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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in September, 2003.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
2/09/03 "Although a large majority of biologists accept Darwin's theory with few qualifications, many were dubious of it from the time Darwin proposed it until well into this century, when it was systematized in the neo- Darwinist synthesis. The orthodoxy became very firm, especially in the 1960s. Recently, how ever, there have been increasing tendencies to doubt that the role of natural selection is as great as has been assumed, and a growing number of biologists believe that it is not a wholly satisfactory answer. Its inadequacy is a thesis of this book. ... In the light of the vast amount of knowledge of all aspects of living creatures piled up in the last century and especially in the last decades, this book seeks to present a soundly based and objective critique of Darwinism. ... Unhappily, however, pointing out the need for a better explanation means attacking a theory that scientists find useful, if not always satisfying. They certainly do not want to surrender the accepted doctrine unless they have something better. A natural rejoinder to criticism is, What do you have better to put in its place? Natural selection is credited with seemingly miraculous feats because we want an answer and have no other. There probably cannot be another general answer-certainly no equally broad and basically simple answer. Biologists, it seems, must do without a comprehensive theory of evolution, just as social scientists have to make do without a comprehensive theory of society. " (Wesson, R.G., "Beyond Natural Selection," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, 1991, Reprinted, 1994, p.xii-xiii) 2/09/03 "Panchronic species [`living fossils'], which like other species are subject to the assaults of mutations remain unchanged. Their variants are eliminated except possibly for neutral mutants. In any event, their stability is an observed fact and not a theoretical concept. Bacteria, the study of which has formed a great part of the foundation of genetics and molecular biology, are the organisms which, because of their huge numbers, produce the most mutants. This is why they gave rise to an infinite variety of species, called strains, which can be revealed by breeding or tests. ... bacteria, despite their great production of intraspecific varieties, exhibit a great fidelity to their species. ... Cockroaches, which are one of the most venerable living relict groups, have remained more or less unchanged since the Permian, yet they have undergone as many mutations as Drosophila, a Tertiary insect. It is important to note that relict species mutate as much as others do, but do not evolve, not even when they live in conditions favorable to change (diversity of environments, cosmopolitianism, large populations). How does the Darwinian mutational interpretation of evolution account for the fact that the species that have been the most stable-some of them for the last hundreds of millions of years have mutated as much as the others do?" (Grasse P.- P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York, 1977, pp.87- 88) 3/09/03 "T.H. Huxley, though Darwin's most vocal champion, remained throughout life a skeptic of the efficacy of natural selection. Huxley was both a zoologist and a paleozoologist. Major addresses that he presented in 1862, 1870, and 1880 reveal the history of his discomfort with gradualism-a discomfort engendered largely by his considerable knowledge of fossils. Huxley's Anniversary Address to the Geological Society of London in 1862 concluded with a summary statement on fossil evidence with respect to `doctrines of progressive modification' (Huxley T.H., `The Anniversary Address,' Proceedings of Geological Society of London, 1862, pp. xl-liv). `It negatives those doctrines,' he claimed, `for it either shows us no evidence of any such modification, or demonstrates it to have been very sight. Like others, Huxley was particularly moved by the apparently sudden appearance of complex life at the start of the Paleozoic. In his address to the same body in 1870, Huxley admitted evidence of step-by-step transitions only for Cenozoic mammals, and these transitions were no more than crude series of genera-primarily the series suggested by the Frenchman Albert Gaudry. They were not approximately continuous lineages. Huxley also amplified his perplexity over a problem that he had mentioned in his address of 1862-a problem that foreshadowed what I have called `the test of living fossils. He was not concerned in particular with the absence of major transitions when there was little speciation; he was simply confounded by the existence of `persistent types, or body plans which changed little through the ages: The significance of persistent types, and of the small amount of change which has taken place even in those forms which can be shown to have been modified, becomes greater and greater in my eyes, the longer I occupy myself with the biology of the past." (Stanley S.M., "The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species," Basic Books: New York NY, 1981, pp.102-103) 3/09/03 "I have begun with Philip Wentworth's story because it is paradigmatic of so many modernist intellectuals who thought they were dedicating themselves to a life of reason when, in reality, they were mostly learning to rationalize, to justify what they felt like doing. We all like to believe we are more rational than we really are. The painful truth is that we are naturally inclined to believe what we want to believe, and we may adopt some fashionable intellectual scheme because it allows us to feel superior to other people, especially those unenlightened masses who need the crutch or the discipline of religion. Of course people may also adopt a religious creed in order to justify themselves, especially in times or places where religion is fashionable. Everybody is subject to the temptation to rationalize. The temptation is probably greatest for those with the most intelligence because the more intelligent we are, the easier we will find it to invent convenient rationalizations for what we want to believe and to decorate them with high-sounding claptrap. Unless we take the greatest precautions, we will use our reasoning powers to convince ourselves to believe reassuring lies rather than the uncomfortable truths that reality may be trying to tell us. ... How do we tell reason from rationalization-not just when we talk about others but when we form our own beliefs? How can we tell the truth that makes us free from the philosophical system that keeps us self-satisfied? ... `Reason is wholly instrumental. It cannot tell us where to go; at best it can tell us how to get there. It is a gun for hire that can be employed in the service of any goals we have, good or bad' (Simon H.A., "Reason in Human Affairs," Stanford University Press: Stanford CA, 1983). ... reasoning ... can tell us how to get whatever we want but not why we should ultimately want one thing rather than another." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.36-37. Emphasis in original) 3/09/03 "Concentrating Little Ponds The realization that an organic soup would have been too dilute for direct formation of polymers may seem devastating to chemical evolution views. However, as Bernal has written, `The original concept of the primitive soup must be rejected only in so far as it applies to oceans or large volumes of water, and interest must be transferred to reactions in more limited zones.' [Bernal, J.D., "Thermodynamics and kinetics of spontaneous generation," Nature, Vol. 186, 28 May 1960, p.694]. By this he meant lakes, pools, lagoons, and the like. These more limited zones might then have been the locus of life's origin rather than the ocean. The significance of these local places is their associated mechanisms for concentrating essential chemicals. By concentrating the monomers, the probability of their molecular interaction would have been increased, thus increasing reaction rates according to the law of mass action. ... Two mechanisms for concentrating organic chemicals in lakes, pools, lagoons, etc. have been suggested. These are (1) simple evaporation and (2) freezing the body of water. Both of these concentrating mechanisms have been suggested as playing a significant role in enhancing chemical evolution rates." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, 1992, Second Printing, pp.61-62. Emphasis original) 3/09/03 "Critique of Concentrating Mechanism There is no known geological evidence for organic pools, concentrated by these or other mechanisms, ever existing on this planet. ... Still, if by some means concentrated pools did develop, not only would the desired materials concentrate, but also the undesirable impurities. For example, an evaporating pond concentrating nonvolatiles such as amino acids would also concentrate sea salts such as NaCl ... Salt has greater affinity for water than do these organic compounds. Therefore, in order for the salt to be dissolved the organic compounds must precipitate out of solution. It is another type of `impurity,' however, that would have been the greatest obstacle to the successful concentration of organic compounds in limited zones. This would be the host of oceanic organic compounds such as amines, amino acids, aldehydes, ketones, sugars, carboxylic acids, etc. that would have destructively interacted in the ocean. The usual consequences of concentrating these would be, according to the law of mass action, merely an acceleration of the many destructive reactions (as well as the constructive reactions) that would also occur at slower rates in the more dilute ocean, as already discussed. ... Stemming from this discussion, however, it is our observation that what is needed is a natural sorting mechanism. The problem demands a means of selecting organic compounds and isolating them from other chemicals with which they could destructively interact. Yet there is nothing (but the need) to suggest that such a sorting mechanism ever existed on this planet. In other words, for these more limited zones (e.g., lakes, pools, lagoons), as for the ocean itself, it is difficult to imagine significant concentrations of essential organic compounds ever accumulating. As we have seen, degradative forces need to be taken into account in realistic estimates of concentrations, and they have frequently been ignored." (Thaxton, C.B.*, Bradley, W.L.* & Olsen, R.L.*, "The Mystery of Life's Origin: Reassessing Current Theories," , Lewis & Stanley: Dallas TX, 1992, Second Printing, pp.64-66. Emphasis original) 3/09/03 "Before undertaking this task I should say something about my qualifications and purpose. I am not a scientist but an academic lawyer by profession, with a specialty in analyzing the logic of arguments and identifying the assumptions that lie behind those arguments. This background is more appropriate than one might think, because what people believe about evolution and Darwinism depends very heavily on the kind of logic they employ and the kind of assumptions they make.3 Being a scientist is not necessarily an advan very broad topic like evolution, which cuts across many scientific disciplines and also involves issues of philosophy. Practicing scientists are of necessity highly specialized, and a scientist outside his field of expertise is just another layman." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.13) 3/09/03 "History warns us, however, that it is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions; and, as matters now stand, it is hardly rash to anticipate that, in another twenty years, the new generation, educated under the influences of the present day, will be in danger of accepting the main doctrines of the `Origin of Species,' with as little reflection, and it may be with as little justification, as so many of our contemporaries, twenty years ago, rejected them. Against any such a consummation let us all devoutly pray; for the scientific spirit is of more value than its products, and irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors." (Huxley T.H., "The Coming of Age of the `Origin of Species,'" in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, p..229) 4/09/03 "Augustine's exegesis of the first chapter of Genesis is substantially this: In the beginning, that is, in a time prior to the six days, God created ex nihilo, the angelic world, or `the heaven,' and chaotic inorganic matter, of `the earth.' Then in the six days he formed (not created) chaotic inorganic matter into a cosmical system, solar, stellar, and planetary, and upon the planet earth created (not formed) the organic vegetable, animal, and human species. This was the interpretation generally accepted in the patristic and middle ages." (Shedd W.G.T.*, "Dogmatic Theology," , Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, Vol. I, 1969, reprint, p.475) 5/09/03 "Some modern expositors of Genesis dispute the presence in the creation account of the second and third elements, i.e., instantaneous creation and graded orders of life. They argue that fiat creation cannot be exegetically sustained, since bara is not used simply of ex nihilo creation (cf. Gen. 1:7 and 1:21, as well as 1:1 and 2:4, where the sense of ex nihilo creation is confirmed by Hebrews 11:3). But the essential point is that creation involves a unique divine activity, whether with or without the agency of secondary causes; quite obviously, after Gen. 1:1 the narrative deals with mediate creation." (Henry C.F.H.*, "Science and Religion," in Henry C.F.H., ed., "Contemporary Evangelical Thought: A Survey", , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1968 reprint, p.251) 6/09/03 "These Gnostic tendencies remain with us today. Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould, for example ... Gould explains how we are supposed to understand this new Gnosticism, and he has invented an acronym for his principle: NOMA, or `non-overlapping magisteria.' I do not see,' Gould writes, `how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis.' [Gould S.J., "Rocks of Ages," 1999, p.4]. Gould is not the only contemporary evolutionist with Gnostic sympathies. Niles Eldredge takes the position that `religion and science are two utterly different domains of human experience,' [Eldredge N., "The Monkey Business, 1982, p.10] and Bruce Alberts, writing for the National Academy of Sciences, says, `Scientists, like many others, are touched with awe at the order and complexity of nature. Indeed, many scientists are deeply religious. But science and religion occupy two separate realms of human experience. Demanding that they be combined detracts from the glory of each.' [Alberts B., "Science and Creationism," National Academy of Sciences, Second edition, 1999, p.ix] These are just a few among many examples of modern Gnosticism within evolutionary thought. Where did Alberts learn that combining science and religion detracts from the glory of each? Certainly not from a scientific experiment. God is assumed to be disjoint from creation so that any attempt to force-fit them is bound to be awkward. Or again, how is it that God could create the universe but have nothing to do with science? The answer of coer of course is that God did not create the world, at least not directly- the world evolved. The historian's assessment of Gnosticism could just as easily apply to evolution: `The cardinal feature of gnostic thought is the radical dualism that governs the relation of God and world.... The deity is absolutely transmundane, its nature alien to that of the universe which it neither created nor governs and to which it is the complete antithesis.... The world is the work of lowly powers. [Jonas H., in Lee P.J., "Against the Protestant Gnostics," 1987, p.16]. The Gnostic's hope in `lowly powers' was fulfilled in evolution's natural selection." (Hunter, C.G., "Darwin's God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, pp.149-150) 6/09/03 "This separation of God and the world is one aspect of Gnosticism. It is not surprising that these ideas are encouraged by evolution. As I discussed in Darwin's God, Gnostic ideas predated and influenced the development of evolution, and the wide acceptance of evolution, in turn, strengthened modern Gnosticism. Today, these ideas have had the effect of privatizing God. Evolution has helped to advance the notion that matters of faith should be kept private and out of public life. The reason is that if God is separate from the world and cannot be objectively verified, then what we believe about God is strictly subjective-a matter of opinion. Those who promote this view claim it is neutral and fair to all, for those who wish to believe are free to do so. Likewise, those who wish not to believe are free from unsolicited exposure to religious ideas. God need not be acknowledged in public, for faith is a private affair. Indeed, God should not be acknowledged in public, for this inevitably would force one person's religion on another person. In America these ideas have resonated with the secularization of the government. There is now firmly entrenched a doctrine of separation of church and state. It is commonly interpreted as the idea that the government may not support or allow any type of religious activity. And the government includes everything from the White House to the local elementary school. God has now been privatized in America. The problem with this view is that it is not religiously neutral as claimed. It is in fact, wedded to its gnostic roots as firmly as ever. What is more, its advocates are not generally able to understand the religious bias that is woven into their view. They are apparently so deeply Gnostic that they cannot perceive their own religious position. To them their position seems to be religiously neutral." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Ra 2003, p.118). 7/09/03 "Mormons and Southern Baptists call themselves Christians, but like most Americans they are closer to ancient Gnostics than to early Christians. I have centered more upon the Mormons and the Southern Baptists than upon our other major denominations (for reasons that I will expound fully), but most American Methodists, Roman Catholics, and even Jews and Muslims are also more Gnostic than normative in their deepest and unwariest beliefs. The American Religion is pervasive and over whelming, however it is masked, and even our secularists, indeed even our professed atheists, are more Gnostic than humanist in their ultimate presuppositions." (Bloom H., "The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation," , Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1993, p.23) 9/09/03 "At the same time, however, it is clear that the idea of primary creation contained in the formula creatio ex nihilo does not exhaust the biblical teaching on the subject. Man was not created ex nihilo, but out of the dust of the ground (Gn. ii. 7) and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air were formed out of the ground (Gn. ii. 19). This has been called secondary creation, a creative activity making use of already created materials, and stands alongside primary creation as part of the biblical testimony." (McKay K.L.*, "Creation," in Douglas J.D.*, et al., eds., "The New Bible Dictionary," , Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, 1967, reprint, p.268) 9/09/03 "If science should render it certain that all the present species of living creatures were derived by natural descent from a few original germs, and that these germs were themselves an evolution of inorganic forces and materials, we should not therefore regard the Mosaic account as proved untrue. We should only be required to revise our interpretation of the word bara in Gen. 1:21, 27, and to give it there the meaning of mediate creation, or creation by law. Such a meaning might almost seem to be favored by Gen, 1:11 - `let the earth put forth grass'; 20 - `let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life'; 2:7- `the Lord God formed man of the dust `; 9- `out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree'; cf. Mark 4 :28 ... `the earth brings forth fruit automatically.'" (Strong A.H.*, "Systematic Theology," , Judson Press: Valley Forge PA, 1967, reprint, pp.392-393) 11/09/03 "`Kettlewell designed the experiment, he did it, he gathered the data. He knew the significance of the results and he got the results he wanted. We don't allow experiments like this any more.' The unspoken possibility of fraud hangs in the air. Sargent does not leap to that conclusion. 'It doesn't have to be fraud. There are subtle ways to seduce yourself. ... Unconscious bias, he says, could easily have tainted Kettlewell's background experiments, in which moths were placed in a barrel with black and white strips. 'The moth is a little too high, but you tell yourself, "Well, it's mainly on the black." If you have an idea in your mind it's very easy to eliminate what you don't want. Kettlewell always seemed to find what he expected would be true.' In the woods of Dorset and Birmingham, bias could have skewed the results in several ways. 'Who set the moths out?' Sargent asks. 'So many subtle things could enter. You might put the black ones closer to the collecting area, or hide the black ones a little better, unconsciously. Who recorded the data as the moths came back? in behavioural ecology work you have to hire blind observers to put them in the bag or boxes. it's easy to miss the paint mark and tell yourself, "That's not one of mine.' He pauses, looks pained: 'His stuff is too neat! A two-to-one ratio and then two-to-one the other way, and nobody else gets anything like that? It's suspicious. It's exactly what you would have predicted from the theory. With any natural experiment in the field you don't expect to get results like these. ... Kettlewell's colleagues didn't want to shoot him down because they loved the idea. it was an example of Darwinism.' ... And if we simply try to confirm hypotheses rather than test them, we're not really doing good science. He should have had blind observers and a more rigorous test, and the person who "knows" what the results ought to be should not be designing all the experiments.'" (Hooper J., "Of Moths and Men: An Evolutionary Tale," W.W Norton & Co: New York NY, 2002, pp.255-257) 11/09/03 "One of the most surprising negative results of palaeontological research in the last century is that such transitional forms seem to be inordinately scarce. In Darwin's time this could perhaps be ascribed with some justification to the incompleteness of the palaeontological record and to lack of knowledge, but with the enormous number of fossil species which have been discovered since then, other causes must be found for the almost complete absence of transitional forms." (Brouwer A., "General Palaeontology," , Transl. Kaye R.H., Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh & London, 1967, pp.162-163) 11/09/03 "Atheism ... is in itself purely negative. It affirms nothing. It simply denies what Theism asserts. The proof of Theism is, therefore, the, refutation of Atheism. Atheist is, however, a term of reproach. Few men are willing to call themselves, or to allow others to call them by that name. ... Hence those who are really atheists, according to the etymological and commonly received meaning of the word, repudiate the term. ... Language, however, has its rights. The meaning of words cannot be changed at the pleasure of individuals. The word God, and its equivalents in other languages, have a definite meaning, from which no man is at liberty to depart. If any one says he believes in God, he says he believes in the existence of a personal, self-conscious being. He does not believe in God, if he only believes in `motion,' in `force,' in `thought,' in `moral order," in `the incomprehensible," or in any other abstraction. Theists also have their rights. Theism is a definite form of belief. For the expression of that belief, the word Theism is the established and universally recognized term. We have the right to retain it; and we have the right to designate as Atheism, all forms of doctrine which involve the denial of what is universally understood by Theism." (Hodge, C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Reprinted, 1960, Vol. I, pp.241-242) 11/09/03 "The earliest whales are known from the Middle Eocene. Even then these marine animals had the same general structure as all the later whales. It is true that since the Eocene the whale has undergone a definite evolution of which the lengthening of the cranium is one of the characteristic phenomena, but no major changes have been effected. Little is known for certain of the origin of the whales, but various features of the early forms from the Eocene suggest that they probably stemmed from a group of primitive predators, the Creodonta. Amongst other things the Eocene whales have differentiated teeth, a feature which does not occur in later whales. Here too no transitional forms are known, but it is not difficult to imagine what numerous and far-reaching changes must have accompanied this transition from primitive land predator to fish-eating sea mammal. These changes are far more radical than anything in the later evolution of the whales. Nevertheless these major changes, such as the reduction of the neck, the pelvis and the hind limbs, and the development of the tail as a locomotive organ, took only a relatively short time, far less than the whole subsequent evolution of the group. If evolution had taken place at the same pace in the critical initial period as in later development, then whales would require to have had a Palaeozoic origin which is of course absurd. The Creodonta appeared in the early Palaeocene, so that the time needed for the evolution to the present whales lasted from the Palaeocene to the beginning of the Eocene - 15 or 20 million years (as opposed to 50 million years for the subsequent evolution to the present whales). A phase of rapid evolution is a common phenomenon in most of the higher systematic units. It is apparent that evolution toward new groups generally took place comparatively rapidly and therefore in a relatively small number of generations." (Brouwer A., "General Palaeontology," , Transl. Kaye R.H., Oliver & Boyd: Edinburgh & London, 1967, p.163) 13/09/03 "What use is half a wing? How did wings get their start? Many animals leap from bough to bough, and sometimes fall to the ground. Especially in a small animal, the whole body surface catches the air and assists the leap, or breaks the fall, by acting as a crude aerofoil. Any tendency to increase the ratio of surface area to weight would help, for example flaps of skin growing out in the angles of joints. From here, there is a continuous series of gradations to gliding wings, and hence to flapping wings. Obviously there are distances that could not have been jumped by the earliest animals with proto-wings. Equally obviously, for any degree of smallness or crudeness of ancestral air-catching surfaces, there must be some distance, however short, which can be jumped with the flap and which cannot be jumped without the flap. Or, if prototype wingflaps worked to break the animal's fall, you cannot say 'Below a certain size the flaps would have been of no use at all'. Once again, it doesn't matter how small and un-winglike the first wingflaps were. There must be some height, call it h, such that an animal would just break its neck if it fell from that height, but would just survive if it fell from a slightly lower height. In this critical zone, any improvement in the body surface's ability to catch the air and break the fall, however slight that improvement, can make the difference between life and death. Natural selection will then favour slight, prototype wingflaps. When these small wingflaps have become the norm, the critical height h will become slightly greater. Now a slight further increase in the wingflaps will make the difference between life and death. And so on, until we have proper wings." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker: : Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, pp.89-90) 13/09/03 "Popper saw that a theory that appears to explain everything actually explains nothing. If wages fell this was because the capitalists were exploiting the workers, as Marx predicted they would, and If wages rose this was because the capitalists were trying to save a rotten system with bribery, which was also what Marxism predicted. A psychoanalyst could explain why a man would commit murder- or, with equal facility, why the same man would sacrifice his own life to save another. According to Popper, however, a theory with genuine explanatory power makes risky predictions, which exclude most possible outcomes. Success in prediction is impressive only to the extent that failure was a real possibility." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.148) 13/09/03 "The question has often been discussed, Whether Atheism is possible? The answer to the question depends on the meaning of the term. If the question be, Whether a man c a man can emancipate himself from the conviction that there is a personal Being to whom he is responsible for his character and conduct, and who will punish him for his sins? it must be answered in the negative. For that would be to emancipate himself from the moral law, which is impossible. If, however, the question means, Whether a man may, by speculation or otherwise, bring himself into such a state as to lose the consciousness of the belief of God as written in his heart, and free himself, for a time, from its power? it must be answered affirmatively. A man may, in this sense, deny his individuality or identity; the real, objective existence of soul or body, mind or matter; the distinction between right and wrong. But this is unnatural, and cannot last. It is like deflecting a spring by force. The moment the force is removed, the spring returns to its normal position. Men, therefore, often pass in a moment from a state of entire scepticism to a state of unquestioning faith; not of course by a process of argument, but by a change in their inward state. This transition from unbelief to faith, though thus sudden, and although not produced by an intellectual process, is perfectly rational. The feelings which rise in the mind contain evidence of the truth which the understanding cannot resist. It is also a familiar psychological fact, that skepticism and faith may, in a certain sense, coexist in the mind. An idealist while abiding by his theory, has nevertheless an inward conviction of the reality of the external world. So the speculative atheist lives with the abiding conviction that there is a God to whom he must render an account." (Hodge, C.*, "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, Reprinted, 1960, Vol. I, pp.242-243) 14/09/03 "There is another way to be a Creationist. One might offer Creationism as a scientific theory .... Although pure versions of Creationism were no longer in vogue among scientists by the end of the eighteenth century, they had flourished earlier ... Moreover, variants of Creationism were supported by a number of eminent nineteenth-century scientists William Buckland, Adam Sedgwick, and Louis Agassiz, for example. These Creationists trusted that their theories would accord with the Bible, interpreted in what they saw as a correct way. However, that fact does not affect the scientific status of those theories. Even postulating an unobserved Creator need be no more unscientific than postulating unobservable particles. What matters is the character of the proposals and the ways in which they are articulated and defended." (Kitcher P., "Abusing Science: The Case against Creationism," , MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Ninth Printing, 1996, p.125) 14/09/03 "Suppose that emergence of a specific in in some organism requires a subtle alteration at a particular gene site. Spontaneous decay of a specific atom at that site would, via purely natural processes, trigger the desired alteration. Spontaneous decay of that atom is completely within the bounds of governing natural law, and there is a specifiable probability of its doing so. However, suppose that if left to itself it will not decay. God, being omniscient, knows that, so he intervenes, decreeing the decay. All then proceeds as indicated. (This approach to biological history may be called quantum progressive creation, although some persons who call themselves theistic evolutionists fit here. ... In this case there is intervention, but since the decreed decay is within the bounds of the governing quantum laws and even has a certain probability of spontaneous occurrence under such laws, there is no nomic discontinuity. The relevant laws do not bar the state transition from stability to decay, a transition that would naturally trigger the innovation. The decay could have happened naturally; it just did not and was not going to. There is also counterflow in this case. Something was brought about that would not have happened had nature been left to itself. But again, the event could have happened. It was not prohibited by the relevant laws, and given the specifiable probability of its spontaneous occurrence, natural law did define a path between the two states in question. There was thus again no nomic discontinuity. Note that in this sort of case even a complete and perfect science could not empirically detect specific instances of counterflow. (Note that this implies that quantum progressive creationism would be empirically indistinguishable from some forms of theistic evolution but significantly different theologically and metaphysically.)" (Ratzsch D.L.*, "Design, Chance & Theistic Evolution," in Dembski W.A.*, ed., "Mere Creation: Science, Faith & Intelligent Design," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1998, pp.292-293) 14/09/03 "One source of dispute has been the very meaning of the terms creationist and evolutionist, those meanings having undergone change historically. Although there are those who argue that all believers are creationists in virtue of affirming some doctrine of creation or other, that is not the way creationist is generally used at present. I take the present popular usage to refer to those who hold the following: `Whether or not God could have built evolutionary potentials into the creation, or could have brought about life and all its diversity by evolutionary means, he did not in fact do so. There are thus discontinuities in nature-e.g., non-life/life, reptile/mammal, animal/human-which cannot be crossed by purely natural means, each such discontinuity requiring separate supernatural creative action.' That definition would include young-earth creationists, old-earth creationists and progressive creationists, but would not include theistic evolutionists." (Ratzsch D.L.*, "The Battle of Beginnings: Why Neither Side is Winning the Creation-Evolution Debate," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1996, pp.11-12. Emphasis in original) 15/09/03 "As an old earth creationist I believe that unguided evolution is not capable of producing the features we see in our universe-not the universe itself, life, its actual variety, not humankind. Nor do I think that God- guided evolution is the way God chose to create, at least not to produce the large-scale differences between the various plants and animals, nor to make humans. Presumably God is capable of creating everything we see either by means of miracles in just a few days (even no time at all!) or by guiding purely natural processes over a long period of time. But I don't think the biblical or scientific evidence we have suggests that he used either of these means exclusively. Instead, it seems to me that God used some combination of supernatural intervention and providential guidance to construct the universe. ... This old earth position is also sometimes called `progressive creationism.'" (Newman R.C.*, "Progressive Creationism (Old Earth Creationism)," in Moreland J.P. & Reynolds J.M.*, eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.105-106) 16/09/03 "Deistic Evolution. Although the term is rarely heard, deistic evolution is perhaps the best way to describe one variety of what is generally called theistic evolution. This is the view that God began the process of evolution, producing the first matter and implanting within the creation the laws which its development has followed. Thus, he programmed the process. Then he withdrew from active involvement with the world, becoming, so to speak, Creator emeritus. The progress of the created order is free of direct influence by God. He is the Creator of everything, but only the first living form was directly created. All the rest of God's creating has been done indirectly. God is the Creator, the ultimate cause, but evolution is the means, the proximate cause. Thus, except for its view of the very beginning of matter, deistic evolution is identical to naturalistic evolution for it denies that there is any direct activity by a personal God during the ongoing creative process." (Erickson M.J.*, "Christian Theology," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1988, Fifth Printing, p.480) 16/09/03 "Further on that, because it is such a crucial point: my colleague Michael Behe in his well-known book Darwin's Black Box says he has nothing against common ancestry; there may be common ancestry from the first bacterium up to present-day organisms (or there may not be; he accepts that as a possibility). What he says is that you need an information source to produce the irreducible complexity, and the materialist mechanism can't do that. There has to be an intelligent designer guiding the process. Is Behe a theistic evolutionist or a creationist? Is he a friend of science or an enemy of science? In these terms, the answer is that he is an enemy of science. Why? You could very easily call his view theistic evolution. What makes Behe a heretic, rather than a member of the team, is that he says there is evidence of the need for intelligence. You see, that crosses the faith/reason boundary and brings the intelligent designer into the realm of things that can be seen by evidence, that objective observers can evaluate, instead of the realm of purely subjective belief. That is why he is on my side rather than their side, whereas somebody else whose position sounds superficially the same would be clearly on the other side." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Evolution and the Curriculum: A Conversation with Phillip Johnson and Gregg Easterbrook," Ethics and Public Policy Center, February 2000, No. 4) 16/09/03 "There was a time when the Earth was alone in space but it was not our Earth. Without the moon our world would not have developed the way it did. The Indians of North America have a saying, 'No moon, no man', and in a way they are right. The Earth, the moon and mankind are bound together in deep ways. It took the secrets held in moon rocks to reveal the moon's surprising and spectacular birth. When the precious cache of rocks was brought back from the moon their analysis showed that all the theories about the moon's origin were wrong. During the first hundred million years of the life of our solar system the sun had an unruly empire. The formation of the planets was at times a gentle process and at others an act of raw violence. At one stage there were huge rocky proto-planets, hundreds of kilometres in diameter, moving in jumbled orbits that intersected one another. Titanic collisions were inevitable. I will call one of these worlds the Earth Mark One for reasons that will become apparent. It was smaller than the Earth is today and it was a very different world. Earth Mark One was suffering from a constant bombardment of rocky debris that melted its surface as it swept up leftovers from the formation of the planets. As we shall see, the Earth Mark One is not our world and probably could never have been. We live on Earth Mark Two." (Whitehouse D., "The Moon: A Biography," Headline: London, 2001, p.237) 17/09/03 "The ASA [American Scientific Affiliation] leadership has generally embraced `compatibilism' (the doctrine that science and religion do not conflict because they occupy separate realms) and `theistic evolution.' Theistic evolution is not easy to define, but it involves making an effort to maintain that the natural world is God-governed while avoiding disagreement with the Darwinist establishment on scientific matters." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," Regnery Gateway: Washington DC, First Edition, 1991, pp.126-127) 17/09/03 "Where does intelligent design fit within the creation-evolution debate? Logically, intelligent design is compatible with everything from utterly discontinuous creation (e.g., God intervening at every conceivable point to create new species) to the most far-ranging evolution (e.g., God seamlessly melding all organisms together into one great tree of life). For intelligent design the primary question is not how organisms came to be (though, as we've just seen, this is a vital question for intelligent design) but whether organisms demonstrate clear, empirically detectable marks of being intelligently caused. In principle an evolutionary process can exhibit such `marks of intelligence' as much as any act of special creation. That said, intelligent design is incompatible with what typically is meant by `theistic evolution' (or what is also called `creative evolution,' `teleological evolution,' `evolutionary creation' or most recently `fully gifted creation'). Theistic evolution takes the Darwinian picture of the biological world and baptizes it, identifying this picture with the way God created life. When boiled down to its scientific content, however, theistic evolution is no different from atheistic evolution, treating only undirected natural processes in the origin and development of life." (Dembski W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, pp.109-110) 17/09/03 "What is meant, now, by the binding of Satan? [Rev. 20:1-3] In Old Testament times, at least in the post- Abrahamic era, all the nations of the world except Israel were, so to speak, under Satan's rule. At that time the people of Israel were the recipients of God's special revelation, so that they knew God's truth about themselves, about their sinfulness, and about the way they could obtain forgiveness for their sins (though it must be admitted that this knowledge was given to them in types and shadows, so that it was incomplete). During this same time, however, the other nations of the world did not know that truth, and were there fore in ignorance and error (see Acts 17:30)-except for an occasional person, family, or city which came into contact with God's special revelation. One could say that during this time these nations were deceived by Satan, as our first parents had been deceived by Satan when they fell into sin in the Garden of Eden. Just before his ascension, however, Christ gave his disciples his Great Commission: `Go therefore and make disciples of all nations' (Matt. 28:19). At this point one can well imagine the disciples raising a disturbing question: How can we possibly do this if Satan continues to deceive the nations the way he has in the past? In Revelation 20:1-3 John gives a reassuring answer to this question. Paraphrased, his answer goes something like this: `During the gospel era which has now been ushered in, Satan will not be able to continue deceiving the nations the way he did in the past, for he has been bound. During this entire period, therefore, you, Christ's disciples, will be able to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations.' This does not imply that Satan can do no harm whatever while he is bound. It means only what John says here: while Satan is bound he cannot deceive the nations in such a way as to keep them from learning about the truth of God. Later in this chapter we are told that when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations of the world to gather them together to fight against the people of God (vv. 7-9). This, however, he cannot do while he is bound. We conclude, then, that the binding of Satan during the gospel age means that, first, he cannot prevent the spread of the gospel, and second, he cannot gather all the enemies of Christ together to attack the church." (Hoekema A.A.*, "The Bible and the Future," , Paternoster Press: Exeter, Devon UK, 1979, p.228) 17/09/03 "The two witnesses ([Rev.] 11:3-14) ... This gospel age is, however, going to come to an end (cf. Mt. 24:14). The Church, as a mighty missionary organization, shall finish its testimony. The beast that comes up out of the abyss, that is, the antichristian world, urged on by hell, shall battle against the Church and shall destroy it. This is the Battle of Harmagedon. The beast will not kill every believer. There are going to be believers on earth when Christ comes again, although they will be few in number (Lk. 18:8). But the Church itself, as a mighty organization for the dissemination of the gospel and regular ministry of the Word, will be destroyed. By way of illustration, think of conditions in Communist China at the present time; to be sure, there are sincere believers in Communist China, but where is the powerful, official, unhindered and public proclamation and dissemination of the gospel? And is not this condition spreading to other countries? Thus, just before the second coming, the corpse of the Church, whose public and official testimony has been silenced and smothered by the world, lies on the great city's High Street. ... So when we read that the corpse of the Church is lying on the broad avenues of the great city, this simply means that in the midst of the world the Church is dead: it no longer exists as an influential and powerful missionary institution! Its leaders have been slaughtered; its voice has been silenced. This condition lasts three days and a half, which is a very brief time. (Mt. 24:22; cf. Rev. 20:7-9.) The world does not even allow the dead bodies of the witnesses to be buried. In the High Street lie these corpses, exposed to insects, birds, and dogs. The world has a grand picnic: it celebrates. People send each other presents and gloat over these witnesses (cf. Est. 9:22). Their word will not torment them any more. Foolish world! Its joy is premature. The corpse suddenly begins to stir; the breath of life from God has entered into it; the witnesses stand upon their feet. In connection with Christ's second coming the Church is restored to life, to honour, to power, to influence. For the world the hour of opportunity is gone, and gone for ever. On the day of judgment when the world shall see the Church restored to honour and glory, the world will become frozen with fear. The Church still under the symbolism of the two witnesses-now hears a voice, 'Come up hither'. Thereupon the Church ascends to heaven in a cloud of glory. 'And their enemies beheld them.' This is no secret rapture!" (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.129-131) 17/09/03 "The sixth bowl ([Rev.] 17:12-16) ... But the real, the great, the final Har-Magedon coincides with the time of Satan's little season (see Rev. 11:7-11). When the world, under the leadership of Satan, antichristian government and antichristian religion-the dragon, the beast and the false prophet-is gathered against the Church for the final battle, and the need is greatest; when God's children, oppressed on every side, cry for help; then suddenly, dramatically, Christ will appear to deliver His people. That final tribulation and that appearance of Christ on clouds of glory to deliver His people, that is Har-Magedon. It is for this reason that Har-Magedon is the sixth bowl. The seventh is the judgment day. As we have indicated, this sixth bowl, as well as the preceding ones, is evident again and again in history. Yet, like the other bowls, it reaches its final and most complete realization just before and in connection with the last day." (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.162-163) 17/09/03 "The Final Conflict ... ([Rev.] 20:7-10): The meaning, then, is this: the era during which the Church as a mighty missionary organization shall be able to spread the gospel everywhere is not going to last for ever; not even until the moment of Christ's second coming. Observe what is happening in certain countries even today. Are certain regions of this earth already entering Satan's little season?' In other words, we have here in Revelation 20:7-10 a description of the same battle-not 'war'-which was described in Revelation 16:12ff. and in Revelation 19:19. In all three cases we read in the original, the battle. Thus 16:14: 'to gather them together for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty'. Again, Revelation 19:19: 'gathered together to make the battle against him....' Similarly, here in 20:8: 'to gather them together to the battle'. In other words, these are not three different battles. We have here one and the same battle. It is the battle of Har-Magedon in all three cases. It is the final attack of antichristian forces upon the Church. The 'new' thing which Revelation 20 reveals is what happens to Satan as a result of this battle. This final onslaught is directed against 'the beloved city', also called 'the camp of the saints'. Thus the Church of God is described here under the double symbolism of a city and a camp. 'And fire came down out of heaven and devoured them.' Notice the sudden character of this judgment upon Gog and Magog. It is as sudden and unexpected as the lightning which strikes from heaven (cf. 2 Thes. 2:8). Thus, suddenly, will Christ appear and discomfit His enemies! This is His one and only coming in judgment. Satan had deceived the wicked world. He had deceived the wicked into thinking that a real and absolute victory over the Church was possible and that God could be defeated!" (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.194-195) 17/09/03 "John Lennon was an old school chum. Simple fellows, with little intellectual sophistication, we never spoke about religion or philosophy. ... At age 16, John left Quarry Bank to go to the Liverpool Arts School. I stayed on for `A levels' and went to university. We never met again. ... John became a megastar and converted to New Age Hinduism. ... I became a committed orthodox Christian and taught New Testament Greek .... But our lives once again became strangely intertwined. In 1991 ... I left my adopted land and church to accept a teaching post in Southern California. The culture shock shook a few synapses loose in my brain. ... I made the connection that Lennon had made years earlier between ancient Gnosticism and New Age spirituality. In `The Mysterious Smell of Roses,' a chapter in Skywriting by Word of Mouth, an anthology of his writings published after his death, Lennon made a most unusual affirmation for someone not trained in theology or philosophy: `It seems to me that the only true Christians are the Gnostics, who believe in self- knowledge, i.e., becoming Christ themselves, reaching the Christ within.' As Jocular high-school pals sitting together at a two-seater desk we never imagined that divergent interpretations of an obscure Christian heresy would put us on opposing sides in the war of the worlds. Were Lennon alive today, he might well have been a leader of the neo-pagan, pseudo-Christian camp this book seeks to describe and unmask. I discovered Gnosticism as part of my graduate studies. But how did Lennon, with no formal training beyond a two-year technical school, come to know about such arcane matters of ancient Christian history? There is clearly more to life than meets the eye!" (Jones P.*, "Pagans in the Pews," Regal: Ventura CA, 2001, pp.15- 16) 17/09/03 "Behe says at one point that he is not a creationist, at least if that term means someone who is concerned about supporting the creation account in the Bible. He also does not challenge evolution, if that term means `common ancestry.' Then why isn't Behe classified as a theistic evolutionist? He would be if that term meant a theorist who does not rely on the Bible or other religious authority, and accepts gradual development of organisms over long periods of time, but who sees the need for some guiding (i.e., designing) intelligence. The defining characteristic of theistic evolution, however, is that it accepts methodological naturalism and confines the theistic element to the subjective area of `religious belief.' It is (barely) acceptable in science to say, `As a Christian, istian, I believe by faith that God is responsible for evolution.' It is emphatically not acceptable to say, `As a scientist, I see evidence that organisms were designed by a preexisting intelligence, and therefore other objective observers should also infer the existence of a designer.' The former statement is within the bounds of methodological naturalism, and most scientific naturalists will interpret it to mean nothing more than `It gives me comfort to believe in God, and so I will.' The latter statement brings the designer into the territory of objective reality, and that is what methodological naturalism forbids." (Johnson P.E.*, "Reflection 2," in Moreland J.P. & Reynolds J.M.*, eds., "Three Views on Creation and Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.273-274) 18/09/03 "In the face of such rejection by two of the most eminent philosophers of his day, one can imagine Darwin's elation when he discovered that another great philosopher, John Stuart Mill, thought his reasoning in the Origin was `in the most exact accordance with the strict principles of logic.' Darwin was prepared for the abuse which the content of his theory, especially its implications for man, was to receive from certain quarters, but he was not prepared for the criticism which his methodology was to receive from the more respected philosophers, and scientists of his day. ... For example, Mill's endorsement was a two-edged sword, and the sharper edge cut deeply into Darwin's own claims for his book. Darwin looked upon the Origin of Species as `one long argument from the beginning to the end, and it has convinced not a few able men!' He thought that, to some extent at least, he had proved that contemporary species originated from earlier species by evolution through chance variation and natural selection. According to Mill, Darwin had not violated the rules of induction, since the `rules of Induction are concerned with the conditions of Proof. Mr. Darwin has never pretended that his doctrine was proved. He was not bound by the rules of Induction, but those of Hypothesis' And the method of hypothesis was a method of discovery, not justification. Darwin had admirably fulfilled the requirements of one of the methods of discovery, but he had proved nothing! Newton had provided the necessary inductive proof for his theories; Darwin had not. In his last pronouncements on evolution, Mill agreed with Herschel and Whewell that `in the present state of our knowledge, the adaptations in Nature afford a large balance of probability of creation by intelligence.'" (Hull D.L., "The Metaphysics of Evolution," State University of New York Press: Albany NY, 1989, pp.30-31) 18/09/03 "A careful reading of the book of Revelation has made it clear that the book consists of seven sections, and that these seven sections run parallel to one another. Each of them spans the entire dispensation from the first to the second coming of Christ. This period is viewed now from one aspect, now from another. ... There is another line of reasoning which confirms our position that each of the seven sections extends from the beginning to the end of the new dispensation and that the seven run parallel to one another. Different sections ascribe the same duration to the period described. According to the third cycle (chapters 8-11) the main period here described is one of forty-two months (11:2), or twelve hundred and sixty days (11:3). Now, it is a remarkable fact that we find that same period of time in the next section (chapters 12-14), namely, twelve hundred and sixty days (12:6), or a time and times and half a time (3 1/2 years) (12:14). The three designations-forty-two months, twelve hundred and sixty days, time and times and half a time- are exactly equivalent. So the section on the trumpets (chapters 8-11) must run parallel with that which describes the battle between Christ and the dragon (chapters 12-14). A careful study of chapter 20 will reveal that this chapter describes a period which is synchronous with that of chapter 12. Therefore by this method of reasoning, parallelism is vindicated. Each section gives us a description of the entire gospel age, from the first to the second coming of Christ, and is rooted in Israel's history under the old dispensation to which there are frequent references." (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.18-19) 18/09/03 "Geologists deal with two kinds of time, relative and absolute. Relative time is the order in which a sequence of past events occurred. Absolute time is the time in years ago, when a specific event happened. One of the great successes of the nineteenth-century geologists was the demonstration, through stratigraphic correlation, that the relative ages of stratigraphic sequences are the same on all continents. Through worldwide correlation, those nineteenth-century geologists assembled a geologic column. which is a composite columnar section containing in chronological order the succession of known strata, fitted together on the basis of their fossils or other evidence of relative age. ... The scientists who worked out the geologic column and time scale were challenged by the question of absolute time. They knew the relative time order in which strata of the geologic column had formed, but they also wished to know whether the sediments in the strata had accumulated during the same length of time. They sought answers to questions such as these: `How much time elapsed between the end of the Cambrian Period and the beginning of the Permian Period?' `How long was the Tertiary Period" Absolute ages must be determined in order to answer such questions as the age of the Earth, the age of the ocean, how fast mountain ranges rise, and how long humans have inhabited the Earth. The discovery of radioactivity in 1896 provided a reliable way to measure absolute geologic time. Radioactivity is a process that runs continuously, that is not reversible, that operates the same way and at the same speed everywhere, and that leaves a continuous record without any gaps." (Skinner B.J., Porter S.C. & Botkin D.B., "The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science," , John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, Second Edition, 1999, pp.160-161) 18/09/03 "Throughout the nineteenth century, Steno's principle of superposition and Smith's principle of faunal succession were used by geologists to compile an ever larger and more complete stratigraphic column of younger-upon-older strata arranged in vertical sequence. Clearly, no more than a fraction of the entire succession of sedimentary strata (or stratigraphy) can be observed at one outcrop. However, as successions of sedimentary strata observed at one particular outcrop were correlated with those at other locations where portions of the succession either higher or lower in the sequence of strata were exposed, it became possible to construct a composite stratigraphic column in which all sedimentary layers were arranged in the order in which they had been deposited. ... gaps in the rock record at one location were filled by those from another to produce an ever more complete stratigraphic column. By the end of the century, this composite stratigraphic column, into which the jigsaw of worldwide rock strata had been compiled, had become the basis of a sophisticated geologic time scale. Because the stratigraphic column arranged sedimentary strata according to their relative age, subdivisions of the column became subdivisions of geologic time. Such subdivisions were possible because the strata contained fossils that changed from layer to layer as new species emerged or existing species became extinct. Different portions of the stratigraphic column were consequently found to contain different assemblages of fossils, and were subdivided and named accordingly. ... The passage of geologic time as recorded in the stratigraphic column is marked by the emergence and extinction of fossil life forms. Long intervals of geologic time separated by major extinction events are called eras. Early paleontologists discovered that the fossil record was punctuated by two major extinction events that were global in scale. They used these events to define two major boundaries in the geologic time scale, such that each mass extinction can truly be said to define `the end of an era.' However, they did not know what had caused these extinctions, nor did they know how many millions of years ago they had occurred. Only with the advent of radiometric dating has the absolute age of these events become clear." (Murphy B. & Nance D., "Earth Science Today," Brooks/Cole Wadsworth: Pacific Grove CA, 1998, p.09/03 "On Solon [Earth without the Moon] early humans, facing the challenge of gathering enough food for large groups of people, would encounter greater hardship in developing farming communities than occurred on Earth. On Earth the moon served early humans as a clock, ticking through its phases. This cycle was especially important to the development of agriculture. The moon filled the gap between two other, very disparate natural clocks: a day and a year. The moon's easily identified twenty-nine-and-a-half-day cycle of phases provided valuable, easily remembered intervals for planting and harvesting. The lunar month (the cycle of lunar phases) was also split into smaller units by those who accurately observed the moon's phases. In the millennia before reliable written records, it was much easier to keep track of lunar months than it was to keep track of individual days. Nowhere was this more important than in agriculture. As early populations of humans grew, organizing large groups of people to follow migrating game became increasingly difficult. Therefore, farming became increasingly important for the reliable provision of food. The demand for dependable agricultural food supplies required great care on the part of farmers. When they planted too early, their crops were killed by frost in the spring. When they planted too late, their immature crops were killed by frost in the fall. ... How, then, might early people on Solon manage with out the monthly lunar calendar? Unfortunately, there is no simple alternative either on the planet or in the sky. Natural events on Earth, such as volcanic eruptions, are irregular, nor is the weather sufficiently reliable to use as a clock. Motions of planets through the sky are slow; moreover, the planets are not in the same places among the stars every year. It is much harder to use the other planets as timekeepers than it is to use the moon." (Comins N.F., "What If the Moon Didn't Exist?: Voyages to Earths That Might Have Been," HarperCollins: New York NY, 1993, pp.44-45) 19/09/03 "So although all the sections of the Apocalypse run parallel and span the period between the first and second comings of Christ and are rooted in the soil of the old dispensation, yet there is also a degree of progress. The closer we approach the end of the book the more our attention is directed to the final judgment and that which lies beyond it. The seven sections are arranged, as it were, in an ascending, climactic order. The book reveals a gradual progress in eschatological emphasis. A careful examination of the Apocalypse will make this clear. In the first series-Christ in the midst of the seven golden lampstands-we have no more than a mere announcement of Christ's coming unto judgment (1:7). There is no description of the judgment. In the second section'(chapters 4-7), the final judgment is not merely announced but definitely introduced; we catch a glimpse of the horror which fills the wicked when they see the judge coming to them (6:12 ff.). But that is all. There is no description. A few verses are devoted to a description of the Church triumphant after the final judgment (7: 9 ff.). The next vision, similarly (chapters 8-11), introduces the final judgment and the joy of the redeemed (11:15 ff.). In these three sections which comprise the first main division of the book (chapters 1-11), we do not come across anything more than a mere announcement of or introduction to the final judgment. But as soon as we enter the second main division of the book there is a change. In the very first section of this main division we have a real description of the final judgment (14:14 ff) It is, however, a symbolic representation. Under the symbolism of a double harvest the final judgment is pictured to us. The next vision (chapters 15, 16) describes the pouring out of God's final wrath, so that this section, though synchronous with the others, is in a special sense descriptive of the final judgment. In the next minor division, the fall of Babylon (chapters 1719), this emphasis upon Christ's second coming in judgment and its meaning for the world and for the Church, both militant and triumphant, is even greater. (See especially 19:11,12.) The seventh or final section (chapters 20-22) not only describes the final judgment, but in this description drops much of the symbolism of the earlier visions. Nothing is vague or indefinite and little is clothed with symbolism (20:12 ff.). The joy of the redeemed in the new heaven and earth is described much more circumstantially than, for example, in 7:9 ff The book has reached its glorious climax. ... The seven sections of the Apocalypse are arranged in an ascending, climactic order. There is progress in eschatological emphasis. The final judgment is first announced, then introduced and finally described. Similarly, the new heaven and earth are described more fully in the final section than in those which precede it. To this conception of the book we give the name 'progressive parallelism'." (Hendriksen, W.*, "More than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation," Tyndale Press: London, 1940, Reprinted, 1966, pp.35-36) 19/09/03 "The continuing importance of the Old Testament for Christianity is often held to be grounded in the fact that the God of which it speaks is the same God to be revealed in the New Testament. The creator god and the redeemer god are one and the same. In the case of Gnosticism, a vigorous attack was mounted on both the authority of the Old Testament and the idea that God was creator of the world. ... For Gnosticism, in most of its significant forms, a sharp distinction was to be drawn between the God who redeemed humanity from the world, and a somewhat inferior deity (often termed "the demiurge") who created that world in the first place. The Old Testament was regarded by the Gnostics as dealing with this lesser deity, whereas the New Testament was concerned with the redeemer God. As such, belief in God as creator and in the authority of the Old Testament came to be interlinked at an early stage. Of the early writers to deal with this theme, Irenaeus of Lyons is of particular importance." (McGrath A.E.*, "Christian Theology: An Introduction,"  Blackwell: Cambridge MA, Second Edition, 1997, p.268) 20/09/03 "How then can evolution be a fact if even the positive evidence does not support it very well? The answer is that evolution is considered to be a fact because Darwinists believe they have disproven the alternative: divine creation. ... With divine creation, evolutionists point out, we must believe, for example, that God created species that later became extinct, that God created species with many similarities, and that God created a world with parasites and other dangers. I showed that these and many other arguments are consistently used by evolutionists when arguing for their theory. I also showed that this sentiment was popular in the years leading up to Darwin. ... As early as the seventeenth century, almost two hundred years before Darwin published his theory of evolution, philosophers and theologians were calling for an intermediate process between God and creation. By the time Darwin came around this call had only increased in volume. What was needed was a credible explanation of how the process worked. This was Darwin's contribution, for he filled in the details. With Darwin a rather ill-defined tradition, or set of traditions, became formalized. But this was only part of the story. It was not merely a happy coincidence that Darwin's theory enjoyed support from certain areas outside of science. It was not serendipity that science was now proclaiming what many thinkers had envisioned in the preceeding centuries. The other part of the story was that Darwin's development of the theory, as well as its continuing success, hinged on these sentiments about God and creation." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.10-11) 20/09/03 "My conclusion in Darwin's God was not that evolution lacks evidence or that it is false. It has plenty of strong arguments but they rely on a certain view of God and creation. There is no way to reformulate the arguments without this key premise except by stripping them of their force, but then evolution would no longer be a fact, it would not even be very likely. ... Modern science does include certain unprovable assumptions such as uniformity and parsimony, but Darwinism relies on more assumptions than just these. In particular, Darwinism's view of God and creation would be difficult to reconcile with Christianity. Darwinism depends on religion, but only to overrun the opposing theory. Once this work is done evolutionists are free to pursue an entirely mechanistic explanation of life. Evolution, by default, becomes the explanatory filter for all we observe in nature, no matter how awkward the fit. ... Evolutionists add layer upon layer of circuitous explanation to fit nature into their theory. It sounds scientific because the explanation is purely mechanistic. ... All of this means that Darwinism is subtle. It is not merely a case of science versus religion, or a case of atheism making its way into science. Nor is it a case of controversial religious ideas undermining science. The religious claims of Darwinists are, for many people, quite reasonable. They may not square with Scripture, but they sound good. Indeed, Darwinists usually state their claims as though they were simply a matter of fact. The religion that fed into Darwinism is taken for granted." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's Proof: The Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.11-12) 20/09/03 "As long as chance rules," Arthur Koestler has written, "God is an anachronism." (Koestler A., "Darkness at Noon", Bantam: New York, 1941, p.149) Koestler's dictum is a sound conclusion...to a point. It is true that if chance rules, God cannot. We can go further than Koestler. It is not necessary for chance to rule in order to supplant God. Indeed chance requires little authority at all if it is to depose God; all it needs to do the job is to exist. The mere existence of chance is enough to rip God from his cosmic throne. Chance does not need to rule; it does not need to be sovereign. If it exists as a mere impotent, humble servant, it leaves God not only out of date, but out of a job. If chance exists in its frailest possible form, God is finished. Nay, he could not be finished because that would assume he once was. To finish something implies that it at best was once active or existing. If chance exists in any size, shape, or form, God cannot exist. The two are mutually exclusive. If chance existed, it would destroy God's sovereignty. If God is not sovereign, he is not God. If he is not God, he simply is not. If chance is, God is not. If God is, chance is not. The two cannot coexist by reason of the impossibility of the contrary." (Sproul R.C.*, "Not a Chance: The Myth of Chance in Modern Science and Cosmology," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1994, p.3) 21/09/03 "I was particularly offended by his [Johnson's] false and unkind accusation that scientists are being dishonest when they claim equal respect for science and religion: `Scientific naturalists do not see a contradiction, because they never meant that the realms of science and religion are of equal dignity and importance. Science for them is the realm of objective knowledge; religion is a matter of subjective belief. The two should not conflict because a rational person always prefers objective knowledge to subjective belief.' Speak for yourself, Attorney Johnson. I regard the two as of equal dignity and limited contact. `The two should not conflict,' because science treats factual reality, while religion struggles with human morality. I do not view moral argument as a whit less important than factual investigation." (Gould S.J. "Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge". Book Review of "Darwin on Trial," by Phillip E. Johnson, Regnery Gateway: Washington, D.C., 1991, Scientific American, July 1992, pp.92-95, p.94) 21/09/03 "I do not see how science and religion could be unified, or even synthesized, under any common scheme of explanation or analysis; but I also do not understand why the two enterprises should experience any conflict. Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings, and values-subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve. ... I propose that we encapsulate this central principle of respectful noninterference-accompanied by intense dialogue between the two distinct subjects, each covering a central facet of human existence-by enunciating the Principle of NOMA, or Non-Overlapping Magisteria. ... To summarize, with a tad of repetition, the net, or magisterium, of science covers the empirical realm: what is the universe made of (fact) and why does it work this way (theory). The magisterium of religion extends over questions of ultimate meaning and moral value. These two magisteria do not overlap, nor do they encompass all inquiry (consider, for example, the magisterium of art and the meaning of beauty). To cite the old cliches, science gets the age of rocks, and religion the rock of ages; science studies how the heavens go, religion how to go to heaven." (Gould S.J., "Rocks of Ages: Science and Religion in the Fullness of Life," The Library of Contemporary Thought, Ballantine: New York NY, 1999, pp.4-6) 22/09/03 "I have included many quotations from the creationists in the text. The reason for this is twofold: first, it removes any chance of my misrepresenting their views, and, second, many of the things creationists say are so incredible that the reader might suspect me of embellishment if I paraphrased them." (McGowan C., "In The Beginning: A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists are Wrong," Macmillan: Toronto, Canada, 1983, p.xii.-xiii) 22/09/03 "Gnosticism is an ancient belief system that draws a strong distinction between spirit and matter. Spirit is good and matter is evil. Whereas the Bible says that God made the world, Gnosticism holds that God is separate from the world, thus Gnosticism is a theodicy. Yes, there is evil, but it is far from God. God is separate and distinct from the world and not responsible for its evils. In Darwin's time the world was increasingly seen as controlled by natural laws. God may have instituted these laws in the beginning, but he had not since interfered; the laws were now his secondary causes. As in Gnosticism, God was seen as separate from the world. ... This view seemed to have a divine sanction; after all, to control the world exclusively through natural laws-God's secondary causes-required an even greater God. In other words, a clean separation of God and creation made for an even purer God, just as the Gnostics had found that spirit could be good when it was opposed to matter. ... Whereas the Bible presents a history of God's activity in the world, including dates and historical figures, the Gnostics believed that God's revelation was not open but secret-revealed from within rather than in public documents such as Scripture. Furthermore, whereas the Bible says that the heavens declare the glory of God, the Gnostics believed that one should not look for signs of God in nature. In Darwin's day, a parallel view developed that urged the separation of religion and science; this view remains strong today." (Hunter, C.G.*, "Darwin's God Evolution and the Problem of Evil," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2001, p.129) 24/09/03 "Since we as Christians recognize the importance of adhering to truth, we should face our responsibility not to propagate ideas which are in opposition to thousands of definite and careful observations of what the earth's fossiliferous strata are really like. How can an ignoring of physical and biological realities be a proper testimony of the quality of Christianity? During the past four or five years, since creationism became prominent in the courts and in the news, we have seen a flood of examples in scientific and educational publications of how our refusals to recognize scientific data have given the world the impression that the Bible is a hopelessly outdated, unscientific book. This disgrace will continue until we openly confess our wrong methods and put our teaching of creation on a sound basis which is both Biblical and scientific. Christians must stop fearing the results of systematic, scientific examination of the earth's strata. God is absolutely consistent, and thus would never produce a natural world which contradicts his special revelation." (Wonderly D.E.*, "Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings," , Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, 1999, p.96. Emphasis in original) 24/09/03 "To begin with, the apes did not `learn American Sign Language." This preposterous claim is based on the myth that ASL is a crude system of pantomimes and gestures rather than a full language with complex phonology, morphology, and syntax. in fact the apes had not learned any true ASL, signs. The one deaf native signer on the Washoe team later made these candid remarks: `Every time the chimp made a sign, we were supposed to write it down in the log ... They were always complaining because my log didn't show enough signs. All the hearing people turned in logs with long lists of signs. They always saw more signs than I did ... I watched really carefully. The chimp's hands were moving constantly. Maybe I missed something, but I don't think so. I just wasn't seeing any signs. The hearing people were logging every movement the chimp made as a sign. Every time the chimp put his finger in his mouth, they'd say `Oh, he's making the sign for drink," and they'd give him some milk ... When the chimp scratched itself, they'd record it as the sign for scratch ... When [the chimps] want something, they reach. Sometimes [the trainers would] say, `Oh, amazing, look at that, it's exactly like the ASL, sign for give!" It wasn't.'" (Pinker S., "The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind," , Penguin: London, 2000, reprint, pp.369-370. Emphasis in original) 25/09/03 The karyological data are more interesting (Yunis J.J. & Prakash O., "The Origin of Man: A Chromosomal Pictorial Legacy," Science, Vol. 215, 19 March 1982, pp.1525-30) All four species show remarkable similarity in G-banding patterns. A reversal of the numerous inversions (para- and pericentric) and the few fusions, insertions, and translocations would result in nearly 100 percent homology of banding patterns. This would be expected under the assumption that man and the apes are evolutionarily [sic] linked, yet contradictory to the concept that the four species (or at least humans) are members of discrete prototypes." (Lester L.P. & Bohlin R.G.*, "The Natural Limits to Biological Change," , Probe Books: Dallas TX, Second Edition, 1989, pp.166, 196n) 25/09/03 "In reality, Darwin did not publish his rejection of the design argument until 1868 at the end of Animal and Plants under Domestication. Using the analogy of a building constructed from the stone fragments at the base of a precipice, Darwin stated; `In regard to the use to which the fragments may be put, their shape may be strictly said to be accidental... Can it be reasonably maintained that the Creator intentionally ordered, if we use the words in any ordinary sense, that certain fragments of rock should assume certain shapes so that the builder might erect his edifice? ... we can hardly follow Professor Asa Gray in his belief 'that variation has been led along certain beneficial lines... On the other hand, an omnipotent and omniscient Creator ordains everything and foresees everything. Thus we are brought face to face with a difficulty as insoluble as is that of free will and predestination.' Exactly!! The problem of fine-grained providence is precisely the same as free will and predestination, and only someone who could accept one could accept the other. .... For Gray, a God who wills the fall of every sparrow and counts all the hairs on one's head indeed must shape every fallen stone. ... As Asa Gray was a voluntarist, one of his worldview assumptions was that nature was totally directed by the providential hand of God. ... Since nature was completely contingent, God's designs could be mediated through secondary causes, and therefore science might be able to explain how they were produced." (Wilcox D.L.*, "Created in Eternity, Unfolded in Time," Eastern College: St. Davids PA, 1990, Unpublished Manuscript, Chapter 2, pp.20-21) 26/09/03 "Epicurean ideas were never intended to be difficult or esoteric the preserve of the learned. They were addressed to mankind almost as widely as St Paul addressed his letters on Christianity. Indeed, in some ways the content of the Epicurean Philosophy 'the Philosophy of the Garden' as it was often called - has a more apparent relevance to the world we now know than Christianity itself. The Epicurean idea of an infinite universe of matter and space, indifferent to human hopes and concerns but whose workings can be understood, is the predominant scientific idea with which we now live." (Gaskin J., ed., "The Epicurean Philosophers," Everyman, J.M. Dent: London, 1995, p.ix) 26/09/03 "Perhaps this unqualified hack is a solitary genius, the only soldier in the entire platoon - nay regiment who is in step?" (Dawkins R., New Statesman, 28th August 1992, in Milton R., "The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism," , Corgi: London, 1993, p.1) 27/09/03 "This is true of all the thirty-two orders of mammals, and in most cases the break in the record is still more striking than in the case of the perissodactyls, for which a known earlier group does at least provide a good structural ancestry. The earliest and most primitive known members of every order already have the basic ordinal characters, and in no case is an approximately continuous sequence from one order to another known. In most cases the break is so sharp and the gap so large that the origin of the order is speculative and much disputed. Of course the orders all converge backward in time, to different degrees. The earliest known members are much more alike than the latest known members, and there is little doubt, for instance, but that all the highly diverse ungulates did have a common ancestry; but the line making actual connection with such an ancestry is not known in even one instance." (Simpson G.G., "Tempo and Mode in Evolution," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1949, Third Printing, p.106) 28/09/03 "Time and again we have heard the accusation that a state which recognises Christian principles would result in "oppression." Some have tried to suggest that "more evil has been done in the name of religion." This accusation is completely unjustified by the record of history! The church has never been perfect, but its track record in history should be remembered for its achievements as well as its failures. The sins of the church should not be taken out of context, blown out of proportion and remembered forevermore as if this has been the only activity of the church. ... Before the advent of Christianity almost every culture and religion practised slavery and human sacrifice -- even the highly esteemed Greek and Roman civilizations. ... Most in our society do not seem to realize how much we owe to the Advent of Jesus Christ. Hospitals as we know them were an innovation of Christianity (hence the universal healing symbol of a cross to represent hospitals). The nursing profession was founded by Florence Nightingale out of devotion for Christ. One of history's greatest humanitarian movements, the International Red Cross, was founded by Christians in response to the Scriptural injunction to care for the sick and suffering. ... More hospitals and schools have been founded by Christians than by all other religions combined. The Christian church has been the supreme (and often the only) force restraining man's inhumanity towards man. The whole concept of charity was a Christian innovation. The church of Christ has done more than any other institution in history to alleviate poverty and suffering. Before Christ, benevolence to strangers was unknown. Where the Bible became known, compassionate and unselfish sacrifice flourished. Dr. James Kennedy's book What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? documents a wide range of the unparalleled contributions of the Christian church. ... The Christian church has made more positive changes on earth than any other force or movement in history. Most of the languages of the world were first codified and put into writing by Christian missionaries. More schools and universities have been started by Christians than by any other group. The elevation of women (from the second-class status they were kept in by other religions) was a Christian achievement, as was the abolition of slavery, cannibalism, child sacrifice and widow burning. Almost every civilization and culture practiced slavery and human sacrifice before Christian influence. Those countries which enjoy the most civil liberties are generally those lands where the Gospel of Christ has penetrated the most. ... Christianity gave birth to liberty. Constitutional republics, the separation of powers, limited government and freedom of conscience are a result of the Reformation. It is the secular humanists who have a heritage of oppression. The 44 secular or atheistic states have caused the deaths of over 160 million people in this century alone. The abuse of human rights, atrocities and massacres in the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Red China, North Korea, Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique and Cuba were an inevitable result of rejecting God's Law. Either men will be governed by God's Law or they will be ruled by tyrants. ... Only those ignorant of history could fail to acknowledge that Christianity has made more positive changes on earth than any other force or movement. The teachings and example of Jesus Christ have inspired the greatest acts of generosity, hospitality, self-sacrifice and service for the sick, poor and needy. It's easy for opponents of Christianity to criticize, but what are our critics doing for the lonely, the widows, the orphans, the sick, the aged and the refugees? " (Hammond, P. "Our Christian Heritage," Chalcedon Conference for Christian Culture, Lusaka, Zambia, June 28, 1997)
* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists. However, lack of
an asterisk does not necessarily mean that an author is an evolutionist.
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Created: 1 September, 2003. Updated. Updated: 30 April, 2010.