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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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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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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Michael Boling – The Feasts of the Lord: The Fullfillment of the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)

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(Jeremiah 31:31-34)
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

(Acts 2:1-21)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’

In our first post on the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost), we looked at the agricultural and marital background associated with the remembrance and celebration of this important event. In part two, we examined how the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai is also a vital aspect of the Feast of Shavuot as it symbolizes the betrothal marriage between God and Israel. In this final post on the Feast of Shavuot, we are going to look at how Shavuot was fulfilled in large part in Acts 2 and what it means for us today. Some common assumptions will also be examined for their validity based on the background we have established for what the Feast of Shavuot was all about, most importantly, a time when God and His people exchanged wedding vows.

The prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:31-34 carries great significance for the Feast of Shavuot, specifically as we get to exploring the events found in Acts 2. As we noted in the previous post, celebrating the giving of the law is a major function of the Feast of Shavuot. Additionally, the law was the marriage contract or ketubah between God and His people noting the relational expectations that constituted the manner in which God expected His bride to adhere to. Essentially, the giving of the law was the “I do’s” of the betrothal ceremony. Notice how in Jeremiah 31:32, God describes Himself as a husband further noting the way His bride (Israel), broke the terms of the ketubah. Despite their unfaithfulness, God promised something very important, that of renewing His marriage covenant with Israel and Judah so that the terms of the marriage contract would be written on their hearts in order that they might be a light to the Gentiles. But wait, there’s more!

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Josh Hartnett – Noah’s Ark and Salvation: Another Reason the Flood Could Not Have Been Local

About 1,656 years after the creation of the world, God destroyed all humans, except for eight1 on the Ark that Noah built, and all air-breathing land animals (except those on the Ark) in a great global judgment. Many marine creatures were also destroyed—some 95% of all fossils found are the remains or impressions of creatures that once lived in the sea. We see evidence of this deluge all over the earth, including on the highest mountains. Mt Everest has marine fossils at its peak.

Scripture tells us,

“… when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, an ark having been prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Which antitype now also saves us, baptism (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ … .)” (1 Peter 3:20–21).

The Apostle Peter describes our being baptized into Christ’s death as an antitype of the saving of eight in the Ark. The original Greek word ἀντίτυπος (antitypos) has the meaning of a ‘representative’ or a ‘figure’. The dictionary definition of the English word ‘antitype’ is ‘something that is represented by a symbol’. It comes from ‘anti’ meaning ‘opposite’, as well as ‘in place of’, and ‘typos’ an impression like from a die or stamp. So an opposite to the die is a representation or symbol of the original. In short, the Bible makes it clear that the Ark, which saved eight souls through the deluge, is a figure, or ‘type’, of Christ and His salvation. Through entering the Ark, all who responded to Noah’s preaching could be saved from the waters of judgment. Even so, by entering into Christ, the ultimate Ark of salvation, we are saved from the judgment to come.

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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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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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Michael Oard – Can the Relative Timing of Radioisotope Dates be Applied to Biblical Geology?

The idea of using relative radiometric dating as a template for biblical earth history mostly sandwiches 4.567 billion years of uniformitarian history into 377 days of biblical earth history. In such a relative dating scheme, large bolides would impact during Creation Week and dinosaur tracks would occur during the Recessive Stage of the Flood, resulting in contradictions with biblical expectations. Radiometric dates are unlikely to be precise enough to be used as an absolute biblical timescale. The appeal to a relative timescale does not deal with previous creationists’ arguments on the problems of radiometric dating either. Fission track dates are too variable to be used for an absolute biblical timeframe. The dating fiasco over Leakey’s skull 1470 shows that radiometric dates have a large range and that all dates, especially ‘wrong’ dates, are not published. The assumption in relative dating that the pre-Flood/Flood boundary is near the very late Precambrian does not fare well under scrutiny. Many aspects of Precambrian sedimentary rocks show features expected from the Flood and not from the Creation Week. The idea that there were three periods of crustal formation caused by episodes of supercontinental spreading and collision during a few hours of Day 3 does not seem warranted.

Creationists reject the old ages of radiometric dating schemes. In recent years, however, some have proposed that these old radiometric dates can be used in a relative sense for absolute biblical earth history. Representative of this position is John Baumgardner:

“When applied with care, radioisotope methods represent a powerful tool for creationist research, primarily as a means to establish the correct chronology of events in the earth’s physical past… . A key implication is that the relative chronology of the geological record, as worked out with considerable investment of resources by the secular earth science community, including tens of thousands of man-years of effort, can in large measure be utilized immediately by young-earth creationists.”

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Jonathan Sarfati – Genesis: Bible Authors Believed it to be History

Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.

An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?

However, the critic has overlooked something even more important—Genesis is written as real history. This is why the rest of the Bible treats the events, people and time sequences as real history, not parables, poetry or allegory.

What does the rest of Scripture say?

The age and unique creation of Adam and Eve mattered to Jesus

When teaching about marriage, Jesus said:

‘But at the beginning of creation God “made them male and female. … For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one’ (Mark 10:6–8).

Here, Jesus quoted Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24 about a real first man and first woman who became the first couple, and this was the basis for marriage between one man and one woman today. Not a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, or more than two people. Evolution teaches instead that a whole population of humans evolved from a population of ape-like creatures.

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John Hartnett – Big Bang Beliefs: Busted

The commonly accepted big bang model supposedly determines the history of the universe precisely (see Figure 1). Yet to do so, it is filled with unprovable fudge factors. That may sound like an exaggerated claim, but it seems to be the state of cosmology today.

This situation has come about because the unverifiable starting assumptions are inherently wrong! Some brave physicists have had the temerity to challenge the ruling paradigm — the standard big bang ΛCDM inflation cosmology. One of those is Prof. Richard Lieu, Department Chair, Astrophysics, University of Alabama, who wrote:

“Cosmology is not even astrophysics: all the principal assumptions in this field are unverified (or unverifiable) in the laboratory … .” [emphasis added]

He goes on to say that this is “because the Universe offers no control experiment, …” He means that the same observations can be interpreted in several different ways. Because there are no other universes to compare ours with, you can’t determine absolutely which is the correct answer. That means, we do not know what a typical universe should look like. As a result cosmologists today are inventing all sorts of stuff that has just the right properties to make their theories work, but it is stuff that has never been observed in the lab. They have become “comfortable with inventing unknowns to explain the unknown”, says Lieu.

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