24 April, 2014

The Resurrection's Significance: Why the World Wouldn't Be the Same Without It

These next couple of weeks, the youth pastor at The R.O.C.K. — a youth ministry that functions as part of Mount of Olives Church in Mission Viejo CA — my good friend, Jim Reynen — is doing a series on the resurrection's significance. Tonight in particular, he asked us all a very important question: "Is the resurrection of Jesus still impacting this world 2,014 years later? If so, how?" To which everyone had trouble answering but me, of course.

See, the first Apostles all suffered martyr's deaths for knowing and seeing that Jesus rose from the dead, we all know that. They also would never recant, even when faced with death, which of course is another validating factor in proving that the resurrection actually happened. And, most importantly, before knowing that Jesus was alive again and in their midst during Jesus' last 40 days on this planet, the people who would write all Jesus' words down in the form of the Gospel accounts were hiding in an upper room, fearful of the Romans. "We're next!" they all thought, until again, Jesus came into their midst having conquered death.

Of course, we all know Jesus' teaching still influences everything that goes on. John Ortberg wrote a book, Who Is This Man?, that showcases all the ways it continues to influence even secular levels of society, from caring for the sick (frowned upon by all forms of society until Jesus came) which resulted in the existence of the first hospital-like buildings, to helping out the poor ("it is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven"), which formed the backbone of some of the largest nonprofit charities in the world (oh, yeah, and was also cited by socialists... more on THAT later), to the first steps on the path that led to democracy ("Render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's"), to the very idea of nonviolent, peaceful, pacifistic resistance represented in the very way Jesus handled the Roman and Jewish mockers who crucified Him — silently — which went on to inspire people like MLK and Mahatma Gandhi to act the same in the face of injustice. Yeah, and the senior pastor of course did a full series on this. Remember, however, that Jesus Himself only had a mouth to speak these words, certainly never a pen to write them down.

That pen was in the disciples' hands, and remember, until Jesus showed them He was really alive and conquered death, they were cowards. Hiding in that room, they were fearful the Romans, who crucified Jesus, would go on to kill all of them in similarly gruesome manners. So, without the resurrection, without the end of the story with Jesus having the victory He really did (and still does) over death, these people would still be in hiding, perhaps to the point of being found and caught early on, and the entire faith these people helped to found would have never even picked up steam in the first place. Heck, without the resurrection, none of us 2000+ years later would even know Jesus really existed, which means, yeah, no democracies, no hospitals, no generosity (or, by extension, socialism), and no nonviolent resistance... you might as well have the entire world be the same autocratic place it was in ancient times, magnified.

So, yeah, let's remember that the next time someone tries to doubt the resurrection: I along with all fellow believers sure know that the world wouldn't be the same without that final bit of the story. I suggest people pick up a copy of Ortberg's book and start reading it, because it may surprise you just how much Jesus has truly influenced every part of both our worshipping AND secular lives.

06 April, 2014

I shouldn't have to argue this again: Why the evidence for Darwinian macroevolution is NOT overwhelming

UPDATE 12/16/2014: There's now some claims among Darwinists as responses to the Miller-Urey Experiment claims, theories that suggest that perhaps the volatiles needed for life could have come in the form of asteroid and/or comet impacts, since astronauts have indeed claimed to have found them on the surfaces of such bodies. Well, that raises another problem: When an asteroid or comet hits our atmosphere, it heats up to about 6 times hotter than the surface of the Sun, and when it slams into the ground and makes a crater, it heats up even more, to perhaps millions of degrees F. What's the decomposition point of those amino acids and other complex volatiles? Far below that extreme heat level, that's for sure. Any amino acids and other complex volatiles that manage to make that journey to our planet via an asteroid or comet can easily, I repeat easily, be single-handedly blown apart into simple-molecule oblivion by that extreme heat alone, and the extreme friction, not to mention pressure, generated by asteroid and comet impacts can be a gigantic meat grinder to amino acids that would otherwise "evolve" as the Darwinists claim.

Original post continues below.

Let me make this very clear: Calling all people who cross-examine all the evidence for the Darwinian world view ignorant is tantamount to calling all Jews arrogant, calling all Hispanics bean-eating drug lords, calling all Christians gullible, calling all Muslims terrorists, calling all Chinese people communists, or calling all black people watermelon and fried-chicken eaters. People who do that are people who make a hasty generalization that gives the false impression of an unfair advantage... ah, and aren't racial stereotypes like the examples above just that, hasty generalizations? Therefore, I'm warning the reader right now: If you're tempted to dismiss the content of this blog post as "willful ignorance" before even reading it, then go, leave your biology lab and join the KKK, because YOUR tendency to jump to the conclusion that all skeptics of Darwinism are inherently anti-science makes YOU, emphasis on YOU, just as prejudiced as the KKK is. This one issue is being screamed out in such ubiquity as a one-sided undebatable fact, when the reality is that all the evidence people say is hard enough to support it is really less valid than it seems. It's a mere hypothesis being backed by not only circumstantial but also artificially exaggerated evidence that is being passed off as harder than it really is. Let's examine all the evidence closer, shall we?

Even Darwin himself admitted (that's a key point right there: by censoring the creationist side of Darwin's debate from schools, Darwinists today are proving themselves to be even worse hypocrites and more ruthless totalitarians than Darwin himself was... ah, the irony) that the fossil record is probably the worst form of evidence to ever be used to prove his theory. Why? Because the fossils don't match up to it. Rather than there being a bunch of transitional fossils between microbes and animals, say, 550 million years ago, there's a sudden appearance, known as the Cambrian Explosion, of all the major animal phyla in a timescale that when compared to the age of the Earth is equivalent to a mere 8 inches of a football field! I admit, that still amounts to 70 million years, but still: where are the interphylum transitional fossils? If Darwin's evolution theory were true, we would see transition fossils from one phylum to the next. Not at all what we see: There's the fossils that set the phyla apart, but in a manner completely at odds with evolution, no fossils in the entire period that link the phyla together! And right before that, all you see is microbes. There's absolutely no transitional fossils between the precambrian microbes and Cambrian animals either, which if Darwinism was true, that's what you'd expect to see. As for the Kaigas, Sturtian, Marinoan, and Gaskiers "snowball Earth" periods: The longest of those periods — the Sturtian glaciation — was still a good 10 million years shorter than the Cambrian Explosion was. All in all, the total amount of time that the "Snowball Earth" periods existed still adds up to a very very, VERY small portion of the Earth's age as a whole. Why didn't life "evolve" in the Tonian? The Calymmian? Sure, there may be evidence of sexual reproduction in the Ectasian, but it's still of only single-celled organisms. What about the Orogenian, which directly followed the mother of all "snowball Earth" periods, the Huronian Glaciation, which was hundreds of millions of years long? Evidence of liquid water on Earth's surface has been seen as far back as 3.5 billion years. Life had 3.5 *billion*, with a B, years to "evolve" on its own. For 2.95 billion of those years, all life on Earth was simple. Suddenly it goes complex. The fact that for all those billions of years life on Earth stayed simple and only managed to go complex after almost 3 billion years of simplicity certainly seems to suggest some outside force being at work. 

That's not all, however. What about the Miller-Urey experiment? If amino acids could come about in the early atmosphere, that would explain the origin of life, right? Wrong! Sure, amino acids may be the building blocks of chemicals like DNA and proteins, but a cell? For a cell to form, the amino acids need to be arranged in a certain order. That simply does not happen on its own (the odds of mere chemical reactions between amino acids somehow miraculously forming a cell on their own are odds that even supercomputers have been unable to calculate), so really, saying "I have an amino acid, therefore I can explain a cell" is tantamount to saying "I have a brick/concrete block/steel beam/<enter building material here>, therefore I can explain how the city of Los Angeles was able to miraculously appear without humans building it" — literally, an amino acid and a cell are about as vastly different from each other as a single piece of building material and a whole city. It's circular reasoning gone haywire.

Most importantly, however, the gases used in the experiment — ammonia, methane, and hydrogen — weren't even close to the early Earth's REAL atmosphere! If you use the correct carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen cyanide, and water that REALLY made it up, what you get is a sludge that A, contains absolutely zero amino acids whatsoever, and B, contains very large quantities of (I figured we'd come to this) highly corrosive sulfuric, nitric, and hydrohalic acids that go on to hinder the formation of what would otherwise be life's building blocks by turning any ammonia that may have existed into ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate, and ammonium halide salts without giving it a chance to combine with organic compounds. Amino acids contain NH2 groups. NH4 cations — or, in other words, ammonium cations — are basic, and they're strongly bound, in an ionic fashion, to strong acids in these cases. No organic acid is strong enough to steal the ammonium cations from strong inorganic acid anions, not in the least bit, and even if by incredibly slim chance one organic acid was able to steal one of those ammonium groups before a strong mineral or halogen acid got that chance, it'd still remain in the ionic state. Amino groups are covalently bonded, and to get them to bond to carbon, you must first attach either a hydroxyl, azide (!), cyano (!!), or halogen (all of which would have been used up as hydrohalic acids and ionic alkali/ammonium halides by this point), and that's a reaction that almost NEVER happens without human (or animal, or plant, or fungal, or bacterial) intervention, and definitely won't in that hostile environment. Yet it still shows up in textbooks as evidence supporting evolution. Yeah, it's amazing what great lengths Darwinists go to to try and deface the truth, and this isn't the only example of it.

Homologous structures, you ask? You think THAT is evidence of common ancestry? In homology diagrams, the structures are severely doctored. The color AND size have been altered to draw attention to structures that otherwise would go unnoticed. Moreover, don't artificially designed objects have homologous structures? An iPad and an iPhone. A Nexus 5 and a Nexus 7. An Acer AC700 and an Acer C720. Tim Berra, a PhD professor of biology at Harvard University in the 1950's, even tried to prove evolution using man-made cars, of all things (didn't I just say they go to great lengths? Well, here's your proof). If a design is a design that works, it's going to be used over and over by that same designer; hence, this "evidence" mutually proves both evolution AND creationism, without giving favor to one or the other.

What about embryology? Doesn't it have something to say here? Let's be clear: The embryos used as evidence in textbooks are in fact artificially exaggerated fakes compared to the way the embryos really are. Ernst Haeckel, whose embryo drawings have been used over and over in textbooks and elsewhere, did two things to deliberately deface the truth (again, no different than Professors Miller, Urey, and/or Berra): 1, he cherry-picked embryos that looked the most similar instead of choosing them at random, and 2, he exaggerated the results instead of accurately representing them. Moreover, the stage of development represented in the drawings is a midpoint stage, NOT a beginning stage! Compare them closer to their blastula stage, and what you find is embryos that are all radically different, then become slightly similar only to diverge a second time. Even Darwin himself admitted (source: Sean McDowell quoting him in that YouTube link in the introductory paragraph) that the embryos were the single most valuable proof that his theory was true, and yet the fraud lingers on.

You say we share 99% of DNA with chimps, don't you? What you're believing is outdated information: In 2011, scientists were able to determine that it's really more like 70%. The radical difference also has been found in the most unlikely of places: the "junk" DNA that Darwinists have been trying to pass off as evidence for evolution. Moreover, in 2012, scientists found multiple purposes for the DNA that they once thought to be evolution's useless byproduct: everything from 4 million or so gene switches that actually turn genes on and off, to disease genes, all in those non-coding genetic black holes that we once thought didn't do anything. These findings showed us that a good 80% of all the DNA in our bodies is indeed biochemically active, meaning it's not evidence for evolution after all. Not to mention, of course, that the discoveries of those "gene switches" and disease genes (heck, even controlling genes for things like autism spectrum disorders are being found in this supposed "junk" — yeah, thought you might enjoy that) in that most unlikely of places come together to clearly throw that first-cited 2011 article's claims about this variation — that somehow the "junk DNA" mutated on its own over the eons, all the while failing to affect our functions due to it being "junk" — right out the window (someone tried to bring up, in an argument, that the 2011 article seems to use the "junk DNA" argument, once again, to support Darwinism and accused me of misinterpreting it, so I'm adding this note to tell the world why he's wrong).

So let's review; that is, A, the fossil record is NOT laden with as much evidence as we need to support it, B, Miller-type experiments use gases that aren't even close to the early Earth's REAL atmosphere, C, homology is mutually exclusive to both evolution AND creationism, D, Haeckel's embryos were faked, E, we really only have 70% of DNA in common with chimps, F, the biggest difference between humans and apes is in the noncoding DNA that was once thought to be Darwinian genetic waste, and G, that non-coding DNA actually is a genetic boss to the very genes that do make proteins, completely at odds with what Darwinists thought was true. Yeah, way to pass off this circumstantial evidence as fact, because it sure doesn't sound like it.