are beyond natural law and not falsifiable. Take note that SETI is searching for intelligent extraterrestrial life, not supernatural beings. That’s why I have not heard of any scientific program searching for Vishnu, Zeus, or Yahweh. That would only be a mockery of both science and religion.”

          You would be correct in your argument here if in fact all the activities of a supernatural being were in fact non-detectable by empirical means. While it is true that no finite being can absolutely prove the Infinite, it is not true that the activities of an Infinite being are, by definition, beyond the reach of rational detection. If God so chose to reveal certain of His activities to us by manipulating nature in ways that could only be explained by very high levels of intelligence and creative powers, such activities would most certainly be detectable by scientific methodologies. For example, let’s say that you were able to time travel and go back to the time of Christ. Let’s say, to your own amazement, you saw, with your own eyes, Jesus heal the blind, cure leprosy, and raise the dead. Let’s say you even saw His own death and Resurrection. I dare say that even you would start to believe in His claims to a Divine origin – if you saw such empirical evidence. It is therefore mistaken to argue that science is, by definition, incapable of detecting any artifact or activity as requiring a God or god-like source of power and intelligence.

          Let’s take SETI as another example. You’re correct that SETI science is in fact a search for “natural” forms of intelligence. So, by definition then, scientific methodologies can detect the need to invoke intelligent design theories. All that matters now is what level of intelligence can be detected. Certainly human levels of intelligence can be detected. Otherwise, various sciences based on such an ability would be pointless – like forensic science or anthropology. But, what about a form of alien intelligence and technology that is superior to our own? What if one of our space rovers discovered an alien spaceship with amazing technological abilities – such as the ability to travel faster than light or travel back in time? Even if we couldn’t yet grasp how the technology was achieved, wouldn’t it still be possible to detect that superhuman design and technology was involved in the intelligent design of this spacecraft? What if it was discovered that our entire universe was so finely tuned and artifactual in its set-up and design so as to require an origin in some superhuman form of intelligence and creative power? Could such an intelligence have had its origin in some “natural” alien mind? You see, it is possible, at least theoretically, to quickly get to the point where the level of intelligence required to explain a given artifact is so superior and the required degree of creative power so great that we, from our very limited perspective, could not readily tell the difference between it and a God or a god-like intelligence and creative power.

          The only real question left is, does such evidence actually exist?

          Which brings me to your final point. You argue, “The claim that the theory of evolution is a “hoax” implies that thousands of malicious scientists are systematically taking part in a vast conspiracy involving the fields of biology, geology, paleontology, chemistry, physics, among others.”

          So I ask you, yet again, do you personally understand how evolution works? Or, are you basing your entire belief system here on the authority of the majority? – even though you personally don’t understand the details of how it all really works? You think that it cannot possibility be true that the vast majority of scientists in so many disciplines of science could possibly be wrong (though they often have been before throughout history). This is a reasonable assumption to be sure – at first approximation at least (because of the fact that the majority is usually right). But, it doesn’t mean that you actually understand the science involved for yourself. All you seem to know is that you want to be on the side of the majority. But, can you actually substantively address the questions or challenges posed to you regarding the limitations of the neo-Darwinian mechanism of random mutations combined with natural selection? Can you explain to me how this mechanism could produce novel systems of function, beyond very very low levels of complexity, this side of a practical eternity of time? Can you explain to me how the huge detrimental mutation rate can be overcome by natural selection without requiring an 99.999999999…% death rate in each generation?

          If you cannot substantively address such questions which fundamentally challenge your personal paradigm, as posed to you twice now, how can you claim to be scientific in your own thinking? Claiming that you're on the side of the majority isn’t quite the same thing as being scientific – is it?

          Think about it…

          Sean Pitman
          www.DetectingDesign.com

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        • As far as the popular argument that creationists are throwing around conspiracy theories regarding the efforts of popular scientists to suppress the truth, that's not true. There's no deliberate conspiracy. I believe that the vast majority of neo-Darwinian scientists are honest and sincere. It is just that they have been brainwashed from childhood to believe that the Darwinian perspective is true and that religious notions, to include the existence of any kind of God, are inherently outside of the realm of science or rational investigation.

          For example, consider the experience of the well-known mathematical physicist Chandra Wickramasinghe:

          "It is quite a shock. From my earliest training as a scientist I was very strongly brainwashed to believe that science cannot be consistent with any kind of deliberate creation. That notion has had to be very painfully shed. I am quite uncomfortable in the situation, the state of mind I now find myself in. But there is no logical way out of it. I now find myself driven to this position by logic. There is no other way in which we can understand the precise ordering of the chemicals of life except to invoke the creations on a cosmic scale. . . . We were hoping as scientists that there would be a way round our conclusion, but there isn't."

          Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe, as quoted in "There Must Be A God," Daily Express, Aug. 14, 1981 and Hoyle on Evolution, Nature, Nov. 12, 1981, p. 105

          Of course, Sir Frederick Hoyle and Chandra Wickramsighe are still neo-Darwinists. But, at least they recognize that the very beginnings of life are well beyond the powers of mindless naturalistic processes to explain and require their origin in the mind and creative power of a God or god-like intelligence.

          The same thing is true of the fine-tuned features of the universe. Consider, for example, the thoughts of Sir Fredrick Hoyle, the famous British astronomer who early on (1951) argued that the coincidences evident in the fine-tuned universe necessary to support complex life were just that, coincidences. But, by 1953 he had evidently changed his mind and wrote:

          "Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy coincidences. But there are so many odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them... A superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology."

          http://www.leaderu.com/offices/bradley/docs/universe.html
          Hoyle, Fred. "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections," in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20. (1982), p.16.

          Nobel laureate Arno Penzias makes this observation about the enigmatic character of the universe:

          "Astronomy leads us to an unique event, a universe which was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly-improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan."

          Another example comes from the well-known Australian astrophysicist Paul Davies:

          "The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming. The belief that there is "something behind it all" is one that I personally share with, I suspect, a majority of physicists...

          The force of gravity must be fine-tuned to allow the universe to expand at precisely the right rate. The fact that the force of gravity just happens to be the right number with stunning accuracy is surely one of the great mysteries of cosmology...

          The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance and beauty. That in itself is sufficient to prove to me that there must be a God who is responsible for these laws and responsible for the universe."

          Davies, Paul C.W. [Physicist and Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Adelaide],"The Christian perspective of a scientist," Review of "The way the world is," by John Polkinghorne, New Scientist, Vol. 98, No. 1354, pp.638-639, 2 June 1983, p.638

          http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2006/1572643.htm

          So, you see, even well-known mainstream scientists have started to recognize the need to invoke a God of some kind, or at least a god-like intelligence, to explain the origin of various features in the universe and within living things - all based on the weight of empirical evidence and a form of scientific reasoning.

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        • Along these same lines, here are a few thoughts from Dr. "Fritz" Schaefer, the Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and the director of the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of Georgia. He has been nominated for the Nobel Prize and was recently cited as the third most quoted chemist in the world.

          It is very rare that a physical scientist is truly an atheist. Why is this true? Freeman Dyson, a Princeton faculty member, has said, "Nature has been kinder to us than we had any right to expect."

          Martin Rees, one of Hawking's colleagues at Cambridge, stated, "The possibility of life as we know it depends on the values of a few basic, physical constants and is in some respects remarkably sensitive to their numerical values. Nature does exhibit remarkable coincidences."

          Some scientists express surprise at so many accidental occurrences. However, that astonishment quickly disappears when one sees divine purpose instead of arbitrariness in the laws of nature...

          Probably the world's greatest observational cosmologist is Allan Sandage. Sandage works in Pasadena, California at the Carnegie Observatories. In 1991, he received a prize given by the Swedish academy that is given every six years in physics for cosmology and is worth the same amount of money as the Nobel prize (there is not a Nobel Prize given for cosmology). Sandage has even been called "the grand old man of cosmology" by the New York Times.

          At the age of 50, Sandage became a Christian... When asked the famous question regarding whether it's possible to be a scientist and a Christian, Sandage replies, "Yes. The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone. I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order in each of its organisms is simply too well put together."

          http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9501/bigbang2.html

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  15. We, like children once born, are full of curiosity, and while amazed at our surroundings we also have the tendency to question everything, and everybody. This is a perfectly normal and actually mentally healthy attitude about life and the things that we see around us daily. Like any child that has never seen it's father or mother we have the deepest desire to know where we came from and how did we come to be. It is totally unnecessary to develop that blind sense of acceptance without question so many people carry around, this kind of thinking is a form of cultism and really creates the worst atmosphere for producing true faith in God that is possible. Judaism as a result of His divine intervention has provided some help in this area through his omniscience he has supplied the answer before the question. Pretty much in the same manner as he made a way to save the man before he made a man to save.

    Obviously there are a vast number of belief's in what we call the world that stake claims to the knowledge of our (the human being) existence. But even in the most natural way possible, their explanations bear no true evidence acceptable as spiritual nor a scientific basis for consideration. While men struggle to set themselves apart through the discovery of what makes us different, God has already made us, all his creations in an unable to be altered fashion.

    So if you find your curiosity about the existence of man and mankind or the "how and where did the world come from" really getting the best of you or your faith in God as our creator. just start reading the bible because regardless to which book you read the indelible signature of God our creator is on everything, everywhere. which can not be altered nor counterfeited. The number of things that bear witness to these truth's are inexhaustible whether spiritual or scientific simply our creator needs no protectors he is not under threat from anything or anybody, as all the enemies of God have one similarity, Failure.

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