Thursday, May 13, 2010

Keeping an Open Mind ... by Thomas R. Dickens

Written by a friend and a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

"Keeping an Open Mind to things we don't really know - Concerning Creationism, Evolution and other theories..."

Dear All,

I have belonged to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology for many years.

I can tell you a few facts as well as my own personal thoughts:

1. The Biblical book of Genesis does not negate Evolution - they go, for the most part, hand in hand, thus, there is no reason NOT to believe in Evolution - for Biblical reasons.

2. EVERY "Creationist" "fossil evidence" I have personally seen, or seen in photographs, is a complete, and shoddily done, fake. Dinosaur foot prints next to human, etc. The footprints are sculpted, and poorly at that, looking nothing like real fossil dinosaur footprints, but more like the feet of Barney the dinosaur. This is not only wrong, to dilute the true scientific discoveries with forgeries, but to do it in the name of trying to prove creationism to be true, in my opinion, is downright evil. No deception should be used to convince the validity of the Scriptures. There is not ONE reliable proof of creationism. The closest is a find of what are very loosely "human" shaped footprints next to therapod dinosaur footprints, but they are so deteriorated (and originally made in thick mud, they can not be defined with any authority what they are, though an explanation that they were made by a therapod with bitten off toes, hobbling on its ankles (rather than being made by humans), is plausible - after all this happens all the time with crocodiles).

3. A BIBLICAL word AGAINST creationism, and humans coexisting with prehistoric animals is that Noah didn't save ONE SPECIES of the millions of species of prehistoric life, now extinct? Why? Creationists have said they were too big to save.
a. that is no excuse.
b. not all dinosaurs, plesiosaurs, plyosaurs, pterosaurs, thecodonts, prehistoric amphibians, prehistoric crocodiles, prehistoric snakes, terror birds, ammonites, trilobites, club moss trees, horsetail trees, etc. were big. There were small species as well. Chicken sized dinosaurs, etc. Why didn't Noah save ONE SPECIES of ANY of these groups of life, now extinct? Because they never lived at the time of NOAH. They died out at least 65 Million years earlier.

4. Another proof that Creationism is bunk is to look at the sky. Unless the stars and galaxies in space are not real (but are instead: a deceptive HOLOGRAM spherical shell, surrounding the earth, merely MIMICKING the appearance of stars and galaxies) these space items are billions of years old and the light from them takes billions of years to get here. If God created the Earth 4-8 thousand years ago as Creationists say, HOW WOULD THE LIGHT FROM DISTANT GALAXIES BE ARRIVING TO US NOW FROM 15 BILLION LIGHT YEARS AWAY? I choose to believe that God would not "deceive" us with a hologram "shell" of pretend space objects, just to throw us off. I believe these space items to be real.

5. Evolution is not a perfect theory, and has some of its own "fakes", or wild speculations. One most notably:
The "Archaeoraptor" fake

In 1999, a supposed 'missing link' fossil of an apparently feathered dinosaur named "Archaeoraptor liaoningensis", found in Liaoning Province, northeastern China, turned out to be a forgery. Comparing the photograph of the specimen with another find, Chinese paleontologist Xu Xingcame to the conclusion that it was composed of two portions of different fossil animals. His claim made National Geographic review their research and they too came to the same conclusion.[7] The bottom portion of the "Archaeoraptor" composite came from a legitimate feathered dromaeosaurid now known as Microraptor, and the upper portion from a previously-known primitive bird called Yanornis.

But when this forgery was found the involved paleontologists careers were (rightly) destroyed, and it was published everywhere, the forgery. However, when the creationist fake fossils are discovered to be forgeries, there is no press on that, so the delusion is perpetuated in the knowledge "etho-sphere". Human, being susceptible to temptation for personal gain, can fraud their findings, however, in general most scientists know this will end in shame. They take an oath to find honest discoveries. Paleontology is the least funded science of all sciences, so there is certainly no financial gain for paleontologists to fake evidence. For the most part, the discoveries of scientists are gone over many many times by many many smart people. They are proven to be truthful by many eyes double checking them.

However, to be honest, carbon dating has some suppositions in its very method, as well as the geological table being used to empirically enforce "layers in time" is a bit fishy.

Additionally, quite a few "missing links" have, in fact been found, between species, which supports the theory of evolution. Yet there are also some huge gaps in "missing links", which are quite curious - or perhaps yet to be discovered? Such as, where did pterosaurs evolve from? So far the hard "missing link" is elusive to this immense group of animals.

Why do some species STOP evolving, such as Scorpions, and Sharks (are they "perfect"?).

Why was Archeopteryx found in strata millions of years BEFORE dromaeosaurids, when they are supposed to have evolved FROM dromaeosaurids (is a millions of years earlier dromaeosaurid yet to be found? - but then who did this "advanced" therapod evolve from so early?).

Why are the earliest life forms discovered, bacteria, etc. EXTREMELY complex? Why do the simplest of life forms, including single celled animals have THE SAME DNA structure as ALL other living things, yet with some genes "turned off" or "turned on". How and why did this intricacy "evolve" on such simple creatures who have none of the complexity of a human, or a caterpillar? According to evolution, we only evolve what we NEED to survive and NOTHING else. We would not evolve spikes on our backs because we don't need them to survive. But why would simple single celled animals evolve super-complex DNA structures capable of ONE DAY evolving into humans?

Yet, evidence of evolution, or something like it, for the most part, is evident everywhere. In the fossil record, in general, simpler creatures evolve into more advanced and specialized forms herrerosaurus to allosaurus, to tyrannosaurus. Also, we see evolution "in action" every day, with germs evolving new ways to attack and survive and persevere against our anti-bioitics.

Deep sea volcanoes also seem to be evidence of evolution as brand new species, existing no where else in the world seem to emanate FROM the volcanoes, which exist in extreme pressure, no sunlight, and extremely hazardous chemicals including sulfur. Additionally, life has been found in deep sea soil in the Greek Mediterranean Sea, where there is NO OXYGEN. NONE. These animals do not need oxygen to survive and thrive. Also life exists in extremely acidic water pools that are more acid than water, such as in death valley and Yosemite acid lakes.

6. There is another theory which is also possible, but is quite mind-bending. That early earth was visited over 4.5 billion years ago by "space - life - seeds" that ALL READY CONTAINED fully functional DNA structures inside, and the ability to survive IN SPACE, with NO OXYGEN, AND EXTREME TEMPERATURE AND RADIATION. These "seeds" (bacteria) were dropped here by extremely advanced beings, or by God, or other spiritual creatures (such as those mentioned in Revelations) and the planet was seeded, knowing ahead of time that those primitive life forms would one day evolve into humans, and perhaps beyond (there is obviously room for us to "grow"). This may seem like science fiction, but who knows.

7. Finally, there is the theory that the universe never began or ended. It is eternal. It is infinite. All if the known universe that we can see with Hubble is only a spec of what the real universe is: an infinite fractal cloud of material, rather than the outcome of a single explosive "big bang" singularity.

In conclusion: No human was alive when the Earth was created. Perhaps the Bible's "7 days" of creation were "GOD days", or perhaps, since humans were not around to "record time", that it truly WAS 7 days. A day is as a thousand years. Again, since no humans were here to keep time, anything before life originated on earth is very hard to gauge the exact length of time or who was to judge it, but based on scientific evidence and outer space distant objects, the "big bang theory" universe is certainly over 15 billion years old. Also, since no one was alive in the days of the dinosaurs knowing exactly what happened then is unknown.

I personally suspect that something LIKE evolution theory is correct, but there may be some huge surprises for us yet to discover. Much evidence points towards theistic evolution, rather than Creationism, for which there is no proof, and is not necessary in order to be a believer in the word of the Bible (at its worse the "theory of Creationism" is complete deception, using fraud to support it, rather than science and rationality).

I think it is best to simply keep an opened mind, not a hard decided closed mind, like that of many Creationists, bent on training our children to turn against Science when we need it most to get jobs these days in technical fields.

These discussions are fruitful, and very expanding. They are wonderful, because a brain which has taken billions of years to "evolve" is able to think them. And that we can think of and be aware of God and His importance.

Thomas R. Dickens

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Evolution and Intelligent Design

After more than century of vigorous debate, the theory of evolution has gained the upper hand in the scientific community and for millions of believers all around the world, for whom there is no conflict between faith in God and scientific findings about the evolution of the world and the evolution of species.

The reason I share this with you is simple: there are people of faith who have pushed forward some very bad science: Intelligent Design - in an effort to "prove" their creation ideas - mistakenly thinking that they're defending the truth and standing loyal to God. 


Lots of folks have thought they were defending the truth and standing loyal to God - just ask the folks who brought us the Inquisition.

I stand, and have always stood, with the scientific community on this one, without one moment of conflict between my faith in God and the findings of science.

I happen to believe in something called "theistic evolution" - sort of a fancy term to simply say: "Evolution is the observable processes of life in all forms and on all levels, and God is the energy, the love, the grace, behind it and through it all."

Theistic evolution reflects a beautiful verse from the Bible, Hebrews 11:3, "By faith, we understand that the universe was formed by God's command." By faith, it says, not by observable means. 

To read more, please click HERE ... a fine article by Michael Zimmerman, Butler University.

Blessings ...


God is found upon many, many, paths, God be praised, but not every path leads to God. Greed and cruelty lead only to dust.