Dr. David Menton – Methuselah and Grandpa’s Ax: the Problem of Aging and Death

Many people find it difficult to believe that Methuselah lived to be 969 years old. Nevertheless, the Bible states quite plainly that the early patriarchs and their wives often lived to be nearly 1,000 years old, and had children when they were several hundred years old! Similar claims of long life spans are found in the secular literature of several ancient cultures (including the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Indians and Chinese). Even a life span of nearly 1,000 years is sadly abbreviated, however, when we consider that God initially created us to live forever. Let’s take a look at the whole matter of aging and death from the perspective of both the Bible and science.

The Bible tells us that God created the first humans — Adam and Eve — without sin and with the ability to live forever. God gave the first human couple virtually everything they needed for their eternal health and happiness in the Garden of Eden; but He warned them not to eat fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil or they would die, as would all humans after them (Genesis 2:16–17). When Satan’s deception caused first Eve and then Adam to disobey and eat from the forbidden tree, their minds and bodies suddenly became profoundly changed. Not only did they become subject to death, but their firstborn child (Cain) became the world’s first murderer. Truly, the wages of sin is death, physically and spiritually. It is sobering to think that the Bible would have been only three pages long—from Creation to the fall into sin — were it not for the undeserved love of God who both promised and sent the Messiah to save us from sin and death (Isaiah 25:8; Psalm 49:14–15; 1 John 5:13).

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Dr. David Menton – Creation and the Appearance of Age

I am often asked if I really believe that God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days—and I freely confess that I do find it difficult to believe such a thing. Why, I wonder, would God spend an entire six days doing a miracle that would require of Him literally no time at all? Think about it: How much time does a miracle take? How much time, for example, did Jesus take for His first miracle when He changed water into the finest quality wine (as judged by a professional steward) for the wedding at Cana? The answer, of course, is no time at all—He told the servants to fill the pots with water and serve it! Still, the Bible clearly reveals God took six whole days to initially create everything to perfection; so, we must either take God at His Word, or presume to stand in judgment of all Scripture.

Some Christians seem to have just the opposite problem with six-day creation—they find it difficult to believe that God could get the job done in only six ordinary days. They prefer to believe that the days of Creation were vastly longer than 24 hours—even over a billion years longer! (Perhaps they are confusing miracles with time-consuming work or luck.)

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Dr. David Menton – Darwin Didn’t Discover Evolution or Natural Selection

Charles Darwin is often portrayed as one of the greatest original thinkers of science, on a par with the likes of Newton. While his book On the Origin of Species has probably had a greater impact on society than any other book—except the Bible—most of the evolutionary views he expressed in On the Origin of Species were neither original nor scientific, but rather had their roots in Pagan materialism. The essential “Darwinian” axiom of chance evolution by random change and “survival of the fittest” was broadly suggested by ancient Greek philosophers. Even the more refined concept of “natural selection,” which is often viewed as a unique contribution of Darwin, was clearly expressed by many others as early as 100 years before the 1859 publication of Origin of Species.

The French astronomer and mathematician Pierre de Maupertuis (1698–1759) is generally credited with being among the first to have developed an essentially modern theory of evolution, which included a process of random change (mutation) and natural selection. In his book Essaie de Cosmologie he said,

Chance, one might say, turned out a vast number of individuals; a small proportion of these were organized in such a manner that the animals’ organs could satisfy their needs. A much greater number showed neither adaptation nor order; these last have all perished. Thus the species which we see today are but a small part of all those that a blind destiny has produced.

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Dr. David Menton – The Origin of Evolutionism: It Didn’t Begin with Darwin

Evolutionism is a belief system based upon the assumption that there is a purely materialistic explanation for the origin of virtually everything that ever has existed or ever will exist. The essential feature of this belief (often called materialism) is that everything in nature arose spontaneously by a process of self-transformation without the necessity of supernatural intervention. Julian Huxley once said,

The whole of reality is evolution, a single process of self-transformation (Evolution and Genetics, Simon & Shuster, 1955, p. 278).

In today’s public schools, history teachers teach how the universe evolved; earth science teachers tell how the earth evolved; biology teachers relate how living things evolved; and social studies teachers preach about how our values and religion evolved—however, students are rarely instructed in how belief in evolutionism itself evolved. To be sure, it didn’t begin with Darwin, nor was it first proposed by scientists working in the field or in the laboratory.

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Dr. David Menton – Making Monkeys out of Men

The evolutionist’s notion that man evolved by chance from ape-like creatures is largely based upon certain anatomical similarities between apes and men. Being convinced that such similarities “prove” an evolutionary relationship, paleoanthropologists have declared certain fossil apes to be particularly “manlike” and, thus, ancestral to man. Similarly, in an effort to fill the gap between apes and men, certain fossil men have been declared to be “apelike” and, thus, ancestral to at least “modern” man. You might say this latter effort seeks to make a “monkey” out of man.

Humans are rarely found in the fossil record. This may be partly explained by the sort of habitat in which man typically lived, and by the extraordinary conditions required for fossilization (sudden burial in water-borne sediment which hardens before decomposition of the bones). The best-known human fossils are of Cro-Magnon man (whose marvelous paintings are found on the walls of caves in France) and Neanderthal man. Both are true men and are accordingly classified today as Homo sapiens.

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Dr. David Menton – Making Men out of Monkeys

The bitterest pill to swallow for any Christian who attempts to “make peace” with Darwin is the presumed animal ancestry of man. Even many Christians who uncritically accept evolutionary dogma as “God’s way of creating” try to elevate man and his origin above that of the beasts. Evolutionists attempt to soften the blow by assuring us that man didn’t exactly evolve from apes (tailless monkeys) but rather from ape-like creatures. This is mere semantics, as may be seen from the fact that many of the presumed animal ancestors of man have been given scientific names which include the word pithecus (derived from the Greek meaning ape) just like many living apes. The much-touted “human ancestor” commonly known as “Lucy,” for example, has the scientific name Australopithecus afarensis (meaning southern ape from the Afar triangle of Africa), though evolutionists often refer to this ape as a “woman”! But what exactly is the evidence for the ape ancestry of man and how compelling is it?

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Dr. David Menton – What a Difference a Day Makes!

The lyrics of a popular song remind us, “What a difference a day makes—24 little hours.” Nowhere is this observation more profoundly true than in our proper understanding of the Hebrew word for day (yom) which occurs over 2,000 times in the Old Testament. Like our English word “day,” yom can be used to mean an ordinary 24-hour day or an indefinite period of time (such as “in the day of Abraham”). In both English and Hebrew, the intended meaning of “day” is generally obvious by the context in which it is used. For example, in over 100 instances where the phrase “evening and morning” accompany the word yom in the Old Testament (as it does in the days of Creation in Genesis), it always refers to an ordinary 24-hour day. Also, in all the places in Scripture where the word yom is preceded by a number (as it is in the days of Creation), it always means a 24-hour day. Despite these simple and quite obvious rules governing its use, interpretation of the Hebrew word yom in the Creation week of Genesis has become one of the most contested issues among professing Christians and Jews. How could this be, and is it really important?

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Dr. David Menton – Monkeying with the Scopes “Monkey” Trial

There has never been a stranger trial in the history of American jurisprudence than the famous Scopes “monkey trial” that took place in Dayton, Tennessee in 1925. This trial pitted William Jennings Bryan against Clarence Darrow in a classic confrontation over the teaching of evolution and creation in the public schools. Regrettably, much confusion about the important issues raised in this trial has been perpetuated by the frequent production of the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee play Inherit the Wind (and its many film and television versions). Inherit the Wind is clearly based on the Scopes trial, but takes considerable theatrical liberties to portray the trial as a moral triumph of “science” (evolutionism) over Christian “fundamentalism” (creationism).

The gist of the play is that a young biology teacher is jailed and tried by local businessmen and clergy for daring to teach evolution in the high school. Bible-believing Christians, (especially the “fundamentalist” prosecuting attorney) are portrayed as ignorant, mean-spirited, and close-minded hypocrites who seek both legal and divine vengeance against the teacher for his great “crime.” They are opposed by a defense lawyer (a brilliant, broad-minded, and kindly agnostic) who fights courageously to spare the young teacher from this army of ignorance. This is all pretty typical “Hollywood” fare, and would hardly merit our examination were it not for the fact that this scenario has come to be perceived as essentially an historical account of the Scopes trial. The facts show otherwise.

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Dr. David Menton – Species, Speciation, and the Genesis Kind

In his “table talks,” Martin Luther spoke of the Greek scholar Cicero’s proof for the existence of God:

The best argument that there is a God—and it often moved me deeply — is this one that he proves from generation of species; a cow always bears a cow, a horse always bears a horse, etc. No cow gives birth to a horse, no horse gives birth to a cow, no goldfinch produces a siskin. Therefore it is necessary to conclude that there is something that directs everything thus (Luther’s Works, 1967, Fortress Press, p. 423).

As obvious as this principle of “like begets like” is in terms of common experience, a central tenet of Darwinism is that in the course of time, things are very different. Evolutionists seek to account for the origin of all species (past and present) from a single, hypothetical, primordial life-form by means of progressive change and natural selection.

Many think that Darwin solved the problem of speciation (development of new species) with the publication of his book On the Origin of Species. In fact, Darwin didn’t really deal with the subject, much less explain it. This failure to address what was seemingly the central issue of his study stemmed from the fact that Darwin, like many of the other English “transformationists” of his time, did not really recognize the species as a distinct and real category of organisms. Rather, he extrapolated the continuous (but limited) variation he saw among pigeons, finches, dogs, etc., into a limitless and seamless continuum among all organisms.

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Dr. David Menton – The Religion of Nature: Social Darwinism

It has been said that no book, other than the Bible, has had a greater affect on society than Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould wrote that following the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859:

Subsequent arguments for slavery, colonialism, racial differences, class structures, and sex roles would go forth primarily under the banner of science. (The Mismeasure of Man, W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1981, p. 72)

Darwin himself seemed to approve of the application of his evolutionary ideas to moral and social issues. In a letter to H. Thiel in 1869, Darwin said:

You will really believe how much interested I am in observing that you apply to moral and social questions analogous views to those which I have used in regard to the modification of species. It did not occur to me formerly that my views could be extended to such widely different and most important subjects. (The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, edited by Francis Darwin, D. Appleton and Company, 1896, vol. 2, p. 294).

The feature of Darwinism most often cited by those who attempt to justify their moral and social views with “science” (evolution) is the concept of the “survival of the fittest.” This application of Darwinian dogma to human society and behavior is known as Social Darwinism.

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