Mommy can I kill this?

Mommy can I kill this?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Above image by Nicci Coertze-Kruger from Pixabay

On the first day of school a little boy whose father owned the local apple farm brought his teacher a gift in a box.

Many others had done the same, but his was the largest and last to be opened. It was a game they were playing, and before she opened each gift, she had to try to guess what it was. The boy placed it on her desk and stood waiting for her to open it. All the other little boys and girls were gathering around to see what it was because children are naturally curious about things, and the little boy had refused to tell anyone what it was.

The teacher, who was young in years and to the profession, stood up and noticed the bottom of the box was wet, and a small puddle was forming on her desk. She exclaimed, “Oh Johnny, I think it must be broken!” Johnny said, “Oh no, it can’t be broken.” The teacher dipped her finger in what looked like apple juice, tasted it, and asked, “Is it apple juice?” The boy smiled and said, “Nope.” The teacher again dipped her finger in the puddle, tasted it again and asked, “Lemon-ade?” Again the boy smiled and said, “Nope!” Unable to contain his excitement any longer he exclaimed, “It’s a puppy!”

It is so important to know what things are before we take action. The above story is an amusing example of someone taking a simple action, (tasting what she thought was apple juice), and it turns out to have been a poor idea. Hollywood often runs with that kind of theme where aliens, (the kind from another planet, not just south of the border), come to visit earth, and they encounter someone who assumes they are hostile invaders. Inevitably, someone takes a shot at an alien and starts a war, when all along everyone could have been best of friends.

New hunters are reminded never to pull the trigger unless they know what they are shooting. I know about this first hand, having been shot myself. 

Swat teams have the same mindset and can’t just kick in doors and start shooting at anything that moves. Members of the sheriff or police departments can’t just start banging away at every bad guy they think they see, not with the valid concern of shooting innocent people, or worse yet, children.

I know Hollywood does not portray these kinds of actions very accurately. Most often, in Hollywood shootouts, hundreds of rounds are zipping through the air, the majority of which hit buildings, cars, and windows because everyone is such a lousy shot. Anyone that does get hit is often just an expendable good or bad guy. It is important to know what someone is shooting at before they pull the trigger.

With that in mind, it would also be important for someone to ‘know’ what they are aborting in an unwanted pregnancy. If it is just a ‘mass of cell tissue’ or a ‘lump of flesh’, then we have nothing to discuss, but if it is more than that, it would be valuable to know.

I did hear Greg Koukl give this example of a boy walking up behind his mom, who was doing the dishes. The boy was behind her and asked, “Mommy, can I kill this?” 1 Well, what is the first reaction out of the mouth of the mother? She would turn and look, or she would ask, “What is it?” Now, if it was an unwanted household pest like a spider or a cockroach, most of us would give permission. If it was a snake or a bird, then probably not. If it was a dog or a cat, definitely not. If it was the infant from next door, emphatically not!

I don’t know if it was Greg Koukl who came up with the acronym SLED, or if someone else had thought of it first, but it can be a simple tool to make your case for the right to life. SLED stands for:
Size
Level of Development
Environment
Degree of Dependency

Let’s take a moment and look at each one. Starting with size and equating the value of a person on how large or small they are is foolishness. I don’t think anyone would dispute this. Are basketball players more valuable due to their size? Are parents more valuable than their children? How many of you remember William Perry, aka The Refrigerator, who played for Chicago Bears after being hand-picked by Mike Ditka. In high school, he played at 295 pounds! Those of you over the age of 40 might remember the song by Randy Newman, “Short People”.  A song I would play for my girlfriend back then, (she was short). We can laugh at songs like that, especially those of us who are tall, but in all seriousness, height or size has nothing to do with the inherent value of a person.

Level of Development is another consideration for those considering an abortion. Does the value of a human being lessen because of their level of development? Is a 16 year old boy more valuable than a 6 year old boy? If the level of development matters, then anyone prior to puberty would have less value than someone past puberty. Same would be true from an infant to a toddler, or a newborn to an infant. Does a fetus in the first trimester have less value than one in the 2nd trimester? Some might argue that point, but if that is true, then we should be able to apply that to everyone. Obviously we can’t, so level of development cannot determine the value of a human being.

What about environment, or location? Does your value increase or decrease depending on where you are located? Do you have more or less value because you are at work, home, in your car? Do you have more value on the left side of your sofa then on the right side of your sofa? How about those in another country? Do those that live in third world countries have less value than those in developed countries? Does the value of an astronaut change if he is orbiting the earth or walking on the moon? Does your value change when you have traveled from mother’s uterus, though the birth-canal, to the hands of a waiting physician? Absolutely not. Value cannot be placed on a person depending on where they are found.

Finally, we have the degree of dependency which again is a point some might argue. If you look at this issue sensibly, then you will see it has nothing to do with the value of a person. How many of you know someone with skills or talents that have allowed them to be less dependent on others, in particular parents, sooner than others. Is the young adult who is pro-active and finds a job right out of high school have greater value than another who has not found a job? As a child grows and matures, do they have greater value as the months pass and they become less and less dependent? Do those that collect welfare have less value than those contributing to our tax base and have full time work? Do those working full time have more value than those working part time? How about those who need dialysis or heart medication on a weekly basis; is their value less due to the medication they need? Obviously the answer to this is no, and to suggest the value of a person is dependent on their level of dependency is foolish.

After hearing these reasons, someone might respond, “So what? I agree with all this, but you still should not take away a woman’s right to choose.” I would respond, “Choose what?” Think about it, a woman’s right to choose what? Do women have the right to choose to kill an innocent human being? No, they don’t and neither does anyone else, because if size, level of development, environment, and level of dependence does not make a difference in the value of a person, then abortion is the killing of innocent human beings.

Someone might respond, “So you believe even in the case of rape, you would take away a woman’s right to choose?” Again I would ask, “A right to choose what?” “Because a woman was raped, does that give her the right to kill an innocent human being?” Ray Comfort asked, “Which is worse, rape or murder?” 2

Greg Koukl puts it this way, “Let me put the issue plainly. If the unborn is not a human person, no justification for abortion is necessary. However, if the unborn is a human person, no justification for abortion is adequate.” 3

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (NIV)

Psalm 127:3-4 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. (NIV)

1. Koukl, Greg. “Abortion-Only One Question”. Ambassador Basic Curriculum. Signal Hill, 2003. Lecture.
2. Comfort, Ray. “180 Movie” YouTube Video. YouTube. 21 September. 2011. Web. 25 July. 2013.
3. Koukl, Greg. “Abortion: One Key Issue” str.org. Stand To Reason, 30 March. 2013. Web. 20 July. 2013.

Sources:
http://standtherefore.com/blog/sled-the-case-against-abortion/
http://www.nrlc.org/NewsToday/SLED.html
http://www.str.org/videos/women-will-die-from-back-alley-abortions-if-abortion-was-made-illegal#.Ue8aJW3akQk
http://www.prolifetraining.com/five-bad-ways.asp
http://hopeafterabortion.com/?p=103
http://www.safehavenministries.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI
http://www.str.org/quickthoughts/abortion-one-key-issue#.Ue8adG3akQk

Bill Nye The Science Guy knows what is best for our Children?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This Bill Nye clip has 5.5 millions views on Youtube. “Denial of Evolution is unique to the United States.” 1  The first words out of the mouth of Bill Nye The Science Guy are rubbish. Michael Reiss, who teaches at the Institute of Education in London, says, “In London, where I work, there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing Advanced Level Biology who do not accept evolution. That’s either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds.” 2

In Spiegel Online, a very popular German magazine, Jens Lubbadeh wrote an article titled, “Contesting Evolution: European Creationists Take On Darwin.” It even has a sub heading titled Not Just Americans. Lubbadeh wrote, “For many years, people have viewed creationism as a purely American phenomenon. The fact is, however, that there are also creationist currents in Europe, too, and an anti-evolution movement that is even less homogenous than the one in the US.” 3

John Lennox, a professor in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, has debated Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens concerning the existence of God. Dr. Lennox has lectured all over Europe and said this concerning evolution, “The unimaginable complexity of living systems and their regulatory mechanisms revealed to us by molecular biology surely bears the hallmark of designing intelligence every bit as much, if not more, than the fine-tuned physical universe on which these mechanisms ultimately depend.” 4

Finally, one more example of a European creationist, Alister McGrath, author of several books, who also holds a PhD in molecular biophysics, a degree from Oxford, and resides in the United Kingdom wrote, “Atheism, I began to realize, rested on a less-than-satisfactory evidential basis. The arguments that had once seemed bold, decisive, and conclusive increasingly turned out to be circular, tentative, and uncertain.” 5

I hope I am making my point clear. Don’t believe everything you hear from Bill Nye. To suggest that those ignorant conservative Christians in the United States hold the market on criticism of evolution is absurd. You think I am reading between the lines? Continue watching the Youtube video, he says toward the end, “Don’t make your kids do it, [deny evolution]. We need them. We need scientifically literate voters and tax payers for the future.” 6

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So if you don’t believe in evolution, you are unscientific and illiterate. Not only that, you will vote for the wrong people in office and be a member of some kind of political party who is incapable of making an informed decision. Probably the same political party that is homophobic, anti-choice, and pro-gun, would like to see prayer back in schools, and actually believe America, despite its faults, has a pretty good thing going with the Constitution. This mind set is not unique to Bill Nye. Evolutionists everywhere make the claim that if you don’t believe in evolution, you are foolish, ignorant, uneducated, and a Bible thumping religious fanatic, who has no business influencing or educating our youth of today.

Let’s take a moment here and define evolution so we are all on the same page. There are three basic definitions when we are talking about evolution.
1. Change over time.
2. Micro evolution (Changes within a species. For example, the different breeds of dogs.)
3. Macro evolution (Changes from one species to another species. For example, from a snake to a rabbit.)

I have no problem with evolution defined in its most basic sense, that is change over time. As I look in the mirror to shave I see evidence of change over time as the few gray hairs I once had have multiplied at an alarming rate. Nor do I have issue with Micro evolution, which by the way, is often the examples science books give. Quite misleading if you ask me. Science books commonly explain evolution and then the evidence they give for Macro evolution are actually examples of micro evolution. Darwin’s finches are an example of Micro evolution.

Evolution, to some degree, can explain the diversity of life, not the creation of life. The Stanley Miller experiment in the 1953 that most adults reading this post will remember from their High School science books, was touted as having created life in the lab. That is, life from non-life. This experiment has been disproved time and time again. Other examples that evolutionists share are Darwin’s tree of life, Ernst Haeckel’s drawings of embryos, (see my post concerning Haeckel’s Embryos) and the missing link, archeopteryx.

It is a wide spread misconception that evolution is strongly supported by the fossil record, when quite the opposite is true. Evidence for definition three, Macro evolution, has little, if any, confirmation within the fossil record. Darwin himself, (another European I might add), wrote this in The Origin of Species, “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [should] 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 graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” 7  Darwin recognized the lack of evidence in the fossil record, but the public impression, fed by the media, claims Darwinian Evolution is the answer to the diversity of life on earth. This assumption is made all the more ludicrous when evolutionists cannot supply an answer to how life even began. How do you get life from non-life? Order from disorder? Christians could even give evolutionists Macro evolution on a silver platter, with all the pomp and circumstance of the crowning of a new king, but then ask the newly crowned king, “How did it all begin?” The room would fall silent for lack of an answer.

In 2001, hundreds of scientists gathered to let the world know one thing. There were molecular biologists, engineers, chemists, geologists, astrophysicists, anthropologists, zoologists to name a few. Their doctorates came from Cambridge, Standford, Cornell, Yale, Berkley, Purdue and others. Also staff from Plasma Physics Lab at Princeton, National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian, Los Alamos Lab, and the Lawrence Livermore Lab. They published a two page ad in a national magazine titled, “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism.” They are skeptical of evolution and encourage everyone not to accept it as a fact. 8

Most of you know that I teach for a living and have for years. I can promise you when I teach science in the classroom, I will be sure to share my views with my students. I will point out the short comings and unanswered questions Darwinian evolution cannot answer. Despite what the media reports, despite what high profile figures such as Bill Nye say about evolution, and despite the hold Darwinists have on the minds of our youth in the form of curriculum in the public schools, I will continue to share a view point that will be counter to what most will teach. Since when was morality dictated by popular opinion? Dan Story wrote in his book, The Christian Combat Manual, “Creationists are not afraid of evolution. In fact, most creationists prefer that students also be taught evolution because when the two models are compared, it become clear that creation better accounts for the scientific data.” 9

Some of you may have heard of Anthony Flew, an atheist since he was in his teens, a British philosopher out of Oxford, author and debater, who in the last few years of his life became a believer in God. Flew said, “It is simply out of the question that the first living matter evolved out of dead matter and developed into an extraordinary, complicated creature of which we have no examples. There must have been some intelligence.” 10

I am not the fan of Bill Nye I used to be, as I have begun to look a little more critically at his comments and lectures. Since I have been in education, I have watched dozens of his film clips with my students, educating youth on the particulars of science, all the while making the process funny, entertaining, and interesting. As talented as Bill Nye is, he does not have the market on truth and wisdom. Even a clown who entertains children on a daily basis, who has made thousands of children laugh and smile, will not know what is best for your children. Neither will Bill Nye The Science Guy. Yes, we need scientific and literate voters for the future, but teaching them creationism will not subtract from their education, intelligence, or ability to pay taxes. I would say stick to teaching science Bill Nye and stay out of politics, but I am not sure he even has a good grip on the science end of things if he thinks teaching Darwinian Evolution is necessary for intelligent, literate voters.

Sources:

1. Big Think. “Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children. Online Video Clip. YouTube, 23 Aug. 2012 Web. 13 July. 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHbYJfwFgOU
2. Butt, Riazat. “Migration is spreading creationism across Europe, claims academic.”The Guardian. Guardian.co.uk, 13 November 2009. Web. 15 July 2013
3. Lubbadeh, Jens. “Contesting Evolution: European CreationistsTake On Darwin.” Spiegel Online International. Spiegel.de, 25 February 2009. Web. 15 July 2013
4. Lennox, John. God’s Undertaker Has Science Buried God? Oxford: Lion Books, 2009. Print.
5. McGrath, Alister. “Breaking the Science-Atheism Bond.” Beliefnet. Beliefnet.com, 2005. 17 July 2013.
6. Ibid
7. Darwin, Charles. World’s Classics Edition, Oxford,Oxford University Press, 1985. Print.
8. Strobel, Lee The Case for a Creator Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2004. Print.
9. Story, Dan. Christian Combat Manual Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2007. Print.
10. LeBlanc, Douglas. Atheists and Theists Analyze Antyony Flew’s Newfound Deism. Christian Research Institute. Equip.org, 11 June 2009. Web. 17 July 2013.

Telling the Truth

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Some non-believers might say we don’t know if the New Testament writers were telling the truth. People claim all the time to have seen Elvis and we know it is false. Seeing Elvis became a sort of pop culture joke, but some seemed to seriously believe it to be true. The infatuation some feel for Hollywood stars is prevalent in our culture. Some people become obsessed with a particular movie star, writing them letters, e-mails, texting them, reading their Facebook or Twitter accounts several times a day, all the while their commitments to school, work, family, or friends suffer. I think most of you have had a crush at one time or another on someone. You thought of that person all day and would fall asleep thinking of that person, dream of that person, wake in the morning to thoughts of that person. If you thought you saw them across the street, or in a store your heart would leap in your chest and start beating against your chest. Well imagine those feelings times ten, and you might have a clue into those who are obsessed with a movie star, feel. Granted, the crushes we feel for someone are often short lived and normal, but obsession is not normal or healthy.
Throughout history, we have had leaders that can draw people into them, to the point people give up all else just to be with them. In 1978, Jim Jones convinced nearly a thousand of his followers to commit suicide by drinking poisoned punch in what has become known as the Jonestown Massacre in Guyana. This is also the only time a U.S. Congressman, (Leo Ryan), was killed in the line of duty. I can’t help but wonder how many of our Congressmen and Senators today would be willing to step into harm’s way to protect the people of our country. Congressman Ryan, with an NBC film crew, traveled to Guyana and the Peoples’ Temple, which is what Jones called his compound, to check on reports that some U.S. Citizens were being held against their will. Ryan and his crew attempted to escape with some members of the Peoples’ Temple, and were shot at the dirt airstrip field a few miles away. Within a few hours after that incident, Jones coerced almost all his followers to drink poisoned Kool-aid. Nearly 300 were children poisoned by their own parents.

Were the apostles obsessed with Jesus? Were they unable to accept his death, his human side? Did they somehow fake his resurrection to keep the followers they had for reasons of power, money, influence?

You can consider several pieces of evidence that point to the fact that the New Testament writers were telling the truth.

First, the New Testament writers included embarrassing details about themselves and Jesus. If anyone is writing an account to make themselves look brave, intelligent, wise, or powerful, you would not include embarrassing details in your account. In fact you would do just the opposite.

Mark 9:32 They don’t understand Jesus.
Mark 14:32-42 They fell asleep.
Mark 3:20-21 His own family said he was out of his mind.
John 7:5 His own brothers did not believe him.

Second, the New Testament writers included more than 30 historically confirmed people in their accounts. People that were around and could be interviewed to confirm or deny the accuracy of their accounts. People such as Pilate, Caiaphas, Festus, Felix, and others.

Third, the New Testament writers included divergent details about the story and resurrection of Jesus. For example, Matthew said there was one angel at the tomb while John says there were two. Some might ask how this could possible strengthen an account, but it is obvious the New Testament writers were not collaborating their story, which is exactly what they would do if they wanted to be credible to the followers they had, and the ones they wanted to acquire.

Fourth, the New Testament writers included women in the eyewitness accounts. This is especially troublesome considering the culture at that time. The word of a woman was not even admissible in a court of law. If you wanted any eyewitness to an event, and expected people to believe you, you better have something better than a couple women.

Finally, the New Testament writers had life long beliefs that they gave up. Suddenly, these men who abandoned Jesus after his arrest and crucifixion and scattered to the four winds, abruptly became ardent believers who did not deny Christ even under the threat of death. What is most significant about this particular piece of evidence is not that the apostles gave their life preaching the resurrection of Christ, because they believed it to be true, but they gave their lives because they knew it to be true. Many of us today would give our lives for our faith. Just consider what took place on 9/11. Those terrorists extinguished their lives for what they thought was true. The apostles gave their lives for what they knew to be true, as they were the eye witnesses to his life, death, and resurrection.

Resources:
I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek
On Guard by William Lane Craig
Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace

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