Author Archives: caleblepore

What is Genesis Apologetics doing to equip students?

If you have explored our website for any length of time, you know that our passion is to educate parents and students to understand and respond biblically to evolutionary teachings in public school textbooks. It is our goal to see young people strengthened in their faith in God’s Word, that they may know and love their Creator, and be prepared to respond to attacks on the truth and authority of the Bible.

Genesis Apologetics speaker Dave Bisbee presenting on creation at a Sacramento area apologetics bootcamp.

Genesis Apologetics speaker Dave Bisbee presenting to a group of students on refuting evolution.

So, how are we working towards this goal? Here are six ways we are going about reaching parents and youth with biblical creation teaching:

  1. Website – Our website provides hours of free training on creation apologetics, providing basic information to refute the main tenets of evolutionary teaching. The materials we use include short video clips, video presentations, regular blog posts, downloadable ‘fast facts’ sheets, and short points to rebut each of the major topics covered in 6th, 7th, and 10th grade California textbooks.
  2. Facebook – Our Facebook page has reached thousands of people in Northern California, many who would otherwise never hear about the evidence for creation and the Flood. God has allowed many of our posts to ‘go viral,’ often reaching thousands of local users in only a few hours.
  3. Distributing Materials – Since our ministry began last year, we have distributed thousands of books, booklets, and DVDs to parents, Christian teachers, students, pastors, and youth pastors in the Northern California area.
  4. Trade-Show Booths – We have held booths at many Christian events around the state, where we have had the opportunity to minister to hundreds of people with the message of biblical creation and the importance of training students in the book of Genesis and in creation apologetics.
  5. Seminars and Presentations at Churches and Schools – God has allowed the ministry of Genesis Apologetics to give presentations at some of the area’s largest Christian schools and churches on topics ranging from the evidence for Noah’s Flood to the fossils of so-called ‘ape men’ like Lucy and the Neanderthals.
  6. We are currently raising money towards our $60,000 goal to fund our strategic plan for reaching every youth pastor in the state of California (mid- to large-sized churches). Your donations are appreciated!

What has been the effect of this ministry? We have received testimonies and feedback from many who have attended our seminars and read our materials, saying that God has used creation information to strengthen their faith and give them boldness and confidence in the Bible as the true history of the universe. However, we have also heard from pastors and church leaders who have told us how much this information is needed in churches and schools. We have also heard from concerned parents who have told us how much they wished that their ‘prodigal’ son or daughter had been exposed to this message before they left the home.

Will you partner with us to help spread the creation/Creator message with those in our area? Here are a few ways that you can help us out:

  1. Pray – We recognize that we can do nothing without God’s empowering and opening doors to minister. Pray that God will continue to give us opportunities to minister, and that He will grant us victory. Pray also that God will continue to use our materials to reach those in our local area.
  2. Share our Materials – Like our Facebook page, share our posts and materials, invite your friends and family to our upcoming events, or recommend our website to your pastors, youth pastors, Christian school teachers, or church leaders.
  3. Host a Presentation – Visit our “Request a Presentation” page and sign up to host a free Genesis Apologetics seminar with one or more of our speakers. We will bring props to the presentation, along with free materials for distribution.

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back regularly for new posts! Also, be sure to register for our upcoming 3-week training seminar in El Dorado Hills!

Students ask: “What about continental drift and plate tectonics?”

Did you know that plate tectonics and continental drift is used in 7th and 10th grade California science textbooks to back up evolution teaching?

“According to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth’s landmasses [continents] have changed position over time because they are part of plates that are slowly moving.…The movement of earth’s plates has affected the evolution of living things,”1 according to the 7th grade textbook, Focus on Life Science. The 10th grade textbook, Biology by Miller & Levine, further reenforces this concept, stating that, “Over the long term, the process of continental drift has produced…dramatic changes in Earth’s biological landscape,”2 driving the process of evolution forward.

The breakup of Pangea in the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model of the Flood.

The breakup of supercontinent Pangea in the Catastrophic Plate Tectonics model of the Flood. Notice the ‘fountains of the great deep’ in yellow. Image credit: www.answersingenesis.org.

Is this really true, though? We can certainly observe the effects of plate tectonics today. For example, we can measure the distance that earth’s plates travel per year (on average, 3-5 cm)1,2, and we can see how the landmasses on either side of a fault are ‘offset’ by a large earthquake. We also find evidence that Earth’s continents were connected in the past. For example, the east coast of South America and the west coast of Africa match each other perfectly, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, fossils of the same land animals are found on both continents, showing us that were once connected, enabling the creatures to walk across what is now a vast ocean.3

We can be fairly certain that Earth’s plates have moved in the past, based on observational science. However, in order to answer questions like, “When?,” and “How long did it take?,” we must step into the world of historical science, where assumptions must be made, because we weren’t there to observe what actually happened.

While most geologists assume that because earth’s plates are moving slowly today, they must have always moved slowly, the Bible seems to paint a different picture of Earth’s past. When God separated land and sea in Genesis 1:9, He commanded that “the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” This seems to indicate that the dry land was gathered into one place as well; i.e. a pre-Flood “supercontinent.” Later, in Genesis 7:11 and Psalm 104:6-8, we are told that the global Flood of Noah’s day began when “all the fountains of the great deep burst forth,” and ended when, “the mountains rose,” and “the valleys sank down.” The Bible is speaking of real, tectonic forces at work during the Flood cataclysm.

Beginning from these passages, creation scientists have put forward a new model of the motions of Earth’s plates, called Catastrophic Plate Tectonics. In this model, the ‘fountains of the great deep’ represent mid-ocean rifts (like the Mid-Atlantic Ridge), which broke open at the onset of the Flood, causing Earth’s plates to shift rapidly. The single land mass created during creation week (which creation geologists call ‘Rodinia’) was fractured, and the resulting landmasses were later brought back together during the Flood, forming Pangea, which then separated to become today’s continents. This model has been shown to work extremely well in explaining Earth’s surface features, including mountains and rock layers, as well as features of its interior structure.4

In summary, plate tectonics is an observable, testable process, but the models of how it worked in the past must be based on assumptions. So, we are left with the choice of either accepting the words of fallible men who weren’t there to observe the past, or to make the Bible, the Word of God who always was there (and who never lies), our starting point for understanding reality. Who will you choose to trust?

Free resources for further study:

Evolution Exposed: Plate Tectonics

Basics of Plate Tectonics

Continents Didn’t Drift, They Raced

Noah’s Lost World

Can Catastrophic Plate Tectonics Explain Flood Geology? 

Video – Global Tectonics and the Flood

Bibliography:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 284. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 554. Print.

3Tarbuck, Edward J., and Frederick K. Lutgens. Earth, an Introduction to Physical Geology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. 37-73. Print.

4Snelling, Andrew A. Earth’s Catastrophic Past. Vol. 1. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2009. 683-711. Print.

Genesis 3 and the Meaning of the Crown of Thorns

“And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.” – John 19:2

One of the more familiar scenes from Christ’s passion, this mocking act by the Roman soldiers during Christ’s trial under Pontius Pilate is recorded in all four Gospels. Though, from context, the most immediate and straightforward understanding of these texts is that the crown of thorns was a symbol of disgrace, making light of Jesus’ claim to be the awaited, anointed King who would usher in the heavenly kingdom of God on earth. However, when viewed through the lens of the whole of Scripture, the crown of thorns also has another symbolic meaning, which has a special significance to the debate over the origins, history, and age of the universe.

The first mention of thorns in the Bible is in Genesis 3:17-19, which says, “Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.””

Fossil thorn 'dated' to 300 million years old. Image credit: creation research.net

Fossil thorn ‘dated’ to 300 million years old. Image credit: creationresearch.net

In Romans 5, Apostle Paul argues that just as Adam sin plunged the whole world into sin and brought death upon all men as a result, so Christ’s death on the Cross which payed the penalty for sin has opened the doorway to eternal life for all who repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As Isaiah 53:6 says in a prophecy of Christ’s suffering for sin, “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

Isn’t it significant that while bearing the sins of the whole world, Jesus wore on His head a crown of twisted thorns, a symbol of the Curse brought about because of man’s sin in Genesis 3? After all, while Christ’s suffering was for the sins of mankind, Romans 8:22 tells us that just as we await the restoration of our physical bodies, made possible by the atonement of Christ, so “the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together,” awaiting the restoration of the whole of creation when Christ returns to establish His earthly kingdom. Likewise, Revelation 22:3 describes the new heavens and new earth, saying, “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.”

Clearly, from Scripture, we see that thorns are result of the Curse brought about by Adam’s sin, which will be abolished when Christ restores His creation, but how does this apply to creation and evolution teaching?

Many Christians, in response to the confident claims of secular scientists that the earth has gone through millions and billions of years of history prior to man’s appearance, have developed alternative methods of interpreting Genesis 1-3. Some hold to a ‘time-gap’ of billions of years between God’s creation of “the heavens and the earth” in Genesis 1:1 and the earth’s state of being “formless and void” in Genesis 1:2, while others argue that the days of Genesis can be understood as time ‘periods’ longer than 24-hour days; the billions of years of astronomical and geologic time.

There are other viewpoints, but what all of these theories have in common is that they all attempt to relegate the supposed billions of years of the fossil record to a ‘prehistoric’ period before the creation of Adam, his fall into sin, the penalty of physical death, along with the Curse of Genesis 3, which spelled the entrance of hardship, pain, and thorns into God’s once ‘very good’ creation.

However, these scenarios create a serious theological paradox. Deep in the geologic record, before the supposed ‘first appearance’ of man, even before the supposed catastrophic ‘extinction’ of the dinosaurs at the end of the ‘Cretaceous period,’ fossils of thorns have been found, preserved in stone.1 How can fossils of thorns pre-date the entrance of thorns into the world by hundreds of millions of years?

Moreover, what would such a situation do to the whole sweep of biblical history, which begins with the creation of a perfect world marred by sin, that awaits the restoration of all that was lost in Eden, which finds its fulfillment in the first and second comings of Christ? If thorns are not a result of Adam’s fall, then why did Jesus wear the crown of thorns while paying the penalty for man’s sin on the Cross?

There is only one way to avoid this contradiction: to trust in the Bible’s history from the very first verse instead of trying make it fit man’s fallible theories! Only when we accept the straightforward meaning of the creation account as a record of creation in six literal days can we be completely consistent in our understanding of God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation.

Bibliography:

1Stewart, Wilson N. Paleobotany and the Evolution of Plants. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983. 109-10. Print.

Students ask: “Does God want us to have a blind faith?”

‘Blind faith’ is defined as “belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination.”1 Many Christians have unfortunately reached the conclusion that Christianity is a ‘blind faith’ based on a misunderstanding of Jesus’ rebuke of ‘doubting Thomas’ in John 20:29, which says, “Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

jesus_hands

However, within context, we see that Christ foretold His death and resurrection to His disciples (for example, in Matthew 16:21). These same disciples (including Thomas) had previously witnessed Christ’s miraculous signs and wonders during His three-year ministry period, such as the feeding of 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, the healing of the man blind from birth, and the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The purpose of recording these miracles is stated clearly by the Apostle John in John 20:32, “But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

Despite such powerful demonstrations of His divinity and Christ’s prediction that He would be crucified and would rise on the third day, many of the disciples did not believe that Christ had indeed risen when they received reports of it from the other disciples. Christ had already provided the evidence to substantiate His claims to divine status and authority, however, evidence alone is not enough to convince men of the truth.

This was clearly demonstrated by the response of the chief priests to the resurrection of Lazarus, who sought to kill Lazarus (thereby destroying the evidence) instead of submitting to Christ’s authority (John 12:10). Likewise, the religious authorities also attempted to cover up the evidence for Christ’s resurrection by claiming that the disciples had stolen His body (Matthew 28:11-15), a claim still make by skeptics of Christianity today.

So, why do so many choose to ignore or deny the evidence supporting the claims of God’s Word? As Apostle Paul wrote, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [i.e. the creation], even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” [Italics added for emphasis]

Mankind is “without excuse” for denying the Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ, but because of sin, he chooses to “suppress the truth.” However, by the power of the Holy Spirit using the Word of God to convict man of His sin and need for a Savior, men may come to a saving relationship with His loving Creator by repenting (turning from sin) and trusting in the atoning work of Christ on the Cross for man’s sin and His glorious resurrection from the dead.

Christ has given us all the evidence we need and has offered us freedom from bondage to sin and its penalty (i.e. death and Hell) and is offering us the free gift of eternal life. Will you choose to place your trust in Him as your Creator and Savior?

Bibliography:

1http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/blind+faith

How is Evolution Theory “sold” to Students in California Public Schools?

Having four kids in the public school system has allowed me to acquire a good understanding of the evolution that’s taught at each grade level in CA schools, as well as how the theory is taught to kids in a successive, “building block” fashion.

In fourth grade, students are “warmed up” to the concept of evolution using the doctrine of uniformitarianism. This teaching holds that earth’s current landscape can be explained by long, slow processes—processes that include every mechanism possible except for a divine “Creation” and a grand “Catastrophe” (the Biblical Flood). This teaching introduces students to the “long ages” that underpins every single “pillar” of evolution they will be taught in subsequent years. Interestingly, we were warned about uniformitarianism when Peter penned 2 Peter 3: “…scoffers will come in the last days…saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’” Peter continues that these scoffers would “willfully forget” about the Biblical Creation account and the Catastrophe of the Flood. How do you “willfully forget” about something? You teach the opposite. This is exactly what’s being taught into today’s public schools.

In fifth grade, students continue learning about long ages in science class, and even take field trips to the Vernal Pools where they will be taught that small creatures take “millions of years to adapt to live in ecosystems.” They are also taught that creatures have co-evolved over millions of years and that such “evolution [and not God] has filled even the harshest habitats with life, including vernal pools.”

Sixth grade is the first year where the “big pitch” of evolution is unleashed, starting with the biggest battleground for origins—humans. Students in most CA schools receive about two weeks of teaching on human evolution. Most textbooks start the “march of man” line-up with Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) (starting about 4-5 MYO), followed by Homo habilis (about 2.4 MYO), then Homo erectus (about 2 MYO), and finally Homo sapiens about 200,000 years ago. In one leading textbook, this line-up is even shown with “developing tools” that were not even found with the skulls displayed on the same page.

In seventh grade, students receive the full evolution download—88 pages in one leading CA textbook (typically two full chapters in most Life Science textbooks). And (sadly), most kids receive this teaching without filters or shielding from parents or youth pastors. The teaching typically sinks deep into their belief system for four reasons:

(1) It’s framed as “scientific fact.” Throughout the entire textbook, the lines between “historical” and “observational” science are blurred. In fact, the distinction between the two is not mentioned even once. This leads kids to believe that evolution occurred (a historical assertion that’s not observable or testable) with just as much certainty that balloons pop when poked with a needle (observational science).

(2) Evolution theory is typically taught using the same process and authority as other topics, and students are conditioned to learn and trust the information in the textbook. They are (of course) even graded based on how well they learn and understand the content. Earlier in the year (and in the same class) they are taught very believable (and factually accurate) scientific concepts about their world. Then evolution slips in with the same expectations.

(3) Life Science textbooks typically appeal to authority by making statements such as, “scientists believe” or “scientists have proven.” Seventh grade students don’t typically have enough discretion and discernment to wade through the complex theories of evolution.

(4) Finally, evolution theory is typically framed in the most believable way possible, with quality illustrations, graphics, and arguments.

Tenth grade students receive basically the same evolution arguments as seventh grade, but this time with more details. The books also typically add two new evolution topics: Whales evolution and vestigial structures (supposed body parts that are “left overs” from evolution).

What does this mean for Christian families who have kids in public school? It means that they will receive a total of 50 hours of evolution teaching. How do most students respond? Fortunately, some kids will receive the inoculation necessary, and their minds and hearts will be guarded. Unfortunately, however, most kids will not—they are walking head-long into teaching that will plant seeds of doubt that cause many to later leave the faith shortly after entering college (some estimates put this estimate as high as 70%).

So what can be done? God’s Word advises that parents should “train up” (Proverbs 22:6) their kids. Deuteronomy 6:7-9 exhorts, “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Parents, we are responsible for our kid’s education—not the public school system. While many public schools (including the ones that our kids have attended) provide solid education in many subject areas, it is the responsibility of parents to educate their kids with biblically-based education that will counter the evolution teaching they receive in school. This is precisely why we started our website, www.genesisapologetics.com.

~Dr. Dan Biddle

Students ask: “Did life evolve from chemicals?”

Charles Darwin, the father of modern evolutionary theory, believed that the ‘seeds’ for his ‘tree of life’, the first living cells, originated by themselves in “a warm little pond.” Though the idea that life can come from non-life, or spontaneous generation, was discredited years earlier by Darwin’s contemporary, Louis Pasteur, many scientists were quick to accept this naturalistic (nature-only) explanation for life’s beginnings.

The 10th grade California textbook, Biology by Miller & Levine, follows this evolutionary tradition. In a discussion on the early earth, it asks the question, “Could organic molecules assemble under conditions on early Earth?”1

Image credit: http://creation.com/origin-of-life

It then attempts to answer this question, first by examining the famous Miller-Urey Experiment, which produced amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) by ‘zapping’ a chemical mixture with an electric charge under conditions simulating the supposed atmosphere of the ‘early earth’. However, as the textbook later (correctly) points out, Miller and Urey’s ideas about the early earth are now believed to be incorrect, but is quick to add that, “new experiments based on current ideas of the early atmosphere have also produced organic compounds.”1

As the textbook explains further, however, “A stew of organic molecules is a long way from a living cell, and the leap from non life to life is the greatest gap in scientific hypotheses of life’s early history.”1 Indeed, living cells are extremely complicated structures, like nano-scopic cities, with their own transportation systems, computers, and factories. All of this complexity is coded for by the information on the DNA molecule, which is itself copied and transcribed by the complex machinery in the cell.

This presents several unsolvable problems for the evolutionary view of the origin of life, which are summarized in Biology, “…Another unanswered question is the origin of RNA and DNA. Remember that cells are controlled by information stored in DNA, which is transcribed into RNA and then translated into proteins. How could this complex biochemical machinery have evolved? Scientists haven’t solved this puzzle, but molecular biologists have generated intriguing hypotheses.”2 [Emphasis added]

The first problem is that the cell’s complex machinery and the DNA are interdependent. The DNA needs the machinery to be useful, yet the cells’ machinery is itself coded by the DNA. This is a classic ‘chicken-and-egg’ dilemma; in order for life to evolve, both the DNA and cellular machinery would be needed at the same time, an impossible scenario for any naturalistic, chance-based ‘origin of life’ hypothesis.3

The second problem is that information cannot come about by natural processes. It requires an language system, which can only come from an intelligence. As Dr. Werner Gitt, a creationist information scientist, wrote, “There is no known law of nature, no known process, and no known sequence of events which can cause information to originate by itself in matter.”4

Without a source of information, the evolutionary origin of life is ‘dead in the water’, and the only viable explanation left is that life came from a Life-Giver: the Creator Jesus Christ, “the Way, the Truth, and the the Life.”

Free resources for further study:

Mike Riddle – The Origin of Life

Can Natural Processes Explain the Origin of Life?

Origin of Life Resources

Bibliography:

1Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 554. Print.

2Ibid, p. 554-555

3Wieland, Carl, Don Batten, Robert W. Carter, Jonathan D. Sarfati, Emil Silvestru, Tas Walker, James F. A. Mason, John Hartnett, David Catchpoole, and Mark Harwood. “Chapter 3: The Origin of Life.” Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels. Powder Springs, GA: Creation Book, 2014. 86-87. Print.

4Gitt, Werner W. In the Beginning Was Information: A Scientist Explains the Incredible Design in Nature. Green Forest, AR: Master, 2005. 106. Print.

Students ask: “Do fossils prove long ages?”

Life-science textbooks, such as the 7th-grade Focus on Life Science textbook, often claim that fossils take millions of years to form, using long ages as evidence for evolutionary history.1 However, as was demonstrated in a previous post, millions of years are not needed to explain the fossil record, but is there any evidence that the fossil record was laid down rapidly during the Flood? Consider the following facts:

1. Rapid burial is required to preserve animal and plant remains as fossils – Soft parts of plants (flowers, etc) and animals (skin, feathers, organs, etc) rapidly decay after death, and hard parts are then scattered and destroyed by scavengers and the forces of nature. However, the fossil record contains the well-preserved hard and soft parts of animals and plants, showing that they were buried before the destructive forces of nature could have begun to act on and destroy these remains. The only explanation is quick, catastrophic burial in thick layers of sediment, apart from the presence of scavengers, bacteria, or oxygen.2

Image credit: www.answersingenesis.org

2. The fossil record shows clear signs of catastrophic burial – Numerous fossil evidences show clear indications of rapid burial. Here are just a few:

  • Clams fossilized in a closed (life) position, showing that they were buried alive.2
  • Fossil fish with their last dinner still in their mouths (see above photo)!2
  • Dinosaur fossils preserved in their ‘death pose’, with neck arched backward and tail stretched out, a result of death by drowning.3
  • A fossil trilobite buried in its tracks.4
  • Fossil Velociraptor and Protoceratops dinosaurs buried while locked in combat.5
  • Fossil dinosaur ‘mummies’, with skin and organs preserved.

3. Fossils containing original tissues, cells, and proteins – In recent years, many reports of original tissues, cells, and proteins have been published in scientific literature, many of these (i.e. collagen), having ‘shelf’ lives of only thousands to 1 million years max!  Yet the fossils and rocks they are found in are supposed to be tens to hundreds of millions of years old, according to the evolutionary geologic column!

The fossil evidence doesn’t support the idea of millions of years—it clearly confirms the account of the worldwide Flood from Genesis 6-9!

Free resources for further study:

Chapter 2: Did Noah’s Flood Really Happen?

Do Fossils Show Signs of Rapid Burial?

Video – Fossils and the Flood

Two Fighting Dinosaurs?

Bibliography:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 236-40. Print.

2Morris, John. “Do Fossils Show Signs of Rapid Burial?” Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis, 30 Dec. 2013. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/fossils/how-are-fossils-formed/do-fossils-show-signs-of-rapid-burial/>.

3Catchpoole, David. “Death Throes.” Creation.com. Creation Ministries International, n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015. <http://creation.com/death-throes>.

4Switek, Brian. “A Trilobite, Dead In Its Tracks.” Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, 25 July 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <http://www.wired.com/2011/07/a-trilobite-dead-in-its-tracks>.

5Hodge, Bodie, and Buddy Davis. “Two Fighting Dinosaurs?” Answers in Genesis. Answers in Genesis, 2 May 2006. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/bones/two-fighting-dinosaurs/>.

6Roach, John. “”Dinosaur Mummy” Found; Has Intact Skin, Tissue.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 3 Dec. 2007. Web. 04 Mar. 2015. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/12/071203-dino-mummy.html>.

Students ask: “Is the fossil record ‘the history of life’?"

Textbooks like the 7th grade California life-science textbook, Focus on Life Science, often paint the picture that it takes millions of years for fossils to form, and that fossils found in sedimentary rock layers record the supposed 3.5 billion year history of life on earth1, but are these claims true?

Paleontology, the study of fossils, is an example of historical science, because it deals with one-time events in the past that cannot be repeated, observed, or tested in the present. In historical science, worldviews play an important role in the interpretation of scientific data. Depending on a scientist’s worldview (including what he or she believes about the past), he or she may interpret the data in a variety of different ways. Such is the case with the fossil record.

Evolutionary scientists, because of a belief in uniformitarianism (the idea that present-day geological processes are the key to interpreting geologic formations) assume that sedimentary rock layers and the fossils they contain must have been deposited slowly over a long time. Using long ages as a framework, evolutionary geologists then assign each layer and its fossil contents to a certain period in earth history (i.e. Jurassic).

However, scientists now know that sediment deposition and fossil formation do not need millions of years to occur. During the 1980’s eruptions of Mt. Saint Helens, hundreds of feet of sedimentary deposits were laid down rapidly in a matter of hours, including fine layers thought to represent regular cycles of slow-and-gradual deposition.2 Likewise, petrified wood has been produced in the lab in a matter of days!3

Image credit: https://answersingenesis.org/geology/sedimentation/sinking-a-floating-forest/

Image credit: https://answersingenesis.org/geology/sedimentation/sinking-a-floating-forest/

Without the the need for millions and billions of years of earth history to explain fossils, creationist geologists interpret sedimentary strata and the fossils they contain as a record of the devastation of the Global Flood described in Genesis 7-9. Lower layers, which contain the fossils of shallow marine creatures, are interpreted as the remains of the pre-Flood ocean-floor environment, which were likely the first to be swept away and buried when ‘the fountains of the great deep’ broke up (Genesis 7:11). Fossils in the middle strata of the geologic column, including dinosaurs, represent the remains of lowland and forest creatures, while higher strata represent the pre-Flood highland environments that were the last be be buried, as well as some post-Flood and Ice Age deposits.4,5

Is there any evidence that confirms that fossils formed rapidly? Our next blog post will examine more on this fascinating subject and find that the answer is overwhelmingly, yes!

Free Resources for Further Reading:

Chapter 2: Did Noah’s Flood Really Happen?

Chapter 4: Do Fossil Show Evolution?

Video – Doesn’t the Order of the Fossils in the Rock Record Favor Long Ages? 

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 236-40. Print.

2Austin, Steven A. “Why Is Mount St. Helens Important to the Origins Controversy?” Answers in Genesis. N.p., 18 July 2014. Web. 03 Dec. 2014. <https://answersingenesis.org/geology/mount-st-helens/why-is-mount-st-helens-important-to-the-origins-controversy/>.

3Miller, Brandon. “Presto! Instant Petrified Wood Created in Lab.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 27 Jan. 2005. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <http://www.livescience.com/110-presto-instant-petrified-wood-created-lab.html>.

4Wise, Kurt P. “Sinking a Floating Forest.” Answers in Genesis. Answers Magazine, 2 Sept. 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/geology/sedimentation/sinking-a-floating-forest/>.

5Garner, Paul. “Time for an Upgrade?” Answers in Genesis. Answers Magazine, 2 Sept. 2008. Web. 15 Feb. 2015. <https://answersingenesis.org/geology/rock-layers/time-for-an-upgrade/>.

5 Reasons Why Darwin Should Not Be Celebrated

On February 12th, the birthday of one of the most-recognized and controversial icons of science, Charles Robert Darwin, is celebrated in many public school science classes, libraries, and even churches1 across the country.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Image credit: Wikipedia

Charles Darwin’s primary contribution to science is the theory of evolution by natural selection, but are his ideas and legacy really worth celebrating? Christian parents and students should consider the following facts:

  1. Darwinism fails to distinguish between observational and historical science. Scientists cannot go back in time to see the origin and history of life and run scientific tests on it, so the only way they can learn about the past is by examining and interpreting evidence in the present though a worldview ‘lens,’ a process known as historical (or forensic) science. Evolution-promoters often fail to distinguish between these two types of science, simply calling evolution ‘science’. This creates a false conflict between ‘science and religion’, when the conflict is really between two competing worldviews used to interpret the past, namely, secularism and biblical Christianity.
  2. Evolution is a form of secular religion. Darwinism is not simply a scientific theory. It is an attempt to explain the origin of life without a Creator. According to evolutionist Dr. Michael Ruse, “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”2
  3. Darwinism does not explain the ‘Origin of Species’ Darwin’s originally-proposed (and discredited) mechanism for evolution (acquired traits) and the neo-Darwinian mechanism (beneficial mutations) supposedly provide the changes ‘selected’ by natural selection. However, mutations do not cause the types of change needed for evolution, namely, the addition of new genetic ‘blueprints’ for new structures (i.e. feathers, hair, etc); they only duplicate, delete, corrupt, and scramble already-existing information.3 Thus, Darwin’s theory explains the survival, but not the arrival of the fittest, the true ‘Origin of Species’.
  4. Evolution teaching is generally one-sided. In California, over 100 pages are dedicated to evolution in both the 7th and 10th grade life-science/biology textbooks. However, challenges to evolution are usually not addressed, and when problems are cited, only a modified evolutionary theory is presented.4 Explanations like biblical creation are not discussed as possible alternatives.
  5. Evolution has lead to a loss of faith in God and the Bible. Evolutionary biologist and atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins has written that, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”5 This is because evolution provides atheists with an explanation for the origin of living things that doesn’t involve God. Thus, by convincing generations of Americans that evolution is true, Darwinists have lead many to abandon faith in God as Creator of life. In their book entitled Already Gone, Ken Ham and Britt Beemer show how doubt in the Bible’s history by Christian children is closely linked to evolutionary teaching.6

How should Christians respond to the ideas and legacy of Charles Darwin? We should equip our students with biblical answers to evolutionary teaching, giving them a biblical and scientific defense of the ‘reason for the hope’ that is in us. You can get started by searching our website for resources that address the evolutionary teaching in your student’s biology or history textbook.

Free Resources for Further Reading:

Chapter 6: Natural Selection and Evolution: Do Darwin’s Finches Prove Evolution? 

Evolution Refuted Video

‘It’s Not Science!’

Ken Ham Declares Darwin Was Wrong Day

The Ghost of Darwin

References:

1For example, the Clergy Letter project encourages church leaders to promote Darwin’s ideas in an ‘Evolution Weekend’ celebration; <http://www.theclergyletterproject.org/rel_evolution_weekend_2015.html>

2Michael Ruse, “Saving Darwinism from the Darwinians,” National Post, May 13, 2000, p. B-3.

3Sanford, John C. Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome. Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications, 2008. Print.

4For example, the 7th grade California textbook, Focus on Life Science, offers an explanation for the lack of fossil evidence for evolution by discussing the theory of punctuated equilibria, which proposes that evolution occurred in short, separated spurts rather than continuously over long ages.

5Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, England, p. 6, 1991.

6Ham, Ken, C. Britt. Beemer, and Todd A. Hillard. Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop It. Green Forest, AR: Master, 2009. Print.

Students ask: “Do similar structures provide evidence for evolution?”

Does the fact that cars, airplanes, and scooters all have wheels imply that they all evolved from a common ancestor? No! Do similarities shared by different creatures support the teaching that they all descended from a common ancestor? According to science textbooks used in 7th and 10th grade in California, yes!1,2

Image source: https://answersingenesis.org/media/cartoons/let-there-be-truth/similarities/.

Evolutionary textbooks use the term homology to refer to similarities between creatures that are a result of common ancestry.1,2 Common “examples” of homology include the forearm bones in vertebrates (animals with a backbone). Textbooks often point to these kinds of similarities as evidence for evolution, but what does the evidence really show?

Evidence cited for “molecules-to-man” evolution like common structures and patterns are classified as circumstantialevidence, because they must be interpreted through a person’s worldview. Worldviews are made up of a person’s presuppositions—ideas that one has already accepted as true before examining the evidence.

Depending on a person’s presuppositions (i.e., whether or not he accepts evolution), circumstantial evidences can be used to support a wide variety of models. As a result, similarities claimed to be evolutionary “homologies’ can also be used as evidence for a  common purpose or design by the Common Designer, the Creator Jesus Christ. How then do we determine which model is correct? We must test the predictions of each.

The evolutionary model predicted that if similar features (i.e., vertebrate forelimbs) are a result of evolutionary development from a common ancestor, then “homologous” structures should be coded for by similar genes and develop similarly in a wide variety of creatures. However, the creation model, which interprets similarities as a result of common design, predicts that there will be a large genetic and developmental gap between animals belonging to different created “kinds.” What does the evidence show?

Instead of “homologous” structures being coded by homologous genes, genetic evidence shows that similar structures are often coded for by different genes.3 Likewise, similar structures often develop differently in creatures that are supposed to be closely related. For example, frog fingers and the fingers of other amphibians develop in opposite directions, in defiance to the predictions of evolutionary biologists.4

While all creatures on earth share some amount of DNA similarity to one another, the similarities do not confirm the predictions of evolutionary biologists.5 For example, elephant sharks appear to share many genes in common with mammals, but not with their supposedly closer fish relatives!6

The evidence overwhelmingly supports that large genetic gaps exist between creatures, confirming the Genesis account of creation, rather than Darwin’s evolutionary tree.

Free Resources for Further Reading:

Homology Made Simple

Does ‘Homology’ Prove Evolution?

Comparative Similarities: Homology

Darwin vs. Genetics: Surprises and Snags in the Science of Common Ancestry 

References:

1Coolidge-Stoltz, Elizabeth. “Unit 5: Evolution.” Focus on California Life Science. Boston, MA: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008. 471. Print.

2Miller, Kenneth R., and Joseph S. Levine. Miller & Levine Biology. Boston, MA: Pearson, 2006. 468. Print.

3Bergman, Jerry. “Does Homology Provide Evidence of Evolutionary Naturalism?” Journal of Creation 15.1 (2001): 26-33.Does Homology Provide Evidence of Evolutionary Naturalism? Web. 03 Feb. 2015. <http://creation.com/does-homology-provide-evidence-of-evolutionary-naturalism>.

4Wells, Jonathan. Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach about Evolution Is Wrong.Washington, DC: Regnery Pub., 2000. 66-67. Print.

5Morris, Henry M., John D. Morris, Jason Lisle, James J.S. Johnson, Nathaniel Jeanson, Randy Guliuzza, Jeffrey Tomkins, Jake Hebert, Frank Sherwin, and Brian Thomas. Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research, 2013. 138. Print.

6Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D. 2014. Shark Genes Devour EvolutionActs & Facts. 43 (8).