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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Readings in Science and Creation

Mar 9, 2008

The broad issue of the relationship between science and faith, and the more particular issue of the debate over creation and evolution are of course monstrously large topics, which are quite complex, multi-layered and of course very controversial.

Many tens of thousands of books would have been penned on such topics, and they represent a wide range of views and perspectives. The volumes here are almost all written by Christians (a few volumes are not).

And the (mainly) Christian authors listed below likewise represent a wide variety of opinions. There are some who embrace progressive creationism (eg. Newman, Ramm, Ross, etc.), some who espouse theistic evolution (eg. Barbour, Peacocke, Van Till,), and so on. The two important camps (six day creationism and Intelligent Design) have their own separate sections.

This is not an exhaustive bibliography but it does list some of the more important works available on these difficult, complex and contentious issues. Indeed, the list mainly comprises some of the books I have read on the subject. Undoubtedly numerous other titles could be mentioned.

Those who want to dig deeper into these various subjects may find this list a helpful starting point. I will refrain from listing my favourite volumes here, although some authors I quite enjoy include Phillip Johnson and William Dembski.

Religion and Science

Alexander, Denis, Rebuilding the Matrix: Science and Faith in the 21st Century. Lion, 2001.
Alexander, Denis, ed., Can We Be Sure About Anything?: Science, Faith and Postmodernism. IVP, 2005.
Ashton, John, ed., The God Factor. Thorsons, 2001.
Barbour, I.G., Religion in an Age of Science. SCM, 1990.
Birkett, Kirsten, Unnatural Enemies: An Introduction to Science and Christianity. Matthias Media, 1997.
Blanchard, John, Has Science Got Rid of God? Evangelical Press, 2004.
Carlson, Richard, ed., Science and Christianity: Four Views. IVP, 2000.
Collins, C. John, Science and Faith: Friends or Foes? Crossway Books, 2003.
Davis, John Jefferson, The Frontiers of Science and Faith. IVP, 2002.
Forster, Roger and Paul Marston, Reason, Science and Faith. Monarch, 1999.
Hawthorne, J.N., Questions of Science and Faith. IVP, 1972.
Henry, Carl F.H., ed., Horizons of Science. Harper & Row, 1978.
Hooykaas, R., Religion and the Rise of Modern Science. Scottish Academic Press, 1972.
Holder, Rodney, Nothing But Atoms and Molecules? Monarch, 1993.
Hummel, Charles, The Galileo Connection. IVP, 1986.
Hunter, Cornelius, Science’s Blind Spot. Brazos, 2007.
Jaki, Stanley, Bible and Science. Christendom Press, 2004.
Jaki, Stanley, The Savior of Science. Eerdmans, 2000.
Jeeves, Malcolm and R.J. Berry, Science, Life, and Christian Belief. Baker, 1998.
Lennox, John, God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Lion, 2007.
McGrath, Alister, Dawkin’s God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. Blackwell, 2004.
McGrath, Alister, The Reenchantment of Nature: Science, Religion and Human Sense of Wonder. Hodder & Stoughton, 2002.
McGrath, Alister, Science and Religion: An Introduction. Blackwells, 1998.
McGrath, Alister, The Science Of God: An Introduction To Scientific Theology. Eerdmans, 2004.
McGrath, Alister, A Scientific Theology, 3 vols. Eerdmans, 2001-2003.
MacKay, Donald, Brains, Machines and Persons. Eerdmans, 1980.
MacKay, Donald, Science and the Quest for Meaning. Eerdmans, 1982.
Moreland, J.P., Christianity and the Nature of Science. Baker, 1989.
Nichols, Terence, The Sacred Cosmos: Christian Faith and the Challenge of Naturalism. Brazos, 2003.
Peacocke, Arthur, Paths From Science Towards God. Oxford: One World, 2001.
Pearcey, Nancy and Charles Thaxton, The Soul of Science: Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy. Crossway Books, 1994.
Polkinghorne, John, Beyond Science. Cambridge University Press, 1996, 1998.
Polkinghorne, John, One World: The Interaction of Science and Theology. Princeton University Press, 1987.
Polkinghorne, John, Quarks, Chaos and Christianity. Triangle, 1994.
Polkinghorne, John, Reason and Reality: The Relationship Between Science and Theology. SPCK, 1991.
Polkinghorne, John, Science and Theology: An Introduction. SPCK, 1998.
Poythress, Vern, Redeeming Science. Crossway, 2006.
Ramm, Bernard, The Christian View of Science and Scripture. Eerdmans, 1954.
Ratzsch, Del, Philosophy of Science. IVP, 1986.
Wilkinson, David and Bob Frost, Thinking Clearly About God and Science. Monarch, 1996.
Wright, John, Designer Universe. Monarch, 1994.

Creation and Evolution

Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, Darwin’s Leap of Faith. Harvest House, 1998.
Ankerberg, John and John Weldon, The Facts on Creation vs. Evolution. Harvest House, 1993.
Birkett, Kirsten, The Essence of Darwinism. Matthias Media, 2001.
Blocher, Henri, In the Beginning: The Opening Chapters of Genesis. IVP, 1984.
Broom, Neil, How Blind is the Watchmaker? IVP, 2001.
Cameron, Nigel M. de S., Evolution and the Authority of the Bible. Paternoster, 1983.
Copan, Paul and William Lane Craig, Creation Out of Nothing: Its Biblical, Philosophical, and Scientific Exploration. Baker, 2004.
Custance, Arthur, Evolution or Creation? The Doorway Papers, vol. 4. Zondervan, 1976.
Dembski, William, ed., Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing. ISI Books, 2004.
Denton, Michael, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Adler and Adler, 1983.
Denton, Michael, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe. The Free Press, 1998.
Fowler, Thomas and Daniel Kuebler, The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories. Baker, 2007.
Geisler, Norman and J. Kerby Anderson, Origin Science. Baker, 1987.
Hagopian, David, ed., The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation. Crux Press, 2000.
Hanegraaff, Hank, The Face That Demonstrates the Farce of Evolution. Word, 1998.
Holloway, Carson, The Right Darwin? Evolution, Religion, and the Future of Democracy. Spence Publishing, 2006.
Houston, James, I Believe in the Creator. Eerdmans, 1980.
Hunter, Cornelius, Darwin’s God. Brazos Press, 2001.
Hunter, Cornelius, Darwin’s Proof. Brazos Press, 2003.
Huse, Scott, The Collapse of Evolution. Baker, 1983, 1997.
Johnson, Phillip, Darwin on Trial. Regnery Gateway, 1991.
Johnson, Phillip, Defeating Darwinism. IVP, 1997.
Johnson, Phillip, Objections Sustained. IVP, 1998.
Johnson, Phillip, Reason in the Balance. IVP, 1995.
Johnson, Phillip and Nancy Pearcey, The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate. IVP, 2002.
Kelly, Douglas, Creation and Change. Mentor, 1997.
McGrath, Alister, Glimpsing the Face of God. Eerdmans, 2002.
Moreland, J.P., ed., The Creation Hypothesis. IVP, 1994.
Moreland, J.P and John Mark Reynolds, eds., Three Views on Creation and Evolution. Zondervan, 1999.
Newman, Robert and Herman Eckelmann, Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth. IVP, 1977.
Olasky, Marvin and John Perry, Monkey Business: The True Story of the Scopes Trial. Broadman & Holman, 2005.
Poppe, Kenneth, Reclaiming Science from Darwinism. Harvest House, 2006.
Rana, Fazale and Hugh Ross, Origins of Life. Navpress, 2004.
Rana, Fazale and Hugh Ross, Who Was Adam? Navpress, 2005.
Rhodes, Ron, The Ten Things You Should Know About the Creation vs Evolution Debate. Harvest House, 2004.
Ross, Hugh, Beyond the Cosmos, 2nd ed. Navpress, 1999.
Ross, Hugh, Creation and Time. Navpress. 1994.
Ross, Hugh, Creation as Science. Navpress, 2006.
Ross, Hugh, The Creator and the Cosmos: How the Latest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God. Navpress, 2001.
Ross, Hugh, The Fingerprint of God. Whitaker House, 2000.
Ross, Hugh, The Genesis Question. Navpress, 1998.
Ross, Hugh, A Matter of Days. Navpress, 2004.
Simmons, Geoffrey, Billions of Missing Links. Harvest House, 2007.
Snoke, David, A Biblical Case for an Old Earth. Baker, 2006.
Sproul, R.C., Not a Chance: The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology. Baker, 1994.
Strobel, Lee, The Case for a Creator. Zondervan, 2004.
Stove, David, Darwinian Fairytales. Encounter Books, 1995, 2006.
Sunderland, Luther, Darwin’s Enigma. Master Books, 1988.
Van Till, Howard, The Fourth Day. Eerdmans, 1986.
Wells, Jonathan, Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Regnery, 2000.
Whorton, Mark, Peril in Paradise: Theology, Science, and the Age of the Earth. Authentic Media, 2005.
Young, Davis, Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Zondervan, 1982.
Youngblood, Ronald, ed., The Genesis Debate. Nelson, 1986.

Six-Day (or Young Earth) Creationism

Ashton, John, In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation. New Holland, 1999.
Batten, Don, ed., The Answers Book. Answers in Genesis, 1999.
Batten, Don, ed., The Creation Answers Book. Creation Book Publishers, 2007.
DeYoung, Donald, Thousands, Not Billions. Master Books, 2005.
Gish, Duane, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record. Master Books, 1985.
Ham, Ken, The Lie: Evolution. Master Books, 1987.
Ham, Ken, The New Answers Book. Master Books, 2007.
Jordan, James, Creation in Six Days. Canon Press, 1999.
Lubenow, Martin, Bones of Contention. Baker, 1992.
Morris, Henry, Biblical Cosmology and Modern Science. Baker, 1970.
Morris, Henry, Biblical Creationism. Master Books, 1993, 2000.
Morris, Henry, Scientific Creationism. Master Books, 1985.
Morris, Henry, The Twilight of Evolution. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1963.
Morris, Henry and Gary Parker, What is Creation Science? Creation-Life Publishers, 1982.
Morris, John, Is the Big Bang Biblical: And 99 Other Questions With John Morris. Master Books, 2003.
Morris, John, The Young Earth. Master Books, 2007.
Parker, Gary, Dry Bones . . . And Other Fossils. Creation-Life Publishers, 1985.
Parker, Gary, From Evolution to Creation. Creation-Life Publishers, 1977.
Sarfati, Jonathan, Refuting Compromise. Answers in Genesis, 2004.
Sarfati, Jonathan, Refuting Evolution. Answers in Genesis, 1999.
Sarfati, Jonathan, Refuting Evolution 2. Answers in Genesis, 2002.
Spetner, Lee, Not By Chance. Judaica Press, 1993.
Van Bebber, Mark and Paul Taylor, Creation and Time. Eden Communications, 1994. (A response to Ross.)
Whitcomb John and Henry Morris, The Genesis Flood. Baker, 1961.
Whitcomb John, The Early Earth. Baker, 1972.
Whitcomb John, The World That Perished. Baker, 1973.
Wieland, Carl, The Genesis Files. Master Books, 2004.
Wilder-Smith, A.E., Man’s Origin, Man’s Destiny. Harold Shaw, 1968.
Williams, Alex and John Hartnett, Dismantling the Big Bang. Master Books, 2005.

Intelligent Design

Behe, Michael, Darwin’s Black Box. The Free Press, 1996.
Behe, Michael, The Edge of Evolution. Free Press, 2007.
Behe, Michael, William Dembski and Stephen Meyer, Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe. Ignatius Press, 2000.
Cagan, C.L. and Robert Hymers, From Darwin to Design. Whitaker House, 2006.
Dembski, William, The Design Inference. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Dembski, William, The Design Revolution. IVP, 2004.
Dembski, William, Intelligent Design. IVP, 1999.
Dembski, William, No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased Without Intelligence. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.
Dembski, William, ed., Darwin’s Nemesis: Phillip Johnson And the Intelligent Design Movement. IVP, 2006.
Dembski, William, ed., Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design. IVP, 1998.
Dembski, William and James Kushiner, eds., Signs of Intelligence. Brazos Press, 2001.
Gonzalez, Guillermo, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery. Regnery, 2004.
Muncaster, Ralph, Dismantling Evolution: Building the Case for Intelligent Design. Harvest house, 2003.
Pullen, Stuart, Intelligent Design or Evolution? Why the Origin of Life and the Evolution of Molecular Knowledge Imply Design. Intelligent Design Books, 2005.
Simmons, Geoffrey, What Darwin Didn’t Know. Harvest House, 2004.
Wells, Jonathan, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. Regnery, 2006.
Witham, Larry, By Design: Science and the Search for God. Encounter, 2003.
Woodward, Thomas, Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design. Baker, 2006.
Woodward, Thomas, Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design. Baker, 2003.

Pro and Con

William Dembski and Michael Ruse, eds., Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA. Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Intelligent Design videos

Unlocking the Mystery of Life: The Case for Intelligent Design. 60 minutes. Focus on the Family, 2002.
Icons of Evolution: Dismantling the Myths. 60 minutes. Focus on the Family, 2002.
The Privileged Planet. 60 minutes. Focus on the Family, 2004.

Important Commentaries on Genesis

Atkinson, David, The Message of Genesis 1-11 (BST). IVP, 1990.
Brueggemann, Walter, Genesis (IBC). John Knox, 1982.
Collins, C. John, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary. Presbyterian and Reformed, 2006.
Hamilton, Victor, The Book of Genesis Chapters 1-17 (NICOT). Eerdmans, 1990.
Kidner, Derek, Genesis (TOTC). IVP, 1967.
Mathews, Kenneth, Genesis 1-11:26 (NAC). Broadman, 1996.
Ross, Allen, Creation and Blessing. Baker, 1988.
Sailhamer, John, Genesis (EBC, v. 2). Zondervan, 1990.
Sarna, Nahum, Understanding Genesis. Schocken Books, 1976, 1966.
Waltke, Bruce, Genesis. Zondervan, 2001.
Walton, John, Genesis (NIVAC). Zondervan, 2001.
Wenham, Gordon, Genesis 1-15 (WBC). Word, 1987.
Westermann, Claus, Genesis 1-11. SPCK, 1984, 1944.

For a six-day creationism commentary on Genesis, see:
Morris, Henry, The Genesis Record. Baker, 1981.

Other helpful works on Genesis

Arnold, Bill, Encountering the Book of Genesis. Baker, 1998.
Custance, Arthur, Genesis and Early Man. The Doorway Papers, vol. 4. Zondervan, 1975.
Longman, Tremper, How to Read Genesis. IVP, 2005.
Sailhamer, John, Genesis Unbound. Multnomah, 1996.
Young, E.J., Studies in Genesis One. Baker, 1964.

I here do not lay out my own favourites, except to say that I find much of interest in the new Intelligent Design movement. Readers might like to send in comments, mentioning the books they quite like, and why.

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56 Responses to Readings in Science and Creation

  • Be aware that Howard Van Till has more recently apostatized more overtly into denying a sovereign God. This was no great surprise to those with discernment stronger than that of a dead fish, but something that his Calvin College naively dismissed in their justification to keep him on staff.

    Van Till, cited in Scientist still explores ‘mystery’ of God

    “Perhaps God is not the name of a being radically different from the universe. Perhaps instead God is the name of what makes the human experience rich within the universe. It is what makes the universe as remarkable as it is.”

    The New Theology:

    For years after the book’s release in 1986, Van Till reported to a monthly interrogation where he struggled to reassure college officials that his scientific teachings fit within their creed. Van Till’s career survived the ordeal, but his Calvinist faith did not. Over the next two decades, he became the heretic his critics had suspected.

    Maybe the inquisitors were right to see contradictions between his science and their religion, he thought. Their beliefs demanded a God of absolute power who intervened constantly in the history of life and in human affairs. But Van Till found that picture increasingly at odds with his conviction that everything from stars to starfish has evolved according to natural laws. The college inquiry, he says now, “shook me awake.” …

    Instead, Van Till tried to adapt his religious views.

    He rejected the idea of God as a supernatural being who took care to design every galaxy and blade of grass. The God he sought couldn’t have designed everything at the outset, because the universe that science reveals is always unfolding, always changing. He began to think of God as a silent presence within nature, the source of the nameless awe he felt when studying the genesis of solar systems and the life of our endlessly fertile planet.

    He is by far not the only one of the cited theistic evolutionists with dodgy views in other areas of theology.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks Jonathan

    Yes, just because I listed some authors here does not mean I like everything they say. Indeed, most of the theistic evolutionists are problematic for a number of reasons. As but one concern, Peacock, Barbour, and to a lesser extent, Polkinghorne, are all panentheists to various degrees (see John Cooper, Panentheism, Apollos, 2007).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I think it more appropriate to comment on this this post than the previous post on the atheist crusade in regard to the Galileo episode. David Palmer raised it, as I recall.

    The familiar story (for such it is) of Galileo as the champion of science, reason and intellectual freedom as opposed to the reactionary church standing for myth, superstition, and oppression of all discussion and dissent is actually a rationalist myth which first appears with the French Encyclopaedists in the C18th, who had their own agenda to free the world of religious superstition and intolerant bigotry (as they saw it).It passed from them to the Darwinists of the late C19th and into popular folklore.

    But myths die hard, and the sad, and infuriating, thing is that erstwhile Christians buy into the myth as well.

    The real story of Galileo is that he opposed Aristotle, and debunked many of the dogmas of the received Greek science which the late Middle Ages had married to Christianity. Moreover, in his “Dialogue concerning The Chief World Systems” Simplicio, who represents the Aristotelian, and whose name means “simpleton”, bears an all-too-close resemblance to Pope Urban VIII! So there was very much a personal agenda from the pope to bring Galileo to book.

    However, the real issue was Aristotle, and the Church in hitching its wagon to this star was left stranded when his physics and astronomy were discredited by experimentation. I fear that the modern church has fallen for the same error by marrying itself to Darwinism and rationalist/materialist science.
    Married in one generation, divorced in the next!

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Thanks Bill. That’s a helpful list and a lot of books to read.

    In my view, the two books from that list for anyone who wants to get on top of this issue quickly are:

    Batten, Don, ed., The Creation Answers Book. Creation Book Publishers, 2007.

    and

    Sarfati, Jonathan, Refuting Evolution. Answers in Genesis, 1999.

    The first answers the questions that come up whenever someone realizes that you are saying the Bible, and especially Genesis should be taken as literal history, which it is. In other words, if you are actively witnessing for the Lord and seeking to bring others to him, these are the questions that you will encounter. They are the sort of question that a 6-year old will ask and stump a 60-year-old RE teacher. In fact, I met a lady yesterday who as a child kept asking her RE teacher about dinosaurs because her class had been to the museum and seen all the skeletons. The teacher could not answer and eventually expelled her from the class because she persisted in asking the question. The book is arranged in a biblical, chronological order.

    The second book refutes the standard arguments for evolution that appear in text books, on television and on the web. The same stuff was recently published in a booklet produced by the National Academy of Science called Science, Evolution and Creationism. It amazes me how the same arguments are continually recycled. I’ve emailed webmasters about their stuff and how it is out of date but they will not change it. Anyone who reads this simple book will very quickly get a good handle on the issues.

    Tas Walker

  • For Galileo, see also The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography? by Dr Thomas Schirrmacher. This further supports what Dr Adamthwaite wrote above. It’s a shame that this myth has intimidated many Christians to buckle under the most egregious anti-Bible “science”.

    Fortunately, the related Flat Earth myth seems to have been largely destroyed by Prof. Jeffrey Burton Russell’s book Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus & Modern Historians. considering that none other than Stephen Jay Gould reviewed the book favorably, anyone who still promotes the myth is inviting ridicule.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Glad to see the Australian philosopher David Stove’s volume, Darwinian Fairytales, listed there Bill. A good review of it in Quadrant’s latest issue is here;

    quadrant.org.au/php/article_view.php?article_id=3802

    Damien Spillane

  • Thanks Damien

    Yes the whole episode is quite interesting really. Stove was an atheist who did basically believe in evolution, but he was savage in his criticism of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology. Also of note, his son is a Christian.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,
    Impressive List! Thanks.

    A few additions that I think are important. Someone cherry picking your post for TE’s will conclude it is not possible to be both Evangelical & support evolution (Barbour, Peacocke never were Evangelical; Van Til as Safarti notes has moved towards process theology). Your bibliography includes some good stuff on this (hey, anything with that much Alexander, McGrath, & Polkinghorne is great in my opinion – not like I’m showing my cards 🙂 ).

    My additions: For Evangelicals with constructive examinations of evolution, I’d add:
    – Francis Collins – Language of God
    – Daryl Falk – Coming to Peace with Science (personal favourite)
    – Richard Colling – Random Designer
    – David Wilcox – Evolution: A faith based understanding
    – Gordon Glover – Beyond the Firmament
    – Loren & Deb Haarsma – Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution
    – Denis Lamoureux – Evolutionary Creation (forthcoming)

    Steve Martin

  • Bill,

    I don’t see any Science texts in your list. How can you get a good grasp of the true state of scientific knowledge if you only read opinions written from a biblical perspective?

    Your list demonstrates the conundrum that Christians face because Christianity lacks a consistent, coherent theory of origins. There are 3 basic choices:
    1. Accept scientific theories about cosmological and evolutionary history based on empirical evidence.
    2. Regard all of science as a conspiracy and a lie, and treat the Genesis story as literal truth.
    3. Adopt the “compromise” theory of intelligent design.

    Option 2 is clearly the least acceptable intellectually, because it denies reality, observation and common sense.

    Option 1 is problematical, at least to the Christian, because it raises doubts about the existence of God.

    Option 3 is problematical because it can never be supported by evidence, unless you are prepared to believe that a breeding pair of a entirely new species of animal could suddenly appear in the middle of the MCG on grand final day. Unlikely I’d say.

    Intelligent design theory can never make progress. It can only retreat as science comes up with natural explanations for phenomenon that were once regarded as “irreducibly complex”, as it has done already with many ID claims.

    Knowledge of our history and origins is fundamental to our identity and sense of purpose. Yet the believer is left without coherent answers to these questions.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • CMI has shown the shortcomings of Francis Collins — Language of God and Daryl Falk — Coming to Peace with Science in the pages I’ve hyperlinked.

    Denis Lamoureux has also attacked biblical inerrancy, using revisionist flat-earth nonsense, and even said that Jesus got some things wrong. It’s quite logical: Jesus affirmed creation and the Flood (see Mt. 19:3–6, Luke 17:26–27), so belief in evolution and in the reliability of the Gospel reports of Jesus’ sayings entails that He was wrong. Of course, orthodox Christians should be offended by any idea that Jesus was limited by being a child of His time.

    It should say something to Christians that so many leading representativies of theistic evolution have departed from many other doctrines besides biblical creation.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks Steve

    But you are back to your old atheist tricks again, trying to con us into this false dilemma between science and faith. Sorry, but we are just not buying it, and to be honest, we are tired of hearing this foolishness. The atheist camp really needs to come up with something better – and more intellectually respectable – instead of rehashing this old canard.

    The truth is, science is as much a faith-based endeavour as anything else in life. And Christianity is as much an evidence-based endeavour as anything else in life. The scientist, as well as the believer, operates on a mixture of evidence and faith, as does everyone on the planet.

    Even the militant atheists admit to this. I offer here just a few representative quotes from your fellow atheists and Darwinians.

    Natural selection – well, I suppose that is a sort of matter of faith on my part since the theory is so coherent, and so powerful.” (Richard Dawkins)

    I am not an agnostic. I am an atheist. My attitude is not based on science, but rather on faith … The absence of a Creator, the non-existence of God is my childhood faith, my adult belief, unshakable and holy.” (Immunologist George Klein)

    We choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.” (Physiologist George Wald.

    The theory of evolution is “not testable” but “metaphysical.” (Sir Karl Popper,)

    Evolution came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity. I must admit that in this one complaint . . . the [biblical] literalists are right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” (Michael Ruse)

    It is time you caught up with these guys Steve, instead of parroting your tired old clichés.

    Moreover, many of the authors on this list happen to be top-notch scientists. Many hold more higher degrees in science than you ever will. They see no problems in affirming the many major shortcomings in Darwinian theory, and they see no problems in affirming a personal creator God, while continuing their work as scientists.

    So please spare us this baloney about you guys have the science, and we have the faith. All honest scientists know this is rubbish, so why do you keep pushing this discredited and juvenile agenda? Well actually, we know the answer to that question: you atheists are fundamentalists and true believers who dismiss evidence in order to push your crusade. Sorry, but I just don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Steve Angelino’s atheopathy is a joke. Most of the CMI articles are written by Ph.D. scientists. Many of the authors in the skeptics magazine, talk.obnoxious or his unbelief rabble are not.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • “Option 3 is problematical because it can never be supported by evidence, unless you are prepared to believe that a breeding pair of a entirely new species of animal could suddenly appear in the middle of the MCG on grand final day. Unlikely I’d say.”

    Steve, you’ve been reading too much Douglas Adams for your own good.

    His irreverent but hilarious print versions of the Goon Shows made one excellent point: if you ask a computer the Answer to Life The Universe and Everything you will only get a number, and Adams figured that 42 was as good as any other.

    Presuppositions predetermine outcomes.

    John Angelico

  • Jonathan,

    Real scientists are open to free inquiry and must follow evidence wherever it leads, even if it means abandoning a hypothesis.

    Creation “scientists” are bound by the Genesis hypothesis and must somehow fit all facts to that hypothesis. This is stated quite clearly on the CMI website:
    By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.

    Possession of a PhD is irrelevant if the principles of scientific inquiry are compromised by presupposition.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • Thanks Steve

    It is much more accurate to say: “Atheist ‘scientists’ are bound by the philosophical naturalism hypothesis and must somehow fit all facts to that hypothesis.”

    There are plenty of quotes here as well. Just one representative quote from an honest scientist:

    “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin)

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    You invariably choose to attack me instead of responding to my questions. That suggests to me that you have no answers.

    Evolution is a coherent theory. Like any scientific theory it must be capable of making predictions and being falsified. For example, apes have an extra chromosome pair compared with humans. Evolution theory predicts that either their common ancestor had the extra pair and one of them fused, or that one chromosome was split into two in the apes. The fused chromosome has now been identified in humans and the evidence is irrefutable evidence of evolution at work.

    In contrast, the various creation theories aren’t consistent with each other and they aren’t falsifiable or testable. The believer is left with a mutually exclusive bunch of theories to choose from.

    If you have the truth, why is it so confused?

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • Bill beat me to the Lewontin quote, so here is another:

    ‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic.’

    — Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University, correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.

    Of course if the atheopathic non-scientist SA were right, all the creationist founders of modern scientists would have to be excluded as well, such as:

    Physics—Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin, Damadian
    Chemistry—Boyle, Dalton, Ramsay
    Biology—Ray, Linnaeus, Mendel, Pasteur, Virchow, Agassiz, Chain, Paulescu
    Geology—Steno, Woodward, Brewster, Buckland, Cuvier
    Astronomy—Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Herschel, Maunder
    Mathematics—Pascal, Leibnitz, Euler

    See also Creation scientists and other specialists of interest.

    I’ve previously dealt with the cheap viewpoint discrimination that SA epitomizes.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks Steve

    But how does providing quotes from atheists and Darwinists equate to attacking you? And you are the one who refuses to even acknowledge such remarks, let alone deal with them. All you can do is rehash and repeat discredited vacuous and meaningless accusations – in post after post, comment after comment – somehow thinking if you repeat nonsense often enough, it might somehow become reasonable. Thus I would not be so eager to level charges of avoiding the evidence and not responding to arguments. That seems to be tactic number one of the atheist crusaders.

    The real irony is, this post lists a number of important works by top-class minds who demonstrate the many shortcoming of evolution. The question is, have you read even one of these books? One doubts that you have. Until you do, you betray your presuppositional bias, and your unwillingness to follow the evidence where it does indeed lead.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I would like to suggest a new release from CMI which is excellent in its depth and thoroughness.

    It is “One small Speck to Man, the evolutionary myth.” by Vij Sodera. It deals only with the science of evolution using the facts and reasoned argument, it does not presume or even speak about God, but it comes from a creation viewpoint (young earth, special creation).

    The Creation (or anti-evolution) view can stand on its own feet in terms of scientific rigor and doesn’t need to hide behind religion or philosophy to present a solid case.

    Lennard Caldwell, Clifton QLD

  • One Small Speck to Man, the evolutionary myth is excellent and available here, and Dr Vij Sodera is interviewed here.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Lennard,

    Thanks for the tip on Sodera’s book. I was not aware of this until now. Looks like a great resource to have on my shelf as my son enters the second half of his high school education. He’s in year 9 at a Christian school right now (Penrith Anglican College) and already I am seeing some worrying trends in his science notebook that we have had to discuss.

    Duane Proud

  • Jonathan,

    Excluding Damadian, if those scientists had today’s scientific knowledge available to them, do you really think any of them would be “creationists” of your ilk? In fact, Buckland rejected flood geology and a young earth as early as 1820.

    It’s quite disingenuous to enlist such distinguished scientists from the past as supporters of your cause.

    And I’m still waiting for someone to explain how a believer is supposed to sort through the mess of competing Christian views on origins.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • Steve

    Have you considered any of the philosophical arguments against evolution? It seems to me that phenomenal consciousness is an unnecessary burden for evolutionary functionality and yet is a major, if not central, aspect of our mental lives – www.themidnightsun.org/?p=182#more-182

    Just like a computer, evolution can function as if there were no consciousness or what-it-is-like feel to mental states. Why would it bog down with such an unnecessary burden?

    Damien Spillane

  • Thanks Steve

    Biblical Chrsitians can all agree that there is a personal creator God, and that purposeless chance evolution is at odds with that position.

    But a more pressing issue might be this: “I’m still waiting for someone to explain how an unbeliever is supposed to sort through the mess of competing naturalist views on origins.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Steve A:

    And I’m still waiting for someone to explain how a believer is supposed to sort through the mess of competing Christian views on origins.

    Great question – the ASA (a group of Christian scientists with varying beliefs on origins) published
    this creation statement. Notice that there is an introductory section which they all agree on – followed by beliefs specific to each group. Bill’s summary is pretty good but I’d truncate it to “Biblical Christians can all agree that there is a personal creator God, and that purposelessness is at odds with that position”. Many of us are perfectly comfortable with the “How” of creation as being, broadly speaking, evolution. (I also took chance out of the definition since the definitions of chance & randomness can be tricky & how these can be used by a sovereign God are also areas of disagreement between Biblical Christians).

    Steve Martin

  • Steve Angelino

    Excluding Damadian, if those scientists had today’s scientific knowledge available to them, do you really think any of them would be “creationists” of your ilk?

    Already answered in Newton was a creationist only because there was no alternative?

    In fact, Buckland rejected flood geology and a young earth as early as 1820.

    In that list, I was referring to creation sensu lato. Buckland was naive in what he thought were flood sediments, but he should have heeded the Scriptural Geologists. But a number on that lists were biblical creationists sensu stricto.

    It’s quite disingenuous to enlist such distinguished scientists from the past as supporters of your cause.

    Why? It shows that it’s possible to do great science without the theory of goo to you via the zoo.

    And I’m still waiting for someone to explain how a believer is supposed to sort through the mess of competing Christian views on origins.

    Easy: believe the Bible!

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Bill

    Also to add to your list of videos. Try Journey Toward Creation 2nd ed. It is basically a documentary tour from the earth through the solar system and galaxies right back to the big bang creation event – www.amazon.com/Journey-Toward-Creation-Robert-Bontrager/dp/B0000YWQ30/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1205199284&sr=1-2

    Its a fascinating journey with great graphics!

    Damien Spillane

  • Hi Bill,

    I agree we all live our lives by “faith” (in a non Christian sense). I tend to use the word trust because the variability in the meaning of the work “Faith” can be confusing at times. The word faith always needs to be put into context though. Having said that there are degrees of trustworthiness of faith. It is wrong to compare say something like faith in voodoo to faith in a plane flying in the sky. Arguing faith alone puts these on equal billing which is wrong. It is faith in the evidence that is important. You can have faith in an idea idea but I think that is different. For me, I have no faith in the super natural because there is no evidence to support it. I have varying degrees of faith in science based on the topic at hand.

    Jonathan, thanks for the links. I had a read of the interview with Dr Vij Sodera and well I am perplexed by his statements regarding Cytochrome C and it 38 invariant amino acids. Is he referring to the paper produced by Robert E. Kofahl and Kelly L. Segraves where they extracted cytochrome c data from 38 species?? If so, this was shown by Jukes back in 1983 to be in error.

    members.cox.net/ardipithecus/evol/lies/lie010.html

    If he is referring to something else then I would be happy to know.

    In regards to Cytochrome C and its relationship to evolution the following is an interesting read.

    www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html

    On another point, I never use popularity to support any argument but there has been an ongoing project called Steve which lists all the Scientist named Steve that support evolution. I never know such a thing existed. Good for a laugh!

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve

    Ben Green

  • I agree with Tas Walker, in particular I cite Ecclesiastes 12:11-12
    “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.”

    The truth has a certain pithiness to it……we wouldn’t want it to get lost in the clutter now would we?

    Robert Phillips

  • Thanks Ben

    But simply asserting that there is no evidence for the supernatural is not an argument. You need evidence to prove your assertion. Most people who make such statements are philosophical naturalists who have ruled out the supernatural ahead of time. That is question-begging, and living on faith, not evidence.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “The believers in miracles accept them (rightly or wrongly) because they have evidence for them. The disbelievers in miracles deny them (rightly or wrongly) because they have a doctrine against them.”
    — G.K. Chesterton
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Hi Bill and others,

    An open question.

    I am interested if someone can explain or point me to an explanation on how God actually created things. As an example, how did God physically make us and from what? Maybe something easier. How did God make hydrogen, helium, water?? No biblical references please as they offer no explanations into the mechanics of how it was all put together.

    Ben Green

  • Hi Bill,

    We are now moving into the area of negative proof. That is, X is true because there is no proof X is false. I am afraid this logic does not hold up. I am quite sure a judge would laugh at you if you used it in the defense of someone.

    If I was able to prove a supernatural event it would no longer be supernatural hence to prove it has the effect of dismissing it as being supernatural.

    If I am to accept supernatural explanations at face value as you suggest it really does create other problems. Does this mean I should also accept spells, curses and divinations as well as a host of supernatural claims. What of voodoo, psychics, mind readers, people who talk with the dead, tarot cards and ghosts… this list goes on.

    I have not ruled out the supernatural as an explanation to unexplained events. I just have not ruled it in.

    “That is question-begging, and living on faith, not evidence.”

    May I ask what do you mean by faith in this instance?

    Ben Green

  • Thanks Ben

    But now you are asking the billion dollar questions, which a short comment cannot do justice to. But I can offer a few very brief and rushed remarks here, and maybe a full article later.

    Everyone must account for why there is something rather than nothing. This is not only a chief philosophical question, but something which both theists and atheists must deal with. Of course neither side can give direct evidence for their claims, as the origin of the universe is a once-off affair, and it cannot be repeated in a lab test.

    Thus the question is, what the most plausible explanation for the existence of the universe? Nothing producing something is not only not very satisfying, but it violates the fundamental rule that everything that begins to exist must have a cause. And the odds of this occurring by chance are too remote to be of any use.

    The idea of an all-powerful and all-wise God creating is as reasonable, if not more so, as other theories. As to the hows of creation, theists, like atheists, cannot fully explain such things. An atheist struggles with explaining something coming from nothing. The creation of life is equally inexplicable to the naturalists.

    By the way, if you are really interested, why don’t you get Flew’s book, and read about what convinced him that atheism was not up to the task, but theism really is? You said you don’t want biblical data, just solid reasoning. That is what you will find in his book. So read it first, then get back to us again. OK?

    In the meantime, I will try to put an article together on this. But there really is a lot of solid argumentation for all this, if you care to make use of it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks again Ben

    But atheists are making an assertion: there is no God. Thus they must prove their assertion, or provide evidence for it.

    And what do you do with various scientific theories? You take the good ones and reject the bad ones. Thus alchemy is discarded, while other theories are accepted, provisionally, until better or countervailing evidence comes along.

    The same with religious claims. You judge each on their merits. Some are better than others. Some are rejected, some are investigated further. So there is no real problem here.

    The truth claims of Christianity are open to rational investigation and discussion. Why not read some of the books making the case for theism in general and Christianity in particular, and then see what you think?

    And the biblical understanding of faith is reasoned belief. It is not a blind leap in the dark, but an examination of the evidence, followed up by trust and commitment, based on that evidence.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    I consider myself an atheist but I don’t assert there is no God. I simply assert that I have looked seriously at the claims for the existence of God and I am unconvinced.

    I presume you don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy. How do you prove the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist?

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • Thanks Steve

    But I have already answered that question. You examine the truth claims being made, weigh the evidence, and so on. Obviously trivial truth claims are not the same as serious truth claims. I don’t know of anyone claiming to believe in the tooth fairy. Do you Steve?

    But I know that billions upon billions of people have been theists while a only a tiny fraction of the world’s population throughout human history have ever been atheists. Of course truth is not determined by numbers, but we are taking about the seriousness of the truth claim. And the fact that hundreds of thousands of scientists, philosophers, academics, and leading intellects have been theists lends weight to the claims being made.

    So one need not spend much time at all on trivial truth claims. Indeed, I know of no one who believes in a tooth fairy worldview. So your objections are really quite empty here, borrowed as they are from Dawkins et. al.

    And you say you “seriously looked at the claims for the existence of God”. How seriously Steve? What did that entail? Flicking through a few pages of a sacred text? Going to church once or twice and being disillusioned? Debating someone in Sunday school?

    I think that with such an important question as this, you might try again. For a non-threatening start, you might try one of your old ideological buddies. Why don’t you give Flew an honest and disinterested read, and see what evidence he produces? The fact that you are not reading such books (and the many others I have suggested) leads me to believe that your search is really not very serious at all. It sounds like you have made up your mind and you won’t allow the evidence to alter your atheist faith.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    Belief in gods precedes the Bible. People in ancient times thought there must be gods to explain natural events like thunder and lightning. The fact that billions of people throughout human history have believed in gods is merely an acknowledgment that there were no alternative explanations. Lots of people believe in astrology too, but that doesn’t add any weight to the seriousness of astrology’s claims.

    I went to church for 20 years Bill. I’ve studied scripture at tertiary level and I’ve read more books than you think. But I could never find any answers to the tough questions. It was always a case of “Believe or you’ll go to hell”. The vast range of different interpretations of scripture is a major problem. How can scripture be from God if its meaning is so obscure?

    The arguments over evolution and creation are a case in point. How can anyone take religion and scripture seriously when people who claim the world is 6000 years old are accepted by other Christians as having a legitimate grasp on reality?

    I could go on. But we’ve had these discussions before and you are no more capable of answering the tough questions than anyone else.

    And speaking of books, how many science texts have you read Bill? And I mean serious science, not the AiG comic books.

    Steve Angelino, WA

  • Popping back in to thank Steve Martin for the link to the excellent ASA creation statement. Good to see Christians with differing views joining together to work out what they have in common (rather a lot) re creation before working out their differences.

    Maintaining cordiality and graciousness is excellent, and one day we will know all the answers and marvel at God’s wondrous working. Certainly if He hadn’t got it right, we wouldn’t be around to argue about it.

    Anyway back to my reading of the new atheists which kind of collapses any differences that might separate Christians on how to read science in the light of Genesis 1&2 and vice versa as well.

    David Palmer

  • Thanks Steve

    But with all due respect, it sounds like you have recounted a past similar to many. You were perhaps raised in a church background which for various reasons you have now rejected. I still wonder if you were ever exposed to any serious scientific, philosophical, and scholarly discussions of the truth claims of theism and Christianity. I certainly was not so exposed in similar circumstances. It appears you had a bad church upbringing, rebelled against it, like so many did – including me – and have never looked back.

    Or, equally plausible – since you are not giving us any detail here – you had zippo real training in Christian beliefs in your youth, and when you got to university, you were subjected to all the usual anti-theistic and secular humanists warring against religion, especially Christianity. Unless you did some serious studies in high school of the great apologists of the past, such as Augustine or Aquinas, Anselm, etc., you would have had no solid Christian defences to take on your secular university profs. Thus I am not surprised you are an atheist.

    If I am being far too fanciful in my scenarios here about you, it is because you have not given me any detail to go on, and I still genuinely doubt that you were ever exposed to solid Christian apologetics.

    That is why I still challenge you to have the honesty to read Flew and the other scientists, philosophers and top-notch scholars that I and others have mentioned, before you claim you have studied it all in depth and rejected it. If you do that and still demur, that is one thing. But until then, it sounds like you are just rejecting your unhappy church upbringing, not solid arguments for theism or Christianity. The question is again, are you a serious seeker, willing to really explore the evidence, despite you church past, or are you just on an atheist crusade?

    As to belief in gods preceding the Bible, so what? The fact that every human culture throughout history seems to have a belief in the supernatural deserves an explanation. And one very plausible explanation is that the supernatural in fact does exist. It takes a lot more faith to believe that in a random, non-supernatural world, belief in the supernatural world somehow arose from nowhere. That is far less plausible and intellectually satisfying.

    And yes I do read “serious” science.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I am intrigued by the number of times the theistic side uses the word “random” to describe natural processes — my understanding is that natural processes are anything but random & statisically they are actually quite deterministic!

    Anyway, just a random 2p on determinism.

    Dean Ransevycz, Syd, NSW

  • Thanks Dean

    But whether random or deterministic, both are bad news for those seeking to uphold human dignity and freedom. If we are simply a collection of selfish genes, predetermined by our genetic hardwiring, then basic human goods like morality, freedom and responsibility are all pretty much chucked out the window.

    According to this Darwinian determinism, Hitler did what he did because he was predetermined to do so, so we can neither condemn nor praise his actions. That is not a very attractive worldview to hold to. I would much rather hold to a worldview where meaning, purpose and value are all fully explicable, and people can make genuine free choices, and take personal responsibility for them.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A major problem in a ‘debate’ such as this are the basic worldviews of those participating and their willingness – or otherwise – to be open to contrary views. There appear to be three worldviews in this blog: atheism, Bible-plus-science and Bible only.

    It is one thing for an atheist to ask “Why don’t you answer the hard questions?” – but the problem is that an atheist’s worldview will means that he will reject any answer (as seen in some of the quotes) if it conflicts with his own worldview. In itself, that is understandable but it can create unacceptable ad hominem attacks on those holding a different worldview with accusations of being a ‘flat-earther,’ lacking intellectual ability, or writing “comic books.” Typically, the same comments are not leveled against their own side so that ‘real’ science is allowed to assert that 96% of the universe is either dark matter or dark energy which cannot be seen, tested (despite ‘real’ science supposedly being empirical), or proved.

    The problem with the Bible-plus-science position is one of confusion which doesn’t satisfy science or theology. The removal of inerrancy (a supposed plank of evangelicalism) when it relates to Genesis 1-11 repeats the debate between the liberals and conservatives in the late 1800s and early 1900s. For those wanting to study this more, I recommend George Marsden’s classic book Fundamentalism and American Culture: The Shaping of twentieth-Century Evangelicalism 1870-1925, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980. That book reprints a 1924 cartoon showing that the descent from biblical Christianity to atheism starts with the first ‘downward step’ being a belief that the Bible is not inerrant:

    This leaves the third position – namely the biblical one (as per my definition of that word) that the Bible is inerrant. However, we’re told in this blog that to treat Genesis as literal is to “regard all of science as a conspiracy and a lie.” I won’t go into the logical fallacies in this statement, but it is important to note that arguments in ‘science’ are rarely centred on the facts but rather on the interpretation of those facts, i.e. where our worldviews clash.

    G.K. Chesterton once said there are many ways of drawing a giraffe but they must all have a long neck – to which someone rejoined, “not if you’re looking from above.” If all our modern ‘thinkers’ are only looking at the Bible from the perspective of science, or if all our scientists are refusing to even consider a biblical worldview as being a possibility, they are in danger of looking at the giraffe from above, and fail to even see the long neck – which is hardly empirical!

    To return to the issue of science and creation and worldviews, ‘science’ tells us that the most distant galaxies are 15 billion light years from earth, a fact generally accepted even in creation circles. However, a naturalistic ‘comic book’ written by someone called Einstein showed that time is relative, a concept even many atheists find very difficult to comprehend. So, how long does it take light to travel 15 billion light years? The answer might seem ‘obvious’ – like with many issues in science. But Einstein taught us to ask the question, ‘By which clocks?” When we do this, the answer suddenly ceases to be ‘obvious.’ In this regard, I strongly recommend another book to be added to the list, namely Starlight, Time and the New Physics by Dr John Hartnett. It is an AiG “comic book” and so will be dismissed by some of the respondees to this blog, but for anyone who has a serious, intellectual or scientific interest in this topic, or even someone who is prepared to examine areas beyond the scope of their own worldview, it is a ‘must. This book helps demonstrate, to those with an ear to hear, that a biblical worldview is not making science a ‘lie’ but merely looking at facts with a different, but equally pemissible worldview.

    Roger Birch, ACT

  • Roger Birch, small point: Starlight, Time and the New Physics by Dr John Hartnett is a CMI book not an AiG book. Also, Dr Hartnett, a physicist at Uni of Western Australia, has shown — in papers published in secular astrophysics journals — how space-time-velocity metric of Moshe Carmeli solves vexing problems like galaxy rotation curves and cosmic expansion and eliminates the need for the fudge factors of dark matter and dark energy. See his bio.

    For a layman’s explanation of how dark matter is a fudge factor (cf. the proposed planet Vulcan and the new physics of GR which got rid of that fudge), see Has ‘dark matter’ really been proven?

    His book, which only the vexatious could call a “comic book”, explains this further, and how this successful metric applied to a universe centred on our galaxy allows light to have travelled here from distant stars within the biblical time scale as measured by earth clocks. He justifies this galactocentric position with hard evidence, while pointing out that the big bang relies on the assumption that the universe has no centre.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Jonathan
    My apologies for confusing AiG with CMI!

    However, my comment about Dr Hartnett’s work being a “comic book” was in quotes, being a tongue-in-cheek comment picking up on the wording of Steve Angelino to highlight the illogical position and ad hominem attacks often used by many such atheists who reject anything from the Young Age position simply because it is outside their own worldview.

    I was actually highly recommending Dr Hartnett’s book be added to Bill’s list of books and stating it is also a ‘must read’ for anyone who is serious about getting involved in these types of debates rather than throwing around the bland cliches or incorrect, unsubstantiated assertions which often characterise these types of blogs – a reason why I normally avoid them!

    It is unfortunate that leading edge research of this nature is dismissed out of hand with terms such as ‘not academic’ or not ‘real’ science by atheists. As you correctly point out, Dr Hartnett talks of the naturalists’ assumption that the universe has no centre and demonstrates that such a position is based on their naturalistic philosophy, not the facts. The facts actually fit a geocentric model equally well.

    However, it is probably more unfortunate that people supposedly holding a Christian worldview can make statements (as occurred on an earlier blog on this same site) that they cannot “with integrity argue for a 10,000 year old earth” or they can’t “get to first base” apologetically with secularists and atheists on the basis of a young earth. All I can recommend is that they start reading some of the vast resources now available from organistaions such as CMI but to do so from a biblical worldview!

    They then might just find that the Bible is true – and be able to defend it!!

    ps. There is another book which I would recommend be added to Bill’s list, namely Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome by Dr JC Sanford. Dr Sanford was a professor for many years at Cornell University who worked on the forefront of plant genetics and his book sets out to destroy what he calls the two ‘primary axioms’ of evolution, namely random mutation and natural selection.

    Roger Birch, ACT

  • I won’t direct my comment at anyone in particular. I have noted in this blog there has been lots said. One thing that caught my eye was the comment about people looking seriously at the claims for the existence of God and being unconvinced. To me, that’s good, it’s good conversation, it’s good scientific principle. Being unconvinced means people at are open to being convinced. The problem with the discussion is when people become absolutely convinced that they are unconvinced “permanently”. Further conversation becomes almost redundant. It’s good to see people are ready to be convinced.
    Funny, but I don’t have all the answer, I know it is hard to believe 🙂
    But I do want to through some thoughts into the discussion, these are not complete just some thoughts that roll of my head as I have been reading this blog discussion.
    # When I looked at my beautiful daughter how could there not be a God?
    # When I see her grow this her own personality and spirit how could this be a evolutionary process?
    # If this is all by accident, how does it all go so well together, down to the sub-atomic?
    # If the know laws of physics suggest everything is unchanged unless acted upon by outside forces. Why do evolution theories say that all things evolve to a higher state?
    # If everywhere you look around you, all things are in a constant state of decay, everything is breaking down. Why does evolution suggest all things are evolving to a stronger better state?
    # If there is no God and all was formed from accident and random chance, why does so much look so beautiful?
    # There is a new web site called “dear_god.net” were people can send their prayers to anything or any god. In the first week there was 64,000 hits. If there is no God why does our heart yearn for communication with Him/something, even if we don’t know Him.
    # How did a book written over a period of 1600 years, through many different cultures and in different languages come together with common theme? Never in any other literature has this occurred, even when people have tried to just reproduce they still get it wrong.
    # Why is that when I call to God to comfort me, especially in trials, if feel comfort. I know encouraging words when no one has spoken them to me and I see a solution when none is possible?
    Just a few random thoughts. Please consider.
    Peter Baldry

  • In response to the series of comments by Steve Angelino where his main question is how is a believer supposed to sort through the mess of competing Christian views on origins? Unfortunately when all the facts and figures are gathered from each side of the argument between God and science, the truth is one could not choose a side (without having arguments of doubt) from all this information. However if one tried to fuse the information from a Theological and Christian view together with the theories of science over time one might be able to come to some of their own conclusions. The fact is there are many things that cannot be answered in life and there are still many things to discover. Personally I believe wisdom and knowledge are from God as is enlightenment and truth. Steve if you are searching truly for these things God can show you them, and if you ask Him in your heart to answer the things you want to know, to convince you of all the things we as Christians can’t then God can do it.

    Anne Morrow

  • One principle, which I think is a good one, of interpreting a message written by one in another culture and to others in that culture, is to try to determine what was being said and how the message was understood by the audience in that same culture.

    In series called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Bible”, John Walton gave a talk titled “Why Didn’t God call light, light?” The following site provides a paraphrase of his talk, which is very thought provoking.

    www.minorthoughts.com/on-creation/

    What do you think, Steve?

    Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:3 mention that God holds the universe together, keeping it in existence. Perhaps we Christians do not think enough about God’s continuing position over the cosmos.

    Bill Roundy, USA

  • Thanks, Bill. What a list of books. I particularly need to do more reading in the philosophy of science. I have read Moreland’s book, “Christianity and the Nature of Science” and found it helpful.

    It does seem to me in looking at the whole subject of ‘creation-evolution’, or (more broadly) ‘Bible-science’, or (more broadly still) ‘religion-science’ debate or dialogue (I hope it’s a dialogue, I fear it’s often a debate), that a few general statements can be made, at least these are some of my large impressions:

    1. While uninformed and uneducated people have misinterpreted and (at times) abused the Bible due to faulty hermeneutics, and misinterpreted and abused science due to faulty understanding of it, it is also true that this fact has been used by many practicing scientists (who themselves are often ignorant of Biblical studies, theology, and the philosophy of science) to claim an exclusive sovereignty of their domain over the field of origins, thus barring theologians and philosophers from participation in the discussion in an a priori fashion. I find comments from practicing scientists about the naivete or arrogance of theologians and philosophers and their supposed irrelevance to the discussion to be laughingly simplistic or at times arrogant in their own right. Both sides have at times made embarrassing mistakes.

    2. Origins issues are incredibly complex, as you stated, and require a carefully reasoned interdisciplinary approach. Anyone who thinks that ‘science’ by itself can resolve the issues hasn’t done their homework. In reality, many of the large questions, while being ones in which science has an interest and to which it can make relevant contributions, are in their deepest nature philosophical, metaphysical or ‘religious’ (depending on how broadly that term is defined). In the end, it’s impossible to answer these questions without the use of faith, which raises these siginificant questions: a.) What is the nature and ground of faith?, b.) How do we test faith? What are the proper modes or methods for testing truth claims (verification), c.) What are standards of ‘proof’ are required for one’s faith commitments to be considered rational? What is applicable and attainable?

    3. While the creation scientists have at times made mistakes in the way they have presented their position and argued their case, this is not in itself evidence that their position is false. All sides have been guilty of their share of errors, but it seems to me the creation scientists have often been unfairly singled out for such criticism.

    I believe in principle that it’s possible to relate religion and science (and, more narrowly, the Bible and science) in a meaningful, non-contradictory fashion, though I have yet to find a thoroughly satisfactory model for doing so that doesn’t have nagging questions and ragged edges.

    Lamar Boll, Bolivar, NY

  • Many thanks Lamar

    Hey I’m with you in everything you said!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    I know your blog was about science and creation, so, naturally, your list of books was dealing with those areas. In the broader field of apologetics, however, many of your readers may be interested in the the British historian Paul Johnson’s book “Intellectuals.” Perhaps you have heard of it or read it? As books go, it is fairly old (possibly pub. back in the late ’80’s or the ’90’s), but still worth the read. It’s a series of thumbnail biographical sketches of many of history’s most famous skeptics (e.g. Nietzsche, Sartre, Russell, etc.) that demonstrates the immorality and incoherence of their personal lives. I do not actually own it myself, although I’ve read several chapters on specific people and would like to purchase a copy. For me, its relevance to some of these other discussions lies in the fact that it provides a counterpoint to the well-worn skeptic’s charge that belief in God is an artifact of psychological need (a la Freud) and raises the possibility (perhaps in many cases, the actuality) of other kinds of psychological needs that would motivate disbelief or unbelief in God. In particular, our buddy Steve Angelino might profit by asking himself some of those kinds of questions and broadening his education along these lines. I don’t know that it was necessarily Johnson’s purpose in writing the book to raise the issue of psychological reasons for unbelief, but he was at any rate questioning the moral right of many of history’s skeptical intellectuals and people who were instrumental in molding modern Western culture to give advice to mankind. Dr. Paul Vitz of New York University has done some fascinating studies in the area of the psychology of unbelief. Rom. 1, of course, has some pertinent things to say in that regard as well.
    Lamar Boll, Bolivar, NY

  • Bill,

    As a brief postscript to the point about psychological motivations for unbelief, and, in particular, in the area of evolution, Sir Julian Huxley might serve as a specific example. He was once asked in a TV intewrview in the 1950’s why “The Origin of Species” met with the success that it did upon its publication. His replied as follows: ‘I suppose that the reason we leapt at ‘The Origin’ is that the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.’ So the reality of this as a factor to be considered is not to be lightly dismissed as merely theoretical or argumentative fodder.

    I do not mean to suggest that this is an adequate explanation, by any means, of all cases of skepticism. Some people have legitimate intellectual questions and struggles, but I do think it is naive to suppose that the realm of the intellect (yes, even the intellect of the scientist and the intellectual!) operates antiseptically in a vaccuum, completely divorced from existential situations and concerns. Influences can be very subtle.

    (The comment from Huxley was as reported in the midst of a sermon by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Fort Lauderdale, FL, on cassette tape in the series “Something From Nothing” which I have in my personal library. The series is very old, but the sermons and speeches may still be available from the Coral Ridge Min. website. Kennedy stated that he personally watched the interview on TV and was astounded by Huxley’s candor. The quote may not be quite verbatim, but is very close. It’s been awhile since I listened to the tapes.)

    Lamar Boll, Bolivar, NY

  • Thanks Lamar

    Yes you are quite right in all that you say. Yes, Johnson’s book (1988) is terrific, and so too is the Vitz volume on similar themes (Faith of the Fatherless, 2000). I have reviewed the latter volume here: www.billmuehlenberg.com/2002/03/16/a-review-of-faith-of-the-fatherless-by-paul-vitz/

    And yes, the Huxley quote is most telling. Here is a fuller version of his thoughts: “I had motives for not wanting the world to have meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. . . . For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaningless was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotical revolt: we could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    Thanks for the fuller Huxley remarks. I’ve not read Vitz’s book, but would sure like to. I’d heard him being interviewed about it, but had forgotten the title. On another note, I’ll second your endorsement of Phillip Johnson’s work–a delightful combination of subtle humor and very keen analysis. I once heard him lecture in person, back in the mid-’90’s, discussing his then-newly-released “Reason In the Balance.” I recognized immediately that his thinking represented a serious critique of naturalism and evolution and was likely to spawn an intellectual revolution that the secular university world would be unable to ignore. At any rate, he was as delightful and self-depracatingly humble in person as in print.
    Lamar Boll, Bolivar, NY

  • Hi Bill

    Although this thread is fairly old now, the debate rages still, so I thought I’d add something from a rather perplexed view of the debate.

    I think it is high time that we ‘rendered unto science that which belongs to science and render unto God that which belongs to God’

    In all the countless words of debate, noone has clearly explained why the two need to be in conflict. So let’s take a few theories and very basically apply the above principle.

    The ‘Big Bang’ (originally a derogatory term but we’ll stick with it). “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”. In the beginning, there was a rapid expansion from nothing into the matter & energy that comprises the universe. Can anyone explain the contradiction here?

    As to science, the BB theory (or hypothesis) when originally proposed, predicted a number of things, such as the Cosmic Background Radiation. The CBR was subsequently discovered, quite by accident, by radio-astronomers looking for the source of static in their receivers, not (as far as I can tell) by someone trying to find facts to fit an atheistic worldview.

    Theory of Evolution. Forget about Darwin & Darwinism or Social Darwinism or anything else starting with Darwin. It’s a furphy. The T of E is simply about changes in living things over time. How long a time? The Bible says 6 days. Observations such as the fossil record clearly say otherwise. So what to do. Here are 3 possibilities:

    The word used for day is Yom. If we accept that Yom is used in several contexts not necessarily meaning 24 hours, the days of creation could be any period of time at all. Easy.

    Or they could be days of decree rather than the days of the process, given that when God says something will be done, it is surely as good as done.

    Or the 144 hours could be from a timeframe not of this earth, as per Gerald Schroeder’s theory in “The Science of God”.

    Interesting sideline here: Comment by Roger Birch “a naturalistic ‘comic book’ written by someone called Einstein showed that time is relative, a concept even many atheists find very difficult to comprehend.” Well they find God difficult to comprehend too!! So what. Fact is that time is relative depending on speed & gravity. The satelites controlling the Global Positioning System have to take this into account, otherwise our GPS receivers positions would wander by kilometers every day.

    (What an arrogant insult to one of the finest minds of all time.)

    As to the question of ‘random’ evolution, I like
    Dean Ransevycz’s observation that “I am intrigued by the number of times the theistic side uses the word “random” to describe natural processes — my understanding is that natural processes are anything but random & statisically they are actually quite deterministic!”

    Indeed. Throw a dice often enough & you are likely to get to an even number of ones, twos, threes, fours etc. A desired outcome from random events. What looks random to us might be quite orderly and logical to a mind such as God’s.

    Summing up (I’m getting hungry), if science gives us theories that stand the test of time, explain countless observations and/or survive numerous experiments, but don’t at first appear to be in tune with a your (fallible) interpretation of the Bible, consider that your interpretation might be at fault. That seems to me to be at least as likely as thousands of scientists all being wrong.

    David Williams

  • Just finished reading a great introduction to arguments for young-earth creation titled Old-Earth Creationism On Trial. My review can be found here:
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkhNbFNoxuM

    Written by Jason Lisle (new research director over at Institute for Creation Research) and Tim Chaffey (apologist) this is a short but concise book regarding the creation account in Genesis, the flood and scientific evidence. Deserves a mention.

    Cameron Spink

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