A flood of evidence

Scientists are still seeking an explanation for a significant gap in the geological record:

When the famed explorer John Wesley Powell bumped, splashed and thrashed his way down the Colorado River in 1869, he discovered one of the most striking geologic features on Earth. Not the Grand Canyon — although that too is a marvel — but a conspicuous boundary between the sunset-colored sediments of the upper walls and the dark, jagged rocks below them.

Powell had learned to read the layers of desert rocks like pages in a book, and he recognized that the boundary represented a missing chapter in Earth’s geological history. Later, researchers realized it was more like an entire lost volume, spanning roughly one-fifth of Earth’s existence, and that a similar gap existed in many places around the world.

There must have been some sort of special event in Earth’s history that led to widespread erosion,” said Steve Marshak, a geologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who studies what has come to be known as the Great Unconformity. (emphasis added)…

Since there are so few rocks from that period, the researchers had to look for other kinds of clues to figure out what happened. They reasoned that the missing layers probably went through the full geologic spin cycle: They would have been broken down into sediment and washed out to sea, then deposited on the ocean floor and recycled into the mantle during subduction before finally melting into the magma that feeds volcanoes.

Keller’s team found stark variations in the oxygen and hafnium in zircons, consistent with the continents losing an average of 2 to 3 vertical miles of rock.  “We are talking about an absolutely huge amount of crust being eroded,” he said. “In which case, we should have noticed it missing — and we have.”  (emphasis added)

The story’s headline notes a leading theory for this erosion being repeated eras of glaciation — “snowball earth” — but the story also notes the theory may not explain the rate of erosion.  Here’s another idea:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.  And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights… The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:6-10, 24; emphasis added)

The Flood was more than just torrential rain.  The “springs of the great deep” imply massive tectonic upheaval — just the sort of thing to produce the enormous recycling of crust described in the linked article above.  There’s no question these combined effects could account for the erosion and “Great Unconformity,” because Scripture also tells us:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.  (2 Peter 3:3-7; emphasis added)

There IS a ‘great unconformity’ between the world that is, and the world that was.  There is an even greater unconformity between the world that is, and the world that is to come. The present world is filled with evidence of the Creator and the truth of His Word — for those who “have ears to hear.”

No matter what credentials are attached to one’s name, there is no excuse for denials.  Sadly, that won’t prevent many of today’s most brilliant scientific minds from reflexively ruling out any chance that Scripture has something to tell them.

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Well whadya know?

And here we were told the “science is settled:”

Landmark new research that involves analyzing millions of DNA barcodes has debunked much about what we know today about the evolution of species.

In a massive genetic study, senior research associate at the Program for the Human Environment at Rockefeller University Mark Stoeckle and University of Basel geneticist David Thaler discovered that virtually 90 percent of all animals on Earth appeared at right around the same time.

More specifically, they found out that 9 out of 10 animal species on the planet came to being at the same time as humans did some 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

“This conclusion is very surprising,” says Thaler, “and I fought against it as hard as I could.”

Of course he did.  Any research conclusion that undermines St. Darwin of Galapagos or smacks of the Biblical view of things will be fought against.  What, you thought modern science was objective?  To be fair, animals didn’t spring up at exactly the same time as humans… they showed up anywhere from a few hours to a day prior.   🙂

Too many influential scientists today have taken on the role the Catholic clergy played before the Reformation: dispensers of received truth selectively communicated in terms the average layman can’t understand.  For the priests, it was keeping everything in Latin so the masses couldn’t access scripture on their own.  For the High Priests of Darwinism and the Church of Global Warming, it’s using Latin-derived polysyllabic words most people don’t pursue past mandatory High School science courses.

So it’s refreshing to see an admission that maybe the science isn’t as “SETTLED!” as we’ve been told.  Next thing you know, they’ll be claiming humans walked among dinosaurs!

The horrors!

Death and discernment

A friend shared this David Platt video with me — it is five minutes of your time well spent.

I appreciate it especially because I’ve also noticed the trend of books on purported ‘near-death’ or ‘resurrection’ experiences, and it’s been raising my eyebrow for some time.  Death, of course, is the great unknown; the paramount human experience that defies science and logic to prepare us adequately for it.  It is in our nature to be curious about it, and attracted to that which claims to provide information.

I don’t doubt that God can raise people from the dead — after all, the fact He raised His Son is the central tenet of the hope that I have!  The Son, once glorified, returned to the Father.  He did not return to remain in this sin-afflicted world!  In the same sense, how cruel would it be for God to reveal Himself fully in Heaven, only to send us back to the evil that surrounds us here daily?  No… I don’t think He is in the habit of such!

When Jesus went to Lazarus’ tomb, scripture says He wept.  It wasn’t tears of loss–He knew God’s power over death was about to be revealed.  I believe He wept for two reasons.  First, the fact that death is even in the world to begin with, because of sin.  The pain Mary, Martha and their friends were suffering was never His design.  Second, he was about to bring Lazarus back to deal with the troubles and frustrations of this sin-soaked world for a while longer.  Lazarus’ peace would be interrupted before resuming again later at the end of his earthly life.  In modern parlance, I don’t think that’s anything Jesus “would wish on His worst enemies!”  Only God’s glory could be worth such an act!

What amazes me is how many people–both in and out of the church–who will call some portions of Scripture into doubt because they are inconvenient, will accept these modern testimonies so readily.

After watching the linked video, you need to ask yourself what you find to be authoritative, and in what you are willing to place your faith.  As the video points out, it may not even be that these authors are lying consciously (though given the potential of the market, there is no small incentive for such).  There is no need to start flinging labels and accusations.  We are easily deceived, including by ourselves.

As for me, I’m grateful to David for giving me a way to summarize the nagging concerns I had, but couldn’t quite articulate.  It’s simply this: if an account of visiting Heaven isn’t focused overwhelmingly–exclusively, even–on the revealed glory of God, it doesn’t comport with Scripture and should be dismissed.

Want to know what happens when you die?  Read the Book!  Want to know what Heaven is like?  Read the end of the Book!  Note well the focus.  It is but a glimpse, but it is enough.

Sola Scriptura!

Initial thoughts on the debate

My apologies, as I’d meant to publicize the Ken HamBill Nye debate on this blog but got wrapped up in other things and didn’t get to post the past couple days.  The family did, however, make time to watch it live.  You can still see the whole event here.

As a former competitive debater, it was difficult to be a mere observer — a part of me wanted in the ring.  That said, here are some impressions:

The long-form opening presentations were much more informative/effective than the multiple shorter rebuttals.  I thought Ham’s opening was more traditionally methodical on definitions and premises, but it had to be, since Nye could assume audience understanding of what is now the prevalent naturalistic worldview.  This was where I thought Ham was most effective, exposing some of the hidden assumptions people now accept without questioning the underlying chain of logic (or lack thereof).  Ham’s overall performance would have been even stronger had he continued to hammer at this aspect.

Both presenters became more scatter-shot as time went on, jumping from point to point instead of fully exploring what had already been introduced.  I’m probably more annoyed by such because I’m used to the tournament rules where “you can’t introduce a new argument in rebuttal.”  That this wasn’t followed allowed Nye to take the traditional atheist approach of constantly shifting ground in order not to be pinned on a particular point.

Mr Ham’s opening presentation was on the debate resolution, whereas Nye’s approach throughout was increasingly to make the question one of why people should accept Ham as an authority.  Had I been Mr Ham, I would at some point have noted this scoffing ad hominem  by saying “you keep asking why people should accept my interpretation of things, with the implication I am a radical cultist or some such.  But creation is not my theory or invention; it is God’s Word, the authority of which I accept and which many people have accepted over centuries — including the scientists I’ve noted today.  Part of the reason I accept it is that the account it records explains the world around us, from the majesty of creation to the frustration of sin and tragedy and the hope in something larger than this earthly existence.  I admit this as the starting point of my worldview — my assumption, if you will.  We all have these.  You, on the other hand, actively exclude any role of a Creator in creation, assuming a self-existent universe that in the words of your mentor, Carl Sagan, is “all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.”  Those words are a religious worldview of secular atheism, no more falsifiable by observational science than my own belief in the authority of Scripture.  So on what basis are you asking us to accept your personal choice of a starting assumption that there is no God?

That would have been an interesting turn to the discussion, I think.

I also think Ham should have pointed out Nye’s dismissal, without discussion, of the distinction between observational and historical science.  Nye kept asking Ham what predictive models creationism could offer that could be tested.  All Ham had to say is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death,” then ask Nye to point out any demonstrable examples of one “kind” of animal becoming another, as macroevolutionary theory demands.  While Ham did point out more than once that mutations involve a loss of information or a switching on/off of existing genetic info, I’d wager most of the audience lost the point that evolution is falsifiable because there are no examples of mutations ADDING genetic information in the way “molecules to man” would demand.  Asking Nye to provide such an example could have been telling.

There was much to appreciate about the event (to include the fact my three kids willingly watched the entire thing and even had comments afterwards!), and much I would have liked to have seen gone differently.  It goes without saying that it’s easier to be a commentator and Monday-morning quarterback than a participant, so I tip my hat to both men for getting in the arena for an event that devoted a worthy amount of time (2.5 hours!) to the topic.  In the end, I was humbled to watch a Biblical worldview explained clearly to a very large potential audience.  It is my prayer that this will challenge people to earnestly seek after truth, because I know to Whom such an honest search leads.  Any of us who seek to testify to the truth are merely flawed vessels being used by a Holy God.  So I thank Mr Ham and his AiG team for the obvious preparation and prayer they put into this opportunity to present what Scripture has to say.

May it generate more such opportunities!