Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ

There is perhaps no other fact more important to the Christian faith than the resurrection of Christ. Indeed, Paul writes, “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Cor. 15:14).

This is a topic that has been given a thorough treatment by theologians and apologists. Ashby Camp has written a concise point by point treatise on the matter, The Historical Case for the Resurrection of Christ. If you have not read other similar works, this paper is concise and thorough. I recommend it.


The Conclusion Never Changes

Junk DNA. It was hailed as being akin to a fossil missing link of evolution that lies within all of us. What happens when that is disproven? Same thing. All that DNA proves evolution.

Cornelius Hunter of Darwin’s God writes:

Tandem repeats are short stretches of DNA that are repeated head-to-tail. “At first sight,” explains evolutionist Marcelo Vinces, “it may seem unlikely that this stutter-DNA has any biological function.” This is an example of how evolutionary thinking harms science. Since life is an accident, biology must be straightforward. If we do not immediately perceive how something works, then it must be non functional junk. Over and over this evolutionary expectation has turned out wrong. And now again with tandem repeats:

unstable junk DNA allows fast shifts in gene activity, which may allow organisms to tune the activity of genes to match changing environments–a vital principle for survival in the endless evolutionary race.

The tandem repeats allow for swift adaptation to environmental demands, so cells with more repeats stand a better chance. As the evolutionists explain, “Their junk DNA saved their lives.” We are now to believe that evolution created this sophisticated system of adaptation so that evolution could occur. Evolutionists are flipping between absurdities in what is increasingly looking like a parody. The evolution literature looks more and more like a spoof. As if sensing the problem, the science writer reporting on the new research hastened to add that it is to be published in a reputable journal.

So, there you have it. Instead of junk DNA that records the evolutionary history of a species, junk DNA now actively drives adaptation. Regardless of the evidence, the conclusion is always the same, “Evolution is true!” Can I hear a ‘praise Science?’

From One Absurdity to the Next

The Applied Science of Intelligent Design-Part III

ARN correspondent, Robert Deyes, has written an interesting post entitled, The Designs That Human Endeavors Can Only Approximate And Rarely Surpass. He writes:

Throughout history man has looked to the natural world as the source of inspiration for some of the most exquisite inventions ever seen. Perhaps most famous of all is the Eiffel tower which, originally conceived by Gustav Eiffel as a temporary edifice, had at its foundations the design of already-existing natural structures notably the curvature of bones (Ref 1). Velcro was likewise inspired by already-existing biological contrivances as was perhaps Charles Paxton’s water lilly-based design of the Crystal Palace in London (Ref 2).

As I’ve written before, considering life from a teleological perspective can make this process more explicit leading to beneficial inventions that help the lives of people. Darwinists would have you to believe that such things as chance and necessity are capable of producing biological technology that is beyond our ability to emulate. From an ID perspective, when an apparent design flaw is discovered, the questions do not stop there. In other words, Darwinisim is a science stopper, because it’s more important to them to have ‘evidence’ to hold out that their theory is true. Taking an ID perspective, a more cautious approach would ensue, and the issue would be examined in greater detail before it is concluded that a ‘design flaw’ has been discovered.

There are two major issues at work here. The first issue is that thinking in terms of design in biology can focus researchers on practical applications and inventions with likely benefit to humanity. The second issue is that the scientific process of understanding the function of biological processes can continue to a deeper level without stopping with an apparent design flaw, which would be attributed to the happenstance nature of evolution. The second issue is important in terms of understanding biological processes, which could lead to new treatments for disease.

The article concludes with:

CEO and president of Promega Corporation, Bill Linton, once remarked that “our most well designed human endeavors can only approximate- and rarely surpass- the elegant precision of nature” (Ref 8). Indeed crediting evolution for the engineering of complex systems that lie beyond the capacity of human minds to fully conceive seems thoroughly misplaced. Moreover there is something deeply telling about the observation that the natural world has machines that we, as intelligent agents, are so ready to copy. Defenders of Intelligent Design theory have of course provided their own take on this singular fact, concluding that the work of an intelligent designer and not the blind walk of evolution lies at the heart of biological complexity.

Indeed, crediting evolution for the engineering of complex systems is thoroughly misplaced, and impedes scientific progress in ways that are truly important. That is, applied science is impeded by a happenstance view of natural history.

Faith and Evolution: New Website

William Dembski posted on a new website launched by the Discovery Institute (faithandevolution.org).  The design is sleek, and there is some useful information there.  I was reading some of the information on theistic evolution and came across this astounding passage:

And biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown University, author of the popular book Finding Darwin’s God (which is used in many Christian colleges), insists that evolution is an undirected process, flatly denying that God guided the evolutionary process to achieve any particular result—including the development of human beings. Indeed, Miller insists that “mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.” [Finding Darwin’s God (1999), p. 272]

Miller does say that God knew that the undirected process of evolution was so wonderful it would create some sort of rational creature capable of praising Him eventually. But what that something would be was radically undetermined. How undetermined? At a 2007 conference, Miller admitted that evolution could have produced “a big-brained dinosaur” or a “mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities” rather than human beings. [Quoted in Darwin Day, p. 226]

The Outsider, DB, would call this type of thinking, making it up as we go.  Essentially, that appears to be the approach of most theistic evolutionists. Unfortunately, they seem to apply a similar process to theology that many Darwinists apply to history. In other words, they imagine God to be whatever they want (e.g., a powerless cosmic puppy dog who loves you perhaps). Basically, they often seem to be worshiping science first and God second. But the God they worship (second to science) appears to be one of their own making.

According to theistic evolution, did God direct evolution and know its outcome?

A Naturalistic Fairy Tale – Part XXVIII

From time to time, we do like to use computers to look into the distant past. We know how impressed you are by computers. This time, we looked back 4.4 billion years in Earth’s history.(1) We do discover through the use A Tale of an Early Earthof our simulations that life may have survived the massive asteroid bombardment of the Hadean Eon (4.5 billion to 3.9 billion years ago). Although all traces of any such bombardment have been completely wiped away, we do know it happened by looking at the moon and Mars (Praise Science).

Although many of us did previously think that the bombardment would have sterilized the Earth, we now think that microbes could have arisen as early as 500 million years after the formation of the Earth and survived in subterranean environments.

We do now say:

“Even under the most extreme conditions we imposed, Earth would not have been completely sterilized by the bombardment,” Abramov said.

Given the context of this story that we have imagined, we again like the idea of hydrothermal vents giving rise to life. We hope that you will now be convinced that life arose from non-life, because we have given the process even more time to take place (Praise Science).

(1). How life may have outlasted early blasts

The Psychology of Atheism – A Study of Masked Anguish

Paul Vitz – The Psychology of Atheism (MP3 Audio)

Link above is a long audio presentation by Paul Vitz, author of Faith of the Fatherless – The Psychology of Atheism (hat tip Atheism is Dead). This is an excellent presentation in which Vitz presents an historical account of psychology’s history regarding psychological underpinnings of religion. However, the main thrust of the presentation is discussing psychological aspects of atheism. Vitz discusses his theory in a compassionate and caring manner, and also discusses his own experiences as an atheist and the experiences of his wife.

Religious Artifact or Scientific Discovery?

The latest in the saga of nature worship is the discovery of a ’47 million year old’ fossil given the name Ida.  Hailed in the popular press as the long-sought-after ‘missing link,’ Darwinius masillae is being held up in some circles as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Perhaps my impression that this is being held up with a religious artifact for naturalism is hyperbole, but perhaps not. You decide. Here is a quote:

“This specimen is like finding the Lost Ark for archeologists,” lead scientist Jorn Hurum said at a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History.

“It is the scientific equivalent of the Holy Grail. This fossil will probably be the one that will be pictured in all textbooks for the next 100 years.”(1)

Lost Ark? Holy Grail? All that in one? It certainly seems like the whole question of human evolution is solved. However, things are not so wonderful. You know there’s a problem when someone from Scienceblogs (atheistblogs?) criticizes the findings.(2)

This shoddy scholarship is matched by a weak attempt to show that Darwinius has more anthropoid-like traits than tarsiers or omomyids do. In order for the authors of the paper to make a convincing case they would have to undertake a careful, systematic analysis of the anatomy of Darwinius in comparison to other primates, yet they did not do this. Instead they combed the literature for 30 traits that might help ascertain the placement of Darwinius in the primate family tree and filled in whether each trait was present or absent in Ida’s skeleton.

This find may be interesting and have some scientific value, but the primary value at this time appears to be as a religious symbol for naturalism.

(1). “Missing link found? Scientists unveil fossil of 47 million-year-old primate, Darwinius masillae”
(2). Poor, poor Ida, Or: “Overselling an Adapid”

Update: Others have weighed in on the issue.

ID: Darwinius masillae: The Religion in Evolution


Creationism: Ida: the Missing Link at Last?

Update 2: It seems the Darwnists are running for cover after their bluff was called. New Scientist has posted an article today entitled, Why Ida fossil is not the missing link. Regardless, we can look for this to show up in textbooks as ‘proof’ of evolution.

What does Ida’s anatomy tell us about her place on the family tree of humans and other primates? The fact that she retains primitive features that commonly occurred among all early primates, such as simple incisors rather than a full-fledged toothcomb, indicates that Ida belongs somewhere closer to the base of the tree than living lemurs do.

But this does not necessarily make Ida a close relative of anthropoids – the group of primates that includes monkeys, apes – and humans. In order to establish that connection, Ida would have to have anthropoid-like features that evolved after anthropoids split away from lemurs and other early primates. Here, alas, Ida fails miserably.

So, Ida is not a “missing link” – at least not between anthropoids and more primitive primates. Further study may reveal her to be a missing link between other species of Eocene adapiforms, but this hardly solidifies her status as the “eighth wonder of the world”.

Instead, Ida is a remarkably complete specimen that promises to teach us a great deal about the biology of some of the earliest and least human-like of all known primates, the Eocene adapiforms. For this, we can all celebrate her discovery as a real advance for science.