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AiG needs your help to pick the best feedback response of 2008.
This year has seen some great feedback from the many writers here at AiG. We’ve covered everything from beneficial mutations to heavy rocks. And now we want you to help us pick the best feedback of the year. To make it easier, the editorial staff at AiG has selected ten of our favorite feedback responses from 2008. All ten are listed in chronological order below with a brief excerpt.
Please review the ten responses, select your favorite one (or put them in order with your favorite at the top and least favorite at the bottom), and send us a quick note telling us which one you like and why you like it. We’ll tally the results and let you know which one came out on top of the heap next week.
Don’t like any of these? Then let us know which one we missed (see our Feedback archive to review them all). Have ideas or questions for future feedback articles? We’d love to hear your thoughts on that, too.
Thank you for your help and for your great questions over the years. We thank God for your continued support and readership.
The problem, however, was that even in “buying into” evolutionism, the story never quite seemed to fit. All the “scientific analysis” I was receiving from some of the foremost anthropologists in the country felt somehow hollow. It wasn’t that they weren’t brilliant—they most certainly are—it was something deeper than just fossils or dates or analyses. It was something at the core of the philosophy. It was’t the science, per se, that acted as a wedge of doubt (though the hypothetico-deductive science doesn’t add up either); it was the problem I had with the presuppositions.
What [the questioner] is trying to do here, like many non-Christians, is set the ground rules for debate. Many non-Christians will say “leave the Bible out of it” when discussing God, creation, absolute truth, morality, or the Bible itself. They will usually claim that by leaving the Bible out of it, all participants will be starting on neutral ground. However, this is not neutral ground. Christians stand on the Word of God—it is our foundation (Luke 6:47–49)—and everything we believe and how we live is based on what it says. So, to leave out our very foundation, our building of defense will come crashing down.
That is not to say that sometimes mutations can’t have beneficial outcomes, such as antibiotic resistance in bacteria, but this is not an example of new information being added. Mutations alter a current functional system (i.e., nutrient transport) in the bacteria that is the target of the antibiotic such that the bacteria are no longer affected by the antibiotic. It has come at the cost of that functional system performing its original function inefficiently or not at all. To get from bacteria to man, there must be a mechanism to add genetic information such as genes to make arms, legs, and brains. Thus, in reality “tweaking” the genome of a bacterium through duplication and mutation will not result in a human genome.
If the millions of years are a fact, then God lied about the thorns. If God told the truth (I believe He did), then the millions of years are a lie. If Christians accept the millions of years, then they are also accepting (whether they realize it or not) that God calls cancer “very good,” because cancer is found in dinosaur bones that are dated to be at least 65 million years old, dying long before Adam was created and sinned in a theistic evolutionist viewpoint. That would mean that a disease like Mary had was also very good. During her life I expect that God showed you in many ways the truth of His promise in Romans 8:28 to cause her illness to work for good in your lives. God brought good out of her suffering, but her illness itself was not good.
Let me start by pointing out that we do not simply infer that the Bible is God’s Word. Rather we accept this presuppositionally as our ultimate starting point. An argument cannot go on forever; therefore, all chains of argumentation must end in an ultimate commitment—a standard that cannot be established from something more foundational than itself (otherwise it would not be ultimate). Since an ultimate standard cannot be proved from anything beyond itself, it must be self-attesting—and the Bible is. It claims to be God’s Word, and one either accepts that claim or does not. (However, as we’ll see, not accepting that claim leads to irrationality.)
But are there such things as beneficial mutations? In short, no, but let me explain. While I have yet to see evidence of a truly beneficial mutation, I have seen evidence of mutations with beneficial outcomes in restricted environments. Mutations are context dependent, meaning their environment determines whether the outcome of the mutation is beneficial.
In other words, this question first assumes that gravity is greater than God. How can something God creates be greater than God? The assumption is illogical right from the start, and thus the question is illogical right from the start—this is called the contrary-to-the-premise fallacy. Since this question assumes God is bound to His creation, it cannot be referring to the Creator God of the Bible.
However, a more important idea introduced in the first chapter of Genesis is not creation/evolution or the age of the earth, but that God was in the beginning. This isn’t a distant, white-bearded figure; this is the account of the Creator of all things who took a direct hand in making the universe: how He brooded over the waters directly Himself, and how He fashioned humans with His own hands. Genesis 1 is not just about how life arose or when; it’s about the uniqueness, sovereignty, and power of Yahweh, the God of the Bible.
Think of it like this; you have in front of you an amazingly complex machine, unlike anything you have ever seen before, and you want to understand where the machine came from, what the machine does, and how it does it. As you stand examining the machine a man approaches you and says, “This manual was written by the inventor of this machine and explains how the machine works, why it was designed, and how to maintain and repair it.” Being the skeptic that you are, you reject the manual and tell the man that you can figure this all out on your own using “skeptical” methods and your own reasoning.
While we’re glad to hear you find at least some of our arguments convincing, we want to make it clear that we’re not just preaching and arguing for creation or merely our point of view. Rather, we’re pointing to God’s Word that clearly teaches that the world—and all life—was created in the first six days of Creation Week, some 6,000 years ago. This truth is not contingent on our arguments; rather, it’s the fundamental Word of God that one either accepts or rejects. That acceptance or rejection then colors how each of us interpret the scientific evidence.
Be sure to let us know your favorite.
I have been so impressed by the spirit in which your site is written the mature, gracious way in which you deal with objections, and the clear, fresh proclamation of the good news that I have kept coming back and back. A few months ago I would have said I believed God used evolution to make the world. Now I would say that he created it in six days. I feel stronger in my witness and desire to evangelise, and have a new interest in exploring the workings of nature.
I hope and pray that you will carry on your work in the spirit in which you have begun, ‘with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander’.
Though well educated, I never really cared for science. Now, I spend countless hours listening to or reading about thrilling presentations on the seeing eye, our glorious cosmos, etc! I am wondering if the skeptics and scorners ever stop to realize that, despite their differences on origins, AiG is an extremely abundant source of excellent information on science.
I great big THANK YOU to all the great teachers at AiG! I cannot tell you how fascinating your presentations are!
Let us know what you think.
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.