Do Vestigial Organs Prove Evolution?

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The above picture is of the right upper and lower wisdom teeth extracted by a dentist. According to Darwinian evolution, vestigial organs, such as wisdom teeth, are vestiges of our evolutionary past. However, is this necessarily true? Or, can they be biblically explained as a result of the Fall? “Vestigial organs,” begins David DeWitt, “are often used as evidence to argue in favor of Darwinian evolution. These organs are allegedly left over from our ancestors but are no longer useful or needed. Evolution proponents typically contend that such structures are best explained as remnants of evolutionary history. Supposedly, the best explanation for these non-functional traits is that they once served a purpose in our ancestor but now no longer do.” What are some of these non-functioning organs. And, what is a creationist’s explanation of vestigial organs? To find out the answers to these questions, read Dr. DeWitt’s “Setting the Record Straight on Vestigial Organs.”

Denying the Academic Rights of Another Intelligent Design Advocate

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As I read Roger Paull‘s article, I thought to myself this type of thing should not be happening in the United States. How many people in the United States have their academic freedom denied because they do not believe in Darwinism. Another example of someone whose academic freedom was denied is Roger Paull. In the late 1990s he was expelled from substitute teaching in Arizona because he articulated his belief in Intelligent Design. In the place where we expect academic liberty, the government-funded school, academic freedom in the United States is being aggressively denied to those who do not adhere to Darwinism. Perhaps, Ben Stein should do a sequel to his documentary movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Are the shades of the American school to be thus polluted? I am afraid they are. To read Roger Paull’s story, go to Censoring intelligent design.

9 Marks Interview: Mark Dever with Mark Minnick

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I just listened to Mark Dever‘s interview with Mark Minnick, Pastor of Mount Calvary Baptist Church and Professor at Bob Jones University, about the Fundamentalist doctrine of separation. To listen to this, go to 9 Marks Interviews. What is captivating about the interview is that both Mark Dever and Mark Minnick are obliging in their presentations. Besides being marked by a genuine humility and respect for each other, both Dever and Minnick provide an interesting discussion of areas where they both agree and disagree on this subject. Though not all the issues and questions about the doctrine of ecclesiastical separation are addressed in this interview, the overall discussion provides something of a framework on some issues related to this subject. Additional links for both speakers are available at Andy Naselli’s blog.

Much Ado About Nothing: Global Warming

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Though I have some level of concern about my stewardship of the environment as an outworking of the dominion mandate in Genesis 1, I am convinced that the hurricane force of the current global warming frenzy is unbiblical. Some of our politicians and the news media have elevated global warming to a virtual apocalyptic nightmare that may have some drastic influences on our standard of living. Since all of life is in the hands of an absolutely sovereign God, the heavens and earth will not be destroyed until he choses (2 Pet 3:12). However, until that time, let me suggest that we attempt to think biblically. For example, Genesis 8:22 contains a divine promise: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

Since I am somewhat cynical about global warming (for more on my cynicism about anthropogenic global warming, click here and here), I have been sardonically following this frenzy for some time and have noticed that the news media does not generally promote sources that work against the doomsday approach of the global warming activists like Al Gore. Here is an article that provides some caution that will hopefully take some of the force out of the hurricane of global warming.

On May 18, an article by S. Fred Singer was posted on the web about the misplaced and potentially costly results from the current Global Warming scare. Singer’s purpose “is to show that this concern is misplaced, that human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way, and that, in any case, very little can be done about global climate change. It is unstoppable; we should not even try to influence it. Climate will continue to change, as it always has in the past, both warming and cooling on different time scales and for different reasons, completely unrelated to any human action.” He further argues that modest warming has beneficial effects. Singer insightfully points out that “many climate scientists, including those working on the report of the UN-sponsored IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] have pointed out that the greenhouse computer models all show a global temperature increase. But the two dozen or so major GH models in the world all give different warming rates, depending on the assumptions that are fed into the model.”

It is disappointing that few have observed the obvious disparity between the computer-generated patterns and those that are observed “and drawn the obvious conclusion that current climate models cannot simulate properly the processes of the real atmosphere and that the anthropogenic effect on climate predicted by models are still too small to be noticeable.” To get the full impact of this article, continue reading Dr. Singer’s “The Global Warming Debate” (HT: John Hinderaker).

R. C. Sproul’s Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1

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After my conversion in the late 1960s, I remember hearing Dr. R. C. Sproul speak on a number of occasions. Back in those days as a Freudian Psychology major in college, Sproul’s Calvinistic teaching was something of a theological electroshock therapy for my man-centered perspective on life. Since then, I have profitably read a number of Dr. Sproul’s books. For many years, I was under the impression that he was sympathetic to the framework hypothesis. However, my impression was corrected in 2001 when I read the July issue of Tabletalk, which focused on the subject of creation. In an article entitled “Galileo Redux,” Sproul stated that, after reading Douglas F. Kelly’s Creation and Change, he became convinced that God recently created the universe in the literal creation week described Genesis 1.

If you are interested in a summary of R. C. Sproul’s interpretation of biblical creationism and how he became convinced that God recently created the heavens, the earth and all things therein in the space of six days, I highly recommend that you read Tas Walker‘s “Famous Evangelical Apologist Changes His Mind.

My Day at the Campus Bible Fellowship

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Yesterday, I was privileged to speak about “Two Contrasting Worldviews” at the Campus Bible Fellowship at Wayne State University. Inter-City Baptist Church in Allen Park, MI is the local church partner for Campus Bible Fellowship at WSU. CBFWSU was given charter recognition in February of 2005 by Campus Bible Fellowship (to read more, click here).

The following picture is from my conclusion contrasting a Biblical-Creation Worldview with that of an Evolutionary Worldview.

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I gave a 30 to 35 minute presentation followed by a time for questions and answers. The men who met with us gave me their undivided attention. With my conclusion, I challenged the men to take up their cross and follow Christ. After my presentation, we had a Q & A session. Some very good questions were asked. The following picture is of the men during my lecture.

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Since people from every tribe and nation are found in the university setting, this presents a great evangelistic outreach for Campus Bible Fellowship (see Rev. 5:9). Some remained after our Q & A session and we gathered for one final picture.

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Evolution’s Evangelists

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Because our news media has a humanistic, evolutionary worldview, it is virtually impossible for the average American to see a healthy interview on television with anyone who supports a recent creation model of origins of the earth (the earth is thousands of years old and not billions). If you are objective, you would have to say that “Darwinian evolution (specifically, neo-Darwinism or the synthetic theory) has enjoyed elite status when it comes to the discussion of origins. As more is discovered about the basic components of life and how they interact, however, it has become increasingly clear that random genetic mistakes and natural selection could not possibly be biological mechanisms that over time would turn bacteria into people–i.e., simpler life forms into more complex life forms.”

Many scientists are caught up in an academia-politicio maze that does not objectively promote looking at those interactions with the basic components of life that would challenge them to think outside the evolutionary box. The truth of the matter is that an evolutionary view of origins is a system of belief and not objective science. “And like other systems of belief, it has its clerics (those invested as scientific authorities), its adherents (e.g., the education system and the media), its mission (to apply its ‘truth’ to every sphere of human endeavor through research in the fields of biology, geology, cosmology, psychology, etc.)–and, of course, its heretics. Enter the evangelists of evolution, troubleshooters who step in to defend the evolutionary community from ‘the ignorant, the stupid, or insane.'” This article will take a brief look at three prominent purveyors of the evolutionary creed.” To identify and find out more about these three purveyors of evolutionary doctrine, continue reading “Evolution’s Evangelists.”

Israel Museum Presents Great Isaiah Scroll For the First Time in Over Forty Years

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The above is a nice photograph of the great Isaiah Scroll from Qumran Cave 1 (about 120 B.C., the photo is from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem). In addition to what I mentioned two days back, the net newspaper Art Daily has provided additional information. “On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel, the Israel Museum presents two major sections of the Great Isaiah Scroll – the most complete biblical Dead Sea Scroll document ever found and one of the world’s greatest archaelogical treasures – in a special installation in the Shrine of the Book. For the first time in over forty years, the public will have the rare opportunity to view the two longest sections of the Scroll.” To read more from this article, continue here.

For two websites that provide helpful introductory material on Dead Sea Scrolls, click here and here. A website, hosted by Dr. James R. Davila (prefers being called “Jim”), that I check daily is Paleo Judaica. This is an excellent site for staying current on ancient Jewish history and literature, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Associated Press: Israel Museum puts Dead Sea scroll on rare display

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In the above picture (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehil), an employee of the Israel Museum “points at the ‘Book of Isaiah’ from the Dead Sea scrolls at the Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem, Tuesday May 13, 2008.” This is one of the most important Dead Sea Scrolls and it goes on display in Jerusalem this week, “more than four decades after it was last seen by the public. The 24-foot scroll with the text of the Bible’s Book of Isaiah had been in a dark, temperature-controlled room at the Israel Museum since 1967. It went on display two years earlier, but curators replaced it with a facsimile after noticing new cracks in the calfskin parchment.” The article continues here (HT: Jim Davila).

How Important Are Family Values in the US?

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I had completely forgotten the above picture until it somehow surfaced at my son Bob’s wedding in 1999. This picture brings back many fond memories. In the spring semester of 1981 while I was doing my ThD work at Grace Theological Seminary, I dropped out of school for a semester because my wife needed surgery. We were as poor as church mice and had only one inefficient car. As a consequence, I would walk about a mile to work in the early hours of the morning. Because of the cold northern Indiana winters, I grew the beard to protect my face from the cold. Though life was tough, this was a great time for our family for life did not have an excessive number of embellishments. In its simplest form, life was about the family getting dad through school. What had great importance for my wife and I was raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. As I have watched family values in the US quickly erode over the last fifteen to twenty years, a Barack Obama presidency may cause this erosion to be complete.

I use the above picture because it reminds me about the importance of my family. Since I live in Michigan, a blue state, I know Christians who are “purgatory”-bent on voting Democrat (btw, I do not believe in purgatory, it is my substitute rhetorical device), even though the party values of the Democrats are biblically bankrupt. To be sure, I am repulsed by the scandals of a few Republicans; however, believers must vote for the basic platform of a political party that best preserves the Judaeo-Christian ethic our forefathers intended for the US. This is one election that I pray that my Democrat Christian friends reconsider how they vote. Some may say, I see how liberal Obama is so I will not vote. This would be disastrous because to not vote is to vote for Obama (another undesirable alternative would be to vote for a third party candidate, since it is likewise a vote for Obama). Furthermore, how could a genuine Christian even entertain the thought of voting for Barack Obama for president? Not only does he have one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate, but his commitment to appoint activist judges may ruin the core values of the United States. Though he has more problems than two I have mentioned, what currently grieves me is a report that I read last night by Michael Farris where he maintains that Obama approves of the formal sanction of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In his own words, “Obama supports the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty that would have disastrous consequences for the American family. This treaty would be, according to our Constitution, part of the Supreme law of the land. And in the U.S. international treaties override state law.” You need to read the full article by Farris: “Obama Knows Best: Elitism Threatens Parental Rights.”