Monday, October 13, 2008

In the Beginning God Created

That which has a beginning in time must have something preceding it or it could not begin, and so the first four words of the Bible state: “In the beginning God. There is no apologetic in the scriptures for God’s existence, just the bold declaration for God being the sovereign Author of all and everything that is. God stands alone and beyond all other things. Evolution states that the universe was self-created; which is a rational and logical impossibility. Anything that exists either exists in and of itself or is caused by something else. God is the uncaused, self-existent, eternal being.


While the scriptures never explicitly seek to prove God’s existence, it does make explicit statements about those who deny it.
Psalm 14:1 – The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good. (cf. Psalm 53:1)

Hebrews 11:6 – But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Before space and time began there was God. Only God has the power to self-exist and call others into existence; as Paul said in Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

Created

In the beginning God did something, and what He did was create the universe in six literal days. We metaphorically use the term “create” quite often. When speaking of a gifted communicator, artist, or engineer we will say:
  • “He is a creative communicator.”

  • “He is a creative sculptor.”

    • “She is a creative designer.”


      • But when an orator speaks, or a sculptor sculpts, or an engineer designs there is no real creativity at all, at least not in the Biblical sense. They all take materials and substances that already exist and they shape, form, and arrange those materials until they are finished. That is more ingenuity that creativity.

        When God created the universe He spoke it into existence. There was nothing before, except for God; no energy, no matter, not even an infinitesimal point of singularity, and He used no raw materials to shape and arrange Creation. All that exists came into being by the active power of the eternal, self-existent, Almighty God. The origin of all things was not natural but supernatural. The Bible does not provide a “scientific” explanation of how God created, except to say that He spoke it into being, and that He did so in six literal days.

        God has spoken, not only in His written word but in His Creation. The Creator is an information and communication genius, and He has programmed His creation with a complex, unfathomable information system. It is no accident that Genesis 1 repeats the phrase “God said” ten times. The truth of God is not only recorded in sacred scripture it is encoded in creation. If physics, engineering, and molecular biology have taught us anything it has taught us that information is crucial. Not long ago leading evolutionists insisted that all that was necessary for life to exist was matter and energy, but even they must acknowledge that within the matter and energy there must be information which communicates!

        It has never been proven that more complex organisms arise from simpler organisms. Evolutionists cannot demonstrate how information spontaneously generates because it doesn’t (nor have they shown gradual spontaneous generation). Spontaneous generation, gradual or otherwise, does not occur in organic or inorganic models. For example, put random information in a computer and it will not produce a sophisticated, functioning program. Computer models have been a boon to creation science because it can simulate vast eons of time, and no computer model has demonstrated information arising from non-information, or complex information from simple or chaotic information. Computer engineering has only confirmed that information comes from intelligence.

        Materials are able to receive and hold information and design, but they are unable to self-create information and design. Silicone and copper do not and cannot generate the concept of a TV, but they are able to hold the concept of a TV. Cellulose which is lying around on the ground will not and cannot, through gradual spontaneous generation, form itself into a newspaper, create the ink which will form the type print, assemble the ink into formatted sections in an intelligible language, and then cut itself into proper proportions. The information is external to the material. The material cannot create it, but it can contain it.

        Francis Crick, who in 1953 co-discovered the structure of the DNA molecule, has written the following: “The cell is a minute factory, bustling with rapid, organized chemical activity.” The outside surface of the cell is studded with sensors, gates, and pumps, and identification markers to regulate traffic coming in and out. Today biologists cannot even describe the cell without resorting to the language of machines and engineering.

        Evolutionists are quick to say that given enough time complex information grows out of nothing. As I’ve shown, they prefer the model of space + time + chance = everything. Computer simulations have been done to check the affects of time, to see if evolution builds complex structures. None have been effective. Design and function come only from intelligence. No natural process has produced a programmed code. It is extremely ironic and sad that those who most closely study the creation deny the Creator, but it is expected because the scientific community has abandoned reason in order to install evolution as the explanation for our existence. They deny the physical evidence as they seek to force the material to fit their conclusions.

        I believe there is an even bigger problem than scientists who dogmatically cling to evolutionary theory, and that is Christians who claim that evolution is compatible with Christianity. It is not! Too many Christians are embracing evolution, only they call it “old-earth creationism” which blends some of the principles of biblical creationism with naturalistic and evolutionary theories, or “theistic evolution” which simply transposes chance with God. Instead of chance being the “force” which kick-started life, God got the evolutionary ball rolling. The impetus behind both systems is a vain attempt to reconcile the Bible with modern science.

        Remember, all truth is God’s truth. While scripture is not a science textbook, wherever it intersects with scientific data it speaks with the same authority as when it teaches spiritual precepts. Science does not and will not disprove Scripture, because the Bible and the physical world share the same Author. Old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists do not harmonize modern science with the scriptures. They only capitulate to naturalism, dishonor God, and undermine the authority of the Bible. God’s inspired and inerrant word is inspired and inerrant from Genesis 1 – Revelation 22. Scripture, not science, is the ultimate test of all truth, and the further a Christian gets from that conviction, he becomes less Christian and more humanistic.

        Evolution’s aim is to eliminate the God of Genesis. Darwin himself was clear that the belief that God is Creator and the belief that life is evidence of natural selection are incompatible beliefs. He believed that his own doctrine of evolution was a direct contradiction to theism in general and to Christianity in particular. Darwin abandoned belief in God, and he traced this loss of faith to his theory of natural selection. He wrote in his autobiography:
        I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so, the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my father, brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.
        Thus the driving force behind evolutionary theory was not scientific breakthroughs, but a desire to oust the Lawgiver and obliterate His law. Evolution is simply the latest means our fallen race has devised in order to suppress our innate knowledge and the Biblical testimony that there is a God and that we are accountable to Him (Romans 1:22-28). By embracing evolution, modern society aims to do away with morality, responsibility, and sin. Society has embraced evolution with such enthusiasm because people imagine that it eliminates the Judge and leaves them free to do whatever they want without guilt and without consequences.

        If the biblical doctrine of creation falls, the entire storyline of the Bible falls apart. There is no way to save any coherent form of Christian truth without the biblical doctrine of creation. Those who would abandon the biblical account of creation undermine the entire Christian truth claim.

        For those who are correctly evaluating the evidence, everything in scripture and everything in nature clearly proves that God exists and that He is the powerful and wise Creator that scripture describes Him to be. Thus, when we believe that God exists, we are basing our belief not on some blind hope apart from any evidence, but on an overwhelming amount of reliable evidence from God’s Word and God’s works.

        7 comments:

        Teresita said...

        You said: Evolution states that the universe was self-created; which is a rational and logical impossibility.

        Evolution states nothing at all about the origin of the universe, it only asserts that living things do not pass exact copies of their genetic code down to their offspring, which results in variation, which may or may not be better suited to the changing environment. You're referring to cosmology, and there's a barrier at the beginning of time beyond which science cannot explore at any rate, so you're really talking about metaphysics. Now if it is a rational and logical impossibility for the universe to have no creator, then why is is not a rational and logical impossibility for that creator to have no creator?

        Fresh Dirt said...

        Teresita is correct in her statement about evolution... its states nothing at all about the origin of the universe. You will find evolutionists who make statements about the origin of the universe, the existence of God, and a whole host of other things. But that is sort of like a basketball coach making a statement about tennis... they are both sports, but they are very different arenas.

        To Teresita's latter question, she is appealing to some form of modernistic logic/reason. Postmodern philosophy has shown the fallacy in such questions on numerious occasions. Logic and reason as found in this question are modern and ratioalistic western ideas that do not have universal appeal.

        Besides, ultimately Christians, including myself, will point to scripture as authoritative in our lives-- thus the Creator does not have a creator.

        Travis said...

        Evolved from what? Justin, the very name of the theory suggests that one continue to look back to the beginning. It is unsatisfactory to state that evolution simply describes the mechanism of physical being, but does not deal with beginnings. It simply does. It has to incorporate origins in its view.

        Fresh Dirt said...

        The actual science of evolution only seeks to describe mechanism. Often at the beginning of a general/entry-level textbook, cosmology and physics will be used to describe the "beginning" of the Earth and then they will switch over to evolutionary biology to begin describing the journey of proteins being formed to single celled organisms, etc. These books believe in particular cosmologies and in particular ideas of evolution, when in reality, the two are very different fields of science. Just because authors take such liberties does not mean that the actual theory claims such knowledge.
        It is a factual statement to say that scientist often deal with beginnings... but even most of them when pushed will tell you that any ideas about the beginning of things are just speculations and hypotheses-- not are at the real level of theory (although sometimes they get referred to that way by pop culture). This is why in some comment I said science has not come up with a satisfactory "theory of everything" or "unified theory of the universe" (it goes by several names). One of the reasons is the problem of beginnings and endings.
        Perhaps you think I'm just quibbling or playing semantics. I'm truly not seeking to do so and feel that there is a lot wrapped up into this conversation. I, of course, would not hold to a strict 6 day creation acccount nor would I claim some gap theory either. I just don't believe Genesis 1 was written for this purpose, rather was written as a counter-narrative to the religious beliefs of Babylon-- which is why the creation story of Genesis 1 follows the general outline of the Enuma Elish. For some reason, my belief seems to you as lessening the power and authority of scripture; whereas, I see it as an elevation of scripture beyond what you set it at. Such a hump is probably not something we will move past anytime soon.
        On another thought... I'm not necessarily an believer in evolution (in fact I see many problems with it); however, I do know that some of the mechanisms work. In fact, we use much of theory in immuniology work to help construct solutions to diseases. At some level and in some part, there is truth (or at least workable facts) in it that allows us to work to create solutions in the world. As such, it should not simply be discarded.
        Obviously, you would place me in the camp of "those who would abandon the biblical account of creation undermine the entire Christain truth claim." Obviously, I disagree with such a statement. I'm strongly Christian and strongly believe in the authority of the scriptures and yet a coherent form of Christian truth has not fallen apart.
        The fight between evolution and Christian creation is ultimately fruitless. The last few decades have shown that the real battle is not between Christianity and naturalism/secularism; rather, it is between Christianity and other religions. The sociologists were wrong in thinking that the world will become more secular. The facts show just the opposite. The world is becoming more religious-- the question is which religion? which faith? which guiding narrative? The Genesis 1 priestly writer rightly identifies his task as writing a counter-narrative to the truth-claims of the priests of Babylon. Rather than an outright rejection of the general outlines, the writer takes the order of when things came into existence and placed a caring, good Elohim who speaks creation into being in an orderly way and makes man the pinnacle of creation rather than the gods of Babylon who create the world out of violence and blood and enslave humanity. This needs to be done today in the world-- with other religions as well as with evolution.

        Anonymous said...

        It is easy to understand why the word 'evolution' has been redefined by some to manage damage control to its claims. Evolutionists have failed to explain what and how mechanisms of change could account for the origin of the universe and of life. Creationists are quick to point out that natural explanations are not only insufficient but, in fact, contrary to the known physical laws of the universe.
        None the less, as long as there are textbooks and prominent evolutionists describing the General Theory of Evolution as the unifying explanation for the origin and change that occurs in the universe, in life, and in species; then denying this fact is futile. I visit the Smithsonian Natural History museum in D.C. every year, and according to the displays, evolution began 15 billion years ago with a big bang. They even attempt to describe the origin of life for which there are no plausible natural explanations. Of course, this is all an attempt to explain how things change (evolution) and become new things (origin). Hence we have the origin of the universe and of life and of species encompassed in the presentation of evolution.
        New spins on old concepts remind me of an article I read by evolutionist Mark Ridley. He stated that the fossil record was irrelevant to establishing evidence for evolution. This caught my attention because Darwin (contrary to Ridley’s claim) and many others have argued that the fossil record is indeed the only basis for establishing the fact of evolution. The arguments and illustrations can go on 'ad infinitum.' The point is that the failure to offer evidence and a plausible natural explanation and thus a good defense for the natural origin of the universe and of life are why evolutionists are attempting to dissociate origins from evolution. Of course, this does not apply to the ‘origin of species.’ There is no doubt in my mind that if there were plausible explanations, all evolutionists would embrace the origin of the universe and of life as a part of their theory of evolution.
        With regard to the mechanisms for change in organisms, evolutionists have yet to offer evidence that these mechanisms can produce unlimited amounts of change and account for the origin and variety of species that exist. The ability to change is not the same as how much change is possible.

        References
        1. Physical Geography.net, http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/5a.html.
        2. “That evolution actually did occur can only be scientifically established by the discovery of the fossilized remains …. the really crucial evidence for evolution must be provided by the paleontologist.” (W. Le Gros Clark, Discovery, January 1955, p. 7).
        3. “The gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution…. Darwin showed that the record was useless for testing between evolution and special creation because it has gaps in it.” (Mark Ridley, Department of Zoology, Oxford University, "Who Doubts Evolution", New Scientist, Vol. 90, No: 1259, June 25, 1981.)
        4. The prize remains unclaimed. http://www.us.net/life/.

        Fresh Dirt said...

        Ridley was completely correct in saying that the fossil record was irrelevant to establishing evidence for evolution. The evidence for evolution (as I a described it and as Teresita described it) is found not in the past but in the present-- watching the process of change in genes especially in smaller/micro organisms. The fossil record is something used to pull together some grand theory which of course is very speculative because the scientific method can't really be used to test the past. As someone mentioned here on this blog, mathematical calculations have been used to provide evidence for some of these speculative theories, but I would say those are just as valid/invalid as using such a schema to prove the existence of God. Read the beginning paragraph of just about any encyclopedia entry on evolution... very clear definitions that do not assert the things being asserted here.
        Evolution, the mechanism, is a workable scientific theory. Evolutionary history is a hypothetical field of study that has not had any ideas lifted to the scientific height of theory.
        Regarding the Smithsonian... they take a lot of liberties in many areas-- history, art, science. Although they provide a lot of good, they also have become a pop institution.

        Aside from all of that, I do believe the general thing you are trying to state here has merit. We must combat the idea that life arises from chance, that there is nothing more than the natural world, and that their is no creator. But I think there are better ways of going about it than using "scientific" data-- once again we aren't scientists and very few people are. It is too easy for us to misunderstand scientific data and to misuse it. Instead, I think we have a better task of telling the compelling narrative of scripture and allowing it to stand for itself remembering that it is powerful and effective, sharper than a two-edged sword, able to split the body from the spirit. It will do the work; we just have to proclaim it.

        Patrick Briney, Ph.D. said...

        1. The point of referring to Ridley has nothing to do with whether he is right or wrong. He is referenced to illustrate the shift in argument for evolution. At one time, it was claimed that the fossil record is evidence for evolution. Overa 100 years and thousands of tons of bones later, the failure to provide the evidence now has evolutionists saying that it is not important. The application of this reference is to point out that evolution has claimed the origin of the universe, life and species. But now that evidence is seriously lacking in the areas of the universe and life origins, they are spinning a new claim that evolution does not include these topics. They are trying to dissociate themselves from the glaring failure to support their claim. Rewriting history will not change the fact that evolution was and in fact still is being taught as the explanation for the origin of the universe, life, and species.
        2. Just a note on the subjective claim that there are better arguments than science: If the number of misunderstandings was the basis for determining which arguments are better, then science would be better because there are far more interpretations and misunderstandings of Scripture than of scientific claims. The 'better' arguments are determined by the ability of the seeker to test and be satisfied. Personally, I do not find it necessary to choose which is better. I like the option of using multiple approaches.