Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Atheist’s Dilemma: Chemicals Don’t Turn into Life

Image courtesy of ICR.




Joel Kontinen

Naturalistic origin-of-life explanations are facing a dire crisis. This has not made an end to potential explanations, however.

Recently, New Scientist posted a YouTube video on how life might have arisen from non-life.

In a characteristically Darwinian manner it presents a scenario of what might have happened:

How do a bunch of dead chemicals come together to make something that’s alive? Well, a living cell is basically just a bag filled with water and a few more complex molecules.”

While the video also mentions enzymes, DNA and RNA, the overall picture is far too simplistic. Cells are anything but simple. They are full of astoundingly complex miniature machines - far too complex for human engineers to manufacture on such a tiny scale.

The video envisions the “bags”, i.e. cell membranes, moving about for aeons and gobbling up all kinds of molecules, mostly junk, but then by trial and error finding just the right ingredients for life.

Millions or even billions of years of random processes could never produce a single cell, however.

As ICR physicist Jake Hebert points out, the laws of physics and chemistry will not permit life to come from non-life.

Even some secular scientists will admit that what is needed is a miracle.

Source:

How life on Earth began



Monday, 25 August 2014

Superfast Erosion in Taiwan Shows Millions of Years Are Not Needed

Da'an River in Taiwan. Image courtesy of Wikipedia (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2).





Joel Kontinen

Water has the ability to form – and destroy - geological features quickly. In 1999 an earthquake blocked the Da'an River in Taiwan. But the waters kept on pounding against the blockage, and by 2008 the river had formed a 25-metre wide gorge.

An article in New Scientist states:

But it just so happens that the river has to bend through 90 degrees before entering the gorge. That means it flows at right angles to the line of the gorge just above the gorge mouth. This sideways flow makes the river extremely abrasive. In effect, it acts like a sheet of sandpaper, grinding away the upstream wall of the gorge at 17 metres a year. At this rate, the whole gorge will vanish in about 50 years.”

Millions of years are not needed for producing (or destroying) geological features. Two 20th century examples are the volcanoes Parícutin in Mexico and Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington, United States.

Mt. Parícutin began as a small fissure in a field in 1943, and reached the height of 336 metres (1,102 feet) within a year.

After Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980, a single lava flow formed over 7.5 metres (25 feet) of sediment in just three hours.

Just imagine what a year-long global flood with plenty of water could do.

Source:

Coghlan, Andy. 2014. Vanishing river gorge shows geology in fast forward. New Scientist (17 August).


Saturday, 23 August 2014

Richard Dawkins: Not Aborting Foetus with Down’s Syndrome Is Immoral

Richard Dawkins. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen

There should be no moral judgements in atheism. Obviously, Richard Dawkins does not entirely practice what he preaches. His recent tweet on aborting an unborn baby with Down’s syndrome made headlines:

Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice,” he wrote.

This is not the first time Dawkins is involved in a Twitter controversy. Last year he claimed that unborn human babies are less human than adult pigs.

This might well be in keeping with his evolutionary faith, but seen from a Christian perspective, it sounds outrageous.

It is interesting that Dawkins used the word immoral, as in an atheistic worldview there is no lawgiver and hence no ultimate sense of right and wrong. In order to make moral pronouncements, he has to borrow Christian terminology.

Dawkins’ tweet is an example of the moral darkness in which many people live. I would suggest that the only antidote for this dilemma is to let the true light of the gospel of Jesus Christ to shine.

That light will overcome all darkness.

Source:

Richard Dawkins: 'immoral' not to abort if foetus has Down's syndrome. The Guardian (21 August 2014).

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Earthquakes in the Bible Were Real, Dead Sea Mud Shows

Mount Sodom with Lot's Wife pillar. Image courtesy of Mark A. Wilson (Department of Geology, The College of Wooster).




Joel Kontinen

Dr. Steven Austin is a Bible-believing geologist who in recent years has been studying seismites, i.e., sedimentary beds disturbed by seismic shaking, in the Dead Sea area in Israel and Jordan.

Recently, he gave a talk on his findings at the Creation Super Conference.

He has noticed that the seismites show clear signs of earthquakes mentioned in the Bible, such as the one mentioned in the Old Testament book of Amos (ca. 750 BC) and the quake that took place during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

This is no surprise. We would expect the Bible to describe real people and real historical events.



Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Darwinian Roots of World War I

A Canadian tank advancing with infantry at Vimy in April 1917. Image courtesy of Canada. Dept. of National Defence.



Joel Kontinen

Ideas have consequences. In the early 20th century, German intellectual and military leaders had espoused Darwinian thinking. They believed that war was inevitable and it would help in the struggle for existence by allowing the fittest to destroy the nations that were not as fit.

The Germans had already tested their theory in what became known as the first holocaust in South-West Africa (present-day Namibia) in 1896 and 1904–1908, when tens of thousands of Africans were slaughtered.

World War I (1914–1918) showed what Darwinian thinking could do.

Discovery Institute has produced a new documentary film The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War I on the hidden ideological and scientific roots of The First World War.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

Molecules-to-Man Evolution is Nonsense, Scientists Say

Image courtesy of ICR.




Joel Kontinen

Recently, The Dallas Morning News published an interesting article on the origins research currently conducted at the Institute for Creation Research.

After stating that most scientist believe in evolution, the paper went on the say:

But at the Institute for Creation Research in northwest Dallas, a group of nine Ph.D.s from places like Harvard and Los Alamos National Laboratory say all that molecules-to-man stuff is nonsense. And they’re out to prove it.”

Yes, they are real scientists with real credentials from prestigious universities doing real research.

Source:

ICR Featured in The Dallas Morning News. ICR.


Friday, 15 August 2014

C.S. Lewis: Why Should We Believe the Materialist’s View on Origins?

Our solar system does not look like an accident. Image courtesy of WP, Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen

C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) is known for much more than the Narnia books. A former atheist who turned to Christianity, he also discussed the problems with a purely naturalistic /materialistic origin of the world and everything in it:

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.”

Source:

C.S. Lewis. 1984. The Business of Heaven. Fount Paperbacks. (p. 97).