Tag Archives: Evolution

What Is Truth?

In John 18:38 Pilate asked the question of Jesus “What is truth?”  Dr. Del Tackett has referred to this as one of the most important questions of all time in The Truth ProjectRavi Zacharias has called it the most tragic question of all time in that it was asked of the purveyor of Truth Himself.

But it is an interesting question.  Truth.  What is it?  Really?  And more importantly, what is our perception of truth?  And how does it shape our lives and affect the outcome of our existence for all of eternity?

Here is an important consideration: Is there a God?  It is an important question whether you realize it or not.

Some, like Dr. Stephen Hawking and Dr. Richard Dawkins, state that it is a fact that there is no God.  They have many that join with them in their belief that there is no God.

I, on the other hand, and many others with me state emphatically that there is a God.

You have your own beliefs as to whether or not there is a God.  Neither side can prove beyond any reasonable certainty that there is, or is not a God.  I can certainly point to evidence that there is.  But others will build their own case that there is not.

So what is truth?  In this case the truth may be found to be subjective depending upon your own personal beliefs.  And yet it is the most important question of all time.  This is why I believe it is very important to guard certain principles in our lives.  Because believe it or not, TRUTH can be lost.  For example: lets say for argument’s sake that there really is a God.  Just for a minute let’s all agree that this is an immutable fact.  Now lets divide all the people who believe the truth from those that do not believe the truth.  All of the people who actually believe there is a God are on one side of the room, and all the people who do not believe there is a God are on the other side.  Now suppose we were to have a war between the two groups.  And let’s say that the people who do not believe there is a God win the war.  They completely annihilate those that believe there is a God.

Question: Does that then make the fact that God exists not true?  No, of course not.  We’ve already established that the existence of God is true for our scenario here.  And the truth does not change.  But would the truth be lost?  I believe it would.  Those who do not believe there is a God would continue to propagate that belief and there would be no reason for any opposing point of view to arise.  The truth would be lost.

Here is a more realistic example.  How old is the Earth?  You ask this question and about 98% of people today will tell you it is 4.5 billion years old.  But if you really examine the answer you will read words like “scientists estimate …”, or “scientists believe ..”, or even “scientists think …”.

It IS NOT a proven fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old (or that evolution is the mechanism by which we all came to be here on Earth).  It may be a theory or a belief (by some), but not a factual piece of truth.  And yet people treat it as if it were so.  If you say it often enough and loud enough, others around you eventually begin to repeat it.  But that doesn’t make it truth.

Why?  Because when the question of Evolution seriously first came up, around the time of my grandparents generation, it was not successfully challenged.  And then when my parents generation came along, they began to make compromises and to try to fit an evolutionary world view into their own Theistic world view.  And as a result, in most (if not all) public institutes of education, Evolution is now taught as accepted fact and Creationism or Intelligent Design is not even allowed to be mentioned because they are considered myth or fairy tale.

As a result it has become a very difficult up hill battle to challenge or countermand the Evolutionary world view.  Most people have abandoned trying to fight it within public institutions and have left those for private schools and home schooling.  But what if Creationism were the truth?  It is not completely lost, but if we continue to indoctrinate new generations in the classroom, it could be.

And there is another truth we are about to lose today.  That Freedom and Capitalism provide more for any given population than Socialism and Communism.  The number of young people who supported Senator Bernie Sanders during the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections has been placed as high as 56%.  This is very alarming when you consider that these individuals are essentially voting not to be free.  The movement away from Truth, Justice, and the American Way is alarming.  If we do not stand for the principles the United States of America was founded upon, actually built upon, we could lose the greatest nation the world has ever seen.  And we could lose the truth for generations to come.

This is the reason I have not, and will not, support the NFL until they acknowledge that kneeling on foreign soil while our country’s National Anthem is playing is traitorous and disrespectful.  And then to stand during the National Anthem of a foreign nation (having just knelt for their own) simply adds insult to injury.  And that kneeling during the National Anthem on any occasion is disrespectful and is essentially saying “I stand against the institution that provides me the freedoms to protest”.  You cannot tear down the house you live in and then expect to not sleep out in the rain and the cold.  Kneeling for the National Anthem is not a protest, it is a vote not to be free.

And I take it even one step further.  For all my life I have been taught (and believed) that sports taught young people how to be good members of society as well as proper values and character.  I would suggest that the evidence today depicts otherwise.  A significant number of athletes are not demonstrating good character and values.  Therefore I do not even support college football.  Because I don’t believe these traits just magically show up when they become attached to the NFL and I do not want them to believe they have a supported path to that end.

We could be on the verge of losing our country;  Freedom, Capitalism, Democracy.  And if we do not take a very hard stand today, if we are complacent in the matter, as previous generations were with evolution, the truth could change out from underneath us and it would be very, very hard to get back.

Where Is My Faith?

Faith is a difficult thing.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  Faith permeates our lives in every way imaginable and yet we struggle with it where it matters most.

Simply put, Faith is a belief that is held that is not based on a proof.  We utilize faith in our lives each and every day in all realms of our existence.

We are basically beings of three parts.  In the simplest description we are physical beings.  We have a body that has needs and interacts with the physical world.  We are also emotional, intellectual, and social beings.  We have a soul.  We experience joy, and sorrow.  And we are spiritual beings.  We are individuals, unique unto ourselves.  We are all one-of-a-kind instantiations of the human kind and we know who we are inside of our own being.

Within the physical world we exercise faith on an almost daily basis.  When we sit in a chair, when we get into a vehicle and start the engine, when we browse the Internet.  We do not prove these things to be working and reliable.  We simply accept them on faith.  We trust that the chair will hold up our weight when we sit in it.  Before we examine it, test it, or certify it as OK to sit in.  We trust that our vehicles will start.  That they will work without a mechanic testing the parts of the vehicle and confirming for us that it is OK.  We trust that the Internet is up, and working.  We do not call our Internet Service Provider and verify that everything is working before we attempt to bring up our FaceBook page, we simply believe that it will work.

Within our souls, our emotions, our intellect, we have faith in our relationships, our favorite pastimes, our challenges.  We trust that our spouses are faithful to us, and we trust ourselves to be faithful to them.  We trust our families, our neighbors, and our friends.  We believe in the humanity around us.  How many times I’ve been told by someone that they have a lot of faith (lower case) but not much Faith (upper case).

And we continue to have faith even when it is shattered within our lives.  When our car doesn’t start, or a chair breaks when we sit in it (causing us to fall), or when we find that our Internet connection really is down and we cannot get to our FaceBook page.  We do not lose hope in the physical world around us, rather we accept things and move on, still exercising our faith.

Within our souls we are constantly failed.  Spouses cheat on one another.  We are lied to.  We experience ridicule and scorn.  And yet we continue to go on, and we continue to have faith in humanity.

And yes, I know that anyone can be beaten down to the point of giving up or losing all hope.  Individuals may experience so many problems with a particular vehicle that they lose faith in it ever doing its job again.  We may be hurt by loved ones or friends so much that we give up on life and begin to believe it is us against the world.

But these are not the norm.  We label these cases as phobias or disorders.  We say that people become depressed or despondent and that their ability to function is impaired.  I am focusing on the general case here, the norm, what the average person experiences within their lives.  And that norm is one of exercising faith.

Why is it then, that when it comes to the faith that really matters, the one our world view is built on top of, the one that affects our Spirit (that which defines us individually), that we suddenly become dysfunctional?

Dr. Richard Dawkins has stated unequivocally that evolution is a fact.  A fact as sure as the sunrise or the sunset.  It is established and true.  When he knows perfectly well that it is not.  Evolution is a theory.  He may think it a good theory, he may even find parts of it to be reasonable and practicable.  But he knows it is not a fact.  He knows he cannot prove it, either scientifically, through a repeatable process, or otherwise.  No, he accepts it as fact based upon his faith in the improvable.

My world view accepts the existence of a Deity.  A supernatural being.  A God.  A world view I am perfectly willing to accept on Faith.  I believe there is just as much evidence for my world view as Dr. Dawkins seems to find for his.  Both world views are accepted upon faith, and yet their is a difference.

In Dr. Dawkins world view, my Faith is to be mocked, ridiculed, belittled.  He has stated as much.  My Faith cannot be taught in Public Schools, cannot be exercised within some Government spaces, and in many parts of the world is persecuted.  And yet the opposite world view, for many that hold it, is to be accepted as the only faith one may have.

Atheists that hold their particular world views are oblivious to the fact that they are actually strengthening my world view by their very attempts to discredit my Faith.

In my world view the testing of my Spiritual Faith works for good in my life.  It is the trials of my Faith that actually builds the foundation that my world view is built on and brings me through stronger and more resolved than ever before.

One might ask the question though, if your world view does not hold a Faith in God, what does the testing of your Faith gain you?  I would contend nothing.  How can it?  What could it possibly matter in the vastness of all eternity?

Another question that might be asked is why is it so important that the evolutionary faith triumph over a Faith in God?  Are they not both Spiritual Faith?  So why then is one taught as a foundational truth within our Public Schools while the other is deviously cast aside under the guise of Separation of Church and State?

Faith is hard.  I would contend that Faith in God is harder.  And given such, whose world view would you say has the better developed Faith?

Caught My Attention …

I was definitely NOT thinking about blogging this today – but I was double blind sided on the way home and I have not been able to get it off my mind since.

What was I blind sided by?  Car emblems.  You know, those magnetic, chrome, cute and witty, little flashy things people like to stick all over their cars (but mainly on the trunk or rear bumper).

So here I am on my way home and a warning light on my dash tells me I need gas.  So I head to the gas station, but as I get into the turn lane to turn into the station, another car pulls in front of me.  And that is when I noticed it, the emblem on the back.  This one:

Evolve_Fish

 

 

 

And I immediately thought, that is what the driver of that car should do, evolve.  Evolve into a caring, thinking, rational human being.  But perhaps I was being a little harsh.  I need to exercise some grace.

So I turned into the station and pulled up to the pump, but before I could get out of the car, I noticed the car at the pump in front of me also had a car emblem on the back hatch of the vehicle.  This one:

Darwin_Fish

 

 

 

 

 

Now our area of the city has about 22,000 residents according to the 2010 census, and only a few of those actually have emblems on their vehicles.  Or to state that a little more accurately, it has been my observation, driving around town, that a small percentage of the vehicles have emblems on them (I contend that my Car/Emblem observation is at least as accurate as Global Climate Change Observations – probably much more so).

And my not-so-scientific, really rough estimate, totally unregulated observations (Hey!  Exactly like the Global Climate Change data!) have detected that even fewer of the emblems that are on vehicles, are actually emblems promoting Evolution.  But those apparently do.

And seeing these back-to-back, in the span of just a few minutes, on two totally different vehicles, of which my keen Global Climate Change like data collection abilities discerned had absolutely nothing to do with each other, over powered my attention and stuck with me all the way home and literally forced me to blog about them tonight (OK, so maybe that last part is a slight exaggeration, but trust me, those emblems have been a really, really strong image in my mind this evening).

So here is the thing about those particular icons.  It is not that I don’t want people to have free speech, I do.  It is not that I don’t think that people shouldn’t be able to express themselves though different means, I do.  It is not even that I am offended or put off by people that drive around with those emblems on their vehicles, I am not.

What is of amazement to me about people that drive around with those particular emblems on their vehicles is that they are not true to their ideals and they probably don’t even know it.

Consider that the vast majority of folks that drive around with those emblems on their vehicles are probably not Scientist, Teachers, or Engineers.  I do not know either of the individuals driving the vehicles I found myself behind this afternoon.  And I may be totally wrong, but I would guess that neither one of them could properly define evolution or articulate Darwin’s theories.  But even if I am wrong about those two individuals, it is almost a sure thing that the vast majority of folks that have those on their vehicles could not properly and accurately describe the Science and/or Philosophy they represent.

What is worse, the individuals most likely could not logically step through the conception of either of those two emblems.  And that is where the real tragedy comes in.

Think about it.  What is the base foundation of both emblems?  An outline of a fish.  The same fish outline that has been used as a Christian symbol for hundreds of years.  Early Christians may have co-opted the symbol from the use of the day, but that use has died out and is no longer recognized today.  And I doubt that the pagan use of the symbol to represent fertility drew its roots from what the current atheistic crowd is attempting to use it for.

Rather early Christians transformed the use of the fish symbol and applied meaning drawn directly from their faith: Matthew 4:18 – 20.  They transformed the symbol for their own use and most likely did not denigrate or ridicule its previous use.

But here, in the forms used today, we have the symbol used to clearly demean, ridicule, poke fun at, or judge harshly, the currently accepted meaning as we know it.

And it is targeted as well.  It is targeted at one particular group, one particular religion.  While you will find Jewish religious symbols, Muslim religious symbols, Hindu religious symbols, Buddhist religious symbols, etc. altered in a humorous or sharply biting way, you will not see those to the extent of the Christian fish nor in this particular form.  No, these are used in a form and to an extent as to make them bigoted and prejudiced.

Now you may find it shocking that I would draw that conclusion, but clearly, the fabrication of the evolutionary folks is to:

(1) Co-opt the symbol.  They start with the base Christian symbol.  One might ask why?  Can they not come up with a symbol of their own?  Can they not convey their message across a wide audience through their own branding?  If not, why not?

(2) Denigrate and ridicule the symbol.  They clearly alter the symbol in such a way as to mock, or look down upon the previous use (and users) of the symbol.  The symbol they use is a mightier than thou symbol.  It is a form meant to shame the use from which they co-opted it.  One might ask the question: Can they not convey their message in a reasonable, logical, form without stooping to ridicule and mockery?  (That is a rhetorical question).

(3) Target their use of the symbol.  As I mentioned, while you can find some example of other religious symbols altered in similar manners meant to mock, they are very few and far between and you will hardly ever find this particular symbol modification amongst other groups.  It is targeted in a laser like focus on Christians.  Not Jews, or Muslims, or Buddhists, or Hindus, etc.  But Christians are the ones that specifically bear the brunt of their ridicule.

Obviously that is utterly intolerant of anyone’s belief other than their own.  Thus bigoted.  Thus I stand by my conclusion.

Oh, but wait-a-minute.  Christians are bigoted as well, right?

Well, not necessarily in the use of the symbol.  First of all, Christians haven’t denigrated the symbol for their own use and with the purpose of ridicule of others.  Sure, Christians may wear their Faith on their sleeve, but remember, in their World View, people are going to die and spend eternity in hell.  And since they care about their fellow man, they need to share the good news (Gospel) with others.

Contrast that with the evolutionary viewpoint.  One might ask why they even care (obviously they don’t care when it comes to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.)?  Why in the world would an evolutionist care about the fish symbol on a Christians car?

In their world view there is no heaven, and there is no hell.  It shouldn’t matter what others think, they are just going to die and go away.  What is it that simply consumes them about the Christian World View and no other?

Secondly, Christians do not use the symbol in a mocking or a way meant to ridicule others.  They did not denigrate the symbol in any way shape or form.  Others seeing the Christian use of the symbol would not be offended (reference the first century use of the symbol).  They do use the symbol to identify themselves as members of a particular group (Christians) and to identify themselves to other members of that same group.

And once again, one might ask the question as to why this bothers the evolutionary crowd so much?  Why should they even care?  They are all going to pass away one day and (according to their World View) never, ever know the difference one way or the other.  Why they will probably be forgotten in a couple of hundred years and not even those left will care one way or the other as to the impacts of the symbol use.

One form and use of the Christian fish symbol is out of love, while the other form is out of hate.  And don’t tell me it is a form of education or correction.  Because if that is the way you educate, I certainly don’t want what you are teaching (and neither will most other people as well).

Perhaps if we all considered the symbols in our lives a little more carefully, the ones that bring us together, and the ones meant to divide, and we were all a little more tolerant of each others symbols, then we might have a little better communication and perhaps a little more understanding in our world today.

When is a Day not a Day?

Sometimes my musings are current and other times they are reflective.  And thus, at points, my Blog may come across as a little random or disjointed.  My apologies, but at times I just start thinking about things that leads me down a rabbit hole.

Today is one such day.  If you and I were having a general conversation about Life and Religion, we might go through several topics and levels before arriving at the Creation story in Genesis within the Bible.  Furthermore, we might then have several discussions about Creation vs. Evolution, and the question might come up “Could God have used evolution to create the world?”  There are thousands, nay millions of Christians today that say they believe in God, they believe in the Bible, they believe the Creation story, BUT … Whoa!  What “but“?  I thought you believed?  Yeah, but what about Science?  What about the allegorical nature of the story?  What about … and fill in whatever questioning nature you wish to throw in here.

Well what about them?  I love a good challenge, unfortunately I am human and can only deal with these things one at a time.  So at another time I hope to come back and discuss these things.  For now, I’ll concede that there are Christian’s (lots and lots of them) who ask the question about Evolution and then try and force fit it into their understanding of the story of Genesis.  There are two general schools of thought on this.  The first is that all of that Evolutionary stuff happened before Genesis 1:1.  All of the Big Bang stuff, the formation of the Earth, the Dinosaurs, etc. all happened prior to Genesis 1:1 and the Bible simply picks up the story there.  That is one discussion.  The second school of thought is that all of the Evolutionary stuff happened within the first chapter of Genesis.  Genesis, with a keen eye toward brevity, compressed about 4.5 billion years of history into the first chapter and then picked up where the story gets to be really interesting.  It is this second school of thought on Genesis I’d like to consider today.

The people that accept this school of thought modify and adjust their world view in order to mash two competing philosophies together.  Creation and Evolution.  And generally, the way they do this is to redefine a day.

Here is the basic line of reasoning.  Genesis Chapter 1 lays out several things happening on day boundaries.  In order to fit hundreds of millions of years into a day, our day detractors will point out that a day is a thousand years to the Lord.  They find this in a couple of different places.  One might be Psalm 90:4 and the other is 2 Peter 3:8.  It all comes down to the Hebrew word yom (pronounced yome) and the debate as to whether we are talking about an age (as in a period of time – the Medieval Age) or an actual 24 hour day.

So here we are, Genesis Chapter 1 verse 1 and God is starting to Create.  And as God creates, we draw to the close of the first day (Verse 5).  And I will point out to our day detractors at this point that all Hebrew scholars agree that when we see the word yom bounded by Evening (ereb) and Morning (boqer) that the definition is one 24 hour day.  And in an absolute amazing disregard for logic and fact, our day detractors will brush away what the Scripture is telling them and insert their own reality as it matches up with their already defined world view.

OK, so the Bible very clearly says the Evening (ereb), which is indisputably sunset or the end of the day.  And the Morning (boqer), which is indisputably sunrise or the beginning of the day, and we are left with a bounded 24 hour period or one day.  Thus yom, in this instance, must be referring to a 24 hour day and not an age.  And while many scholars will agree with this we still have our day detractors.

So my question then becomes, when is a day not a day?  I mean I need to know what the parameters are so that I may interpret the Bible correctly.  So, please tell me:

Genesis 1:14 – God defines seasons, days (yom – plural), and years.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Genesis 1:16 – God sets lights to rule the day (yom) and the night.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Genesis 2:17 – In the day (yom) that Adam/Eve eat of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they shall surely die.  An age, or a 24 hour day?

Allow me to compress this a little bit: Genesis 3:8, Genesis 3:14, Genesis 3:17, Genesis 4:14, Genesis 5:1, Genesis 5:2, Genesis 5:4, Genesis 5:5, Genesis 5:8, Genesis 5:11 …

Did Noah wait 40 days before opening the window of the  the Ark?  Was Jonah in the belly of the fish for 3 days?  Did Jesus Christ spend 40 days in the wilderness, 3 days in the tomb?  When in the world is a day not a day?

Amazingly enough, our day detractors will define other days as a 24 hour period of one rotation of the Earth.  Just not the days they need to modify to validate their world view.  The two verses I marked in red above, refer to the Creation of Adam and Eve and the day thereof.  I suppose our day detractors might want to make those an age so that it fits their world view (man Evolved over millions of years) but then Adam immediately lives 130 years (consisting of 24 hour days) in Verse 3.

Are you selective with a day being a day?  I believe there are two problems with redefining things to be something they are not.  The first is it is intellectually dishonest.  When you accept this fallacy you bring any real definition into question.  As in “What did you mean by that?”  And then second is you fit things into your world view, instead of accepting them for what they are, and you miss the truth and wonder before you.

Why not try letting a Day be a Day?  It might just open up a whole new world of freedom to you.  And it might also expose the miracles of God in a much more substantial light.