Sunday Walk 70 – Search Me, O God

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24 King James Version

When I was about ten years old, I recall reading how chickens evolved from dinosaurs in some publication for children telling me about “science” to help improve my reading skills. At a party I told my aunt all I knew about it which wasn’t much. She thought I was funny, but played along. My uncle with more concern over what I was reading corrected me, but he didn’t have the authority in my child’s mind that the publication I could now read did.

Today, decades later, I still have to trust authorities, but I am more skeptical realizing these authorities serve an underlying set of presuppositions. They explain observational data to support their presuppositions. That is really what “explanation” means. Given a set of presuppositions and some facts come up with some rationalization so that the presuppositions do not have to be falsified. Then try to convince others that those explanations are plausible.

If one’s presuppositions are true, there is nothing wrong with that. So one has to be careful not to throw out true presuppositions for false ones. One would be deceived in rejecting one’s original presuppositions if they were true.

For a Christian, the Bible should be the way to test one’s presuppositions and one understands the Bible through the Holy Spirit. Realizing this I am wary of any argument that attempts to undermine either the Holy Spirit or the Bible. As I’ve come to realize, they are more consistent, more coherent, and in line with more operational science than evolutionary alternatives.

So, what about those chickens that allegedly evolved from dinosaurs?

The evolutionist presupposition is that species evolved from non-living chemicals building up their genetic diversity over hundreds of millions of years. This allows them to either reject a creator God entirely or assign God a role of guiding this evolutionary story. They believe that mutations and adaptation, not creation, are the mechanisms allowing life to build up its genetic information.

The biblical creationist presupposition, based on Genesis, is that God created mature baramin. These baramin, or created kinds, can be seen as loaded with genetic diversity at the time of creation. Adaptation allows them to diversify into the various species we see today. These adaptive changes occurred within each baramin, not across baramins. In contrast to the evolutionist view, mutations drive a species to extinction by eroding away genetic information. They do not increase it.

To justify the speculation that the chicken evolved from the dinosaur, the evolutionist needs to find intermediate fossils showing creatures that look like both birds and dinosaurs. They have tried to describe some fossil data, such as Archaeopteryx, Scansoriopteryx, and Microraptor, as “feathered dinosaurs”. However, not even all evolutionists find those explanations plausible.

From a creationist perspective Jonathan Sarfati and Robert Carter remarked, “Scripture explicitly teaches that God made birds (and other air creatures) and sea creatures on Day 5 of Creation Week. He made land animals and man on Day 6. Since dinosaurs were land animals, they have a different origin from birds, and indeed came after birds. Therefore the Bible contradicts dino-to-bird evolution.” Any “feathered dinosaur” would be interpreted as a bird or a land animal, not some mixture of both.

As I see now my uncle was right. I regret I did not realize that when I was ten years old. I could try to excuse myself pointing out that I was still young, but I am tired of making excuses. Besides, it is repentance, rejection of the “wicked way”, that leads to the “way everlasting” of Psalm 139.

Weekly Bible Reading: Haggai and Zechariah
David Pawson, Haggai, Part 56, and Zechariah, Part 57, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Haggai and Zechariah
Weekly Torah Readings
30 Kislev, 5782, Mikeitz: Parashat Genesis 41:1-44:17; Haftarat I Kings 3:15-4:1

Atlantic Ocean, Clouds and Boat
Atlantic Ocean, Clouds and Boat

Sunday Walk 63 – The Biblical Age of the Earth

We are in the year 5782 in the Jewish calendar. It represents the number of years since the creation based on the ages of people in the Bible. This would put creation in 3761 BC (that is, 5782-2021). However, others using various biblical texts calculated this differently. For Luther the creation occurred in 3961 BC. For Kepler it was 3993 BC. For Josephus it was 5555 BC.

Robert Carter gives reasons for these discrepancies in his Origins interview. At about 23:00 in the video he offers as an estimate 4220 BC as the year of Creation using the Masoretic text. This estimated date has a range from 3822 BC to 4339 BC. If that estimated date is correct, the earth would be about 6241 years old within a range from 5843 to 6360 years old.

Robert Carter, Origins: What’s the Biblical Age of the Earth?

Chris Hardy and Robert Carter present this in more detail in their article The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth.

Given these estimates of the age of the Earth we can construct more detailed chronologies of when things happened. Those with competing chronologies can do the same with their estimates. The problem with having a very old estimated age of the Earth is that we also know rates of erosion or entropy. The older the estimated age, the more likely it will be falsified by some rate of decay. For example, a fossil cannot be older than the time it would take for erosion to wash the fossil away.

The Biblical account also provides the means by which the Earth (and universe) began. God was responsible through creation meaning there was an all-powerful intelligence right at the beginning.

Those who reject such a starting point need to come up with some plausible way for the universe that we see today to even be here. They need to provide a coherent explanation of a starting point and identify mechanisms for any evolutionary steps taking us from that starting point to our current state before entropy of some sort washes it all away.

Weekly Bible Reading:  Ezekiel (Audio)
10 Cheshvan, 5782, Lech-Lecha: Parashat Genesis 12:1-17:27; Haftarat Isaiah 40:27-41:16
David Pawson, Ezekiel, Part 42 and Part 43, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Ezekiel (1-33)

Sunday Walk 61 – Adam and Eve

The genetic evidence strongly suggests that Y Chromosome Adam/Noah and Mitochondrial Eve were not just real people, they were the progenitors of us all.

Carter, R.W., S.S. Lee, and J.C. Sanford. An overview of the independent histories of the human Y-chromosome and the human mitochondrial chromosome. 2018. In Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Creationism, ed. J.H. Whitmore, pp. 133–151. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Creation Science Fellowship.

After the Fall, Adam named his wife Eve. (Genesis 3:20) Today geneticists talk about Y Chromosome Adam and Mitochondrial Eve. The controversy is over estimates of how long ago they lived. If the estimates are over fifty thousand years ago, and you believed it, that would strongly show the Bible is wrong. If the estimates are under ten thousand years, and you believed it, that would confirm the biblical account.

The Bible also mentions a global flood with three couples, Noah’s sons and their wives (Genesis 6-8). This population bottleneck should appear in the genetic record as well and indeed one can find it. Nathaniel T. Jeanson and Ashley D. Holland in 2019 “confirm a 4,500-year history for human paternal ancestry”.

At about 25:00 in the video below John Sanford provided seven lines of genetic evidence supporting the idea of a literal Adam and Eve.

(1) Mitochondrial Eve
(2) Y-Chromosome Adam
(3) Population Bottleneck
(4) Designed Variants in Genome
(5) Babel Dispersion
(6) Ape-to-Man Refuted
(7) Genetic Entropy

John Sanford, Genetic Entropy, Evolution & the Bible

Does that make you look at yourself differently? Do you still think that you are evolved stardust? None of us are.

Additional information on Adam and Eve and other science topics can be found at LogosRA.

I will include the Parashat Torah readings and Haftarah selections from the rest of the Bible in this set of readings since yesterday the reading of the Torah began again in Genesis. I will be using the calendar to find the name of the reading and the Jewish Virtual Library for the verses involved.

Weekly Bible Reading:  Isaiah (Audio), Jeremiah (Audio)
26 Tishrei, 5782, Bereishit: Parashat Genesis 1:1-6:8; Haftarat Isaiah 42:5-43:11
David Pawson, Isaiah, Part 38, Jeremiah, Part 39, Unlocking the Bible
Bible Project, Isaiah (40-66) and Jeremiah

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