Monday, November 17, 2008

Isn't evolution wonderful? — 5

Those clever animals, figuring out kajillions of years ago... how to do this:

Listen for the announcer to say, "It's an ingenious defense."


Who's the Genius?

What a bind: mustn't even ask that question, yet can't evade the truth (Romans 1:19-22).

(See installment 1 for series explanation.)


VcdeChagn said...

We have this

My oldest loves it. The others are too young yet to stay focused.

DJP said...

I've wondered about it. What do you think of it?

~Mark said...

Octopuses and squid's-n-em are simply amazing in their physical and mental capabilities.

I find most people don't think past the fact that science sides with the best, most suitable explanation and that evolution fails miserably when scientifically compared to the Creation record.

By the way Dan, Dragonfly larvae are one of the very best flies to use when fishing areas in which they occur. Sometimes even where they don't!

VcdeChagn said...

I've only watched #3. It provides a great "low level" scientific understanding of interconnected systems.

For example, the only way the vanilla bean exists is because of a particular type of bee that pollinates the flowers. Without the bee, no vanilla.

How exactly do symbiotic systems like this evolve?

Even my oldest (who is still only 5) can understand that you can't have something like that from chance.

I would recommend it for anyone pretty much up to age 10 or so.

Colloquist said...

Dan, I'm teaching my kids about mollusks today (the group that includes the cephalopods like squids/octopuses). How'd you know I needed a good video for the lesson? Thanks!

Dan Odom said...

Spot on Dan! Excellent example on how not just God's glorious creation but our own words hold us accountable to the Creator. His justice will be deserved.

Rachael Starke said...

Dan - This brings up a question I've had after hearing on several occasions recently about a couple of prominent Christians who are scientists (as opposed to the Tom Cruise variety), as well as some fairly respected leaders like Tim Keller, who lean heavily toward evolution, with God being The First Cause. God started things, God directed things, Genesis 1 is more poetic in form a la Revelation, etc.

I understand all the reasons why God being our creator and the order in which He did it being critical to so many key Christian doctrines, but wonder, occasionally whether getting hung up on the details of six literal days vs. ages or a longer process, isn't sometimes a stumbling block. I actually am prayerful about my oldest daughter one day going into the medical or science field, and am wanting to be faithful to be dogmatic about essentials, but charitable about inessentials. Just not sure sometimes which are which in this particular area.

Perhaps you've written about this? Or might like to? :)

Steve Lamm said...


In my view, a proper exegesis of Genesis 1 and 2 leads to a literal six-day creation. I also strongly believe that one's view of the Genesis account of creation is vital to a proper understanding of many other "essential" doctrines.

Now, there are good believers who disagree on the proper interpretation of Genesis 1&2. But the fact that they are well-intentioned in their disagreement does not make their differing views equally sound.

Since it's impossible to do justice to the issues involved here in this meta, I suggest that you read John MacArthur's book THE BATTLE FOR THE BEGINNING where he deals with Genesis creation account in depth. It's a good place to start because John challenges the untenable notion that evolutionary theory is in any way compatible with Scripture. He goes after the faulty exegesis that seems to dominate much of evangelical thought in this area.

I also encourage you to settle this issue in your own mind and then thoroughly educate your daughter on what the truth is before she goes off to college. I've seen too many young people from Christian homes go off to college unequipped to deal with the inevitable onslaught from their atheistic/evolutionary professors who intentionally set out to destroy their confidence in the truth of Scripture.

By the way, I've greatly enjoyed your contributions here in the meta.

Steve Lamm

Stefan Ewing said...

I saw a National Geographic special on jellyfish the other night. They are nothing more than vile killing machines. It gave me the willies!

All's I want to know is this: why, oh why, did God create such nasty creatures?

Strong Tower said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Strong Tower said...

Because you have to go to sleep sometime, Stefan, boowwaahahahah

CR said...


I would be shocked to learn that Tim Keller would be leaning towards evolution. A Presbyterian (in the PCA that is) may hold one of three views - six day 24 hour view, framework view and day age view. (I hate using the words, "literal six day view" because every single passage in scripture has some literal meaning when you understand the correct genre.) But I don't believe evolutionism is one of the accepted views.

The PCA considers all three views within biblical orthodoxy. I use to lean more towards the day age theory but I'm completely agnostic on that issue. In other words, I really don't know. The six 24 hour days view has some good points, framework view has some good points, and day age has some good points.

One of the books on my reading list is Vern Poythress: Reedeming Science - A God Centered Approach. The book is available free online.

Poythress is a PhD of mathematics from Harvard and he also has degrees in MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is a Reformed Giant and very well respected in the Reformed circles. I believe he is a proponent of Analogical Day Theory (not to be confused with the Framework View Theory which he also goes over in his book). Analogical Day Theory does not demand specific length of days.

I respectfully disagree with Steve Lamm that one's view of Genesis is "vital" for a proper understanding of other essential doctrines since many good theologians disagree on the interpretation of the Genesis account.

Vern goes into all of the different creation views and I think he does a good job.

MacArthur's book on "Battle for the Beginning" is "okay" (he adopts the young earth creation view)his sermon series is better, but unfortunately he improperly sometimes erroneously lumps old earth creationists into some form of evolution - which is not correct.

One thing is for sure, Rachael, evolution (in any form) must be rejected at all costs. The Bible is at the very least clear on that. Theistic evolution is an oxymoron and also must be rejected. If we reject the Bible's clear teaching against evolution and for creation then you have serious problems because once we reject creation then we destroy the framework for the gospel, because if God is not creator, then we are not accountable to him and sin is merely horizontal and not vertical.

In terms of the types of creation views, that's where many evangelicals disagree. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on Vern's book. And I do not envy you of the awesome responsibility you have in teaching your daughter. Protect her though from the evolution, though.

~Mark said...

May I add a seldom discussed thought about macroevolution and why it holds only evil for the Christian?

God died that men might be saved right?

What if evolution isn't done yet, and we are not the final plan?

Perhaps then we would not be the "men" for whom He came.

If you're evolutionist, you can't deny the problem with that, or that this problem exists.

Strong Tower said...

"Analogical Day Theory does not demand specific length of days."

I am trying to put this in some mathmatical frame work: a series of non-descrete values whose sum is a non-descrete value yields what kind of formula?

Seems to me, that to have any rational basis for science, the foundation would have to be a descrete system. The same argument that scientific rationalists use against creationists could not be avoided by an appeal to the supernatural if for Christians the basis for scientific discovery was non-descrete. IOW, without a discoverable baseline -descrete days having a descrete value with referent in a corresponding recognizable and testable system- would simply be irrational. Even scientists believe a day is a day, that is a descrete unit of measure.

I go with 6 days, real days, measurable days. It is interesting that the sun does not mark the days until the boundary already existed, much like the discovery of scientific fact. We formulate a rule, observationally, establishing it by a known standard in the environment; a span, the breadth of the hand, a grain of grain, a grain. Add to this that everything was created after its kind, darkness, light, heavens, earth, water, land, et cetera; each a descrete value. Then, we have a descrete reference to time, morning and evening, a day, and to measure them, sun and moon. Beside being a difficult thing to imaginine that the rotation of the earth took eons, it would appear, most in keeping with Genesis, that day was likewise a descrete value. Thus, giving to man the measure of what was right and good, a value useable, as God was not the author of confusion. And in time, that gives us also the basis for science, discoverable standards.

It just seems that a non-descrete value for day goes against what Scriptures say God made very agreeable.

We then perhaps should consider that proper interpretation may just require that a descretely defined parameter for day be discovered.

CR said...

Strong Tower,

Poythress says that this view is that the Lord created the world in six days followed by one day of rest "but that these days of divine work offer an analogy to days of human work rather than
an identity.

Anyway, he spends a whole chapter on it and explains it better than I could at this point since I have not read the book yet. It is on my reading list. He talks about the morning and evening and he addresses some of the problems that were in the day age theory that are hard to accept.

Anyway, rather than comment it on it here, he explains it in the free online book.

GrammaMack said...

We lived in Puerto Rico for eight years and marveled at the nearby bioluminescent bay, as did our visitors. For the best effect you have to go on a dark, dark night with little or no moonlight. The braver ones (not me!) went swimming off the boat, setting off shimmers in the water by their movements. Part of the adventure was finding and counting the iguanas in the mangroves on the way in and out. If you're ever in Puerto Rico, don't miss seeing this part of God's creation!

Marcian said...

That was amazing.

Annette said...

that was just fascinating. thanks for sharing it. :)

threegirldad said...

I second grammamack's comments about Phosphorescent Bay.

Ahhhhh -- memories of a happy childhood...

Strong Tower said...


Good book. Poythress addresses the idea that I was discussing, and in part agrees. What he also alows for is something I had not considered, the fact that what is descrete may be a matter of perspective.

He also discusses kind, and that is where I would settle firmly into what I said. Thinking God's thoughts after him, P's definition for science, would seemingly require that kind and content be the same. That is an "opinion". He indicates that it may be one or both, and that it does not matter. I take his warning that too dogmatic an appeal might land one in the same position as the scientific naturalist ideologue's reductionism. But, what the hey, I am what he calls just a common man whose orientation is the "real" world around me. For me, and most troglodites, we can still appreciate God's perfection in the ordered reality and catch the eight fifteen into the city...

Enjoy that book, but take two motrin before you begin and don't read it before bedtime or you'll never get to sleep !)

CR said...

Strong Tower,

Are you saying you read it already?!

Thanks for your thoughts. Definitely looking forward to reading it sometime soon, maybe next month when I have my time off.

CR said...

Finally, got to watch the video in its entirety. I'm actually forwarding this but my subject line will be Isn't Intelligent Design Wonderful because some unbelieving friends I have won't get it if I try to pass Isn't Evolution Wonderful as a joke. So, figure, I'll send with serious note. I'll probably be reproved though for calling it ID. I also thought about putting the title as Creation, but I don't think many will get that I really mean God's creation so, the ID will hit a nerve with a lot of folks.