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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Answers in Genesis – Evolution or Creation?

EVOLUTION OR CREATION?

1. What is creation?

Creation is the belief that the account of the origin of the universe and of life given in the Bible in Genesis chapters one and two is literally true and accurate in every way. The theory of evolution as an explanation for origins is rejected as incompatible with both the Bible and the scientific evidence. The Biblical account is understood in its plain, literal sense, e.g., a day is of 24 hours duration. Accordingly, all scientific data relating to origins is to be interpreted within this Biblical framework. As a matter of faith, we hold the Bible to be God’s infallible and inerrant Word and therefore all science, when properly understood, will inevitably support it. In practice, we find that scientific data overwhelmingly confirms and upholds the account of origins recorded in the Bible.

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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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Dr. David Menton – The Dating Game

Much of the controversy between evolutionists and creationists concerns the age of the earth and its fossils. Evolution, depending as it does on pure chance, requires an immense amount of time to stumble upon anything remotely approaching the integrated complexity we see in even the simplest living things. For over 100 years, geologists have attempted to devise methods for determining the age of the earth that would be consistent with evolutionary dogma. At the time Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, the earth was “scientifically” determined to be 100 million years old. By 1932, it was found to be 1.6 billion years old. In 1947, geologists firmly established that the earth was 3.4 billion years old. Finally in 1976, they discovered that the earth is “really” 4.6 billion years old. These dates indicate that for 100 years, the age of the earth doubled every 20 years. If this trend were to continue, the earth would be 700 thousand-trillion-trillion-trillion years old by the year 4000 AD. This “prediction,” however, is based on selected data and certain assumptions that might not be true. As we will see, selected data and unprovable assumptions are a problem with all methods for determining the age of the earth, as well as for dating its fossils and rocks. It has all become something of a “dating game” in which only the evolutionarily correct are allowed to play.

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Simon Turpin – Theistic Evolution and Its Christological Contradiction

Introduction

Because of the impact that evolutionary ideology has had on the theological realm, some theologians are reasoning that Jesus’ teaching on things such as creation was simply wrong. It is argued that because of Jesus’ human nature and cultural context, he taught and believed erroneous ideas. For example, commenting on Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:4–5, evolutionary creationist Denis Lamoureux states:

Powerful evidence for a strict literal reading of the Genesis creation accounts comes from Jesus himself. . . . Therefore, if any Christian accepts a view of origins other than a six day creation, then they need to offer convincing reasons why the opening chapters of Genesis should not be read literally.

The convincing reason Lamoureux offers as to why Genesis should not be read literally — or, rather, plainly — is the idea that Jesus accommodated the beliefs of his first century audience:

In Matthew 19:4–5, Jesus accommodated by employing the ancient science of the de novo creation of “male and female” in Genesis 1:27 to emphasize the inerrant spiritual truth that God is the Creator of human beings. . . . Therefore, Matthew 19:4–5 is not a revelation of scientific facts on how God actually made humans.

Lamoureux has reasoned that Jesus in his humanity was limited by the opinions of his time and therefore has dismissed Jesus’ use of Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 in Matthew 19:4–5 as being relevant to the discussion over creation. Consequently, he believes that Jesus erred in what he taught because he was accommodating the erroneous Jewish traditions of the first century.

Obviously, this is a serious accusation that needs to be answered. This can be done by first looking at two aspects of the Jesus’ life: 1) His human nature, and 2) His relationship with the Father. Then we will consider the accommodation theory.

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Dr. David Menton – What Do the Fossils Say?

Most evolutionists insist that the occurrence of evolution is an indisputable fact, even if its exact mechanism must remain speculative. Since evolution is believed to occur far too slowly to be discernible in the time frame of human observers, we must examine prehistoric evidence in the fossil record if we are to observe the “fact” of evolution. In his book Historical Geology, evolutionist C.O. Dunbar said:

Fossils provide the only historical, documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms.

But what does the fossil evidence say, and does it really support the evolutionary view of origins—or is it perhaps more consistent with Creation?

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Dr. David Menton – Can Evolution Produce an Eye? Not a Chance!

The human brain consists of approximately 12 billion cells, forming 120 trillion interconnections. The light sensitive retina of the eye (which is really part of the brain) contains over 10 million photoreceptor cells. These cells capture the light pattern formed by the lens and convert it into complex electrical signals, which are then sent to a special area of the brain where they are transformed into the sensation we call vision.

In an article in Byte magazine (April 1985), John Stevens compares the signal processing ability of the cells in the retina with that of the most sophisticated computer designed by man, the Cray supercomputer:

While today’s digital hardware is extremely impressive, it is clear that the human retina’s real time performance goes unchallenged. Actually, to simulate 10 milliseconds (one hundredth of a second) of the complete processing of even a single nerve cell from the retina would require the solution of about 500 simultaneous nonlinear differential equations 100 times and would take at least several minutes of processing time on a Cray supercomputer. Keeping in mind that there are 10 million or more such cells interacting with each other in complex ways, it would take a minimum of 100 years of Cray time to simulate what takes place in your eye many times every second.

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Dr. David Menton – Natural Selection and Macroevolution

Darwin’s only observable evidence for “evolution in action” was the great variation that occurs within species of animals and plants under domestication. Darwin, who knew nothing of genetics, assumed that there was virtually no limit to this variation among the individuals of a species, though any breeder could have told him otherwise. In the first edition of his book On the Origin of Species, Darwin said that he had no difficulty imagining a race of bears entering the water to catch fish and then slowly developing wider mouths, shorter legs, and longer tails, until they evolved by chance into the great whales. Thus, Darwin extrapolated the observable but limited variation that occurs among the individuals of a species, into the unobservable evolution of fundamentally new animals.

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Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson – Do Humans Have Genes for Laying Eggs?

This series has been responding to the theistic evolutionary book Adam and the Genome. We have been focusing specifically on the first several chapters (written by Dennis Venema), which claim to detail the evidence for evolution in general, and for the nonexistence of Adam and Eve in particular. In our last three posts on chapter two, we began to explore the analogy that Venema makes between language change and evolutionary change.

Venema thinks this analogy uncovers genetic patterns that are difficult to explain apart from evolution. We have dealt with Venema’s claims about patterns in genetic sequences that he thinks are functionally redundant. In this post, we explore his claims about genetic sequences that he thinks have lost their function.

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