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Kirk Durston on Christianity and evolution

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He writes to say, I have just posted the first in a series of blogs dealing with evolution and Christianity in which I will examine two models, the neo-darwinian model and the intelligent design model, in terms of mutually incompatible, testable, and falsifiable predictions. I hope to post one every week or two and keep each one very short, but meaty. Here is the link to the first one.

I still can’t believe that, apart from US politics, we are still having this conversation about Darwin.

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29 Replies to “Kirk Durston on Christianity and evolution

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    …the neo-Darwinian theory for the diversity of life is actually in serious difficulty in light of ongoing advances in science that are falsifying key predictions of the theory and verifying key predictions of a scientific intelligent design model.

    But what do we say to those evolutionists who, when faced with the failures of neo-Darwinian theory, refer us to some other evolutionary theory that supposedly fills in the gaps?

    By definition, there is no end to endless special pleading.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    Interestingly, although an increasing number of theologians believe that embracing neo-Darwinism has salvaged the credibility of Christianity, the majority of more objective scholars, with no stake in the game, see this as yet another example of religion steadily retreating before the advance of science and a tacit admission by Christians that the Bible contains myth and false statements.

    Edward Feser quotes Quentin Smith:

    The great majority of naturalist philosophers have an unjustified belief that naturalism is true and an unjustified belief that theism (or supernaturalism) is false.

    Feser:

    In short, science has “explained” the sensible qualities and meaning that seem to common sense to exist in reality only by sweeping them under the rug of the mind; that is, it hasn’t really explained them at all, but merely put off any explanation by relocating them out of the physical and into the mental realm.

    And yet we’re asked to believe that evolutionary theory is true and complete. Hah.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    I still can’t believe that, apart from US politics, we are still having this conversation about Darwin.

    I know. Darwin is so nineteenth century. Some people just don’t seem to realize that evolutionary biology has moved on a ways since 1859.

    Mung @ 1

    But what do we say to those evolutionists who, when faced with the failures of neo-Darwinian theory, refer us to some other evolutionary theory that supposedly fills in the gaps?

    Adjusting a theory to fit the facts is a normal part of science. It’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s a feature not a bug.

    So what is your solution to the dilemma with which Durston is struggling, namely the age-old problem of whether to regard the Bible as inerrant, literally true, or are there passages which are allegorical or metaphorical?

  4. 4
    Mung says:

    Seversky,

    I’d rather that this not turn into a theological discussion.

    My own position is as follows:

    I have good reason to believe there are errors in the bible.

    The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (this book is recommended reading)

    The bible is literature and employs a vast array of literary devices.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Dr. Giem has a new video lecture up:

    Horizontal Gene Transfer 5-16-2015 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6X5sJ62NbE

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Seversky @ 3,

    Adjusting a theory to fit the facts is a normal part of science.

    In science, when the facts no longer support the theory, the theory is generally abandoned. Not so with Darwin’s theory. It’s been constantly adapted, adjusted, and reinterpreted. The facts are cherry picked into a mosaic of speculation.

    As a Christian, I don’t have any problem with evolution as the mechanism for God to create and maintain life on earth, and I used to believe in evolution. In fact Genesis, if you read it in the Septuagint, generally seems to follow current scientific beliefs regarding the origin of the universe and the origin of life.

    No, the problem I have with evolution is that it’s simply lousy science. It can be used to explain any new discovery and has successfully predicted nothing significant except in retrospect.

    I’ll prove it to you.

    How old would a fossil have to be and in (a) what geologic strata such that IF (b) soft tissue were legitimately discovered in it, would result in your abandoning the theory of evolution? My bet is that you wouldn’t do so regardless of how old the fossil is, and of what, and where it was discovered. Ask yourself why.

    The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that we’re stuck with versions of this obsolete 19th century theory because of ideological rather than scientific reasons. Many people believe that discovering a natural process would necessarily exclude God from all processes for reasons of parsimony or simplicity, so they hang on to ideas way beyond their usefulness to the detriment of science.

  7. 7
    ppolish says:

    Seversky, Theology drives and inspires Science. Always has, always will. Science fills a gap? Theology will create more.

    Science would go bankrupt without Theology. Is there a deep Science Question? Yes? Theology will be there. And beyond of course.

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    What causes Thunder?

    Neanderthal: “God”
    Bill Nye: “SCIENCE causes Thunder lol”

    What causes science Bill? Deep Question there Bill. “Oops” is not an explanation. Follow the gap. Listen to your inner Neanderthal. Don’t stop at oops. Let Theology guide you Bill. Neanderthal was beyond oops lol.

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Mung @ 4,

    I have good reason to believe there are errors in the bible.

    When I’ve looked into popular issues and claims regarding the accuracy of the Bible, they’ve often evaporated under further study. So, just as a trusted friend, I give the Bible the benefit of the doubt.

    One example concerns the dimensions used to describe the “great sea” for Solomon’s temple. This was a point that Isaac Asimov pounced on in one of his books. The difficulties vanished when I studied the text and created a 3D solid model using CAD software.

    Also, you need to take into account that the Masoretic translations of Tanach (~750 C.E.) that are used in most Christian and Jewish Bibles differ from those in the Septuagint (~250 B.C.E), especially regarding the prophecies about the Messiah, and the quotations used in the B’rit Chadashah (aka the “New Testament”). Translations from the Dead Sea scrolls, when compared to the Mt and LXX are in far better agreement with the LXX. For some examples, see

    http://www.oodegr.co/english/p.....uagint.htm

    -Q

  10. 10
    ppolish says:

    “The Christian idea of the world is that it originated in a very complicated process of evolution but that it nevertheless still comes in it’s depths from the Logos. It thus bears reason in itself.”

    -Joseph Ratzinger
    Christian Poobah

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    as to Adam and Eve in particular:
    Here is a paper which, though technical, shows that the modern genetic evidence we now have actually supports Adam and Eve. Moreover, the evidence it presents from the latest genetic research is completely inexplicable to neo-Darwinism, i.e. neo-Darwinism, once again, completely falls apart upon rigid scrutiny; (and although I don’t agree with the extreme 6000 year Young Earth model used as a starting presumption in the paper for deriving the graphs, the model, none-the-less, can be amended quite comfortably to a longer time period. Which I, personally, think provides a much more ‘comfortable’ fit to the overall body of evidence)

    The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve! – Refuting errors by Francis Collins and BioLogos
    http://creation.com/historical-adam-biologos

    CMI has a excellent video of the preceding paper by Dr. Carter, that makes the technical aspects of the paper much easier to understand;

    The Non Mythical Adam and Eve (Dr Robert Carter) – 2011 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ftwf0owpzQ

    THE NON-MYTHICAL ADAM AND EVE by (Dr. Robert Carter) – 2014 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1_nMuq_lH4
    Here is one of the papers that Dr. Carter spoke about at the 7:00 minute mark of the video (which empirically confirmed the principle of Genetic Entropy)
    R.W. Carter & J.C. Sanford (2012). A new look at an old virus: patterns of mutation accumulation in the human H1N1 influenza virus since 1918. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modeling 9:42 doi:10.1186/1742-4682-9-42.
    Of note: co-author John Sanford, inventor of the “Gene Gun’ and holder of numerous patents, is approaching 100 peer-reviewed papers published
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ry-museum/

    Moreover, the fossil record, like the genetic evidence, is far less compelling than Darwinists have portrayed it to be.
    First, as with the rest of the different ‘kinds’ of fossils in the fossil record since the Cambrian Explosion, we find the ‘sudden appearance’ of man in the fossil record:

    Read Your References Carefully: Paul McBride’s Prized Citation on Skull-Sizes Supports My Thesis, Not His – Casey Luskin – August 31, 2012
    Excerpt of Conclusion: This has been a long article, but I hope it is instructive in showing how evolutionists deal with the fossil hominin evidence. As we’ve seen, multiple authorities recognize that our genus Homo appears in the fossil record abruptly with a complex suite of characteristics never-before-seen in any hominin. And that suite of characteristics has remained remarkably constant from the time Homo appears until the present day with you, me, and the rest of modern humanity. ,,,
    The complex suite of traits associated with our genus Homo appears abruptly, and is distinctly different from the australopithecines which were supposedly our ancestors. There are no transitional fossils linking us to that group.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....63841.html

    Moreover, where the fossil record is best, over the past 20,000 years or so, we find a trend in the fossil evidence that is completely at odds with what is expected on a neo-Darwinian framework. Namely, we find that, as a species, we have been Devolving instead of Evolving:

    If Modern Humans Are So Smart, Why Are Our Brains Shrinking? – January 20, 2011
    Excerpt: John Hawks is in the middle of explaining his research on human evolution when he drops a bombshell. Running down a list of changes that have occurred in our skeleton and skull since the Stone Age, the University of Wisconsin anthropologist nonchalantly adds, “And it’s also clear the brain has been shrinking.”
    “Shrinking?” I ask. “I thought it was getting larger.” The whole ascent-of-man thing.,,,
    He rattles off some dismaying numbers: Over the past 20,000 years, the average volume of the human male brain has decreased from 1,500 cubic centimeters to 1,350 cc, losing a chunk the size of a tennis ball. The female brain has shrunk by about the same proportion. “I’d call that major downsizing in an evolutionary eyeblink,” he says. “This happened in China, Europe, Africa—everywhere we look.”
    http://discovermagazine.com/20.....-shrinking

    Scientists Discover Proof That Humanity Is Getting Dumber, Smaller And Weaker By Michael Snyder, on April 29th, 2014
    Excerpt: An earlier study by Cambridge University found that mankind is shrinking in size significantly.
    Experts say humans are past their peak and that modern-day people are 10 percent smaller and shorter than their hunter-gatherer ancestors.
    And if that’s not depressing enough, our brains are also smaller.
    The findings reverse perceived wisdom that humans have grown taller and larger, a belief which has grown from data on more recent physical development.
    The decline, said scientists, has happened over the past 10,000 years.
    http://thetruthwins.com/archiv.....and-weaker

    The same downward trend is found in the genetic evidence:

    Human Genetic Variation Recent, Varies Among Populations – (Nov. 28, 2012)
    Excerpt: Nearly three-quarters of mutations in genes that code for proteins — the workhorses of the cell — occurred within the past 5,000 to 10,000 years,,,
    “One of the most interesting points is that Europeans have more new deleterious (potentially disease-causing) mutations than Africans,”,,,
    “Having so many of these new variants can be partially explained by the population explosion in the European population. However, variation that occur in genes that are involved in Mendelian traits and in those that affect genes essential to the proper functioning of the cell tend to be much older.” (A Mendelian trait is controlled by a single gene. Mutations in that gene can have devastating effects.) The amount variation or mutation identified in protein-coding genes (the exome) in this study is very different from what would have been seen 5,000 years ago,,,
    The report shows that “recent” events have a potent effect on the human genome. Eighty-six percent of the genetic variation or mutations that are expected to be harmful arose in European-Americans in the last five thousand years, said the researchers.
    The researchers used established bioinformatics techniques to calculate the age of more than a million changes in single base pairs (the A-T, C-G of the genetic code) that are part of the exome or protein-coding portion of the genomes (human genetic blueprint) of 6,515 people of both European-American and African-American decent.,,,
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132259.htm

    The implications of morphological and genetic deterioration are fairly obvious. Such a downward trend is clearly indicative that we were created, as a species, sometime in the relatively recent past:

    Dr. Sanford, a geneticist who has quite a few notable patents, and breakthroughs, in genetics under his belt, touches on the clear implications of Genetic Entropy in the following video:

    Genetic Entropy – Dr. John Sanford – Evolution vs. Reality
    https://vimeo.com/35088933

  12. 12
    harry says:

    — Science was wrong in its belief that the Universe had always existed.

    — Science was wrong about the origin of life being so simple it was hardly worth looking into.

    Sometimes the errors of science bring about great evil:

    — Science was wrong about the cause of puerperal fever. They ignored legitimate scientific evidence for reasons that were anything but scientific. One in six women died of uterine infection following childbirth for over a hundred years while science demeaned those who presented facts that were contrary to its prejudices, facts based on demonstrations of the prevention of puerperal fever.

    — Science was wrong when it considered, in the not too distant past, racism and eugenics to be scientific, which led to the murders of millions of innocent human beings.

    — Science today ignores the objective scientific facts regarding the humanity of the child in the womb. This has enabled what is literally a secularist Jihad waged against humanity itself. The Jihadists are self-appointed managers of what they see as a human herd that is to be fashioned according to what amounts to their personal prejudices. These secularist Jihadists consist of those who, albeit discreetly, still embrace and put into practice the pseudo-sciences of eugenics and racism. They are today’s population controllers and “family planners.” They would like to reduce the population of their herd to a couple of billion, if not to just several hundred million.

    In light of the errors and evil perpetrated by science in the past and in contemporary society, thinking people have every right to be skeptical when evolutionary “science” announces that the ancestry of contemporary humanity does not, at some point in the past, converge on one humanoid couple. Not that genuine science does not deserve the respect of Christians. It does. This is not a novel notion:

    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking non-sense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position …
    — St. Augustine, The Literal Meaning of Genesis

    Nature’s Author is also the Author of Scripture. There can be no real conflict between genuine science and the Scriptures if Scripture is being interpreted correctly. When science and Scripture appear to be in conflict, either science is wrong once again, or Scripture is being misinterpreted. Christians need to be patient, as God in his perfect providence has allowed these appearances of conflict to take place for His own mysterious reasons. Yet He always vindicates the Scriptures eventually. The Universe had a beginning as the Scriptures had asserted. That there was a series of creative acts on God’s part continues to be vindicated by the fossil record. That the Universe and the life within it are not mindless accidents is being steadily vindicated by genuine science day by day. We now know the odds of the Big Bang mindlessly and accidentally producing a Universe where life would be a possibility are 1 in 10^10^123, giving the assertion that the Universe and the life within it were intended by an intelligent agent the certainty of a law of physics.

    Augustine goes on to say:

    But more dangerous is the error of certain weak brethren who faint away when they hear these irreligious critics learnedly and eloquently discoursing on the theories of astronomy or on any of the questions relating to the elements of this universe. With a sigh, they esteem these teachers as superior to themselves, looking upon them as great men; and they return with disdain to the books which were written for the good of their souls; and, although they ought to drink from these books with relish, they can scarcely bear to take them up.

    That happened in Augustine’s time and it happens today. Christians today need to be bold in pointing out the grave errors of science and the irrationality and unscientific nature of contemporary atheism, and how it falsely claims for its beliefs the certainty of science, even though its beliefs are based only on an irrational, blind faith that must ignore the discoveries of modern, genuine science.

  13. 13
    Robert Byers says:

    The bible is the word of God. Yes or no?
    If yes certain conclusions on origins mattered are settled. Yes or no?
    To deny genesis is denying a foundation for Christian truth. Not deny Christianity or being anti Christian but is denying a foundation.
    Why does man, tailless primates, know better about long gone events and processes.?
    Believe Gods word and not mans.
    Figure out cancer before you figure out biological origins !

  14. 14
    Gordon Davisson says:

    Querius @ 3:

    Seversky @ 3,

    Adjusting a theory to fit the facts is a normal part of science.

    In science, when the facts no longer support the theory, the theory is generally abandoned. Not so with Darwin’s theory. It’s been constantly adapted, adjusted, and reinterpreted. The facts are cherry picked into a mosaic of speculation.

    I’m going to have to agree strongly with Seversky here; the history of science is full of cases of theories being gradually tuned to match the facts better & better. Actually, I’ll go further: there’s a very common pattern where we look at some phenomenon, make a scientific theory to explain it, then look closer and discover that the theory is close, but not quite right (usually, the real situation turns out to be more complicated than we thought). So we adjust the theory (e.g. by making it more complicated), then we look closer and find that it’s more complicated than that. So we adjust the theory, and then look closer… etc.

    In “The Relativity of Wrong,” Isaac Asimov gives the example of the shape of the Earth. At first, we thought it was flat. Then, we found it curved back on itself in a sphere. Then Newton came pointed out that it wasn’t exactly a sphere, it was an oblate spheroid (i.e. squashed at the poles, spread out around the equator). Then (eventually), we made satelite-based measurements, and found that it’s not quite an oblate spheroid either, as the “equatorial” bulge is bit south of the equator, making it slightly pear-shaped. BTW, it shouldn’t come as a suprise that since Asimov wrote that essay, better measurements have shown that the pear-distored-oblate-spheroid isn’t quite right either, it’s actually a bit lumpier than that.

    Another example: the first really good model of the solar system was Copernicus’ heliocentric theory. But then Newton (again) pointed out that the planets don’t actually orbit the Sun, they (& the Sun) all orbit the solar system’s berycenter (which is sometimes inside the Sun). And then it turned out that the barycenter isn’t stationary either, it (& the rest of the solar system) orbit the center of the galaxy. Which isn’t stationary either, it’s engaged in a complex dance with other galaxies…

    Another example: the atomic theory said that matter is made up ot tiny, indivisible particles. Except that their electrons can be stripped off (from what we now call the neucleus). And then it turned out that the heavier nuclei were made of smaller things too — at first they thought they were a bunch of hydrogen nuclei (now called protons), then they figured out there were some other particles (neutrons) in there as well. Then they actually figured out how to split atoms into smaller atoms…

    Note that at this point the atomic theory had, strictly speaking, been refuted. “Atom” means unsplittable. But we kept the name and most of the theory despite the fact that “atom”s original defining feature was wrong. And despite being strictly refuted, the atomic theory is at this point also considered unquestionalbly correct (except for the minor detail that atoms aren’t actually atomic).

    BTW, we’ve also learned that those protons & neutrons are also made of smaller particles, which we call quarks. As far as we know, those (and electrons) are truly “atomic”.

    As far as we know.

    So far.

    One description I’ve seen (forgot the source, sorry) is “Science does not progress by replacing flawed theories with correct theories, but by replacing flawed theories with more subtly flawed theories.”

    No, the problem I have with evolution is that it’s simply lousy science. It can be used to explain any new discovery and has successfully predicted nothing significant except in retrospect.

    I’ll prove it to you.

    How old would a fossil have to be and in (a) what geologic strata such that IF (b) soft tissue were legitimately discovered in it, would result in your abandoning the theory of evolution? My bet is that you wouldn’t do so regardless of how old the fossil is, and of what, and where it was discovered. Ask yourself why.

    Again, I have to disagree. What does soft tissue preservation or lack therof have to do with evolution? Finding soft tissues in a really old fossil might challenge some of our idea of the chemical processes the fossil had been subject to, but that’s not really much to do with evolution.

    The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that we’re stuck with versions of this obsolete 19th century theory because of ideological rather than scientific reasons. Many people believe that discovering a natural process would necessarily exclude God from all processes for reasons of parsimony or simplicity, so they hang on to ideas way beyond their usefulness to the detriment of science.

    Except that most of the research on evolution has nothing to do with ideology, and if you looked at the scientists’ ideological biases, they’re all over the place. The proportion of atheists in biology is higher than the general population, but it’s far from an all-atheist subject. And if you ask them about the things that’re most certain about evolution, one of the most popular answers will be common ancestry(*), which has … pretty much nothing to do with ideology. Common ancestry is entirely consistent with many forms of intelligent design (front loading, guided mutation, guided selection/active information, etc) and theistic evolution.

    (* Some argue that common ancestry may not be entirely universal, rather like how atoms are not entirely unsplittable. But pretty much only for bacteria and archaea — I don’t know of anybody competent who questions common ancestry for e.g. all animals.)

    And as for strict naturalism, you’ll find much more disagreement — there are certainly biologists who think evolution is guided by god, or any number of other things/beings/whatever.

    If evolutionary thought were driven by ideology, why on Earth would common ancestry be such a central concept, while naturalism is much more up for grabs?

  15. 15
    Mapou says:

    I’m a Christian and I cherish the Bible more than most. It is my primary research book in matters scientific, spiritual and historical. But I do not hesitate to say that anybody who believes that the entire Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God and teaches others to believe likewise is not just a moron, he/she is a committing idolatry by worshipping a book. You are not Christians. You are a synagogue of Satan.

    And one more thing. The Bible is not really a book but a compilation of books, letters, visions and family documents by various authors with various opinions. It is a sure bet that corrupt Church officials in antiquity have had their dirty hands in the compilation.

  16. 16
    Upright BiPed says:

    Davisson, please call Lehigh University and have them remove the faculty disclaimer against Michael Behe from their official website.

  17. 17
    Silver Asiatic says:

    ppolish @10

    Great quote. The Logos is the foundation of rationality.

    … now take that thought to Mass with you this Sunday. 🙂

    (maybe you needed that nudge? 🙂 )

  18. 18
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Darwinism is a theological project.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I like Kirk Durston’s scientific output

    Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Wong, A.K.C., Li, G.C.L. (2012), ‘Statistical discovery of site inter-dependencies in sub-molecular hierarchical protein structuring’, EURASIP Journal on Bioinformatics and Systems Biology 2012, 2012:8
    Durston, K.K.; Chiu, D.K.Y. (2011), Chapter 5. Functional Sequence Complexity in Biopolymers. In The First Gene: The Birth of Programming, Messaging and Formal Control, Abel, D. L., Ed. LongView Press–Academic, Biol. Res. Div.: New York, N.Y., pp 117-133.
    Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y., Abel, D.L., Trevors, J.T. (2007), ‘Measuring the functional sequence complexity of proteins’, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 4:47, 1-14.
    Durston, K.K., Chiu, D.K.Y. (2005), ‘A functional entropy model for biological sequences’, Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete and Impulsive Systems: Series B Supplement, University of Waterloo.

  20. 20
    harry says:

    Mapou @ 15

    I do not hesitate to say that anybody who believes that the entire Bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God and teaches others to believe likewise is not just a moron, he/she is a committing idolatry by worshipping a book. You are not Christians. You are a synagogue of Satan.

    Why the subtlety? Why don’t you come out and say how you really feel about it? ;o)

    Seriously, my friend, Sacred Scripture is either ultimately authored by God, the Truth itself, or it is merely another human book, deserving of no more reverence than a set of encyclopedias. Looked at realistically and objectively, it becomes apparent that the Scriptures consist of several literary genres. The Bible was not meant to be considered a scientific treatise. What is important is that where the genre is that of an historical work, and the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the promise of Christ to lead the Church into all truth, led the Early Church Fathers to reach a consensus regarding the historicity of such a section of the Scriptures, Christians need to accept that section as historical, or confess that they do not believe that Christ keeps His promises.

    There was no such consensus regarding the creation accounts of Genesis. They are a fountain of truth, but not if one attempts to coerce them into something they are not, i.e., a scientific treatise. Even so, I suspect that in the end the creation accounts of Genesis will be found to be as accurate an account of creation as was comprehensible by people at the time it was written.

    No, God didn’t inspire Moses to write about creation in terms of sophisticated scientific concepts we have only recently come to understand ourselves. In another few millennia, our own understanding will appear to be as simplistic to our descendants as human understanding at the time of Moses now seems to us. Even so, the fountain of truth that Genesis offers humanity will be available to them as it is to us.

  21. 21
    Andre says:

    Mapou

    Like you I also reasoned that not everything in the Bible is true, but when you realize that Christ quoted from the old testament on many occasions it must have authority as truth. Why would God quote bullshit?

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    Andre @21,

    Quoting from a book does not make it infallible. I quote from Wikipedia all the time and I use it as a reference but we all know that Wikipedia is littered with Darwinist and materialist crap.

    Having said that, I have a lot more confidence in the OT than the NT. For example, I don’t believe that James’s epistle should be included in the Bible. James was the brother of Jesus, the head of the Jerusalem Church, a legalistic asshole who used to send spies to the Gentile churches founded by Paul to see if they were circumcised. The only book in the NT that corrupt Church fathers did not mess with is Revelation, and only because they have no clue as to what it means. But this did not prevent a bunch of self-appointed church teachers from coming out with all sorts of BS interpretations of it.

    One good thing is that the Church could not mess with the OT too much because the Jews would not allow it. But the OT, too, was written by several authors who were not necessarily inspired by God. My advice to Christians is this, not everything you read in the Bible is the word of God.

  23. 23
    Mapou says:

    Harry @20:

    Why the subtlety? Why don’t you come out and say how you really feel about it? ;o)

    LOL. I try to be as blunt with my opinions as I can be. Anything else is hypocrisy, IMO.

    The Bible was not meant to be considered a scientific treatise. What is important is that where the genre is that of an historical work, and the Holy Spirit, fulfilling the promise of Christ to lead the Church into all truth, led the Early Church Fathers to reach a consensus regarding the historicity of such a section of the Scriptures, Christians need to accept that section as historical, or confess that they do not believe that Christ keeps His promises.

    The early Church Fathers can kiss my asteroid. I have no respect for them. Zero.

    A word about science in the Bible. I happen to believe that a few metaphorical books in the Bible (e.g., Revelation, Zechariah, Ezekiel, etc.) contain revolutionary scientific knowledge that will soon shake the foundations of civilization. Wait for it.

  24. 24
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mapou

    The early Church Fathers can kiss my asteroid. I have no respect for them. Zero.

    You wouldn’t have a new testament without them – and that’s a problem if you don’t have the gift to be to sort out lots of pseudo-scriptural texts from Gnostics & syncretists vs texts which are authentically inspired by God.

    But that’s a major problem for the sola-scriptura position in general, as I see it (without wanting to get into a theological debate here).

  25. 25
    Querius says:

    Gordon Davisson @ 14 diving in from of Seversky to take the bullet said,

    Again, I have to disagree. What does soft tissue preservation or lack therof have to do with evolution? Finding soft tissues in a really old fossil might challenge some of our idea of the chemical processes the fossil had been subject to, but that’s not really much to do with evolution.

    Thanks for proving my point.

    A bleeding rabbit entombed in the Precambrian would merely “challenge some of our idea of the chemical processes the fossil had been subject to,” the discovery of a live protoceratops in Mongolia would be a living fossil, and a pogo stick embedded in the Permian would be the product of deposition and differential weathering.

    Your Darwinism can never be falsified because to you it’s not science, its a non-theistic religious belief that NO amount of evidence, by your admission, could ever challenge.

    Not that I’m against your having religious beliefs. 🙂

    -Q

  26. 26
    Querius says:

    Mapou @ 22,

    1. The technical word regarding ancient manuscripts is reliability which doesn’t mean what it sounds like. Here’s a comparison of the reliability of several ancient MMS: https://carm.org/manuscript-evidence

    2. There were many, typically gnostic, forgeries that were sold during the centuries following Christ. However, the same God that resurrected the Word that was made flesh, also preserved the written Word against all attempts to counterfeit, replace, or destroy it.

    I’d encourage you to give it a chance, Mapou. Even James.

    -Q

  27. 27
    Mapou says:

    Querius @26,

    Are you kidding me? James is the first jackass among early Church Fathers that I don’t trust. He had his filthy hands in everything. Even Peter was afraid of him.

    There is an entire passage in the book of Luke, for example, that is extremely suspicious. It’s the one in Luke 16:19-31 about some rich dude burning in hell and the beggar Lazarus in heaven with Abraham. Knowing what I know about Yahweh and the rest of the Bible, there is no doubt in my mind that it’s all fake BS. Most likely from corrupt, pre-medieval, Catholic Church Fathers.

    Nothing is delivered to us by FedEx or UPS on a platter, my friend. We are instructed thus: “Search and you will find.” So I’ve been searching and, believe me, I’m finding.

  28. 28
    harry says:

    Mapou

    So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please …
    — Isaiah 55:11

    The Word of God did indeed come forth and He accomplished the Father’s will. He promised, while He was among us, that He would send us the Spirit of God to be with the Church forever and guide it into all truth. What did the fulfillment of that promise look like, if it wasn’t fulfilled where the Church Fathers were unanimous?

    Where your “corrupt, pre-medieval, Catholic Church Fathers” were in agreement is the heritage of all contemporary Christian denominations, not just the heritage of the Roman Catholic Church. Their unanimity was formed long before the Reformation. All denominations, including a large segment of the Roman Catholic population, need to return to the belief and practice of the Church Fathers. Trust me, many denominations will not have to travel nearly as far to arrive there as many “Catholics” will.

    The members of the Body of Christ on Earth need to restore the wholeness of His Body. Unsurprisingly, the currently dismembered Body of Christ has been unable to accomplish what the united Body of Christ of the Early Church did, which was to convert the known world of its time.

    I am with Silver Asiatic in not wanting to get into a theological debate here. I am just suggesting that it could do nothing but good for all Christians to look again at what the Church Fathers came to agree upon. Again, adjusting one’s Christian beliefs to conform with that will be a bigger job for many Catholics than it will be for a lot of Protestants.

  29. 29
    Mung says:

    One of the most beautiful passages in all of Scripture comes from James.

    Mercy can freely boast that it has nothing to fear from judgment.

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