Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My thoughts on Evolution.

(NOTE: When I say evolution, I mean in regards to it being our origins which I don't believe. I believe in evolution as in "change" of species. There is a difference!)

Evolution Of The Leg

Once upon a time in a far away time there lived a water dwelling creature. He had no form of fin or leg but was similar to the liking of an eel. Then one day as the population lived and died, a mutation happened that formed a "blip" in the side of this creature...yes a "blip". This gene that was formed slowly got diluted amongst the population as he reproduced.
Many, Many years passed and the blip grew bigger as a mutation amongst the population.
Eventually they started to find it useful so it became what is known to be a fin.
Then one period of time the creatures had another weird group of mutations heading in the right direction of usefulness that enabled them to leave the water and breath air.
Well they didn't find fins useful on land so over the years the population had many more weird mutations and blips on the end of the fins which later became toes... The fins stiffened and became legs.
And so we have it...the evolution of the leg.

And it lived happily ever-after,

Personally I think the idea of evolution is not probable, if it is, it is a fluke. Firstly it is said that the fittest survive. In order for something to be fitter than the others (like developing a fin) it would be a long time before the "helpful" fin even became useful, so the ones with the blip would die off first would they not?

Animals leaving the water to breathe air? What did they do, jump up out of the water flapping away heaving and gasping with their gills and then fall back into the water, each generation each having its turn to do this until they developed lungs?
Why would fish leave the water when water is what they were designed for and found useful? Even if random mutations enabled them to develop lungs why would they use them when they didn't need them? All slight mutations in that direction would be a hindrance for a long time rather than an asset. Any fish that tried his new mutation (before it was developed to be useful) outside of water would die wouldn't he/she?

There is another thought, how did the sexes come about and why change from single sex into two? That would mean the new mutation is less fit for survival than the other wouldn't it?

Would it be reasonable to think that one day we as humans may evolve an extra arm which would be more useful? If so how would that happen? Why don't we have weird mutations hanging off of our bodies?

So goes my philosophical approach to evolution.

As the picture shows, a mutation towards something helpful or even helpful at all is rare... a fluke. Neutral ones are most common and bad ones are less common.

"However, random changes in information do not create new meaningful 'paragraphs', or 'chapters', of information. They only corrupt it. Mutations destroy; they do not create...Antibiotic resistance in bacteria is not due to an increase in meaningful information due to mutations. In all mutations studied, there has been a loss of function causing the resistance."1.

Molecular biologist Dr. Ian Macreadie states "All you see in the lab is either gene duplication, reshuffling of existing genes or defective genes (with loss of information) that might help a bug survive-e.g., by not binding to an antibiotic as effectively. But you never see any new information arising within a cell. Evolution would argue for things improving, whereas I see everything falling to pieces."

If evolution were true then where are all the in-between fossils? That is not too much to ask for is it since it is such a wide scaled happening?

There are hundreds of types of creatures in the fossil record like snails and jellyfish which are alive today. The creatures today are very much like the ones in rocks that are supposedly hundreds of millions of years old. 1.

Interestingly there are approximately 10,000 practising scientists in America alone who do not accept the evolutionary picture. 1.

The Bible does not rule out evolution wholly but at this stage I cannot accept it as truth about our origins.
I have to be honest, there are too many questions for me to believe this. It takes more faith to believe that everything designed itself than for me to believe that God created us. If everything designed itself then God may have guided it. Who knows? We weren't there. But we are here now, so we must use our reasoning to decipher truth its all we got.
Einstein said:

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

"I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."

Anthony Flew the famous atheist of atheists who is now deist believes in evolution but now claims because of scientific discoveries that there must be a God who started it all. He wrote the book "There Is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind". Though I have not read the book...sounds interesting.

Whether God created using evolution or not, I understand that He created, Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

1. Answers to the 4 BIG questions by Don Batten, Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Wieland

Calvinism and Arminianism. Does God pre-determine our salvation?

The idea of strict Calvinism is where God does what He likes and has created some people for heaven and some for hell. It is a lottery and a decision beyond our control, God decides our destiny.
Arminianism is basically the opposite where man has freewill.
I admit both of these labels have varying degrees, for this reason I would not happily commit myself to either at this stage.
I believe in God's freewill and our freewill. God's freewill is subject to or guided by His character (His goodness) and our freewill is subject to God's freewill. He is the Creator we are the creatures.

It may be good at this time to keep in mind that every good thing we receive from God or every good thing that happens to us is a mercy from God. God isn't unfair He is more than fair (Taken from Matthew 20:1-15). Every bad thing that happens to us we deserve. We are all sinners and the ultimate wages of sin is death (Romans3:23). God is GOOD we are not.

For this topic I would like to focus our attention on Jeremiah 18:1-11. I believe this portion of scripture provides us with a huge clue as to the correct answer.

1 The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying:
2 "Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words."
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!
7 "The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it,
8 "if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.
9 "And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it,
10 "if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.
11 "Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: "Behold, I am fashioning a disaster and devising a plan against you. Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good."’"

Do you notice who is in control of the nations? It is God, He is the Potter, people are the clay. God made the vessel "as it semed good to the potter to make" v4. This would imply God's predestined will for every man. However as we read we also see God's character and will. V4 also says "the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter". The verse carries on to say that he made it into another vessel.
I must ask why did the potter fail to create what He intended in the first place? I mean He's God isn't He?
The answer is in verses 8-10. God is trying to make us into something good and beautiful. Yet we don't mold into His hands the way He wants us to so He prepares us for alternative purposes. For some we become useful and beautiful vessels but for others the vessels were marred so bad that they were thrown into the valley of the son of Hinnom and were destroyed.

Romans 9 explains it also and I believe that the passage in Jeremiah is what Paul possibly had in mind.

Romans 9
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not!
15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."
16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.
17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."
18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.
19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"
20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?
22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,
23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory,

Notice the example that Paul gives, he uses Pharaoh. When we read the story of Pharaoh it wasn't that God hardened his heart from the beginning but that Pharaoh hardened his heart first and then God helped him along the path he had chosen, to show His might and strength.
God is still soverign but He is good and just...holy, the story of Job I recommend as a good understanding of God's soverignty and yet His perfect plans. We cannot mold ourselves but we can allow our selves to be molded. The way I see v22 is that God endured and was longsuffering with people like Pharaoh. But in the end they would not mold so He prepared them for destruction. He is preparing each and everyone of use beforehand for what He has in store for us.

Another scripture on this topic follows:
Romans 8
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God knew of us beforehand, it is not that He decided who would be saved and who wouldn't, he knew who would be saved an who wouldn't. God knew Pharaoh would harden his heart. It is God's predestined will that every person should be saved and conformed to the image of His Son. This is God's heart but He is so good that He allows us to make our own decisions.
To sum up why God has allowed freewill even to death I believe is that God is wanting a loyal people. How can you possibly have loyalty without an opportunity to be disloyal?

What about these verses?
Matthew 22:14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." (In the context of the Parable of the Wedding Feast).

1 Corinthians 1:
21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,
24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,
29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Firstly the wedding of the kings son, Jesus said in the beginning that it was a parable about the kingdom of God. So I believe it is refering to salvation. It is a story where God invited people to the wedding but only some were able to come. Some made excuses and then another came in dirty clothes. I believe when it says many are "called", it does not mean that every person is called, I'll explain.
Called simply means invited.

To get the full picture we now turn to 1 Corinthians 1: 21-29. This passage is saying that only those who are called understand the gospel. It later on says that not many noble are called etc. but the lowly are called so that God can show His glory through "weak" things. "Not many" implies that not all the noble are called. Why would this be so?

I think the possible answer is in Romans8:29-30, "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

God knows who will be saved (He foreknew), so those people He foreknew He predestined to be like His Son. It goes on to say that those He predestined He also called. So I believe the situation is this. God desires all to be saved, however some are so far gone "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." God knows they won't even consider His invite so He didn't call them. Its not that He didn't want them to be saved. They didn't want to be saved and became haughty against God. So God didn't invite them to His wedding Feast only some.
Some however were invited and didn't come to the Wedding Feast. I don't know why God invited them but maybe God knew their hearts and there might have been a small chance that they would come and God was good enough to invite them anyway.

Called in the Wedding seems to mean invited. Called in 1 Corinthians seams to mean enlightened. If this is a similar situation as i have taken it as, God enlightens or calls many except for a few. Though only few are actually chosen (because they accepted His invite).

I Hope I am understood? Maybe I can study the "called" business some more.

2Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

This verse I believe proves that God does not predestine people to hell without a choice, we only go there because we choose to. GOD IS GOOD.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Argument from Reason.

This is an overview of C.S. Lewis' "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism" found in the book "Miracles" chapter 3.

"Chapter 3:

I. The Big Idea: Naturalism rules out reasoning.

II. Flow of Reasoning:

a. By definition, Naturalism must be explainable in terms of the whole system

—no heeltaps

b. Anything found outside of the system ruins the naturalistic argument

c. This rejects science by statistics—everything must be calculable

i. “The movement of one unit is incalculable, just as the result of tossing a

coin once is incalculable: the majority movement of a billion units

can however be predicted, just as, if you tossed a coin a billion

times, you could predict a nearly equal number of heads and tails.

Now it will be noticed that if this theory is true we have really

admitted something other than Nature. If the movements of the

individual units are events ‘on their own,’ events which do not

interlock with all other events, then these movements are not part

of Nature.” (19)

d. The knowledge we have of any information is observation + inference, thus all

possible knowledge depends on the validity of reasoning.

i. our observation demands that we recognize something outside of


ii. when we recognize that which is outside of ourselves, then we are


iii. “It follows that no account of the universe canbe true unless that

account leaves it possible for our thinking to be real insight. A

theory which explained everything else in the whole universe but

which made it impossible to believe that our thinking was valid,

would be utterly out of court. For that theory would itself have

been reached by thinking, and if thinking is not valid that theory

would, of course, be itself demolished. It would have destroyed its

own credentials. It would be an argument which proved that no

argument was sound—a proof that there are no such things as

proofs—which is nonsense.” (21-22)

e. If nature is explainable in terms of the whole system, it must, by definition,

imply a cause & effect universe—cause and effect all of the way back to

the beginning

f. In this view, then, reasoning must be nothing more than “one link in a causal

chain which stretches back to the beginning and forward to the end of

time.” (24)

g. Thus, mental events are caused by previous mental events and nothing more—

“knowledge” plays no role in the progression of these mental events—also

mental events came into being in the same evolutionary way that physical

events came into being—mental events to the naturalist, then are nothing

more than responses to stimuli.

h. Yet, the experience that things are always connected (fire burns you) is only of

animal behavior, Reason comes into play when you infer something from

the events

i. Nature cannot show how one turns sub-rational, animal instinct, into rational

thought, thus a break in the chain occurs

j. Knowing is more than mere remembering what happened last time, but of

inferring that what happened in the past will continue to take place in the

future. Inference, then is determined by genuine knowledge, not by cause

and effect.

k. Inference and reason are the means by which we know and understand nature

and how we explain nature and cannot be explained by nature"1.

My thoughts basicly about what C.S. Lewis is saying is that this whole universe is like a system of cogs, of causes and effects. If this was so then there are no such things as reason or the idea of "free thought " or "knowledge". We simply do what we are reacting to (stimuli). If this is so how can we trust our own thinking if all it is, is just cause and effect? How could we possibly gather an accurate answer of the universe if we do not necessarily control our thoughts?

C.S. Lewis says in regard to this: "Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God"2.

Yet for the theist, naturalism is not the complete story, to him God designed him to think and to have understanding of our universe.
Paul touches on this in Romans 1:20-22 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools".

So according to the Bible everyone is without excuse. Everyone knows there is a God or did know there was a God but chose to "darken" their hearts and now are decieved. Maybe a little like Pharoah in the book of the Exodus. God hardened his heart only after Pharoah hardened his heart first. God often gives us what we want. Scary thought.

If a Naturalist argues his belief: “Natural selction is bound to preserve and increase in useful behaviour. And we also find that our habits of inference are in fact useful. And if they are useful they must reach truth”3.

Lewis replies “But notice what we are doing. Inference itself is on trial: that is, the Naturalist has given an account of what we thought to be our inferences which suggests they are not real insights at all. We, and he, want to be reassured. And the reassurance turns out to be one more inference (if useful, then true)-as if this inference were not, once we accept his evolutionary picture, under the same suspicion as all the rest. If the value of our reasoning is in doubt. You cannot try to establish it by reasoning"3.

The Naturalist sounds like he is using circular logic does he not? A similar thought about evolution: "the fittest are those who survive; and those who survive are deemed the fittest...It assumes that just because something survived, it is the fittest"4.

It is hard to see exactly how rational responses to situations (inference) could come about through a system of cause and effects. If we evolved we would become just really good at responding to stimuli not infering something about something else, "Knowing is more than mere remembering what happened last time, but of inferring that what happened in the past will continue to take place in the future. Inference, then is determined by genuine knowledge, not by cause and effect"1. It's a hard line to draw, exactly where responses to stimuli would become inferences. One that Naturalists have to explain but in that lies their problem, they need to justify their own reasoning if it came about through cause and effects and not intelligent design.

So, Naturalism can be a type of fatalism e.g. I was meant to write this post and nothing could have prevented me, it is already pre-recorded...it was/is meant to be.


1. http://preacherwin.wordpress.com/2008/04/21/cs-lewis-miracles-outline-part-1/

2."The Case for Christianity" by C.S. Lewis

3."Miracles" by C.S. Lewis