Something from nothing

Is it possible to get something from nothing?

When we hear the story of the creation of the universe we might get that impression.

WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropie...
WMAP image of the (extremely tiny) anisotropies in the cosmic background radiation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the Holy Scriptures we get to read that there was void or a “ Containing of no matter“. There was or was not something with something ” completely lacking”. At first there was a “Having no legal force or validity” but than out of nowhere seemed to come a Voice of Some One Who spoke.

The Bible tells us that every time that One Spoke His Voice brought into being. We do find the principle of something not being there but “God said…” and it was done. The prophet Isaiah quotes the Lord as saying:

I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded (Isaiah 45:12).

So, there was not only The Voice but there where also Hands. Out of nothing we do seem to get Sound, from emptiness creating things. This means that there was a power. This incredible Power we consider to be the Most High Power. It is the Force of bringing to life, or the Force of life.

English: Galaxies are very important fundament...
Galaxies are very important fundamental building blocks of the Universe. Some are simple, while others are very complex in structure. As one of the first steps towards a coherent theory of galaxy evolution, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble, developed a classification scheme of galaxies in 1926. Although this scheme, also known as the Hubble tuning fork diagram, is now considered somewhat too simple, the basic ideas still hold… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This creative Power of God is mentioned many other times in the Scriptures, but, as always, the mechanistic details are not supplied. It is hard to imagine, for example, what would have happened if instead of saying let there be light, the Bible had written out Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism. Even if the Bible had given us the formulas explaining the physical details, no one in ages past would have understood them, or if somehow they could have achieved comprehension, they would surely have abused the information!

There was the void or open space which could or could have not a continuity or a break in continuity, a vacate space.

About when and how the universe came into being, science and scripture may come up with the same unambiguous result, namely, in the beginning (Genesis 1:1).

The scientist is not let off the hook, for an eternal universe would also have solved a whole host of scientific problems. According to the model pictured by classical physics, an eternal, everlasting static universe would have been just fine, but these ideas were overturned by the astronomer Hubble in 1929, and still later unambiguously verified by observations made in the mid-1960’s on the universal microwave background.

In 1929, Edwin Hubble, an astronomer working at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Southern California, discovered that all the galaxies in the universe appeared to be moving away from the earth and the further away they were from us the faster their speed of recession. The conclusion was that the universe could not be static but was undergoing dynamic expansion. (See e.g. G. E. Christianson, Edward Hubble: Mariner of the Nebulae, (1995) )

Arno Penzias.jpg
Arno Allan Penzias (born 26 April 1933) is an American physicist, radio astronomer and Nobel laureate in physics who is co-discoverer of the cosmic microwave background radiation, which helped establish the Big Bang theory of cosmology.

In 1965, two physicists at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey studying antenna noise discovered that the entire universe appeared to be bathed in a radiation afterglow of a singular event of vast energy taking place in the far distant past. This event has come to be known in popular terms as the “Big Bang”. We will have more to say about this in a later chapter. See: A. Penzias and G. Wilson, A Measurement of Excess Antenna Temperature at 4080Mc/s, ApJ, 142, 419, (1965).

The book of Genesis does not want to present a factual account but in a certain way wants to bring a tale or narrative comprehensible for most people.

Genesis simply and beautifully describes God’s initial creation, as well as His declaration of His creative purpose. It then describes the coming of sin into the world through the choices made by Adam and Eve, and the consequences of those choices for them and their descendants. Then Genesis follows their descendants’ decline into lawless violence — a decline that God brought to an end by sending a great flood, while saving eight people for a new beginning.

Genesis bringing an account from the creation of the world to the death of Joseph in Egypt, we may later find references to the course of events by the New Testament writers, by which John loves to construct his books in the same manner as the Bereshith, talking of the Word spoken and a Word bringing into being. He looks at the Old world and compares the happenings to the New World. He was convinced that in the Garden of Eden the Word spoken by God, the promise made to the first male and female creature of the human line or human tree, had come into existence with the birth of the Nazarene Jeshua from the lineage of king David.

Physics of Sound Sensory System of the Inner E...
Physics of Sound Sensory System of the Inner Ear & Space Time Continuum – By Doctor Emad kayyam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Out of nothingness there was sound. That What had been for ever and is everlasting, has no beginning and no end, has no birth but also no dying or no death, and Which is an incredible Power, a Supreme Being, the Only One capable to create something from nothing. this may be very difficult to believe and is what we consider the only dogma a person of faith has come to take for truth. All other thoughts in our faith are easy to proof and are particularly explained in the Book of books,which we consider the infallible Word of that One and Only One God Who is One.

The question of how to reconcile suboptimal design with special creation is one that has puzzled many Christian groups as well as the Christadelphian community.
While the existence of suboptimal design is not ‘proof’ of evolution, for any special creationist who appeals to design in nature as evidence of special creation, the existence in nature of suboptimal design that directly leads to morbidity and mortality is a problem that is too often ignored.
Too many people want to take the Bible as an minute per minute or literal day to day account, forgetting that one day in the eyes of God is like a thousand years in the eyes of man. And they are also forgetting that perhaps God does not see any reason to have a detailed scientific account of all things when the uneducated also has to understand His Word.
God has given man, created in His image the possibility to see, hear, speak and think, using their brains to make up their minds and to come to conclusions. God has given in nature proof for all things. In it we should come to see how and what and should come to understanding.
In this contemporary world there are still too many Christians who do not want to see what God provided in nature and which treasures He left behind to be discovered by man in time.
The challenge of how to explain the scientific evidence for a very old earth, filled with fossil remains of countless generations of extinct species which are increasingly complex, has been faced by Christadelphians since the earliest days of our community.
Brother Roberts and other early expositors explained this evidence as the product of numerous creations being made and destroyed by God in succession. [1] [2] [3] Later Christadelphian commentators found this solution unsatisfying. Brother Walker objected to it on scientific grounds, pointing out that there was no break in the fossil record providing evidence for the destruction of a previous creation, and that the fossils showed earlier extinct animals had a close physical relationship to modern species which were still alive, indicating a continuity of life rather than a break.[4]
However, a far more challenging problem with which Christadelphian commentators have wrestled, is the issue of sub-optimal features within the creation. Our community has long recognized the imperfections of the human eye, acknowledging it has a blind spot.[5]
We should learn from geology, geographic changes, and take not of the many findings of people who studied several sciences. We not always should accept that they are totally right. Look at some findings, which a few years ago where considered the discovery of the time and the truth which are now considered as outdated and no longer valable and incorrect.
We should not have to expect from the Bible to give a detailed account, but should see the general line. This over the whole line of the canonical Bible Books has been proven to be happened like it is told and should be enough information to be provided for all people to come to understanding the Works of God.
The Book of the Beginnings teaches us much; it speaks of a time and creation on this earth when animal life was not like it is now and people did not look like we recognise other human beings today. Appearance was totally different.
We should not expect the Bible giving us all details of the creatures, how they looked like or how they behaved. It does not want to specify that humans and apes have are missing an enzyme that would allow them to make their own vitamin C, like other animals do.
To come to faith people do not need to know all sub-optimal features of all living elements.

Many creatures may have features which are sub-optimal, and may let people think this would not be the work of an omnipotent and omniscient Designer. In fact brother Matthew’s description of creation was that “the evidence implies problem, failure and imperfect solution”.[6]

There are several people who also do want to believe like Brother Matthew who proposed that the angels were responsible for creation, rather than God and suggested that since angels are less powerful than God, and closer to humans, it should be expected that their characters and work would be subject to weaknesses and limitations similar to those of humans. Because of that we can see so many ‘faults‘ in creation.

But we should know better and follow the Biblical account which explains what went wrong with creation. The Bereshith tells us how the first human beings reposted and went against the wishes of their Maker, resulting them willing to go on their own, God allowing them to be their own master, with all consequences, we having to face so many problems.

We do not believe God left the work to unskilled, uninformed, and largely unsupervised agents who were compelled to learn on the job as they muddled through generation after generation of mistakes. We do know that every high person speaks in the plural form, using the pluralis majestatis or Royal we, to have their words being taken seriously and as important.

When looking at creation we should consider that it all happened over a long period of time, many thousands of years. God was the Only One Maker Who established a natural biological process of speciation, which accounts for the variety of creatures in the fossil record and those we see today. That process followed rules established by God in the beginning, and was not blind, random, or accidental. Man revolting against their Maker choose to go their own way and where allowed to go into their own universe. In their own world they could give plants and animals and everything they created a name. they themselves had to cultivate it and work it out how to survive in the world they chose themselves. However, being a natural process without constant guidance from an intelligent being, its results were imperfect. God has always been prepared to work with a less than perfect creation, and it is a Biblical principle that His glory shines with great brightness when His character is reflected by fallible creatures.

The tendency for the evangelical Christian church to source their information outside of mainstream science [7] tends however to blunt the impact of such scientifically informed Christian warnings both against science denialism and basing first principles on demonstrably false views of the natural world. Deconversion anecdotes such as these, culled from a 2002 TalkOrigins post of the month [8]  are representative of the one-way traffic towards unbelief that often results when science and faith are pitted against each other.

Young earth creationist organisations remain stubbornly wedded to an a priori commitment to a fundamentalist reading of Genesis. Terry Mortenson, a YEC theologian and historian regards adherence to Biblical literalism as important because he regards it as fundamental to his theological world view:

None of us, including any particular scholar (no matter how respected he is), or even the majority of scholars or Christians, can be the final authority for determining truth. God’s Word must be the authority. And it clearly teaches creation in six literal days about six thousand years ago and a global catastrophic Flood at the time of Noah. We must graciously but uncompromisingly contend for the literal historical truth of Genesis 1–11, which is absolutely fundamental to all other doctrines in the Bible. [9]

What Mortenson fails to so convincingly is justify why a Christian must interpret Genesis 1-11 literally or exactly how our salvation depends on recent creation in six days or a literal world-wide flood. Instead he damns respected 19th century Christian scholars such as Torrey, Warfield and Dana as ‘compromisers’ for being willing to follow the scientific evidence where it led them, even if it contradicted with a particular interpretation of the creation narratives.
This refusal to engage with modern science is particularly acute given that the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against flood geology and recent creationism, and in fact was recognised by conservative Christians well before Darwin. To be blunt, any Christian doctrine that hinges on a literal world-wide flood that laid down the fossils or recent creation in six days has been falsified, and no amount of appeal to a literal reading of Genesis will change observable reality. [10] Mortenson and his colleagues at Answers in Genesis may pride themselves on not compromising on what they believe to be a fundamental principle, but all they are doing is forcing believers to choose between observable reality and dogma, which as the Barna Group has shown is not a strategy for long-term growth of Christianity. More importantly, it is forcing believers to base fundamental doctrines on a description of the natural world that is demonstrably false.

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Notes:

[1] ‘Interested Stranger.—No doubt the earth has gone through changes. Christadelphian. — Have not these changes been in the nature of progress—an advance from a crude to a more perfect state? Interested Stranger.—It has doubtless been so. Christadelphian.—From what sort of a state did this process make its start? Interested Stranger.—That, I think, we cannot ascertain. Christadelphian. — Not in an exact sense perhaps; but are we not justified in saying that if we go far enough back in the record of the earth’s physical history, as written in the rocks, we come to a time when the earth was a molten mass, incapable of sustaining life, either vegetable or animal? Interested Stranger.—That is believed by the geologist; and I do not see that any thing can be said against it.’, Roberts, ‘A Page for the Interested Stranger – No. 2’, The Christadelphian (22.255.405), 1885.
[2] ‘Geology teaches us much; it speaks of a time and creation on this earth when animal life, if not totally, was nearly unknown, and only the lower order of vegetable life covering its face, and this must have existed many thousands of years; and during the whole of that long period, the earth was undergoing wonderful and necessary changes to fit it for a creation of a higher order, and evidently with the creature man in view. There are evidences to show that when this early period had done its work, it was replaced by a creation of a higher order , when animal and vegetable forms of a far more wonderful structure were brought into existence and most admirably adopted to the atmosphere, climate, and peculiarities of that creation; and this, again, must have lasted for many thousands of years, and in its turn been swept away, and a grander creation built on its ruins. And so on, stage after stage.’, Simons, ‘Why Man was not at once made Perfect’, The Christadelphian (21.238.177), 1884.
[3] ‘There can be no reasonable doubt that when the non-fossiliferous rocks were first formed t he heat of the earth’s matter was too intense for vegetable and animal life to exist. There can be no reasonable doubt that it was only in a later age that the lower forms of plant and animal life could exist . And there can be no reasonable doubt that the succeeding ages allowed the creation of still higher and more perfect forms, till we reach the age called the “Tertiary,” and the “Post-pliocene” period of that age, when we are told remains of man are found for the first time. All of this, I say, I do not doubt. The facts of old mother earth’s storehouse are too convincingly inscribed upon her crust to allow me to doubt. At the same time, and amid it all, I have the most implicit faith and unbounded trust in God and His sacred word.’, Welch, ‘Knowledge.- No., 12 Geology’, The Christadelphian (28.329.416), 1891.
[4] ‘If we suppose a sudden and absolute break some 6,000 years ago, or before, resulting in the destruction of all life, and that the creation account of Genesis describes a new creation following, we ought to find some evidence of the break, and we cannot well account for the apparently close relationship that obtains between extinct and existing forms. There are forms becoming extinct in our own day from slow and natural causes. May it not have been so in pre-Adamic times? The professors tell us for instance that some of these ancient birds, whose strides we can see for ourselves from their footprints were from four to six feet long, were like gigantic ostriches.’, Walker, ‘Genesis’, The Christadelphian (47.557.501), 1910.
[6] “So to take the human elements, the frustration, the changes of plan and the solution along with God allowing that process to work its way through, and applying it to a creative environment where the evidence implies problem, failure and imperfect solution.”, Matthew Wigzell, email on his email list “Watchmen“, 17 January, 2013; (brother Matthew has explained this email list was not private, and both he and other members have shared publicly emails by various members of the list.)
[7] Giberson K “Why Evangelicals Are Fooled Into Accepting Pseudoscience” Huffington Post 23rd September 2011
[9] Mortensen T “Exposing a Fundamental Compromise” Answers June 3rd 2010
[10] See for example Alan Hayward’s “Creation and Evolution – The Facts and Fallacies” (Triangle Books, 1985). Although his arguments against evolution were flawed even in the early 1980s, and are utterly dated now, his critique of flood geology and young earth creationism still hold up today.

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Preceding articles:

Scripture about Creation and Creator Deity

The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods

The very very beginning 2 The Word and words

Genesis – Story of creation 1 Genesis 1:1-25 Creation of thing

Genesis 1:26 God said “Let us make”

How Many Persons Created the Heavens and the Earth?

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Please do find to read:

  1. Bible and Science (2): In the Beginning
  2. Nothingness
  3. Suboptimal design and special creation
  4. Understanding God’s Word through His Creation -2
  5. Here is why an increasing number of Christadelphians are accepting evolution
  6. YECS: don’t compare yourself to Galileo. Unlike you, he had evidence on his side.
  7. The “aha” moment – Biblical Scholars Tell Their Stories. Part 5
  8. Andrew Perry shows how not to discuss evolution and creation – 1
  9. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  10. Is it “Wrong” to Believe that the Earth is a Sphere?
  11. Cosmogony
  12. Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs
  13. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  14. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  15. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  16. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  17. Reconciling Science and Religion
  18. Science and God’s existence
  19. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  20. Challenging claim 2 Inspired by God 1 Simple words
  21. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  22. Interpretation of archaeological data
  23. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  24. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  25. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings

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Additional related articles:
  1. Discovering or Destroying the “Recipe for Belief in Creationism”?
  2. Do Evolutionists Believe Darwin’s Ideas about Evolution?
  3. Deep Time Evolution

 

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    The latest immersive spectacular at the Peter Harrison Planetarium at Greenwich’s Royal Observatory is the exquisitely rendered exploration of the structure and history of the universe.

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    In between, the design team of astrophysicists and visualisation experts, commissioned by the American Museum of Natural History, take the viewer through time and space in a series of sweeping journeys.

  • After the Fact (briankoberlein.com)
    One of the common accusations made about cosmology is that it is just a kludge model to explain away all the strange things we see in the universe. Galactic redshift? Invent the big bang. Galaxies don’t move the right way? Invent dark matter and dark energy. Tweak any model enough and you can make it fit data. Part of the reason for this is the way scientific discovery is represented. The lone genius has a revolutionary idea that clears away all the stuffy old models. But that’s not how science gets done. Scientific models are often proposed to explain strange data, but the real test is whether the predictions they make hold up under scrutiny. Take, for example, the story of the cosmic microwave background.
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    The CMB was actually discovered 25 years before Penzias/Wilson “stumbled” across it… In a 1940 paper, Canadian astronomer Andrew McKellar (1910-1960) published “excellent coincidences obtained between the wave lengths of three of the unidentified, sharp, interstellar lines and lines arising from the lowest states of the CH, NaH, and CN molecules” (from spectral analysis). Based on data obtained, McKellar stated that “the maximum ‘effective’ temperature of interstellar space would be 2.7K” — no reference to “ghost radiation” from the “birth of the Universe”… McKellar’s findings have apparently been largely forgotten.

    Could it be that the CMB has been misinterpreted? Could it simply be thermalized starlight, the “temperature of space”?

  • NASA Has Revisited the Pillars of Creation and It’s Stunning (nerdist.com)
    In 1995, after one servicing mission to repair a warped mirror, Hubble took the iconic image of the so-called “Pillars of Creation.” It revealed in unprecedented detail three giant columns of cold gas bathed in hot ultraviolet light in the Eagle Nebula. It’s an evocative image. Inside those pillars of gas are the building blocks of solar systems like our own.
    010615_PillarsFull_NASA2
  • “Dark Universe” Opens January 16 in the Hansen Dome Theatre (clarkplanetarium.org)
    Dark Universe starts 100 million light years away from Earth. After flying to our own Milky Way Galaxy, visualized using the latest scientific data, and to our own planet, viewers arrive at California’s Mount Wilson Observatory, where Edwin Hubble’s discovery that the universe is expanding gave the first hint of the Big Bang. That initial discovery, and ever more sensitive instruments on the ground and in space, led to other breakthroughs that give astronomers an increasingly detailed and precise picture of how our universe formed and evolved.

    But these revelations have also uncovered intriguing new mysteries. What is the mysterious Dark Energy accelerating cosmic expansion? What is the invisible Dark Matter underlying galaxies that, together with dark energy, account for at least 95 percent of the universe? What lies beyond our cosmic horizon?

    Dark matter is an invisible material that emits or absorbs no light but betrays its presence by interacting gravitationally with visible matter.  © AMNH

    In stunningly detailed scenes based on authentic scientific data, including a NASA probe’s breathtaking plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and novel visualizations of unobservable dark matter, Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery and reveals the myst

  • On Lorser Feitelson’s Life Begins (greg.org)
    :Life Begins is oil and collage on a shaped masonite panel around two feet square. The painted elements are the blue space, which often gets called a sky, and a half peach and pit on a small plate. The collage elements are two black&white photographs, or close to it, of a doctor holding a newborn baby, cropped to preserve the caption, which gives the work its title; and an astronomical feature.
  • Transmitting Live from Mount Wilson: How KCET’s Signal Comes to You (kcet.org)
    Television, by its own design, seems like magic — you turn on a box (or, nowadays, a panel), and images and sound magically appear out of nowhere. Of course, how those images and sounds find their way to you isn’t as magical as the experience of enjoying the content that’s being broadcast, but we all know that television signals reach our sets via antenna, cable, or satellite dish.

    The exact journey of how those signals travel from the television station to your set is something we usually take for granted, or fail to think about at all, yet it has been a fundamental concern to the people who perform the day-to-day task of keeping KCET on the air for the past 50 years.

Genesis 1 story does not take away an evolution

When looking at Genesis some Christians do want to take it literally, being one day of 24 hours, and as such forgetting that one day for God is as thousand years for man.

évolution humaine simplifiée
Simplified human evolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of Christians do not see that it is talking about swarming and creeping creatures and does not specify how they looked like. big problem of many conservative Christians is that they do want to see the 1° Adam and the 2° Adam to be copies of the Caucasian human being of today. They resist to accept that the first creature being called man was full of hair, running on his four limbs and not talking proper English but making audible noises not comparable to the languages we do know today. Such an ‘animal like’ human being is for them unacceptable, but  it is not a contradiction with the writings of the Bible.

Several conservative Christians by making the heart of Christian and/or Christadelphian  theology contingent on evolution being false is setting people who uncritically accept such wholesale rejection of most of modern science up for failure. When they discover that the Earth is indeed ancient, and that humans and apes do share a common ancestor, the tragedy is that they will think that this falsifies Christianity, and reject belief altogether.

John Thomas, the founding figure of the Christadelphian movement was somewhat inconsistent in his position on this subject, but in the article ‘The Bible Doctrine Concerning the Tempter Considered. No. II.’, he unambiguously states that both Adam and Eve would have eventually died in time:

‘Adam’s nature was animal. Very good of its kind, as was the nature of all the other creatures. These did not sin, yet they returned to dust whence they came. So probably would Adam, if he had been left to the ordinary course of things as they were. But he would not have returned to dust if he had continued obedient.

He would doubtless have been “changed in the twinkling of an eye” on eating of the Tree of Life. But, being disobedient, his sin determined his fate, and that of the creatures. It doomed them all to death according to law, and “nature” unchanged was permitted to take its course.’ {Thomas J. ‘The Bible Doctrine Concerning the Tempter Considered. No. II.’, The Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come (1852) 2:181}

Christians should look at the Bereshith as a book of Beginnings telling in a short way what happened in the past, not telling in detail what went on from day 1 to day 7 as 24 hours periods but as periods in the development of things, Having first chaos and darkness, than light. From dryness to humidity getting waters which started to depart and showing up dry land. Next having water creatures moving around looking for different ways and also finding dry land. Going on land changing form by time, we can see land-creatures coming into existence.

Such an evolution of those animals changing in form does not at all have to contradict what is written in the Holy Scriptures. Problem by lots of people is their superior thinking, not willing to accept that the human being would not be at once a very intellectual being, looking very nicely shaved and manicured, speaking a very complex language.

Human beings have received brains from God which they should use. God gave us His Word in the Book of books and provided evidence in nature to be found by research. We may not neglect such evidence, for the fact of evolution comes from many disciplines ranging from comparative anatomy to the biogeographical distribution of species.

An other mistake of many Christians when they here of a Christian who believes in a sort of evolution is that they think that that Christian agrees with the evolution theory of Darwin, which should not be the case. We can disagree with Darwin’s theories but accept a sort of evolution. We can not be blind that our ancestors looked totally different than we. Look for example at the length of the people in the 16th century, the length and constitution of the people around the two World Wars and the present generation of youngsters who are much greater than our world war and  boom generation. We can not deny man has changed a lot the last 50 years.

We also do have to accept we still do not know a lot about different sorts of animals, of which there are many still species discovered and undiscovered of which we did not know of their existence.

In the 154 years since Darwin published the first edition of The Origin of Species, the fossil evidence for evolution has increased considerably. In particular, we can demonstrate the evolution of tetrapods from lobe-finned fish, whales from terrestrial mammals, birds from dinosaurs, and humans from primates to a degree that would have astonished earlier palaeontologists. While the nature of speciation and the sheer improbabilities involved in dead animals being fossilised and then found mean that the fossil record will always be an imperfect record, what we have demonstrates the reality of large-scale evolutionary change beyond reasonable doubt.  {The Fossil Evidence for Common Descent 1: Missing Links and other Special Creationist Fallacies}
Despite this, special creationists still continue in their desperate attempts to wave away the evidence. Given that practically no special creationists (and certainly no Christadelphian science denialists) are palaeontologists, their arguments invariably hinge on quote mining mainstream scientists, peddling out-of-date arguments which betray a lack of familiarity with the contemporary scientific literature, or advancing ideas about ‘missing links’ that indicate a failure to recognise that evolution is a tree, not a ladder. {The Fossil Evidence for Common Descent 1: Missing Links and other Special Creationist Fallacies}
The fundamental special creationist misconception is the belief in evolution as a ladder, with single celled life at the bottom rung, with all other life arranged progressively on higher rungs from worms to fish to amphibians and so on with mammals on the top rungs and humans at the top. Coupled with their quote mining of Darwin’s remarks that as “innumerable transitional forms” are not found “embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth”, this forms the basis of the special creationist claim that evolution cannot be true because of the alleged lack of transitional fossils. {The Fossil Evidence for Common Descent 1: Missing Links and other Special Creationist Fallacies}

The evolution of life is modelled not as a ladder, but as a tree, something that is obvious when we think of the pattern that develops when the process of descent with modification from an original ancestral population is mapped out. We start with an ancestral population that diverges into more than one group, with each successor group in turn likewise diverging, and so on:

The diagram of divergence of taxa presented by Charles Darwin in On the origin of species (1859)

{The Fossil Evidence for Common Descent 1: Missing Links and other Special Creationist Fallacies}

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Preceding articles:

  1. Genesis – Story of creation 1 Genesis 1:1-25 Creation of things
  2. The very very beginning 1 Creating Gods
  3. The Origin of Life on Earth: Creation or Evolution?
  4. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  5. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  6. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  7. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  8. Reconciling Science and Religion
  9. “Before” and “after” the Big Bang
  10. Nothingness
  11. Debating Darwin
  12. Living on the Edge
  13. Race, Skin color and differences
  14. The professor, God, Faith and the student
  15. Why Think There Is a God? (3): Why Is It Wrong?
  16. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  17. The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity
  18. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  19. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows

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  • Concept: Artificial Intelligence (gradypbrown.wordpress.com)
    Human beings, plants, and animals undeniably have souls, but whether or not a construct that was made by mortal hands has a soul is still an ongoing mystery.  Some of my characters in my upcoming third volume will be an example of this age-old puzzle.
  • Another Catholic defends the historicity of Adam and Eve (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    When I was in Mississippi last week, I was once again given Catholicism as an example of a faith that has no problem with evolution. I politely disagreed, noting that the Church’s official doctrine accepts Adam and Eve as humanty’s literal ancestors, that Catholicism sees humans as evolutionarily special since God vouchsafed us a soul, and that the Church accepts the existence of demons afflicting us and has an Official Vatican Exorcist (and many other exorcists elsewhere) to expel them.  Further, even though the Church sort-of-accepts evolution, 27% of American Catholics are still young-Earth creationists. At the very least, one must describe the Church’s stand on evolution as “mixed.”

    And even reputable Catholic theologians take an anti-evolution stand. One of them is Dennis Bonnette, whose ludicrous essay “Did Adam and Eve really exist?” (answer: “YES!”) appeared in November’s Crisis magazine.

  • Where is Light (divinedirection.typepad.com)
    If God called down the presence of the glory of the Lord, then what happened since that time? Why isn’t it being manifested on the earth today? After all, if we are truly filled with the divine light of God, then wouldn’t we be like human, electric bug zappers? This isn’t just any light we’re talking about here; it’s the light of Almighty God! Think about it for a moment: If any darkness or any evil even gets close to the light of God, shouldn’t it supernaturally disintegrate, kind of like getting too close to the sun?
  • Adam and Eve are Ancient “Archetypes” (jacksonwu.org)
    “Adam” is not actually a proper name for a single individual. It is a collective noun, which refers to humanity. On rare occasions, it points to an individual, but people in the neighborhood wouldn’t have called him “Adam” if they wanted to invite him over for a steak and salad.

    Adam bears this representative status as the “image of God” (language found in other ancient documents besides the Bible). This imagery indicates that Adam has royal authority to govern over God’s creation.
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    Adam and Eve are “archetypes.” For Walton, this means Adam was “a representative of a group in whom all others in the group are embodied” (240). A person is an archetype if what is true of the one is also true for all those who are represented by in him. Adam and Eve are historical, not fictitious. In some sense, Christ, Abraham, and Melchizedek are also archetypes.

    By the way, Walton suggests that Genesis 2 is a “sequel” of Gen 1. Chapter two does not go back and elaborate further on Day Six (from Gen 1). So, we shouldn’t confuse the “Adam” (or “man”) in Gen 1:26–28 with the “Adam” of Gen 2–3.

  • An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2) – Creation and what follows (thinkingpacifism.net)
    The very beginning of the Bible provides much important information about the Bible as a whole, about the cosmology of the whole, about the character of the God seen to be central to the entire story, and about the relationships between humankind and this God.

    Though the creation account in Genesis one portrays God as the power behind what is, the actual exercise of that power is muted. God speaks and what is is made. The dynamic is quite peaceable—in contrast to some other ancient creation myths (especially the Babylonian) that portray violence at the heart of things.

    Remarkably, this creator God speaks of human beings (male and female) being created in God’s own image. There humanity is commissioned to care for the rest of creation as God’s stewards. This picture connects with both of our key anarchistic factors. The relationship between God and humanity is not one of domination, command-and-obedience. It is rather a relationship of like with like. God is not Other; rather, humans are created to be like God. And, perhaps even more importantly, the picture here is that all humanity shares in this divine image—kingly, perhaps, but in a strongly egalitarian sense. As well, human beings are given power and responsibility.

  • An anarchistic reading of the Bible (1) – Creation and what follows (thinkingpacifism.net)
    On the one hand, the Christian Bible is a collection of widely disparate writings—spanning close to 1,000 years from the earliest to the latest books, numerous social and political settings, various genres of literature, and two main languages. It is clearly a human book, its separate pieces written as occasional statements that address specific issues and settings.

    On the other hand, the Bible as a collection of writings is the master story for Christians. It is assumed to have, on some level, a meaningful coherence that allows it to be used as sacred scripture. Some parts are seen as more clear and definitive than others, but as a rule Christians think of the authority of the Bible involving all of its parts.

    How the Bible works as an authority is a complicated and contested issue. One general approach, that stands in profound tension with an anarchistic sensibility, it to approach the Bible as the source of absolute truths that simply need to be heard and followed (“the Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it”). In this view, though, the Bible never actually stands alone as an authority. Theologian Edward Farley has developed a critique of what he calls “the house of authority” which requires three authoritative presences: the Bible as the revealed truth from God, official doctrinal statements (creeds, confessions, etc.) that provide definitive interpretations of the Bible, and institutions of authority that enforce the official interpretations (See his book Ecclesial Reflections. In light of this analysis, we can see why biblical authority is a problem for an anarchistic sensibility—it is tied in with centralized human authority (often centralized human authoritarianism).

  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.

    Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

  • Big Brother has a lot to offer (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    We all have a big brother who would like to help us have a better quality of life.  His name is Jesus.  He inspired 4 books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They will give you great insight into how to live better.