Monday, September 11, 2006

Re: why creation? #3


[Graphic: Insects: Little Things That Run the World]

----- Original Message -----
From: AN
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2006 10:01 PM
Subject: why creation?

Continued from part #2

>You see, creation is mythology -- it just can't be a contender.

See my comments at part #1 on your making my point that being an atheist you rule out in advance "creation" as "mythology," so that it "just can't be a contender" to evolution. But this is a sign of weakness, not strength, of the theory of evolution in that it has to rule out its main rival in advance, rather than compare both in tandem on the evidence.

>Nothing can come out of absolute nothing -- creation is impossible -- it's not scientific. It's just a story.

Agreed that "Nothing can come out of absolute nothing" but that is not what "creation" is. Creation is that everything came from God, who is the very antithesis of "nothing".

>Do you think God really designed ticks, lice, mosquitoes and cockroaches, and then made them out of nothing?

The short answer is that I do think that "God really designed ticks, lice, mosquitoes and cockroaches," although I assume that dysteleologies (e.g. some parasites) are a degeneration from an original creation and are a consequence (albeit not chronological) of human sin.

I presume you are not a biologist, because if you were you would know what my lecturer in invertebrate zoology used to constantly remind us of, namely E.O. Wilson's point that the very "Creepy-crawlies" which most people despise, or are at best indifferent to, are in fact "the little things that run the earth" and "Without them ... the terrestrial ecosystems of the world would collapse within a year, making human life unsustainable":

Edward O. Wilson, "The Science of Survival" ... We need what we are destroying. Creepy-crawlies and weeds are the very foundation of life, the little things that run the earth, cycle and recycle nutrients, create the air and soil. And they do it for free. Without them, Wilson assures us the terrestrial ecosystems of the world would collapse within a year, making human life unsustainable. That's before taking into account the species we are driving to extinction provide us priceless resources for scientific information, new pharmaceuticals, and much more. ...

>Only evolution can explain such creatures.

No. A fully Biblical creation paradigm (such as my Progressive Mediate Creation position), which incorporates God working through "works of ordinary providence, special providence and miracle":

"Progressive creation, understood as an alternative to `fiat creation' and theistic evolution that incorporates the elements of truth in both, is here taken to mean that God's creative action has occurred over long periods of time through a variety of means. The emphasis on `a variety of means' calls attention to the fact that the focus of the biblical terminology of creation is on the results of God's action, and the relationship of those results to the divine purpose, rather than on the details of the processes God used to achieve these results. Fiat creationism in both its older and more recent forms in American fundamentalism is based on an unnecessary dichotomy between natural and supernatural processes as possible methods of creation.' God is free to create through natural or supernatural means and by rapid processes or over long periods of time; no single type of process can be identified a priori as uniquely suited to the divine purpose. ... Rather than a twofold distinction between `natural' and `supernatural' means, it is in fact more biblically accurate to recognize a threefold distinction between God's works of ordinary providence, special providence and miracle. In ordinary providence God works immanently through the regular laws of nature (e.g., causing the grass to grow through the processes of photosynthesis [Ps 104:14] or creating animals through the normal processes of gestation [Ps 104:24, 30]); in extraordinary providence God redirects the forces and laws of nature (e.g., causing a wind to blow quail from the sea to feed the Israelites during the wilderness wanderings [Num 11:31]); in miracles God transcends the laws of nature for a redemptive purpose (e.g., the floating axhead [1 Kings 6:6], the feeding of the five thousand, the bodily resurrection of Jesus)." (Davis J.J., "Is `Progressive Creation' Still a Helpful Concept?" in "The Frontiers of Science & Faith: Examining Questions from the Big Bang to the End of the Universe," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2002, pp.126-127. Emphasis original)

can explain "such creatures" and indeed everything that "evolution" can explain and more!

>Best Regards, AN

I did not realise until after I had started responding to your post that I had already received a message from you, to which in my response cc. my blog I told you that it was not an invitation to debate, as I after over a decade of debating evolutionists I had come to the conclusion that debating those whose minds were already made up and so nothing I could say would make the slightest difference to them, was largely a waste of time, and I therefore started this blog and closed down my Yahoo list.

In your case in particular, I can tell from the dogmatic atheism of your posts, which rules out in advance my Christian theism position as "mythology," "impossible" and "just can't be a contender", that it would be a complete waste of my time debating you. So please don't send me any more unsolicited private messages. If you persist, I will add you to my Mailwasher blacklist and bounce your posts back to you unread.

So goodbye. Here is another Pascal's Wager quote for you to consider the consequences of a false negative on your part (i.e. you believed Christianity to be false when it was true) compared to a false positive on my part (i.e. I believed Christianity to be true when it was false). If after our deaths, it turned out that atheism was true, then I would have lost nothing (because I have been very happy with these last nearly 40 years my Christian life compared with my previous largely miserable and meaningless life as an atheist) and you would have gained nothing (you would not even have the satisfaction of knowing that atheism was true). But if I was right and Christianity is true (which it is) then I would have gained everything and you would have lost everything:

"But that is not all that is lost for the atheist. One other aspect must be stated: if the atheist is wrong, there is no recovery of that which he has lost. This was precisely Pascal's wager: `Should a man be in error in supposing the Christian religion to be true, he could not be a loser by mistake. But how irreparable is his loss, and how inescapable is his danger should he err in supposing it to be false.' ... Pascal ... had everything the Christian faith promised to him, including the climactic hope beyond the grave. Should, however, death be the end, he did not sense any loss, for contentment in life was still his. .... The atheist, on the other hand, having rejected God ... If, after death, he should find out that there is a God, his loss has been irreparable; for not only did contentment and peace elude him in this life, but death has opened the door to an ultimate and eternal lostness. All judgments bring with them a margin of error. But no judgment ought to carry with it the potential for so irretrievable a loss that every possible gain is unworthy of merit. The atheist makes precisely such a hazardous judgment. It is an all-or-nothing gamble of himself, thrust into the slot machine of life. It is a faith beyond the scope of reason. The atheist risks everything for the present and the future, on the basis of a belief that he is uncaused by any intelligent being. Man just happens to be here. He is willing to live and die in that belief-a very high price to pay for conjecture." (Zacharias, R.K., "A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism," [1990], Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, Third Printing, pp.165-166)

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
Genesis 1:20-23. 20And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.