Dr. Nathaniel T. Jeanson and Jeffrey P. Tomkins – Did Humanity Arise from a Large Population or a Pair of Individuals?

II. How Many: A Population or a Pair?

For many years, the discussion of the number of individuals that spawned the modern human race was not accessible to science. Fossils don’t record population sizes, and the antiquity and geography of our ancestors offer little in the way of direct data on the number of individuals alive on the planet at the dawn of Homo sapiens. Only with the advent of modern genetics have scientists been able to more directly explore this question.

However, the raw genetic data say nothing about ancestral population sizes. The evolutionary conclusion that humanity arose from a large population1 rather than a pair of individuals is a consequence of the arbitrary constraints that evolutionists bring to bear on the question. Implicit in the evolutionary claims is the assumption that DNA differences can arise only via the process of copying errors (mutations) that we discussed in the previous section. In other words, under the evolutionary model, the immediate reason why you are genetically different from your parents is that you inherited DNA from each parent. However, according to evolutionary reasoning, the ultimate reason why genetic differences exist at all in the human population is mutations in the distant past.

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Simon Turpin – “In Adam’s Fall We Sinned All”: Does Genesis 3 Teach the Fall of Man?

Introduction

Critical scholars have long rejected Genesis 3 as an accurate account of actual events, such as the Creation and Fall of man. However, in the recent debate over the historical Adam, many professing evangelicals, and once-professing evangelicals, who have adopted the methods and conclusions of critical secular scholarship, have pointedly argued that the doctrine of the Fall, which teaches original sin, is not original to the text of Genesis 3. These scholars see the doctrine of the Fall and original sin as an invention the church Father Augustine of Hippo (354-430) read into the text. In the recent book Adam and the Genome, which rejects a historical Adam, theologian Scot McKnight argues:

What we call the “fall” story of Genesis 3 borrows a later Christian term and, more importantly, in borrowing a later category, reads the text in ways that miss what the text meant in the ancient Near East. . . . In fact, the whole of Genesis 1–3 barely — if ever — makes another appearance in the entire Old Testament; so while many would say Genesis 1–11 is the foundation for reading the whole Bible, that is certainly at least an exaggeration if not a serious error.

It has also been pointed out that because Genesis 3 contains none of the language associated with disobedience, such as sin, evil, rebellion, transgression, and guilt, it therefore cannot be a passage that teaches the doctrine of the Fall.

Are these objections valid? Does Genesis 3 say anything about the concept of a Fall? Have Christians read something into Genesis 3 that is simply not there? I will argue that the doctrine of the Fall is a biblical concept and can be derived from the biblical text. It is important to defend the biblical concept of the Fall and original sin because “no doctrine is more crucial to our anthropology and soteriology.”

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John MacArthur – The Gaping Holes in the Gap Theory

Scripture gives us a complete — albeit contested — account of God’s work on the first day of creation.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1–5)

Verse 1 is a general statement. The rest of Genesis 1 unfolds the sequence of God’s creative work, starting with a “formless and void” earth.

The Barren Planet

As day one emerges from eternity, we find the earth in a dark and barren condition. The construction of the Hebrew phrase that opens verse 2 is significant. The subject comes before the verb, as if to emphasize something remarkable about it. It might be translated, “As to the earth, it was formless and void.” Here is a new planet, the very focus of God’s creative purpose, and it was formless and void. The Hebrew expression is tohu wa bohu. Tohu signifies a wasteland, a desolate place. Bohu means “empty.” The earth was an empty place of utter desolation.

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Dr. Terry Mortenson – The Religion of Naturalism

Naturalism, or philosophical naturalism, is one of the most popular religions in the world today, although most people don’t recognize it as such because it has no obvious worship centers, clergy, liturgy, or holy book. It has adherents in every country and dominates many countries, especially among the intellectual elites in the culture. It is therefore important to understand this major religion and how it became so popular. But sadly, it has also had a very significant and largely unrecognized influence on the worldview of many Christians, which is an even greater reason for Christians to understand it.

Naturalism is known by other names: atheism, scientific materialism, and secular humanism. Atheists, secular humanists, and other advocates of naturalism will protest that their view is a religion, but would say it is the opposite of religion. So we need to begin by defining “religion.” According to the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, one definition of religion is “the service and worship of God or the supernatural.” That obviously doesn’t apply to atheism. But another given by that dictionary certainly does apply: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith.” Many people who hold to naturalism are just as passionate about their belief as the most convinced Christians, Muslims, Hindus, or adherents of any other religion.

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Dominic Statham – The Age of the Earth and Why It Matters

From time to time, we meet people who reject evolution and would call themselves ‘creationists’, but who, nevertheless, accept that the earth and its rocks are millions of years old. In some cases, they feel that identifying as ‘young earth creationists’ would cause them to appear foolish and that this would undermine the credibility of their Christian witness. In responding to this, I believe that it is a mistake to begin with science. Instead, I find a better approach is to talk about God, His nature and glory, His original, perfect creation and how this changed due to our sin. This helps people to see why an ancient earth cannot be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching.

The glory of God

God’s love, holiness, justice and wisdom are beyond telling. Such is His glory that anyone who actually saw Him might expect to die. When God’s goodness passed in front of Moses, God had to provide protection, placing him in a cleft in a rock and covering him with His hand (Exodus 33:19–23). In heaven, God is worshipped incessantly, day and night (Revelation 4:8). The worshippers prostrate themselves before Him proclaiming, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11, emphasis added).

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Dr. Tommy Mitchell and Dr. Monty White – Is Evolution a Religion?

Surely, evolution is about the origin and development of life-forms on earth — what has this got to do with religion? Evolution is science, isn’t it?

We are sure that many people will find the question posed as the title of this chapter a little strange. Surely, evolution is about the origin and development of life-forms on earth — what has this got to do with religion? Evolution is science, isn’t it? And we are told that it has got to be separate from religious belief — at least in the classroom! Well, let’s see if evolution fits the bill as a true science as opposed to a religious belief. In order to do so, we must define some terms.

What Is Science?

Creationists are often accused of being unscientific or pseudoscientific, while at the same time those who promote evolution assume the mantle of “real scientist.” But what is science anyway? According to The American Heritage Dictionary, science is “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”1 Or put more simply, science involves observing things in the real world and trying to explain how they work. The key word here is observation.

You see, creationists do, indeed, believe in real “observational science,” sometimes called “operational science.” We enjoy the benefits of observational science every day. Whether flying in an airplane, having our illness cured by the wonders of modern medicine, or writing this book on a space-age laptop computer, we are benefiting from the technology that applies genuine observational science to real-world needs. These triumphs of science exist in the present and can therefore be the subjects of examination and investigation.

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Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell – Does Gill Embryology Show Fish Evolved from a Common Ancestor?

Gill embryology is similar in all sorts of fish, but this does not support the fishy story of our evolutionary past.

Can a landmark discovery about how fish embryos grow their gills connect us firmly to roots under the sea? Cambridge University zoologists J. Andrew Gillis and Olivia R.A. Tidswell think so.

Fish use gills to extract oxygen from water. Evolutionists maintain that vertebrates without gills—like us—have gills “present as vestiges in our own embryology.”1 (More on that below.) But where did gills come from in the first place? Enquiring evolutionists want to know! To find out, they look for similarities in the gills of different sorts of fish embryos. They hope to thereby unveil the gills of the common evolutionary ancestor of all fish and to gain a clue about how very different groups of fish—jawless, bony, and cartilaginous—diverged.

A Fishy Controversy

The skate is a jawed fish with a cartilaginous skeleton. Like all fish, it has gills. Gillis and Tidswell have used modern methods to study the skate’s embryonic gill development. Their surprising discovery has resolved a long-standing controversy and overturned information accepted since the 19th century. The controversy has hinged on the cellular origin of gills within a fish embryo.

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Jeffrey Tomkins – The Untold Story Behind DNA Similarity

“The DNA of humans is 98% similar to chimpanzees.” Who hasn’t heard that claim before? It’s usually stated as a settled fact and quoted to prove indisputably that we share a common ancestor.

But what does this kind of statement really entail, and how do we really know how similar one creature’s DNA is to another? The answers from my field of research—genetics—might surprise you.

Not So Fast

While DNA sequencing technology has advanced rapidly over the past 30 years, the task of determining the entire DNA sequence of a creature’s genome (all its chromosomes in a cell) and then comparing it to other genomes is anything but settled. We simply are not in the post-genomics era—as some have arrogantly claimed—where we have completely sequenced large genomes end-to-end and fully understand how they work.

Before we can talk about how to compare two organism’s genomes, or their chromosome complements as they are often referred to, we need to cover a little background information.

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Bodie Hodge – About 6,000 Years or 10,000 Years: Does It Matter?

Brief Introduction

In a culture that demands Christians give up the Bible and accept the secular humanist age of the earth at billions of years, it seems the discussion about 6,000 years vs. 10,000 years gets left behind. Yes, biblical creationists unite to battle the secular dating system and that is the “bigger fish to fry,” but at times, we can’t ignore the little fish in the bucket that needs to be cooked up too.

Where Is the Debate?

Statements of faith from various ministries can range, depending on their ministerial focus—and rightly so. But the foundation of our faith goes back to the early pages of Genesis, so we at Answers in Genesis encourage Christians to take a stand on biblical creation and have a statement to reflect it. Many times we applaud the way these statements on creation are stated, and in other cases we groan.

Some Christians try to avoid the subject by generically stating that God created. Of course that leaves room for Christians who mix their Christianity with certain tenets of other religions like humanism’s origins account. For example, when Christians deviate from the Bible in Genesis and deny biblical origins, they are trading it for secular humanistic origins such as evolution, millions of years, and/or the big bang.

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John UpChurch – In Living Color Experiment

Your eye’s complex ability to see color and motion points to the Creator. Even its limitations reveal His purposeful design.

From the roof, we watched fireworks explode over downtown Richmond, Virginia. My two daughters pointed and laughed with every flash of red and blue that sizzled into the sky. As the tempo of those Fourth of July explosions increased, their little hands couldn’t keep up with the symphony of colors and motion.

But their eyes? That’s a different story.

If you had no other evidence the world was designed (and you do—starting with the Bible), one look at all that goes into your ability to see color and motion would remove any excuse for believing it happened by chance. God’s design for the eye is that complex and beautifully crafted.

Photons (light particles) bounce off an object toward your eye. There, a lens focuses the light toward the retina at the back of your eye. The retina is a photon-gobbling surface that’s stuffed full of photoreceptor cells called rods and cones.

Your eye has quite a few of these rods and cones — about 100 million and 6 million respectively. Rods cover much of the retina, and they have a knack for seeing in dim light, especially for picking up motion in dim light. But they don’t do color.

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