Evolution of thought

Recently I posted about whales and how evolution just cannot explain how a dog like animal could transform; evolve, into an aquatic animal such as a whale or orca. I received a comment asking me if I read anything except items that are anti evolution. I other words biology texts and other scientific literature. I answered that I had and gave examples. It seemed to me a good time to write how I went from a believer in evolution to a skeptic. For my longtime followers some of this is a repeat but I wanted to get this down in one place.

In the late 50’2 my parents bought a set of encyclopedias and a Time book on science that was lavishly illustrated. I think I may still have the Time book but the encyclopedia is long gone replaced by numerous others. These two purchases by my parents opened the world of science to a young boy, a love I have never lost. One article in particular caught my eye. It concerned the Miller–Urey experiment to recreate the conditions of the early earth and it was expected to show how life began. Reading that article back then it seemed that man would be creating life within a few years. Of course over 50 years later not only have we not created test-tube life but it seems we know believe the early atmosphere was not a very hospitable environment for life. Still I was hooked on science.

Once I got access to my elementary school library and was allowed in the nonfiction sections I read every book concerned with science. Then I started on the local city library branch and went through every book on science I could find. Oh, occasionally I branched out into history and biographies but science books were my favorite. From junior high on I took every science course offered. I even went to summer school the summer before the sixth grade to take a special course on science offered at the junior high’s new science lab. The only nonfiction I read then was science fiction. I loved Isaac Asimov both for his fiction but more so for the science article he wrote weekly and that were put together as collections. As soon as one came out in paperback I would buy it even though I had already read the hardbound book in the library.

Science nut would have been an apt description for me. But why not? In the sixties science was making great strides. We were in a race with the USSR to be the first nation to put men on the moon. President Kennedy had made a commitment for the US to send a man to the moon and return him safely buy the end of the decade. Then on July 20th 1969 Neil Armstrong put the first footprints on the lunar surface. I thought with science anything could happen.

I was a firm believer in evolution. It seems to me that my textbooks and all the reading I had done showed that evolution was a fact. I also saw no reason that evolution and my faith were in way way in conflict. After all couldn’t God uses evolution to carry out His plan? Of course He could. God can do anything.

Now, let’s flash forward to the 90’s. I find myself a father of two daughters and a son and we are attending a new church where eventually I am asked to teach adult Sunday school classes. Specifically I was asked to teach a class on apologetics. Apologetics, what in the world is apologetics and why in the world do Christians need to apologize about our faith? Of course today it seems the world constantly wants Christians to apologize about our faith but not so much back then. After reading up on apologetics I quickly found that the word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia, to give a defense of. This was the first time I had really delved into why I believed what I believe and how much evidence there if for the Christian faith. The evidence got me. Being a science nut I loved following the evidence and here all along was a mountain of evidence for my beliefs. I was hooked on apologetics.

However a lot of my Christian friends did not believe in evolution. In about 2000 I set out to show that evolution and the Bible were compatible. I had collected a lot of information about Christian apologetics but my recent information on evolution was limited to reading National Geographic and Discovery magazine articles as well as books by Stephen J. Gould. What I wanted to see was what was new in the field of evolution. Imagine my surprise when I looked at our middle child’s Middle school science book to see the very same illustrations and proofs of evolution that I read in my High school biology text almost 40 years ago.

There were the same picture of peppered moths and the archaeopteryx bones. Darwin’s finches and Haeckel’s embryos as well as the iconic drawing of the evolution from apelike creature to modern man. I thought that over 40 years later something new would have been added. The problem is that all the new information supported microevolution and nothing was there to support macroevolution. Just a quick definition of my terms. Microevolution is changes within a species but the species itself remains. For example, Darwin’s finches where the size of the beak changes but we still have a finch. Macroevolution is the change from one kind of animal to another. Where for example a land dwelling creature eventually changes into a whale or and apelike creature becomes a modern human all through a slow unguided process called natural selection. The sad part is the example of the peppered moth is not an example of evolution at all but just a change in the ratio of black and white moths.

Yes there was work on single celled organisms and the workings within a cell but once again what one started with was what one ended with. I could find nothing to tell me why macroevolution had seemingly stopped. Why did we not see new kinds of organisms coming into existence? Since man has appeared there just aren’t any new creatures coming into existence. I was getting nowhere on the evolution side so I decided to look at what the critics were saying. Maybe if I attacked the problem from their side I could make my case.

Then I really ran into a problem. There were real issues with what I had been taught all these years. I read that Haeckel’s embryos had been faked. I thought surely this could not be the case. After all they have been in text books for decades. Guess what I found? There were indeed faked and even one of my favorite authors Stephen J. Gould said so but since they taught a truth, that evolution was true; they were done for a good cause. Really, faked science is okay as long as the intentions are good. The peppered moths and finches did not show macroevolution and there is now some question if the archaeopteryx was an ancestor or a contemporary of modern birds.

Then there is the fossil record. Even Darwin recognized that the fossil record was a problem for his theory. If one reads chapter six “Difficulties on Theory” from Darwin’s book The Origin of Species we find problems Darwin identified. He puts these problems in four major categories which I will summarize. First, if species have descended from other species in a gradual manner, why do we not see innumerable transition forms?   Second, how can evolution account for the transitions of peculiar habits and structures of a new species when they are descended from a species with entirely different habits and structures? It is in this question that Darwin asks how evolution can account for the eye.   Third, can instincts be acquired and modified by natural selection?   Forth, how can evolution account for the fact that when different species are crossed the offspring are infertile, but varieties within a species are fertile?

I though surely after all this time we would have found the numerous transitional fossils. But no, after over 150 years of looking we still have a lack of these types of fossils. I found out that this is a problem recognized by Gould. Gould in his book The Structure of Evolutionary Theory said “Anatomy may fluctuate through time, but the last remnants of a species usually look pretty much like the first representatives… Paleontologists have always recognized   the   long-term stability of most species; we had become more than a bit ashamed by this strong and literal signal, for the dominant theory or our scientific culture told us to look for the opposite result of gradualism as the primary empirical expression of every   biologist’s favorite subject–evolution itself.” p. 749 You can find more quotes from Gould in my post Evolution – Science Trapped in the Nineteenth Century Part 2 https://dwwork.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/evolution-science-trapped-in-the-nineteenth-century-part-2/

Gould had proposed a modification to Darwin called punctuated equilibrium to account for the sudden appearance of new kinds of organisms such as happened during the Cambium explosion. He was met with fierce resistance. It seems that anything but what was handed down by Darwin is considered blasphemy.

Finally I came to the book Darwin’s Black Box written by Michael Behe which introduced me to the concept of irreducible complexity. That is that some parts of an organism in order to function has to have every part in place else it serves no useful purpose. An example from the mechanical world is a mousetrap. Without all its parts a mousetrap just will not trap mice. Two biological examples are the bacterium flagellum and the ability for blood to clot. I have gone into this in my series on evolution.

It seemed that the more I looked into evolution the more problems I found, Problems that either were ignored or glossed over with lame explanations or an appeal to the future. What I have found is that evolution is to be accepted as fact and not challenged. That is not science as I know it and love. Science is the search for answers; it is questioning the status quo and looking for the next breakthrough.

I started to read about intelligent design and found even more questions about evolution but I also found why a creator makes even more sense. While I always believed in the creator God and still do, my belief in evolution has been horribly shaken. Biologists have let believers in evolution down as they have given up the search for answers and are content to live in the past.

Somethings will never be known as there is just so much one can tell from disarticulated bones. To quote a sign in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, “All these ideas are controversial, because they are based on scientists’ interpretations of fossil bones that are often incomplete, or that have become distorted over millions of years. We may never have all the evidence needed to support these ideas.” The fossils we see displayed in museums are how someone thinks they should look. When I was a kid the brontosaurus was displayed with its legs on the side like a lizard. Today what was called a brontosaurus is displayed with the legs under it similar to an elephant. The bones did not change just the interpretation of how they should be displayed. The funny thing is they fit in both places. When we come to the popular conceptions of extent animals such as the Jurassic Park movies and the covers of magazines, we have no idea what colors they are or how fast they move or really how they looked with flesh on.

I doubt that this will change the mind of anyone who believes in evolution as the base belief for most is that there is no God. If there is no God then one needs an explanation for why everything is here. For those who wish to explore more check out my series on evolution and the arguments for God. I close with this observation, evolution can be true and God can still exist, there are many who hold both views. However, if evolution is false then God must exist. Today I believe evolution to be false and the evidence for God to be overwhelming, the universe shows all the attributes of design.

Have a blessed day,


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How Can We Tell If The Universe Has Design?


Another post from my friend Glenn’s blog.

Originally posted on Thomistic Bent:

This is another in a series of questions about Christianity from critics and skeptics.

Question: In most arguments from design, theuniverse is compared to a designed object. For example, Paley uses a watch to illustratedesign, since we all know watches are designed. What other universe is the proponent of Intelligent Designcomparing ourcurrentuniverse to so he can show design? We would need another universe that is designed or undersigned to compare this one so we can decide about design. With only one universe to evaluate, we can make no valid comparisons about design.

Answer: This question sets up a false dilemma. It is not true that we need another universe to compare ours. We can merely observe that everything that works toward an end has an intelligence behind it working toward that end. All things that are purposeless require no designer, a fact which many thoughtful atheists are quick to point…

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The Rich Man and Lazarus

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ” Luke 16:19-31

Today’s parable has a lot to teach us. First we have the rich man who had all the creature comforts he could ask for. He lacked nothing. But all his riches could not keep him from dying. Now we have him crying out to Abraham for relief from his torment. Moses tells the rich man that he got his reward on earth. Hum. Does that mean those of us who are well off are destined to a bad place when we die? No, but is does mean that when we have so much here in this life we can start to believe that everything we have is by our on hand and we have no need for God. We can spend time patting ourselves on the back for all we accomplished not ever giving thanks to God for our fortune.

What about the Lazarus? Are all the poor and sick automatically going to a better place? Again the answer is no. The poor and ill can blame others. They can blame God and never accept Him. But those less well-off can also be thankful for the little they do have. They often realize that what they do have on earth is only through God’s grace. That is why Lazarus is with Abraham, he was obedient to God even though he was poor and ill. The rich man however never gave thanks to God so because he rejected God in their life God rejected him in the next life.

Jesus also had another reason to tell the Pharisees this parable. The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn the rich man’s brother of the fate that awaited them if they did not change their ways. Abraham tells the rich man that they had Moses and the prophets to warn them and all they need do is listen to them. Then he says something that will come true in a very short while. Abraham tells the rich man that even if someone came back from the dead will the brothers be convinced. Thousands of Jews alive when Jesus was resurrected refused to believe their own eyes and missed the biggest event in man’s history as well as a chance to be with God for all eternity.

For the Jewish people there was little doubt that the Messiah was to come at the time Jesus was here on earth. Daniel had given them the timeline. Their problem is that Jesus was not the Messiah they wanted. They were looking for a warrior who would free them from the Roman oppression. They were concerned with an earthly kingdom while Jesus was telling them about a heavenly kingdom. They wanted the here and now solved and Jesus was teaching about the next life. Finally they could not conceive that God’s anointed on would be put to death. The Jewish people wanted to defeat the Romans and Jesus came to defeat death.

Now a change of subject. I have used today’s verses as a rebuttal of a Jehovah’s Witness belief. It was a Saturday morning a few years back. As is my habit on Saturdays I was enjoying a mug of tea while reading the paper. I was sitting in my chair wearing pajamas and my robe when the doorbell rings. There at the door in a suit was a man in his thirties Bible and watchtower in hand. He starts in using the Bible to prove his points. One of which is that when we die we are in a non-conscious state, total unaware of anything. We do not even dream. In fact they believe that when we die we enter a state of unconscious non-existence. When the man came to this belief he stated it as I did at first that we are unconscious. It was at that point that I asked him to turn to today’s verses in his Bible and read the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man.

I ask him if that did not seem to say we are conscious in death. He answered that it was just a story and was not real. I countered with the fact that Jesus’’ parable while they may or may not have actually happened did in fact convey the truth and that Jesus could not lie. He did agree with my point but then insisted that he needed to bring an elder to answer my objections. Unfortunately that never happened. Every Christian needs to be able to defend why we believe what we believe. When the doorbell rings we should at least be ready to ask questions and move the unbeliever to the parts of the Bible that underpin our faith. Also, it is okay to say you don’t know but will get back to them with an answer.

Have a blessed day,


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Surviving College Intellectually as a Christian


Something for all our youth heading to college or already in college.

Originally posted on Veracity:

Michael Kruger was a young Christian when he entered his first year at the University of North Carolina. He thought he was prepared for the challenges to his faith at college, but when sat in a New Testament introduction class taught by Bart Ehrman, it nearly blew out his faith, much like the feeling of getting a flat tire and listening to all of the air hiss out.

Colleges across the country are now in session. Will young Christians survive their time at a university with their faith intact? Dr. Kruger, now the president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, shares some wisdom about surviving “Religion 101” in the following 6 minute video. I highly recommend Dr. Kruger’s blog.

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The Unreasonableness of Atheism


I wanted to share my friend Glenn’s post on “the Unreasonableness of Atheism. I have found what Glenn writes here to be all too true. David

Originally posted on Thomistic Bent:

There is great post over at the Shadow To Light blog. You can find it here.  That post reminds me of a statement made by Richard Howe, where he said this:

When I was debating this atheist, I asked him, ‘what would convince you there is a god?’ He said “If all the chairs in this room rose up, flew against the back wall, and spelled ‘I am here — God’ then I would believe there is a god.” I am not convinced he would believe if this happened. If he was consistent philosophically, his atheism would have some way of trying to account for it, that there is some type of natural law that we have not yet discovered. Why do I think this? Because they already do this in things they observe, like the DNA molecule.

Suppose that all the chairs did rise up and float against the…

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Of Humpbacks and Orcas

As many of my readers know my wife and I took a cruise along the Alaska coastline earlier this month. One of the highlights was the excursion we took while in Juneau to see whales. Typically on such an excursion you get to see humpback whales, sea lions and bald eagles. On that the trip did not disappoint but we were lucky to encounter orcas or as they are [popularly known killer whales. Our guide informed us that only about ten percent of the excursions get an orca sighting. We were extremely lucky as we saw three orcas one which was a pup. After about forty five minutes of orca watching we went to where humpbacks are commonly seen and were rewarded with over an hour of whale watching.

Whales and dolphins are amazing creatures. Being mammals that breathe air yet are able to submerge for long periods of time in order to feed. Additionally the humpback whales migrate from the pacific around Alaska in the summer to Hawaii in the winter a distance of over 3,000 miles. As I took picture after picture of the whales and orcas I got to thinking about what the evolutionist tells us about the whale.

Mammals are land dwellers. From the very first mammal to today the vast majority of mammals live on land. Yet we are told that for some reason the ancestor of whales gave up an aquatic life to go live in the sea. Evolutionary theory tells us that such changes happen via helpful mutations over a long period of time. Each mutation given the animal a survival advantage over others of its species and other animals living in the same niche.

Now what often gets left out is that beneficial mutations occur only about 2% or less of the time. Most mutations are harmful while others are benign. If you accept that the earth is over 4 billion years old that seems like sufficient time for evolution to occur even with such a low rate of beneficial mutations. The problem is whales did not have 4 billion years to evolve. They did not have 1 billion years.

You see all the mammals that grace the earth today really had only about 65 million years to evolve from a tiny shrew like animal to all the thousands of mammal species that have walked the earth. They are supposed to go from something like this. To the following evolution of whales.

First mammalWhales

From a dog like mammal to the humpback seven easy steps. Now to be fare the evolutionist will tell us that there were really thousands of steps, maybe even millions from the shrew like animal to today’s humpback. The problem with the steps to whale is that all we know is these seven and they are purely speculation. Biologists today have the same problem Darwin had over 150 years ago, the lack of transitional fossils. Rather than the vast majority of fossils being of the transitional sort we find fossils that appear on the scene and disappear with very few if any changes. The late Stephen J. Gould in his book The Structure of Evolutionary Theory said “Anatomy may fluctuate through time, but the last remnants of a species usually look pretty much like the first representatives… Paleontologists have always recognized    the   long-term stability of most species; we had become more than a bit ashamed by this strong and literal signal, for the dominant theory or our scientific culture told us to look for the opposite result of gradualism as the primary empirical expression of every   biologist’s favorite subject–evolution itself.” p. 749 You can find more quotes from Gould in my post Evolution – Science Trapped in the Nineteenth Century Part 2 https://dwwork.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/evolution-science-trapped-in-the-nineteenth-century-part-2/

Finally what they never tell us is why. Yes I know the animals are more fit is the standard answer but why would an animal go from the land where mammals flourish to an environment where they compete with fish and sharks, animals that are able to take oxygen from the water and never need to come to the surface. We are asked to accept such a drastic change from land animal to water dweller without question.

It seems to me that a designer is a much better answer. In order to go from a land dwelling animal to a whale there has to be multiple organic system changes. Just a few are legs to fins, nostrils moved from the face to the top of the head and wholesale changes to the skeletomuscular systems, for example the tail in a whale needs to move up and down. All the changes need to be made and if evolution is correct they need to be made rapidly so as not to reduce the animal’s survival. So many changes in so short a time period using only a random system that cannot anticipate what changes need to be made in what order is just beyond my faith. This speaks more to an intelligent designer who made to whale as is and not in a step by step evolution.

As luck would have it when we returned from our cruse I received Illustra Medias newest video in their Design of Life series, Living Waters. I just finished watching it and will review it in a few days.

Have a blessed day,


PS: I apologize for how long it has been between posts. We have been going through our home getting rid of excess so that our middle child, Amy, and her husband, Jon, can move in with us for about a year in order to save money to make a down payment on a house. It is amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 28 years of marriage and three kids. It is an ongoing process but Gail and I are excited about the change.

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“Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. Luke 16:18

Marriage is supposed to be until death but back in the first century as today this is often not the case. People get divorced. That is just a fact of life. There are many reasons people get divorced and unfortunately in today’s culture sometimes there are no reasons other than people just get tired of each other. In today’s verse Luke recounts what Jesus said about divorce. It is short and seems a bit out of place between Jesus calling the Pharisees lovers of money and the following verses telling the parable about the Rich Man and Lazarus.

If you take this verse from Luke by itself it is harsh and a bit off putting to those of us who have gone through a divorce. Essentially it says that I am living in adultery. But this is where taking any verse out of context come in to play. Even harsh verses or those that seem out of place are revealed if we take God’s Word in its entirety. Matthew also records what Jesus says about divorce and Matthew elaborates a bit. So let’s look at what Matthew wrote.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:3-9 ESV)

It seems there is one reason a person can divorce and not cause themselves or their spouse to be adulterers if they remarry. If your spouse is guilty of sexual immorality. Now that does not mean you have to divorce them but it is permissible. God realizes we make mistakes and sometime we marry people who are not as committed to the marriage as they should be. In my case my first wife did indeed have other lovers than me. But I did try to save my marriage but as too many of us know it takes both parties to work on a marriage and in my case only I was willing to put in the necessary work. As it turned out I remarried and will celebrate out 28th anniversary this October 10th. My ex-wife remarried two additional times and at least during her second marriage kept someone on the side. Some people are just not able to commit to monogyny. One of our biggest problems was not having God at the center of our marriage.

This is not to say that my current and final marriage has been all roses. I do not know of any marriage that is. But if God is at the center than you can get past the rough patches. If both of you commit that this marriage is to last and divorce is not an option than give up your problem to God, that is a marriage that will last.

Let’s get ball to Matthew. What Jesus does not say about divorce is you can get a divorce because your spouse no longer makes you happy or you have grown apart. Of the fire is out or I met someone who really understands me. None of these are acceptable reason to leave your spouse.

In looking at the marriages of my two daughters what I see as the secret to a lasting marriage is that both of the men they married were and are godly men. If a godly man and a godly woman marry and keep their marriage God centered it will last.

There are reasons for divorce but they are limited. Do not expect the person you marry to change. People only change when they want to and nothing you can do will change them. If they do not have a close relationship to God and a Christ committed life before the marriage it is doubtful they will change. Not impossible but doubtful. Forgiveness is a key to a lasting marriage. Forgiveness to your spouse and forgiveness to yourself. Then you need to honor your commitment to God that your marriage will last until death. It won’t be easy, nothing worthwhile in life is but it is worth it.

Have a blessed day,


Readers, this may be the last post for a bit. We are leaving tomorrow on vacation and my not have access to the internet. We will be taking an Alaska cruise and I am not sure if the ship will have Wi-Fi and if they do will it be affordable. I will have time to do some writing and am eager to see some of God’s creation I have only seen on TV.

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