Why I Am Not an Evolutionist – Part II

Why I Am Not an Evolutionist – Part II

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Part I   Part III

In Part II, I want to address the first necessary pillar for Darwinian Evolution: Abiogenesis, or life from non-life.

A is not. 

Bio is life. 

Genesis is beginnings.

At one point in the history of our planet, there was no life. Then at another point, there was life. Where did this first life come from? If you are an evolutionist, then that life must have started by accident, but how could that happen?

Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA who is also a staunch evolutionist, wrote a memo as a warning to his fellow researchers, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”1 I have to ask, why do they have to keep that in mind? What is staring them in the face that they can’t come to grips with? A grand designer? Of course, if you have a grand designer, then we are answerable to someone, a creator.

In 1953, Stanley Miller created a mix of chemicals to represent our earth’s early atmosphere in the laboratory. Miller then sent pulses of electrical current through the chemical mixtures for several days to represent possible lightning strikes. A thick tar coated the flasks, and within this tar, Miller found some amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. In turn, proteins are necessary for life.((Behe, Michael J. Darwin’s Black Box. Free Press: New York, 2006. Print.)) Researchers today reject this experiment because the mixture he used to represent our earth’s atmosphere (methane and ammonia) was largely inaccurate.((House, Wayne H. Intelligent Design 101. Grand Rapids: Kregl Publications, 2008, Print.)) According to Scientific American, the early earth atmosphere mainly was nitrogen with a mix of carbon, methane, water, and vast amounts of water vapor.((Emspak, Jesse. “Early Earth’s Atmosphere was Surprisingly Thin.” Scientificamerican.com, Scientific American, 14 May, 2016 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/early-earth-s-atmosphere-was-surprisingly-thin/))

Even if the artificial atmosphere conditions Miller created in the lab were accurate, the problem of amino acids forming to create a protein was even more problematic. For amino acids to form a protein chain, they must lose a molecule of water, and with water being so abundant on earth, you have another hill to overcome. On top of that, amino acids dissolve in water, one of the necessary ingredients for accurately representing an early earth’s atmosphere.((Emspak, Jesse. “Early Earth’s Atmosphere was Surprisingly Thin.” Scientificamerican.com, Scientific American, 14 May, 2016 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/early-earth-s-atmosphere-was-surprisingly-thin/))

Some may say the Miller experiment is over 60 years old, and only old textbooks reference it anymore. That is rubbish. With just a couple of minutes on the Internet, you will land several current references to the Miller-Urey experiment and no mention of the errors. You can also Google Stanley Miller, and at the top of the list is Encyclopedia Britannica, and the article on Miller highlights his experiment without any mention of its flaws.((Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Stanley Miller.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 28 Feb. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Stanley-Lloyd-Miller.))

Even PBS mentions Stanley Miller and the idea of Panspermia, which is life on earth was seeded from another planet.((KCTS Television. “Meteorites & Life. Did We Come From Comet Dust?” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 2005, www.pbs.org/exploringspace/meteorites/murchison/page5.html.)) Of course, that just pushes back the dilemma a step; how life initially began is still not answered because if life on earth was seeded, then we still need to ask how life started from another location. 

Darwin recognized many of the shortcomings of his theory. In the Origin of Species, in chapter 6 titled Difficulties on Theory, he wrote, “These difficulties and objections may be classed under the following heads:

  • On the absence or rarity of transitional varieties.
  • On the origin and transitions of organic beings with peculiar habits and structure.
  • Organs of extreme perfection and complication.
  • Organs of little apparent importance.

Darwin continued, “Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?”((Darwin, Charles. “Difficulties on Theory.” On the Origin of Species. Or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Down, Bromley, Kent. 1859. pg 189. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1228/1228-h/1228-h.htm))

Finally, his famous quite that many are familiar with, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Most people who quote that statement of Darwin stop there and never include the next sentence. At first glance, you would think that Darwin is expressing great doubts about his theory, but what most leave out is, “But I can find out no such case.”((Darwin, Charles. “Difficulties on Theory.” On the Origin of Species. Or the Preservation of the Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Down, Bromley, Kent. 1859. pg 189. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1228/1228-h/1228-h.htm))

I don’t want to be accused of cherry-picking quotes and pulling them out of context. Darwin certainly saw obstacles with his theory, but he also felt they were not insurmountable. Why? Because the cell was a black box, he had no idea what was within it, let alone the DNA instructions within the nucleus, which can contain about 3 billion bases.

Not only is the single-cell a complex powerhouse, but so is the code within DNA that is found in the nucleus of the cell. DNA relies on proteins for its production, but proteins rely on DNA for their production. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Exactly one hundred years before I was born, Darwin published ‘On the Origin of Species.’ At that time Darwin had no idea how complex the cell was, which Michael Behe pointed out when he wrote Darwin’s Black Box, which helped launch the Intelligent Design movement. Behe’s efforts landed his book on the National Review’s list of the twentieth century’s 100 most important nonfiction works.

For many of you, when you hear the term Black Box, you think of the flight data recorder, (FDR) that records the cockpit conversations and flight data of all commercial aircraft. When there has been an aircraft accident, one of the first clues to what caused the accident that investigators look for is the aircraft’s black box.

For obvious reasons, flight data recorders are designed to be very durable since we would lose the data in weak or flimsy containers. Wrapped in titanium or steel with shock-resistant insulation, FDR can survive impacts of over 300 mph and continue to transmit for up to a month. They can also endure temperatures of over 1000 degrees, operate at -55 degrees, and are equipped with underwater locator beacons that can transmit at depths of 20,000 feet. It is incredible to think about what punishment those black boxes can take and still provide valuable information to help solve aircraft accidents every year.

Dr. Michael Behe’s book had nothing to do with the black boxes we find in commercial aircraft but simply the biological cell. They could see the cell do some fantastic things but had no idea how. The cell and its inner working parts and functions were a black box to science in the 1850s. Science could not peer into and see its marvelous design, let alone understand what parts molecules or atoms played in the world of microbiology.

In his book Behe coined the term “irreducible complexity” and explained it this way, “By irreducibly complex I mean a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.”((Behe, Michael. “Lilliputian Biology.” The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box. Free Press, 2006. pgs. 6-11. Print.)) In other words, all the parts are needed for the system to work. If just one part of the machine was missing or not functioning as it should, then the machine would be rendered useless.

Back to the Flight Data Recorders, all the data is lost should an aircraft’s FDR fail to survive the impact. Should an FDR fail to resist the high temperatures of a crash, the information is lost. Should the FDR locator beacon fail, the data could be lost. The data is lost if the FDR fails to resist crushing water pressures. If any systems fail that are designed to keep the data safe, the information is lost. That is what Dr. Michael Behe is talking about in an irreducibly complex system. Should any parts not work, the whole system fails. He gave another, even better example, a mousetrap. The mousetrap has a base, hammer, spring (to move the hammer), a holding bar, and a catch (where you put the cheese).

 Each of these parts are necessary for the mousetrap to function. Without the base, you have nothing to mount the other parts on. Without the hammer, you have nothing to kill the mouse with. Should you lack the spring, you have nothing to give the hammer its force. Missing the holding bar, you have nothing to hold the hammer back in its position to strike. Missing the catch, you have nothing to trigger or even place the bait on to attract the mouse to the trap. Each and every part is necessary for the mousetrap to work.

 You might be asking what this has to do with abiogenesis. Dr. Behe found quite a few irreducibly complex biological systems, and one of them he focused on was the bacterial flagellum. The bacterial flagellum uses an outboard motor system to move about, and it has quite a few different parts, but if even one of these parts is missing or not functioning, it will not work.

Studies have shown that about 40 different protein parts are needed for the flagellum to function in the cell. Not only are all the protein parts required for the flagellum to work, but they also have to be added in the correct order; otherwise it will not function. So like the mousetrap, the bacterial flagellum is irreducibly complex, and science cannot explain how this is possible in an evolutionary fashion.((Behe, Michael. “Lilliputian Biology.” The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box. Free Press, 2006. pgs. 6-11. Print.))

Irreducibly complex systems are a real enigma for Darwinists because it takes a system that functions for natural selection to make improvements on it. So how could life begin with a system as complex as the cell without first being an irreducibly complex system?

Every time I write a paper on the origin of life, I swear I will never write another one, because there is too much speculation running after too few facts. – Francis Crick

Part III


Creative Commons License
Why I am not an Evolutionist – Part II by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://christianapologetics.blog/.

 

  1. Geisler, Norman. Turek, Frank. “The First Life: Natural Law or Divine Awe?” I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist, Crossway. 2004. []
Does Science Ever Point to God?

Does Science Ever Point to God?

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Radio Frequency IDentification, (RFID) tech has been around for years and has many advantages over commonly used UPC (Bar Codes) we see on just about everything we purchase at the store. RFID uses a microchip with an antenna and can identify objects, or people for that matter, without having to be line-of-sight. In addition, the chips can store more data than a barcode and send a signal from several feet away.

One day RFID tech will replace barcodes, but not until the price drops, and the price will not drop until more companies begin using RFID. A catch 22, if there ever was one. Or which will come first, the chicken or the egg? What would it take to solve this dilemma? Simultaneous implementation and cooperation. Everyone would have to agree and start using the tech simultaneously and have an industrial and economic system ready to embrace the change. So there must be coordination, communication, planning, timing, and implementation for this to happen. The intelligence behind the process is essential. We also see this in biochemical systems concerning DNA and proteins.

One of my former students who reads my blog sent me a message asking me if I have any posts on science and God. I pointed out a few to him, most recently the three-part series on why ‘I Don’t Believe In Evolution’.

http://www.knowingforsure.com/2018/04/11/why-i-dont-believe-in-evolution-part-i/ Not two weeks later, I took my daughter and a couple of her friends to an Apologetic conference in Rockland. One of the speakers was Professor Douglas Axe, who wrote “Undeniable – How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed.” Then, after some reflection, I decided to write another post on science and God.

The big question Axe has is to what we owe our existence? Are we simply a product of material evolution, and those who believe in God have an overactive imagination or rather a blind faith in the hopes of a better afterlife? Is our faith simply a crutch that rests on centuries of theologians’ evolutionary desires to explain what we don’t understand?

Many researchers have concluded our belief as Christians or theists is a by-product of evolution. If that is the case, we can’t expect this belief to depart from the human psyche any time soon. Justin Barrett, a professor at Fuller University, says, “It’s the way that human minds seem to develop naturally.”((Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982)) Barrett believes, “The concept of God begins to emerge when children start searching for reasons to explain the world around them.”((Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982))

Professor Robert Geraci also believes that evolution is responsible for our belief in something beyond the material. He teaches at Manhatten College in New York and explains we need an agency or a cause for everything. Intuitively, we all know this. The oak tree was caused by the seed of a previous oak tree, and that oak tree was caused by the seed of another, ad infinitum, but when we encounter things that don’t seem to have a cause or is beyond our understanding, then we inject a diety. In other words, everything should have a cause, and if we don’t see a cause, we make one up.

Geraci says, “Once humans became accustomed to seeing agency, [an action or intervention that produces an effect] around their world, it became an easy intellectual sidestep to say that something was causing events with no clear explanation, such as thunderstorms or sickness. In this way, believing in God may be kind of an accident of our evolutionary heritage.”1

If this is true and our belief is embedded in our evolutionary process, it should come as no surprise that breaking the chains of bondage from this line of thinking will be difficult. Barrett says, “If our belief in the divine is part of our evolution as a species, it explains why it is very difficult to shake.” According to Barrett, “It takes discipline, formal education, and cultural resources to ‘completely divorce oneself’ from these religious inclinations. It is difficult to consistently be a good atheist because our mind seems to be working against us.”1

Is our intuition in seeing design in the biological realm really an aberration of the truth? Has life risen from chance, and we are nothing more than moist robots, as Frank Turek calls it? Francis Crick, one of the co-founders of the DNA structure wrote, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”2 I would ask, why assume our minds are working against us? What if our minds are working for us? Why do atheists conclude our minds are working against us? It is obvious some have a priori about human biology. I think most of us would agree that our intuition would better serve our survival if it is in line with truth and reality; to me, that is common sense.

Thankfully not all materialists believe that evolution is tricking us into believing in things that are not true. They admit how comfortable they are with a Godless worldview and even desire it to be true so they can live as they please without a God looking over their shoulder. They admit their own bias for a god-less worldview and openly admit they don’t want to answer to anyone for their decisions in this life.

Thomas Nagel, a professor at the New York University, wrote, “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is not God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind.”3 

That kind of open honesty about oneself and the scientific community at large is rare, and it is a left hook to the conclusions of Geraci and Barrett who blame evolution for our beliefs in God.

Let’s face it, if the evolutionary process is valid, the truth is irrelevant; all that matters is survival of the fittest and natural selection. Yet being a Christian missionary is contrary to natural selection. Selling all you have, traveling to a foreign country, encountering all kinds of dangers, and probably sacrificing your health, well-being, and possibly your life to share the Gospel does not lend itself to passing your genes into the next generation. So maybe in a few millennia, those pesky religious zealots will be weeded out.

In his book, Douglas Axe addresses the bias of many in the scientific community and has experienced it first hand as his research points to Intelligent Design. The focus of his research revolves around the proteins in our body. He points out what every biologist knows, that the proteins make up the cellular activity in our bodies. He likens them to the various parts of a car, and the vehicle is the cell. Without the components (carburetor, breaks, radiator, pistons, tires, etc.), the car would not function. The pieces would just lay on the roadway, inactive and non-functioning.

Each protein is made up of a strand or chain of amino acids, and these chains, when in the correct sequence fold up and create a three-dimensional structure. The genetic code and genes tell the amino acids how to connect and fold. In turn, DNA needs proteins to replicate, but proteins need DNA instructions to know what to form. So which came first, the chicken or the egg?

But the problem goes much deeper than that. Whether proteins or DNA came first is just one of several million-dollar questions, but we also need to know how DNA became a carrier of information to build proteins. DNA and proteins depend on each other for their existence, and researchers know it must be solved, or Darwin’s evolutionary theory is dead in the water.

Stephen Meyer, the author of Signature in the Cell, wrote, “At some point, DNA must have arisen as a carrier of the information for building proteins and then come into association with functional proteins. One way or another, the origin of genetic information still needed to be explained.”4 In other words, we can concede for a moment that functional proteins came about by an evolutionary process, (I don’t believe that) but who came up with the blueprint of instructions to assemble them? We can ask who made the various car parts on the street, (yes it would be nice to know), but we can also ask who wrote the directions on the assembly?

As far as Darwin’s theory of natural selection, we have to ask when did natural selection take place in the process? Obviously, we have to have an initial functioning cell arranged so that it survives. Natural selection does not explain the arrangement or assembly but rather after it has been living.

Jim Tour, a brilliant chemistry professor who has been listed as one of the top ten chemists globally and one of the top 50 most influential scientists in the world today, has some thoughts on natural selection. “If one asks the molecularly uninformed how nature devises reaction with such high purity, the answer is often, ‘Nature selects for that.’ But what does that mean to a synthetic chemist? What does selection mean? To select, it must still rid itself of all the material that it did not select. And from where did all the needed starting material come? And how does it know what to select when the utility is not assessed until many steps later? The details are stupefying, and the petty comments demonstrate that sophomoric understanding of the untrained.”5

We can conclude that RDIF technology came about by random, unguided natural processes over a period of millions of years. We can say the tiny, various microchip components came together and began to function despite what our intuition tells us. We can see that it has significant advantages over the commonly used barcodes, including more information. We understand that it would be a superior method to process data and move merchandise. We can concede it was random processes over eons of time that created this technology, but the question remains who wrote the directions for the arrangement?

“No matter what form the message takes the information being conveyed always originates in a mind. Information can’t be separated from the activity of an intelligent agent. And this connection makes this property a potent marker for intelligent design.”6 Atheists or theists all know that the process that controls our body, starting at the molecular level, contains massive amounts of information. There is no known example of information arising from arbitrary input.

Sources:

  1. Zukerman, Wendy. “The evolutionary psychology of believing in God.” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, ABC.net, June 10, 2014, https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense/the-evolutionary-psychology-of-believing-in-god/5512982 [] []
  2. Crick, Francis. “Conclusions”, What Mad Pursuit, New York, Basic Books, 1988, pg 138 []
  3. Nagel, Thomas. “Logic”, The Last Word, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, 130-131 []
  4. Meyer, Stephen C. “Self-Organization and Biochemical Predestination.” Signature In The Cell, Harper One, 2009, pg 235 []
  5. Axe, Douglas. “Seeing And Believing.” Undeniable – How Biology Confirms Our intuition That Life Is Designed, Harper One, 2016, pg 195 []
  6. Rana, Fazale. “The Artist’s Handwriting.” The Cell’s Design-How Chemistry Reveals The Creator’s Artistry, Baker Books, 2008, pg142 []

Epigenetics – The Sins of the Father

Reading Time: 7 minutes

When I was a boy, my dad would tell me I received all my good behavior from my mom, and all my bad behavior from him. At times, as a teen, I would reflect on my parents and consider my character, thinking what my dad said was more often true than not. He was joking of course, but by the time I was in my late teens, any traits I did see of my dad within myself, I wanted nothing to do with. Little did I know, the die was cast for a large part of my character.

I saw the results of his poor health, stress at work, and years of smoking and drinking turn into heart attacks and a series of strokes. Thankfully, I never actually witnessed any of the smoking or drinking behavior, because he cleaned up his act years before I was born. Nevertheless, that lifestyle took its toll. When I was 9 years old, my dad had a massive stroke and had to be cared for, for the rest of his life.

Some of the strongest memories I have as a teen are of helping my dad to the bathroom and having to wipe him clean. Now of course, I can only imagine how humiliating that would be for a father, but as a teenaged boy, I was angry, embarrassed, and resentful. When he passed away, I was kicking my heels for joy because I felt trapped at home and could not leave till he was gone. My mother, of course, was heart broken, but three months after he died, I was out of the house, free at last.

When I left, and well into adulthood, I never forgot the promise I made to myself. I would never drink, do drugs, get fat and out of shape because I never, absolutely never, wanted to put my own children through what, (at the time, I looked at as), my dad put me through.

Just how much the genetics of our parents influence our life has been a question researchers have been investigating since Gregor Mendel, father of modern genetics, began experimenting with peas in 1856. Nature vs nurture could be how you heard this question phrased. Nature, (genetics), vs nurture, (environment). Are we born as a blank slate, tabula rasa, and all our personality traits, behavior, and intelligence come from our environment, or does genetics play a significant part?

In recent years, the role of genetics in our lives seems to be taking a front seat as science continues to find evidence that it plays a much more significant role than previously thought. Researchers in the Oxford Journals put it this way, “Environmental factors can have a strong effect on some phenotypes, but evidence from both animal and human experiments suggests that the impact of environment has been overstated and that our views on the causes of phenotypic differences in genetically identical organisms require revision.” 1

Our men’s group at church has been watching a DVD series about addictions men struggle with. It looks not only at environmental factors, but the part genetics play in how men behave and react to the world around them. One episode mentioned epigenetics, and how there are alterations that can take place within our biological system, without changing our DNA, that influence who we are and how we behave.

I had not heard of the term epigenetics before and was skeptical regarding much of the information they were sharing in that particular episode. After each session, we break up into smaller groups of 3-5 and discuss the topics for that particular meeting. Within our small group, I shared my skepticism and that I wanted to research some of the claims. In a nut shell, claims of generational curses. I have heard of generational curses before and have seen it in the form of grand parents, or parents who raise children in a drug and alcohol environment. Those children, (some former students come to mind), continue with that behavior, and their lives are destroyed by drug abuse, just as their parents and other extended family members destroyed their own lives.

So I went home and looked up generational curses in scripture, and researched epigenetics. One example I came across was some research done at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Researcher Brian Dias was studying epigenetics on mice, and how imprints could be passed on from generation to generation.

Here are a few places the Bible mentions generational curses: Exodus 34:7, Numbers 14:18, and Deuteronomy 5:9.

Dias exposed male mice to acetophenone, a sweet smelling almond chemical and at the same time giving them a mild electric foot shock. He did this five times a day for several days. After this treatment, the mice obviously became fearful, freezing whenever they would smell acetophenone. No surprise there, but then ten days later he allowed the male mice to mate with female mice who had not experienced any acetophenone or shocks of any kind.

Then things became interesting, “When their young grew up, many of the animals were more sensitive to acetophenone than to other odours, and more likely to be startled by an unexpected noise during exposure to the smell. Their offspring — the ‘grandchildren’ of the mice trained to fear the smell — were also jumpier in the presence of acetophenone. What’s more, all three generations had larger-than-normal ‘M71 glomeruli’, structures where acetophenone-sensitive neurons in the nose connect with neurons in the olfactory bulb.” 2

Specifically, there are chemical changes to our genes that affect how DNA is packaged and expressed, but does not change the DNA code. The prefix ‘epi’ is Greek and that means to go around, hence, ‘epi’genetics. So there are modifications that alter how our genes are expressed, but our DNA is unchanged and these changes can and do carry from one generation to the next and can alter structures within our biological systems, without changes in our DNA.

Another article by Danielle Simmons Ph.D. looked at the medical records for several generations of families in Sweden from the 1890’s to the present. They crossed this information with the annual food harvests and food prices, which would suggest how much food was available to families. What they found was if a father did not have enough food in the years prior to puberty, his own sons were less likely to die from heart disease. On the other hand, if the father had plenty of food in the period prior to puberty, his sons had a much higher risk of death related to diabetes. The article goes on to say, “These findings suggest that diet can cause changes to genes that are passed down though generations by the males in a family, and that these alterations can affect susceptibility to certain diseases. But what are these changes, and how are they remembered? The answers to questions such as these lie in the concept of epigenetics.” 3

John Lennox in his book, God’s Undertaker – Has Science buried God, explores the origin of life.
“Between a living cell and the most highly ordered non-biological systems, such as a crystal or a snowflake, there is a chasm as vast and absolute as it is possible to conceive. Even the tiniest of bacterial cells, weighting less than a trillionth of a gram, is a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of 100 thousands million atoms, far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.” 4

Lennox goes on to explain, by example, that a cell contains hundreds of millions of proteins with over twenty thousands types, and all have a specific purpose in their design. These cells are so small that hundreds could be placed in a row and fit within the dot at the end of this sentence.

“Molecular biology has also shown us that the basic design of the cell system is essentially the same in all living systems on the earth from bacteria to mammals. The meaning of the genetic code is also virtually identical in all cells. The size, structure and component design of the protein synthetic machinery is practically the same in all cells. In terms of their basic biochemical design, … no living system can be thought of as being primitive or ancestral with respect to any other system, nor is there the slightest empirical hint of an evolutionary sequence among all the incredibly diverse cells on earth.” 5

Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not implying that every claim within scripture can be, or will eventually be, proven by science, but simply that generational curses, seem to have a biological element that support it. I believe there could be, and probably is, a spiritual element to generational curses that science has no possible way to detect.

Let’s face it, the definition of a miracle is something that occurs out side rules of science and can’t be explained, ever, by the laws of our universe. Walking on water, raising the dead, instantaneous healings, are all documented in the Bible, but can’t be explained by science. Neither can science explain the origin of life, yet here we are.

SmokingmomSome of you may be thinking this whole generational curse thing is unfair. Why would or could a just, fair, and loving God curse generations of children for the sins of the parents? As I said above, and have seen first hand if a parent is in a sinful lifestyle, it is likely the children will continue in that sin. Who has not seen that? Got Questions put it this way. “Implied in the warning of Exodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did.” 6

The study of epigenetics has a long way to go before we understand just how strong the role of our parents or grandparents DNA play in our lives. But, if someone ever tells you that generational curses is rubbish and that is just one example of how wrong the Bible is, ask them if they have ever heard of ‘epigenetics’.

 

Next time that somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them, ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say. – Richard Dawkins, Atheist

 

Sources:
1. Wong, Albert. Gottesman, Irving I. Petronis Arturas. “Phenotypic differences in genetically identical organisms: the epigenetic perspective” Oxford University Press. Oxfordjournals.org, 26 January 2005. Web 10 January 2015.
2. Hughes, Virginia. “Epigenetics:The sins of the father” Nature. Nature.com, 5 March 2014. Web. 9 January 2015.
3. Simmons, Danielle. “Epigenetic Influences and Disease” Nature. Nature.com, 2008. Web. 12 January 2015.
4. Lennox, John. God’s Undertaker. Oxford: Lion Books, 2009. Print
5. Ibid.
6. “What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?” Got Questions Ministries, n.d. Web. 11 January 2015.

 

 

Creative Commons License
Epigenetics – The Sins of the Father by James Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.dev.christianapologetics.blog/.

3D Printers and other Cool Inventions

Reading Time: 6 minutes

What we are capable of doing with technology is truly miraculous. Have you looked over some of the newest inventions or technological accomplishments in the past year or two? I want to list a few of my favorites to give you an idea.

eyeA bionic eye. Remember the first bionic man, or the six million dollar man? Well now it is for real, but not just an arm or leg, but a bionic eye. Argus Retinal prosthesis was approved commercially in the U.S. just last year and with an upgrade, patients can even see color. They expect advancements in the near future to surpass the ability of the human eye.

 

beef

In 2013, the world’s first lab created hamburger is grown and eaten. Yes, fake beef grown from cattle stem cells. The volunteers who ate the burgers said it was lacking in flavor, which is due to the lack of fat within the meat. A director of biotechnology said adding fat would be easy by letting some of the stem cells develop into fat cells.

 

 

3dguitar

I saw this one and thought of you, Cliff. A 3D guitar from a 3D printer. Layer after layer after layer, and you have a guitar. 3D printers are also making working guns, jet parts, camera lenses, and have the potential to build a house. As cool as those are, they now are building 3D printers with 3D printers, and the child printers begin building their own child printers within 3 minutes of having been created themselves. Scary?

 

 

darkmatterSearching for dark matter can be difficult. What exactly is dark matter? Well it is the stuff that makes up the universe; well a large portion of it. No one really knows what it is, but science knows what it is not: regular matter, molecules, atoms, etc. In South Dakota, you will find the Sanford Underground Research Facility where they are looking for dark matter. It is almost 5000′ underground and holds a 70,000 gallon ultra pure water tank. At the tank’s center is a titanium freezer with 800 pounds of liquid xenon. Their hopes rest on the idea that dark matter is at least in particle form and when one of these dark matter particles bumps into ordinary matter it will be detected. If that happens, they will undoubtedly earn the Nobel Prize for discovering the fabric of the universe. 1

 

converted RGB Inovision image

Science can now watch molecules morph into memories. Scientists knew that neurons were key to discovering how memories were made, and now they can give specific molecules fluorescent tags and view them traveling in living brain cells. Neurons are extremely sensitive to any kind of disturbance, but they found if they tagged all RNA messenger molecules with a green fluorescent protein, the neurons came together at the synapses of the slender dendritic spines and actually changed the shape of the dendrite fingers.2

As amazing as these discoveries and inventions are, even more awe-inspiring is the order from whence they came that allows such discoveries and inventions. Let me give you an example by asking you a question. Is mathematics discovered or invented? We know mathematics helps us understand the world around us. We use it to explain patterns and make predictions in every day life, but is it simply a tool that we have invented to explain how everything works? Sir Michael Atiyah, a mathematician at Oxford wrote, “The skeptic can point out that the struggle for survival only requires us to cope with physical phenomena at the human scale, yet mathematical theory appears to deal successfully with all scales from the atomic to the galactic.” 3

You know when you get in the shower the water will run down the drain. This is caused by the earth’s gravity, but why does the earth have gravity? Where did the law come from that caused all objects in the universe to have gravitational effects? Newton’s Law of Gravity helps us to understand gravity, but why does every object in the universe have a gravitational field surrounding it?

Every day trillions upon trillions of cells divide and multiply in every kind of plant and animal on the earth. These cells divide and create perfect replicas of themselves due to the language held within the nucleus. Every human cell has about 25,000 genes, and it is the genes that tell the cell what to do, or what protein to make, and that protein will have a specific job within the body. Not only do they replicate themselves, but they know when to divide, grow, and what to become, as in muscle or bone. Only now are we are beginning to decode and map this DNA language. Where does a language or code come from?

Plastics are polymers or monomers which are repeating units. Chains of molecules repeated over and over. These chains are held by weak intermolecular forces, the force that binds atoms, and molecules together, but what binds the actual atoms together? We call the force that keep molecules together intramolecular, but more specifically, the strong force. Our universe is held together by four universal forces, namely gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces. 4 Where did these discovered laws originate which bind our universe together, give us structure and meaning?

Thomas Aquinas was the first that we know of to come to the conclusion that everything has a cause, including the universe, but since time can’t go back infinitely, there must be an initial, uncaused first being. We call that God. This may sound like philosophical mumbo jumbo, but a simple example may help you understand that time cannot go back infinitely.

Say you were walking along in a park and you noticed a man sitting on a park bench, head bent down, elbows on his knees, hands folded as if concentrating. As you approached him, you heard him saying -7, -6, -5, -4, -3…, When he reached zero he suddenly jumped up shouting in joy exclaiming, “I did it! I did it!” You ask him what it was that he did and he explains that he finally counted from negative infinity to zero. You immediately know this is foolishness because no one can count from negative infinity to zero. No matter how far back he starts someone could add a zero to his beginning point making it that much smaller by an exponent of ten.

Since time cannot go back infinitely, it must have had a beginning. We know that time is inexorably tied to the universe and since we know both have had a beginning, then they must have a cause. Something that stands outside of time, or outside of reality as we know it.

Much like the author of a book stands outside his created story, God stands outside his created universe and is not bound by the laws that bind the universe any more than an author is somehow bound by the binding of his printed book. “All around us, a second reality binds the universe and gives it order.” – Corey S. Powell

 

Sources:
1. Powell, Corey S. “Shadow Universe.” Popular Science. November 2013: Pages 36-43. Print.
2. Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. “Watching molecules morph into memories: Breakthrough allows scientists to probe how memories form in nerve cells.” ScienceDaily, 23 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Jan. 2014.
3. Livio, Mario. Is God A Mathematician? New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. Print
4. Freudenrich, Ph.D., Craig. “What are the four fundamental forces of nature?”  03 March 2009.  HowStuffWorks.com. 24 January 2014.
Links:
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/980127c.html
http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2013/12/the-10-best-tech-advances-of-2013.html
http://www.blindness.org/index.php?view=article&id=3590%3Aargus-ii-retinal-prosthesis-to-be-offered-at-12-us-clinical-centers&option=com_content&Itemid=121
http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/world-test-tube-burger-close-meat-short-flavor-article-1.1417763
http://cubify.com/blog/a-3d-printed-acoustic-guitar/
http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/16/visualized-americana-guitar-3d-systems/
http://reprap.org/wiki/Main_Pagehttp://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/fundamental-forces-of-nature.htm

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