apologetics - science

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 3:51 PM

Kolen Cheung:
What do you mean? What is scientifically observation?

Matthew C Jones:
Who (besides God) has scientifically observed the end of the universe?

I'll let Matthew handle this one.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 3:56 PM

Darcy S. Van Horn:
Works of Cornelius Van Til for thought-provoking works on both epistemology and metaphysics.

You're correct that he is a theologian that deals with portions of epistemology/metaphysics quite thoughtfully. Thanks for reminding me.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 5:14 PM

Kolen Cheung:
Are there any apologetic titles on science that is trustable?

Kolen,

Frankly, and I know this will ruffle a lot of people's feathers here, but unless the author in question supports the common scientific consensus regarding an old earth, universe, and evolution, then the work simply isn't trustworthy. Its as simple as that. The last thing you need is someone deciding what science is right and wrong based on a particular interpretation of ancient scripture. That's not how science works, and who's to say their interpretation is even accurate?

I've been actively in on this debate for a decade now, and there is no stronger theory of biological origins then evolution currently available. Everything that creation "scientists" put out misrepresents, either intentionally or accidentally, both good science and scripture.

Hugh Ross, while he does well with science for the most part, ends up butchering scripture to force his views on the universe to fit into it. Young earth creationists, all of them in fact, butcher science to make it fit into their modern misreading of scripture. Both read their own modern presuppositions into scripture in an effort to have it conform to the non-controversial science that we all accept now (but didn't 500 years ago).

Both fail in their endeavor to understand our origins from a scientific and scriptural perspective. Scientific concordism, or the idea of trying to get scripture and modern science to agree in some way, is the wrong tree to be barking up. The very foundation of the entire movement is based off of flawed principles that seek to read their own meaning into scripture. Both young-earth creationists and progressive creationists (Hugh Ross) do this. This is why these viewpoints should be rejected.

Kolen Cheung:
Interesting. What I mean trustable is that it is scientifically accurate and biblically accurate at the same time. So, the author should be a professional scientist and one who is professional in the Bible. Hugh Ross seems to be a professional scientist but I don't know if he is good at the Bible.

I know these two requirements are very tough. Well, a compromise is a co-author book that one of the author are professional in one of them.

Are there such book(s)?

Glad you asked! Denis O. Lamoureux’s book “Evolutionary Creation” is one of the best ones I have read in the past ten years on this subject. For one, the author is uniquely qualified to be speaking on the subject. In addition to a PhD in Dentistry, he also has a PhD in Theology and one also in Evolutionary Biology. The latter two degrees were obtained with the express purpose of contributing to the creation/science debate. No other author that I am aware of has the necessary background or commitment to speak on this subject. Lamoureux is a born-again Evangelical Christian who is firmly committed to letting the Bible speak for itself, and in no way does he ever minimize the work of the Holy Spirit in scripture.

In a nutshell, the book explains how understanding the Bible through its own ancient phenomenological worldview allows science and scripture to co-exist peacefully, no matter what our modern science is saying. While the book isn't currently offered in Logos, it's still one of the best books out there that seeks to be honest with scripture and science. Search for his name on Youtube and you should be able to find some of his presentations on the subject if you're not interested in buying his book. (The price is high though, but worth it. I may be willing to lend you my copy if you are interested).

I was once a young-earth creationist until I became familiar with the science under discussion. Once that occurred, the shallowness of the YEC position became very evident and I had to give it up simply because it didn't accurately represent God's natural revelation. I moved on to progressive creationism (read mostly Hugh Ross's stuff) because that position seemed to be more honest with the science, at least until you got to their arbitrary rejection of biological evolution.  As evidence of this, if you ever get a chance to read into it, notice how Ross will forcefully reinterpret Genesis 1 so it fits his old earth and universe views (completely ignoring the ancient meaning of the chapter) but isn't willing to do the same interpretive gymnastics when it comes to biological evolution. Progressive creationism plays fast and loose with scripture, so I wouldn't be willing to place much on the view.

If you have the time, read carefully through the above views, but just don't stop there. If that's all you read, and if you have no scientific training, you probably won't be able to tell bad science from good. Read good books on the age of the earth and evolution too, ones hopefully written by Christians who actually believe the evidence. Reading a YEC or progressive creationists assessment of evolution doesn't count! If you have to read books written by secular authors, be careful you don't get their philosophical views mixed up with their scientific views. I can give you a list of these sorts of books at another time, if you like. Just let me know, or find me on Facebook.

Most of all, read Lamoureux's book. Make sure not to pass this one up. For one, the opening chapters give you the necessary foundation to even start exploring the creation/science debate. He smooths over a lot of rough areas that cause most of the confusion in the debate, and for that alone the book is worth its price. From there he goes through the first 11 chapters of Genesis looking at how they were understood by their original audience, something that has been largely missed by most people today. This is absolutely essential to EVERYTHING in the debate, because if you don't understand how the original audience understood scripture, you're interpretation will always be off. This is the fatal mistake young-earth and progressive creationists make. Their whole starting point is wrong, so everything after that will be too.

The rest of the book deals with various theological considerations that have to be addressed when looking at scripture from an evolutionary creationist perspective.

Hope this helps!

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Greg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 5:22 PM

Kolen,

Just found this one, and it seems to be a condensed version of "Evolutionary Creation". It seems a lot more affordable too.

I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution By Denis O. Lamoureux.

The Amazon review of the book below seems to provide a good list of helpful books on the subject too, so if you're interested be sure to check it out.

-------------------------------------------------

Practical Guidance for Reconciling Evolution With Chrsitianity

By John Lang

This book is a condensed (184 pages vs. 493 pages) and much more affordable version of Lamoureux's 2008 book, Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution. My detailed review of that book is available at http://www.douglasjacoby.com/view_article.php?ID=5948. Because it is more concise, this new book is much more accessible to its target audience; namely, conservative Christians who are wrestling with the Creation/Evolution controversy. I believe it fills a much needed gap in the popular literature aimed at the same audience. Specifically, I believe it delivers the hermeneutical guidance that is lacking in most of the other books addressing evolution from a Christian perspective.

I could personally relate to the "journey" that the author and many other conservative Christians have made in wrestling with the creation/evolution controversy. I abandoned the "young earth creationist" position in the 1980's after observing evidence I considered conclusive regarding the age of the earth and the universe. For Christians who may still be pondering that issue, I believe The Bible, Rocks and Time: Geological Evidence for the Age of the Earth is probably the definitive text for reconciling scripture with an "Old Earth" (4.5+/- billion years). For over twenty years, I embraced "Progressive (Old Earth) Creationism". I did not consider evolution to be compatible with the Christian faith. As a result, I never seriously considered the possibility that secular authors might actually be right about evolution. It was not until I read The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief by Francis Collins that I encountered what I considered to be conclusive evidence for Common Descent. The fact that Collins was writing from a Christian perspective made this realization somewhat less traumatic. I read several other books by Christian authors such as Coming to Peace With Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology by Darrel Falk, Random Designer: Created from Chaos to Connect with the Creator by Richard Colling, etc. These only served to solidify the reality of evolution in my mind. There have been a number of books like these that I believe have been very helpful in demonstrating the evidence for evolution in a manner that is sensitive to Christian concerns. Yet I don't believe there are many books that practically guide conservative Christians as to how they can reconcile acknowledgement of evolution with their convictions about the message of the Bible. Gordon Glover's book, Beyond the Firmament: Understanding Science and the Theology of Creation provides an excellent start to this task, but even he acknowledges in his review of Evolutionary Creation (see http://www.blog.beyondthefirmament.com/2008/12/06/lamoureuxs-evolutionary-creation/) that Lamoureux takes the hermeneutical issue to a much deeper level. In I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution , Lamoureux addresses the key issues in a much more concise manner. The significance of this is that he provides practical direction as to how conservative Christians can retain their evangelical convictions while maintaining their integrity with regard to the "Book of God's Works" (nature) and the "Book of God's Words" (scripture). In view of the overwhelming evidence for evolution, coupled with the relative scarcity of credible books addressing the hermeneutical issues that are relevant to the creation/evolution controversy, I consider this book to be a very valuable resource for the conservative Christian community. I can't recommend it highly enough!

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 5:42 PM

Is this discussion on creationism not way out of the forum rules?Wink http://community.logos.com/forums/t/10072.aspx Hmmmm.....Stick out tongue

 

Ted.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 5:59 PM

Ted Hans:
Is this discussion on creationism not way out of the forum rules?

Yes, it is. And for the long-term good of the forums and Logos it is good to point this out. I am always concerned on these theological debates (which I admit to being quit willing to join Embarrassed) will cause potential Logos supporters to shy away, assuming that Logos resources are theologically biased (as opposed to market driven).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Scott S | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 6:08 PM

Kolen,

Now you have the range of Christian views on creation, from theistic evolution to young earth, and book recommendations for each position.  So now you can decide whether to be Denis O. Lamoureux, Hugh Ross, or Henry Morris.  Smile

Regards,

Scott

 

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Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 6:25 PM

Kolen,

Another option is: http://www.logos.com/products/details/3849

God bless you and keep you,

Ken

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 6:41 PM

MJ. Smith:
I shouldn't do this - leading you further off-topic. But wouldn't this discussion be improved by a definition of science and it's relationship to truth/Truth? I doubt that God has "scientifically observed" anything ... with the exception, perhaps,

I shouldn't take the bait , either. Stick out tongue But here goes --- 
Is Science a good thing? (All you friends of science have to say "Yes" here.)
All good things come from God. (Bible says so.)
God is the Creator of Science. (Like how I snuck the "C" word into the equation?)
God sees everything (Bible says so.)
God , of necessity, must observe the Universe scientifically.

It is kinda like asking Budda for the Buddhist perspective on enlightenment and then arguing with whatever answer he gives.

[I know 'snuck' isn't going to be appreciated in this academic circle. And I fully expect to be slapped down by the more logical persons reading this thread....MJ?, Rosie? }

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 7:53 PM

Matthew C Jones:
It is kinda like asking Buddha for the Buddhist perspective on enlightenment and then arguing with whatever answer he gives.

Er .. ah... I hate to bring this up but your analogy doesn't hold up. I spent my graduate school years in the Buddhist studies section of Asian Language and Literature - admittedly focusing on the Southern rather than Northern schools. However, I'll stick to Western logic ... which I do have some arguments with.

1 Is science "good" in the Greco-Christian sense of Good-Truth-Beauty? I'm not at all sure it is.

2. All Good (Greco-Christian sense) comes from God ... then again everything comes from God

3. Did God create science? Not directly. God created humanity, gave it intelligence, which humans eventually used to create science. So the question becomes one of whether or not God allows for any action that is not predetermined. [Note extreme determinism is a hallmark of science.]

4. Scientific observation is usually described as comparing of results when certain variables are held constant while others are varied in a controlled manner through a series of repeatable experiment. If God is omniscient, of what use is scientific observation to him?

5. Is God's "seeing" an anthropomorphic image of God's omniscience or a literal "seeing" as in the conversion of light waves into chemical/electro-chemical signals into mental image?

6. John teaches that the LOGOS is good-truth-beauty, therefore this entire post was simply an (il)legal segue into the use of Logos 4 to resolve theological discussions which I could prove if only the diagramming tool was available in the current beta. Notice the nice use of deconstructionist elements in the preceding sentence. I recently ordered a post-modern book in Logos format which is further proof of my intention to stay within the rules.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 10:27 PM

That's what I get for arguing a position I don't believe.
EDITED version: It is kinda like asking Matthew who his favorite musician is  and then arguing with whatever answer he gives.

#1) I too question if "science" is "good." How can something "good" attempt to deny God?

#2) Ying/Yang - slipping into easten philosophy here. Does God also have a masculine side & a feminine side?

#3) My definition of science is not the colloquially accepted version. Natural order is good. Man's science is evil when it deviates from the natural order.

#4) Problem here is humans don't have the capacity to ensure any variable is constant. That "one-in-a-million" fluke is the one that will kill you.

#5) God isn't limited to anthropomorphic experience and He certainly is not excluded from it. Even from outside the Incarnation. God claims to have measured the universe with His hand.

#6) So we have come full-circle into agreement here: Many would benefit from the further expansion of Logos 4 resources and features. Diagramming tools, philosophical works, apologetics & theological tomes, and even personal notes will foster a deeper understanding or a deeper awe of our present circumstance.

See, I told you I'd get taken to the woodshed. Crying

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:15 PM

Matthew C Jones:
See, I told you I'd get taken to the woodshed. Crying

But only for firewood so you can sit in front of the fire with a good book and glass of the beverage of your choice.Big Smile

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:25 PM

Greg Masone:
In addition to a PhD in Dentistry, he also has a PhD in Theology and one also in Evolutionary Biology. The latter two degrees were obtained with the express purpose of contributing to the creation/science debate.

Great to see that there is one such guy! Thanks to the Logos forum.

Greg Masone:
there is no stronger theory of biological origins then evolution currently available

Really? I need to study more on that. Hugh Ross is from a Physics background so his Physics is trustable. And I as a Physicist do not know much about Biology, thinking that evolution is an old concept. Unfortunately I am not going to be professional in Biology. If I could be like Lamoureux having a PhD in Science (where mine is Physics) and a PhD in Theology then it will be great. So, for Biology, might be I need to read more on Lamoureux's.

Greg Masone:
From there he goes through the first 11 chapters of Genesis looking at how they were understood by their original audience, something that has been largely missed by most people today. This is absolutely essential to EVERYTHING in the debate, because if you don't understand how the original audience understood scripture, you're interpretation will always be off.

Are the mainstream Christian believe in this? I am not professional with Theology but what I am thinking is that might be the knowledge/world view of the original audience also limited their understanding. After all, they misunderstand God's word again and again throughout the history. Anyway, I am open to this before I learn more in exegesis.

Greg Masone:
  As evidence of this, if you ever get a chance to read into it, notice how Ross will forcefully reinterpret Genesis 1 so it fits his old earth and universe views (completely ignoring the ancient meaning of the chapter) but isn't willing to do the same interpretive gymnastics when it comes to biological evolution.

By the way, from a Physicist point of view, "there is no stronger theory of physical origins then Big Bang theory currently available"

Greg Masone:
I can give you a list of these sorts of books at another time, if you like.

Yes please. But I would be glad if I were able to finish all the books before I got my PhD.

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:28 PM

Scott S:
Now you have the range of Christian views on creation, from theistic evolution to young earth, and book recommendations for each position.  So now you can decide whether to be Denis O. Lamoureux, Hugh Ross, or Henry Morris.  Smile

Right, thanks all!

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:30 PM

Ken Avery:

Another option is: http://www.logos.com/products/details/3849

God bless you and keep you,

Thanks. This is a much better deal on the "Genesis Record".

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Kolen Cheung | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Mar 25 2010 11:40 PM

MJ. Smith:
Did God create science? Not directly.

Right, God created the Nature. And human use Science to describe it.

MJ. Smith:
Scientific observation is usually described as comparing of results when certain variables are held constant while others are varied in a controlled manner through a series of repeatable experiment. If God is omniscient, of what use is scientific observation to him?

I am not sure. Is it from a social science perspective? From a (quantum) Physicist perspective, observation is very simple, whenever we obtain any kind of information, that is an observation. The question becomes, does God need to acquire any information? Ps 139 said yes. But how he obtain it? When we physical observer observes things, we influenced it (we perform a measurement and changed its state). Does God influenced it too? Personally I believe that God doesn't. Anyway, we need to humble and admit that we don't understand how God works.

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Steve Sherwood | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 26 2010 3:52 AM

.

Right, God created the Nature. And human use Science to describe it..

Evolutionary creationists agree.

Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0PjoZY4L0

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 26 2010 5:51 AM

Steve Sherwood:

.

Right, God created the Nature. And human use Science to describe it..

Evolutionary creationists agree.

Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0PjoZY4L0

Excellent video series. Thanks for the link. But I agree with what has been said above. We should probably get off this topic as it's not within the Logos forum guidelines and could stir up some disturbance since there are strongly held positions on this question.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 26 2010 6:33 AM

Rosie Perera:

Steve Sherwood:

.

Right, God created the Nature. And human use Science to describe it..

Evolutionary creationists agree.

Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0PjoZY4L0

Excellent video series. Thanks for the link. But I agree with what has been said above. We should probably get off this topic as it's not within the Logos forum guidelines and could stir up some disturbance since there are strongly held positions on this question.

you are probably right, Rosie, but I, for one, have benefitted from this.  I believe the guidelines are there to keep things in line and to give license to delete super-offending posts and threads.  This really hasn't gotten out of line emotionally, even with some strongly stated positions.  Thanks to all for your contributions.  Now, let's get back to Logos.  The Word.  Who was in the beginning . . . Smile

 

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Ken Avery | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Mar 26 2010 8:56 AM

Steve Sherwood:

.

Right, God created the Nature. And human use Science to describe it..

Evolutionary creationists agree.

Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of0PjoZY4L0

After watching the video, Dennis make a very good "sounding" argument; the problem I have as a scientist is all he is doing is presenting hypothesis that appear to be cleverly designed to disprove the idea that we are not created from a common ancestor.

It is not obvious that the hypothesis is designed to prove common ancestry; in other words, pseudogeny, very conveniently, is assumed to be hereditary. The problem I have with this hypothesis is that we do not know what caused a particular gene to become defective, is it a common cause or hereditary?

The other problem I have with pseudogeny is Dennis had to spend a lot of time tap-dancing around the idea that the defective gene now has new function; I find this very convenient that something with new function was a defect (by signature) and is now used for another distinct function.  

Even further, on video 7 Dennis did not answer the question posed: "if the split genes became one, would you have the same animal?", notice the answer was not YES, it was a long drawn out apology of why he could not answer the question YES.

These are my thoughts after watching the video, I have not looked at any of the counter-arguments; though, I will Wink

Until someone can counter Dr Russell Humphreys theory of cosmology I believe that evolution from a common ancestor had about 1 day in the past 6,000 years to complete the task of producing all species from one common ancestor.

EDIT: Apperantly not all biologists are on the sme page: http://www.icr.org/article/adam-eve-vitamin-c-pseudogenes/

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