Letters to the Editor
Gish, brainwashed and uniformitarianism
I am particularly interested in the portion of Dr Duane T. Gish’s booklet, the statement about ‘The amazing accuracy and smoothness. It takes the earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 48 seconds. etc.’
‘The amazing accuracy and smoothness with which the Universe revolves—a flawless, perfect machine-can be seen in the perfection that characterizes the journey of our earth around the sun. It takes the earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 48 seconds to make its journey around the sun. And in this circuit, the earth has varied in only the slightest degree. None but an infinite God could achieve such flawless, continuous perfection.’
Might I suggest that this seems like a uniformitarian statement, as does a number of sections in Dr Gish’s booklet. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the present number of days in the year are different from the past! Firstly there is a considerable body of believers who tell us that there are only 360 days in a ‘prophetic’; year and there are several biblical passages that could be taken as supporting this.
Secondly, there is much evidence from past history and from archeology to strongly suggest a year of 360 days at a time prior to the 7th or 8th century BC. Some of this evidence is given by lmmanuel Velikovsky in his book World’s In Collision (chapter 8 under the title ‘The Year of 360 Days’).
I believe that Dr Gish’s fine booklet is open to question on this point. In passing, also, I would like to suggest that it may be worthwhile if it were put out under a different title (perhaps as well as the present title of ‘Have You been Brainwashed’). I suspect that this title may not have the necessary ‘first strike’ effect on those who see it.
L. K. Appleton, Woodridge, Qld.
Camels and all that
To add to Dr L. Love’s letter on the origin of camels, fang and claw, etc. Consider also the highly complex immunological defense mechanisms of animals and humans. A large proportion of the genetic information in biological systems is concerned with the purpose of causing and avoiding ‘harm’. Can we really say that God ‘used’ (or allowed) mutations to bring about the information required for these apparati? Mutations are random accidents, by definition, which cannot bring about teleonomic information and design characteristics. If they can, we may as well give up and admit that mutations can, indeed, turn frogs into princes.
We rightly point out that the bombardier beetle’s highly complex and adaptive ‘enemy-blaster’ could not have happened by accidents plus selection. Some may say that before the Fall, the beetle used this mechanism to toast his lunch—maybe so, but its present function, when one considers the amount of purposeful, integrated design information involved, cannot be due to chance degeneration from this condition. Why not grasp the nettle and say that it was designed to blast beetle-eaters, just as the viruses were ingeniously designed for their disease-causing role, and snakes were designed to efficiently inject venom (a highly complex, specific chemical substance which carries out a purpose). The same applies to those beautifully designed meat-catching-and-processing machines, the great cats. Consider the specificity in the genetic information coding for the enzymes required to digest meat; I cannot believe other than that it arose by intelligent purposeful Logos-design.
This means that it was either present in latent form (pre-designed) and unleashed after the Fall, and/or the Curse involved a creation of new genetic information (not necessarily a new creation of a whole set of creatures, but a direct ‘reshuffling’ of the genetic code. A new world order requires vast quantities of new information. It seems logical for this to arise when needed-i.e., after the Fall. The ground, cursed for man’s sake, is now to bring forth thorns and thistles where previously there were none.
An intelligent designer might conserve design information (see Wilder Smith’s A Basis for a New Biology) by frequently ‘readapting’ existing structures. Thus, today’s meat-eating lion may be a fruit-eating lion who has been divinely (and extensively) remodified but not a lion designed only for fruit-eating, and brought into its present state by chance degeneration.
To those who cannot see God designing these ‘bad’ things, who brought on the Flood? Who created the lake of fire? Who instituted the divine Curse upon the cosmos? Of course these things were in response to evil-but surely the Creator has the sovereign right to actively participate in judging any part of his creation?
C. Wieland, Adelaide, S.A.