Baptists, Baylor University and Evolution

January 28, 2009

Maybe someone can explain this to me.  Most, if not all, Baptist churches and schools teach that creationism is true and evolution is false.  Then, why does the largest Baptist university in the world teach that creationism is false and evolution is true?

From the Baylor University website.

Statement on Evolution
“Evolution, a foundational principle of modern biology, is supported by overwhelming scientific evidence and is accepted by the vast majority of scientists. Because it is fundamental to the understanding of modern biology, the faculty in the Biology Department at Baylor University, Waco, TX, teach evolution throughout the biology curriculum. We are in accordance with the American Association for Advancement of Science’s statement on evolution. We are a science department, so we do not teach alternative hypotheses or philosophically deduced theories that cannot be tested rigorously.”
 
From Richard Duhrkopf, an associate professor of biology at Baylor, on teaching science in the public schools:
 
“We shouldn’t be teaching the supernatural in science classrooms,” Duhrkopf said. “It’s time to keep religion and faith in the Sunday schools and not in the public schools.”

The Creation of New Butterfly Species Before Our Eyes

September 20, 2007

From Stephen Caesar and the Associates for Biblical Research.

“According to the Genesis model of origins, God created not each individual species, but the wider genus to which each species belongs. Genesis 1:11 and 1:21 state that God created animals and plants “according to [their] kind.” “Kind” is miyn in Hebrew; the Latin Vulgate translates miyn as genus. Charles Linnaeus, the scientist who formulated the genus/species system of nomenclature for animals and plants, used the Bible as the source of his formula. When he saw the word genus in his Latin Bible—the Hebrew miyn—he chose that as the designation not for an individual species, but for the wider genus to which it belonged.For example, the scientific name for the domesticated dog is Canis familiaris. Canis is the genus/miyn, while familiaris is the species. Canis is Latin for “dog,” referring to the wider dog “kind,” while familiaris refers to the familiar, domesticated dog as an individual species. Canis encompasses wolves and coyotes: Canis lupus is the wolf (lupus being Latin for “wolf”), while Canis ladrans is the coyote (ladrans being Latin for “thief”). The same logic applies to Felis domesticus, the scientific name for the housecat. Similarly, the lion is Felis leo.

Genesis thus indicates that God created each genus/miyn, not each individual species. Within each genus He provided a blueprint for diversity, enabling each genus to split, over time, into numerous species (a process called speciation). This has happened before the eyes of Harvard and Russian scientists, who have witnessed the speciation of the Agrodiaetus genus of butterflies. In a process called reinforcement, new species within the genus/miyn are being created, as individual butterflies’ wing colors are becoming different enough to avoid confusion at mating time with other species within the genus. This avoidance helps prevent the butterflies from creating less-fit hybrid offspring (Powell 2005: 11).

According to the Harvard Gazette, the researchers, led by Harvard biology professor Naomi Pierce, found that

newly diverged species [within the Agrodiaetus genus] living in the same area that could still mate and have hybrid young had more distinctive wing colors than other closely related species that had diverged at an earlier time, as well as those living in different areas from each other (ibid.).

This happens because the butterfly species are still closely related enough that they occasionally interbreed, but the resultant hybrids are less fit than their parents. To ensure that this does not persist, the various Agrodiaetus species have developed distinguishing characteristics, such as male wing color, that reduce the risk of mating with a different Agrodiaetus species and producing weak offspring. “The fact that the hybrids are less viable,” Pierce noted, “drives the divergence between the parent species” (ibid.).”

To read more click here.


How Now Shall We Live? By Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey

August 28, 2007

This is a MUST read for all Christians.  It is an incredibly powerful book that I highly recommend.  There is also a study guide for this book that I recommend as well.  This book examines the great spiritual battle today that is a cosmic struggle between competing worldviews.  The authors utilize true stories and compelling teaching to demonstrate the following:

– Expose false views and values of modern culture

– Live a more fulfilling life the way God created us to live

– Contend for the faith by understanding how nonbelievers think

– Build a society that reflects biblical principles

I ran across a review on amazon.com that I thought really did a great job of capturing the core of the book.  It is below.   

5 out of 5 Stars – The Way We See The World Can Change The World, June 21, 2006

“Centuries ago, when the Jews were in exile and despair, they cried out to God, “How should we then live?” The same question rings down through the ages. How shall we live today? Pearcey and Colson’s primary observation is that “the way we see the world can change the world.” (pg. 13) This is because our choices are shaped by what we believe is real and true, right and wrong, or good and beautiful. In short, our choices are shaped by what Pearcey and Colson call our “worldview.”Every worldview attempts to answer three basic questions: (1) Where did we come from and who are we? (2) What has gone wrong with the world? And (3) What can we do to fix it? According to Colson and Pearcey, the culture wars are not about extraneous issues like abortion or public education. Fundamentally, they are about worldviews–between competing secular and spiritual answers to those three basic questions.

The demise of objective truth, profoundly expressed in the halls of academia, also extends into the popular press and culture. The result has been a postmodern worldview which embraces relativism and reduces all ideas to social constructions shaped by class, gender, and ethnicity. Under this view, the world is just a power struggle for meaningless prizes. Their one absolute is that morality is not absolute. Other existing worldviews include “traditionalism,” found in many small towns filled with churches; and modernism, found among pragmatic social and business leaders interested in personal material gain, but less interested in philosophical questions and social issues. Against this backdrop, Christians are challenged to provide answers to those three basic questions in a compelling manner.

C. S. Lewis observed, “The Christian and the materialist hold different beliefs about the universe. They both can’t be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.” Thus Colson and Pearcy observe that choices are not without consequences. The Christian worldview says we were created by God. Compelling evidence that life does not have a random origin can be found in the current arguments for intelligent design. Christianity claims that God created the universe with a material order and a moral order. If we live contrary to that order, we sin against God. Thus, what has gone wrong with the universe is human sin.

The way to redeem our culture is to help people realize which universe they’re living in. If it’s a materialist’s universe, then the answers don’t revolve around taking moral principles seriously. But if the real universe was made with a moral law (as Colson and Pearcey argue), then it stands to reason that the solutions to our problems begin with recognizing that fact, and taking steps to educate people in ways that will help them live lives that are not inimical to the way we were designed to live. This, Colson and Pearcey argue, is how we should live.”

For more information on Charles Colson visit his website at www.breakpoint.org and for more information on Nancy Pearcey visit her website at www.pearceyreport.com.


Former NASA engineer touts creationism

August 15, 2007

From Rick Cousins and the Galveston Daily News.

“Tom Henderson is not much of a watchmaker. He shakes a small glass jar containing a tiny metallic gear, a brass bezel, a scarred watch crystal and dozens of other nearly microscopic, shiny objects.

But, no watch. He vigorously rattles the container again. Still, no watch. For Henderson, a retired NASA engineer and creationist speaker, that is the point.

No watchmaker — no watch.

He’s carried the somewhat-out-of favor message of special creation to nine foreign countries in the past several decades because he is convinced that how we believe the world came to be it is important.

His is a radical message that challenges both mainline and some evangelical church assumptions, as well as those of the scientific community as a whole: that the first few chapters of Genesis are just as literal and authoritative as the rest of the Bible.

“Years ago, I traveled to Mexico and spoke on the campus of a left-wing university,” he recalled. “During the Q&A on creationism, some there accused me of being a CIA spy.”

Henderson has never been a spy, of course. He has degrees in math, physics and science education and worked at the Johnson Space Center for 37 years.

Creationism is a step beyond the controversial intelligent design movement that has been involved in text book discussions in various parts of the United States.

“Today’s intelligent design movement has done a really good job of showing the complexity of creation — showing that naturalism cannot be the answer,” he said. “Of course, intelligent design only suggests a creator, but as a Bible-believing Christian, I have come to know and I can appreciate what the creator has done.”

Why should the average person in the pew care? Henderson argues that societal decay, theological erosion and moral bankruptcy will ensue if the evolutionary model is embraced.

“The basis for all Christian doctrines is found in the first 11 chapters of Genesis,” he said. “If it is not true, then what is our basis for morality?”

He also said that the evidences he has found for creationism could remove barriers to faith.

“For some people, evolution is a barrier to the good news of Jesus. They feel if evolution is true, Christianity can’t be —and they are right,” he said. “But if evolution is a myth, then they can take that step to faith.”

Although the creationist view has become unpopular in public schools, mass media and other forums, Henderson said that both the Christian school and home-school movement are generally supportive of it.

The Institute of Creation Research, Bob Jones University and other creationist sources produce text books and other materials designed for these groups. National media recently noted the opening of the 60,000-square-foot Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.

Creation arguments range from disputes over the validity of radioactive dating, the claim that life is irreducibly complex, the observation that most mutations are unfavorable and the theory that only a finely tuned universe can manage to produce stars.

Now retired from NASA, Henderson coordinates the Web site www.

creationsuperlibrary.com from his Friendswood home, where he answers questions from both believers, skeptics and the merely curious. “


European Darwinists Attempt to Criminalize Intelligent Design as a “Threat to Human Rights”

August 15, 2007

From evolutionnews.org.

“A hallmark of tyranny is when leaders believe they are so correct that they have the right to criminalize dissent. The Council of Europe claims to be a leading “human rights” body in Europe, but last June its “Committee on Culture, Science and Education” issued a report (“Committee Report”) proposing a ban on intelligent design (ID) in science classrooms, suggesting ID may pose a “threat to human rights.” Uncommon Descent has covered this issue in detail, and ARN recently reported that the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), an ID-friendly legal group affiliated with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), has written a Memo (“ECLJ Memo”) exposing the Committee Report’s hypocrisy.

The ECLJ Memo observes that the Council of Europe’s own Parliamentary Assembly has stated, “History has proven that violations of academic freedom . . . have always resulted in intellectual relapse, and consequently in social and economic stagnation,” and that the European Court of Human Rights has held that “pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness” are requirements for democratic society. The Council of Europe’s “Committee on Culture, Science and Education” apparently eschews these values when it comes to ID. Indeed, the Committee Report treats Darwinian evolution like a religious dogma, where “doubt” must be prevented through thought-control: The Committee Report asserts “there is absolutely no doubt that evolution is a central theory for our understanding of the Universe and of life on Earth” and thus ID must be “combated” because “[i]t is necessary to avoid doubt entering individuals minds” regarding evolution. The Council of Europe claims to “to protect human rights [and] pluralist democracy,” yet the ECLJ Memo makes a powerful argument that it is the Committee Report that threatens the values of free society:

The Committee on Culture, Science and Education presented the working document, “Report on the Dangers of Creationism in Education” (“Report”), on 8 June 2007, including 19 articles of a Draft Resolution (“Resolution”). The aim of the Report is to forego scientific discussion between the theories of evolution and creationism, or intelligent design, to impede the educational formation of children by restricting classroom exploration of ideas, and effectively infringe on the rights of free exercise of expression, religion, and education. … Respect for pluralism and diversity are hallmarks of a democratic society. … The Report does not respect the freedom of expression of teachers, researchers, and students, as manifest in academic freedom, because it seeks to eradicate an alternative to the Darwinian model of the origin of life, thereby elevating the theory of evolution to scientific dogma.(ECLJ, “Memorandum on Council of Europe Legislation, Draft Resolution Regarding Report on “The Dangers of Creationism in Education”)”

To read more click here.</blockquote>


Former NASA engineer touts creationism

August 5, 2007

From Rick Cousins and The Galveston Daily News.

“Tom Henderson is not much of a watchmaker. He shakes a small glass jar containing a tiny metallic gear, a brass bezel, a scarred watch crystal and dozens of other nearly microscopic, shiny objects.

But, no watch. He vigorously rattles the container again. Still, no watch. For Henderson, a retired NASA engineer and creationist speaker, that is the point.

No watchmaker — no watch.

He’s carried the somewhat-out-of favor message of special creation to nine foreign countries in the past several decades because he is convinced that how we believe the world came to be it is important.

His is a radical message that challenges both mainline and some evangelical church assumptions, as well as those of the scientific community as a whole: that the first few chapters of Genesis are just as literal and authoritative as the rest of the Bible.

“Years ago, I traveled to Mexico and spoke on the campus of a left-wing university,” he recalled. “During the Q&A on creationism, some there accused me of being a CIA spy.”

Henderson has never been a spy, of course. He has degrees in math, physics and science education and worked at the Johnson Space Center for 37 years.”

To read more click here.


A teacher with faith and reason

August 1, 2007

From Jeff Jacoby and The Boston Globe.

“DID YOU hear about the religious fundamentalist who wanted to teach physics at Cambridge University? This would-be instructor wasn’t simply a Christian; he was so preoccupied with biblical prophecy that he wrote a book titled “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John.” Based on his reading of Daniel, in fact, he forecast the date of the Apocalypse: no earlier than 2060. He also calculated the year the world was created. When Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning,” he determined, it means 3988 BC.

Not many modern universities are prepared to employ a science professor who espouses not merely “intelligent design” but out-and-out divine creation. This applicant’s writings on astronomy, for example, include these thoughts on the solar system: “This most beautiful system of sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and domination of an intelligent and powerful Being . . . He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.”

To read more click here.