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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages in January-March, 2004.
The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Feb, Mar] [Apr-Jun] [Jul-Sep] [Oct-Dec]
January [top] 1/01/2004 "The theory of evolution cannot take the place of the doctrine of creation. Some speak as if the hypothesis of evolution offered an explanation of the origin of the world, but this is clearly a mistake, for it does no such thing. Evolution is development, and all development presupposes the prior existence of an entity or principle or force, out of which something develops. The non-existent cannot develop into existence. Matter and force could not have evolved out of nothing. It has been customary for evolutionists to fall back on the nebular hypothesis, in order to explain the origin of the solar system, though in present day science this is supplanted by the planetesimal hypothesis. But these only carry the problem one step farther back, and fail to solve it. The evolutionist must either resort to the theory that matter is eternal, or accept the doctrine of creation." (Berkhof, L., "Systematic Theology," , Banner of Truth: London, British Edition, 1958, Third Printing, 1966, p.161) 2/01/2004 "Fundamentalism, as I intimate throughout this book, is a parody of the American Religion, but its defensive anxieties and its wounded aggressivities stem nevertheless from what is most authentic in the American Gnosis. The true issue is by no means Biblical Inerrancy, because the Fundamentalists, as unwitting Gnostics, do not believe anyway that God made them. Their deepest knowledge is that they were no part of the Creation, but existed as spirits before it, and so are as old as God himself. To be told that they evolved from a common ancestor both of themselves and of apes is no better or worse for them than to be assured that they all descend from a single African woman. What wounds them unforgivingly is not the idea of evolution (in whatever version) but the demonstration that they were never God, or part of God. Their sense of their freedom depends ultimately upon being free not only of time and of nature but, more secretively, being free of the very Creationism they urge upon all the rest of us." (Bloom, H., "The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation," , Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1993, pp.56-57) 2/01/2004 "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 cr eature 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) 2/01/2004 "The present author sternly resists any effort to dogmatize about the time involved in creation, and any effort of fiat creationism to reduce progressive creationism to evolution or to impiety, as if progressive creationism questioned the omnipotence of God. `For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast' (Psa. 33:9) has been one of the verses repeatedly used in the history of Bible-and-science to refute science, and yet the fiat-heliocentric interpretation of this verse has been continually put to rout. The verse asserts nothing about time in creation, but it does assert the certainty with which Nature obeys the divine will. The command of a great and powerful general is faithfully and obediently carried out. The amount of time consumed in carrying out the will of the general is dependent on the task, and a task which takes a long time is no depreciation of the general's authority, as a task which takes a short time is no necessary tribute to his authority." (Ramm, B.L.*, "The Christian View of Science and Scripture,"  Paternoster: Exeter, Devon UK, 1967, reprint, p.77. Emphasis in original) 2/01/2004 "Writing on 'Creation, Evolution, and Mediate Creation' for The Bible Student in 1901 (pp. 197-210), for example, Warfield reviewed the `scientific theology' of Otto Pfleiderer which, on inspection, revealed a wholesale importation of evolutionism into theological reflection. What Pfleiderer's project amounted to was-ultimately-a denial of God's creative intervention by an overemphasis on providential superintendence. Pfleiderer's conclusions prompted Warfield to insist that `when we say 'evolution,' we definitely deny creation. and when we say 'creation,' we definitely deny evolution. Whatever comes by the one process by that very fact does not come by the other. Whatever comes by evolution is not created; whatever is created is not evolved.' Evolution and creation were mutually exclusive categories. ... This 1901 essay was Warfield's most articulate presentation yet of a crucial distinction he was drawing between three modes of divine action or superintendence of the physical world. Warfield saw them as methods that God used to generate physical forms, species, and individuals. First was theistic evolution, or the providentially controlled unfolding of nature. Second was creation ex nihilo, or out of nothing. Warfield's third category was the most complicated and the one that least resembles schemes developed since his time. This was the category of mediate creation-in effect, a via media between evolution and creation ex nihilo that he developed from hints in earlier Reformed theologians. By mediate creation Warfield meant that God acted, or intervened, with already existing material to bring something new into existence that could not have developed from the forces latent in the material itself. Like creation ex nihilo, mediate creation required a direct act of God. Like evolution, mediate creation featured already existing material." (Noll, M.A. & Livingstone, D.N., "Introduction," in Noll, M.A. & Livingstone, D.N., eds, "B.B. Warfield: Evolution, Science and Scripture: Selected Writings," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2000, pp.34-35) 4/01/2004 "Your coverage of Robert Gallo's annual lab meeting (F. Hoke, The Scientist, Nov. 14, 1994, page 1) revealed unmistakably that research based on the HIV theory of AIDS is at a standstill. Ten years after the discovery of what the newspapers call `HIV, the virus that causes AIDS,' it is clear that scientists haven't a clue as to what HIV is supposed to be doing to the cells of the immune system. Gallo's own summary said that there are `conflicting views on the question of whether HIV kills T cells directly or indirectly. That general area was, to me, one of the high points of the meeting, but without clear-cut resolution.' After a decade of futility, HIV scientists are making no progress in explaining how a retrovirus can be killing cells it doesn't infect. How many more years will it take before biomedical science is willing to reconsider a theory that was established by a press conference, and that has generated nothing since but a steady stream of failed predictions?" (Johnson, P.E.*, "HIV And AIDS," The Scientist, Vol. 9, No. 2, January 23, 1995, p.13) 5/01/2004 "Likewise, if the impacts transferred life-bearing rocks from Earth to Mars, or from Mars to Earth, the arrival of these rocks from another planet might well have occurred not once but dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of times, depending on how many rocks each impact blasted loose. Even if most of these transfers failed to strike a spark on the new planet, the large number of interplanetary rock voyages suggests that primitive Earth may well have received samples of early Martian life, if it existed, and that Mars should have received a smaller, but still significant number, of life-bearing rocks from Earth." (Goldsmith, D.A., "The Hunt for Life on Mars," Dutton: New York NY, 1997, p.141) 6/01/2004 "At the risk of repetition, let us also note that science offers one particular way to regard the world, a view that has yielded great benefits not only to its adherents but also to those who know nothing of science. However, you never gain something but that you lose something, as Thoreau said. Since science depends on its skepticism, an attitude different from what we feel in our inner selves, we should never lose sight of the fact that science is only one way to tell a story, only one myth that `explains' the world around us. Science differs only because the story and myth concern what is generally called physical reality; for those who find this fact incomplete or even low on the hierarchy of importance, science can never rank as much more than a source of fascinating tidbits of information. Many a scientist feels the split between his or her skeptical side, which leads to greater understanding of the physical world, and a more ethereal side, which takes an interest in other matters. In what may be seen as an attempt to unite these two aspects, Albert Einstein once said that `the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.' A fair amount of mystery still lies within that word "comprehensible." (Goldsmith, D.A., "The Hunt for Life on Mars," Dutton: New York NY, 1997, pp.232-233) 6/01/2004 "At the risk of repetition, let us also note that science offers one particular way to regard the world, a view that has yielded great benefits not only to its adherents but also to those who know nothing of science. However, you never gain something but that you lose something, as Thoreau said. Since science depends on its skepticism, an attitude different from what we feel in our inner selves, we should never lose sight of the fact that science is only one way to tell a story, only one myth that `explains' the world around us. Science differs only because the story and myth concern what is generally called physical reality; for those who find this fact incomplete or even low on the hierarchy of importance, science can never rank as much more than a source of fascinating tidbits of information. Many a scientist feels the split between his or her skeptical side, which leads to greater understanding of the physical world, and a more ethereal side, which takes an interest in other matters. In what may be seen as an attempt to unite these two aspects, Albert Einstein once said that `the most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.' A fair amount of mystery still lies within that word "comprehensible." (Goldsmith, D.A., "The Hunt for Life on Mars," Dutton: New York NY, 1997, pp.232-233) 6/01/2004 "Chapter 9. The Seventy Weeks The Captivity, which was then drawing to a closes had lasted 70 years. Daniel is here told by the angel that it would yet be `70 weeks' till the coming of the Messiah (24). The `70 weeks' is generally understood to mean 70 weeks of years, that is as 70 sevens of years, or seven times 70 years, that is 490 years. As if the angel were saying, The Captivity has been 70 years; the period between the Captivity and the Coming of the Messiah will be seven times that long. Seven, and cycles of seven, sometimes have symbolic meanings; yet the actual facts of this prophecy are most amazing, as follows: The date from which the 70 weeks was to be counted was the decree to rebuild Jerusalem (25). There were three decrees issued by Persian kings for this purpose (536 B.C., 457 B.C., 444 B.C., see under Ezra). The principal one of these was 457 B.C. The 70 weeks is subdivided into 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week (25, 27). It is difficult to see the application of the `7 weeks'; but the 69 weeks (including the 7) equal 483 days, that is, on the year-day theory (Ezekiel 4:6), which is the commonly accepted interpretation, 483 years. This 483 years is the period between the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the coming of the `Anointed One' (25). The decree to rebuild Jerusalem, as noted above, was 457 B.C Adding 483 years to 457 B.C. brings us to A.D. 26, the very year that Jesus was baptized and began his public ministry. A most remarkable fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, even to the year. Further, within 3 1/2 years Jesus was crucified, that is, `in the midst of the one week' `the Anointed One' was `cut off,' `purged away sin and brought in everlasting righteousness' (24, 26, 27). Thus Daniel foretold not only the Time at which the Messiah would appear, but also the Duration of his Public Ministry, and his Atoning Death for Human Sin. Some think that God's chronology was suspended at the death of Christ, to remain so while Israel is scattered, and that the last half of the `one week' belongs to the time of the End." (Halley, H.H.*, "Halley's Bible Handbook: An Abbreviated Bible Commentary," , Oliphants: London, Twenty-Fourth edition, 1965, p.349) 8/01/2004 "C. THE SEVENTY SEVENS (OF YEARS) (9). One of the most amazing predictions in the Bible foretold the very time of Christ's coming. While meditating on the seventy-years captivity, as Jeremiah (ch. 25) had predicted it, Daniel was told by the angel Gabriel that seventy sevens (of years) would be decreed upon Jerusalem and the Jewish people before the messianic age would come. The first sixty-nine sevens (483 years) would run from the command of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem (445 B.C.) to the cutting off of the Messiah (the Crucifixion). Taking these to e lunar years (i.e., twelve 30-day months = 360 days) one comes up with about 476 solar years, which takes US to A.D. 31, the time of the Crucifixion of Christ. Some scholars believe this is the exact number of years, even days, to Christ. Others are content with a round number approximation (70 x 7). Whatever the case, it is sufficiently close to be amazing, especially in view of the fact that the most skeptical critic admits that the prophecy was given at least 165 years before Christ!" (Geisler, N.L.*, "A Popular Survey of the Old Testament," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1984, Eighth printing, p.288) 8/01/2004 "Darwinian evolution with its blind watchmaker thesis makes me think of a great battleship on the ocean of reality. Its sides are heavily armored with philosophical barriers to criticism, and its decks are stacked with big rhetorical guns ready to intimidate any would-be attackers. In appearance, it is as impregnable as the Soviet Union seemed to be only a few years ago. But the ship has sprung a metaphysical leak, and the more perceptive of the ship's officers have begun to sense that all the ship's firepower cannot save it if the leak is not plugged. There will be heroic efforts to save the ship, of course, and some plausible rescuers will invite the officers to take refuge in electronic lifeboats equipped with high-tech gear like autocatalytic sets and computer models of self-organizing systems. The spectacle will be fascinating, and the battle will go on for a long time. But in the end reality will win." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.169-170) 8/01/2004 "The sinking ship. I beg readers' indulgence for the perhaps overly dramatic metaphor of the final paragraph. A writer should be allowed his bit of fun. The reference to "high-tech" damage-control mechanisms is to the school represented by Stuart Kauffman's Origins of Order (1993). I assume this is what Gould had in mind when he referred to "the self-organizing properties of molecules and other physical systems." If the rulers of science really mean to jump into this lifeboat, I will be happy to participate in the ensuing discussion, but I think that after assessing the prospects they will elect to stay on the sinking ship and keep trying to plug the holes. (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, p.213) 9/01/2004 "We live in a most uncommon time. Opposition to recent changes in Western society is not mere sentimental idealization of yesteryear, or the fear of change. We are not faced with differences between miniskirts and maxiskirts, wide ties or narrow. Ours is a choice of civilization. It is not a question of turning back the clock to the rosy world of the '50s. it is the question of whether we opt for a Christian or pagan society. Our society struggles at the brink of a new age, characterized by an unusual mixing of fundamentally antithetical views regarding the world and God. In the confusion of worldviews, monism and theism lock in a battle to the death. Which will emerge victorious to affect the future of the next generations? Though ultimate victory belongs to the Creator, the Church has never been promised every battle. As Professor Wilken of the University of Virginia has observed, with exceptional insight: `The ferocity of the current assault on the legacy of Christian culture ... has brought a new clarity of vision. The alternatives are set before us with unusual starkness: either there will be a genuine renewal of Christian culture-there is no serious alternative-or we will be enveloped by the darkness of paganism in which the worship of the true God is abandoned and forgotten. The sources of the cultural crisis, it turns out, are theological.'" (Jones, P.*, "Pagans in the Pews," Regal: Ventura CA, 2001, p.39) 9/01/2004 "Does the average Christian know what is going on in our ostensibly civilized society? Pagan ideology, sometimes of the most radical and anti-Christian nature, is taught in university departments of religion, theological seminaries, mainline church agencies, feminist networks and Wicca covens across the land. It adopts the name of Christianity but will render our world unrecognizable. ... If you doubt the success of this revolution, note the following statistic: 71 percent of Americans and 40 percent of those who, based upon their core beliefs, are considered Evangelicals, no longer believe in absolute truth. Since the '60s, consciousness has changed. The present hour is crucial. `The church faces a crisis of identity possibly unmatched since the second century. ... The threat has monumental implications for believers and especially for their children." (Jones, P.*, "Pagans in the Pews," Regal: Ventura CA, 2001, pp.39-40) 9/01/2004 "Owing to my having accidentally omitted to mention that Dr. Krause had enlarged and corrected his article in German before it was translated, Mr Samuel Butler abused me with almost insane virulence. How I offended him so bitterly, I have never been able to understand. The subject gave rise to some controversy in the Athenaeum newspaper and Nature. I laid all the documents before some good judges, viz. Huxley, Leslie Stephen, Litchfield, etc., and they were all unanimous that the attack was so baseless that it did not deserve any public answer; for I had already expressed privately my regret to Mr. Butler for my accidental omission. Huxley consoled me by quoting some German lines from Goethe, who had been attacked by someone, to the effect `that every Whale has its Louse.'" (Darwin, C.R., in Barlow N., ed., "The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882: With Original Omissions Restored," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York, 1969, reprint, p[.134-135) 9/01/2004 "The theory of biological evolution is based on the struggle for life and the survival of the fittest. Yet cooperation is common between members of the same species and even between members of different species. Before about 1960, accounts of the evolutionary process largely dismissed cooperative phenomena as not requiring special attention. ... To account for the manifest existence of cooperation and related group behavior, such as altruism and restraint in competition, evolutionary theory has recently acquired two kinds of extension. These extensions are, broadly, genetical kinship theory and reciprocity theory. Most of the recent activity, both in fieldwork and in further developments of theory, has been on the side of kinship. ... If the players are sufficiently closely related, altruism can benefit reproduction of the set, despite losses to the individual altruist. In accord with this theory's predictions, almost all clear cases of altruism, and most observed cooperation-apart from their appearance in the human species-occur in contexts of high relatedness, usually between immediate family members. The evolution of the suicidal barbed sting of the honeybee worker could be taken as paradigm for this line of theory (Hamilton 1972). Conspicuous examples of cooperation (although almost never of ultimate self-sacrifice) also occur where relatedness is low or absent. Mutually advantageous symbioses offer striking examples such as these: the fungus and alga that compose a lichen; the ants and ant-acacias, where the trees house and feed the ants which, in turn, protect the trees (Janzen 1966); and the fig wasps and fig tree, where wasps, which are parasites of fig flowers, serve as the tree's sole means of pollination and seed set (Wiebes 1976; Janzen 1979). Usually the course of cooperation in such symbioses is smooth, but sometimes the partners show signs of antagonism, either spontaneous or elicited by particular treatments (Caullery 1952).3 Although kinship may be involved, as will be discussed later, symbioses mainly illustrate the other recent extension of evolutionary theory-the theory of reciprocity." (Axelrod, R.M., "The Evolution of Cooperation," Basic Books: New York NY, 1984, pp.89-90) 10/01/2004 "In this highly polemic volume James Barr of Oxford uses `fundamentalism' according to British parlance, as equivalent to `conservative evangelicalism.' Only secondarily does he deal with `fundamentalists' in the current American sense of strict separatists, such as the dispensationalist variety. He mainly attacks British conservative evangelical scholars associated with Inter-Varsity Fellowship, their American counterparts such as those associated with Christianity Today, and their intellectual forebears, especially Charles Hodge and B.B. Warfield. Throughout this work, Barr displays, almost nothing but disdain and contempt for conservative evangelical scholarship. He says that he does `not find any of its arguments to have validity except in very minor respects' (p. 9). Fundamentalism, he maintains, is `a pathological condition of Christianity' (p.5). ... The values of such criticisms are offset considerably by being placed in the context of other arguments, which are simply untrue or unfair. For instance, repeatedly he accuses conservative scholars of sheer ignorance: "... the fundamentalist picture of what non conservative theology is like is not based on any deep study of the latter ..." (p. 164). Moreover, many times (as in the instance just quoted) he attributes to all conservative evangelicals the traits of some. Furthermore, he sets up several no-win situations for conservative evangelical scholars. If they reject all modern critical methods or insights, they are obscurantists; if they do consider some, they are inconsistent or `simply hanging on the coat-tails of non conservative work...' (p. 232). This book apparently is written to free young converts from the shackles of conservative evangelical influences. ... But the irony of this volume is that it has so many of the very traits it most strongly criticizes." (Marsden, G., "Fundamentalism." Review of "Fundamentalism," by James Barr Philadelphia, Westminster Press, 1978. Theology Today, Princeton Theological Seminary: Princeton NJ, Vol. 35, No. 4, January 1979) 10/01/2004 "Imagine that you are driving down a narrow road with a cliff on one side and a precipice on the other, when you find that a huge, thick log blocks the way forward. The log is too heavy to lift, and there is no way around it. If you are going to proceed, you must find some way to split the log into segments, so you can move the barrier out of the way. Fortunately, this can be done. The log seems solid, but there are bound to be cracks, some of which penetrate deep into the interior. What you need to do is insert the thin edge of a wedge into the most profound crack and gradually drive the broader parts of the wedge into the log until the crack widens and the log is split. The log in this metaphor is the ruling philosophy of modern culture, a philosophy called naturalism or materialism or physicalism or simply modernism. Under any of those names this philosophy assumes that in the beginning were the fundamental particles that compose matter, energy and the impersonal laws of physics. To put it negatively, there was no personal God who created the cosmos and governs it as an act of free will. If God exists at all, he acts only through inviolable laws of nature and adds nothing to them. In consequence, all the creating had to be done by the laws and the particles, which is to say by some combination of random chance and lawlike regularity. It is by building on that philosophical assumption that modernist scientists conclude that all plants and animals are the products of an undirected and purposeless evolutionary process and that humankind is just another animal species, not created uniquely in the image of God. This philosophy controls academic work not only in science but in all fields, including law, literature and psychology. It is promulgated throughout the educational system and the mainstream media, and government backs it. Superficially it seems as immovable as that great log that bars your progress on that mountain road. But on closer examination, the log is marked by cracks. The most important crack in the modernist log is the difference between two distinct definitions of science. On the one hand, modernists say that science is impartial fact-finding, the objective and unprejudiced weighing of evidence. Science in that sense relies on careful observations, calculations, and above all, repeatable experiments. That kind of objective science is what makes technology possible, and where it can be employed it is indeed the most reliable way of determining the facts. On the other hand, modernists also identify science with naturalistic philosophy. In that case science is committed to finding and endorsing naturalistic explanations for every phenomenon - regardless of the facts. That kind of science is not free of prejudice. On the contrary, it is defined by a prejudice. The prejudice is that all phenomena can ultimately be explained in terms of purely natural causes, which is to say unintelligent causes. The Wedge of my title is an informal movement of like-minded thinkers in which I have taken a leading role. Our strategy is to drive the thin edge of our Wedge into the cracks in the log of naturalism by bringing long-neglected questions to the surface and introducing them into public debate. Of course the initial penetration is not the whole story, because the Wedge can split the log only if it thickens as it penetrates. If we are raising the right questions after a long period in which those questions were suppressed, then new avenues of inquiry should be suggested, and thinking will go off in new directions. A new body of research and scholarship will gradually emerge, and in time the adherents of the old dogma will be left behind, unable to comprehend the questions that have suddenly become too important to ignore." (Johnson, P.E.*, "The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism," Intervarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 2000, pp.13-15. Emphasis in original) 10/01/2004 "This perception of legitimacy was reinforced and rendered nearly irresistible by the inherent attractiveness of the positive type of plot line of the rise of Design. A Darwinian (negative) telling of the Design story is a flat, boring, and increasingly implausible tale of grim siege by emotional, ignorant villains. Therein, Design scholars are construed as professors driven by `religious motivations,' who are `fearful' of evolution, who aren't `Patient enough' to wait for the answers to be found, who don't understand how science works, or who want to shut down science with a vision of a universe bursting with miracles.' By contrast, the tale of Design told from a friendly point of view is a story that is fresh, profoundly interesting, and fascinating- dramatic, in the most basic sense of the word. It seems to have what Walter Fisher described as `narrative fidelity,' in ringing true to the experiences of our lives. One does not have to hold already to some sort of divine intervention in nature to grasp this point. By thought experiment, anyone can imagine this story-that scientists might be found profoundly misguided in their decades old pronouncement of `overwhelming evidence' for evolution-and in this imagining, one realizes that such a drama contains powerful human- interest themes. It is a moral tale of self-deluded blindness, long overlooked, but finally-at great sacrifice- brought to light. Also, it is a story with broad cultural impact." (Woodward, T.E.*, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 2003, pp.196-197) 11/01/2004 "The coming of prince Messiah is predicted in Daniel 9:25 as occurring sixty-nine; weeks (or heptads- periods of seven) after the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem. ... [A] logical terminus a quo is to be found in the restorations under Ezra or Nehemiah - which were of similar purpose and only twelve years apart. The Temple had been rebuilt and its worship reestablished for many a year. But Jerusalem's wall was still broken down and the city itself, with the exception, probably, of the estates of the rich, lay in ruins. The purpose of Ezra and Nehemiah was to rebuild the city, and they received permission from the kings of Persia to do precisely that Nehemiah's commission is very explicit (Neh. 2:5). Ezra had a similar purpose and work (Ezra 7:8,9). Now, 48 years from Ezra's date of 456 B.C. is 26 A.D. (26 rather than 27, for there is no year 0 A.D.), the time, as nearly as we can tell, when John the Baptist proclaimed to the people of Judea, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." There would seem to be no need to look further or to say that the author of Daniel is vague in his predictions of events which occurred after the days of the Maccabees.' (Harris, R.L.*, "Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible: An Historical and Exegetical Study," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1957, pp.150-151) 12/1/2004 "The prophecy of the seventy weeks has been variously interpreted. One conclusion seems self-evident. Each week or `heptad' must be a period of seven years or a total of 490 years. Daniel divides this period into three parts: the first has seven weeks or forty-nine years, the second has sixty-two weeks or 434 years, and the third has one week or seven years. Some interpreters hold that the entire seventy weeks were to follow one upon another without interruption. This interpretation, however, encounters the difficulty that, according to the received Hebrew text of verse 25, there are to elapse only sixty-nine weeks, after which time (according to verse 26) the anointed one is to be cut off. (Moreover, a full 490 years can hardly be made out between any of eligible decrees-538, 457, and 445 B.C.- and the cutting off of the Messiah.) Others hold that sixty-nine weeks only were by fulfilled the time the anointed one was cut off at Calvary, and that the last week belongs to the period of the great tribulation. The early church fathers held this view. Some of those who hold to the latter view interpret the New Testament church age as an unrevealed mystery during Old Testament times, constituting a `parenthesis' until the beginning of the seventieth week. (Others who hold the deferment of the seventieth week acknowledge that the New Testament church was quite frequently alluded to in the Old Testament.) The terminus a quo for the commencement of these sixty nine weeks of years is stated to be from the going forth of the word (or decree) to restore and build Jerusalem (ver 25). This may refer to the divine decree, or one of three historical edicts: (1) decree of King Cyrus in 538 B.C. (Ezra -4); (2) the order of Artaxerxes to Ezra in 457 B.C. (which apparently involved authority to erect the walls of Jerusalem, cf. Ezra 7.6, 7; 9.9); (3) the order to Nehemiah in 445 B.C. to carry through the rebuilding of the walls (which Ezra had not been able to accomplish). Of these choices, (1) must be ruled out as coming nowhere to the time of Christ's ministry; (3) coming out too late, unless lunar years are used the computation. Only (2) comes out right according to regular solar years, for it yields the result as A.D. 27, or the commencement of Christ's ministry. Ezra and Nehemiah render an account of the rebuilding of Jerusalem in forty-nine years and troublous times. Then follow the sixty-two weeks, after which Messiah was cut off for sin. One's view of the remaining week is colored by his whole scheme of prophetic interpretation." (Lindsell, H.*, ed., "Harper Study Bible," Revised Standard Version, Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1964, Nineteenth printing, 1965, pp.1312-1313) 13/1/2004 "The Seventy Weeks The future of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel was outlined for Daniel as he realized that the seventy years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah (29:10) were almost over. That future involved seventy sevens or weeks (Dan. 9:20-27) arranged in three groups: (1) one set of seven weeks, (2) another of sixty-two weeks, and (3) a final set of one week. Hence 490 weeks (i.e., years) were to be divided into 49, 434, and 7 years respectively. The purpose of this further extension of time before the awaited Consummation set in was described in the six infinitives of verse 24: to finish the transgression to abolish sin to atone for iniquity to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal vision and prophet to anoint the most holy [place]. The order of events before the full redemption arrived included the complete deliverance from sin and guilt, the conclusion of prophetic activity, and the introduction of the righteous kingdom with its anointed sanctuary in Zion as predicted in Ezekiel 40-48, Zechariah 3:9ff., and their predecessors. Most commentators agree that the 490 years began with the decree of Artaxerxes in his twentieth year of reign in 445 B.C. (Neh. 2:1-8), 7 which allowed the city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and continued through 483 of those 490 years, until the first advent of Messiah. But commentators differ widely on whether there is a gap of undetermined length between the first 69 weeks or 483 years and the last week of 7 years or whether that week also did not expire during the first Christian century during the persecution of the early church as symbolized by Stephen's martyrdom The former position points to the temporal notation of `after the sixty- two weeks [period]' (9:26) and the cutting off of Messiah (approx. A.D. 30) and the destruction of the temple (A.D. 70) while the latter group tends to equate the `anointed one' and the `prince' of verse 26 and to argue for the completion of the seventieth week during the first century A.D." (Kaiser, W.C., Jr*, "Toward an Old Testament Theology," Academie Books/Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1978, Reprinted, 1990, pp.247-248. Emphasis original) 13/1/2004 "Equivocation is when the meaning of words is shifted. Many false arguments use equivocation to convince an audience. Equivocation makes natural selection slippery and provides its apparent scientific power. If natural selection were consistently either tautology, or special definition, or metaphysics or lame, then it would not have lasted so long in the scientific arena. Natural selection seems like powerful science because 'fitness' is shifted to mean different things. Fitness can appear in three different ways. ... T Tautology ... SD Special Definition ... M Metaphysics ... Alternatively, all references to fitness and adaptation may be abandoned. Natural selection then appears as ... L Lame ... The illusion is achieved by shifting between T, SD, M, and L. In this way natural selection can appear to have all the good qualities one could want in science: empirical, measurable, explanatory, general, testable, non-tautologous, and true. This shift can happen rapidly during a book or lecture. Once we understand the principle, watching natural selection in action is like watching the three-shell game at the carnival. One never knows which of the walnut shells the pea will be under next." (ReMine, W.J.*, "The Biotic Message: Evolution Versus Message Theory," St. Paul Science: Saint Paul MN, 1993, p.107) 14/1/2004 "The prophecy of the seventy weeks also concerns the sufferings of the kingdom of God (ix. 24-27). The prophetic era from which the weeks are reckoned is a decree, either of God or of an earthly king, for restoring and building Jerusalem (25). The anointed one, the prince (25), and the anointed one (26) are interpreted, with more or less soundness of reasoning, as referring to one person or two persons, and as being Cyrus or a high priest or the line of high priests or Christ." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, pp.162-163) 15/1/2004 "The seven weeks and sixty-two weeks and one week, amounting in all to seventy weeks (24-27), are variously distributed. They are taken successively, so as to measure a period of 490 years; or the sixty-two is held to include the seven, so that a period of 431 years only is covered- or the numbers are taken in the reverse order from their mention in verse 25, and a significant period of seven weeks is made to follow the periods of sixty-two weeks and one week." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "The theories which regard the decree as an edict of God are mainly two. They make the era either the beginning of the exile, 605 B.C. (cp. Jer. xxv. 11), or the destruction of Jerusalem, 587 B.C. (cp. xxix. 10, written soon after-the beginning of Jehoiachin's captivity verse 2; xxx. 18; xxxi. 38). Need it be added that the year 450 B.C. has also been sought, on the theory that the seventy years of punishment were doubled (Jer. xvi. 18; but see Is. xl. 2), and a divine decree of favor to Zion is implied at their close?" (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "The theories which date the era from the decree of an earthly monarch are four: 1. The edict of Cyrus, 538 B.C. (Ezra i. 2-4; vi. 3-5; cp. Is. xliv. 28; xlv. 1, 13), under the provisions of which the rebuilding of the temple was begun (Ezra vi. 14,15; Hag. i. 14, 15). 2. The edict of Darius (Ezra vi. 6:12). 3. The edict of the seventh year of Artaxerxes, 457 B.C. (vii. 7, 1126), which granted to the Jews absolute authority in civil and religious matters (25, 26), and under which they proceeded to build the city walls (iv. 12). The work was temporarily interrupted by a new decree (iv. 21). 4. The edict of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, 444 B.C., which included permission to restore and fortify the city (Neh. ii. 3, 5, 8, 17, 18)." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "The problem thus has three factors, to each of which several interpretations are given: the decree, the anointed one, and the weeks- and these factors are susceptible of various combinations. Of all these combinations, using any one of the decrees as a starting-point, and reckoning forward either sixty-two or sixty-nine weeks of seven years each, and expecting either the time of Antiochus Epiphanes or that of Christ to be reached by this measurement only one combination yields a result. All others require an invention of history or involve an unusual chronological artifice or end in an unsolved mystery or assume a gross miscalculation of the interval by the author." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "The one combination which coincides with known history throughout starts with the decree of Artaxerxes in his seventh year, 457 B.C. A period of seven weeks or forty-nine years came to a close about 408 B.C., and the reformation under Ezra and Nehemiah was conducted during this period and characterized this period as a whole. When this reform ceased to be the dominating feature of God's kingdom is unknown, but Nehemiah's successor, who was a Persian and naturally not a maintainer of the exclusiveness of Jehovah's religion, was in office in 411 B.C., before the close of the seventh week." (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "Then follow sixty-two weeks or 434 years, coming down through A.D. 26 to the time when Jesus began his public ministry, A.D. 27, probably early in that year. After these threescore and two weeks an anointed one was cut off (Dan. ix. 26), making, it may well be, the reconciliation for iniquity and bringing in the everlasting righteousness spoken of in verse 24; and in the midst of this last week one caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease, not by forbidding them, but by the one sacrifice on Calvary that rendered all others henceforth unnecessary. " (Davis, J.D.*, "A Dictionary of the Bible," , Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fourth edition, 1924, Fifteenth printing, 1966, p.163) 15/1/2004 "The Prophecy of Daniel Nine Because our Lord quotes from the prophecy of Daniel, it may be profitable to study that passage ... Daniel 9:24-27 ... Dan. 9:24 ... The seven weeks are, in prophetic language, weeks of years. The period in which the above was to find fulfillment consisted of 490 years. During this period four things were to be accomplished: (1) reconciliation for iniquity, (2) righteousness established, (3) sealing up vision and prophecy, and (4) the anointing of the Most Holy. All these things were to be accomplished by the Messiah. The whole design of Christ's coming upon earth and dying upon Calvary's Cross was `to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity.' Daniel, in his prayer previous to this particular prophecy, was deeply concerned with the forgiveness of both his and the people's transgressions, sins, and iniquities. God assures him that within the prophetic seventy weeks one would come who would remove these things. The whole of the New Testament proclaims that Christ did exactly what Daniel prophesied. ... (Acts 3:18,19,26). Everlasting righteousness has been brought into this world by the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. ... Also Christ sealed up both vision and prophecy by fulfilling the same. ... This period, referred to in Daniel, saw also the fulfillment of the anointing of the Most Holy. This anointing took place at the baptism of Jesus. ... (Acts 10:38). " (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, pp.46-48. Emphasis original) 15/1/2004 "... Dan. 9:25 ... The seventy weeks are divided into three divisions: 7-62-1. They form in years: 49-434-7. At the time Daniel made this prophecy the children of Israel were in captivity and Jerusalem and its Temple were in ruins. The first period of 49 years was to accomplish the rebuilding of the city. This actually took place when Zerubbabel was governor over Judah. A number of Israelites were released from captivity, and they rebuilt the city. The books of Nehemiah and Ezra relate the troublous times that were experienced in the rebuilding. However, in spite of all these handicaps, the city was rebuilt." (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty- Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, p.48) 15/1/2004 "... (Dan. 9:26). Notice that the above verse states after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off. The Anointed One is, of course, Christ Jesus. The 483 years (7 plus 62 weeks) takes us up to the ministry of Christ. During the last week of years the Messiah was to be cut off. We know that after three and a half years of his ministry the Anointed One suffered a violent death. Isaiah used the same expression in his fifty third chapter: `He was cut off out of the land of the living.' The prophecy records that this cutting off of Christ was after the sixty ninth week. There are those who maintain that the last week of this prophecy has as yet not been fulfilled in history. This amounts to a denial of the plain import of the prophecy that the death of the Anointed One was to be after the sixty ninth week and during the seventieth week. ... . If the seventieth week were postponed we would still be in our sins!" (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, pp.49-50. Emphasis original) 15/1/2004 "The expression, `And shall have nothing,' seems to refer to the city and its Temple. ... The Temple and the city were nothing to Christ after their rejection of him. And it was because of this cutting off of the Messiah that the destruction of the city and its sanctuary was determined. ... Dr. Edward J. Young ... writes: `They seem to indicate that all which should properly belong to the Messiah, he does not have when he dies. This is a very forceful way of setting forth his utter rejection, both by God and man. ... The prophecy indicates that the destruction was to be accomplished by the people of the Prince, namely, the Romans under the command of the general Titus. As a matter of fact, the Roman soldiers destroyed the city and its sanctuary directly against his wishes. And that destruction was certainly as a flood, for the city and its Temple were completely destroyed." (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, p.50) 15/1/2004 " ... (Dan. 9:27). That firm covenant is none other than that which Christ made with many. ... (Matt. 26:28). We know that Christ by his death caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease by fulfilling the shadow and becoming the substance. ... (Heb. 7:27). When Christ died upon the Cross the veil of the Temple was rent in twain. Gone was the old system with its shadows. Even for the unbelieving Jews, Jesus caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease by the destruction of the Temple and the city and by the dispersion of the Jews. This is true even unto this day. Thus the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 finds its fufillment in the atoning sacrifice of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem. Dr. E. P. Pusey has stated: `All this meets in one in the Gospel. He, the so long looked for', came: He was owned as the Messiah; he did cause the sacrifices of the law to cease; he was cut off; yet he did make the covenant with the many; a foreign army did desolate the city and Temple; the Temple for these 1800 years (ed. now 1900) has lain desolate; the typical sacrifices have ceased, not through disbelief in their efficacy on the part of those to whom they were once given.'" (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, p.51. Emphasis original) 15/1/2004 "A Possible Objection The only valid objection against this general interpretation is that the destruction of Jerusalem did not occur within he seventieth week-within the period of seven years. The seventy weeks extended to about 33 A.D. The destruction of Jerusalem, of course, came in 70 A.D. A close examination of the passage in Daniel does not disclose ant statement that the people of the prince were to cause this destruction within the seven years. Within the seven years the destruction of the city was determined by its rejection of Christ and his apostles. Because of this rejection `the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.' Christ himself stated that for a short period after his death he would send his prophets: `Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.' [Mt 23:34] This actually happened before the seven year period was up. After the stoning of Stephen, the Church was scattered abroad and the message went to the Samaritans and Gentiles. Jerusalem, by the crucifixion of Christ and the persecution of his followers, overflowed the cup of iniquity. Jerusalem was nothing but a stinking carcass. As Jesus stated: `For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.' [Mt 24:28] Jerusalem became a `carcass' during the seventieth week. It was only a matter of time when the `eagles' would come with the outward destruction." (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty-Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, pp.51-52. Emphasis original) 15/1/2004 "Daniel prophesied that the events he enumerated were to occur in the continuous period of 490 years. Would not God have revealed to him that the last seven years were not to be joined to the 483? Did not God know that the Jews would reject his Son? The Scriptures and history have revealed that the prophecy of Daniel has been wonderfully fulfilled. The Scriptures do not tell us that the seventieth week has been postponed. If it were postponed, I repeat, we would still be in our sins and without hope. If one can believe Luke, that the abomination of desolation is the Roman army [Lk 21:20] ..." (Kik, J.M.*, "Matthew Twenty- Four: An Exposition," Presbyterian & Reformed: Philadelphia PA, 1948, pp.52-53) 15/1/2004 "So, what do we mean by a miracle? A miracle is something that happens, but which is exceedingly surprising. If a marble statue of the Virgin Mary suddenly waved its hand at us we should treat it as a miracle, because all our experience and knowledge tells us that marble doesn't behave like that. I have just uttered the words 'May I be struck by lightning this minute'. If lightning did strike me in the same minute, it would be treated as a miracle. But actually neither of these two occurrences would be classified by science as utterly impossible. They would simply be judged very improbable, the waving statue much more improbable than the lightning. ... In the case of the marble statue, molecules in solid marble are continuously jostling against one another in random directions. The jostlings of the different molecules cancel one another out, so the whole hand of the statue stays still. But if, by sheer coincidence, all the molecules just happened to move in the same direction at the same moment, the hand would move. If they then all reversed direction at the same moment the hand would move back. In this way it is possible for a marble statue to wave at us. It could happen. The odds against such a coincidence are unimaginably great but they are not incalculably great. A physicist colleague has kindly calculated them for me. The number is so large that the entire age of the universe so far is too short a time to write out all the noughts! It is theoretically possible for a cow to jump over the moon with something like the same improbability." (Dawkins, R., "The Blind Watchmaker," , Penguin: London, 1991, pp.159-160) 15/1/2004 "Daniel's Prayer and Vision of the Seventy Weeks (9:1-27) A. Daniel's prayer (9:1-19). In the first year of Persian rule (539/8 B.C.), Darius, son of Xerxes (Heb. Ahasuerus) and a Mede by descent, became the governor of Babylon (v. 1). Daniel is drawn to meditate on the prophecy of Jeremiah, who was one of the prophets predicting the era of restoration, consisting of covenant renewal, restoration of the people to the land, and the continuous service of the priesthood in the temple (chaps. 30-34). Jeremiah had also predicted that the Babylonian kingdom was to last seventy years (Jer. 25:12) and that subsequently Jerusalem would be restored. Daniel longs for the era of restoration, for the establishment of the kingdom of God and of the messianic kingdom. To this end he fasts and prays for the restoration of his people to the land." (VanGemeren, W.A., "Daniel," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.598. Emphasis original) 16/1/2004 "Daniel's prayer consists of confession and petition. In the confession he identifies with the history of his people, with their sin and punishment. The prayer of confession consists of a repetition of four themes: Israel's rebellious attitude to the Law and the Prophets, Yahweh's righteousness in judgment, the fulfillment of the curses, and the hope in renewal of divine mercy and grace. Daniel begins with an affirmation of God's mercy, inherent in Israel's confession of who Yahweh is: `Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands' (v. 4). In contrast Israel has sinned against their covenant God: `We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws' (v. 5). They have rejected the prophets. Therefore the Lord is righteous in his judgment. Yet, the disgrace of Israel is apparent wherever they have been scattered. Their lot has changed by their own doing, but the Lord is still the same. Israel has received the curses of the covenant (Lev. 26:33; Deut. 28:63-67). The Lord has been faithful in judgment, even in bringing about the desolation of Jerusalem. Again Daniel affirms the righteousness of Yahweh. Daniel throws himself on the mercy of God, as he prays for the restoration of Jerusalem, the temple, and God's presence among his people." (VanGemeren, W.A., "Daniel," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, pp.598-599. Emphasis original) 16/1/2004 "B. God's response (9:20-27). Daniel prays from the conviction that the Lord has decreed an end to the Babylonian rule. Now that this has taken place, Daniel prays for the speedy restoration of the people, the city, Jerusalem, and the temple. He has acknowledged the sin of Israel, but trusts the Lord to be faithful to his promises. Suddenly, the angel Gabriel appears to him in a vision. He was sent to explain God's plan as soon as Daniel had begun to pray (v. 23)! This speedy response is an expression of God's special love for Daniel. Building on the seventy-years motif, the angel reveals that the Lord has decreed `seventy 'sevens' (v. 24). The purpose of the `seventy 'sevens' ` is to finalize judgment on sin, to atone for sin and transgression, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to fulfill all the prophetic word, and to anoint the most holy (v. 24). The exact identification of the phrase is open to interpretation. If we take it to refer to seventy periods of time, the happenings may come to the foreground, rather than the speculations on the length of time. The first period of seven `sevens' pertains to the return of the people from exile and the rebuilding of the temple and Jerusalem (ca. 536-445 B.C.). This period begins with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, but opinions differ on when this took place: 538 B.C. (Cyrus's decree to restore the temple in Jerusalem) or 445 B.C. (Nehemiah's permission to restore the walls of Jerusalem). There is little disagreement on the identification of `the Anointed One, the ruler,' with our Lord Jesus. From the decree to the coming of our Lord the progression of redemption took place: the people returned to the land, homes and cities were rebuilt, temple worship was restored, and above all the people enjoyed God's favor and covenant renewal." (VanGemeren, W.A., "Daniel," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.599. Emphasis original) 16/1/2004 " A longer period of sixty-two `sevens' brings us to the crucifixion of the Messiah. The last `seven' will witness the confirmation (renewal) of the covenant by the Messiah and the desecration of the temple. Gabriel promises that `he will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven' (v. 27), but our problem is the identity of the `he.' Some hold that the Messiah is the subject of the sentence, but others see here a reference to Titus and the Antichrist. Indeed, Titus brought an end to sacrifices and offerings and set up pagan symbols in the temple court. This is the `abomination that causes desolation' (v. 27). on the other hand the confirmation of covenant could be a reference to the Anointed, whereas the abomination of desolation is an allusion to Titus. These events are associated with the Romans, who destroyed the city and the sanctuary. This marks the beginning of the end. It appears that the vision refers to the restoration of God's covenant in the postexilic community, the renewal of the covenant by the Messiah, and the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. According to another view, the last `seven' pertains to the Jewish people and marks the period of great tribulation before the millennial kingdom." (VanGemeren, W.A., "Daniel," in Elwell, W.A., ed., "Evangelical Commentary on the Bible," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, Second printing, 1990, p.599) 16/1/2004 "THE DNA CODE AND THE INCARNATION. ... WE SHALL DRAW TOGETHER SOME OF THE varied strands of our inquiry not only as they resolve themselves into a cohesive pattern, revealing purpose in the mystery of existence, but also as they may bear upon the unique personality of Jesus Christ whom Paul significantly called `the second Adam' [1 Cor. 15:45, 47] and who for him as for all Christians is uniquely the Son of God, `God manifest in flesh'. [1 Tim. 3:16] Ultimate understanding of this mystery may well defeat our finite knowledge, but it will not do simply to beg the question, as do those who blandly declare that they do not believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. This defeatist attitude fails to take account of our growing knowledge of the details and mechanisms of genetics, and particularly of the DNA code. Yet even as we consider, we do so in no arrogant spirit, but are conscious that we are treading on holy ground." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.137. Emphasis original) 16/1/2004 "The prologue to the fourth Gospel is a striking application of the - phraseology of Genesis 1. It becomes very much more arresting today as we are able to reconsider it in the light of our knowledge of genetic coding. `The Word' of John 1, known to the Greeks as the Logos, is an application of the repeated expression of Genesis, `God said'. This is emphasized by other analogies which John makes. The passage is among the best known of the Bible: `In the beginning was the Word, And the Word was with God, And the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him: And without him was not anything made that was made. [Jn 1:1-3]. The prologue concludes with a statement demonstrating to us that this same `Word' who Himself coded all life in the beginning, graciously allowed Himself to become coded in the DNA of the Incarnation: `And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, And we beheld his glory, The glory as of the only begotten of the Father, Full of grace and truth.' " (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.137) 16/1/2004 "We are not concerned with what God `could' or `could not' do by the exercise of supra-natural powers. What we note is that apparently He chooses not to go contrary to His original creation, but to use the mechanism He has already placed within that creation to bring about His purpose. He chose a human body of a woman, with its normal cellular constitution. He chose to use the normal nine months' gestation (Luke 1:40 45, 56; 2:5, 6). He appointed a doctor (Luke), to record it in Holy Scripture. The growth of Jesus Christ to physical, human maturity was also through the natural laws of God's own pre-set engineering, within the normal human experience (Luke 2:40, 51, 52). It is Luke who tells us how the Word was coded in the DNA of the Virgin Mary: `The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son Jesus - Son of the Most High .." Mary said to the angel `How can this be, since I have no husband?' [Lk 1:30-32,34] The angel then revealed that the conception would be accomplished by two agencies, the Holy Spirit, and the Most High: `The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. ... For with God nothing will be impossible. [Lk 1:35]" (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.138) 16/1/2004 "We take the last points first. .. at the Incarnation the Holy Spirit was active, organizing and making available the nucleic acids, with their sugar and phosphate bonds, in other words, the polymers of the DNA strand ... But the instructions to be recorded in code had to be superimposed. ... We may also assume, therefore, that when the same Holy Spirit came upon the Virgin, He likewise assembled these nucleic acids and bonds which would be already available in the body of the Virgin. We speak with all reverence. These volumes would be assembled into the 23 chromosomes required to match the 23 in the Virgin's ovum, but would include a `Y' chromosome necessary for a male child. ... In the case of the Virgin, the `Most High' was the dynamic (Luke 1:35). This might be because it was `the Word' Himself who was being recorded in those nucleic acids, for He was `begotten of the Father' (John 1:14). The eventual result was that in Christ dwe the Godhead bodily' (Col. 2:9). In this way all the fullness of the Trinity would be involved in those 23 chromosomes prepared for fusion with the ovum of the Virgin - the Holy Spirit assembling the DNA code bases, the Father sending forth the Word and the Word Himself becoming recorded upon those bases." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, pp.138-139) 16/1/2004 "Thus far we have spoken of the Divine side of Christ's nature, but we should realize that the physical and spiritual, the human and divine, are not in two watertight compartments. The human side is given more fully by Luke and Matthew. Within the Virgin, the ovum to be fertilized would contain the usual 23 chromosomes there in DNA code would be recorded already an inheritance reaching back to David, Abraham and Eve, with cellular instructions shared with the whole of mankind. Luke therefore records the genealogy of Mary back to Adam." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.139) 16/1/2004 "There are those who have asked whether the Virgin birth may not have been due to parthenogenesis. This refers to a freak case of an ovum being triggered off into separate development. This suggestion does not meet the requirements either of the Incarnation or of biology. If such a child had been born of the Virgin Mary, it could only have been a girl, for no `Y' chromosome would have been available. Also the child would have genetic material only of Mary's descent, so it would not be a true incarnation - a complete fusion of the two natures into one. Also, the question of parthenogenesis appears to be ruled out by the statement in a number of places that the Virgin did conceive, but it was without any human male union. It was by the Holy Spirit, and that would be why God is referred to as the Father, and Jesus as the Son of God, and why He is stated to be born holy (Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:20, 25; John 1:14)." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.139) 16/1/2004 "Our knowledge that a foetus receives a complete set of 23 chromosomes from each of its parents gives insight into the oneness of Christ's nature. Those of Divine origin and those of the Virgin would pair and fuse (in the sense of producing gametes), resulting in the one personality, fully divine, fully human, without sin. This insight into the possible mechanics of the Incarnation is a reply to those who contend that the incarnation of the Lord is scientifically impossible. It is also a help in the difficulties which some in the early centuries and the middle ages had in their speculations on how two natures could become one. Modern genetics reveal that the alleles from both parents make one person at conception. The statement `That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit' [Mt 1:20], shows how God was the Father and the Virgin Mary the mother. Also, the fact that DNA is a code demonstrates how the speech, or `Word', of God, recorded upon the nucleic acids, would form the real genetic contribution from the Divine side. We see how that Christ was fully and truly man, and yet not two natures, but God-man, not God and man, thus illustrating physically what had been arrived at theologically by earlier divines." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, pp.139-140. Emphasis original) 16/1/2004 "Yet ultimately our only authoritative source for the doctrine of the Incarnation is still the revelation of God in Holy Scripture. We could not discover such things through the medium of science, but having received the revelation of God, we can note that increasing discoveries in science do show how it could come about, and justify the terms of reference, hitherto not fully understood by us, which God's revelation uses." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.140) 16/1/2004 "We have demonstrated that this places Adam as a Neolithic, or at least a Proto-Neolithic man, created in Periglacial environment at the end of the last Ice-age, in what is now Turkey and Armenia His cells probably shared a common heritage with all life on earth, but reference to his formation and the manner of Eve's origin indicate that his cells were recoded from an extra-cosmic (or supernatural) source, by the Word, or `Code', of God. This Code of God ultimately Himself inherited the cells and DNA of Adam and Eve when the Holy Spirit coded the Word at the Incarnation. Thus the Word became flesh, whom we know as Jesus Christ, Son of God, fully God, fully man, without sin." (Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, p.141) 17/01/2004 "The prophecy of the seventy weeks (ix. 24-27) is felt to be of crucial importance for biblical eschatology. The writer believes that the seventy sevens of years are to be reckoned from the decree of Artaxerxes I to rebuild Jerusalem in 444 BC (Ne. ii. 1-8) and terminate with the establishment of the millennial kingdom (ix. 24), It seems clear that a gap or hiatus separates the end of the sixty-ninth week from the beginning of the seventieth (ix. 26), for Christ placed the abomination of desolation at the very end of the present age (Mt. xxiv. 15 in context; cf. Dn. ix. 27). Such prophetic gaps are not uncommon in the Old Testament (e.g. Is. lxi. 2; cf. Lk. iv. 16-21). Thus, the seventieth week, according to dispensationalist premillennialists, is a seven-year period immediately preceding the second advent of Christ, during which time antichrist rises to world dominion and persecutes the saints." (Whitcomb J.C.*, "Daniel," in Douglas J.D., et al., eds., "The New Bible Dictionary," , Inter-Varsity Fellowship: London, 1967, reprint, pp.292-293) 18/01/2004 "The `Traditional' Interpretation of the Seventy Weeks. (1) According to this view, all of the great transactions referred to in vs. 24 are to be regarded as having been' fulfilled at the first advent and, more specifically, in what is to be regarded as the climactic event of the prophecy, the redemption at Calvary, which is referred to literally in vs. 26 and figuratively in vs. 27. Thus the words, `to' finish transgression and to make an end of (or seal up) sins and to make reconciliation for iniquity,' are to be regarded as referring to that atonement for sin which was accomplished, fully and completely, once for all, on the cross. This interpretation is quite in accord with many New Testament statements (e.g., Heb. x. 12-14). Thus, Paul says that Jesus has `abolished death' (2 Tim. i.10). Death was a very real thing to Paul. He was living under its shadow, when he wrote these words to Timothy. But, the fear of death and the power of death had been destroyed, because Christ had brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For Paul, death was indeed `abolished.' Sin is, likewise, very much alive; it is very active in the world. But sin was finally dealt with (`made an end of') 8 and reconciliation brought about through the death of Christ, His passive obedience as a sufferer for sin. It only remains that the benefits of that finished work be applied to all those for whom it was performed. The same applies to the three other matters referred to in this verse. An `everlasting righteousness' was provided for all. the redeemed through the active obedience of Christ, His perfect keeping of the law of God. Prophecy was `sealed,' i.e., authenticated in a unique way by the life and death and resurrection and ascension of Christ; and prophetic gifts ceased in the Christian Church with the close of the apostolic age. The `anointing of a most holy" may refer either to a person or to a place. If to a person, the reference may be to the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus to fit Him for His Messianic work (Lk. iii. 22, iv. 18); if to a place, it may refer to the entrance of the risen Christ into heaven itself, when `through his own blood he entered once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption" (Heb. ix. 12) for all His elect. In a word, we have in vs. 24 the prophecy of the `satisfaction of Christ," of His obedience and sufferings, by virtue of which the sinner obtains forgiveness and acceptance with God. (2) According to this view, the 69th week ended with the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus; and the 70th week followed immediately upon it. Consequently, the `cutting off" of the Anointed One which occurred `after the threescore and two weeks" must be regarded as having taken place in the 70th week; and a reference to it is to be found in the words, `in the midst [half] of the week, he [the Messiah] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease." That Christ by His death put an end to the Jewish ritual of sacrifice, substituting for bulls and goats `a sacrifice of nobler name and richer blood than they," is the great argument of the Epistle to the Hebrews. So interpreted, it is the Messiah who makes firm or confirms the covenant for the one (the 70th) week; and the crucifixion which takes place in the midst of it is the great event of that week and may be regarded as the climax of the entire prophecy. A difficulty with this interpretation is to be found in the fact that it does not clearly define the terminus of the 70th week. Unless the view is taken that `in the midst of the week" means `in the second half" of it, and even at the end of that half, the end is not definitely fixed. It seems very unlikely that if `in the midst" really meant `at the end," it would have been described in this way. On the other hand if `in the midst" is taken in its natural sense, a half-week, or three and a half years, remains to be accounted for after the crucifixion. Many interpreters regard this as referring to the period of the founding of the Church and the preaching of the gospel exclusively to the Jews, a period ending with or about the time of the martyrdom of Stephen. Others hold that the period of three and a half years was graciously extended to some 35 years, to the date of the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, a reference to which is found in vs. 26. Both of these explanations may be regarded as possible. With regard to the claim that the prophecy extends to the date of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 it is to be noted that while the language of vs. 26 may seem to favor this, it does not require it. Vs. 26 speaks of events which will come `after the threescore and two weeks." Of these events it mentions first the cutting off of Messiah which vs. 27 describes as taking place in the midst of the week. Then it speaks of the destruction of the city and sanctuary and finally of an `end" or an `end of war," which is a very indefinite expression. Vs. 27 declares that a covenant is to be made firm for `one week," that `in the midst of the week" someone will cause sacrifice and oblation to cease. Then it goes on to speak of the coming of a `desolator" and of a `full end." None of the predictions of desolation and vengeance contained in these verses can be regarded as so definitely included in the program outlined in vs. 24 that we can assert with confidence that they must be regarded as fulfilled within the compass of the 70 weeks. They are consequences of the cutting off, they may be regarded as involved in it, but their accomplishment may extend, and if this interpretation is correct, clearly does extend beyond the strict limits of the 70 weeks, since the destruction of Jerusalem was much more than three and a half years after the crucifixion. But, in either case, the great climactic event of the last week was the crucifixion which took place `in the midst" of that week. So interpreted there can be no interval between the 69th and the 70th weeks." (Allis, O.T.*, `Prophecy and the Church: An Examination of the Claim of Dispensationalists," , Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co: Philadelphia PA, 1964, Third Printing, pp.113-115) 18/01/2004 "But this was only an entertaining diversion from the main issue. How is the factor 1040000 really to be faced? Not by a galaxy-wide ensemble of living cells. Not even by adding other nearby galaxies to the ensemble, or even the totality of galaxies observable with the largest telescopes. To face 1040000 the ensemble of life must be hugely cosmological in its scale, and our cosmology has to extend into the past by a time interval exceeding ten billion years by an enormous factor. So we are back to the starting point, but now with more substance to the argument. It will of course be in the reader's mind to ask if 1040000 is really inevitable. The answer is yes, if life is to originate by what are called the `blind' forces of nature, which is to say without initial information. Nothing is to be gained by attempting to shake the calculation of 1040000. The issue you will recall was the probability of a set of amino acids randomly falling together into a workable aggregate of enzymes. Certainly it is easy to frame a deceitful argument, in the following way for example. Start with much simpler, much smaller, enzymes that are sufficiently elementary to be discoverable by chance. Then let evolution in some chemical environment cause the simple enzymes to change gradually into the complex ones we have today. The first retort to this mental deception is that an appeal to initial simplicity has been allowed for already. thus the number 1040000 was obtained from a calculation in which less than twenty amino acids were required to be in specific sequential positions for each of two thousand enzymes. If the calculation is to be criticized it should be on the grounds of being much too conservative. But the real deceit comes from ignoring the problem of what it was in the environment that caused simple enzymes to evolve into complex ones. If the environment contained information, what was its source'? If not, then an improbability of the order of 10-40000 has been concealed in the behavior of the environment. To face 1040000 one must think unthinkable thoughts, which means any thought with a chance greater than 1 in 1040000 of being right, a condition that permits a wide class of possibilities! One such possibility is that the enzymes were put together in accordance with instructions. Given a knowledge of the appropriate ordering of amino-acids, it would need only a slightly superhuman chemist to construct the enzymes with one hundred percent accuracy. It would need a somewhat more superhuman scientist (again given appropriate instructions) to assemble a living cell, but not a level of skill outside our comprehension. Rather than accept a probability less than 1 in 1040000 of life having arisen through the `blind' forces of nature, it seems better to suppose that the origin of life was a deliberate intellectual act. By `better' I mean less likely to be wrong." (Hoyle, F., "The Universe: Past and Present Reflections," Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 20, 1982, pp.1-35, pp.13-14) 20/01/2004 "Consilience is the key to unification. I prefer this word over `coherence' because its rarity has preserved its precision, whereas coherence has several possible meanings, only one of which is consilience. William Whewell, in his 1840 synthesis The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, was the first to speak of consilience, literally a `jumping together' of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation. He said, `The Consilience of Inductions takes place when an Induction, obtained from one class of facts, coincides with an Induction, obtained from another different class. This Consilience is a test of the truth of the Theory in which it occurs." (Wilson, E.O., "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge," , Vintage: New York NY, 1999, reprint, p.8-9) 20/01/2004 "According to ancient historians, the first century AD was a time of unusual expectation `among the Jews. The feeling was widespread that some prophecy regarding the time of Messiah's coming was about to expire. The Roman historian Suetonius (early 2nd cen) says of the Jewish revolt against Rome (AD 66-73): `There had spread over all the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated at that time for men coming from Judaea to rule the world. This prediction, referring to the Emperor of Rome, as afterwards appeared from the event, the people of Judaea took to themselves.' [Suetonius, The Lives of the Caesars, "The Deified Vespasian," 4.5] Suetonius' contemporary Tacitus also speaks of this prophecy, supplying more information about its source: `... in most there was a firm persuasion, that in the ancient records of their priests was contained a prediction of how at this very time the East was to grow powerful, and rulers, coming from Judaea, were to acquire universal empire. These mysterious prophecies had pointed to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, with the usual blindness of ambition, had interpreted these mighty destinies of themselves, and could not be brought even by disasters to believe the truth.' [Tacitus, Histories, 5.13] Closer to the scene, and writing less than ten years after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, was the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus. Josephus wrote before Titus succeeded his father Vespasian as emperor, and he indicates only a single expected ruler: `But now, what did most elevate them in undertaking this war was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how "about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular; and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea.' [Josephus, Jewish War, 6.5.4] Josephus' application of the prophecy to his patron Vespasian is understandable, but it is doubtful that his fellow Jews agreed!" (Newman, R.C.*, "The Time of the Messiah," in Newman, R.C., ed., "The Evidence of Prophecy: Fulfilled Prediction as a Testimony to the Truth of Christianity," , Interdisciplinary Biblical Research Institute: Hatfield PA, Fourth printing, 1998, p.111) 23/01/2004 "Darwin always considered his greatest contribution to evolutionary thought to be his collection of facts supporting the notion of evolution in general, and his own ideas in particular. However as early as this first chapter we learn about the way Darwin handled his facts; when they did not fit his views he ignored them or tried to explain them away." (Lovtrup, S., "Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth," Croom Helm: London, 1987, p.108) 23/01/2004 "If Darwin's theory of evolution were true, there would be in every species a constant and ruthless competition to survive: a competition in which only a few in any generation can be winners. But it is perfectly obvious that human life is not like that, however it may be with other species. This inconsistency, between Darwin's theory and the facts of human life, is what I mean by 'Darwinism's Dilemma', The inconsistency is so very obvious that no Darwinian has ever been altogether unconscious of it. There have been, accordingly, very many attempts by Darwinians to wriggle out of the dilemma. But the inconsistency is just too simple and direct to be wriggled out of, and all these attempts are conspicuously unsuccessful. They are not uninstructive, though, or unamusing." (Stove, D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.2) 23/01/2004 "Second, there were a number of decrees having to do with the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Most people recognize that between one of these decrees and the appearance of `the Anointed One' (that is, the Messiah) there should be 483 years, that is, seven plus sixty-two (or sixty-nine) times seven. But because there are different points from which to begin, there are also different ways of arriving at an appropriate year connected to the lifetime of Jesus Christ. There are three main possibilities. The most obvious one from which these 483 years could start is the decree issued by Cyrus recorded in 2 Chronicles 36:23 (at the very end of the book) and in Ezra 1:2-4, but this is a number of years too early. Besides, both biblical versions of the decree mention only the reconstruction of the Jerusalem temple. They say nothing about rebuilding the city itself. The second possibility is the decree issued by Artaxerxes 1 (464-424 B.C.) in the seventh Year of his reign recorded in Ezra 7:12-26. This decree was issued in 457 B.C. If we move forward forty-nine years from that point, we come to 408 B.C. by which time the walls, streets, and moat around the city were completed. Then moving on 433 more years we come to A.D. 27. (The numbers bring us to A.D. 26, but it is necessary to add one year to account for the `zero' year when we pass from 1 B.C. to A.D. 1.) This seems a bit early at first. But it is probably just right if we are to understand Gabriel's wording as referring to the start of Christ's ministry. The ministry was three years long. So this would give us a date for Jesus' death of A.D. 30, which (in my judgment) is exactly right by other calculations. 3. The third possibility is the decree recorded by Nehemiah in 2:5-8. This occurred in the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes 1, which is therefore thirteen years after the earlier decree in Ezra. Calculating from this point brings us to the year A.D. 39 or 40. This seems too late. But it was a popular identification of the time frame years ago, and it was defended by adjusting the years on the basis of a so-called `prophetic year' of 360 days. At one time I was attracted by this possibility, but I now think that the second of these alternatives should be preferred." (Boice, J.M.*, "Daniel: An Expositional Commentary," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, 1989, pp.100-101) 23/01/2004 "When the first insectivore went into trees and jumped and started to flutter, it went through that transitional stage, quite likely in a period of a few million years. However, once the bat stage had been reached 65 million years ago, very little new has happened. An Eocene bat looks just like a modern bat. So, I think that during this stage of the reshuffling of the genotype, all sorts of things can happen that cannot happen before nor afterwards." (Mayr, E.W., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Mayr," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 And 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.58) 25/01/2004 "Long before the reader has arrived at this part of my work, a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to him. Some of them are so serious that to this day I can hardly reflect on them without being in some degree staggered; but, to the best of my judgment, the greater number are only apparent, and those that are real are not, I think, fatal to the theory. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.156) 25/01/2004 "CHRIST (Gk., lit. 'Anointed One'), The word is a Gk. translation of the Heb. *Messiah. Originally a title, it soon came to be used by the followers of the risen Jesus as a proper name for their Lord, so that they themselves came to be known as *Christians. ...CHRISTIAN. The name was originally applied to the followers of Christ by outsiders, acc. to Acts 11: 26 being first used at *Antioch c. 40-4. Acc. to *Tacitus it was current among the people at Rome at the time of the *Neronian persecution (A.D. 64) and it was always the official Roman designation of members of the Church; thus in times of persecution it was often the confession or denial of this name that was crucial. It was later adopted by the Church as a designation to distinguish itself from other religions. In modern times the name Christian has been claimed by every form of belief stemming from historical Christianity, and has tended, in nominally Christian countries, to lose any credal significance and imply only what is ethically praiseworthy." (Livingstone, E.A., ed., "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church," Oxford University Press: Oxford, 1977, p.105) 25/01/2004 "The most important statement in Scripture about creation is not contained in Genesis but in the opening verses of the Gospel of John: `In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.' (John 1:1-3) This statement plainly says that creation was by a force that was (and is) intelligent and personal. The essential, bedrock position of scientific naturalism is the direct opposite of John 1:1-3. Naturalistic evolutionary theory, as part of the grand metaphysical story of science, says that creation was by impersonal and unintelligent forces. The opposition between the biblical and naturalistic stories is fundamental, and neither side can compromise over it. To compromise is to surrender." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1995, pp.107-108) 26/01/2004 "Unfortunately the uniqueness of this Christian doctrine of Creation and the Creator is continually being obscured by the fact that theologians are so reluctant to begin their work with the New Testament; when they want to deal with the Creation they tend to begin with the Old Testament, although they never do this when they are speaking of the Redeemer. The emphasis on the story of Creation at the beginning of the Bible has constantly led theologians to forsake the rule, which they would otherwise follow, namely, that the basis of all Christian articles of faith is the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. So when we begin to study the subject of Creation, in the Bible we ought to start with the first chapter of the Gospel of John, and some other passages of the New Testament, and, not with the first chapter of Genesis. If we can make up our minds to stick to this rule, we shall be saved from many difficulties, which will inevitably occur if we begin with the story of Creation in the Old Testament. Of course, I do not wish to deny the permanent significance of, and the absolute necessity for, the Old Testament accounts of the Creation-not only in the first two chapters of Genesis but also in the Prophets, the Psalms, and in the Book of Job. In order to expand the somewhat scanty statements of the Testament we certainly need the weighty and enriching testimony of the Old Testament; but in principle these statements are as introductory in character as the Old Testament witness is to the Messiah is to that of the New Testament." (Brunner, E., "The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption," Dogmatics Vol. II, Wyon O., trans, , Lutterworth: London, 1955, Second Impression, pp.6-7. Emphasis in original) 26/01/2004 "There was a way to test the theory by fossil evidence, however, if Darwin and his followers had wanted a test. Darwin was emphatic that the number of transitional intermediates must have been immense, even `inconceivable.' Perhaps evidence of their existence was missing because in 1859 only a small part of the world's fossil beds had been searched, and because the explorers had not known what to look for. Once paleontologists accepted Darwinism as a working hypothesis, however, and explored many new fossil beds in an effort to confirm the theory, this situation ought to change. In time the fossil record could be expected to look very different, and very much more Darwinian. The test would not be fair to the skeptics, however, unless it was also possible for the theory to fail. Imagine, for example, that belief in Darwin's theory were to sweep through the scientific world with such irresistible power that it very quickly became an orthodoxy. Suppose that the tide was so irresistible that even the most prestigious of scientists-Harvard's Louis Agassiz, for example- became an instant has-been for failing to join the movement. Suppose that paleontologists became so committed to the new way of thinking that fossil studies were published only if they supported the theory, and were discarded as failures if they showed an absence of evolutionary change. As we shall see, that is what happened. Darwinism apparently passed the fossil test, but only because it was not allowed to fail." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , Inter Varsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.48-49) 27/01/2004 "Darwin, Marx and Freud. Whenever anyone is asked to name the thinkers who have had the greatest influence in the twentieth century, these three names always head the list. Darwin's achievement was the most fundamental of the three, because Marx and Freud relied heavily on their understanding of Darwinist concepts, and especially upon the general impression that Darwin had provided scientific support for metaphysical materialism and atheism. Before the triumph of Darwinism atheism was a minority position among intellectuals , because atheists had to posit a self created universe, which seemingly violated common sense. During the nineteenth century, however, the will to discard theistic religion and substitute a naturalistic understanding of reality was very strong. Half baked theories of evolution were in the air, and they were everywhere connected with revolt against religious and political traditions that were based upon a theistic worldview. What was needed to make the naturalistic program plausible was a thoroughly materialistic mechanism for evolution. By supplying the crucial blind watchmaker thesis, Darwin paved the way for a century and more of atheistic domination of intellectual life. When I say that Darwinism gave a huge boost to atheism, I am not denying that many persons found it possible to reconcile naturalistic evolution with a belief in God. ... Darwinism furthered the cause of atheism not by making it impossible to believe in God, but by making it easier not to believe." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Disestablishing Naturalism," 1992 Founder's Lectures, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Revised, February 17, 1992) 28/01/2004 "The several difficulties here discussed, namely-that, though we find in our geological formations many links between the species which now exist and which formerly existed, we do not find infinitely numerous fine transitional forms closely joining them all together;-the sudden manner in which several groups of species first appear in our European formations;-the almost entire absence, as at present known, of formations rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian strata,-are all undoubtedly of the most serious nature. We see this in the fact that the most eminent palaeontologists, namely, Cuvier, Agassiz, Barrande, Pictet, Falconer, E. Forbes, etc., and all our greatest geologists, as Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick, etc., have unanimously, often vehemently, maintained the immutability of species." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.318) 28/01/2004 "That the geological record is imperfect all will admit; but that it is imperfect to the degree required by our theory, few will be inclined to admit." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.443) 29/01/2004 "But I have said that the Enlightenment, or more generally, the rebirth of reason in Western culture, had both a `good' and a `bad' side. This is an important dimension of modern history that has often been overlooked, especially by contemporary admirers of Enlightenment thinking. As a historical matter, reason did not free human beings from dogmatism or tribalism or the worst cruelties-as we have witnessed firsthand well into our own century. The rational or `scientific' faith of Marxist-Leninist ideology sanctioned cruelties of a type and on a scale hardly imagined by the Inquisition in its darkest hours. Some estimates place the number of victims of Soviet Communism as high, as 60 million, and the methods of torture employed by the Soviet regime marked a kind of `progress' in this cruel art. Moreover, scientific rationalism, ironically, became the basis of the most absurd form of dogma and dogmatism that history records-the `scientific' ideology of Marxism-Leninism." (Glynn, P., "God: The Evidence: The Reconciliation of Faith and Reason in a Postsecular World," Forum: Rocklin CA, 1997, p.188) 29/01/2004 "CLEVER HANS, THE MATHEMATICAL HORSE. IN THE EARLY YEARS of the twentieth century there was a horse in Germany who could read, do mathematics and exhibit a deep knowledge of world political affairs. Or so it seemed. The horse was called Clever Hans. He was owned by Wilhelm von Osten, an elderly Berliner whose character was such, everyone said, that fraud was out of the question. Delegations of distinguished scientists viewed the equine marvel and pronounced it genuine. Hans would reply to mathematical problems put to him with coded taps of his foreleg, and would answer nonmathematical questions by nodding his head up and down or shaking it side to side in the conventional Western way. For example, someone would say, 'Hans, how much is twice the square root of nine, less one?' After a moment's pause Hans would dutifully raise his right foreleg and tap five times. Was Moscow the capital of Russia? Head shake. How about St. Petersburg`? Nod. The Prussian Academy of Sciences sent a commission, headed by Oskar Pfungst, to take a closer look; Osten, who believed fervently in Hans's powers, welcomed the inquiry. Pfungst noticed a number of interesting regularities. Sometimes, the more difficult the question, the longer it took Hans to answer; or when Osten did not know the answer, Hans exhibited a comparable ignorance; or when Osten was out of the room, or when the horse was blindfolded, no correct answers were forthcoming. But other times Hans would get the right answer in a strange place, surrounded by sceptics, with Osten not only out of the room, but out of town. The solution eventually became clear. When a mathematical question was put to Hans, Osten would become slightly tense, for fear Hans would make too few taps. When Hans, however, reached the correct number of taps, Osten unconsciously and imperceptibly nodded or relaxed - imperceptibly to virtually all human observers, but not to Hans, who was rewarded with a sugar cube for correct answers. Even teams of sceptics would watch Hans's foot as soon as the question was put and make gestural or postural responses when the horse reached the right answer. Hans was totally ignorant of mathematics, but very sensitive to unconscious nonverbal cues. Similar signs were unknowingly transmitted to the horse when verbal questions were posed. Clever Hans was aptly named; he was a horse who had conditioned one human being and discovered that other human beings he had never before met would provide him the needed cues. But despite the unambiguous nature of Pfungst's evidence, similar stories of counting, reading and politically sage horses, pigs and geese have continued to plague the gullible of many nations." (Sagan, C.E., "Broca's Brain: The Romance of Science," , Coronet: London, 1980, reprint, pp.61-62) 30/01/2004 "9:20-27 Another 'seventy' The time of the revelation was about the time of the evening sacrifice (21, i.e. mid- afternoon) - a remarkable indication of Daniel's city-of-God-centred approach to life, since he had now been absent from Jerusalem for about seventy years (cf. 6:10). Gabriel appeared with dramatic swiftness in response to his prayer, bringing a further divine communication which extended Daniel's horizon beyond the seventy years of Jeremiah's prophecy to a period of seventy 'sevens' (24). There is a further peak in the mountain ranges of God's purposes on which he is now to focus. The enigmatic revelation which follows first outlines the divine programme, including six things to be accomplished within the period of seventy 'sevens' ordained by God (24). The first sixty-nine 'sevens' lead to the coming of the Anointed One (25) and are divided into two unequal periods (seven 'sevens' and sixty-two 'sevens' = sixty-nine 'sevens'). This division is one of the most enigmatic features of the whole book. Possibly the first 'sevens' look towards the completion of the temple. Vs 26 and 27 may contain a miniature 'progressive parallelism': v 26 describing the final 'seven' in panoramic terms while v 27 describes it in specific detail. Interpretations of this message vary enormously, and depend on the interpreter's wider view of the fulfilment of prophecy. Critical scholarship, setting the writing of Daniel in the context of the second century BC, sees the period in view as intended to stretch from the sixth century to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (the four hundred and ninety years being understood either in round terms, or literally and, perhaps, mistakenly). But from the perspective of the NT, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Anointed One (25) is fulfilled in Jesus Christ whose coming brings atonement and the end of guilt (24). Some conservative interpreters have, in addition, employed various chronologies to show that the figure of four hundred and ninety is a chronologically exact prediction of the death of Christ. No agreement has been reached either about this or about the detailed interpretation of the final 'seven'. If the Christological analysis is generally correct, the sixty-nine 'sevens' may represent the period beyond the restoration until the coming of Christ and the kingdom he inaugurates. While difficult, v 26, the Anointed One will be cut off (the verb is one also used of confirming a covenant) and will have nothing (see NIV mg.) is reminiscent of Is. 53:8 and an indication of absolute desolation (my Mt. 26:31, 27:46). V 27 could then be taken to refer to the ruler who will come (26), finding its fulfilment in Titus Vespasian, the defilement of the temple and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (if Mt. 24:3-25). Alternatively, v 27a could refer to Christ confirming the covenant of God for one 'seven', i.e. for all future ages (cf: 1 Cor. 11:25-26); vs 27b and 27c to the desecration of Jerusalem." (Ferguson, S.B.*, "Daniel," in Carson D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary," , Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Fourth edition, 1997, reprint, p.759) 30/01/2004 "One more thing needs to be said. Evolutionists have often protested unfair to quoting an evolutionist as if he were against evolution itself. So let it be said from the outset that the vast majority of authorities quoted are themselves ardent believers in evolution. But that is precisely the point, and the value of The Revised QUOTE BOOK. The foundations of the evolutionary edifice are hardly likely to be shaken by a collection of quotes from the many scientists who are biblical creationists. In a court of law, an admission from a hostile witness is the most valuable. Quoting the evolutionary palaeontologist who admits the absence of in- between forms, or the evolutionary biologist who admits the hopelessness of the mutation/selection mechanism, is perfectly legitimate if the admission is accurately represented in its own right, regardless of whether the rest of the article is full of hymns of praise to all the other aspects of evolution."(Snelling, A.*, "The Revised Quote Book," , Creation Science Foundation: Brisbane QLD, 1990, inside cover) 31/01/2004 "Suppose for a moment that Darwin's theory of natural selection is a mistaken view about the origin and development of life. If so, wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude that scientists themselves would become increasingly aware of this and publicly state their findings? After all, how could scientists in different disciplines not say something if they were becoming more aware of the absence of hard evidence in support of Darwin's theory and were face to face with scientific data that pointed to a completely different theory- one that suggests the world was designed and exists for a purpose? Anyone who reads the private and published reports of evolutionary scientists, especially since the 1980s, cannot help but notice that there are many who admit they doubt the whole paradigm of evolutionary belief. First, despite their specific criticisms, most of these scientists are not seeking to discredit what they view as the probable truthfulness of evolution itself. Second, our citation of those who criticize not just part of evolutionary theory but the entire concept does not imply that these individuals are creationists. In rejecting evolution as a whole, they usually remain agnostic on the subject of origins. Third, some evolutionists have made controversial statements that were widely circulated and resulted in their embarrassment. Under pressure from their colleagues they "recanted" their views. Nevertheless, for whatever reason those statements were given, the fact is that they were initially made in good faith. When we quote them, all we are saying is that they have made these statements-and we think they have made some astute observations. Finally, when one considers the great number of scientists who have expressed serious reservations regarding a particular area of evolutionary thought, their collective weight is formidable. Virtually all aspects of evolutionary theory have recently encountered major critique by someone. Thus collectively considered, what now remains factually and scientifically established in evolutionary theory as a whole would appear to be marginal. Therefore we think it is appropriate to consider new paradigms." (Ankerberg, J.* & Weldon, J.*, "Rational Inquiry & the Force of Scientific Data: Are New Horizons Emerging?" in Moreland, J.P.*, ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer", InterVarsity Press: IL, 1994, pp.270-271) February [top] 1/2/2004 "The day before the publication of The Origin of Species, Thomas Huxley wrote to Charles Darwin: 'You have loaded yourself with an unnecessary difficulty in adopting Natura non facit saltum so unreservedly.' (quoted in Gould & Eldredge 1977). In other words, though Huxley was the great defender of Darwin, he was criticizing him for presuming that 'Nature does not make jumps'. One of the most fundamental changes that have happened in recent years in our thoughts about the geological past was again one towards concepts of episodicity, this time in the evolution of life. Thus the doctrine of what is called 'punctuated equilibria' replaced that of 'phyletic gradualism', which had been the almost subconscious presumption of palaeontologists since the days of Darwin. This intellectual revolution was brought about chiefly by Stephen J. Gould of Harvard and his colleague Niles Eldredge. The first epoch making paper by Eldredge & Gould (1972) put forward the idea that Nature did indeed make jumps. They maintained that evolution proceeded by short, sharp changes, punctuating long periods of stasis, rather than by slow progressive changes, which had been assumed since Darwin (1859) wrote of `descent with slow and slight modifications' and the 'accumulation of successive slight favourable variations'. On the other hand Engels, that remarkable capitalist who supported Karl Marx, said that 'nature is composed entirely of leaps'. I regret to say that I prefer the view of one of the founding fathers of communism to that of one of the founding fathers of evolution by natural selection." (Ager, D.V., "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, p.129) 1/2/2004 "Lyell's book [`Principles of Geology'] contained facts which would be of importance to Darwin during his travels, and Professor Henslow recommended that he read it for that reason. However, he advised Darwin, `on no account to accept the views therein advocated.' (Darwin F., ed., `The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin,' D. Appleton and Co., 1888, Vol. 1, p.60) But this advice was not heeded, and Darwin's acceptance of Lyell's theory marked the turning point in his life. One of Darwin's biographers says, `Darwin's point of departure from orthodoxy on this voyage was, of course, his reading of the first volume of Lyell's Principles of Geology.' (Haber F., in Glass B., ed., `Forerunners of Darwin, 1745-1859,' Johns Hopkins Press, 1959, p.259) Another biographer calls it `the book which influenced him more than any other.' (Ward H., `Charles Darwin,' Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1927, p.61) Still another biographer remarks, `Possibly, without Lyell's Principles of Geology, Darwin would not have written his Origin of Species' (Dorsey G.A., `The Evolution of Charles Darwin,' Doubleday Page & Co., 1927, p.152) Darwin himself acknowledged his indebtedness to Lyell. He dedicated to Lyell his report of the voyage of the Beagle `as an acknowledgment that the chief part of whatever scientific merit this Journal and the other works of the author may possess has been derived from studying the well-known and admirable Principles of Geology.' (Ward H., `Charles Darwin,' Bobbs- Merrill Co., 1927, p.67) In 1844 Darwin wrote, `I always feel as if my books came half out of Lyell's brain, and that I never acknowledge this sufficiently... for I have always thought that the great merit of the Principles [of Geology] was that it altered the whole tone of one's mind... ` (Darwin F., ed., `More Letters of Charles Darwin,' D. Appleton and Co., 1903, Vol. 2, p.115). At the time of Lyell's death in 1875 he said, I never forget that almost everything which I have done in science I owe to the study of his great works." (Darwin ,F., ed., "The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin", D. Appleton and Co., 1888, Vol. 2, p.37) (Davidheiser, B.*, "Evolution and the Christian Faith", Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co: Nutley NJ, 1969, pp.60-61) 1/2/2004 "Darwin repeatedly apologized for the inadequacy of the fossil record and palaeontologists; have continued to do so ever since, but I think they are unduly pessimistic. It is obviously inadequate if we are concerned with some popular group such as the birds, whose skeletons make their preservation highly unlikely, but the pessimism is not so justified if we consider the less showy marine invertebrates, especially if we consider them on a world-wide basis and not just in our own back-yards." (Ager, D.V., "The New Catastrophism: The Importance of the Rare Event in Geological History," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK, 1993, p.151) 3/2/2004 "The figure of sixty million dead Russians did not include the twenty million dead the Russians lost in World War II. Stalin must bear at least some share of the responsibility for the war. His pact with Hitler led directly to the joint Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland, which led Britain and France to declare war on Hitler, though not on Stalin. This means that Stalin was responsible for about eighty million violent deaths. In tandem with Hitler, his sometime ally and fellow Darwinian, he can be linked to about one hundred million violent deaths. Secular humanists who liked to cite religious intolerance as the major cause of man's inhumanity to man might want to stop and ponder that figure." (Koster J.P., "The Atheist Syndrome," Wolgemuth & Hyatt: Brentwood TN, 1989, p.178) 3/2/2004 "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." (Hammond, P., "Our Christian Heritage," Chalcedon Conference for Christian Culture, Lusaka, Zambia, June 28, 1997. Christian Action Magazine, Vol. 4, 2003) 3/2/2004 "Adolf Hitler's mind was captivated by evolutionary teaching-probably since the time he was a boy. Evolutionary ideas-quite undisguised-lie at the basis of all that is worst in Mein Kampf and in his public speeches. A few quotations, taken at random, will show how Hitler reasoned. In a speech at Nuremberg, in 1933, he argued that a higher race would always conquer a lower. `Thus there results the subjection of a number of people under the will, often of only a few persons, a subjection based simply upon the right of the stronger, a right which, as we see it in Nature, can be regarded as the sole conceivable right, because it is founded on reason.' He went on to explain that it was for this reason that he hated communism. `For communism is not a higher stage of development; rather it is the most primitive form of life- the starting- point.' Hitler's hatred of the Jews was rationalized in the same way. The Germans were the higher race, destined for a glorious evolutionary future. For this reason it was essential that the Jews should be segregated, otherwise mixed marriages would take place. Were this to happen, all nature's efforts `to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being may thus be rendered futile' ... Hitler's attitude to the League of Nations and to peace and war were based upon the same principles. `A world-court without a world police would be a joke...the whole world of Nature is a mighty struggle between strength and weakness-an eternal victory of the strong over the weak.' ... Evolutionary views were drilled into the German people Germans were told they must suffer but that, when the day of victory came, they would be rewarded at the cost of conquered peoples. As a German writer puts it- `To those Germans whose conscience was disturbed by these promises, Darwin's materialistic doctrine of the struggle of species was expounded. Since all natural history was simply a struggle for the survival of the fittest any trick or ruse was permissible in order to facilitate the victory of one's own species." (Clark, R.E.D.*, "Darwin: Before and After: An Examination and Assessment,"  Paternoster: London UK, 1966, reprint, pp.115-116) 3/2/2004 "But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? It will be more convenient to discuss this question in the chapter on the Imperfection of the Geological Record; and I will here only state that I believe the answer mainly lies in the record being incomparably less perfect than is generally supposed." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.157) 3/2/2004 "D-Days at Dayton is intended to provide judgement on the effects of the trial after 40 years. It contains the contemporaneous accounts of an iconoclastic reporter E.L. Mencken. and the contemporaneous affidavits of the three teachers of science, W.C. Curtis, K.F. Mather and F.-C. Cole. The main offering, however, is a series of eight newly written essays by two ministers, a theologian, three scientists, a scientific journalist, and a former director of the American Civil Liberties Union. Some of these were present at the trial, but none had an active part in it and for some the only connection is that they remember hearing about the trial when they were children. There is also an essay by Scopes himself, and this is extraordinary. Scopes apparently had little interest in the trial at the time, has virtually none now, and is most nearly moved by his belief that Bryan. his rabble rousing, anti-intellectual prosecutor, was "the greatest man produced in the United States since the days of Thomas Jefferson". The not very clearly expressed thesis of the editor and some contributors seems to be that the Scopes trial has current relevance because it marked the opening of a largely successful attack on anti-evolutionism in the United States. As one contributor (Carlyle Marney, a Southern Baptist minister and evidently a unique one) does point out, the thesis is flatly wrong on both counts: the battle against anti-evolutionary fundamentalism began long before 1925 and was far from won in 1965. The strongest argument is that Tennessee was so ridiculed that no other States dared be so foolish. But all the evidence suggests that Tennesseeans were delighted by the publicity and unconscious of the ridicule. And in fact to-day the teaching of evolution is prevented in an enormous number of school districts (locally almost autonomous in the United States) by devices much more effective than unenforced State laws. This somewhat interesting but unconvincing and patchwork volume does nothing to alter the feeling that the Scopes trial was a farce and that its only present importance is that it inspired a more successful and more frank farce, the play Inherit the Wind." (Simpson, G.G., "Good Enough for Moses?," review of "D-Days at Dayton: Reflections on the Scopes Trial." Edited by Jerry R. Tompkins, Louisiana State University Press: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1965, in Nature, Vol 210, No. 5042, June 18, 1966, pp.1194-1195) 4/2/2004 "Daniel Dennett's 1995 book, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, presents itself as the ultras' philosophical manifesto of pure adaptationism. Dennett explains the strict adaptationist view well enough, but he defends a miserly and blinkered picture of evolution in assuming that all important phenomena can be explained thereby. His limited and superficial book reads like a caricature of a caricature--for if Richard Dawkins has trivialized Darwin's richness by adhering to the strictest form of adaptationist argument in a maximally reductionist mode, then Dennett, as Dawkins's publicist, manages to convert an already vitiated and improbable account into an even more simplistic and uncompromising doctrine. If history, as often noted, replays grandeurs as farces, and if T.H. Huxley truly acted as `Darwin's bulldog,' then it is hard to resist thinking of Dennett, in this book, as "Dawkins's lapdog." (Gould, S.J., "Darwinian Fundamentalism," New York Review of Books, June 12, 1997) 5/2/2004 "But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, pp.292-293) 5/2/2004 "I have attempted to show that the geological record is extremely imperfect. ... He who rejects this view of the imperfection of the geological record, will rightly reject the whole theory. For he may ask in vain where are the numberless transitional links which must formerly have connected the closely allied or representative species found in the successive stages of the same great formation? He may disbelieve in the immense intervals of time which must have elapsed between our consecutive formations; he may overlook how important a part migration has played, when the formations of any one great region, as those of Europe, are considered; he may urge the apparent, but often falsely apparent, sudden coming in of whole groups of species. He may ask where are the remains of those infinitely numerous organisms which must have existed long before the Cambrian system was deposited?" (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, pp.342- 343) 5/2/2004 "I can answer these questions and objections only on the supposition that the geological record is far more imperfect than most geologists believe. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.441) 5/2/2004 "If we admit that the geological record is imperfect to an extreme degree, then the facts, which the record does give, strongly support the theory of descent with modification. " (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.450) 5/2/2004 "The noble science of Geology loses glory from the extreme imperfection of the record. The crust of the earth with its embedded remains must not be looked at as a well-filled museum, but as a poor collection made at hazard and at rare intervals." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.461) 6/2/2004 "Genesis 4:21-22. Lamech, a descendant of Cain, had three sons by his two wives. Jabal `was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.' A second son Jubal, `was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.' In just eight generations counting Adam, there are tents, livestock, and musical instruments; not caves, woolly mammoths, and hand axes. For many reasons, we can conclude that Adam was not contemporary with the `Flintstones.' A wealth of Stone Age artifacts have been uncovered giving silent testimony to a culture long disappeared at this point. So where does Adam fit in the history of man? The next verse tells us. Genesis 4:22. One of Cain's descendants, Tubal-cain, was `an instructor of every worker in brass and iron.' There is the proverbial smoking gun! Adam belongs after the old Stone Ages, at the end of the Neolithic, at the threshold of a period called the Chalcolithic when traditional stone tools were augmented by crude copper implements. Adam's descendants saw the dawning of the Bronze Age." (Fischer, D.*, "The Origins Solution: An Answer in the Creation-Evolution Debate," Fairway Press: Lima OH, 1996, pp.238-239) 7/2/2004 "Does our culture, like many others, have an unpardonable heresy? Every culture constructs an idol unto itself, punishing heresy by excommunication. We can discover the sacred idol of any culture by finding its taboo question. In Medieval Europe, the peasant was forbidden to question the truth of the Church. Under Communism, comrades doubting the Party were thrown in gulag labor camps. Now, citizens must recite principles of Darwinism through compulsory schooling. We are encouraged to learn nuances like punctuated equilibrium and neo- Darwinism, but questioning the universal explanatory power of evolution is met with intellectual excommunication. ... Anti-religious prejudice among scientists significantly impeded 20th century scientific advance. Stephen Hawking wrote in A Brief History of Time that evidence for the Big Bang was ignored for decades because it `smacks of divine intervention.' For fear of theological implications, there were `a number of attempts to avoid the conclusion that there had been a Big Bang.' Intellectual honesty requires rationally examining our fundamental premises-yet expressing hesitation about Darwin is considered irretrievable intellectual suicide, the unthinkable doubt, the unpardonable sin of academia. Although the postmodern era questions everything else-the possibility of knowledge, basic morality and reality itself-critical discussion of Darwin is taboo. While evolutionary biologists test Darwin's hypothesis in every experiment they conduct, the basic premise of evolution remains an scientific Holy of Holies, despite our absurd skepticism in other areas. Oxford zoologist Richard Dawkins writes: `It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who does not believe in evolution, that person is either ignorant, stupid, or insane.' ... Skip Evans, of the National Center for Science Education, worried that classroom discussions of evidence against evolution might `cast seeds of doubt in students' minds.' Professors expressing doubts about evolution are often ostracized, demoted or fired. A Baylor University professor found research funds rescinded because his project would undermine evolutionary presuppositions. Other skeptical professors have resorted to using pseudonyms, fearing for their jobs and careers if they openly publish contrary evidence. Evolution skeptics are almost universally dismissed with an ad hominem charge of `religiously-motivated propaganda.' .... These dissenting voices are systematically marginalized and silenced by academic McCarthyism. We must refuse to bow to our culture's false idols. Science will not benefit from canonizing Darwin or making evolution an article of secular faith. We must reject intellectual excommunication as a valid form of dealing with criticism: the most important question for any society to ask is the one that is forbidden." (Halvorson, R.T., "Confessions of a Skeptic," The Harvard Crimson, April 07, 2003) 7/2/2004 "Hart's CHZ [continuous habitable zone] is now believed to be too narrow because of several effects that he did not take into account. One of these is the discovery of a remarkable chemical process known as the CO2- silicate cycle that, on Earth, acts as a regulating thermostat to keep the planetary temperature within "healthful" limits. This cycle can maintain habitable surface temperatures over moderate range of solar heating effects. CO2 is a trace gas that constitutes, only 350 parts per million of the atmosphere, but it is a `greenhouse' gas: infrared-absorbing properties retard the escape of heat back into space. The greenhouse effect warms Earth's surface about 40°C above the temperature it would otherwise have. As we will see later in the book, the thermostatic control of the CO2-silicate cycle (which is also known as the CO2-rock cycle) occurs because of the effects of weathering. If the planet warms, in creased weathering removes CO2 from the atmosphere, and the loss of CO2 leads to cooling. When Earth is too cool, weathering and CO2 removal decrease, while the continual atmospheric buildup of volcanic CO2 leads to warming. This remarkable negative-feedback system widens the continuously habitable zone and also complicates efforts to determine its boundaries precisely, because the CO2-rock cycle is not perfectly understood on a planetary scale. Using this new information, astrobiologist James Kasting and his colleagues defined the HZ as "the region around a star in which an Earth-like planet (of comparable mass) and having an atmosphere containing nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxide is climatically suitable for surface dwelling, water-dependent life." They estimated in 1993 that the width of the CHZ is from 0.95 to 1.15 AU (1 astronomical unit represents the distance from Earth to the sun, 93 million miles). This is much wider than Hart's estimate but still quite narrow. (Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D., "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus: New York, 2000, pp.18-19) 8/2/2004 "A more difficult case, which Gould himself takes on (in The Panda's Thumb), is that of a Philippine anglerfish. In anglerfish generally, a fin spine has been elongated to project forward in front of the fish's head. At the end of this spine is a `bait' which the angler uses to attract its prey. In a Philippine variety the bait has developed into a remarkably fishlike lure, which the angler wiggles near its mouth while sitting on the sea floor pretending to be an algae-encrusted rock. In form and coloring, this lure is an extraordinarily good representation for an actual fish. It has spots of pigment to simulate eyes, compressed filaments and extensions representing all the standard fish fins and even a rear projection perfectly mimicking a tail. The Philippine angler even moves its bait so as to simulate the lateral undulations of a swimming fish. How did this anglerfish's lure come into existence? Gould himself acknowledges the inconsistency of ascribing this `adaptation' to small, cumulative, partial modifications. If we suppose the development of this lure required 500 separate steps, of what value, Gould asks, is the first step? `Is a five hundredth of a fake enough to inspire the curiosity of any real, item?' And if we believe in small, cumulative modifications, we have to explain how the process began. We are driven to postulate some `non-Darwinian' force establishing a goal and directing the life-force of the fish to accomplish that end. And Gould, of course, is dead set against any such `non-Darwinian' force. Moreover, in the punctuational model of evolution, Gould doesn't have time for five hundred successive modifications. He has to explain how this anglerfish's lure arose relatively quickly." (Fix, W.R., "The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution," Macmillan: New York NY, 1984, pp.202-203) 8/2/2004 "It's true that for the last eighteen months or so I've been kicking around non-evolutionary or even anti- evolutionary ideas. ... One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, or let's call it a non- evolutionary view, was last year I had a sudden realization for over twenty years I had thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. ... Question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. ... Well, what about evolution? It certainly has the function of knowledge but does it convey any? Well we're back to the question that I've been putting to people. "Is there any one thing you can tell me about evolution?" The absence of answers seems to suggest that it is true, evolution does not convey any knowledge or if so, I haven't yet heard of it. ... evolution not only conveys no knowledge but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge ..." (Patterson, C., "Evolutionism and Creationism," Transcript of Address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York NY, November 5, 1981, pp.1-4. Ellipses mine) 8/2/2004 ""All of the Friedmann solutions have the feature that at some time in the past (between ten and twenty thousand million-years ago) the distance between neighboring galaxies must have been zero. At that time, which we call the big bang, the density of the universe and the curvature of spacetime would have been infinite. Because mathematics cannot really handle infinite numbers, this means that the general theory of relativity (on which Friedmann's solutions are based) predicts that there is a point in the universe where the theory itself breaks down. Such a point is an example of what mathematicians call a singularity. In fact, all our theories of science are formulated on the assumption that space-time is smooth and nearly flat, so they break down at the big bang singularity, where the curvature of space-time is infinite. This means that even if there were events before the big bang, one could not use them to determine what would happen afterward, because predictability would break down at the big bang. Correspondingly, if, as is the case, we know only what has happened since the big bang, we could not determine what happened beforehand. As far as we are concerned, events before the big bang can have no consequences, so they should not form part of a scientific model of the universe. We should therefore cut them out of the model and say that time had a beginning at the big bang. Many people do not like the idea that time has a beginning, probably because it smacks of divine intervention. (The Catholic Church, on the other hand, seized on the big bang model and in 1951 officially pronounced it to be in accordance with the Bible.) There were therefore a number of attempts to avoid the conclusion that there had been a big bang." (Hawking, S.W., "A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes," , Bantam: London, 1991, reprint, p.50) 10/2/2004 "MR. WATTENBERG: Well, now, you wrote in 'The Selfish Gene' this. 'Living organisms had existed on earth without ever knowing why for 3,000 million years before the truth finally dawned on one of them. His name was Charles Darwin.' That sounds to me like a religious statement. That is a -that is near messianic language. And you are making the case that these other people have this virus of the mind. That tonality says, I found my God. MR. DAWKINS: You can call it that if you like. It's not religious in any sense in which I would recognize the term. Certainly I look up to Charles Darwin." (Wattenberg, B., "Talking about Evolution with Richard Dawkins," Think Tank: PBS, November 7, 1996) 10/2/2004 "Persons who want naturalistic evolution to be accepted as unquestioned fact must therefore use their cultural authority to enact rules of discourse that protect the purported fact from the attacks of unbelievers. First, they can identify science with naturalism, which means that they insist as a matter of first principle that no consideration whatever be given to the possibility that mind or spirit preceded matter. Second, they can impose a rule of procedure that disqualifies purely negative argument, so that a theory which obtains some very modest degree of empirical support can become immune to disproof until and unless it is supplanted by a better naturalistic theory. With these rules in place, Darwinists can claim to have proved that natural selection crafted moths, trees, and people, and point to the peppered-moth observation as proof." (Johnson, P.E.*, "Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism," Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1990, reprint, p.15) 12/2/2004 "Grown men could crumble in the presence of the god. The American mathematician and philosopher Chauncey Wright paid a call on Darwin in 1872 and burbled about a near-religious experience. ... John Lubbock said that another admirer of Darwin, whom he brought over to Down House for an hour's courtesy call, burst into tears when safely on the way home. The visitor had been so overcome during the visit that he could not summon up courage to speak to the great man. A few of these young men turned Darwin into a secular saint and Darwinism into a religion." (Browne, E.J., "Charles Darwin: The Power of Place: Volume II of a Biography," , Pimlico: London, 2003, p.383) 12/2/2004 "Now, despite widespread publicity to the contrary, the Institute for Creation Research has always tried to discourage a legalistic and political approach to this issue (as has the Creation Research Society). History shows that neither scientific nor religious principles can be effectively legislated, and since there had been no legal restriction against teaching creation anyway, most creationist scientists have felt rather strongly that, in the long run, education and persuasion would accomplish more than legislation and coercion. Furthermore, the present legal and judicial climate is so humanistic that court decisions, no matter how strong the evidence and how valid the constitutional position, might very likely go against the creationists. Even in the event of a favorable court decision, the creationists would be bound to lose the case in the biased reporting of the news media. Finally such laws would be very difficult to enforce, even if upheld by the courts. Teachers compelled to teach creationism against their will, and without any adequate knowledge of the creationist arguments and evidence, would probably do more harm than good in the classroom anyway. So, although the route of persuasion seems slower than that of compulsion, it holds more promise of ultimate success, and our ICR literature has stressed this repeatedly. However, many creationists have felt otherwise and have tried to use the courts or legislatures to get the two-model approach accepted. This situation has, of course, placed ICR in a difficult position. While not favoring legislative or political action at all, poorly-drawn bills and political defeats would be so harmful that ICR has become inadvertently involved in these activities to try to prevent damaging errors." (Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, pp.127-128) 13/2/2004 "An ancient superstition was current in the East, that out of Judaea at this time would come the rulers of the world. This prediction, as the event later proved, referred to a Roman Emperor, but the rebellious Jews, who read it as referring to themselves, murdered their Governor, routed the Governor of Syria when he came down to restore order, and captured an Eagle. To crush this uprising the Romans needed a strong army under an energetic commander, who could be trusted not to abuse his considerable powers. The choice fell on Vespasian. He had given signal proof of energy and nothing, it seemed, need be feared from a man of such modest antecedents. Two legions, with eight cavalry squadrons and ten auxiliary cohorts, were therefore dispatched to join the forces already in Judaea; and Vespasian took his elder son, Titus, to serve on his staff." (Suetonius, "Vespasian: Afterwards Deified," in "The Twelve Caesars," X.4, , Graves R. & Grant M., trans., Penguin: London, Revised, 2003, pp.283-284) 13/2/2004 "The majority were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judaea would go forth men destined to rule the world. This mysterious prophecy really referred to Vespasian and Titus, but the common people, true to the selfish ambitions of mankind, thought that this mighty destiny was reserved for them, and not even their calamities opened their eyes to the truth." (Tacitus, "The Jews," in "The Histories," 5.13, , Wellesley K., trans., Penguin: London, Revised, 1995, pp.287-288) 17/2/2004 "In line with the previous concern, Van Till offers the type III secretory system as a possible precursor to the bacterial flagellum. This ignores that the current evidence points to the type III system as evolving from the flagellum and not vice versa (cf. Milt Saier's recent work at UCSD). But beyond that, finding a component of a functional system that performs some other function is hardly an argument for the original system evolving from that other system. One might just as well say that because the motor in a motorcycle can be used as a blender, therefore the motor evolved into the motorcycle. Perhaps, but not without intelligent design. Even if it could be shown that the type III system predated the flagellum (contrary to Milt Saier's work), it could at best represent one possible step in the indirect Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum. But that still wouldn't constitute a solution to the evolution of the bacterial flagellum. What's needed is a complete evolutionary path and not merely a possible oasis along the way. To claim otherwise is like saying we can travel by foot from Los Angeles to Tokyo because we've discovered the Hawaiian Islands. Evolutionary biology needs to do better than that." (Dembski, W.A.*, "Naturalism's Argument from Invincible Ignorance: A Response to Howard Van Till," Design Inference Website, September 2002) 18/2/2004 "The central thesis of this essay is that both Descartes and his materialist successors are fundamentally mistaken about the essential nature of humans. We are neither angels nor apes. Rather, we are rational animals. Our nature is an essential unity of both the material and the immaterial. As it is sometimes said: we don't have a soul, we are a soul. As a motto and battle cry, this formula captures well the ancient conception of humans as rational animals. ... Aristotelian metaphysics that supports this ancient conception of humanity is fundamentally an articulation and defense of common sense. ... Aristotle's metaphysics is largely a defense of our ordinary beliefs about the world against the attacks by his fellow philosophers. ... Jews, Christians, and Muslims have historically been drawn to the conception of humans as rational animals at least in part because it comported well with their faith, but the argument of this book is not theological. ... Aristotle's fundamental principles are timeless. ... his philosophical understanding of humanity is consistent with the findings of modern science, especially evolutionary biology and the emerging field of cognitive science (including "artificial intelligence"). In short, our positive argument in favor of Aristotle's conception of humanity will be based on observations and truths known to all people at all times. However, we will also argue negatively that the many new observations and truths of modern science do not demonstrate or even imply that the ancient view is false." (Machuga, R., "In Defense of the Soul: What it Means to Be Human," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI, 2002, pp.16-17. Emphasis in original) 18/2/2004 "Again, we encounter the major dilemma that I call (Gould, 1997f) "the paradox of the visibly irrelevant "-that is, phenomena prominent enough to be detectable and measurable at all in local populations during ordinary human time must cascade to instantaneous completion when scaled into geological time, whereas truly gradual effects in geological time must be effectively invisible at scales of human observation in ecological time. Consequently, what we see in our world can't be the direct stuff, by simple extrapolation, of sustained macroevolutionary change-while what we view as slow and steady in the geological record can't be visible at all (in the same form) by the measuring rod of our own life's duration. ... How can geological gradualism be the extrapolated expression of natural selection within populations? Surely, if a doubling of tooth size (say) requires 2 million years to reach completion, then the process must be providing so small an increment of potential advantage in each generation that natural selection couldn't possibly "see" the effect in terms of reliably enhanced reproductive success on a generational basis. Can a tooth elongated by a tiny fraction of a single millimeter possibly confer any evolutionary advantage in a selective episode during one generation of a population's history? Conversely, if bigger teeth provide such sustained advantages, why stretch the process over millions of years?" (Gould, S.J., "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," Belknap: Cambridge MA, 2002, Fifth printing, pp.834-835) 18/2/2004 "Although at first glance the order of fossils seems to be good evidence for macroevolutionary theory, it does present a couple of difficulties. The first concerns the issue of polarity. Although macroevolutionary theory predicts major changes over the course of time, it is incapable of predicting ahead of time what the direction or nature of change will be. For example, parasites have limited internal complexity, but macroevolutionists generally do not know whether they were derived from simpler animals without internal complexity or whether they were derived from more complex organisms but have since lost internal complexity due in some part to disuse. Green algae are thought to be related to land plants because of similar photosynthetic chemistry, but without the fossil record it might have been impossible to determine whether land plants evolved from algae or algae from plants. Similarly, without the fossil record it might have been difficult to determine whether marine mammals evolved from or into land mammals. As a result, to use the fossil record to verify the "predictions" of phylogeny may in some cases (or all?) be assuming the order of fossils to prove it." (Wise, K.P.*, "The Origin of Life's Major Groups," in Moreland, J.P.*, ed., "The Creation Hypothesis: Scientific Evidence for an Intelligent Designer," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1994, p.224) 20/2/2004 "Following Dawkins, Dennett claims that the substrate that gets selected in cultural evolution is the "meme," any memorable idea, jingle, or fashion that lasts long enough to get copied by another person. This substrate neutrality argument is supremely important to Dennett. It -and nothing else -- explains why selection can be lifted from its historical base in biology. It is what makes Darwinism so dangerous. But Dennett slips here. While it is true that many different kinds of substrate can be selected, it is simply not true that Darwinism works with any substrate, no matter what. Indeed Darwinism can't even explain old- fashioned biological evolution if the hereditary substrate doesn't behave just right. Evolution would quickly grind to a halt, for instance, if inheritance were blending, not particulate. With blending inheritance, the genetic material from two parents seamlessly blends together like different colored paints. With particulate Mendelian inheritance, genes from Mom and Dad remain forever distinct in Junior. This substrate problem was so acute that turn-ofthe-century biologists -- all fans of blending inheritance -- concluded that Darwinism just can't work. Modern evolutionary genetics was born in 1930 when Sir Ronald Fisher cracked this problem: Population genetics shows that particulate Mendelian inheritance saves the day. It is just the kind of substrate needed for evolution by natural selection to work." (Orr, H.A., "Dennett's Strange Idea: Natural Selection: Science of Everything, Universal Acid, Cure for the Common Cold ...." Review of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," by Daniel C. Dennett, Simon and Schuster. Boston Review, Vol. 21., No. 3., Summer 1996. Emphasis in original.) 21/2/2004 "DR. EDEN: I think I would have to know more of the details. I agree with you fully that the mechanisms which have been proposed, whether they are recombination mechanisms or mutational mechanisms, certainly constrain the space. What I would like to find is the characterization of these constraints. Clearly, we have the evidence available to us, namely, that we are alive, and the evidence that life has developed to this state in a relatively small number of generations; so we have what a mathematician might call an existence theorem. There is some path by which we have arrived at this relatively small corner in this large space, on the basis of a relatively small number of generations. What I am claiming is simply that without some constraint on the notion of random variation, in either the properties of the organism or the sequence of the DNA. there is no particular reason to expect that we could have gotten any kind of viable form other than nonsense. It is the character of the constraint that make things possible, not the variation. That is the point I have been trying to make." (Eden, M., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Eden," in Moorhead, P.S. & Kaplan, M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.14) 22/2/2004 "On this doctrine of the extermination of an infinitude of connecting links, between the living and extinct inhabitants of the world, and at each successive period between the extinct and still older species, why is not every geological formation charged with such links? Why does not every collection of fossil remains afford plain evidence of the gradation and mutation of the forms of life? Although geological research has undoubtedly revealed the former existence of many links, bringing numerous forms of life much closer together, it does not yield the infinitely many fine gradations between past and present species required on the theory; and this is the most obvious of the many objections which may be urged against it. Why, again, do whole groups of allied species appear, though this appearance is often false, to have come in suddenly on the successive geological stages? Although we now know that organic beings appeared on this globe, at a period incalculably remote, long before the lowest bed of the Cambrian system was deposited, why do we not find beneath this system great piles of strata stored with the remains of the progenitors of the Cambrian fossils? For on the theory, such strata must somewhere have been deposited at these ancient and utterly unknown epochs of the world's history. I can answer these questions and objections only on the supposition that the geological record is far more imperfect than most geologists believe." (Darwin, C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th edition, 1928, reprint, p.441) 23/2/2004 "Ontological reductionism is the name given to the idea that the scientific explanation of any phenomenon is the only valid one. Thus if we can explain anything, be it the origin of life, or human consciousness or whatever, scientifically, then we have explained it, full stop. There is nothing more to be said. This is the real nub of 'nothing-buttery' and was what Donald MacKay had in mind when he originally coined that expression. It is closely related to epistemological reductionism, since often it is expressed in extreme reductionist language-we are 'nothing but atoms and molecules'. In ultra-simplistic terms, the whole is 'nothing but the sum of its parts'. (Holder, R.D.*, "Nothing but Atoms and Molecules?: Probing The Limits of Science," Monarch: Tunbridge Wells UK, 1993, p.92) 27/2/2004 "Readers of my article and the responses may have noticed that where I attacked Darwinism and the establishment of naturalism, Thomas Jukes and William Provine responded with a spirited defense of evolution. The choice of words is important, because "evolution" is a vague term with immense power to confuse. The important claim of "evolution" is that life developed gradually from nonliving matter to its present state of diverse complexity through purposeless natural mechanisms that are known to science. Evolution in this sense is a grand metaphysical system that contradicts any meaningful notion of creation, because it leaves the Creator with nothing to do. Contemporary neo-Darwinism rules out theistic or "guided" evolution just as firmly as it rejects direct creation ex nihilo. It is this universal, naturalistic version of evolution that Darwinists are preaching (the word is appropriate) in the schools and colleges, with more or less clarity depending on the circumstances. As Provine rightly says, liberal theologians and Darwinists share a common interest in obscuring the anti-theistic implications of Darwinism. The vagueness of "evolution" permits Darwinists to hold open the possibility of a theistic interpretation for a time, and then to slam that door shut when it is safe to do so." (Johnson, P.E.*, "A Reply to My Critics," in "Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism," [First Things, November 1990], Foundation for Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1990, reprint, p.33. Emphasis in original) 27/2/2004 "The conflict requires careful explanation, because the terms are confusing. The concept of creation in itself does not imply opposition to evolution, if evolution means only a gradual process by which one kind of living creature changes into something different. A Creator might well have employed such a gradual process as a means of creation. `Evolution' contradicts `creation' only when it explicitly or tacitly defined as fully naturalistic evolution-meaning evolution that is not directed by any purposeful intelligence." (Johnson P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial,"  InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.3-4) 29/2/2004 "Conservatives are very `touchy' about the historicity of the fall of Adam, because of its importance to their soteriology and theodicy, and, therefore, about the status of the Genesis narratives on that event (Genesis 2-3). They are reluctant to admit that the literary genre in that case is figurative rather than strictly literal even though the hints are very strong that it is symbolic: Adam (which means `Mankind') marries Eve (which means `Life), and their son Cai son Cai