Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sunday School Class: Creation as Foundational Truth, Week 7

Following are some notes from week 7 of our Sunday school study of "Creation as Foundational Truth." 
"I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well" (Psalm 139:14, NKJV).
"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3, NKJV).
Section 6:  Icons of Evolution
The author of Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells, PhD, is not a young earth creationist and does not claim to be a born-again believer. Nevertheless, much of his book is good, because the scientific evidence has convinced him of the folly of evolution. He believes in “Intelligent Design,” which all open-minded scientists should accept, at a minimum. Not all Intelligent Design proponents are Christians. The next logical step after Intelligent Design is to become a young earth creationist and a Christian, but that doesn’t always happen.
An icon is a widely-known symbol, such as an icon on the desktop of a computer.
Even though these “icons” have been demonstrated to be false, they are still used as proof for evolution, since they have little else to support their flimsy idea.
Those who disagree are generally met with ridicule, mocking, and name-calling, which is the final tactic of those who have no legitimate argument for their position.
Information on the following “icons” is based partially on Wells’ book and partially on numerous other sources.
Miller-Urey Experiment
Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life in 1859. Is there an agenda in that title? We usually just hear the book referred to as The Origin of Species.
When he wrote this book, the biological cell was viewed as a globule of protoplasm consisting of carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen. He knew nothing about DNA.
Even up until the 1950s, scientists believed that the building blocks of life could be produced by combining these chemical substances, such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and nitrogen, in just-right proportions, under just-right conditions. Harold Urey and Stanley Miller produced a small yield of amino acids in a highly controlled experiment. In 1983, Miller discovered that if carbon monoxide is added, plus a large proportion of hydrogen, then glycine, the simplest amino acid, could be produced, but only in trace amounts.
Rather than demonstrating chemical evolution, all this really showed was that an atmosphere designed for life could be carefully guided to produce ONE of life's many building blocks. Their meager success depended not on a random and unguided process, but on an intelligently designed and managed experiment that started out with the necessary chemical components. While attempting to verify evolution by blind, materialistic means, they merely confirmed the need for an intelligent agent to create and control the conditions necessary for life.
This experiment does not pose any difficulties for the creationist. It actually strengthens our argument. “Life in the lab” would prove the necessity of an intelligent designer. “To claim this experiment as evidence for evolution would be akin to allowing water to flow over a bed of coal, and upon identifying a little ink-like substance, claiming the Encyclopaedia Britannica was produced by natural, random processes” (reference here).
Life is more than just chemistry.  A dead body has all the chemicals needed for life, but it is not alive. If life is just chemicals, and our brains just operate on chemical and electrical reactions, then how do we know we can trust our thoughts or conclusions?
One year after the experiment, other scientists unraveled the structure of DNA. With that, scientists learned that the instructions for life came from a code within the DNA molecule. As a result, the cell could no longer be thought of as a simple collection of chemicals reacting under the right environmental conditions. If evolutionists were truly honest, then the discovery of DNA should have forever ended the whole idea of evolution.
Darwin knew nothing of DNA. He based his conclusions on what he saw as similarities by looking at humans and various animals.
“Scientists speculate that life may have arisen as a result of random chemical processes happening to produce self-replicating molecules” (reference here). Speculation is not science, but it seems to be used a great deal in order to fit the agenda of evolutionists.
Most scientists have now concluded that “abiogenesis” (spontaneous generation of life) on earth is an impossibility. Two responses are offered in response to this:
(1)  “Life must have come from outer space” (reference here). This does not solve the problem, it just moves it.
(2)   “We don’t do origins” (see article here). In other words, “We don’t know how life started, and we don't care how life started. We just concern ourselves with what happened after it started.” Think about it. To now know and not care amounts to ignorance and apathy.
Both of these options amount to ducking the issue. We who believe what God has said face no such dilemma.
This experiment is much like Richard Dawkins’ “Blind Watchmaker” experiment. A computer was pre-programmed to produce the sentence, “Methinks it is like a weasel.” It produced it in a very short time. He called this the Darwinian method. He apparently thinks everyone else is stupid.
Big problem:  He cheated. He even admitted it was “a bit of a cheat.” He left another computer running totally by random chance, and he admitted that it never did, never could, and never would produce that sentence. However, he still called the pre-programmed computer the Darwinian method. Quite obviously, the totally random one that had no chance of success was truly the Darwinian method. This is a segment of an entire video which is found here.
Haeckel’s Emnbryos
Darwin and others have reasoned that descendants along various evolutionary lineages would demonstrate similar embryonic development during the earliest stages.
Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), a German biologist, provided a series of drawings which conveniently demonstrated just this. These pictures appear even today in many textbooks with no statement that this “evidence” is a well-established blatant fraud. Even Darwin, who called this his “strongest single class of facts,” was duped. Photographs of the embryos Haeckel selected demonstrate virtually no resemblance to his drawings.
A big myth is the claim that human embryos go through their alleged evolutionary past, including a fish-like stage, in which they display gill slits. These folds are not gills. In humans, they develop into other structures entirely, totally unrelated to breathing.
It is important to always be skeptical of those endless “proofs” for evolution. They reflect over-enthusiastic and selective use of data when it appears to support a pre-conceived evolutionary mind-set.
Haeckel’s Embryos are a known lie. However, Eugenie Scott, one of the most outspoken advocates for evolution in the United States says the following:
“It’s clear that Haeckel may have fudged his drawings somewhat to look more like his ideal than they actually are. Now, does that actually take away from what we know about the relationship of embryology to evolution? Not a bit. The whole Haeckel’s embryos story has been greatly blown out of significance. It is a minor footnote in the history of science. And actually it’s been known for ten or fifteen years that Haeckel’s embryos are not to be relied upon. The reason why the diagrams are reproduced is because they’re easily available – there’s no copyright on them – it’s an easy way to illustrate a point. And I would argue that the basic point that’s being illustrated by those drawings is still accurate.” (Eugenie Scott’s statement, recorded on Icons of Evolution, Randolph Productions Inc, 2002.) Watch the video here.
It is not really a stretch to interpret her words as follows:  “The evidence is fraudulent, but the conclusion is consistent with my beliefs, so it is OK to continue to use the evidence, because it is convenient and available.”
Archaeopteryx:  The Alleged “Missing Link” between Reptiles and Birds
We so often think of THE missing link, meaning the single link between apes or ape-like creatures and man. The truth is, there would have to be a large number of  such links between every species that allegedly evolved from another, not just one. And we must not forget that there is a reason these alleged links are referred to as “missing.” They are not there, and the reason they are not there is that they do not exist.
When Archaeopteryx was discovered in 1861 (two years after Darwin had published his Origin of Species), it was widely heralded as a “missing link” predicted by Darwin’s theory — intermediate between reptiles and birds. However, most paleontologists now agree this member of an extinct group of birds is not the ancestor of any group of modern birds, nor is it a link between reptiles and birds.
Regardless of Archaeopteryx, where are the rest of those countless missing links required by the theory, had birds evolved from reptiles?
There have been many failed attempts by modern evolutionists to find fossil ancestors of birds. In 1999 there was the Archaeoraptor fraud. National Geographic had announced the discovery of this feathered dinosaur fossil in a blaze of publicity, but was left embarrassed when it was discovered to be a composite — a dinosaur tail glued to the body of a bird.
There have been other failed attempts to produce “missing links.” Wishful thinking (and sometimes outright fraud) is a key ingredient in these types of things.
Peppered Moths
The classic textbook example of evolution by natural selection says that most peppered moths were light-colored in the early 1800s. But with the Industrial Revolution, the proportion of dark-colored moths increased near heavily polluted cities because they could now camouflage themselves on soot-covered tree trunks. As pollution-reduction measures were introduced, the proportions reversed themselves. This has been used for years as the best example of natural selection in the wild.
How does this prove evolution? It doesn’t. In reality, it is what we would expect to find.
This tells us nothing about where moths’ alternative colors come from or how a moth could have evolved from a non-moth. And the “facts” of the story, repeated in countless biology textbooks, are badly flawed. The photographs, showing camouflaged moths on tree trunks, found in virtually all standard biology textbooks, have been staged. Dead moths had been glued to tree trunks in order to simulate what they believe had happened. Such weak “science” undermines their ideas, at least in the minds of those with open minds.
Bottom line:  When it is all said and done, moths are still moths.
This is very much like the fact that the white rabbits tend to survive longer than darker ones when living in the snow. The white ones have a better chance to survive and pass on their DNA to their offspring, so the darker colors are selected out.
This is in no way evolution, but it is a real example of “natural selection.”
No matter how you look at it, rabbits continue to be rabbits. This situation cannot explain any alleged change from one kind into another kind.
Darwin’s Finches
Fourteen species of finches were found on the Galápagos Islands, distinguished mainly by beaks necessary for different foods. Most creationists view this as an example of genetic variety present in the DNA of an ancestor (a finch, not a reptile or a blackberry bush).
During times of drought, some of the beak sizes tend to survive because they are more able to get the smaller amounts of food available. Those with larger beaks have the ability to crack open the few remaining harder seeds once the softer ones are eaten, so they have a better chanced of survival and of passing their DNA along to future generations of finches.
After the drought, the selection was reversed. There was no evolution. Oscillation in population proportion does not justify extrapolations to explain how the 14 species arose from something else. This is much like the survival rates of the moths and the rabbits.
Rapid speciation is not a problem to creationists. In reality, it is a prediction of the Creation / Flood / migration model. Darwin trained for the ministry. He was not a scientist but a rebellious student of theology. He saw what he wanted to see and interpreted the data consistent with his rebellion.
As Ken Ham points out, “When Darwin arrived on the Galapagos Islands, he found big finches and little finches with big beaks and little beaks. When he left, there were big finches and little finches with big beaks and little beaks. What do we find today? Big finches and little finches with big beaks and little beaks.” They are all still finches. Nothing is changing into something else.
The same is true of human beings. As we look around in any group of people, we see a great variety of sizes, shapes, skin colors, etc., but they are all human beings belonging to the human “kind” or human “race.” Nothing about variation within human kind offers even the remotest evidence of evolution from another kind. Such an idea is pure fantasy and speculation based on what evolutionists hope to find.
Four-winged Fruit Flies
Radiation such as x-rays will produce mutations and various frequencies and strengths of x-rays have bombarded these insects in the laboratory, producing many mutations.
Since 1910 geneticists have documented over 3,000 mutations in this creature, yet science journals have not documented a single fruit fly evolving into something else.
A geneticist showed that three strains of laboratory mutant fruit flies could be interbred to produce four-winged flies. The evolution-oriented textbooks use this to claim random mutations provide some useful changes on occasion, which natural selection then favors. The extreme unlikelihood such mutations happening in the wild is never mentioned.
A very serious problem is that no muscles are attached to these wings and a hopelessly non-aerodynamic creature results, which could never survive or reproduce in the wild. Some had four wings, but the extra wings had no function. Some had no wings, and all sorts of other non-beneficial mutations occurred.
By destroying the normal function, new non-functional wings were generated.  However, destruction of a genetic network cannot be construed as evidence for its evolution by chance any more than destruction of a house by an earthquake would demonstrate these had built the house in the first place.
None of the experiments turned up a single mutation that would benefit a fly in the wild. A fruit fly that can no longer fly is an oxymoron and should not longer even be called a fly.
An evolutionist said that the fruit fly seems not to have changed since the remotest times. Fruit flies continue to be fruit flies. They always have. They always will.
Continued next week with “Icons of Evolution – Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.”
Following are some of the resources, in addition to the Scriptures, that have helped me a great deal as I have studied to teach this Sunday school topic. These include the following: 
·  Materials from the Institute for Creation Research, including the book The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.
·  Materials from the “Answers in Genesis” website, and the book The Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham.
·  Sermons by John MacArthur from the website, “Grace to You.”
·  Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells, a proponent of the Intelligent Design movement.
·  The “Got Questions?" website.
·  Various other resources, both printed books and websites.

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