Saturday, 31 December 2011

Research: Reuters’ Reporting on the Middle East Conflict Is Propaganda, Not Objective Journalism



The Israeli flag is not flying high at Reuters. Image courtesy of Math Knight and Zachi Evenor.



Joel Kontinen

It is often assumed that the western media’s reporting on the Middle East conflict is objective but in reality it is biased. Recently, Henry Silverman, a researcher at Roosevelt University, examined 50 news items published at Reuters.com on the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and concluded that the news agency’s reporting is systematically propagandistic and biased in favour of the Palestinians.

As a rule, Reuters takes the side of the Palestinians and is not averse to misrepresenting or exaggerating issues. It has, for instance, published misleading headlines and added smoke and damage to a photograph to make it more dramatic.

The research also surveyed readers’ reactions to the texts. It examined how the views of 33 students changed as a result of reading the articles.

Reading the articles caused the students to adopt a more positive attitude towards the Palestinians. Reporting should at least in principle be honest and objective, so that Reuters has strayed far from good journalistic principles.

Sources:

Plosker, Simon. 2011. Academic Study Exposes Reuters Propaganda. Honest Reporting (8 December).

Silverman, Henry I. 2011. Reuters: Principles of Trust or Propaganda? The Journal of Applied Business Research 27 (6): 93-116.

Astronomer in Nature: Exoplanets Are Weird



Gliese 581 c was touted as the first habitable Earth-like exoplanet. Image courtesy of ESO.





Joel Kontinen


In recent years, habitable exoplanets have often made headlines around the world. However, a closer examination has usually shown that the hype has been premature.

Recently, astronomer Chris Tinney reviewed Ray Jayawardhana’s book Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System (Princeton University Press, 2011) in the journal Nature and concluded that exoplanets are weird.

Professor Tinney says that planetary systems that resemble our solar system and Earth-like planets are rare. Huge gas planets orbit their sun where according to naturalistic models they should not be. Nevertheless, Tinney believes that one day the first Earth-like habitable exoplanet will be found.

The search for extraterrestrial life is based on the belief that life can originate spontaneously in favourable circumstances. However, in reality life only comes from life and design requires a designer.


Source:

Tinney, Chris. 2011. Finding other worlds. Nature 472 (7341): 36.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Brainwashed to Believe in Slow Processes?



Derek Ager (1923-1993) was sceptical of Charles Lyell (pictured above). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Derek Ager, a British palaeontologist and geology professor, was no friend of creation, but he said some honest words about uniformitarianism, the geological view of slow gradual processes that prompted Charles Darwin to propose the theory of evolution:

Just as politicians rewrite human history, so geologists rewrite earth history. For a century and a half the geological world has been dominated, one might even say brain-washed, by the gradualistic uniformitarianism of Charles Lyell. Any suggestion of “catastrophic” events has been rejected as old-fashioned, unscientific and even laughable.”

Yet, without uniformitarianism we would not have Darwinism.

Source:

Ager, Derek. 1993. The New Catastrophism: The Importance of The Rare Event in Geological History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

John MacArthur: “Nothing could be more absurd and superstitious than the belief that everything evolved out of nothing with no intelligent plan"



Rev. John MacArthur. Image courtesy of www.oneplace.com.




Joel Kontinen

Believers in evolution usually assume that they are rational and critical thinkers. One thing that they seldom if ever are rational about, and critical of, is the ability of natural processes to create all that there is.

Some time ago, John MacArthur, a well-known American pastor, Bible teacher and author, described their belief as absurdity. In an interview in Creation magazine, he stated: “Nothing could be more absurd and superstitious than the belief that everything evolved out of nothing with no intelligent plan.”

Source:

Weinberber, Lael. 2010. Defending the authority of Scripture. Creation 32(4): 21–23.

Monday, 26 December 2011

First Habitable Exoplanet Found – Once Again?




Images courtesy of NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech.




Joel Kontinen

During the past few years, exoplanets have repeatedly made headlines. However, when the initial buzz was over, the discoveries turned out to be much ado about planets that could not even in theory support life as we know it. As planets are found through indirect methods, some of them might not actually exist at all and most have been too hot worlds.

Recently, NASA announced that it had found the first exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of its sun. With a radius of 2.4 times that of the Earth, Kepler 22b orbits a sun similar to ours.

However, a habitable zone is a flexible concept. In our solar system, Venus and Mars are in the habitable zone but do not look habitable at all. Much more is needed, such as the presence of liquid water and a good-sized moon without which life in the Earth’s oceans would die out.

Once again, the latest discovery is probably a false positive.


Source:

NASA's Kepler Mission Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-like Star. NASA (5 December 2011).

Saturday, 24 December 2011

How Did Noah's Flood Begin?




Joel Kontinen

The Flood of Noah’s day was one of the major turning points in the history of our planet. While many people choose not to believe that the event was a global catastrophe, it was very real for those who had to encounter it, and it changed our world completely.

All reconstructions of the distant past that fail to take into account the Flood will thus give a false picture of the earth’s history.

Answers in Genesis designed a brief video that explains how the Flood might have begun:

Friday, 23 December 2011

When Death Makes One Cry



The death of Kim Jong-il caused North Koreans to express their grief in public. Image courtesy of www.kremlin.ru.




Joel Kontinen

The death of the North Korean ruler caused his subjects to express their grief in public. It seems that for them the passing away of Kim Jong-il was a great tragedy (unless, of course, they were paid to cry and grieve in public).

Kim Jong-il died just two days after the death of atheist Christopher Hitchens.

Death reminds us of the Fall. Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator. Disobedience brought suffering and death to the world, causing the entire creation to groan.

However, God never ceased caring for mankind. He sent His Son Jesus into the world to remove the wall separating sinful people from a perfect Creator.

That is why we celebrate Christmas.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christopher Hitchens Has Passed Away



A blind crab does not speak of evolution but of degeneration. Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) used blind salamanders as an argument against creation. However, animals that live in perpetual darkness do not testify of Darwinian evolution but of adaptation to their sunless environment where there is no need of eyes.

Joel Kontinen


Christopher Hitchens, who according to philosopher Alvin Plantinga was one of the four horsemen of new atheism (the other horsemen are Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris), died last Thursday. He lost a long battle against cancer.

Hitchens’ uncompromisingly aggressive stance against Christianity was obviously a means of preaching to the choir and in real life he could actually be on quite friendly terms with the Christians he debated. Regrettably, he obviously retained his atheism until the end and did not turn to his Maker even on his deathbed.

Hitchens tried to argue for Darwinism by using blind salamanders as evidence for evolution. However, degeneration cannot fuel the origin of new species. Animals that live in perpetual darkness do not testify of Darwinian evolution but of adaptation to their sunless environment where there is no need of eyes. Salamanders have lost a characteristic (i.e. sight) that their ancestors once had.

Source:

Wilson, Douglas. 2011. Christopher Hitchens Has Died, Doug Wilson Reflects. Christianity Today (16 November).

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Genesis Flood and the Gilgamesh Epic



Genesis describes the ark and the global flood convincingly.



Joel Kontinen

Many skeptics think that the author of Genesis borrowed an ancient Babylonian myth in writing his account of the Flood. But a closer look at ancient documents reveals that this cannot be true.

We know of over 200 flood legends. It seems that almost every culture has its own version. This suggests that there was a destructive historical catastrophe that mankind has not been able to forget.

The ark in Genesis was a huge 150-metre (450 feet) long very seaworthy vessel that could have endured over 30 metre (90 feet) high waves. In contrast, the Gilgamesh ark was cube-formed. It would have capsized on the very first day of the Flood.

Utnapishtim, the hero in the Gilgamesh Epic, was boastful, whereas Noah was a righteous man. In Genesis, the description of the flood's ending is very convincing. In the Mesopotamian story it is not. Utnapishtim first sent out a dove before a raven, which is known as a carrion eater. Noah first sent out a raven and waited a week before sending a dove.

Sources:

Graves, Dan. 2007. Smith Electrified London with New Flood Account. Christianity. com.

Osanai, Nozomi. 2004. A comparative study of the flood accounts in the Gilgamesh Epic and Genesis. MA Thesis. Westley Biblical Seminary.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Theology Professor Michael Horton: “Blind Faith in Naturalism Is Running the Show”



The Bible tells us about the God who stepped into real history. El Greco: Christ carrying His cross (1580). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.





Joel Kontinen

What is blind faith? It might have to do with relying on an explanation without examining whether the model actually describes reality correctly. One might choose to have blind faith because it could feel more comfortable than faith based on facts.

Professor Michael Horton discusses Christianity and naturalism in the December issue of Christianity Today.

We live in a world that assumes reason is unbiased, when in fact our reason itself is enslaved to naturalism: a denial of the world's dependence on God for its creation and preservation, much less redemption,” he writes.

Echoing the words of Harvard biology professor Richard Lewontin, he goes on to say:

Any valid argument or evidence ... must have a naturalistic explanation, even if that explanation is the least reasonable…

Left to ourselves, we use reason so irrationally that we determine that God cannot enter history, even before we examine whether he has done so. Again, it's not ‘neutral reason’ running the show here, but a blind faith in naturalism
.”

In 1997 professor Lewontin wrote in The New York Review of Books that scientists often choose to make up “unsubstantiated just-so storiesbecause they “have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism… Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

There is a name for this approach. It is called blind faith.

Sources:

Horton, Michael. 2011. Why We Need Jesus. Christianity Today (2 December).

Lewontin, Richard. 1997. Billions and billions of demons. The New York Review of Books, p. 31 (9 January).

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Jonathan Sarfati - Does Our DNA Show That We Came from Apes?

Joel Kontinen

Biology textbooks, popular science magazines and natural history museums often claim that we share 98 per cent of our genes with chimpanzees. However, recent research shows that the percentage is actually much lower.

In a brief video, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International explains how big a difference even 5 per cent would be:

85 Years Ago: Jungle Doctor Accepted Christ as Saviour



Paul White (1910-1992) wrote 19 Jungle Doctor books. He accepted Christ as Saviour on 3rd December 1926.




Joel Kontinen

85 years ago an Australian teenager made a decision to follow Christ. Little did he know then that he would go to Tanganyika (as Tanzania was then called) as a medical missionary and become world-famous with his Jungle Doctor books.

I read most of the books (all I could get my hands on) and very much enjoyed them when I was a teenager growing up in neighbouring Kenya several decades after they were written.

While the East Africa that Paul White writes about in the Jungle Doctor books has changed in many respects, they convey the message of the gospel’s changing power in a very witty and fascinating manner.

Source

Graves, Dan. 2007. Jungle Doctor Signed a Decision Card Christianity.com

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Father of Natural History Saw God’s Handiwork in Creation



The created world looks wonderfully designed.





Joel Kontinen

John Ray (1627 –1705) is widely regarded as the father of natural history. A fellow of the Royal Society, he sought to study the created world with Genesis as his explanatory grid.

He saw the handiwork of God in creation. In 1691 he published a book entitled The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation, which says a lot about his approach.

Like his contemporary Sir Isaac Newton, he was not reluctant to give honour to the One who deserves it, namely, the Creator God.

Both gentlemen endorsed the words that the apostle Paul had written in Romans: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (1:20, NIV).

Source:

Severance, Diana. 2007. Father of Natural History. Christianity.com

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

The 50th Anniversary of The Genesis Flood






Joel Kontinen

A book can have a powerful effect. Just think about the Bible. It has changed the lives of millions of people, giving them new hope.

In 1859 Charles Darwin published his manifesto On the Origin of Species. While it did not explicitly address the issue of origins, for many people it served to make the Creator redundant.

A century later (1961), two professors - a scientist and a theologian - published a book that brought fresh hope for countless people. The Genesis Flood by doctors Henry Morris and John Whitcomb has become a Christian classic.


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Massive Whale Graveyard in a Dry Desert over a Kilometre above Sea Level



The Flood of Noah’s day left huge fossil graveyards all over the world.




Joel Kontinen

Whales do not usually end up in a dry desert over a kilometre (0.6 miles) above sea level. But this is what has happened in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Palaeontologists dug up at least 75 well-preserved whale fossils. They found the mass graveyard when the road leading through the desert had to be widened.

Most of the fossils were of eight metre (25 feet) long baleen whales. They also discoverd a sperm whale and a dolphin with tusks. A sloth and a seabird bigger than a condor were found elsewhere in the desert.

The researchers assume that the whales met their end ”2-7 million years” ago. The idea of millions of years is an ideological view that should be examined critically, however.

Dating methods do not measure age but the proportions of different isotopes in rock, for instance. The idea of radiometric dating is based on the assumption that circumstances on earth have been rather similar throughout history – although even evolutionists admit that this is not true.

Nicholas Pyenson, a curator at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, thinks that the desert was once a lagoon.

A more logical explanation would be that the whales met their end either during the Flood of Noah’s days or in the ice age following it. Genesis describes a yearlong global catastrophe that changed our planet’s topography radically. Huge fossil graveyards have been found all over the world. They are testimony of a catastrophe that destroyed life on the early Earth.


Source:

Vergara, Eva and Ian James. 2011. Whale fossil bonanza in desert poses mystery. MSNBC.com (20 November).

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Miracle of Human Life

Joel Kontinen


The human body is a marvel. It certainly looks like it has been designed very intelligently. In a lecture he held last year, mathematician Alexander Tsiaras spoke about his research on the pre-birth development of a human being.

The expressions he used are rather revealing.

· Just made you marvel
· The marvel of this information
· It was hard not to attribute divinity to it.
· It's mystery, it's magic, it's divinity.
· The mathematical models of how these things are done are beyond human comprehension
· Even though I look at this with the eyes of a mathematician I ... marvel.
· How do these instruction sets not make mistakes as they build what is us?


3,000 years ago King David said, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. (Psalm 139: 14, NIV)


Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thanking the Universe – or Thanking the One Who Deserves to be Praised



The universe might be full of marvels but this does not mean that it made itself. Image courtesy of Mila Zinkova, Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

It’s Thanksgiving Day on the other side of the Atlantic, reminding us that we have many reasons to be thankful.

Some people who are marketing the Law of Attraction will remind us that we have plenty of reasons for thanking the universe – as if the universe somehow deserves our praise. This approach sounds a lot like new age nature worship, which, of course, is not a new invention.

The apostle Paul warned about such people: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25, NIV).

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul exhorted: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-17, NIV).

Yes, we should give thanks to the One who deserves to be praised – the almighty God who created everything by His Word at the beginning.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

"A most mischievous superstition”: Disparaging Christianity Is Not a Recent Invention



The Roman historian Tacitus thought Christianity was "a most mischievous superstition." Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Disparaging Christianity is not a recent invention. Describing the fire that destroyed parts of Rome in AD 64, historian Cornelius Tacitus (AD 56 – ca. AD 117) characterised the early Roman followers of Christ in all but flattering terms in his book Annales:

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular.”

In our time, some atheists are walking in Tacitus’ footsteps. However, if they bothered to take a closer look at the Bible and its reliability, they might well change their mind.

Source:

Cornelius Tacitus: The Annals. Translated and edited by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Christians Are Turning To Genesis



Michelangelo: The Creation of Adam (ca. 1511). Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen


While the BioLogos Foundation is spreading the view that Christians can believe in evolution and the Bible, more and more laypeople think otherwise. In August, Creation Ministries International’s Super Conference in Canada brought together 800 people and tens of thousands watched the event on the Internet. This week, the All-Asian Creation Conference featuring Ken Ham and other speakers from Answers in Genesis was also a great success:

Upwards of 1000 people attended various sessions at the All-Asian Creation Conference in Malaysia this week. Twenty countries were represented. It was amazing to meet people from Nepal, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, USA, England, the Philippines—and the list goes on,” Ken Ham, President and CEO of AiG-USA, writes in his blog.

The problem with theistic evolution is that it is incompatible with what we know of the nature of God. Genesis speaks of an initial very good creation that only later was spoiled by sin. Evolution, in contrast, has death at the very beginning.




Source:

Ham, Ken. 2011. Worldwide Epidemic Threatens Church. Around the World with Ken Ham.

Why Is Genesis Important?



Jesus believed that Adam and Eve were real historical people.



Joel Kontinen

Genesis is the key to understanding the Bible. Chapters 1-11 tell us about:

· The origin of the universe
· The origin of man
· The nature of man
· The origin of sin, suffering and death
· God’ goodness and faithfulness
· The horror of sin ( the Fall, the Flood, the confusion of languages at Babel)
· The biblical model of marriage (one man, one woman)

In addition:

· Genesis is the key to understanding the gospel and atonement.
. Genesis is history.
· A consistent Christian worldview requires us to accept Genesis as a historical account of beginnings.
· We cannot defend Christianity or even proclaim the gospel logically, if we do not accept the historicity of Genesis.

Theologians have developed many explanations (for instance, the gap theory, the day-age theory, theistic evolution) in order to make the creation days in Genesis compatible with the assumed millions of years of geology.

The theories have huge problems:

· Has God really said?
· Who is our ultimate authority?
· Radiometric dating methods are based on assumptions. It is impossible to test whether the assumptions are reliable.
· Carbon-14 in diamonds, dinosaur soft tissue, comets
· In the Old Testament, day + number always means a literal day.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them but he rested on the seventh day.” (Exodus 20:11).

God does not say one thing in the Bible and mean something else. He did not need billions of years for creating the universe. In the New Testament Jesus turned water into wine in a second and raised Lazarus from the dead in an instant. He is almighty.

Jesus regarded Genesis as history:

· ” Haven’t you read?”
· ” At the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’.” (Mark 10:6)
· “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." (Luke 16:31)
· "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).
· ” What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)

(Scripture passages from the NIV.)

Accepting evolution would distort the Bible and give a false testimony of God.

Friday, 18 November 2011

A Thinking Neanderthal Is No Longer an Oxymoron


Neanderthals obviously enjoyed music.


Joel Kontinen

Not so long ago, evolutionists were reluctant to believe that Neanderthals could think very deeply about anything. However, in the past 150 years researchers have had to change almost everything they thought they knew about these early humans.

In this week’s issue of Nature, Clive Gamble, professor of archaeology at the University of Southampton, UK, reviews How to Think Like a Neanderthal by Thomas Wynn and Frederick Coolidge (Oxford University Press 2011), a book that attempts to examine what the Neanderthals were thinking.

The review article shows that we have our prejudices about these people who are separated from us by time and culture. Since as far as we know they have not left us written records, our best attempts at understanding them are only guesses. However, researchers no longer believe that the Neanderthals, once dismissed as primitive ape-men by early Darwinists, were so primitive after all.

According to the biblical model, the Neanderthals were Noah’s descendants who mostly lived in Europe during the ice ago following the global Flood. The harsh climate explains in part why they differed from us.

Source:

Gamble, Clive. 2011. Neuroscience: Neanderthals in Mind. Nature 479, 294–295.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

20 Years Ago: Law Professor Challenged Darwinism



Joel Kontinen

Twenty years ago Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson challenged Darwinian materialism with his book Darwin on Trial. He took a critical look at the philosophical foundation of evolution and found it was all but objective.

The book made headlines and it sold over 250,000 copies. What On the Origin of Species was to evolutionists and The Genesis Flood to the creation movement, Darwin on Trial was to the intelligent design movement.

Darwin-doubters liked it and evolutionists such as Eugenie Scott and Stephen Jay Gould did not.

Discovery Institute launched a new website and released a trailer to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Darwin on Trial:


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Evolutionist: “Corruption is Normal”



If people believe that they are descended from apes, they will not have an objective basis for morality – or that’s what they will assume.




Joel Kontinen

When looked at in evolutionary terms, clinging to the moral high ground could be seen as an irrational position,” Laura Spinney concludes in New Scientist magazine. Spinney examines the views some psychologists have of corruption and cheating.

New Scientist is right: If people believe that they are descended from apes, they will not have an objective basis for morality, or they will at least think so. They will feel that they are not accountable to any transcendent authority for their deeds. No wonder that corruption is rampant here and there.

Christianity offers an entirely different view of human accountability. We are ultimately accountable to God for our words and deeds. While we live in a world spoiled by the Fall, the gospel can change us so that we will resist our inclination to corruption and – as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount – live as salt and light in the world.

Source:

Spinney, Laura. 2011. The underhand ape: Why corruption is normal. New Scientist 2837: 42-45.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

New Darwinian Explanation of the Origin of Language: Young Apes Invented It by Gesticulating with Their Arms


The newest Darwinian fable features an ape. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

The origin of language is a big mystery for Darwinists who only accept naturalistic explanations. A recent explanation has to do with the origin of languages.

Katja Liebal, of the Max Planck Institute, and colleagues examined the communication of young great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orang-utans) and published their results in the American Journal of Primatology.

At a very early stage young apes learn to communicate with older apes by gesticulating with their arms. Liebal’s research team found out that only humans and great apes learn to use their arms to communicate at an early age.

From there it’s a small Darwinian step to the origin of language (especially in some popular pro-evolution publications). However, in real life the intellectual leap is considerably longer.

Darwinian explanations might be intriguing but they often have little if anything to do with real science. Even now, some researchers doubt whether this ape research at all relates to the origin of language. We should not forget that all animal species communicate in one way or another. Different species might not understand the ”language” of other species. A cat, for instance, moves its tail for a purpose that differs entirely from that of a dog wagging its rear end.

According to Genesis, Adam could speak from the very beginning, so language never evolved.

Source:

Schultz, Nora. 2011. Baby apes' arm waving hints at origins of language. New Scientist (10 November).

Friday, 11 November 2011

New Research: Hoatzins Crossed the Atlantic on Rafts



Hoatzins. Image courtesy of Cláudio Dias Timm, Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Problems for Darwinian evolution are not about to disappear. More difficulties are cropping up all the time. The latest features the South American bird Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin).

Last month, a team of German, Brazilian and French scientists published a paper in the journal Naturwissenschaften on the origin of the Hoatzin. They compared Hoatzin bones found in Brazil to bones assumed to be 17 million years old found in Namibia and suggest that the bird lived in Africa before crossing the Atlantic.

Science Daily describes the problem caused by the new discovery:

Africa and South America were once part of a supercontinent called Gondwana, but this had already broken up much longer than 20 million years ago, the continents being separated by the Atlantic. So Hoatzins must have crossed the ocean at some stage in order to get from one continent to the other.

But how does a bird, which is an especially poor long-distance flyer, manage to cross a sea that is over 1,000 kilometres wide? Even if the flying capabilities of the Hoatzin's ancestors were better, it is highly unlikely that they could have managed this distance in the air
.”

The researchers suggest that instead of flying, the Hoatzin probably crossed the Atlantic on “drifting flotsam”. Some time ago, evolutionists proposed a similar method for getting African monkeys into South America.

Once we disregard the millions of years, the explanation begins to sound like the scenario that probably occurred after Noah’s Flood.

Source:

Across the Atlantic On Flotsam: New Fossil Findings Shed Light On the Origins of the Mysterious Bird Hoatzin. Science Daily (4 October).

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Palestine, UNESCO and the Kristallnacht of November 1938



The roof of this synagogue in Munich was badly damaged on the Kristallnacht as a result of Nazi vandalism. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

There is nothing new under the sun. The Jews have throughout history been accused of almost anything, for instance the Black Death of the 1350s. The real reason, in addition to anti-Semitism, has often been jealousy.

The western press and the political leaders in most countries have obviously learnt nothing from the pogroms and the holocaust during World War II, but now, on the eve of the anniversary of 1938’s Kristallnacht, they decided to reward the Palestinians with UNESCO membership.

The Palestinians have not given up their aim of destroying Israel. The Gaza strip has become a launch pad for rockets. Hamas is hitting the Jews with much more destructive weapons than the Nazis who in November 1938 destroyed hundreds of synagogues and shops owned by Jews all over Germany and Austria.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The Beauty and the Ugliness of Life

Joel Kontinen

The world is full of beauty, which is testimony of creation. Tiny birds and even smaller nano motors speak of wonderful design. However, we also see or hear about bad things, such as earthquakes and tsunamis that are consequences of the Fall.

Answers in Genesis posted a new video clip in which Ken Ham speaks about death:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Theistic Evolution Leaves Sceptic Unconvinced



A sceptic has no need for God in this scenario. Image courtesy of José-Manuel Benito Álvarez, Wikipedia.





Joel Kontinen

Sceptics are not actually fond of Alvin Plantinga, emeritus professor of philosophy at Notre Dame University, as he has repeatedly criticised “the four horsemen of the new atheism” (as he calls them), or Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

Although Plantinga has successfully defended the theistic worldview, sceptics have noted that he is not exactly logical in all aspects of his argumentation. Professor Plantinga thinks that God might have used evolution as His mechanism of creation.

He has said that religion (especially Christianity) is compatible with the naturalistic view of science (that is all too often newspeak for Darwinian evolution).

In his book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism (Oxford University Press, 2011), Plantinga suggests:

The scientific theory of evolution is not incompatible with Christian belief; what is incompatible with it is the idea that evolution, natural selection, is unguided. But that idea isn’t part of evolutionary theory as such; it’s instead a metaphysical or theological addition.”

Recently, Tim Callahan examined Plantinga’s views critically in e-Skeptic, the newsletter of American sceptics. Callahan finds it difficult to believe that the God of the Bible (or any creator) would have resorted to a Darwinian mechanism. He points out that fossils speak of mass extinctions and death. During the assumed millions of years, life on Earth has been on the verge of total destruction several times.

Genesis describes a world that was originally perfect in every way. Callahan is right in saying that Plantinga is inconsistent. Theistic creation and atheistic evolution are incompatible.

The Bible speaks of an almighty God who did miracles instantly in both the Old and the New Testament. He did not need to wait for billions of years before being able to create man in his image. He made him on the sixth day of creation that lasted only a fraction of the time that Darwinian evolution assumes it took to evolve humans.

Source:

Callahan, Tim. 2011. Where the Substance Really Isn’t. e-Skeptic (2 November).

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Design in Nature



Erosion can carve canyons but few would believe that it could carve presidents. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen

It is not all too uncommon for sceptics to claim that design in nature is merely an illusion. Richard Dawkins, for instance, assumes that “the illusion of purpose is so powerful that biologists themselves use the assumption of good design as a working tool.”

Few would believe that erosion carved the US presidents on Mount Rushmore. However, the same people might refuse to believe that the human cell that uses nanotechnology to communicate with its environment and with other cells is intelligently designed.

Might this refusal to admit the obvious have more to do with ideology than with anything else?

The apostle Paul writes in Romans: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (1:20, NIV).

Source:

Dawkins, Richard. 1995. River Out of Eden. London: Phoenic.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Newspeak: “Opponents of Science are Experts at Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds”



This week's New Scientist takes a look at those who are not convinced by ideas like Darwinian evolution.




Joel Kontinen

Evolutionists have studied their Orwell well and adopted his newspeak. As exemplified by this week's New Scientist, they characterise dissidents as “opponents of science”, “the forces of anti-science” and those who hold “apparently perverse positions.”

New Scientist informs us, for instance, that Discovery Institute is “a conservative think-tank that seeks to undermine the teaching of evolution in US schools… After failing to get biblical creationism taught in science classes, the institute came back with the ‘scientific’ concept of intelligent design, and two carefully researched talking points: ‘evolution is just a theory’ and ‘teach the controversy’. "

One cannot obviously expect New Scientist to check its facts as very little (if anything) in the above quote is actually true.

The basic problem is that Darwinian evolution is taught as dogma in schools almost everywhere. The only thing that dissidents have an issue with is the dogmatism of evolutionists. They propagate their pet theory with almost religious zeal and do their utmost to silence all dissent.

Sources:

Aldhouse, Peter. 2011. Science in America: Selling the truth. New Scientist 2836: 42-45.

Why America should put its trust in reason. New Scientist 2836: 3.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

UK Media Blast Richard Dawkins for Refusing to Debate William Lane Craig



Richard Dawkins refuses to debate theists. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins likes to get his voice heard. But there is one thing that he is not so fond of, and that is appearing in forums where his view might be subject to critical analysis.

Recently, Dawkins turned down an invitation to debate Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig. He said that he would not share a platform with someone who was "an apologist for genocide.” Dawkins was referring to God's instructions to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 20 concerning their war against the Canaanites.

Dawkins quoted a text Craig had written on the commandment to wipe out the Canaanites, who had a habit of sacrificing their children to idols. Craig pointed out that the account “offend[s] our moral sensibilities. Ironically, however, our moral sensibilities in the West have been largely, and for many people unconsciously, shaped by our Judaeo-Christian heritage, which has taught us the intrinsic value of human beings, the importance of dealing justly rather than capriciously, and the necessity of the punishment’s fitting the crime.”

Dawkins, of course, did not quote this part of Craig’s article.

The UK media have interpreted Dawkins’ decision as cowardice. They see the appeal to genocide as a very poor excuse. Daniel Came writes in The Guardian:

"Given that there isn't much in the way of serious argumentation in the New Atheists' dialectical arsenal, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Dawkins and Grayling [another humanist who refused to debate Craig] aren't exactly queuing up to enter a public forum with an intellectually rigorous theist like Craig to have their views dissected and the inadequacy of their arguments exposed."

Came concludes, “it is quite obvious that Dawkins is opportunistically using these remarks as a smokescreen to hide the real reasons for his refusal to debate with Craig.”

There is, in other words, the chance that the audience might actually be able to see what the atheistic emperor’s new clothes are like.

Writing in The Telegraph, historian Tim Stanley ends his article with the words, “In Craig, Dawkins met his match. Like Jonah, he was confronted by the truth and he ran away.”


Sources:

Came, Daniel. 2011. Richard Dawkins's refusal to debate is cynical and anti-intellectualist. The Guardian (22 October).

Stanley, Tim. 2011. Richard Dawkins is either a fool or a coward for refusing to debate William Lane Craig. The Telegraph. (21 October).

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Why Do Darwinists Believe in Conspiracy Theories?



Dr. Eugenie Scott. Image courtesy of Carrie Sager, Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

A just-released film “examines the hijacking of science education by religious fundamentalists.”

The claim is a rather interesting one, as evolutionists have a monopoly on science education in the USA and elsewhere. The film No Dinosaurs in Heaven features Dr. Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education, an organisation that exists for the sole purpose of promoting the teaching of Darwinian evolution.

It seems that at least some prominent evolutionists believe in conspiracy theories. There is actually not a whim of truth in their pretentious claim.

The film was released by Jezebel Productions. Jezebel was the queen who persecuted the prophet Elijah and tried to put an end to the worship of Yahweh in Israel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Microevolution and Macroevolution



The polar bear and the grizzly bear belong to the same Genesis kind. Image courtesy of Ansgar Walk, Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen

Microevolution and macroevolution are concepts that one often bumps into in discussions on the Darwinian view of the development and biodiversity of life. Many people assume that microevolution refers to changes within an existing species and macroevolution has to do with changes that give rise to new species.

Evolutionists believe that given enough time, say a few million years, microevolution will lead to macroevolution.

These concepts are misleading. The Genesis concept of kind has a much wider meaning than the term species used in modern biology. We cannot thus regard dog breeds as evidence of microevolution.

Speciation or the origin of a new species does not have to do with ”macroevolution”, but it speaks of the ability of living beings to adapt to their environment.

The polar bear and the grizzly bear seem to belong to the same Genesis kind. The same applies to the lion and the tiger. Their offspring are known as ligers.

Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis, for instance, recommend against using the concept microevolution.

Paedophilia and Polygamy Challenge the Traditional View of Marriage



The biblical model of marriage is based on Genesis: an exclusive and permanent union of one man and one woman.



Joel Kontinen

In August 2011 a group of American psychologists held an academic conference aimed at changing current views on paedophilia, making it into an acceptable sexual orientation.

Their organisation, known as B4U-ACT, consisting of psychologists and health care professionals, attempts to get the American Psychological Association (APA) to re-classify paedophilia, so that it would no longer be regarded as a mental disorder.

According to the B4U-ACT’s webpages, one should take a similar approach to paedophilia as to homosexuality, because (as they claim) individuals are unable to change their sexual orientation.

At the same time the American TV series Sister Wives presents polygamy in a positive light.

Accepting homosexuality and re-defining marriage are only one step in the desire some liberals have of destroying marriage as an institution. There is more to come.

When people reject God’s revelation, the consequences are disastrous, going from bad to worse.

Sources:


Colson, Chuck and Timothy George. 2011. The 'Big Love' Strategy. Christianity Today. (18 October).

Kryn, Jeremy. 2011. Academic conference seeks to normalize pedophilia. LifeSiteNews (16 August).

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Harold Camping Errs on Prediction of the End of the World – Once Again



Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on October 21st. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Harold Camping made headlines with his prediction that Jesus would return on May 21st and that the world would end five months after that or on October 21st.

Mr. Camping used his date for Noah’s Flood to calculate the rapture. He said that one day in the Bible corresponds to a thousand years in human history. He dated the Flood at 4990 B.C. or over 2,500 years earlier than archbishop James Ussher’s traditional computation. According to Camping, May 21st marked the 7,000th year (or the seventh day) after the beginning of the Flood.

Camping appealed to the apostle Peter’s statement: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV).

However, the apostle did not mean that a day is a thousand years. Instead, he emphasised that God would fulfil His promise and return – in due time:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. “

Nothing in Peter’s teaching suggests that we can calculate Jesus’ return from the year of the Flood.

Jesus said of His return, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.” (Mark 13:32-33).

While cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses have predicted erroneous dates for Jesus’ return, Christians have not been called to speculate on dates that they cannot know.

New Difficulty for Darwinian Evolution: The Earliest Whale Is Almost as Old as Its Assumed Land-Loving Ancestor


Pakicetus inachus. Image courtesy of Arthur Weasley, Wikipedia.


Joel Kontinen


It is becoming increasingly difficult to believe in the Darwinian story of how whales became marine animals.

Recently, a team of Argentinean and Swedish researchers found a whale jawbone in Antarctica. The bone is assumed to be 49 million years old.

In the early 1980s, evolutionists announced the discovery of Pakicetus, the grandmother of all marine whales, with great fanfare. They believe that it lived ”52 million years” ago.

Later, after they found more bones, they had to acknowledge that Pakicetus was a land animal. Now evolution is left with too little time to change a land animal into a marine creature.

Source:

Warren, Michael. 2011. Ancient whale jawbone found in Antarctica. Science on msnbc.com (11 October).

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Biblical Genealogies Are Not Symmetrical



Joel Kontinen

Many Bible scholars assume that since some genealogies (such as Genesis 5 and 11) appear to be symmetrical, one can extrapolate tens if not hundreds of gaps from them.

This widespread belief stems from an essay William Green wrote in 1890. He attempted to reconcile millions of years with Genesis. Scholars have since then basically repeated this view without counting the generations in Genesis.

Some progressive creationists, for instance, think that the symmetry allows them to date Adam and Eve at 100,000 years before our time.

However, in 1980 professor Gerhard Hasel showed that this belief was erroneous. This becomes evident if we list the names mentioned in Genesis 5 and 11 side by side, as in the figure above.




Sources:

Hasel, Gerhard F. 1980. 1980b. The Meaning of the Chronogenealogies of Genesis 5 and 11. Origins 7, no. 2:53-70.

Freeman, Travis R. 2004. A New Look at the Genesis 5 and 11 Fluidity Problem. Andrews University Seminary Studies 42, no. 2, 259-286.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

New Research: Early Humans Had a Paint Factory



This family tree is based on the erroneous idea of continuous development.





Joel Kontinen

It seems that it is time to discard the idea of grunting cavemen with fingers that were all thumbs.

Last week the journal Science published a report on an ancient workshop where the early inhabitants of South Africa prepared a mixture based on ochre and stored it in abalone shells.

The workshop was found in 2008 in a cave. The find is assumed to be 100, 000 years old.

Christopher Henshilwood of the universities of Bergen in Norway and Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, who led the work, says the discovery reveals an interesting characteristic of early humans: "This isn't just a chance mixture, it is early chemistry. It suggests conceptual and probably cognitive abilities which are the equivalent of modern humans," Nature news quoted him as saying.

In addition to ochre, bone, charcoal, grindstones and hammerstones were also found in the cave.

According to Genesis, humans have always been clever and innovative. Already in the fourth chapter, Moses mentions the harp and the flute as well as bronze and iron tools.

Sources:

Corbyn, Zoë. 2011. African cave's ancient ochre lab. Nature news (13 October).

Henshilwood, Christopher S. el. A 100,000-Year-Old Ochre-Processing Workshop at Blombos Cave, South Africa. Science 334 (6053), 219-222. (14 October).

Jonathan Sarfati: Evolution is Based on Blind Faith

Joel Kontinen

Jonathan Sarfati, who has a PhD in chemistry, is one of the best-known defenders of the Bible. He works as a CMI scientist, speaker and writer. He has written several bestsellers, including Refuting Evolution 1 and 2, Refuting Compromise and The Greatest Hoax on Earth?

Dr. Sarfati contributes regularly to Creation magazine and the Creation.com website. He is also featured in several videos.

On a recently released CMI video, Dr. Sarfati, a former New Zealand chess champion, talks about playing chess blindfolded, his books Refuting Evolution and The Greatest Hoax on Earth?, Richard Dawkins and the tactics evolutionists use, such as equivocation, as seen in the use of different meanings of evolution in the same context, and his own research in chemistry.

Dr. Sarfati says that whereas the Bible is based on evidence, the evolution view is based on blind faith. There is no way everything could have formed from nothing or life could have arisen from non-life.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Research: Reading the Bible frequently increases one’s will to resist abortions and defend the traditional view of marriage



Reading this book can be an effective means of reducing the number of abortions.




Joel Kontinen

Politicians should encourage people to read the Bible. It could have very beneficial results – especially for unborn babies.

According to an American study conducted in 2007, frequent Bible reading is an effective way to get one to resist abortions and defend the traditional view of marriage.

In a questionnaire survey conducted by the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, 1648 over 18-year-old Americans responded to questions about religion.

The results should not surprise us. The Bible is not an ordinary book. The text, inspired by the Holy Spirit, will change those who read it, provided they are willing to change.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”, the apostle Paul writes in his second letter to Timothy. (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV).


Sources:

Baylor Religion Survey, Wave II (2007). ARDA: The Association of Religion Data Archives.

The Values and Beliefs of the American Public: A National Study.

Richard Dawkins: ”Theistic Evolutionists Are Deluded”

Joel Kontinen

Richard Dawkins is not exactly known for mincing his words. In an interview on Revelation TV in March 2011 he says that evangelical Christians who see evolution as the enemy have got it right. The more “sophisticated theologians” are happy to live with evolution, but they are deluded.

This is an interview that theistic evolutionists like Karl Giberson, Francis Collins and Alister McGrath should see.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

From a Fanatic to a Humble Servant



The apostle Paul is an example of the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

When someone’s religion turns into fanaticism, it tends to spell trouble for some other people. The New Testament book of Acts recounts its effect on a man called Saul. He did everything he could to punish and persecute the followers of Jesus Christ.

But then something happened: On his way to bring Christians to what he thought was justice, he met none other than the resurrected Christ.

The persecutor’s life was changed forever. Saul became Paul, the greatest Christian missionary and theologian of all times.

In discussions on the dangers of religion we should not forget what a genuine encounter with Jesus Christ can do.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What Is So Special About Israel?

Joel Kontinen

No nation under the sun is like Israel. Four millennia ago, God promised Abraham a nation and a land. As the years went by, He revealed more about the future of the descendants of this man, who dared to trust in His promises.

God warned that He would scatter the Israelites if they disobeyed Him. That is exactly what happened. He also promised that He would bring them back to their own land.

The Jews did not loose their national identity or even their language permanently.

While some Jews we able to read ancient texts in Hebrew during their long Diaspora, the language had ceased to be anyone’s mother tongue. However, Eliezer Ben Yehuda (1858 –1922) revived the language and nowadays Hebrew is a living language spoken all over Israel.

The Old Testament contains tens of prophecies about Israel’s destiny. As this video shows, most of them have been fulfilled.




The take away message of Israel’s continued existence is that we can trust God’s Word.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

BBC Says Goodbye to AD and BC – or Does It?



BBC does not want to favour Christianity. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.





Joel Kontinen

The British papers have been abuzz with the news that the BBC is about to cease using BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, year of the Lord) in favour of the more neutral designations BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era).

The statement “As the BBC is committed to impartiality it is appropriate that we use terms that do not offend or alienate non-Christians” has been circulating widely in the media during the past week.

According to the Catholic Herald, “The BBC has clarified, however, that it has not dropped the use of BC … and AD … in favour of BCE … and CE…Even so, the religion page of its website says it prefers BCE and CE, explaining that ‘in line with modern practice, bbc.co.uk/religion uses BCE/CE as a religiously neutral alternative to BC/AD.’ ”

The issue would not have made headlines if the prevailing religious climate had not been so antagonistic towards Christianity with the tendency to bid farewell to Christian traditions, institutions and morals in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

The incident reminds us of the “happy holidays vs. merry Christmas” battles being fought in the USA or the legality of crosses or nativity scenes.

Many critics suspect that the BBC’s politically correct stance – with or without the change – is merely a pretext for denying the Christian roots of western civilisation.

Sources:

Thavis, John. 2011. Vatican paper says reported BBC dating change is ‘senseless’. Catholic Herald (5 October).

BBC Says Yes to BCE. Biblical Archaeology Society. 5 October 2011.

Iran Threatens to Execute Home Church Pastor – But the Case Is Bizarre

Joel Kontinen

Denying Islam can lead to severe problems, especially in Muslim countries. In 2009 an Islamic court in Iran sentenced Youssef Nadarkhani to death because of apostasy. He had become a Christian.

The police arrested Nadarkhani for the first time in 2006. The Iranian Supreme Court upheld the ruling against him last year. Nadarkhani, the pastor of a small house church, will be hanged if he does not ”repent” of his apostasy.

Recently, a bizarre development occurred in Nadarkhani’s case. After US and British leaders had appealed to Iran, the Iranians changed the charge against him.

According to Christianity Today, “though Nadarkhani was found guilty and sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010, the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars News reported on September 30 that he will now be executed for Zionism, rape, and extortion.”

There is nothing new under the sun, however. Not so long ago, a totalitarian state in Europe used to diagnose dissidents as being mentally ill and send them to get treatment. Iran seems to have adopted a similar strategy.




Source:

Feddes. Morgan. 2011. From Death Sentence to Rape Charges, Iranian Pastor’s Case Is Rare—and Disputed. Christianity Today. (6 October).

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Charles Darwin’s Shadow Over the Herero Genocide



The traditional costume of a Herero woman includes a stylish hat. Image courtesy of Wikipedia. A century ago, German scientists did not believe that Hereros were as developed as Europeans.




Joel Kontinen

Last week, a 60-member Namibian delegation brought the skulls of 20 of their deceased forefathers to Windhoek from Germany, where they were kept on display in museums.

The Nazis did not invent human experiments. Over a century ago, German scientists inspired by Darwinian evolution examined the skulls of dead Africans. Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species had been translated into German in 1875. In addition, Ernst Haeckel promoted evolution with his writings and Nietzsche proclaimed his view of Übermensch or superman.

German scientists wanted to show that light-skinned Europeans were more evolved than dark Africans.

Germany conquered South-West Africa or the present-day Namibia in 1884. The colonial masters treated their subjects so badly that they revolted in 1896 and 1904-1908. The German troops under Lieutenant General von Trotha put down the uprising ruthlessly. Roughly 60, 000 Hereros and over 10, 000 Namas died either in battle or from malnutrition or diseases in concentration camps.

Many skulls were sent to Germany for scientific purposes.

A hundred years ago, Charles Darwin’s shadow extended far from his homeland, bringing desperation, suffering and death to Africa.


Sources:

Ambler, Marc. 2005. Herero Genocide. Creation 27 (3): 52-55.

Joy as Herero skulls arrive in Namibia. The Local. 4 October 2011.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Consequences of the Fall In the Bird Kingdom



The fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). Image courtesy of Martin Olsson, Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

We can see the effects of the Fall in the bird kingdom in the autumn. A few days ago a very aggressive fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) wanted to eat all ripe hawthorn berries for himself and drove a redwing (Turdus iliacus) away.

The aggression turned out to be in vain, however. The next day, there were enough berries for Bohemian waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and common blackbirds (Turdus merula).

Quarrelling birds tell us that we no longer live in a perfect world. ”We know that the whole creation has been groaning”, the apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:22 (NIV).

This groaning is a consequence of the Fall. Although birds cannot sin, even they suffer from the wrong choice Adam and Eve made at the dawn of history.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Genesis and the Human Race



They all belong to the same human race. Image courtesy of G. Mützel; Nordisk familjebok (1904), vol.2, Asiatiska folk, public domain.





Joel Kontinen

How many human races are there? According to Genesis, the answer is one.

Charles Darwin and other evolutionists used to argue for several races (see quotes here and here), but recent research has indicated that they were mistaken.

The apostle Paul says that all humans originate from one man, Adam. so we all belong to the same race:

"From one man He made every nation of men, to inhabit the whole earth; and He determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands." (ACts 17:26, Berean Study Bible).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Butterfly Documentary Metamorphosis Attracts Praise and Large Audiences

Joel Kontinen

Metamorphosis, Illustra Media’s new butterfly documentary, challenges Darwinian evolution and presents a strong case for intelligent design in butterflies.

Here’s what happened when an independent journalist attended Southern California premiere of Metamorphosis:

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Theistic Evolutionist Karl Giberson Takes On Ken Ham



Karl Giberson does not like Answers in Genesis. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.



Joel Kontinen

Karl Giberson believes that God used evolution in creating the world and that evangelical Christians should embrace his view of origins.

A decade or so ago, Dr. Giberson edited the now defunct Templeton-sponsored newspaper Science and Theology News that in effect was a forum for promoting theistic evolution. He then said that he would not let young-earth creationists defend their views in his paper.

Giberson is known for some bizarre statements, such as that a historical-literal understanding of Genesis “robs it of everything that is interesting" and for claiming that Jesus would believe in evolution.

Dr. Giberson, who is a physicist, has been involved with the BioLogos Foundation in promoting theistic evolution.

Recently Giberson wrote a blog post, attempting to discredit young earth creationism. Referring to Mark Noll’s book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans 1995), Giberson accuses evangelicals of relying on ideas that have been discredited centuries ago.

However, in reality it is Noll’s views that do not stand up to scrutiny. Contrary to what Noll claims, the Adventists did not discover young earth creationism in the 19th century. It has been the Church’s primary view since the apostolic era. The very idea of an evangelical scandal resulted from relying too much on the views of ex-Adventist Roland Numbers, who might have had an axe to grind against his former denomination.

Giberson is puzzled about “the strange preference that evangelicals have for the discredited young-earth creationism of Ken Ham over the legitimate and well-founded science of Francis Collins. The ideas promoted by Ham are so obsolete that some of them were actually abandoned by the scientific community in the 18th century!”

Ironically, scientific research shows that some of the claims of the BioLogos Foundation (e.g. “junk DNA”) that Giberson so ardently promotes are obsolete and the uniformitarianism that led to a belief in millions of years of Earth history has to some extent also been abandoned in geology.

Source:

Giberson, Karl. 2011. Why Do So Many Evangelicals Prefer to Get Their “Science” From Ken Ham Rather Than Francis Collins? Science + Religion Today (27 September).

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Sceptic Plays Fast and Loose With Language



Michael Shermer uses language in an Orwellian way. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.




Joel Kontinen

Dr. Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic magazine, writes a monthly column for Scientific American. Recently, for the umpteenth time he used the expression intelligent design creationists, which some Darwinians erroneously assume is a genuine term.

It is not. Using a similar analogy, one might call the English language “Anglo-Saxon German”. Try that in the British parliament.

While creationism and intelligent design have something in common, i.e., they are opposed to Darwinian dogmatism, there is a huge difference between Answers in Genesis and the Discovery Institute.

Shermer’s column was about “pseudoscience”. He writes that ID proponents “threaten science education in America, they breach the wall separating church and state, and they confuse the public about the nature of evolutionary theory and how science is conducted.”

As most people know, none of these reasons are valid or even true. There is an apt word for the current method of teaching Darwinian evolution in schools. It is called indoctrination.

Neither ID advocates nor creationists have a lobby group for stealthily bringing creationism into the classroom, unless, of course, one believes in conspiracy theories.

Since sceptics (or skeptics as the American spelling is) are fond of using Orwellian language, they might assume that other people are so too.

Pseudo” is a word that to a great extent describes Shermer’s use of language.

Source:

Shermer, Michael. 2011. What is Pseudoscience?