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Review: Good Night Oppy

This isn’t a typical full review of the new content by Amazon, but I’ll include my overall thoughts about the movie

It really is stunning to me to hear God-deniers say. “The worldwide flood recorded in Genesis is impossible.” or “there’s no way the entire globe could have been flooded as recorded in Genesis” or “Noah’s flood? That’s just a fairy tale”. What does that have to do with the movie, Oppy?

At near the 9 minute mark one of the lab coats says: “The two Viking orbiters as they looked down on Mars, they saw…that’s strange. There could be signs of past water flowing. Was Mars once a green world with living things and blue oceans?

At about 39:45 “We picked the Spirit landing site, Gusev Crater, that looked like it had a huge dried-up riverbed flowing through into it, and we went there hoping to find evidence of past water and past habitability. I mean there has to have been a lake in Gusev Crater at one time. But all Spirit found was this prison of lava rocks.”

“And it turns out that the composition of these little blueberries, was a mineral called hematite, which is a mineral that often forms in the presence of water.”

“From the minerology, from the geochemistry, everything that we needed to come to a reasonable conclusion that there was once water on Mars. It was right there in the walls of Eagle Crater. But this is a very acidic environment. Not a place where life could have developed.”

“So, yes there had been liquid water, but this wasn’t water that you or I would want to drink. It was basically like battery acid.”

“What you really want is nice, flowing, neutral-pH groundwater. And so to go and find a story of habitability, you’ve got to go on a bit of a roadtrip”

“This is a clay that has been intensely altered by relatively neutral pH water, representing the most favorable conditions for biology that Opportunity has encountered”

“Water. Drinkable neutral water once existed on the surface of Mars. And not only was there water, but it could possible sustain ancient microbial life. So that is just revolutionary.”

“It showed us that the ancient Mars was much more suitable to the origin of life.

This was the Holy Grail. This is the reason we had gone to Mars. Oppy discovered Mars was a wet world very much like Earth. There were oceans. Water played a huge role in its early history. It completely altered the planet.”

“And Opportunity spent years exploring Endeavor Crater, making incredible discoveries that tell that story of water. So we could go back in time to a planet that might actually have had life.

“Mars had water. What happened to that water? And can we take the information and understand how that could happen here on Earth? And can we understand our part in that. Are we doing something that can accelerate that here on Earth. Because that’s something that you don’t recover from.”

Are you kidding me? They were able to turn this documentary about a planet with no water, no life, no humans, no fossil fuels into a global warming fear-mongering documentary…like most of the rest of them.

Their motivation was religious in nature (“This was the Holy Grail”), and it’s clear that their research was interested only in finding naturalistic origins of life.

Don’t misinterpret my critiques as a dislike for discovery or research. But what did you notice about their motivation for exploration? Extra terrestrial life. This blind search for life in lifeless places reveals their faith in naturalism. In their search for life, they recognize the need for water. So, in this video, we see over and over these lab-coats share their desire to find water. There’s not a drop of water on Mars.

But a planet (Earth) that is more than 70% covered by water could NOT have had a worldwide flood according to naturalists, and a planet (Mars) with not a single drop of liquid water is assumed to have been flooded in the distant past. The inconsistency and hypocrisy is astounding

Another level of hypocrisy among the God-deniers, is their denouncement of God’s amazing designs in biology. It was clear that the design of the robots was mimicry of the design of the human body. Same height. Same use of binocular vision. Same use of limbs and joints found in human arms. Yet I hear from God-deniers all the time, “humans are designed badly”. It’s a ridiculous claim for God-deniers to say humans are designed poorly when scientists literally mimic the incredible designs by the Almighty to achieve discoveries on other planets.

Overall, the documentary was positive and encouraged people to be involved in engineering solutions and discovery. I support finding engineering solutions and discovery, but motivations and intentions matter. There’s much better motivations for discovery and engineering solutions than the most unsuccessful career path of all time: astrobiology!

eVideNce fOr eVoLutiOn!!!!

Well, Christians, after 2000 years it’s time to pack it up. It was a good run for Christianity, but it’s over. A modern day Chuck confirmed the 19th century Chuck’s theory of evolution with a link to an article that holds the smoking gun for naturalism. “Evidence for evolution is uNdeNiabLe!!!!”.

At least that’s the claim they are making.

Before we discard the only valid worldview that can justify the preconditions for intelligibility, let’s take a closer look at the claim of the evolutionists and cross-examine their assertions

Here’s the conversation on Twitter that led to the analysis of this peer-reviewed article. I challenged this particular God-denier to produce undeniable proof that creatures lacking a particular trait gained a new trait in an immediately subsequent generation via natural selection acting on random mutations. He posted this link to a peer-reviewed article on ScienceDaily from 2008.

Here are the 3 claims from that article that they assert is a demonstration of new traits that produced by natural selection acting on random mutations that previous generations did not possess:

  1. “Striking differences in head size and shape”
  2. “increased bite strength”
  3. “development of new structures in the lizard’s digestive tracts”

Let’s take their claims one by one to see if it is indeed an undeniable example of natural selection acting on random mutations to produce novel traits

Head Shape and Size

Just from the initial reading of the text, we see that a different size head is not a new trait. Variable sizes in existing structures (head, arms, legs, noses…) is not an example of evolution. In that same way that we see different domestic dogs breeds with different size heads (poodle, St. Bernard) but they are the same species, there is variability in the genes. There are people that are tall and short, big heads and small heads, long arms and short arms…but to claim that this variability within the same species is “evoLuTioN” is ridiculous. They might have helped their case if they had given some measurements before/after, but this vital piece of evidence is missing. The claim that “changes in head size” is an example of evolution is inconsistent, impotent, and unconvincing.

Increased Bite Strength

Again, just reading the text, we see that there is no new trait. I would have liked to go deeper into this radical claim from the authors, but apparently they recognize that their claim of “increased bite strength” as evidence for evolution is extremely weak because they gave no further validation of their assertions. No measurements. No differences. Just a claim. As with the head size claim, there’s no need to speak of this anymore as if it’s part of the “mountain of evidence” in support of evolution, because it’s just empty

New Structures in the Digestive Tract

That leaves the crushing weight of their claim firmly on the shoulders of this last “example of evolution”. Can it support the weight? Let’s see.

Tail clips taken for DNA analysis confirmed that the Pod Mrcaru lizards were genetically identical to the source population on Pod Kopiste

Genetically identical?!??! This is the 1st reason why their claim of “evoLuTioN” holds no water. If the DNA is identical, then there were no random mutations to produce a new trait. This is the fundamental assumption of evolution: At one time, the DNA instructions for traits (arms, lungs, wings, cecal valves…) DID NOT EXIST, but over time, the accumulation of mutations produced functional code that improved a creature’s reproductive fitness in a particular environment. Since there are no genetic differences, there’s no evolution. It is the same species. There are no DNA changes. By itself, this is enough to dismiss this article as “an example of evolution”.

These structures actually occur in less than 1 percent of all known species of scaled reptiles

These structures ALREADY exist in this species of reptiles. The new environment did not PRODUCE these structures. The new environment of the lizards was selection pressure on the lizards such that the existing DNA information for the production of these structures (cecal valves) was made manifest. Since the lizards already carried the instructions in their DNA to produce these structures, then there was no evolution that created these structures. It was the environmental stresses that caused these existing structures to be expressed. See epigenetics for more information. This second nail in the coffin simply ensures that the corpse of their claim cannot be revived

Lastly, I’ve been told by evolutionists that fitness is measured on populations and it must abide by the mutation rates. Now I have reason to doubt the mutation rates that have been published by evolutionists because of bad assumptions, but even if we accept the mutation rates that they propose, the formation of new digestion structures and the creatures ability to make use of the new digestive structures is impossible. From The National Center for Biological Information:

Simple calculations then show that the waiting time to improve one of these six of eight matches to seven of eight has a mean of 60,000 years. This shows that new regulatory sequences can come from small modifications of existing sequence

We have already shown that there were no mutations, BASED ON THEIR OWN ADMISSIONS, but even if we grant the possibility of mutations, the mutation rate is far too slow to have produced that necessary changes that they have proposed. They claim that the new structures appeared in 36 years, but the minimum time for even the smallest beneficial mutation to occur is sixty thousand years. By their own metrics, their claim is refuted.

It looks like the wild claim from the evolutionists was (again) long on assertions and short on evidence. There’s no reason after all to close down Christianity in favor of evolutionism. The claims by these evolutionists is not new or rare. You can see here other claims that evolutionists have made about the amazing powers of evolution are shown to be impotent when analyzed.

Book Review: The Best Religion For the Task At Hand

This is a response to the online book, The Best Religion For the Task At Hand by Damien Harrison, whose online personality is The Tall Friendly Atheist Dad. Writing a book is a huge task and Harrison should be commended for making the effort to write and publish his book. The book can be purchased for $10.99 Australian here. Should anyone read this review, it should be noted that critiques are of ideas, application (or misapplication) of reason, and not of the author himself

This will be a strange book review as the book that Harrison wrote was in response to an article that Lita Cosner (Sanders) of Creation Ministries International wrote in response to a conglomeration of online videos by God-deniers. So, this is a response, to a response to a response.

You’ll see throughout this response that Harrison is not solely responding to Cosner. He is attacking Christianity at large. I’m not interested in defending any arguments by Cosner, but I will be pointing out throughout that Harrison has no grounds for judging others because of his assumptions on origins and his failed epistemology. There are many times Harrison purposefully mischaracterizes Christian teachings and displays no more than a surface-level understanding of the Bible. You can see his quotes from his book in red italics below with my responses in the default back text

In the Foreword Harrison begins with an uncharitable definition of creationism that only God-deniers hold. It’s not just uncharitable, before taking on her arguments, Harrison has poisoned-the-well. He’s taken Cosner and painted her with a brush of derision so his audience will see her as incompetent

“Creationism – the strand of Christianity that dismisses the findings of numerous fields of science simply because the conclusions reached by the evidence don’t line up with a literal reading of the Bible…Furthermore, creationism is wrong for the reasons it thinks it is correct.”

Those, who hold to creationism (The Bible should be interpreted contextually) do not dismiss findings as is asserted, but are skeptical of the assumptions with which naturalists interpret facts. Harrison is hypocritical and irrational in his thinking, because shortly thereafter, he falsely accuses Cosner of engaging in the poisoning-the-well fallacy

Harrison misquotes her and then falsely accuses her of a fallacy. Costner did NOT poison the well. She presented the case that atheists have no logical ground and linked to an article that explains step-by-step why. It’s not clear why Harrison would leave out that crucial bit of information in his response, but atheists have no logical ground for holding to standards of honesty. It’s not a good start (or a good look) from Harrison to lead off with poisoning-the-well fallacy and then falsely moan when he feels poisoned

This misrepresentation persists. The difference is in the presuppositions. The science is not disputed. To say that what can be known about the distant past (millions of years ago) has the same veracity as arithmetic and physics that can be measured in the present is a false equivocation. We find this conflation in many online discussions and Harrison builds his case upon this false assumption. To assert something to be “wrong”, one must have an epistemology that can justify knowledge, morality, logic…which atheism/naturalism does not. How can the accidental aggregation of stardust declare anything to be absolutely right/wrong?

“To make myself clear, the purpose of this book is not to defame, slander, belittle or impugn any particular person or organisation. Its purpose is to criticise BAD theology by demonstrating how MORALITY and governance based on socially-restrictive theology leads to DETRIMENTAL outcomes on both a personal and societal level.”

We’ll just have to stick around to see if he can indeed make sense of words BAD, MORALITY and DETRIMENTAL. If he maintains his atheistic naturalism, we can expect only an inconsistent sermon about things that he finds icky or personally distasteful since that’s all that atheism can conjure up

“However, I do hope that this book becomes one data point among many in a body of opinion that slowly turns the cultural tide away from beliefs in magic and superstition, and towards a more HUMANE approach to culture and politics.”

Magic? You mean like the naturalistic explanations of the cosmic evolution, dark matter (sciency-sounding moniker for superstition), 1st star, abiogenesis, the emergence of consciousness, the emergence of morality/altruism, the emergence of reasoning from non-reasoning source, purpose… ALL of those are magic for the naturalist since nature does not produce any of those.

Humane? I guess we’ll have to read ahead to see why one clump of cells (Harrison) thinks that other clumps of cells (Cosner) are worth protecting in a universe “that exhibits the properties one would expect if there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, just blind, pitiless, indifference”

It’s rich that Harrison would project his own Nazi propaganda onto Cosner as if Christianity were simply “propaganda”. When in reality Harrison who dislikes the Germans for claiming that “Jews weren’t persons” literally claims that developing humans in the womb are “not really persons”. The irony is completely lost on Harrison when out of 1 side of his mouth he denounces the Nazis then with a forked tongue he uses the Nazi dehumanization of millions and millions of tiny unborn victims

Doubling down on a bad argument, Harrison then poisons the well with a false attribution of “Hitler was a Christian”. His citation of this long refuted fiction is based solely on the top half of his link. Should one venture to the second half of the link, a rational person will see that Hitler loved manipulating the church for his own Darwinistic purposes, but hated the actual teachings of the Bible and Christianity. As long as the term Christian served his propaganda, he was willing to hold the moniker. Harrison would have shown himself to be a diligent scholar rather than something of a propagandist himself by showing the actual scholarly writings of the Nazi leader by Richard Weikart. But his research was as deep as a hair’s breadth and as wide a particle from which he thinks consciousness arose. 

https://evolutionnews.org/author/rweikart/

P38 “Humanists take an active stance against slavery, genocide and torture and specifically because Humanists understand the needless harm, suffering and risk to life that these things have been shown to cause. When your goal is human well-being, when you know that certain actions result in harm and suffering, and when you have the power to reduce harm and suffering by neither participating in nor endorsing those actions, it’s simple – your morality is already superior to that of the Bible”

Defining the goal would be the appropriate place to start. He stated that the goal of humanists is to reduce harm and suffering of humans. That’s not a bad goal. In fact, most people would agree, but we have to dig a little deeper to see if there are any internal contradictions within this religion and how they handle mutually exclusive situations.

P41 “Bible actively endorses and celebrates things like slavert, genocide, and torture”

What Harrison fails to address is the slavery has existed since sin entered the world. People have treated others cruelly so long as they can get away with it. Outside of God’s revelation there are no justifiable transcendent limitations placed on humanity for how to we should treat one another. Throughout the Pentateuch limits were placed on masters that ultimately ended up being “Love your neighbor”. Outside of Israel, there were no restrictions on indentured servitude or slavery. For a more detailed understanding of the “active endorsement if slavery” see

The Bible Endorses Slavery

P45 Harrison takes the least charitable and least contextually-relevant reading of all texts to support his perpetual caricature of Christian theology

P47-48 “If a religious text happens to endorses (insert bad things) … that religious text deserves to be roundly criticised”

Using what transcendent standard should the criticism be based? If those doing the criticism hold the same view (atheism) that has caused more death, suffering, and hatred than any other view, why should that criticism be heeded?

Chapter 4 was the personal incredulity fallacy and essentially said “Since some Christians failed to keep the Sabbath, then Christianity is false.”

It’s a ridiculous chapter

Chapter 5 “Is God a Homicidal Maniac?”

With a title like that, (sarcasm font begin) there’s SURE to be no emotional or inflammatory arguments made by the author (sarcasm font end)

Cosner’s Actual argument: False Atheist Premise: That God routinely orders killing, and for arbitrary reasons”

Harrison criticizes Cosner for moving the goalposts but misquotes her argument leaving out the weightiest element of the argument

Harrison (partially) quoting Cosner “That’s a false premise. God does not routinely order killing”

Notice how Harrison (arbitrarily?) left out the word “arbitrary reasons”. God has never killed anyone for arbitrary reasons. 

I have had the privilege of having my writings critiqued by Harrison. One of Harrison’s favorite weapons is to claim: “yOu didN’t QuoTe tHe wHoLe cOnTexT!!!!!!”

It’s a shame that Harrison didn’t bother to apply that critique to himself, but do atheists even have a moral standard by which to make sure they uphold consistency or honesty?

Strawman arguments and uncharitable literalism (ignoring genre/context)  persist throughout the rest of the chapter.

In my online interactions with atheists, I hear all the time that the Bible or Scientists, who believe the Bible do not make any testable predictions. Notice how Harrison totally misrepresents Cosner’s arguments:

P73: “Parents will eat their children? Looks like God is endorsing familial cannibalism to me”

Not once did Harrison consider God’s foreknowledge of the future being revealed to Ezekiel even though that is what was clearly being communicated. God has knowledge of the future, and He’s telling Ezekiel that the impending punishment upon the rebellious Israelites will be so severe that they will eat their own family members. God’s knowledge not endorsement, but someone with only a surface-level reading of the Bible wouldn’t know the difference

On p75 Harrison tries to trap Christians on the horns of a trilemma but instead commits the trifurcation fallacy:

  1. Either the Bible does not accurately represent God (fatal to the fundamentalist cause)
  2. Christians believe genocide is morally OK (confirming you need to twist your morals to make Biblical morality acceptable)
  3. God does not actually exist (Rendering the Bible as pure mythology)

Considering that point 2 is false (Since God is the ultimate authority, He cannot commit murder/genocide) and there is at least 1 more option, even though Harrison has taken a class on philosophy, he’s clearly not putting what he learned into practice. There are any number of possible additional options, but 1 of them is 4. God has a sufficient justification to render judgment on a people group. Knowing that the Bible teaches that humans have ALL sinned and no one deserves God’s mercy, it’s not just a people group that can get righteous judgment, but ALL people have rightly earned God’s holy judgment. That ANYONE has received grace is an amazing fact and makes God worthy of praise.

Ch 6 Non-stop attack on reformed thinking. For a rebuttal on reformed thinking see https://carm.org/doctrine-and-theology/unconditional-election/

“I know two people does not a religious orthodoxy make, but if Cosner and my Methodist friend combined represent something approaching the norm of Modern Christian theology, then IT CAN ONLY BE SURMISED that not only does Christianity require you to shun more humane interpretations of morality in favour of being compelled to say nice things about God at every opportunity for the rest of your life, but Christianity also requires you to conclude that picking up sticks is treason and that babies need to be killed because they’re potentially dangerous.”

“Bottom line: If you’re not convinced that Christianity requires you to twist your morality to fit in re-read the above paragraph until you are.”

Essentially, Harrison says that if you don’t believe his atheistic caricature of Christianity, re-read his book until you’re convinced his caricature is actual Christianity.

Ch7 

Harrison starts off this chapter criticizing Jesus for upholding the laws given to Moses. But again, Harrison does so without a consistent & transcendent standard…just his temporal personal preferences.

Harrison misunderstands Cosner’s assertion that the Christian worldview justifies charity. He then proceeds to say that charity & government programs existed long before the Christian worldview became widespread. This is another of his examples of uncharitable and purposeful misreading to push his agenda. Cosner never said Christianity is the source of all government welfare as Harrison implied. But the Christian worldview is the sole ideology that can justify all human value, so that any charity would be expected. Were naturalism true, why help the weak or unfit? The humanist religion must deny one of their core tenets (survival of the fittest) or redefine it to claim to love charity

P87-88 “If Jesus endorses the Old Testament and was even around when it all happened then Jesus the son is just as answerable as God the father in all human rights violations and war crimes”

Anyone else see the problem with Harrison’s logic? Human rights violations. From where do human rights come? If not from God, then there can be no such thing as human rights! As much as Harrison hates Frank Turek, Harrison is literally stealing from the Christian worldview to argue against it. He does the same thing with the concept of war crimes…as if there is a transcendent standard of morality by which criminals must be judged for crimes. How did a cosmos made only of particles produce transcendent moral standards such that Harrison can pronounce judgment on the Almighty? It’s ridiculous of him

Since God’s nature is the source of human rights (humans are created in his image), God has never violated them. Since the transcendent moral standard comes from God’s unchanging character, He cannot criminally break them. God’s judgment for rebellion is just and since Harrison has no rational standard by which to judge the Almighty, his objection is a dismal failure

P90 Back in his early chapters, Harrison shrieked (incorrectly) that Cosner employed the poisoning the well fallacy…and then promptly poisoned the well against her. In his chapter called “What About Him?” Harrison leads off with the assertion that Jesus is a racist and implies that creationists (and by association with Jesus all Christians) are racist with his line “And let us not forget that Creationist white supremacist groups are still active today in Christian America.”

You’ll notice how Harrison insinuated that white supremacists are creationists (and followers of Jesus) so being a creationist/Christian opens you up to being a racist. He’ll hem and haw with “plausible deniability” and say that’s not what he intended, but the well is poisoned.

Ch8 Here Harrison tries to project his personal temporal preference (which he calls his religion of humanism) onto God. So, Harrison feels justified in condemning God for judging the sin of mankind in the worldwide flood. Does God not have the right to do with his creation as He wills? Why not? I covered this in a separate blog post, Stay in Your Lane. Harrison does not know how to properly do an internal critique. Should he want to correctly show why the Bible is incorrect regarding God’s morality, he must take on the Christian position (for purposes of argumentation) and show how it leads to an inconsistency or an absurdity. But as it is, his objections are just screaming at the air and stomping his feet.

On pg97, Harrison opines loudly and ignorantly about Jesus cursing the fig tree. Lost to Harrison and sadly even most Christians is what Jesus was actually trying to say. For reference, see Isaiah 5. God describes planting a garden and doing everything necessary for it to bear much fruit…to be a delight to the vinedresser. But the vineyard (Israel) fails to be a light to the nations (Isaiah 49). Instead, the vineyard is impotent…worshipping false idols and prostituting itself among the nations. As Jesus enters the last week of his life, He is justly judging Israel (the fig tree) never to bear fruit again because of their wickedness and their upcoming unjust murder of the Messiah (Matt 27:25).

P101 “To sum it up, ending the life of a plant or animal for the reasonable sustainment of life isn’t a bad thing – animals eat plants and animals eat other animals all the time. But killing humans in a fit of rage is a bad thing”

Why? According to atheists, what transcendent standard proclaims this to be true? How do you know? Would it be wrong to kill Trump? Putin? Tucker Carlson? Alex Jones? Hitler?

Secondly, I’ve heard from evolutionists that humans are simply animals. “Human beings are still fish” – PZ Myers. “Human beings are animals” – Dawkins

If humans are simply animals, what’s wrong with animals killing other animals? How do you know? What is the distinction between 1 type of animal and another type of animal with regards to killing? Flush with internal contradictions, the humanist, who has a faith commitment to evolutionism, has no rational justification for calling 1 type of interaction between animals as immoral and any other type of interaction between animals as moral. Only in the Christian worldview can the murder of humans be justifiably shown as immoral.

CH9 Harrison starts ch9 with a plan to “fix” Christianity by taking out God, and simply replacing it with secular humanism. All Fixed! He proclaims that the group of people, who are responsible for building, staffing, and supporting more schools, orphanages, hospitals, charitable donations, mission organizations, and general welfare should become more like the secular religion that has done NONE of that. I did find it interesting that there is one atheist orphanage in the world. So, in all of history and throughout all civilizations, there is only 1 orphanage created in the name of atheism. I do understand that humanism and atheism are not completely synonymous, but there is near complete overlap in their Venn diagrams. The orphanage is on tenuous financial grounds. We’ll see if the humanists can rally with actual financial support rather than just keyboard virtual signaling. But it does make one wonder, if humanists are so bent on helping the suffering, why is the only measurable metric of their actual assistance almost completely missing?

Ch10 Not realizing that Christianity is the explanation for all of history, life, origins and the future, Harrison declares that Jesus or his teachings are unneeded because “It is fair to say that if numerous independent cultures came to the same principles without Jesus (in this case The Golden Rule), it indicates that that The Golden Rule didn’t need a Jesus to make it.” (duplicate “that” in original)

But as Christians, we would expect the Golden Rule to be a worldwide phenomenon since humans are all created in God’s image. All humans know what is right/wrong in general because it is written on our hearts (Rom 2:15). So, his objection stems from an ignorance of the Christian worldview or malevolence against Jesus. 

CH11

Why didn’t Jesus teach people about antibiotics? That wasn’t his purpose. Throughout, the book, Harrison’s assumption has been that secular humanism’s goal, so he asks “Is your morality focused on maximising human well-being and reducing pain and suffering by having a rational understanding of the world around you or is your morality simply focused on making sure the feelings of an infinitely great and powerful God aren’t hurt because someone ate shellfish.”

But that is not the standard. The Bible is clear that God’s purposes are to be glorified by saving unworthy sinners. Jesus’ own words tell us why He came into the word. John 12:47. Paul affirms this revelation in his 1st letter to Timothy. Chapter 1 verse 15

Ch12 Harrison leads off with a howler:

“Because Cosner’s morality is based on the will of the supreme intelligence behind the creation of the universe as revealed in the Bible, there should be no possible way I could counter any of her arguments gained from that theology and methodology”

That’s like saying, “if the speeding laws in a country truly were from the state, there would be no way to argue your way out of a ticket with a police officer”

It’s just ridiculous

Next he does do a very good thing by defining terms. Unfortunately, his conclusions end up as temporal preferences rather than actual objective morality

“In my estimation, the essence of morality should be designed by what is universal to the shared human experience – health, wellbeing and personal and economic freedoms”

It’s fine to love your neighbor, and your enemies…in fact, this is the actual Christian position as opposed to what Harrison has been on about. In fact, my article about why Empathy is arbitrary, inconsistent, and irrational for the atheist exposes the utter lack of foundation from which atheists loudly prattle-on about their virtue. So, on which foundation do they stand to prattle-on? Knowing Harrison’s hatred for Frank Turek, atheists are literally stealing their worldview from Good in an attempt to make sense of their assumptions.

Getting back to Harrison’s prattling: ”Jehovah’s Witness families have died because of their parent’s belief that…it is better for their child to die…This is an abject failure of theism.”

Did anybody catch what he did there? It’s called a hasty generalization. “Because 1 theistic group did something I don’t like, then ALL theism is an abject failure”

Garrison doubles down on p133 (this is a paraphrase of Harrison’s 7 paragraphs) Westboro Baptist church says mean things, so Christianity is false

On p134 Harrison mocks the Bible as not being God’s Word because “When someone reads the Bible, they are free to interpret the text in any way they see fit”. The inferred point from him then is that if the Bible can be interpreted in many ways, then NONE of them are correct. This is a sweeping generalization, which takes the form: if there are many counterfeits then all are counterfeit. 

But Christians do not believe this and the Bible teaches against what Harrison says. The Bible is the revelation of God, and is justification for knowledge being possible at all (2 Tim 2:2, Act 17:11)

P134 Harrison doesn’t think his argument through when he opines about what he believes to be the total flexibility in biblical interpretation

“Case in point: In Isaiah 7:14, the word that is commonly translated as virgin in the verse “.,..the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son…” does not mean virgin – the original Hebrew word almah just meant a young woman of child-bearing age without ant reference to previous sexual activity” 

Harrison displays ignorance to the word he has grown to loathe – context. In what context was this Word from the Almighty spoken to Isaiah? The king of Judah, King Ahaz was worried about the imminent invasion from the most powerful army in that area of the world. He was considering a bad alliance and the LORD gave Ahaz the prophecy that the nations he feared would becomes desolate. And the sign would be that an “almah” would give birth to a son. Harrison believes it is likely that the LORD said: “a girl of child-bearing age will bear a son” as if that’s some sort of unusual state of circumstances. As if a girl of child-bearing age had ever had a son before as a sign that the most powerful army in that part of the world would be destroyed. Neither myself nor Harrison are Hebrew scholars, but Harrison’s opinion that God would give a sign that a woman would have a son as a sign from God is a lazy and ill-conceived objection. Because the Hebrew word also means virgin, the context clearly shows the word to hold the meaning that all Bible translators, all Hebrew scholars, and all Christians have known for thousands of years.

The Criteria p135

The crux of Harrison’s argument can be distilled to this 1 thing:

He has a subjective opinion that morality is “In my estimation, the essence of morality should be designed by what is universal to the shared human experience – health, wellbeing and personal and economic freedoms”

Let’s call it morality H. We’ll call Christianity morality C

Harrison claims that H > C based on H as the standard. But this is not a valid comparison. To determine TRUTH, a comparison would need to be done against a transcendent standard (T). Since atheism cannot account for unchanging, abstract, absolutes, the best Harrison can say is “My feelings are better than yours”

The strength of Christianity is that it does make a claim to be a transcendental standard. The unchanging, transcendent, absolute Monarch, who created and upholds creation, has deemed certain behaviors as moral and others as immoral. So like it or not: God’s creation – God’s rules

C = T

Therefore C > H based on the standard of T

Jesus said the greatest commandment (Matthew 22) is this “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

IN THAT ORDER. So, we as God’s creation and image bearers are to love God supremely and follow this with loving our neighbors (and even our enemies – Luke 6)

P146 “So it turns out that the best religion for the task at hand of helping inform a human-centric morality that increases well-being…is no religion at all”

While his whole book has been building a case against Christianity and for the religion of humanism, his last line of his book rejects his own premise. It’s a fitting end to a book filled with caricatures of Christianity, baseless assertions, and sloppy logic

Can Evolution Explain the Eye?

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The world is filled with magnificent biological designs and interrelated interdependent systems. I’ve been told that natural selection acting on random mutations has enough power to produce everything in biology. I’ve put these claims to the test several times

Well, I got a new challenge from a God-denier, who made the claim that evolution can even account for eyes. They provided a link to a “scientific” paper thinking they could bluster their way through a conversation without being skeptical. But I don’t fall to bluster so easily. Let’s analyze the claim to see if the scientists, who made the claim are asserting based on evidence or assumptions

Here’s how this works: I will post the quotes from the article in red and then just below the quote, I’ll post my analysis in the default black font preceded by a dash. I have bolded key words throughout, so the bold does not appear in the original work. Throughout, you’ll notice that instead of actual evidence, the authors of the article rely on assumptions. And those who are particularly intrepid and can work through this analysis to the end will be gifted with a unique surprise at the end

“Sight is an evolutionary gift

– Odd choice of words from a scientific journal. Notice how evolution is reified as a magnificent gift-giver. Sounds more like paganism than science

“Life probably first appeared ~3.7 billion years ago”

– Probably?!?!? Indeed

“more likely

– Aren’t we supposed to be talking about evidence rather than making assumptions?

“The opsin in rhodopsin probably evolved

Probably?!?!? Notice the use of the magic word: “evolved”. Do you care to go into the details? It seems like they missed a step in the explanation and tried to sweep the actual explanation under the “it evolved” rug. Pathetic!

“The passage of such molecules from microbial opsins to metazoan opsins probably came from a common ancestor as these are related, albeit distantly”

– Probably?!?!? Probably is used TWELVE times in the article. It sounds like a collection of assumptions rather than the actual evidence that we were told to expect

“Once an opsin (or the predecessor of the opsins) covalently bonded with retinal, perhaps in a cell with a cilium or two, the slow crawl to an eye began”

– Perhaps?!?! It’s a fine yarn, but the science-sounding veneer is wearing thin

Perhaps after 35 000 generations, an organism discovered that developing a concave cup instead of a spot produced a more successful and competitive organ for sight”

– I really thought this was going to be a peer-reviewed scientific paper, but it’s just probably after probably followed by reification fallacy. How exactly did the unguided, sightless process of evolution look ahead to discover anything? They don’t know

“As Nilsson and Pelger suggested, from an eyespot to an eyecup to a fully formed camera-style eye could take as few as 364 000 generations, and the production of such an eye in perhaps as short a period as half a million years”

– This is called hedging. Suggested. Could. Perhaps. It’s not even distantly evidence, just speculation

“If one assumes that the eye must provide spatial information to be defined as an eye, then the curvature of a cup would create the first eye, as primitive spatial information would be provided

– Notice how they just assumed that a critical component of the eye just popped into existence. It was needed, so nature provided. No explanation, just that it would be magically provided

“A cornea, lens, extraocular muscles (EOMs), and ocular adnexa were added as necessary

– In a cosmos with no design, no purpose, just blind pitiless indifference, what is necessary? How does the naturalist suddenly assume purpose and necessity? Even worse, the explanation is never given, just “it was necessary – so evolution provided” as if there’s design inevitabilities just waiting out in the ether to be added to biological organisms. It’s a ridiculous assumption by evolutionists

“Multiple such ommatidia would likely have been produced by gene duplication”

– That’s not science. It’s just an assumption wrapped in a façade of scientism

“The morphology of the compound eye would itself evolve

– Why do they continue to use the magic word: evolve, rather than explaining what happened? Maybe they don’t know so they just say “it evolved”

“Although little is known about its genetics”

– That’s actually optimistic. What exactly do you know AT ALL about its genetics?

“How this organism interprets the image it receives remains a mystery

– Indeed! Mysteries abound within this “scientific” paper

“These organelles are believed to have originated through ancient symbiosis with a red alga23 or perhaps other protists”

– Believed?!?!? Perhaps?!?!? Yawn. I was hoping to find some evidence in this scientific paper, but they keep giving me their beliefs. In addition to that, symbiosis is a paradox for evolutionists. Symbiosis is an unimaginable coincidence built on another unimaginable coincidence, but since symbiosis is observed, the evolutionist just says: “LooK wHaT nAtuRe diD!”

“convergent evolution”

This is a term that simply means: “We Darwinists don’t know how/why the same structures emerged in disparate species, but here they are, so nature must have done it twice”. It has no explanatory power…just a sciency-sounding term

“This ancient arthropod probably lived between 600 and 550 mya before the Cambrian explosion”

– Again, we’ll note that we’re dealing with assumptions and not science. The giant pink elephant in the room with which these authors fail to deal, is how did the extremely complicated eyes of the trilobite emerge via natural processes. They have no explanations just the assumption that nature was able to produce these complex eyes. Do you doubt my analysis of this sentence? Check out the very next sentence in the peer-reviewed scientific paper

“This would suggest that eyes were forming well before the Cambrian period but no record of such pre-Cambrian trilobites, or other animals with eyes, exists, at least to date”

– THERE IS NO RECORD (NO EVIDENCE) OF THE EVOLUTION OF THE EYE…just more assumptions. The key to those who claim that there’s a mountain of evidence for evolution is the hope that no one will actually read their peer-reviewed papers. They didn’t count on ApoloJedi skeptically analyzing their claims of evidence…only to expose that this “mountain” is a bottomless crater covered by assumptions

“As discussed earlier, the compound eye began, possibly in a worm-like creature, preceding the trilobites or contemporary to them”

– This sentence is further proof that anonymous internet God-denying keyboard warriors  have never read these peer-reviewed scientific papers. They Google search ‘the evolution of the eye’ and post the 1st link in the list. Little do they know that I’m not intimidated by their bluster. I’m literally taking these papers line by line and exposing the sheer blatant assumptions and complete lack of evidence. Because there is no evidence of the evolution of the compound eye of the trilobite, they have to say “the compound eye began”. It just began according to their assumption. No explanation. No evidence. It just began. When did the compound eye begin, evolutionists? “Possibly preceding trilobites or contemporary. We’re not sure” because THERE’S NO EVIDENCE

“There are at least six different models of compound eyes and it would appear that the most likely explanation is that the apposition-style eye came first and radiated into the other forms although this explanation is not completely satisfactory

– No doubt. There’s at least 6 options, but none of them are satisfactory.

“The octopus evolved later and exhibits a more derived eye that includes a lens, a horizontally oval pupil, and a highly sophisticated system of EOMs”

– Hey evolutionists, how did the compound eye of the octopus come about…the steps…the processes? “It evolved”. Ohhhhhh, that’s not a very compelling explanation for us skeptics of evolution.

“The agnathans are the closest extant relative to the first cephalochordates alive today, so we must rely upon them to help us understand the development of eyes in the early vertebrate lineage”

– Notice the assumption of common decent and since there is no evidence of a step-by-step progression from agnathans to humans, the Darwinists “MUST RELY” on these assumptions in their artwork to show the fabled evolution of the vertebrate eye. Highly suspicious

“The Devonian was an important period”

– To the accidental aggregation of stardust in an amoral purposeless blind pitiless indifferent cosmos, how do you justify what is “important”?

“Some spiders developed excellent eyesight and clever adaptations to squeeze the optics and neurologic equipment into very small spaces”

– Sounds very much like purposeful design rather than natural selection throwing together random mutations into “clever equipment” with efficiency and effectiveness.

“Shubin and his team discovered the fossil of Tiktaalik, which probably represents the transitional form from an aquatic animal to a terrestrial one”

– Probably?!?!? The contrary analysis of Tiktaalik exposes the evolutionary assumptions as impotent

“external eyelids appeared

– They just appeared! The explanation missed a step or 10,000

“Although our knowledge of dinosaurian vision is limited, we can make some assumptions based on the last common ancestor, indirectly related creatures and extant progeny including direct descendants”

– At least they admitted to making assumptions in this part, but they do fail to admit their assumptions about the ancestors and descendants of dinosaurs. There are no fossils of dinosaur ancestors. The evidence for dinosaur ancestors is completely missing

“We can conclude much of this from the avian lineage as birds are living dinosaurs”

– Not recognizing their own assumptions that birds are the direct descendent of dinosaurs, they try to make their assumptions count as direct evidence. It’s just an assumption, and their conclusions is based on the assumption – not evidence

“It is not known for certain”

– Clearly, but that doesn’t stop the authors from crafting a story filled with assumptions

“The Old World monkeys were separated from the New World monkeys and evolved a third visual pigment”

– There’s that magic “evolved” word again. No details. Just “nature-dun-it” I’ve been told that evolution simply means ‘change’. If indeed evolution just means change, can we substitute ‘changed’ in for ‘evolved’? Here’s what it would look like: “The Old World monkeys were separated from the New World monkeys and CHANGED a third visual pigment”. Maybe not. ‘Evolved’ doesn’t just mean changed. There’s way more magic built into the usage of the term

“This third visual pigment is not the same one as found in fish, reptiles, or birds, and likely represents an error in duplication of the LWL visual pigment”

Likely. More assumptions. Evolutionists assume that an accumulation of errors (mutations) produced all of life. It’s all they have to work with. But it strains the very limited of common sense to assert that you can gain function from an accumulation of brokenness

“they illustrate visual photopigment evolution in progress

– Isn’t evolution ALWAYS supposed to be in progress? I guess they have to assert this because observations of fossils show that “abrupt appearance” and “stasis” are the norm. No progress

In their conclusion (for those intrepid readers, here’s your gift from the scientists who authored their paper!):

“We know from computer models, and deductive reasoning, that eyes can evolve quickly”

No evidence? Just assumptions and intelligently designed (biased) algorithms that assert an evolution of the eye. This can’t be repeated enough: if there were evidence, they would have produced it in this article. But they didn’t. In their concluding paragraph they admit that the evolution of the eye is speculated based on a computer model. And it’s not just that they claimed eyes evolved – but that they evolved QUICKLY. The Grand Theory of Evolution has been taught that it takes lots of time to change creatures from one to another. It’s likely these authors are not familiar with the waiting time problem…although they should be.

As Christians we know that evolution cannot explain the emergence of the eye because it is contrary to what God has revealed in the Bible. But the analysis of the claims of the evolutionists has a purpose beyond just saying (from the Christian worldview) that evolution is in conflict with God’s Word, so evolution isn’t true. This purpose is to see if their claims (from their perspective) is legitimate. Do they indeed have evidence to support their claims? After reading through this article, you can see that their claims are impotent and the definitive answer is NO. There’s no need to be bullied when an evolutionist claims: “There’s a mountain of overwhelming evidence for evolution.” As I’ve done in this series of articles, I say “SHOW ME!” And when we peek behind the curtain, it’s one assumption built on another.

We can trust What God has revealed in his Word about the past, so we can trust Him about the future too

Bible Contradiction? Did Jesus Claim That No One Has Ever Gone to Heaven?

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It’s a fairly common online assertion that the Bible is “fuLL oF cOnTraDicTioNs!” by those who are unfamiliar with the common mistakes that skeptics make when they make such claims. In a recent online discussion, a God-denier claimed that that Bible was full of contradictions. The principle assertion of contradiction was that Elijah ascended into Heaven (2 Kings 2:11) but Jesus claimed in John 3:13 that no one but the Son has ever ascended into Heaven

https://twitter.com/AmputeeAtheist/status/1538180851002970113?s=20&t=lNX1CRdWwIG0GNEupkEzRQ

Before I begin the rebuttal, let the reader understand that God-deniers have no grounds for declaring anything to be contradictory. Unless one starts with the God, who has revealed Himself in creation, in the Bible, and in the incarnation, there is no possible justification for logic, knowledge, morality, or truth. So, when a God-denier (like AmputeeAtheist) claims that the Bible contains contradictions, he has no logical or knowledgeable grounding from which to determine anything to be contradictory. From the perspective of the God-denier, there is only chaotic matter. As the imminent naturalist Carl Sagan religiously stated: “The cosmos is all there is, or was or ever will be.” There is no room in the worldview of the naturalist for unchanging abstract absolutes like laws of logic or induction. Lastly, before I refute this critic, AmputeeAtheist has NOT demonstrated conclusively that this is even a contradiction. He has taken only a paper-thin glance at the words (likely from an atheist meme online) and declared lazily that it ‘jUsT hAs tO bE a cOntraDictiOn”. For it to actually be a contradiction, no possible explanation can exist (which I will show below), and AmputeeAtheist has failed to demonstrate that there is no possible resolution. The unjustified assertion that “there is a contradiction” is echo chamber material suitable only for the “atheist choir”.

Let’s see what Jesus said in John 3:13

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven

Is Jesus saying that no one has ever gone to Heaven? Would Jesus have been familiar with the 2 Kings passage that describes how Elijah was whisked off to Heaven in a chariot? Of course! So, why would Jesus make the claim that none have ascended into heaven?

To answer this, we must 1st look at the scriptures (the Old Testament) to see what Jesus was actually saying. Since the New testament is essentially the inspired commentary & fulfillment of what was revealed in the old testament, we should exegete (study the scripture) to see what Jesus might have meant when He said “ascend”.

Throughout the old testament, there is a theme that those, who met with God or interacted with God, did so on the mountaintops. This is important because man was incapable of getting to the “heavens” where God was. The understanding is that God must, in his grace, come down to meet mankind because man is unable to get to Him

  • Gen 8:18-22 When the ark landed on the mountains of Ararat, Noah built an altar to the LORD. Noah could worship the Lord, but despite the fact that Noah was at the highest point, he could not ascend to heaven
  • Gen 11 Shortly after the flood, the people intended to build a tower to the Heavens so that instead of proclaiming the Name of God as image bearers, they wanted to make a name for themselves as gods. The people at the tower of Babel failed to ascend to the presence of God.
  • Gen 22 God told Abraham to ascend Mount Moriah to sacrifice Isaac there. At the top of that mountain, God intervened and provided a substitute atonement for Abraham and his son. Abraham ascended as high as he could, but God had to descend from Heaven to meet with Abraham
  • There are 149 places in the ESV of the use of the phrase “high places”. Even the pagan worshippers, who setup their idols put them on the mountains or high places as a failed attempt to ascend to the Heavens or ascend to their false deity
  • Exodus 3 – Moses was tending his sheep on Mount Horeb and this is where God descended to meet with Moses. Moses could not ascend to Heaven. God had to come down to meet with Moses
  • Exodus 19 – Moses ascends Mount Sinai to meet with God, but since Moses cannot ascend into Heaven into the presence of God, God says in verse 9 “I am going to come to you” at the highest point you can possibly reach, which is far short of ascending to Heaven.
  • Exodus 34 – This theme is repeated but stated more clearly.in verse 2 God tells Moses to “come up on Mount Sinai” and in verse 5 it says “the LORD came down”. No one (including Moses) can ascend to Heaven in their own power.

Secondly and more importantly, let’s look to see in what context Jesus was speaking these words to Nicodemus. In the interaction Jesus has just scolded Nicodemus that as Israel’s presumed teacher, Nicodemus (while knowledgeable of the scriptures) does not understand them

Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

John 3:10-13

Jesus is taking from Proverbs 30, which is a lament by the author in his realization that rejecting the understanding/knowledge/wisdom of God is stupid. Jesus is equating the author of Proverbs 30 with Israel’s teachers of the law in general and Nicodemus specifically.

Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know!

Proverbs 30:2-4

The author continues saying that there is no who who can ascend into heaven to learn from God and return to teach the people about God. But in John 3, Jesus claims to ACTUALLY be the One, who has done this. Jesus has been in the presence of the Father, and He has both descended and ascended to the Father to bring both knowledge and forgiveness to mankind. Unlike what the skeptic has learned from atheist memes, Jesus is not claiming that no one has ever gone to Heaven. Jesus is displaying his rightful divinity and exposing, that despite their rote memorization of the law/prophets, the supposed teachers of Israel are unlearned (stupid) about God.

Nicodemus would also have recognized from Jesus’s words the passage in Deuteronomy 30 where Moses writes

“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?‘ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

Deuteronomy 30:11-14

For those, whom the LORD has called and empowered, the commands of God are expectations. To follow those commands, one need not perform the impossible tasks of “ascend to heaven” or swim “beyond the sea” to obey. And yet, when Israel (and ultimately all of mankind) do fail to keep God’s commands, Jesus is faithful to perform the impossible Himself: bring the knowledge of God from Heaven down to mankind and atone for man’s disobedience.

Jesus does not stray from his consistent train of thought in John 6 verses 38, 42-44 and 62-63

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me…So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day…Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

John 6

Jesus did not claim that no one has ever died and gone to Heaven. Considering Jesus knowledge of the scriptures, the context of his teaching, and the audience, it is clear that Jesus was identifying Himself as God, who has been in the presence of the Father, but has descended to mankind to bring knowledge and redemption.

We also see from Jesus’s disciples that they understood Jesus to be talking about Himself as descending from Heaven. John the Baptist says in John 3:31

He (Jesus) who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks an earthly way. He (Jesus) who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.

John 3:31-33

And Paul in Rom 10 and I Cor 15

But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘who will descend into the abyss?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

The first man (Adam) was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man (Jesus) is from heaven.

And while Paul did not specifically use the words ascend or descend in Philippians 2, it is clear that Jesus came from the presence of the Father in Heaven to descend to earth

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross

Philippians 2:5-8

There are no contradictions in the Bible. Although the God-denier was lazy and ignorant of the scriptures in making the claim that Jesus contradicted the scriptures with his words in John 3, with an understanding of the context, we see that it is silly to make such a claim. If you’re interested in more articles like this, check out the ever-growing list of refuted claims-of-contradiction by the author of Domain for Truth!

Because God, who knows everything and is eternally faithful, can be trusted in his revelation about the past, we can trust His revelation about our future

Can Evolution Explain Empathy?

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If you’re not familiar with my series of posts, which analyze the claims of evolutionists, who claim that “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution” feel free to browse the articles below

In these articles, we as Christians understand that evolution truly lacks explanatory power for anything that is in conflict with God’s eternal word, but for purposes of exposing the deficiency of the God-denier’s worldview, we have taken the claims of the evolutionists and put them to the test. Can they actually justify what they are trying to explain, or are their claims filled with assumptions and artwork? Today we’ll answer a God-denier, who feels that evolution can explain empathy.

You can read the entire article here. Let’s see what this author, Frans De Waal, thinks is indisputable proof that the evolutionary processes of natural selection acting on random mutations in the struggle for survival in an environment of limited resources – can in fact produce empathy

We tend to think of empathy as a uniquely human trait. But it’s something apes and other animals demonstrate

Right off the bat, we see that the author assumes that humans have evolved from either/both modern apes or other animals. But this is contrary to common evolutionary textbooks which teach that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. The BEST this author could claim would be to say either that there is evidence that the human/ape common ancestor already possessed the trait of empathy OR that empathy is a trait produced by the ambiguous and magical term “convergent evolution”

It’s good to have definitions and the author uses this definition of empathy

The act of perspective-taking is summed up by one of the most enduring definitions of empathy that we have, formulated by Adam Smith as “changing places in fancy with the sufferer.”

We’ll go with that definition

This capacity likely evolved because it served our ancestors’ survival in two ways. First, like every mammal, we need to be sensitive to the needs of our offspring. Second, our species depends on cooperation, which means that we do better if we are surrounded by healthy, capable group mates. Taking care of them is just a matter of enlightened self-interest.

Notice the unscientific and hopeful word “likely”. If this article were actual evidence of the ability of evolution to produce empathy, the author would have said “Here we see a population of organisms that had no empathy, but in order to survive the selection pressure, its direct descendants have empathy because of these XYZ mutations”. So, no science or evidence here

Let’s test the claim about mammals needing to be sensitive to the needs of our offspring…specifically the word “need”. Evolutionary processes (natural selection acting on random mutation) do not function based on a specific direction of “need”. This is a Post Hoc fallacy for the author to see that mammals care for their young THEREFORE evolution must have produced behavior that parents are “sensitive to the needs of our offspring”. If this were a scientific explanation, the author would have said “Mutations XYZ produced in parents of population group ABC the ability to be sensitive to the needs of offspring to account for selective pressure 123.” But that’s not what the author said. This author made the unwarranted claim that “since we see empathy today in mammals, then evolution MUST HAVE done it….somehow because we NEEEEEEEEED it”

In the second half of that claim, the author says that our species depends on cooperation because of enlightened self-interest. Now, the author has not yet defined “enlightened” or what evolutionary process produced “enlightenment”. For now, we’ll put this in the bucket of magic from which evolutionists invariably pull to “explain” some part of biology for which mutations don’t really fit.

It is hard to imagine that empathy…came into existence only when our lineage split off from that of the apes. It must be far older than that. Examples of empathy in other animals would suggest a long evolutionary history to this capacity in humans.

Again, the author fails to provide evidence of his claims and again, humans have not evolved from creatures, which exist today. Do you remember the definition the author used for empathy: the ability to “change place in fancy with the sufferer”? Yet no examples of mice or hippos explaining why they gave up a meal so that bats and ospreys could eat healthier. How many camels did the author interview to show that she (the camel) could change places in fancy with a sufferer?

But perhaps the most compelling evidence for the strength of animal empathy…

The goalposts have been subtly moved from: Empathy can be explained by evolution to Empathy exists. The next three paragraphs in the article bring emotional language like (“escape, reward, threat, arousing sympathy, crying, weep, tenderly, lightly touches, emotional connectedness, striking, carefully unfolded, notion of what would be good, screaming, yelping, distress…”) Emotional language isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t fit well in a paper, which is supposed to explain the ORIGIN of empathy rather than just its existence. The next paragraph begins with a comment that needs no comment

This is not to say that all we have are anecdotes

But a comment on the insufficiency of the article in explaining evolution’s tremendous power impotence is warranted. Why would he spend 3 paragraphs on impassioned anecdotes if the evidence from clinical studies on the origin of empathy were so very compelling? But let’s see what they have to say about the actual studies

it is a demonstrable tendency that probably reflects empathy, since the objective of the consoler seems to be to alleviate the distress of the other

“Probably”? “seems to”? I suppose I was expecting more conclusive answers than “probably” from a theory that flaunts bravado like “nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution”. Pretty tame

In fact, recent neuroscience research suggests that very basic processes do underlie empathy. Researchers at the University of Parma, in Italy, were the first to report that monkeys have special brain cells

Notice two things from this paragraph:

  • Humans did not evolve from monkeys. At BEST, an evolutionist could only say that humans and monkeys share a common ancestor or that convergent evolution produced the same mutation in both humans and monkeys. Strangely, evolutionists tend to like the convergent evolution fable that complicates their overwhelming math problems
  • The monkeys ALREADY had the “special brain cells. Their argument hinges on these “special brain cells” learning the ability to perform a function. No talk about how nature was able to PRODUCE these “special brain cells”. For their argument to work, they must show step by step via numerous successive slight modifications how random mutation produced these “special brain cells”. Just assuming they already exist and that “turning them on” will produce empathy in creatures that formerly did not have “special brain cells” is the post hoc fallacy

Biologists prefer such bottom-up accounts. They always assume continuity between past and present, child and adult, human and animal, even between humans and the most primitive mammals.

“prefer” ?!?!?? “always assume”?!?!? To prove evolution, evolutionists rely on their preferences and assumptions. Rather than giving us observations on the leaf nodes (humans and chimps alive today), a compelling argument for evolutionists would be to show evidence from their assumed common ancestor how empathy evolved by evolutionary mechanisms. This type of argumentation is completely lacking. Instead they give us “preferences” and “assumptions”…mixed in with some fine artwork from time to time

Empathy probably evolved in the context of the parental care that characterizes all mammals

“probably”?!?? I prefer evidence to probably. And why use the ambiguous term “evolved” rather than describing in great detail the process of the construction of genes/cells/organs that produce empathy, evolutionists sweep the details away with “it probably evolved”. When an evolutionist doesn’t know the process, they can conveniently hide it in the sciency-sounding phrase: “it evolved” or in this case “probably evolved”.

https://crev.info/2021/03/it-evolved-is-not-science/

Signaling their state through smiling and crying, human infants urge their caregiver to take action

Like many other evolutionists, the term “signaling” is just assumed to be part of nature. For them, no explanation is needed – just that signaling exists. But signaling is amazingly complex and requires at least:

  • Ability by signaler to signal
  • Need by signaler to signal
  • Medium for signaler to be able to transmit signal in a way that it can be perceived by recipient
  • Meaning in a signal (information)
  • Ability by receiver to interpret signal correctly
  • Ability by receiver to provide a survival advantage to signaler

These signals, which evolutionists just assume have remarkable parallels to information theory. Dr. Werner Gitt explains the complexity involved with sender/signaler and recipient/receiver in his book In The Beginning Was Information. It’s not just unlikely that evolution (natural selection acting on the single successive slight modifications of random mutations) could construct complex coding communication as shown below, it’s impossible

p60 In the Beginning Was Information – Gitt

During the 180 million years of mammalian evolution, females who responded to their offspring’s needs out-reproduced those who were cold and distant

How could the author possibly know the results of every single mammalian parent/offspring interaction for almost 67 billion days such that he could claim the warm ones were better than the cold ones? It’s a ridiculous claim that is both totally lacking in evidence and entirely unverifiable.

Effective cooperation requires being exquisitely in tune with the emotional states and goals of others

This is a post hoc pragmatic “argument” rather than the detailed step by step explanation of construction of genes/cells/organs that produce empathy. Again, rather than giving us evidence, the author tells us a fantastic story. Evolution does not require anything but the effective propagation of genes. Bacteria, mosquitos, mice and fish are far more measurably fit than humans but they didn’t require empathy. Pragmatism fails as an argument and evolution (survival of the fittest by natural selection) is completely at odds with empathy (preventing natural selection without a fitness gain).

The way a chimpanzee bashes in the skull of a live monkey by hitting it against a tree trunk is no advertisement for ape empathy

THAT sounds more like evolution than empathy. Darwin described nature as “red in tooth and claw”. It’s a reversal by evolutionists to say now rather than the survival of the fittest to now say that evolution produced creatures that purposefully prevent natural selection.

Lions kill cubs from other males – not empathy

The possibility that empathy is part of our primate heritage

“possibility”?!!?!? Again with the utter lack of evidence

What we need, therefore, is a vision of human nature that encompasses all of our tendencies: the good, the bad, and the ugly

More pragmatism. The author wants to “envision” an explanation, so he wishes very hard for evolution to be that explanation. Wishing it, doesn’t make it so

Emotions trump rules. This is why, when speaking of moral role models, we talk of their hearts, not their brains…Moral rules tell us when and how to apply our empathic tendencies, but the tendencies themselves have been in existence since time immemorial

“Emotions trump rules, but rules trump emotions.” Didn’t the author of the article proofread his article before publishing it? Within two paragraphs he completely contradicts himself, but within an evolutionary framework, what’s wrong with contradictions? Maybe being contradictory improves his fitness somehow.

Go back and read his last sentence…is he closing off a scientific paper that is full of overwhelming evidence or is he writing a conclusion to a fanciful epic? Sounds fanciful to me

Another analysis of the impotent claims of evolution in the books…blog. Don’t be intimidated by those who boast, “The evidence for evolution is overwhelming.” EVERY time one of these evolutionists has put up a link to an article that they think explains the theory of evolution, once analyzed, the claims fall far short of evidence

Conversely, we can trust the revelation of the One, who knows everything and is eternally faithful. God revealed in the Bible that He created the plants, animals, and people to reproduce according to their kinds, so evolution’s story is incompatible.

Apologetics Session 8: Evil and the problem of Atheism

Excellent Apologetics session. As Christians we must think biblically and not compromise with worldly philosophies

The Domain for Truth

apologetics_session_evil_and_atheism

Establish the need: Why is this session important? We often hear discussion about God and the problem of evil.  However we must not downplay or neglect the issue of evil and the problem of atheism.

Purpose: In this session we shall discuss four points to help us think about evil and the problem of atheism to realize that in wrestling with the problem of evil there is a problem with atheism.

  • All worldviews have the burden of proof of explaining how evil exists
  • Atheism undermine the existence of evil: What atheist have to say
  • If God is the basis for determining good and evil then there is no problem of evil
    God uses evil to bring about good

View original post 2,188 more words

Magic

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A beetle sees a cat jump so high and far in a single bound that the beetle can no longer see it. The beetle exclaims:

Magic! That’s impossible. It’s got to be magic

But all along, the cat was performing something completely within its domain of power even if the beetle could not understand it since ability like that is beyond its imagination

A cat sees a turtle purposely submerge itself in a pond and reappear hundreds of paw prances away. It exclaims:

Magic! That’s impossible. It’s got to be magic

But all along, the turtle was performing something completely within its domain of power even if the cat could not understand it since ability like that is beyond its imagination

Photo by Andrew Patrick on Pexels.com

A turtle see a bird extend feathered appendages from its torso, levitate into THIN AIR, and propel itself away at dangerous speeds. It exclaims:

Magic! That’s impossible. It’s got to be magic

But all along, the bird was performing something completely within its domain of power even if the turtle could not understand it since ability like that is beyond its imagination

A bird sees a human enter a stationary impenetrable 4-wheeled box and after that box leaves and returns, the human emerges unharmed with three dozen eggs. It exclaims:

Magic! That’s impossible. It’s got to be magic

But all along, the human was performing something completely within its domain of power even if the bird could not understand it since ability like that is beyond its imagination

Photo by Couleur on Pexels.com

A human God-denier sees God’s eternal power and divine nature in the things that have been made. It exclaims:

Magic! That’s impossible. It’s got to be magic

But all along, God was performing something completely within His domain of power even if the God-denier suppressed the knowledge of God in unrighteousness and mocked Christians for believing in magic

The mockery of Christians for “believing in magic” is an immature and lazy argument, because the Almighty has no restrictions within his domain – which is everything. For the God-denier to shriek “you believe in magic” is the same as the beetle attributing magical powers to cats. Don’t argue like beetles

And all along the beetle, cat, turtle, and bird praised God for his common grace

Can Evolution Explain The Indonesian Mimicry Octopus?

In an online exchange, I asked a God-denier to provide evidence that evolution could explain the origins of the Indonesian Mimic Octopus. This exchange happened after after the person with the Twitter profile name, @AmputeeAtheist, called a Christian brother “stupid” for showing in an article how evolutionists have bad assumptions rather than evidence for their theory

In the link that @AmputeeAtheist provided which supposedly provided proof that evolution can explain the origins of any octopus…let alone the Indonesian Mimic Octopus, we are given several options to choose from to verify his claims.

Unbeknownst to @AmputeeAtheist, since he failed to read his own link, the second article in his list was written by Dr. Brian Thomas, who works for The Institute For Creation Research. How embarrassing for him

Embarrassing Link for God-Deniers

If you haven’t had a chance, stop now and watch the video in @Rational_faith_ ‘s article about the Indonesian Mimic Octopus. God’s design is indeed wondrous!

As I have done in my series of articles exposing evolution’s inability to explain anything, I’ll take a couple of the “scientific” articles in @AmputeeAtheist ‘s link and expose how there’s no actual evidence in them, but they are littered with assumptions and ambiguity:

Here’s the first article in the list – https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/60/11/962/329655?login=true

Most of the article is behind a paywall, but the article reveals how little these highly-trained lab coats know about the evolution of octopi.

“remarkable”
“astonishing”
“unusual”
“There is also conflicting research about whether its defense mechanisms are learned or inherited”
“The researchers had predicted…Instead, they discovered…”
“evolved”

“the traits evolved”

You’ll notice the deafening lack of details and the monumental surprise of the researchers that an octopus could have evolved

The second article in @AmputeeAtheist’s link, as was pointed out earlier, was written by a Christian, who trusts God’s revelation in scripture that animals were created rather than evolved, so there’s no need to expose the evolutionary deceit there. But you can read this magnificent article here. So, we’ll move on to the next article

This article is FULL of assumptions and ambiguity but is however lacking evidence that evolution can explain the origins of the Indonesian Mimic Octopus (IMO). Let’s review what it would take to show evidence

  • DNA of direct ancestor species of IMO without mimic traits
  • Repeatable evolutionary mechanism (X) that creates the information that builds phenotypic traits for the IMO to mimic more than 15 disparate species
  • Repeatable evolutionary mechanism (Y) that creates the information that controls (software) the phenotypic traits for the IMO to mimic more than 15 disparate species
  • Both mechanisms (X) and (Y) must be unguided and shown to be mechanisms that transform DNA base pairs in single, successive, slight modifications

Let’s see if this article contains any evidence like that or if it’s filled with assumptions

Before you shriek “Quote-mining!!!!”, you can read the whole article here and if you can show that instead of assumptions and ambiguity, there is actual evidence, be my guest. But on to the analysis. NOTES: Quotes from the article are in italics, and my comments of each quote are directly below:

flatfish swimming appears to have evolved concurrently with extremely long arms

Notice that the details are missing. And asserting (completely without evidence) that anything evolved concurrently is incompatible with evolutionary assumptions that the process of evolution proceeds with numerous, successive, slight modifications

the subsequent diversification of their descendents into lineages with successful conspicuous defence behaviours, remains a puzzling topic in evolutionary biology

Puzzling? Clearly!

have evolved

Details missing!

Maybe we’ll find the answer in the section titled: TOWARDS AN EVOLUTIONARY UNDERSTANDING OF A CONSPICUOUS PRIMARY DEFENCE IN T. MIMICUS

explore possible scenarios for the evolution

Possible scenarios? You mean there’s no ACTUAL evidence, just possible scenarios? That’s what I’ve been saying all along

Central to this investigation is the well-documented fact that many behaviours, including visual defences and their associated body colour patterns (e.g. Brodie III, 1989), are heritable traits

The link supposedly pointing to Brodie’s article is broken and subsequent search for the CENTRAL PILLAR TO THIS INVESTIGATION was fruitless. An article written by Brodie, on which their whole research relies, is missing in action

we assume

Obviously!

possible social mimicry…may also influence

More assumptions

evolve at the same time

Details missing!

Exaptations, by contrast, are traits that ‘are fit for their current role … but were not designed for it’

There is by definition NO DESIGN in evolution.

evolved originally either as adaptations for other uses

Details missing!

is likely to have evolved early in this lineage

Details missing! Assumptions abound!

we estimated genealogical relationships

Estimated? Estimated? I thought this was supposed to be about evidence

In the event of discrepancies between our observations and published accounts we followed our own observations

There was a fine chart (Figure 2) that presumed to show evolutionary relationships. However, they brought their own argument into question that they relied on evidence rather than subjective opinion in their admission above

appears most closely related

Ambiguity persists in that quote

may have evolved

Lots of assumptions and the details missing!

it appears that

Ambiguity persists

behavioural and morphological traits emerge concurrently

Incompatible with evolutionary assumptions that the process of evolution proceeds with numerous, successive, slight modifications

may have yielded

More ambiguity

may have evolved

Details missing!

may enable

More ambiguity

may evolve imperfect mimicry of an intermediate form

More ambiguity and where’s this intermediate form? ANOTHER missing link?

Although the lack of a conclusive flatfish model has generally been identified as a weakness in the cephalopod mimicry literature (Hanlon et al., 2008), we feel it reflects imperfect mimicry of multiple models in regions of high biodiversity

Feelings and weaknesses saturate this article

We do not know how potential unpalatability…may further contribute to predator confusion, learning, and/or future avoidance

They DO NOT KNOW…no doubt

The pattern is emerging that evolution, while presented as a theory with oVerWheLmiNg evidence, is instead supported by massive assumptions behind a venire of white lab coats

The Altruism Exchange – Part 4

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The Tall Friendly Atheist Dad (TFAD) didn’t care much for my questioning of the ‘one true religion of Darwinism’. Last year, I wrote a post asking the question “Can Evolution Explain Altruism?” and after exposing the claims of those, who answered affirmatively, as impotent – TFAD put quite a bit of time and effort into a 4 part rebuttal. I answered his first 2 submissions in Part 1 and Part 2 of my replies, and for the most part TFAD wasted his “shots” on nit picking and majoring on the minors. In his third objection, TFAD did address the substance of my arguments, but my rebuttal of his objections showed that my original contention is escaped his objections without damage. Let’s see if his final objection can make him a champion for Darwin by slaying anyone, who would dare question the narrative or if his best quality is his friendliness.

Right from the start TFAD attacks the argument messenger

TFAD: “…you’re trying to counter scientific ignorance writ-large in the form of Fundamental Evangelicalism combined with Presuppositional Apologetics…After much consternation, I’ve decided to release the 4th and final part, but with most of the links removed. Not that Creationists care much for them”

So, TFAD postures his stance in his final response with the assertion that his opponent is “scientifically ignorant” and never checks sources. TFAD quickly forgets that checking sources is what started this discussion. Way back in the original post TFAD posted the link that would birth this discussion shown in the picture below (TFAD comments in red)

He’s not off to a good start, since while some creationists or presuppositionalists that he’s encountered in the past might have ignored a link or been ignorant of the teachings of evolution, The ApoloJedi guild is not so easily dismissed. TFAD now moves to object to the use of presuppositional apologetics and defines it as special pleading

TFAD: “they need this out BECAUSE the evidence from philosophy, morality and especially the natural sciences all defeat the case for God’s existence and his superior qualities when considered strictly on their merits”

This is tone deaf bluster as each of these categories is the “home field” of the Christian. In matters of philosophy, only Christianity can justify logic, reasoning, and knowledge. In fact, I recently asked the question of the naturalist “Can Evolution Explain Reason?” and similarly showed naturalism to be devoid of explanatory power. His bluster gets insanely absurd when he claims that evidence for morality defeats the case for God’s existence. The most famous of God-deniers, Richard Dawkins, proclaims of atheism

RD: “The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”

Any morality that a God-denier might propose is subjective, self-defeating, and irrational as shown

His final claim that the evidence from the natural sciences is one that we can debate only because Christianity is true as was shown earlier in the link regarding logic, reasoning, and knowledge. Should an atheist want to discuss evidence, they would need to demonstrate that their worldview can consistently and sufficiently provide a foundation for the very things on which evidence relies (logic, induction, truth, and morality), and because of their epistemic assumptions, none can possibly be forthcoming.

TFAD: “ApoloJedi has only used a social definition of altruism, ‘good done for no thought of reward’, not an academic one. If ApoloJedi is trying to convince like-minded believers of his position, mission accomplished, but has he done enough to convince rational skeptics like me? No.”

OK. Can we observe behaviors in creatures today that one would define as the social definition of altruism? YES! Those observations are seen without question. I asked the question whether evolution can explain those behaviors, and it cannot. TFAD wanting to protect his strongly held faith commitment to the religion of survival of the fittest would rather redefine altruism to mean something that involves a reward, so that the dogma of ‘natural selection acting on random mutations in the struggle to produce the most fit offspring’ might have a minute chance of partial explanation. But it’s just like when the staunch evolutionists vainly and incorrectly claimed to have defeated Behe’s mousetrap analogy by saying “But HERE’S a different mousetrap that doesn’t look like your analogy”, TFAD says “But HERE’S a different kind of rewarding altruism (not true altruism) that isn’t defeated by your scandalous questions.”

In a response to my quote that reads “it is my intent to always revere Christ Jesus as the authority in all matters”, TFAD has this to say with incredulity

TFAD: “In all matters, especially scientific? But why? Why would anyone hold as a scientific authority a person who – despite being the one who created the universe (Colossians 1:16) – didn’t know or care to teach about bacteria or atoms or DNA? What was Jesus’ knowledge about electricity or vaccines or neurochemistry?”

Yes. All matters. Hold on for some scriptural support of my original claim and then some comments

  • 2 Cor 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
  • Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me
  • Eph 1:20-21 when God raised Jesus from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come

From Abraham Kuyper “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” So, Yes TFAD, Jesus is authoritative over scientific matters, electricity, vaccines and neurochemistry. And while Jesus has an eternal dominion over these fields of science, the things you currently believe about science will be mocked as archaic by natural philosophers a few hundred years into the future. Your own epistemology of provisionalism gives you no certainty that your temporal faith commitments are anything other than your opinion.

In critiquing this line in my post: “and not put the God-denier in the judge’s seat as if he/she can correctly judge evidence in accordance with a perfect perception of reality. Only God has a perfect perception of all of reality” TFAD had this to say:

TFAD: “This is a common line from Pre-Suppositionalists that I believe actually betrays why they’re reluctant to apply the same standard to God as what they happily do every day to everybody and everything else. It’s funny – Pre-Suppositionalists, and even most Protestant Evangelicals, will happily sit in judgement over other people’s behaviour, over the morality other religions, the existence of their associated deities, and over the morality and judgement of certain presidential candidates and their families – yet when it comes to their deity, suddenly being in the judge’s seat is wrong. You can’t have it both ways. Either judge nothing on its merits, or judge everything on its merits”

Unknowingly TFAD has stepped beyond the perceived safety of the modern academic paradigm, and has jumped into the presupp-infested waters of metaphysics. STANDARDS. Oh yes, God has his standard of righteousness on which everyone will be judged. Those, who are in a right relationship with Jesus by grace through faith will not be punished for their wickedness, but those who are dead in their trespasses will face righteous judgment from the Eternal Judge. Regarding his lament that God sits in the judgment seat but denies that seat to the God-denier as special pleading – it’s only special pleading if God is not the eternal Judge. In the same way that it’s not special pleading for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to sit in his judges chair and pass judgments (along with the other SCOTUS judges) and deny Neil Young a place at the judge’s seat. Because Neil Young is a has-been musician not a judge. It’s idolatry for the creation (mankind) to think of itself as the Creator or in any way worthy to be sitting in the holy judgment seat. If you want to “judge everything on its merits”, what is your merit (standard)? When the standard is God’s Holy Word, the God-denier will quickly withdraw his desire to be judged on that merit

TFAD: “Now, let’s ask the question: from the Bible’s perspective, how accurate does God perceive reality? Badly is the answer. For example, Genesis 1:6 describes a firmament, a crystalline dome that divides the sky from outer space and has windows to let the rain in (Genesis 7:11) and covers the earth. And let’s be clear: the Hebrew word for firmament, “raqiya”, means a solid dome, not simply the atmosphere”

While I could remind TFAD that his own epistemology is provisional, and he himself does not and cannot truly perceive reality with perfect accuracy, we’ll analyze his misunderstanding of the biblical text that he notes. He claims that God believes that the firmament or expanse from Genesis 1 is a crystalline solid dome. Not unsurprisingly TFAD did not quote Genesis 1:20 that says the birds fly in the expanse, so it could not be solid.

TFAD: “Genesis also describes the moon as a “lesser light” in contrast to the sun being the “greater light”. The problem? The moon has no capacity to generate light”

Looks like TFAD has revived his classic picking-at-nits argument. God clearly defined his purpose for the moon and as a reflector, it functions quite well. But if the moon were a fusion reactor like Solar, the earth would be completely sterile from a star so close. What else might happen is a tiny star were so close to Earth? When the fusion materials were depleted, it would go supernova, and that would end poorly for the biological creatures God had designed for his glory. TFAD although wanting to be the Judge and the Creator didn’t think that one through very well.

TFAD: “But let’s continue to evaluate God’s perception of the reality he supposedly created. Isaiah 11:12 refers to the four quarters of the earth, which is a reflection of a classic belief that the earth was a circular disk, not a globe. Job 38:19 asks “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?”. Light doesn’t live anywhere – light is an electromagnetic wave in certain bands of wavelengths, and darkness is not a thing, it’s merely the absence of light.”

This is a common tactic from God-deniers – force wooden literalism onto poetic passages. We’ll chalk this up as continued nit-picking as these lazy objections have been addressed even before Al Gore invented the internet

TFAD: “And the Bible is without any description of our local solar system. God, not once, mentions any other planets”

That’s like saying, “My toothbrush, although it can float, cannot launch F-18 Hornets into the sky therefore the inventor of toothbrushes is an idiot!” God’s purpose in the Bible is to teach us how to be in a right relationship with Him. He left many things for people to discover for His glory, so it is absurd to declare that God does not have a correct perception of reality because He didn’t catalogue all knowledge.

To my valid claim that “God, who is the source of all knowledge, has revealed some of his knowledge so that we can know those things with certainty” TFAD responded:

TFAD: “Only if we are willing to cede our intellect (as well as our humanity) to a book written by men who wondered where the sun went at night.”

It’s likely that many of you have heard this little jab that the authors of the Bible (kings, doctors, philosophers, warriors, judges, lawyers) were dimwits. Secondly, as has been pointed out many times, “intellect” is only possible because Christianity is true. Were humans simply the accidental aggregation of stardust, intellect would not be possible, knowable, or trustworthy

TFAD: “Does God command altrusim (sp) ? Only when he’s not commanding genocide (1 Samuel 15), endorsing slavery (Exodus 21), literally de-valuing women (Leviticus 27), having his people kidnap little girls after their parents and brothers have been murdered (Numbers 31), and much, much more.”

God-deniers seem not to comprehend the difference between judgment and genocide as they irrationally judge God without warrant. To the God-denier, what’s wrong with disintegrating aggregations of particles in an amoral cosmos? They have no consistent/justified moral foundation on which to stand. Slavery? Again, to the God-denier, why is slavery wrong? On what basis do you declare ANYTHING that God commands as immoral? The best they can say is that they don’t personally like it at this time since they have no absolute standard by which to judge others. Would it be too much to duplicate the meme of the boyfriend looker from above to highlight the inherent problems of those, who outwardly deny God, recognize the need for moral absolutes? Why not – as it’s my new favorite meme

Now we get into the part of TFAD’s objection where he exposes his ignorance of the concept of an “internal critique”. An internal critique is taking on the perspective of your interlocutor and showing how (within his own viewpoint) his perspective leads to a contraction, an absurdity, and/or inconsistency. An external critique, which is far less persuasive in terms of argumentation, is showing an interlocutor why they are wrong according to one’s own view.

TFAD: “ApoloJedi isn’t saying the theory of evolution is unscientific because he has conferred with those with professional qualifications and done a comparative study of numerous genomes to come up with a competing data set that has withstood scientific scrutiny to the point that it attracts academic attention. No. He is saying evolution is false because it is discordant with his theology”

He said this in response to my brief explanation that evolution is incorrect according to the truth that God revealed in both the Bible and in nature from the Christian perspective (external critique). But I immediately continued with the summation of the blog post which showed from the internal critique (analyzing the teachings/writings of evolutionists in their failed attempt to explain altruism via evolution) that the theory of evolution is impotent in accounting for anything altruism. This was a very brief recognition that evolution is not just wrong from my own perspective, but also from theirs

TFAD: “The article didn’t enter the worldview of the God-denier, for the simple reason that ApoloJedi’s article was a theological hatchet job, and evolution is a science issue – not a theological one. Christians such as Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Theodosius Dobzhansky and Pope Francis see no threat to their faith when looking at the theory of evolution, so why does ApoloJedi?”

If I had not been doing an internal critique, I would have filled my blog post with links to ICR.org, Creation.com, and AnswersInGenesis.org (because they are awesome websites). But that would have been an external critique of evolutionism. But I didn’t. I asked evolutionists to account for their claims, and they could not. Regarding Francis and Francis: I do not share the same faith (also named the same and share some elements) as Francis Collins and Pope Francis, so the critique was warranted

At the end of his blog, TFAD falls right back into the very same thinking that my original post exposed as impotent. I showed that the only way that “altruism” can possibly be explained by evolution is by redefining altruism to mean something that it does not mean

TFAD: “cooperative tendencies…natural selection and social selection have worked and do work against individuals who do not help and share with others…reciprocal altruism, ‘strong reciprocity’…Kin‐based altruism benefits biological relatives”

As though he had not read the original post that showed these terms clearly as redefining the word – altruism, TFAD tries to throw “strong reciprocity” at the evolutionary paradox again thinking maybe no one would notice this time.

Hopefully, this discussion will help those, who feel like they must bow obediently to whatever those in white lab coats tell you to believe without any critical thinking. Because, with some skeptical analysis, we can see that bias drives a lot of research and just because evolution is popular doesn’t mean it’s true.