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Feedback archive Feedback 2013

Answering 10 big questions in detail

Published: 12 January 2013 (GMT+10)

Today’s feedback comes from a young man who had a lot of questions (see response to his earlier question, Other possible mechanisms for abiogenesis and evolution?). Although most of the questions are answered on this site or in our core books, Dr Jonathan Sarfati provides in-depth answers so that the questioner and other readers can benefit.

Hello there,

G’day

First I want to say I am a Christian and currently a freshman in college at a major secular university.

The error here is assuming that ‘inspirationֹ’ applies to the writers, whereas, it applies to the writings. A better translation of 2 Timothy 3:15–17 is ‘All Scripture is God-breathed’ (NIV). That is, it was breathed out by God Himself, without overruling the personalities of the writers, in an exercise of omnipotence.

That’s good. As you progress in university, you will find that you will need to research your papers. Here, as will be demonstrated, the questions you raise have been answered either on our website with about 9,000 articles (the search button is your friend ;) or in our core books.

My current major is Biology and I hope to get a Ph.D in something related to DNA since I personally think life is the greatest argument one can make for God, though I know of many other arguments I consider to be more likely true than false.

We wish you well in your career. Indeed, DNA is a very powerful argument, because it is an informational molecule1 but one that is too chemically unstable to be formed in a (mythical) primordial soup.2 One of my colleagues, Dr Rob Carter, is a published Ph.D. geneticist.

My first question is, if you have an idea of when the flood happened than isn’t it possible that some sediment, after the supposed boundary, would have taken more time to form than only the amount of time we have after the flood?
That is, after what you believe the Flood caused, aren’t there still some features that would have taken a long time (6,000+) years to form?

The answer is no from the biblical history, and you provide no specifics anyway.

Certainly the geological record is mostly uniformitarian for inland areas after the flood I would think.

That is what we would expect as well from the biblical Flood model.3 The main exception is regional floods resulting from meltwater overpowering natural ice dams near the end of the (single) Ice Age. Such meltwater floods formed the Channeled Scablands4 and the Santa Cruz river valley.5

Second, is it not possible that, given what Jesus said regarding Genesis as being taken as true, that the earth could still be older than 6,000 years? Isn’t it impossible to infer that by “in the beginning” Jesus necessarily meant the beginning of creation versus the beginning of mankind? I cannot really think of a logical connective there.

Since He said “from the beginning of creation”, that’s what He meant!6 Also, in Refuting Compromise, I wrote:

[Hugh] Ross himself used a similar analogy (Fingerprint of God:178):

“If the time since the creation of the universe were scaled down to a single year, the whole of human history would be less than one minute.”

This is one of many examples of the contradiction of evolution/billions of years with Christ’s teachings. In several places in the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead made flesh (John 1:1-14), makes it plain that this is wrong—people were there from the beginning of creation. This means that the world cannot be billions of years old.

For example, explaining that the doctrine of marriage is founded upon the creation of marriage, Jesus quotes from Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 (Matthew 19:3–6, Mark 10:6–9). In particular, Jesus says in Mark 10:6:

But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.

This makes sense only if Jesus affirmed that Genesis was intended to be interpreted straightforwardly. I.e. where the earth was created about 4,000 years before He spoke those words, and Adam and Eve were created on Day 6, which, on the scale of 4,000 years, is almost indistinguishable from the beginning (0.0004% away on that number line). This contrasts with the usual evolutionary view that we swung down from the trees a few million years ago, and even more with Ross’s view that Adam and Eve were created 10–60 thousand years ago.7 [See chart above.]

The context is clear that Jesus is pointing out God’s plan right from the beginning of the creation. The Greek also supports the reading ‘from beginning of creation’ (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως, apo de archēs ktiseōs). This is supported by other passages where this phrase is clearly used of the whole creation.

Some would wishfully claim that it simply means ‘from the beginning of “their” creation’. But this makes little sense―of course they were male and female from the beginning of their own creation. What else would they have been―hermaphrodites? No, the context is clear that Jesus is pointing out God’s plan right from the beginning of the creation. The Greek also supports the reading ‘from beginning of creation’ (ἀπὸ δὲ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως, apo de archēs ktiseōs). This is supported by other passages where this phrase is clearly used of the whole creation.

Mark 13:19 ‘For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will be.’

2 Peter 3:4 ‘[Scoffers say] “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”’

These two passages have the Greek phrase ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως (ap archēs ktiseōs), which is identical to that in Mark 10:6―it makes no difference to the point that these lack the preposition de (which is a new topic marker, or sometimes ‘but’) and have the ap instead of apo, since the former is used before a vowel (archēs) and the latter before a consonant (de). Further, both these passages reinforce the teaching that mankind has been around about as long as creation itself.

There are other passages that also show how matter-of-factly Jesus and the Apostles accepted that mankind was there from the beginning:

In Luke 11:50-51, Jesus says: ‘That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias … ’. I.e. prophets have been slain for almost as long as the world has existed. Since Seth was a replacement for Abel and was born when Adam was 130 (Genesis 4:25, 5:3), this makes sense because Abel’s death would have occurred only 3% of the way into that timeline.

Paul, in Romans 1:20, makes it plain that people can clearly see God’s power by looking at the ‘ things that are made ’, and that people have been able to see this ‘from the creation of the world’. Again, this rules out mankind being created billions of years after creation.

My third question is about one man’s sin causing death for everyone. Romans 5:12 says “by one man sin entered the world and death by sin, and so death passed to all men because all men sin.” This leads me, personally, to believe that we do not all die because of Adam’s sin. That isn’t to say that sin is not the original cause of human death but rather that we all die because we all sin versus just because Adam sinned.

But why do we sin? Because we are born with the sin nature inherited from Adam. You also need to read further (Romans 5:18-19), because in reality, Paul is teaching a contrast between two heads of mankind.8 (In 1 Corinthians 15:45, he calls these two heads: “the first man, Adam” and “the last Adam”, Jesus Christ.9) Paul continues:

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

So this passage really is teaching that Adam’s sin is imputed to (credited to the account of) all his descendants (original sin). The other Head of humanity, Jesus Christ, is the only exception among Adam’s descendants (Luke 3:38), because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary (Luke 1:35). So His perfect righteousness is imputed to believers (2 Corinthians 5:21), so we can be declared legally righteous. And our sin was imputed to Him on the Cross, so He paid the penalty we deserve from the infinitely holy God (Isaiah 53:6). So if you deny original sin, you also have no basis for accepting that our sin was imputed to Christ, or that His righteousness was imputed to believers.

I think we are all created with the same moral capacity of Adam and I think no man can live a perfect life (besides Jesus). This is why we all die.

But out of the billions of people who have ever lived, not one has never sinned? This points to a common cause of our sinfulness. No wonder that the great apologist G.K. Chesterton10 (1874–1936) wrote:

“Certain new theologians dispute original sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can really be proved.”11
Not because of one man’s particular sin. This freedom to sin is also God’s greatest showing of love, that is, free will (next to suffering/dying as a human like us).

If taken too far, that sounds more Mormon than Christian.12 There should be no doubt that Adam’s misuse of the Power of Contrary Choice has been a disaster. Now we do not even have that; it is impossible for us not to sin. See this discussion for more, based on a section in Refuting Compromise.

Fourth, why think God’s creation is not “very good” if there was animal death before Adam’s sin?

The millions of years view puts human death before Adam’s sin. That’s because undoubtedly anatomically modern human fossils are ‘dated’—by methods that long-agers accept—to be far older than any possible for Adam.

Before I get to that, you need to realize that the millions of years view puts human death before Adam’s sin. That’s because undoubtedly anatomically modern human fossils are ‘dated’—by methods that long-agers accept—to be far older than any possible for Adam. And some of these people met their demise through the sinful behaviour of other people.13 That is a curious blind spot for many long-agers, including Hugh Ross14 and John Lennox.15

I have heard William Lane Craig (the finest defender of the Christian faith in my opinion)

That’s debatable. Our new book Christianity for Skeptics is more concise than Craig’s, and also doesn’t abandon biblical creation as he has. Having said that, I’ve used a lot of Craig’s material, e.g. writing to another inquirer:

“Leading apologist William Lane Craig defends the faith with the Kalām Cosmological Argument and explains that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the best explanation for a number of historical facts. Craig lists four: The burial, empty tomb, post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief (see his debate with apostate Bart Ehrman (PDF)).”

I have also cited his severe critique of Hugh Ross’ heterodox kenotic Christology.16

posit that the book “Nature Red in Tooth and Claw” gives us reason to believe that animals are not suffering at all in the same way that Humans (or perhaps higher primates as well) suffer.

I’ve dealt with that in one of the core CMI books, The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on evolution. As you can see, I am fairly sympathetic to his idea, but ultimately think that it’s almost impossible that animals are not suffering.

Theologian John Wenham argues that “there is reason to think that extreme sensations of pain and experiences of suffering may be rare or even non-existent among animals” in the wild state. Yet he apparently accepts that there is some pain and suffering in the wild state.17

Philosopher Michael Murray invokes recent biological research and studies on the philosophy of mind to propose three levels in an ascending pain hierarchy:

Level 1: information-bearing neural states produced by noxious stimuli resulting in aversive behaviour.

Level 2: a first order, subjective experience of pain.

Level 3: a second order awareness that one is oneself experiencing (2).18

Invertebrates, the most common examples invoked by Darwin, experience response to noxious stimuli (1), without any evidence of experience of pain (2). Vertebrates seem to experience pain (2), but possibly not actual awareness of experiencing pain (3). To be aware that one is oneself in pain requires self-awareness, which is centred in the pre-frontal cortex of the brain—this is lacking in all animals except for the humanoid primates. So it’s possible that the Creator was merciful enough to spare most animals the awareness of pain.

It seems that Darwin and his followers like Dawkins who use nature’s so-called cruelties to attack God are guilty of the fallacy of anthropopathism, i.e. ascribing human feelings to non-human entities. Even Dawkins himself has admitted that he once found himself cursing at his bicycle because it wasn’t working properly.19

However, it seems indisputable that animals do experience some suffering and pain. Christian medical doctor Robert Gurney writes:

“As it happens, my son Matthew is a conservation biologist, wildlife consultant and safari guide who has worked for many years in Southern and Eastern Africa, closely observing animals in the wild. I discussed this question with him, and he was emphatic in his dismissal of the idea that animals in the wild do not suffer. To be precise, he said, ‘That is absolute rubbish!’ He has no doubt at all that animals in the wild do indeed suffer. He says, for example, that adult elephants are intelligent animals who show signs of severe grief and distress when their young are killed by predators.”20

For such reasons, Gurney argues that the Fall must be a major explanation of such suffering. This of course requires that there was no animal death and suffering before the Fall, which in turn requires that the earth is not as old as Dawkins claims.

It then seems brilliant (from a creator’s standpoint) that natural processes, like natural selection, would allow organisms to slightly adapt to many situations (niches) giving humans all the advantages of such crucial niches we rely on to survive.

But here you really need to see the huge biblical case against pre-fall animal death, and how unimpressed atheopaths are with a god using a wasteful and cruel process like evolution, the death of the unfit.21

I do believe that natural processes alone would never give us all the complexities we see today

Indeed not. We have loads of examples in our Design Features Q&A page.

but there are definitely some good examples of small adaptations caused by selection (losses of information count as I do not rely on these processes to explain most of life).

But are you aware that we don’t reject adaptation or natural selection? 22 Creationists before Darwin realized from biblical history that there must have been a process we now call “speciation”. Meanwhile, Darwin’s long-age mentor Charles Lyell taught the unbiblical notion of “Fixity of Species”, and Darwin’s book was devoted to knocking down this straw man, rather than biblical creation.23

It seems there is no reason to assume animals couldn’t have died before the fall in this view.

Yes there is.24 God created animals and humans to be vegetarian (Genesis 1:29–30). Also, and Isaiah 11 and 65 allude to a quasi-Edenic future where animals and humans again will be vegetarian. As I pointed out in Refuting Compromise:

Isaiah 11 and 65:25 state that there will be a time in the future with no bloodshed in the animal kingdom. These are famous passages about a lion and calf, wolf and lamb, and a vegetarian lion and a non-harmful viper. Significantly, both passages close with indications that this reflects a more ideal world and the current world does not: “They shall not hurt or destroy … ” “They shall do no evil or harm … ”. These indicate that hurting, harming and destroying animal life would not have been part of a “very good” creation (Genesis 1:31).”
I think that the whole creation “groans” because of humanity’s continuous sin and the bad affects we can cause

However, the cause of this “groaning” of the “whole creation” in Romans 8 is, according to most commentators, is that God was the one who subjected it to futility, and this happened at Adam’s Fall.25

(I am not talking about man-made global warming or something like that either as I have never seen convincing evidence of this notion)

I agree; I am a staunch skeptic, but see CMI’s position statement.26

on the creation. In regards to your thorns argument, it is important to remember that thorns are in fact a great benefit to the plant (as God loves all which includes the rest of creation).

I doubt that the author of the thorns article,27 Dr David Catchpoole, needs lessons in the benefits thorns provide to the plants, since he is a Ph.D. plant physiologist.

I think God also knows (He is all knowing after all) that humans are smart enough to not let thorns have any significant negative effect on us (we are made in His image). To assume that things, even bad ones, do not have a good purpose is to assume to know God’s intentions but we are simply not in position to know all the details of such intentions.

That may sound oh-so-pious, but God explicitly told us that thorns were the result of sin, so we can know His intentions when He spells them out clearly.

Same can be applied to child birth pains.

Indeed it can be, because God explicitly said that this was one of the results of the Fall.28

Fifth, is it reasonable to take the Bible as completely true just because the Bible says it is true and that it says we are fallen and therefore need the Bible for the only reliable truth.

We have long answered the charge of circular reasoning.29 For example, Jesus Christ explicitly affirmed so many different teachings, including many that are the commonest targets for biblioskeptical ridicule.

To say it is inspired by the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity, is not to say everything in it is necessarily the absolute truth.

Yes it does, as will be explained below, as well as in more detail in some of our articles on the site.30

Being filled with the Holy Spirit in many situations in the Bible does not mean that what the man does is perfect because of this. One could be filled with the Holy Spirit and still be wrong (I believe I have been inspired by the Holy Spirit before but what I do and say is not perfect because of this). If you reply that I was not truly inspired by the Holy Spirit than you can’t assert that the writers (whoever they were) were. I believe God cannot make mistakes but I know that man, even with God, can.

The error here is assuming that ‘inspirationֹ’ applies to the writers, whereas, it applies to the writings. A better translation of 2 Timothy 3:15–17 is “All Scripture is God-breathed” (NIV). That is, it was breathed out by God Himself, without overruling the personalities of the writers, in an exercise of omnipotence; rather than the Holy Spirit inspiring something mysterious into the writers so they wrote Scripture. One excellent textbook on systematic theology explains:

There is, in fact a correlation between the two aspects of special revelation: the Scripture may be termed the living, written Word (Hebrews 4:12), while Jesus Christ may be designated the living, incarnate Word (John 1:1,14).—Paul Enns

“There is, in fact a correlation between the two aspects of special revelation: the Scripture may be termed the living, written Word (Hebrews 4:12), while Jesus Christ may be designated the living, incarnate Word (John 1:1,14). In the case of Christ there was human [only maternal] parentage but the Holy Spirit overshadowed the event (Luke 1:35), ensuring a sinless Christ; in the case of the Scriptures there was human authorship but the Holy Spirit superintended the writers (2 Peter 1:21), ensuring an inerrant word. The Bible accurately presents the special revelation of Jesus Christ.”31
So I would like some reassuring of why we can take everything as completely and literally true (though what is the ‘literal’ truth of the Bible is different to many people meaning it is a completely subjective matter it seems).

We would usually call this hermeneutic “plain”, “historical-grammatical” or “originalist” rather than “literal”,32 i.e. what the text meant to the original readers.33 This means there is an objectively right way to interpret this. I answered another skeptic as follows:

But this is absurd. A single, rigid (as you put it) interpretation is essential for communication. Perhaps as an MD, when you prescribe 30 units of insulin for a diabetic, it would be OK for him not to hold to a single, rigid interpretation of your prescription. Instead, should he be free to interpret insulin as ibuprofen, or 30 units as 3,000 units?

Since Scripture is meant to teach, rebuke, instruct, and equip us, the words in Scripture must mean the same to God as to man, what truth man knows must be the same as what God knows at any given point, and God’s logic must be the same as man’s logic. Certainly God knows all truth while we know only a fraction, and God is perfectly logical while man often commits logical fallacies, but the difference is quantitative not qualitative.34 Theologian Herman Hoeksema put it very clearly:

All of Scripture is given us that we might understand it … all of it is adapted to our human mind … Either the logic of revelation is our logic, or there is no revelation.—Herman Hoeksema

All of Scripture is given us that we might understand it … all of it is adapted to our human mind, so that, even though there be many things in that revelation of God which we cannot fathom, there is nothing in it that is contrary to human intelligence and logic. … Either the logic of revelation is our logic, or there is no revelation.35

The scriptures contain sophisticated and sometimes difficult passages to understand. However, we cannot use passages that are hard to comprehend to somehow undermine the ability to understand passages that are quite easy to understand (see what Peter says about Paul’s scriptural writings in 2 Peter 3:15–16). (This would be like saying a math student needn’t accept conclusions in basic arithmetic because some equations exist that are quite challenging.)

Sixth, if God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then doesn’t it follow somewhat that they never made an “evil” moral decision since they didn’t have the knowledge of what is good and evil? That always confused me a bit.

Again, answered in Refuting Compromise:

“The potentiality of evil, but not the actuality, is also illustrated by the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the original creation, God knew evil in the same way as an oncologist knows about cancer—not by personal experience but by knowledge about it (in God’s case, by foreknowledge). But after Adam and Eve sinned, they knew evil in the same way as a cancer sufferer knows cancer—by sad personal experience.”36

In the Eternal State, redeemed humanity will no longer have the potential for sin. So in this sense, the Eternal State, with the new creation of the new heavens and new earth, will be even better than Eden.

In summary, following Augustine:

  • Adam and Eve were created with the ability not to sin.
  • After the Fall, humans had no ability not to sin.
  • In the Eternal State, humans will have no ability to sin.
Seventh, is it not possible that your view of dinosaurs be correct (on the ark, some still alive, fresh tissue found, etc.) and that they are still millions of years old in regards to their existence? It could be entirely true even with the mass extinction event proposed 65 million years ago no?

However, the 65 million year ‘date’ of the alleged Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction was based on uniformitarian ideas of the rock layers. This was the historical basis for the millions-of-years dogma. Yet it is these same rock layers that contain dino fossils with DNA, bone and blood cells, and proteins.37 So this is powerful arguments that the whole dating system is fallacious.

I mean evolutionists think we have many creatures that have lasted this long (Wollemi pine for example) so why not still hold your view along with this one? There’s nothing contradictory there is seems.

The point again is that this still-living tree is found in rocks “dated” to millions of years old. So evolutionists must explain why evolutionary changes did not occur although the environment (both other living things and the inorganic surroundings) changed radically.38

Eighth, why don’t I ever see apologists point out that the fossil record (if it is truly a long age interpretation) is absolutely no evidence for macro evolution by natural selection and mutations specifically?

If you think that apologists don’t point to problems for evolution in the fossil record, you can’t be getting out much ;) My first book Refuting Evolution had a whole chapter on this, and my most recent sole-authored book The Greatest Hoax on Earth? had two chapters!

There really is no way to tell what caused the changes, if any. Of course this means that we’re left with completely lacking evidence of Darwinism by observational science (and perhaps what we actually do have is evidence against the outdated, in my opinion, theory of Darwinian evolution).

But we have an article, Cladistics, evolution and the fossils, that makes your point, and with much detail:

Cladograms only demonstrate a nested hierarchy of biological characters; they tell us nothing about what produced the pattern.39
Ninth, I was watching a live debate with Michael Shermer and Laurence Krauss

Do you mean Michael Shermer and Lawrence Krauss vs Dinesh D’Souza and Ian Hutchinson, “Does Science Refute God?”? Not that there was much debate, since they all believe in evolution.40 I was an invited guest on a radio show discussing Krauss’ ‘debate’ with Dawkins.

(who somehow knows that the universe was caused by ‘nothing’ even though many in his own field would disagree)

Indeed. You might want to search for our articles on [Stephen] Hawking for information about this. We are also planning a book review of Krauss for our Journal of Creation.

and Shermer made a brilliant point (unknowingly) for theism and against scientism (which is self-refuting of course). He said that even if God performed a miracle he would still want to know the material causes God used to create the desired effect. He then said that if we knew the material factors that God used that the miracle would then be a part of science and thus there would be no need for God still to explain it. Sadly what he really showed was that even if you explained the whole existence of everything in terms of materialistic science that this in no way implies that there was no purpose behind it! I wish I had been there to throw that one back in his face but we can’t all be omnipresent right? Just wanted to know what you thought of Shermer’s logic here.

Totally question-begging. Shermer presupposes that God needs material causes, whereas that is what he needs to prove. In reality, He is the creator of material, as well as of time itself.41

Tenth, could God have made a universe where nothing besides Him gets eternal life?

Yes, but why would you want this?

If yes than doesn’t that mean He could make a morally better world than our current one where some creatures get an eternal gift of enjoying Him?

So no creatures enjoying eternal life with Him is better than some? How does that work? But if you want more on the “problem of evil”, then check out Christianity for Skeptics, ch. 2, and Answering a reasonable atheist on deep philosophical questions.

Would it then follow that therefore he is not a sound base for moral perfection or absolute? Does this show God can’t be a base for objective morals? Or perhaps that there is a conflict with objective morality and the free will of God?

The above makes me wonder whether your questions are really a smokescreen for a larger issue. As we have pointed out:

“God indeed commands things which are good, but the reason they are good is because they reflect God’s own nature. So the goodness does not come ultimately from God’s commandments, but from His nature, which then results in good commandments.”42

Also, atheist evolution provides no basis for morality. In one reply to a skeptic, I cited your favorite apologist William Lane Craig, who explained the Christian moral argument for God in The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality:

“It would, indeed, be arrogant and ignorant to claim that people cannot be good without belief in God. But that was not the question. The question was: can we be good without God? When we ask that question, we are posing in a provocative way the meta-ethical question of the objectivity of moral values. Are the values we hold dear and guide our lives by mere social conventions akin to driving on the left versus right side of the road or mere expressions of personal preference akin to having a taste for certain foods or not? Or are they valid independently of our apprehension of them, and if so, what is their foundation? Moreover, if morality is just a human convention, then why should we act morally, especially when it conflicts with self-interest? Or are we in some way held accountable for our moral decisions and actions? …
“Now it is important that we remain clear in understanding the issue before us. The question is not: Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives? There is no reason to think that atheists and theists alike may not live what we normally characterize as good and decent lives. Similarly, the question is not: Can we formulate a system of ethics without reference to God? If the non-theist grants that human beings do have objective value, then there is no reason to think that he cannot work out a system of ethics with which the theist would also largely agree. Or again, the question is not: Can we recognize the existence of objective moral values without reference to God? The theist will typically maintain that a person need not believe in God in order to recognize, say, that we should love our children. Rather, as humanist philosopher Paul Kurtz puts it, ‘The central question about moral and ethical principles concerns this ontological foundation. If they are neither derived from God nor anchored in some transcendent ground, are they purely ephemeral?’”43
Sorry about the length of this message I just wanted to get all my questions out in one :)

Well, I hope this is useful food for thought.

In Christ,
Mitch R.

In “our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), who said “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

Jonathan Sarfati

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. Sarfati, J., DNA: marvellous messages or mostly mess? Creation 25(2):26–31, 2003; creation.com/message. Return to text.
  2. Sarfati, J., New DNA repair enzyme discovered, creation.com/repair, 13 January 2010. Return to text.
  3. Sarfati, J., Flood models and biblical realism, J. Creation 24(3):46–53, 2010; creation.com/floodmodels. Return to text.
  4. Oard, M., Only one Lake Missoula Flood, J. Creation 14(2):14–17, 2000; creation.com/missoula. Return to text.
  5. Silvestru, E., A river like no other, Creation 31(1):28–31, 2008; creation.com/santacruz. Return to text.
  6. The implications are very clear in Wieland, C., Jesus on the age of the earth: Jesus believed in a young world, but leading theistic evolutionists say He is wrong, Creation 34 (2):51–54, 2012; creation.com/jesus_age. Return to text.
  7. Ross, H., Genesis One, Dinosaurs and Cavemen, Reasons to Believe, reasons.org, accessed 15 March 2003. Return to text.
  8. Cosner, L., Romans 5:12–21: Paul’s view of a literal Adam, J. Creation 22(2):105–107, 2008; creation.com/romans5. Return to text.
  9. Cosner. L., Christ as the Last Adam: Paul’s use of the creation narrative in 1 Corinthians 15, J. Creation 23(3):70–75, 2009; creation.com/1-cor-15. Return to text.
  10. Cosner, L., G.K. Chesterton: Darwinism is An attack upon thought itself , J. Creation 23(1):119–122, 2009; creation.com/chesterton. Return to text.
  11. Chesterton, G.K., Orthodoxy, ch. 2, 1908; ccel.org/ccel/chesterton/orthodoxy.v.html. Return to text.
  12. Brown, M., The Fall: a glorious necessity ?! How Mormons muddle Genesis, Creation 29(1):44–47, 2006; creation.com/mormon. Return to text.
  13. Lubenow, M., Pre-Adamites, sin, death and the human fossils, J. Creation 12 (2):222–232, 1998; creation.com/ pre-adamites. Return to text.
  14. Sarfati, J., The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe: Hugh Ross’s blunders on plant death in the Bible, J. Creation 19(3):60–64, 2005; creation.com/plant_death. Return to text.
  15. Cosner, L., Who is being divisive about creation? Review of Seven Days that Divide the World by John Lennox, J. Creation 26(3):25–28, 2012. Return to text.
  16. Craig, W.L., Hugh Ross’ extra-dimensional deity: a review article, J. Evangelical Theological Soc. 42(2):293–304, 1999; ldolphin.org/craig/index.html. Return to text.
  17. Wenham, J.W., The Goodness of God, pp. 196–205, IVP, Leicester, UK, 1974. Return to text.
  18. Murray, M.J., Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering, Oxford University Press, 2008. Murray agrees that the traditional Christian response is the Fall of Adam, but he is convinced of an old earth that rules this out. He instead argues that atheists lack proof that there is gratuitous evil in the world. Return to text.
  19. See discussion by Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig, Question 134: Nature’s Flaws and Cruelties, www.reasonablefaith.org, 2009. Craig likewise neglects the Fall, likely because the big bang has long been part of his apologetics arsenal. See Kulikovsky, A.S., Argumentum ad nihilum: argument amounting to nothing: A review of Creation out of Nothing by Paul Copan and William Lane Craig, J. Creation 21(1):20–26, 2007. Return to text.
  20. Gurney, R., The carnivorous nature and suffering of animals, J. Creation 18(3): 70–75, 2004; creation.com/carniv. Return to text.
  21. Sarfati, J., Response to the evolution appeasers, creation.com/treasury, 24 October 2008. Return to text.
  22. Sarfati, J., Refuting Evolution, ch. 2: Variation and natural selection versus evolution, 1999, 2012. Return to text.
  23. Sarfati, J., The Greatest Hoax? Ch. 2, 2010. Return to text.
  24. Gurney, R., Animal suffering and western sensibility, Creation 33(1):48–49, 2011; creation.com/animal-suffering. Return to text.
  25. Smith, H.B., Cosmic and universal death from Adam’s Fall: an exegesis of Romans 8:19–23a, J. Creation 21(1):75–85, 2007; creation.com/romans8. Return to text.
  26. Wieland, C., Global warming (or climate change): what is the creationist view ? creation.com/warming, 3 January 2007. Return to text.
  27. Catchpoole, D., Drawing power: People get the point when they see these two pictures: The famous Eden on bones illustration has a new stable mate, Thorns before sin , doubling the impact, creation.com.thorns, 16 August 2012. Return to text.
  28. Sarfati, J., Pain in childbirth: result of the Fall or fear? creation.com/childbirth, 26 April 2008. Return to text.
  29. Sarfati, J., Using the Bible to prove the Bible? Are biblical creationists guilty of circular reasoning? Creation 30(4):50–52, 2008; creation.com/circular. Return to text.
  30. Sarfati, J., The authority of Scripture, Apologia 3(2):12–16, 1994, creation.com/authority. Return to text.
  31. Enns, Paul, Moody Handbook of Theology, p. 159, Moody Press, Chicago. Ch. 18 has an excellent treatment of inspiration and inerrancy. Return to text.
  32. Grigg, R., Should Genesis be taken literally? Creation 16(1):38–41, 1993, creation.com/literal. Return to text.
  33. Batten, D., Catchpoole, D., Sarfati, J. and Wieland, C., Is Genesis poetry / figurative, a theological argument (polemic) and thus not history? creation.com/fh. Return to text.
  34. Sarfati, J., Loving God with all your mind: logic and creation, J. Creation 12(2):142–151, 1998; creation.com/logic. Return to text.
  35. Hoeksema, H., The Clark – Van Til Controversy (based on his Standard Bearer editorials from 1944–1946), p. 8; cf. also pp. 26, 27. Return to text.
  36. MacArthur, J., The Battle for the Beginning, p. 211, W Publishing Group, 2001. Return to text.
  37. Sarfati, J., DNA and bone cells found in dinosaur bone, creation.com/dino-dna, 11 December 2012. Return to text.
  38. Bell, P., Evolutionary Stasis: Double-Speak and Propaganda, Creation 28(2):38–40, 2006; creation.com/stasis. Return to text.
  39. Doyle, S., Cladistics, evolution and the fossils, J. Creation 25(2):32–39, 2011; creation.com/cladistics. Return to text.
  40. Cosner, L., Mostly masterful defence of Christianity; pity it’s slack on creation: A review of What’s So Great About Christianity? by Dinesh D Souza, J. Creation 22 (2):32–35, 2008; creation.com/dsouza. Return to text.
  41. Sarfati, J., The old Who created God? canard revisited: Who designed the Designer? creation.com/whodesigned, 17 November 2007. Return to text.
  42. Sarfati, J., What is good ? (Answering the Euthyphro Dilemma), creation.com/euthyprho, 5 May 2007. Return to text.
  43. Craig, W.L., The indispensability of theological meta-ethical foundations for morality, Foundations 5:9–12, 1997; leaderu.com. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Peter N., Australia, 12 January 2013

An anecdote re animals and intense suffering.

Our old dog was susceptible to corneal ulcers because his bulging mutant eyes were easily scratched. He often got ulcers but the Vet prescribed ointment that healed them quickly.

Then he started sleeping in an uncomfortable-looking position with one side of his head on the hard edge of his basket. Another ulcer. But when the ointment had healed his ulcer, he still looked uncomfortable and winced when we touched him near his eye.

He was diagnosed with acute glaucoma. He was in intense pain which was reduced marginally when he slept with his eye as high as he could possible get it—despite the pain from the sharp-edge propping up his head. The Vet gave him a strong shot of morphine and the difference was amazing. We hadn't seen him so happy and alert and relaxed for months—and he slept in a normal position.

It was then that we realised that he had been in very intense continuous pain for weeks, even months, but he did not complain, he simply tried to live with it.

Darryl B., New Zealand, 14 January 2013

I am interested with the discussion regarding animals feeling pain.

When I was younger I got dragged into a rabbit shooting season by some mates. I ended up shooting a rabbit's spine so it had no hind leg movement, but it clawed itself along with its front paws trying to get away. But what has stuck in my mind for 20 years (with sadness) is the loud high pitched scream of pain that it repeated over and over. I have since owned rabbits and they never make a noise even when threatened by dogs. But I have heard the sound of a rabbit in pain and it isn't nice. Animals really do feel pain.

Hans G., Australia, 14 January 2013

To his “creation groans” … Q4: God can’t let sinful man live in a perfect environment (very good)

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