Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Devolution of Evolution

"Evolution is a joke." So writes Gary DeMar.

And he's right. In order to believe in evolution - and we're talking macro-evolution here - one would have to believe that it's possible to get life from inanimate matter through natural processes, something that science has proven to be impossible.

DeMar explains:
    A study of the history of science will show that at times science itself has been an impediment to scientific advancement. For example, after Italian biologist Francesco Redi (1626–1697) successfully challenged the dogmatism of spontaneous generation which had been for so long based on Greek "science," some scientists still clung to elements of the outmoded theory. Even when additional experiments by Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) showed that "microscopic beings must come into the world from parents similar to themselves," skepticism remained. Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919), a chief proponent of Darwinism, stated in 1876, 25 years after Pasteur's famous experiment, "If we do not accept the hypothesis of spontaneous generation, then at this one point in the history of evolution we must have recourse to the miracle of a supernatural creation." Haeckel chose spontaneous generation even though there was no empirical evidence to support it because he did not like the alternative - belief in God. Don't be surprised by Haeckel's irrationalism. Despite the evidence to the contrary, a number of high profile modern-day evolutionists have constructed their theory of origins on the rejected premise that life as we know it today developed (evolved) from non-life.
The irony in all of this is that the "theory" of evolution is devolving. Rather than continue down a gradually enlightened path, scientists are realizing how little they know and how they are being forced to put their faith in what they can't see. At some point, the evolutionist must accept the fact that "something" happened to create life.

If you're looking for the punchline to the joke that is evolution, try looking to scripture. Genesis 1:1 is a good place to start.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Verses

In the spirit of the season, I thought I'd share some of my favorite "Christmas" verses (most of which are not taken from the traditional scripture passages we normally hear quoted this time of year):
    Galatians 4:4-5
    "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons."

    John 1:1, 14
    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

    Romans 8:3-4
    "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

    Isaiah 9:6-7
    "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this."

    1 Timothy 3:16
    "He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory."

    Philippians 2:5-8
    "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 made himself nothing, 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."

    Hebrews 2:16-17
    "For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."
Feel free to share some of your favorites.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Unknown Wonders of Creation

NewScientist.com has a fascinating article entitled "13 Things that Do Not Make Sense." You will definitely want to read the full article, but here are some brief excerpts:
  1. The placebo effect
    Don't try this at home. Several times a day, for several days, you induce pain in someone. You control the pain with morphine until the final day of the experiment, when you replace the morphine with saline solution. Guess what? The saline takes the pain away. ...

  2. The horizon problem
    Our universe appears to be unfathomably uniform. Look across space from one edge of the visible universe to the other, and you'll see that the microwave background radiation filling the cosmos is at the same temperature everywhere. That may not seem surprising until you consider that the two edges are nearly 28 billion light years apart and our universe is only 14 billion years old.

    Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so there is no way heat radiation could have travelled between the two horizons to even out the hot and cold spots created in the big bang and leave the thermal equilibrium we see now. ...

  3. Ultra-energetic cosmic rays
    For more than a decade, physicists in Japan have been seeing cosmic rays that should not exist. Cosmic rays are particles - mostly protons but sometimes heavy atomic nuclei - that travel through the universe at close to the speed of light. Some cosmic rays detected on Earth are produced in violent events such as supernovae, but we still don't know the origins of the highest-energy particles, which are the most energetic particles ever seen in nature. But that's not the real mystery. ...

  4. Belfast homeopathy results
    Madeleine Ennis, a pharmacologist at Queen's University, Belfast, was the scourge of homeopathy. She railed against its claims that a chemical remedy could be diluted to the point where a sample was unlikely to contain a single molecule of anything but water, and yet still have a healing effect. Until, that is, she set out to prove once and for all that homeopathy was bunkum. ...

  5. Dark matter
    Take our best understanding of gravity, apply it to the way galaxies spin, and you'll quickly see the problem: the galaxies should be falling apart. Galactic matter orbits around a central point because its mutual gravitational attraction creates centripetal forces. But there is not enough mass in the galaxies to produce the observed spin. ...

  6. Viking's methane
    July 20, 1976. Gilbert Levin is on the edge of his seat. Millions of kilometres away on Mars, the Viking landers have scooped up some soil and mixed it with carbon-14-labelled nutrients. The mission's scientists have all agreed that if Levin's instruments on board the landers detect emissions of carbon-14-containing methane from the soil, then there must be life on Mars.

    Viking reports a positive result. Something is ingesting the nutrients, metabolising them, and then belching out gas laced with carbon-14. ...

  7. Tetraneutrons
    Four years ago, a particle accelerator in France detected six particles that should not exist. They are called tetraneutrons: four neutrons that are bound together in a way that defies the laws of physics. ...

  8. The Pioneer anomaly
    This is a tale of two spacecraft. Pioneer 10 was launched in 1972; Pioneer 11 a year later. By now both craft should be drifting off into deep space with no one watching. However, their trajectories have proved far too fascinating to ignore.

    That's because something has been pulling - or pushing - on them, causing them to speed up. The resulting acceleration is tiny, less than a nanometre per second per second. That's equivalent to just one ten-billionth of the gravity at Earth's surface, but it is enough to have shifted Pioneer 10 some 400,000 kilometres off track. NASA lost touch with Pioneer 11 in 1995, but up to that point it was experiencing exactly the same deviation as its sister probe. So what is causing it? ...

  9. Dark energy
    one of the most famous, and most embarrassing, problems in physics. In 1998, astronomers discovered that the universe is expanding at ever faster speeds. It's an effect still searching for a cause - until then, everyone thought the universe's expansion was slowing down after the big bang. "Theorists are still floundering around, looking for a sensible explanation," says cosmologist Katherine Freese of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. "We're all hoping that upcoming observations of supernovae, of clusters of galaxies and so on will give us more clues." ...

  10. The Kuiper cliff
    If you travel out to the far edge of the solar system, into the frigid wastes beyond Pluto, you'll see something strange. Suddenly, after passing through the Kuiper belt, a region of space teeming with icy rocks, there's nothing.

    Astronomers call this boundary the Kuiper cliff, because the density of space rocks drops off so steeply. What caused it? The only answer seems to be a 10th planet. We're not talking about Quaoar or Sedna: this is a massive object, as big as Earth or Mars, that has swept the area clean of debris. ...

  11. The Wow signal
    It was 37 seconds long and came from outer space. On 15 August 1977 it caused astronomer Jerry Ehman, then of Ohio State University in Columbus, to scrawl "Wow!" on the printout from Big Ear, Ohio State's radio telescope in Delaware. And 28 years later no one knows what created the signal. "I am still waiting for a definitive explanation that makes sense," Ehman says.

    Coming from the direction of Sagittarius, the pulse of radiation was confined to a narrow range of radio frequencies around 1420 megahertz. This frequency is in a part of the radio spectrum in which all transmissions are prohibited by international agreement. Natural sources of radiation, such as the thermal emissions from planets, usually cover a much broader sweep of frequencies. So what caused it? ...

  12. Not-so-constant constants
    In 1997 astronomer John Webb and his team at the University of New South Wales in Sydney analysed the light reaching Earth from distant quasars. On its 12-billion-year journey, the light had passed through interstellar clouds of metals such as iron, nickel and chromium, and the researchers found these atoms had absorbed some of the photons of quasar light - but not the ones they were expecting.

    If the observations are correct, the only vaguely reasonable explanation is that a constant of physics called the fine structure constant, or alpha, had a different value at the time the light passed through the clouds.

    But that's heresy. Alpha is an extremely important constant that determines how light interacts with matter - and it shouldn't be able to change. Its value depends on, among other things, the charge on the electron, the speed of light and Planck's constant. Could one of these really have changed? ...

  13. Cold fusion
    After 16 years, it's back. In fact, cold fusion never really went away. Over a 10-year period from 1989, US navy labs ran more than 200 experiments to investigate whether nuclear reactions generating more energy than they consume - supposedly only possible inside stars - can occur at room temperature. Numerous researchers have since pronounced themselves believers. ...
Again, take time to read the entire article. I'm sure you will find it just as interesting as I did.

But what I find most interesting of all is that while scientists admit there are things they just don't know, they will readily assert that there is no God - that the universe in which we live came about purely by chance. If anything, this list serves as an example of man's finite mind. The more we learn, the more we learn how much we really have yet to learn. And if we are pursuing knowledge for selfish reasons (i.e., for reasons other than glorifying the Creator of all things), then it is as King Solomon said: "I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. ... For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow" (Ecclesiastes 1:14, 18).

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Tale of Two Christmas Sermons

I recently compared two sermons that were both based on Matthew 2:1-12:
Both speak about treasuring Christ, but they are hardly the same sermon. One is topical and one is expositional. Can you tell which is which?

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