Science

The Universe: Accident or Design

May, 2005

The universe is vast. The Earth seems large, yet when examined on a cosmic scale, it is like a spec of dust, even less than a grain of dust. The sun itself is large enough to hold about one million Earths. And the sun is only an average star in a galaxy containing many, many stars in a universe of many, many galaxies.

If we stop to think about it, the vastness of the universe is amazing. While we go about our day-to-day business, we may think of the Earth as being the entire realm of reality. Yet this whole planet is like a spec of dust in the solar system. And the solar system is like a spec of dust when compared with the galaxy. And the galaxy—there are clusters of galaxies, and even superclusters.

The universe is undoubtedly large, almost beyond imagining. Yet, all this majestic expanse of galaxies, stars, and other celestial bodies, could not exist if certain values were not precisely what they are. There are many constants, such as the gravitational constant, that could be any value, yet they are the correct value for the universe to exist, and in some cases for life to exist.

Rare Earth

March, 2004

It is interesting to put together all the data. Isaiah 28 mentions learning, teaching, doctrine and knowledge. It mentions line on line, here a little and there a little, and precept on precept. This is how we come to truth in mathematics—in a proof of a theorem, we see line upon line and concept used to prove another concept. Math builds on itself.

For example, we generally learn to crawl before we learn to walk. And, it is often necessary to put all the relevant information together to come up with the best interpretation. We have all heard of the blind men who examined the elephant. Alone, in isolation, they came to erroneous conclusions. This is because they had only a part of the data. Missing information was the problem. One thought the elephant was like a fan, because he had examined the ear. Another, however, who had examined (by touch—remember, these were all blind men) the elephant's leg, said the elephant was like a tree. Well, the part of the elephant that each man examined was as he found it, but that was not all there was to the elephant.

It does seem that we have been jumping to conclusions a bit too quickly in some areas, and in evolution in particular. For example, some scientists have said that dinosaurs evolved from birds, and others that birds evolved from dinosaurs. One must wonder, if there is room for such difference of opinion among scientists, whether the evidence is actually all that clear-cut and conclusive, after all.

The Remarkable Story of Roger DeHart: A New Documentary about the "Icons of Evolution"

March, 2004

BreakPoint with Charles Colson, Commentary #020522 - 05/22/2002 The Remarkable Story of Roger DeHart: A New Documentary about the "Icons of Evolution"

In the early twentieth century —during the Scopes Trial, for instance—evolution was the new theory challenging settled opinions about divine creation. Now, however, said Bill Rice on National Public Radio, it's evolution that "is being questioned." Darwinian evolution has become the established view—and those who want to consider alternatives to Darwinism have become the innovative thinkers challenging the status quo.

Nowhere is this stunning role reversal better portrayed than in the new documentary, "Icons of Evolution." "Icons" tells the story of Roger DeHart, a high school biology teacher in Washington state who wanted to tell his students about evidence that casts doubt on aspects of Darwinian evolution. The evidence that DeHart hoped to discuss wasn't fringe stuff. It was the material already published in scientific literature. For example, biology textbooks have long featured drawings of animal embryos, purporting to show similarity. This was widely taken as proof that the species in question shared a common evolutionary ancestor.

Evidence Concerning Creation and Evolution

December, 2003

It seems to me that the "controversy" over creation and evolution exists at several levels. There is one level at which claims and counter-claims are made—"The facts prove evolution. Millions of fossils can't be wrong" versus "Creation is true." There is another level at which the facts reside. And there is a third  "research" level, at which research can be conducted to try to determine the facts.

Some have decided to look at the evidence, rather than deal with the issue at the level of claims and counter-claims. In looking at the evidence, several people have been struck by the paucity—some would call it absolute lack—of evidence supporting evolution. Yet on the other hand, others have claimed that evolution is supported by much evidence.

Among those struck by the lack of evidence are some noteworthy examples. Dr. Gary Parker is one. He once wrote biology textbooks which were used in many schools and which taught evolution. However, when he began to learn more about evolution, he began to believe less and less in it until he finally became a creationist! And this, remember, is after he examined the evidence of—or lack thereof—more closely.

The Biblical Creation Account

November, 2003

Occasionally it's good to review what you believe and why you believe it. For those who adhere to a literal interpretation of Genesis and believe in a young earth, scripture is the first, final and unrivaled authority on the questions of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, the origin of man, and the age of the earth. Young Earth Creationists (sometimes referred to as "YECs") believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God to which the ever-changing theories of fallible man cannot hold a candle. We know that the observable facts of science are consistent with the YEC view even when the "facts" and theories of materialistic scientism are not.

There were no human eyewitnesses to the creation of the universe, the earth, and life. It is for this reason man on his own can never really know what happened. But there were eyewitnesses. The triune God was there and has communicated his observations to us via Moses in scripture. God's Word is as true as any observable fact of science. For this reason, one must take both the facts of scripture and science into account when considering origins. Scientific theories (e.g., macroevolution) which are not in agreement with the clear teachings of scripture are wrong by definition; science is always subordinate to scripture, never vice-versa, nor should they be given equal weight. When science and scripture seem at odds, scripture is given the benefit of the doubt; science usually catches up to scripture—eventually.

Baby Picture

March, 2003

On February 11, 2003, a NASA press release announced "the best ‘baby picture' of the Universe ever taken." The "baby picture" shown here has subsequently been featured in prominent science journals and newspapers across the globe. 1,2,3,4 It was taken about 1.5 million kilometers above Earth by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), a satellite that measures the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).

Copyright NASA 2003

"Junk" DNA as Evidence for Evolution?

January, 2003

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment."-Sherlock Holmes in a Study of Scarlet

Back in the 1960s, scientists discovered sections of DNA that did not code for proteins. These non-coding DNA strands were assumed to be non-functional and were referred to as "junk" DNA, the presumed evolutionary remnants of ancestral organisms. 1 Almost 99% of human DNA is known to be non-coding.

A little background will facilitate discussion of non-coding DNA. Information in coding DNA sequences is transcribed into mRNA (Figure 1). mRNA exits the nucleus and attaches to ribosomes, the molecular machines that generate proteins. In the ribosome, the information in the mRNA is translated into an amino acid sequence to form a protein.

Image

Figure 1 - Protein Formation from Coding DNA

Consciousness: Marvel of the Mind

April, 2002

The bodies of living things are what evolution tries to explain. But what about behavior? Within the evolutionary model, the only possibility is that behavior results from the chemicals, cells, and components of the organism's body. And what about soul? Spirit? Mind? Likewise, these things are viewed in evolution, if they are dealt with at all and not simply ignored, as simply results of chemical or other natural processes in a body.

Is there any evidence for anything beyond the body? Something involved in the operation of our minds? Something that transcends the simple mechanics and natural forces involved in the matter composing our bodies? If so, then this would be something unaccounted for by evolution. If evolution is true, then evolution must have given rise to consciousness. But, first, what is consciousness?

One view that we could take concerning consciousness is that consciousness, or mind, is nothing more than chemical reactions occurring among brain cells. The brain would be analogous to a computer. However, there is a theory that human consciousness is qualitatively different from what computers do. According to this view, something is happening in consciousness that is beyond the ability of science to explain. In particular, this view holds that it is beyond the ability of physics to explain consciousness.

The Myth of Science vs. Creation

August, 2001

Do we have to ignore scientific evidence in order to accept creation? Some may have felt a conflict between accepting the truth, as discovered by science, and accepting truth, as declared in the Bible. Does accepting one require the rejection of the other?

In this article we look for answers to these questions. A major problem for some has been the feeling that science has proven the theory of evolution. The resulting question then seems to be, "Do we deny truth to accept our faith, or deny our faith to accept the truth (of evolution)?" Fortunately, as it turns out, we can maintain our faith in God without throwing our brains out the window.

In order to proceed, we need to look more closely at what we mean by science, evolution, and truth. We will assume we know what truth is. For example, we probably all understand that the statement, "Pigs can fly" is not true.

For our purposes, "evolution" is the theory that species developed from other species. It is not the thing we see occurring in breeding of animals, for here, there is no change from one species to another. We do see selection of traits, but they are pre-existing and already within the gene pool for that species. Evolution claims that one species evolved from another, including the proposition that man evolved from non-human animals.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Science