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Thursday afternoon was a busy day at the Mega Conference with three sessions in four hours. I was told by one attendee that her brain was full, so it sounds like we are succeeding in training people to defend the Word of God.
Dr. David DeWitt: Apes and Humans: What’s the Difference?
Without going into great detail it is difficult to summarize this particular lecture because there was so much information. People often proclaim that humans and chimpanzees share somewhere between 93%–99% of their DNA. Dr. DeWitt demonstrated that statistics like these do not even take into account some very important details, such as the fact that humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes while chimpanzees have 24 pairs of chromosomes. So these statistics are quite misleading. In short, the number of differences between humans and the apes are so vast, and they cannot be accounted for by mutations or natural selection.
Dr. Joseph Francis: Origin of Natural Evil: Did God Create Bad Bacteria and Viruses?
Joseph Francis is the professor of biology at The Master’s College. He holds a PhD in cell biology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan in the area of cellular immunology.
Dr. Francis discussed a topic that many Christians really struggle with. How could a loving God be responsible for natural evils, such as viruses and bacteria, that are deadly to humans? He started by emphasizing that biblical creationists can answer this question, but those who buy into the millions and billions of years will find it difficult to explain.
Of course, due to time restraints, Dr. Francis could not go into detail about every harmful virus or bacteria. Plus, there are some that have not been studied in detail yet from a biblical perspective. So he focused on E. coli and cholera.
E. coli is a bacterium found in cattle and it is perfectly harmless and useful for cattle. However, certain strands of it can be dangerous for humans. Since man originally ate plants, they would not have come into contact, but now that man is permitted to eat meat, we do come into contact with E. coli. Of course, properly cooking the meat gets rid of the bacteria in the food.
Cholera can also have a negative effect on humans, but only in high amounts and certain situations. Dr. Francis went through several reasons why cholera becomes a problem, but showed why it is harmless in most situations and generally has an easy cure—drinking large quantities of water.
Several evolutionists have charged God with not doing things properly when they look at what they consider to be natural evils in this world. Ken Miller asked, “Would God really want to take credit for the mosquito?” Charles Templeton, the once-famous evangelist-turned-agnostic said, “Every carnivorous creature must kill and devour another creature. It has no option. How could a loving and omnipotent God create such horrors?”
When we start from Scripture, we can make sense of this world—even those things that don't seem to be beneficial for man. For more on this subject, check out our article on the origin of defense/attack structures.
Dr. Georgia Purdom: Eugenics and Abortion: Past, Present, and Future
Dr. Purdom’s third presentation of the conference explained one of the most disturbing results of the evolutionary worldview. Eugenics is defined as “a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.” This idea was quite popular in the late nineteenth century through the middle of the twentieth century. It enjoyed a great deal of support from many in the scientific community and in government. Even in America, many women were sterilized against their will because they were deemed unfit for bearing children.
In 1915, Paul Popenoe published a paper entitled “Natural Selection in Man,” in which he wrote:
Science knows no way to make good breeding stock out of bad, and the future of the race is determined by the kind of children which are born and survive to become parents in each generation. There are only two ways to improve the germinal character of the race, to better it in a fundamental and enduring manner. One is to kill off the weaklings born in each generation. That is Nature’s way, the old method of natural selection which we all agreed must be supplanted. When we abandon that, we have but one conceivable alternative, and that is to adopt some means by which fewer weaklings will be born in each generation. The only hope for permanent race betterment under social control is to substitute a selective birth-rate for Nature’s selective death-rate. That means—eugenics.Eugenicists advocate killing off those who are weaker, diseased, or deemed unsuitable for breeding. Many of them, including the most popular proponent of eugenics, Margaret Sanger, promoted the sterilization and euthanizing of non-Caucasians. Sanger, the socialist founder of Planned Parenthood, said that the greatest sin is to bring a diseased and weak child into the world.
The eugenics movement has not gone away, even though it is not as noticeable in the public sphere. One example of this murderous practice is the abortion of a high percentage of unborn children who are thought to have Down Syndrome. In the United Kingdom, approximately 92% of prenatal diagnoses of Down Syndrome end in an abortion. However, these tests (scans) are not terribly accurate. Sadly, millions of children have been killed because some people have argued that these kids will be too much of a burden on society or will not be capable of leading a happy life.
Just prior to Dr. Purdom’s talk, I spoke with a woman whose daughter has Down Syndrome and whose son is paralyzed. Many eugenicists would recommend euthanizing these two people, yet they lead highly active and joyful lives. The son is a “clean” comedian, meaning he doesn’t use foul language. This gives him an opportunity to share the gospel in places many Christians would not go. Along with his sister, they operate the website www.thelovechromosome.com. Please check it out to view the wonderful message they proclaim.
All life has been created by God and human beings, even those considered to be unfit by some people, are made in His image. We all have equal value and none of us have the right to declare that one human is more valuable than another.
Thursday night will be another interesting evening at the Mega Conference. Check back soon for another update. Thanks for reading!
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively. We focus on providing answers to questions about the Bible—particularly the book of Genesis—regarding key issues such as creation, evolution, science, and the age of the earth.