VIDEO Is Young Earth Creation Crazy?

 

A creation-believing friend of mine attended a dinner with various scientists. One of them who favored intelligent design said that any scientist who believed in a young earth was “crazy.” Then, remembering one in his audience, he turned to my friend and said, “No offense.” The reply came, “None taken!” This brief banter illustrates popular scorn for belief in a 6,000-year-old world. Can recent creation sound remotely rational in a climate so soaked in millions-of-years thinking?

The 6,000-year estimate comes from counting the number of years the Bible gives between various events from creation to Christ. This view of history is called recent creation. In contrast, the world’s way of thinking denies creation from the get-go. It needs millions of years, called deep time, to imagine creatures evolving from goo to you.

Many trails lead toward recent creation. Take the limits of science, for example. Some scientists think that science can firmly answer questions about the past. But it can’t. Science directly tests only that which is observable and repeatable. History is neither. The best science can do is weed out unlikely scenarios.

For example, scientists can measure isotope ratios in a rock, but those numbers must be cranked through a formula that includes unknown, unmeasurable variables to output a time estimate. Secularists make sure those variables receive deep-time-friendly values. They assume the rock’s starting state and that no outside process tinkered with the ratio since the rock hardened long ago. Then in a crazy twist, they often invoke special starting states of rocks or outside tinkering to explain out-of-place isotope-based age estimates.1

Since science fails to pinpoint historical events, how can we know when past events happened? Simple—we consult those who were there. We read what they wrote.2 And it turns out the Bible is the ultimate history book. Not only did eyewitnesses write or help write it, but God Himself carried the prophets and apostles along as they or their associates penned the Word of God.3 Recent creation isn’t crazy. It uses the most reliable record around. Trusting in science to answer all our questions about the past is the crazy option.

Lousy logic in secular approaches to ancient history offers another trail that leads to recent creation. Deep-time defenders resort to circular arguments instead of observation. They say things like “Science has proved the Bible is wrong, so the world must be billions of years old.” Ask them what they mean by “science” and they often equate science with billions of years. Thus, they reason in a circle. It’s like saying “The world is billions of years old, therefore the world must be billions of years old.” Science cannot verify such a claim since science deals strictly with the observable here and now. Only by first refusing to include the Bible’s history do they then declare the Bible unfit to convey history. Now that’s crazy.

Besides all this, natural time clocks from many disciplines help confirm biblical creation. ICR.org has dozens of articles that describe everything from an abundance of blue stars,4 helium in minerals,5 and soft tissues in fossils,6 to a scarcity of creature mutations.7 Even these science-based observations cannot pinpoint history, but they do weed out deep-time options. Misplaced faith in science, a lack of logic in secular arguments, natural time clocks, and the very Word of the Creator all lead to recent creation.

References

  1. Woodmorappe, J. 1999. The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
  2. Thus, historians find no certain dates for events for which eyewitnesses left no documentation like court records or coins.
  3. 2 Peter 1:21.
  4. Lisle, J. 2012. Blue Stars Confirm Recent CreationActs & Facts. 41 (9): 16.
  5. Cupps, V. R. 2019. Helium Retention in Zircons Demonstrates a Young Earth. Acts & Facts. 48 (1): 10-13.
  6. Thomas, B. 2014. Original-Tissue Fossils: Creation’s Silent Advocates. Acts & Facts. 43 (8): 5-9.
  7. Jeanson, N. T. 2014. New Genetic-Clock Research Challenges Millions of Years. Acts & Facts. 43 (4): 5-8.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Cite this article: Brian Thomas, M.S. 2019. Is Young Earth Creation Crazy?Acts & Facts. 48 (2).

 

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Diligence Is Needed

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself. Deuteronomy 4:9

Dr. J. C. Ryle, wrote, “I would just as soon expect a farmer to prosper in his business who contented himself with sowing his fields and never looking at them until the harvest, as to expect a believer to gain much holiness who has not been diligent about his Bible reading, about his prayers, and about the use of his Sundays.”

Diligence is a theme of the book of Deuteronomy, which tells us to “diligently heed the voice of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 28:1); to “diligently [teach God’s law] to your children” (6:7); to “diligently keep the commandments” (6:17); and to diligently weed out corruption from our midst (13:13-15). Are you diligent about listening to God’s voice, teaching His words to your children, obeying Him, and ridding your life of impurities?

According to 2 Peter 1:10, by diligence we make our “calling and election sure.” Those who follow the Lord with a constant effort of persistence grow in their daily confidence and assurance of His love. Don’t just follow Jesus from a distance. Be diligent about keeping in step with Him. Take your faith seriously every day, like a farmer cultivating his crops.

Diligence makes the rough places plain, the difficult easy, and the unsavory tasty.  Richard Greenham

Throwing Darwin a Curve

throwing_darwin_curve_wide
“The pitch cuts the inside corner of the plate for strike two.”

That familiar sound is heard on radios around the world. In fact, some of the best pitchers in America are not Americans. Great pitching ability is not limited to ethnicity or geography, but rather to human beings alone. Great pitchers make it look so easy, and “practice makes perfect,” but it helps that the brain power necessary for control, neurological connections, and muscular arrangements for the human arm are exceedingly better than any system that exists on the planet. Is throwing a ball really that complex?

Planning Motor Activity

Most people have heard of “gray” matter and “white” matter in the brain. If the brain were cut in half and viewed from the end, two distinct layers would be seen. The darker-colored outer layer of the brain, about one quarter inch thick, is the gray matter, and the white-yellow area inside is the white matter. In very broad terms, the gray matter associates sensory input with memories, plans motion and muscular activities, and provides awareness of sensations. It is called the cortex and is the conscious part of the brain. The white matter is composed of nerves that are covered in an insulating material with high fat content, giving it a whiter color. The connections are not random, but organized into “tracts” carrying data from one specific point to another. However, the number of connections is huge, so every part of the brain is essentially connected to every other part.

One part of the pitcher’s cortex is the premotor area. Since childhood, the pitcher has been storing thousands of plans in this area that coordinate the actions of whole groups of muscles. It is the primary storage location in the brain for learned skills, particularly ones that are repetitious in nature. While every pitch is unique, the general plan for muscle coordination pertaining to each type of pitch is stored—and constantly refined—in that area. A great major league pitch was started possibly at age two when the pitcher was handed a ball by his father and he made his first toss, influenced by every throw since then. Today, the pitcher will pull a general plan for a curveball from the premotor cortex.

The premotor is absolutely essential to control muscular movements. Large muscle groups are controlled and coordinated so that simultaneous and ordered motions occur as planned. A pitch involves primary muscle groups in the neck, hand, arm, shoulder, trunk, hips, legs, and feet. Individual neurons send impulses to several muscles, and each muscle receives impulses from neurons in multiple spots in the cortex simultaneously. Several neurons in the brain control each muscle, and each muscle is sent impulses from neurons located in several locations in the premotor cortex. This extent of control is necessary to achieve proper muscle coordination for pitching.

The batter is a power hitter, so the pitcher decides to throw the ball a little high and over the outside edge of the plate but still in the strike zone. From the moment of his decision, he will be modifying the premotor general plans. He fixes his eyes on his target. He knows that the path of the ball is going to follow an arc—not an absolute straight line—so he wants the end of the arc to be at the correct elevation. Hitting that elevation is primarily a function of speed and distance. Good pitchers have programmed these factors into the premotor area. But the exact elevation of any one particular pitch has not been programmed, so conscious changes to the plan are inserted. Wind and type of pitch also figure into the trajectory of the ball.

The rehearsed plan from the premotor area, coupled with conscious modifications, is sent to an adjacent area of the brain called the motor cortex and simultaneously to the cerebellum. This distinct area of the brain located toward the back and base of the skull functions like an extraordinarily rapid gatekeeper and a switching station. As a gatekeeper, it receives movement and environmental data from all of the sensors in the tendons, muscles, eyes, ears, skin, etc., and sorts out those pertinent to the execution of the pitch—an astonishingly huge number. It will couple that input with data from the motor cortex and send instantaneous modifications to the execution of the plan back to the motor cortex and to the muscles. As the pitch is performed, the motor and premotor cortexes and the cerebellum work in concert in a blindingly fast “circuit” that provides continuous input from the brain, through the spinal cord, then out through thousands of microscopic nerves to the muscles.

Integrating Visual and Vestibular Input

Looking back to the batter, even if the catcher has not moved his mitt to become a target, the pitcher can still lock onto a target of plain three dimensional space. How? Subconsciously his eyes pick up cues regarding distance based on the relative height of the squatting catcher, umpire, home plate, batter, and other things. Keying on any movement of the people around the target, the relative motions one to another also give accurate indications of depth. These cues are constantly being compared with data stored in memory to give an extremely accurate estimation of distance relative to height or motion. Another aid is his “stereo vision” (since the distance between pitcher and batter is less than 600 feet.). The pitcher’s eyes are set about four inches apart. However, this small distance is enough to allow the line of vision from eye to object to not be parallel but angled. The slightly dissimilar images projected onto the retina are interpreted by the brain as a three-dimensional image that helps aid in the sense of depth or distance.

A right-handed pitcher’s body will pivot on his left foot and rotate toward the left. To stay locked on target, his left eye turns toward his nose, the right turns toward the right temple, and they both rotate (to compensate for head’s leftward tilt) a little to the right—in exact unison. Six small extremely fast muscles for each eye control these movements.

As the pitcher turns through his pitching arc, the body’s rotary motion is sensed by semicircular canals in both the left and right inner ears. The right semicircular canal sends an inhibitory signal to eye muscles attached to the nose bone of the right eye and the temple bone of the left eye—which allows these muscles to relax. The left semicircular canal sends an excitatory signal—of exactly equal timing, magnitude, and duration—to an eye muscle on the nasal side of the left eye and the temporal side of the right eye, causing contraction. Visual input is integrated with these inputs and “tempers” these signals that contribute to extremely smooth eye motion fixated on the target while the head and body move “around” them. While the right hip of the pitcher may swing through an arc covering more than four feet, the eyes will turn through the same number of degrees of turn (generally until release of the ball) but move about one inch.

Meanwhile, tiny adjustments are being made to the circular motion of the arm, wrist, fingers, and trunk all the way down to his feet. The arm swings through an arc angled from the perpendicular, and at just the right time the wrist rotates so the hand stays in the same orientation toward the ground. Muscles in the forearm start to flex the wrist forward, moving it in its own small arc as the whole hand swings forward. The wrist’s movement inputs spin to the ball and increases power. At just the right moment during the swing, the brain sends signals to the muscles controlling the thumb. Pressure by the thumb on the ball loosens in a carefully graded manner. Promptly thereafter, muscles in the back of the arm are signaled to just barely loosen finger pressure on the top of the ball. The force imparted to the ball pulls it out of the hand at the right moment so its trajectory is right on target at over 90 miles per hour…for a strike.

Conclusion

Drawings of cavemen throwing primitive spears may seem convincing evidence of humanity’s evolutionary ancestry for those who fixate only on the spear. This makes no more sense than standing in awe of a free-falling 500 pound “dumb” bomb but ignoring the stealth jet fighter that released it. For anyone not blinded by evolutionary prejudice, it is easy to see that the real star of the show is not the archaic spear—but the incredible arm that threw it. All arms reflect features of design whose origins resist natural explanations. In no small way, misplaced appreciation robs the Lord Jesus Christ of His rightful praise as the prestigious Designer. Yet, His arms remain open, inviting all to “come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).


* Dr. Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D is the National Representative for the Institute for Creation Research.

VIDEO Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness

Jul 7, 2016

This is the sixth video in the Beatitudes video series: Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst For Righteousness. This video series is an expansion and fleshing out of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). The Beatitudes are the famous words of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount given in Matthew 5:1-12.

Someone sent me an amazing expansion of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). There have been innumerable (and many famous) interpretations, expansions, and dramatizations of the Gospels, such as The Robe, Ben Hur, The Spear, The Great Fisherman, The Silver Chalice, many TV series, many movies, and even Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (one of the highest grossing R-rated films in history) drew from multiple sources.

However, this interpretation/expansion/fleshing out of the Beatitudes is the best I have heard yet and it is remarkable. I hope you enjoy it! Please share this with anyone you think might enjoy this or might find some degree of benefit or inspiration from it.

The End of Vengeance

Boxer Rebellion

MANCHURIA, CHINA | 1908

Some of the worst atrocities of the Boxer Rebellion were committed by soldiers of the Eight-Nation Alliance.

At the turn of twentieth century, a bloody, vicious uprising took hold of northeastern China. After years of tension, competing foreign involvement, drought, and famine, an extremist faction within China staged the Boxer Rebellion in an attempt to purge foreign influence from their country. In two short years, over 115,000 people lost their lives; almost a third of those were Chinese christians and missionaries.

The missionaries and their congregations were targeted as the source of foreign influence, and the Boxer’s tactics were ruthless. Churches were burned down with missionaries and their families trapped inside. Students were forced to step on a knocked-down cross—symbolizing their rejection of Christianity—or be shot on sight. Between 1899 and 1901, 236 missionaries and priests were brutally massacred, 53 of them children. An estimated 32,000 native Chinese Christians were slaughtered for their faith. The violence spread like wildfire, and neighboring countries sent soldiers in to stop the bloodshed. Japan, Russia, Great Britain, and America were among the nations who formed an alliance against the Boxers.

Ruthless cruelty, relentless grace

Ruins of the Beijing City Wall during Boxer Rebellion

But what began as an attempt to quell a rebellion devolved into what witnesses of the time called savagery and barbarism. The soldiers of the alliance slaughtered the Boxers and civilians indiscriminately, killing laborers, farmers, women, children, and elderly. Thousands of Chinese women and girls took their own lives to prevent brutal ravaging and murder by the foreign soldiers. Train cars filled with loot, goods stolen from the Chinese people, were claimed as “spoils of war.” When the rebellion was finally quelled in 1901, China was left devastated in the wake of the carnage.

But seven short years later, a new uprising was taking place in China: a Pentecostal revival was sweeping across Manchuria, led almost single-handedly by Canadian missionary Jonathan Goforth. Thousands of Chinese Christians attended his revivals, which were marked by an outpouring of charismatic gifts, public confession of sin and repentance, and most prominently tears—tears of joy, of pain, of contrition, and salvation. Goforth blazed a trail of holy fire through Manchuria, eventually bringing him to Xinmin.

Overcoming tragedy with forgiveness

It was a small town and an even smaller congregation: they’d lost 53 members of their church during the massacre of the Boxer Rebellion. Driven by grief and anger, the survivors had created a list: 250 names of those responsible for the murder of their Christian brothers and sisters. They held on to the list for seven years, in hopes that one day they could secure revenge. But in the midst of the revival, one person brought the list forward. With shaking hands and tear-filled eyes, she ripped the paper apart and trampled it underfoot. By the power of the Spirit, this small band of Chinese christians were able to let go of the pain and hate, and forgive.

A century later, the story of Christianity in China continues to be one of painful persecution. But even in the face of atrocities and oppression, the faithful in China cling to Christ, unshakable and thriving.

 

https://www.logos.com/takeflight/manchuria

VIDEO A Virtuous Life, Scripture Is Sufficient

2-timothy-3-16 scripture

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14

Virtue is defined as moral excellence; a virtue (or virtues) is behavior that evidences the pursuit of moral excellence. Since the fifth century A.D., the Christian Church has identified seven cardinal virtues: temperance, prudence, courage, and justice, plus the three virtues of faith, hope, and love from 1 Corinthians 13:13.

While the Bible does not contain a list of Christian virtues, Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit is a good place to begin: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Virtues—and their opposite, vices—are not passive manifestations. They are the result of the choices we make to pursue godliness (moral excellence; Christlikeness) or not. For example, the fruit of the Spirit appear in the lives of those who choose to be cleansed of their sin and be filled with the Holy Spirit (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 5:18). The psalmist put it well—praying for thoughts, words, and resulting actions that will please God.

Ask God today for the filling of His Spirit that the life of Christ may be manifest through you, leading to a virtuous life.

So let our works and virtues shine, to prove the doctrine all divine.Isaac Watts


Scripture Is Sufficient (Psalm 19)

 

He Calms the Storms

God lighhouse storm

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”  Matthew 14:27

Jim was frantically sharing about problems he was encountering with his work team: division, judgmental attitudes, and misunderstandings. After an hour of patiently listening to his concerns, I suggested, “Let’s ask Jesus what He would have us do in this situation.” We sat quietly for five minutes. Then something amazing happened. We both felt God’s peace cover us like a blanket. We were more relaxed as we experienced His presence and guidance, and we felt confident to wade back into the difficulties.

Peter, one of Jesus’s disciples, needed God’s comforting presence. One night he and the other disciples were sailing across the Sea of Galilee when a strong storm arose. All of a sudden, Jesus showed up walking on water! Naturally, this took the disciples by surprise. He reassured them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). Peter impulsively asked Jesus if he could join Him. He stepped out of the boat and walked toward Jesus. But he soon lost focus, became aware of the dangerous and humanly impossible circumstance he was in, and started sinking. He cried out, “Lord, save me!” and Jesus lovingly rescued him (vv. 30–31).

Like Peter, we can learn that Jesus, the Son of God, is with us even in the storms of life!

By:  Estera Pirosca Escobar

Reflect & Pray

What storm of life are you going through today? What can you do to shift your focus from the storm to the One who can calm it?

Jesus, thank You that You have the power and authority to calm the storms in our lives. Help us to trust You.

 

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