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Get the Book That Took the Unknown Out of the Genesis Creation Account:

Buy Hey Mom, What About Dinosaurs?, the original work by Russell Husted that translates Genesis into modern English and modern Science.
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When I taught various applications of the evolution paradigm at a couple of universities, I would teach the danger of assuming evolution. The danger was ad hoc and post hoc interpretation and explanation of a biological history or current biological form/design. The danger was rationalization instead of science, of teleology: that the end explains the beginning and process, that the theory explains and confirms the hypothesis. That’s how evolution came to be “a fact” instead of a theory, and scientific research became little more than fleshing out the story of Creation and extolling the beauty of evolution as Creator. All this is exactly what critics say about Intelligent Design. And they were pretty much on much of the time. But what is good for the goose must surely be good for the gander.

When I critiqued evolution articles and books, and research and authors, for that sort of language and reasoning I was keeping biology and anthropology honest, and most people in the field agreed. And truthfully, error of that sort remained rare in evolutionary science but not so much in Intelligent Design. I think that sort of error contributed much to the decline in standing which Intelligent Design has suffered in the past couple of years, and why the “Evolutionists” have won essentially every major contest in courts and school boards and politics in general. It might be hard for the proponents of Intelligent Design to admit they’ve lost enough battles that many on both sides think the war is over, I think most of the science and anti-ID community are confident they’ve won. Certainly their hackles and anxieties are way down today compared to, say, the time of the Dover trial.

Along with their hackles, however, I fear they’ve also dropped their guard against sloppy language and thinking, and a lot of that ad hoc and post hoc and teleological garbage is sneaking back into the picture. And in so doing, the science of evolution is beginning to sound like many researchers are not so anti Intelligent Design. Like those studying evolutionary biological topics, at least, are open to, or leaning towards accepting the idea that evolution of life has had some hand of a higher intelligence guiding or directing or influencing the flow of creation!

I’ve always seen some of this and figured it was, as I’ve said, sloppy thinking or speaking. But in recent times its gotten to be more than just a rare thing, and not just error by junior or less – say, bright? – scientists. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here are three examples I came across in one brief session reading online reports.<.h3>

The first:

“Smoke plays an intriguing role in promoting the germination of seeds of many species following a fire,” Johannes Van Staden and colleagues point out in the report (in ACS’s Journal of Natural Products) They previously discovered a chemical compound in smoke from burning plants that promotes seed germination….
In their new research, the scientists report discovery of an inhibitor compound that may block the action of the stimulator, preventing germination of seeds. They suspect that the compounds may be part of a carefully crafted regulatory system for repopulating fire-ravaged landscapes…. The inhibitor thus may delay germination of seeds until moisture and temperature are right, and then take a back seat to the germination promoter in smoke.

Comment: “They suspect that the compounds may be part of a carefully crafted regulatory system…”. “Crafted” by an overseeing Intelligent Designer of the ecological system?

The Second:

Has the almond tree developed a unique way of drawing potential pollinators? A group of researchers at the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Science Education at the University of Haifa-Oranim speculate that the toxin called amygdalin that is found in almond tree nectar is in fact an evolutionary development intended to give that tree an advantage over others…. it is likely that amygdalin is produced in the almond nectar so as to give the almond tree an advantage in reproduction…. it is possible that the plant produces it so as to attract potential pollinators.
Another possibility is that the almond tree has developed this substance in its nectar as a form of filter: it repulses “non-expert” pollinatrors, but gives access to the “experts”… providing efficient pollination services….

Comment: “[A] possibility is that the almond tree has developed this substance in its nectar as a form of filter: it repulses ‘non-expert’ pollinatrors, but gives access to the ‘experts'”. Is the intelligence and discernment of which pollinators are “expert” in the tree, or an outside Intelligent Designer of the system?

The Third:

A team of University of Toronto chemists have made a major contribution to the emerging field of quantum biology, observing quantum mechanics at work in photosynthesis in marine algae….
“Our latest experiments show that normally functioning biological systems have the capacity to use quantum mechanics in order to optimize a process as essential to their survival as photosynthesis…. We were astonished…. This and other recent discoveries …. [raise] some … potentially fascinating questions, such as, have these organisms developed quantum-mechanical strategies for light-harvesting to gain an evolutionary advantage? It suggests that algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans,” says Scholes.

Comment: algae knew about quantum mechanics nearly two billion years before humans. We all doubt the ability of an algae to know about and use quantum mechanics, but does this suggest there was a much higher Intelligent Designer that did, and helped start this life form some 2 billion years ago?

Now, I have come to a fairly neutral position regarding the creation-evolution-ID debate. Each has its own strength and possibilities, and each can provide a satisfying paradigm/explanation for some people. My only conclusion is that the Bible, in Genesis 1 and 2, and elsewhere, does not tell us how creation happened. But it does tell us God was at least a witness to it all, and knew where it was going, as evidenced by (in my own translation of the Hebrew Scriptures) by the description, in some detail, of its history, so many years before anyone could have ever had even an inkling of what we have slowly discovered through science – so accurately and so long ago that it reads, as I’ve said, at least as a most remarkable prophecy! Wichever, whatever, this is enough to lend incredible confidence and believability to Genesis 1 and 2, and the Bible’s claim that God is the Intelligent Designer of life and universe, by whatever means He chose … but did not precisely tell us about.

**The three articles can be accessed at the following URLs:

The Secret Life of Smoke….

Almond Tree’s Secret Weapon

Quantum Mechanics at Work in Photosynthesis…

Why Darwin Matters … or Not

Posted in: Bible & Science,Culture Wars by admin on October 16, 2009

Michael Shermer publishes and edits Skeptic magazine, runs the Skeptic Society, or something like that, and is sure to be found wherever two or three skeptics gather together. He’s critical. He likes to debunk things. Things like “junk science”, questionable theories and political ideas. And, religion. Especially Christianity. Like ex smokers, ex Christians are usually the worst. Oh yes, he really despises any and all things “creationist”. So, to him, “Darwin Matters” because he thinks Darwin erased chapters 1 & 2 of Genesis. He even wrote the book, Why Darwin Matters, to tell us all about it.

To tell you the truth, looking at Shermer I have think “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” He and I could have had the same mother. Once upon a time. But I’ve learned something over the years that he and a lot of other people should learn. I’ll get to that later.

I’ve learned that Darwin doesn’t matter that much anymore. He does to science and scientists, but not to us, not in the way Shermer thinks he should. Shermer thinks evolution should persuade Christians and creationists and Intelligent Designers, and pretty much anyone who has believed the Bible – well, in Genesis, chapters 1 & 2, at least – to abandon their beliefs. So the book, Why Darwin Matters. Well, since I once shared his ideas, and his special antipathy to Genesis, I wanted to see how he argues his case and how well he does it.

I was not impressed. In fact, a bit disappointed. There was really nothing there to challenge me, or stimulate any new ideas. The book is little more than a compilation and distillation of stuff that’s been done many a time before.

He argues that the facts and findings of an ever-increasing variety of sciences build and converge to establish “The Facts of Evolution” (Chapter 1). That’s probably his best chapter. After that he tells us “Why People Do Not Accept Evolution” (Chapter 2). He explains, mostly citing the Scopes Trial, its because they/we fear it leads to atheism and amorality, if not wholesale immorality. Then he’s onto debunking Intelligent Design as bad theology and simplemindedness (“In Search of the Designer”, Chapter 3) and as bad science in a pretty weak and fatuous “Debating Intelligent Design” (Chapter 4). Chapter 5, “Science Under Attack”, strikes me as something of an exercise in paranoia, reminding me of those who still can’t get over the Galileo affair. Like, when’s the last time we Christians won anything significant since in the schools or courts – well, before the Scopes Trial at least (which he celebrates, of course)! The red meat of Chapter 5 is the recounting of Kitzmiller v Dover, where the Christians failed even to get a one minute statement read to students declaring merely the obvious, the facts that the Theory of Evolution is still but a theory, and many Christians have another theory, about life and creation. That he, and so many others, seemed to see science fundamentally threatened by even this minute, there in Dover, is quite a stretch … of paranoia … or intolerance.

The rest of the book is Shermer waging culture war. Chapter 6, “The Real Agenda” disparages the hopes and politics of I.D. proponents. Chapter 7 disingenuously argues “Why Science Cannot Contradict Religion”. He might be right, it can’t. But he obviously (the book attests) believes that it does! So in Chapter 8, he tries to tell us “Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution.” And so on.

When I finished the book, the biggest question for me was “Why?”. Why did he bother to write the thing? Looking at Amazon’s records you can see it didn’t make much money for him. Most reviewers recognized it didn’t break any new ground. Most who liked it were fellow travelers and Shermer fans. Few were scientists. Though I read a review that gave it credit for helping scientists who were still confused or insecure about evolution, I know enough science and scientists to know none of them will be persuaded by Shermer, and none need his defense or encouragement about evolutionary theory. No, its pretty obvious that because Shermer thinks Darwin’s theory negates Genesis, he’s hoping to undermine some Christian’s beliefs and win them over to his religion, atheism. I understand that, having been there once. And truthfully I believed and preached it for the same reasons, with very good success.

But its NOT true! There is NO contradiction between Darwin and evolution and what science has shown to be the history of creation, and Genesis 1 & 2! None! Genesis gives a history, an outline of the history of creation, and nothing science has learned in two hundred years contradicts it! In fact, every year the story science is telling matches the story Genesis tells even better! Better! But Genesis actually says nothing about “how”, about the processes or forces or mechanisms by which creation is effected! Evolution is no contradiction. For all we know (and most scientists insist we do) evolution may well have been God’s method. Genesis only tells us, for the most part, when things happened, relative to each other. It reads more like a book of the prophets than anything else, when once we accurately translate the Hebrew texts written 3500 years ago. That is the truth that totally revolutionized my own understanding and beliefs.

God tells us, in Romans 1, that we can have no ignorance about Him and His nature if we would only study His creation. Science is our best effort at that. Romans 1 pretty well ruled the day in Galileo’s time, but then politics, and dogma, overruled the truth Galileo, and others, were revealing. We are there again. Science, every day, fulfills the prophecy of Romans 1, and confirms the prophetic account of Genesis 1 & 2, at least the account we can discover when we set aside the translation of 1611 for a retranslation into the language and science of 2010!

Shermer was wasting his time with Why Darwin Matters, but didn’t know it. One wonders what he would believe if he did know what Genesis really says. And all too many Christians waste their time fearing and fighting for something that isn’t there. And nearly everyone is wasting their time fighting a culture war that is based in nothing but a 400 year-old interpretation.

God intended His word stay alive, and be reapplied to each generation’s times. You need to read what Genesis really says. Its available here, free. As for the Bereans among you, read my book. It takes you through a detailed forensic reinterpretation, using modern science and language, that brings Genesis into this day, this age, word by word, detail by detail. And see for yourself why Darwin really doesn’t matter!