March 29, 2017

November 16, 2010

Dr. Al Mohler:  No Pass From Theological Responsibility — The BioLogos Conundrum

The following article by Dr. Al Mohler struck me as being eerily similar to the long winded debate over homosexuality. 

They are also clear about their motive. In their view, the acceptance of evolution is necessary for evangelism. They are motivated, they insist, by a concern that a rejection of evolution puts Christians in a position of intellectual embarrassment. The rejection of evolution places Christians outside the intellectual pale, they assert, leading to the discrediting of the gospel. They believe that intellectuals, especially scientists, will not respect an evangelistic witness to the gospel from one who is intellectually discredited by rejecting evolution. They are embarrassed by the fact that a majority of evangelicals reject evolution, and they honestly believe that some people will not come to know Christ because they are so offended by our unwillingness to accept evolution. They have repeatedly asserted that the credibility and integrity of our Christian witness is at stake.

The writers for BioLogos have been unsparing in their criticism of evangelicals who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or are proponents of either Intelligent Design or creationism. They initiated a public debate by presenting their arguments in the public square. But now, it appears, they really do not want a public debate at all. They want a one-way conversation.

On November 8, an article appeared at the BioLogos site that was explicitly addressed to me. The author, Mark Sprinkle, had courteously informed me by e-mail on November 7 that the article would appear the next day. And so it did.

In his article, Dr. Sprinkle uses the account of Peter and Cornelius from Acts 10 to argue that “our theology is descriptive, not prescriptive; it is our collective and halting attempt to describe in coherent terms what we know of God by what we have seen of His acts and what we have read in His Word—and, above all else, by what we have seen in the acts of the Word, Jesus.” That argument points very clearly in the direction of minimizing theology and doctrine, but it is also false. Unless a church forfeits all doctrinal responsibility, at least some theology is always prescriptive.

But theology, he argues, “is put to the test not just by our logic, but by the witness of what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others around the world.” He then states this: “Evidence of the Spirit at work is the only true measure we have of our theology; all other measures, including whether it fits our carefully-reasoned arguments of who is in and who is out, are vanity.”

That is an interesting statement, but it is nonsensical unless there is some means of evaluating what is and is not authentic evidence of the Spirit at work. And that, of course, would mean some kind of biblical and theological test. The effort to escape theology gets us nowhere.

Isn’t it interesting that the evolution argument presented here follows the same path that has been tread for years in the homosexuality debate - denigrate anyone who opposes you without regard to facts and require the total restructuring of the Faith in order to allow the “new order” to be ushered in by the enlightened.

I agree with Dr. Mohler—debate is always welcome but there can be no pass from theological responsibility.  He deserves our thanks for standing for Truth - something that seems all too rare in Tec these days..

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Amen, thanks for posting this Sarah.

[1] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 11-16-2010 at 09:47 AM · [top]

Why you’re welcome, Matt! [quickly bustling away]

[2] Posted by Sarah on 11-16-2010 at 09:57 AM · [top]

It’s instructive to compare the paralyzing fear of intellectual marginalization which BioLogos has with the attitude of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1

“For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its own wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe…” (heck, just read the rest of chapter 1 and all of chapter 2 while you’re at it, it’s great stuff!)

Of course, passages like this (as well as the words of Christ Himself in Matthew 11:25) are inconvenient for the BioLogos folks. Not to worry - thanks to their rejection of inerrancy, these passages can safely be therefore dismissed by them as uninspired. And Christianity is once again saved from the dark cul de sac of intellectual disdain! BioLogos stands, like Neville Chamberlain, proudly announcing their accord with academia and proclaiming peace in our time. And those of us who treasure the foolishness of a risen Lord and savior can only sign in frustration.

[3] Posted by LDW1988 on 11-16-2010 at 11:08 AM · [top]

BioLogos is certainly not what St. Paul had in mind when he wrote “I have become all things to all men so that by all means I might save some.”

[4] Posted by Milton on 11-16-2010 at 11:58 AM · [top]

The easy acceptance of evolution must over time have a corrosive effect on the Christian faith.  It necessarily breaks the connection between sin and death.  It necessarily makes death a motivating natural force in creation instead of an enemy.  It shatters the headship of Christ that forms the basis of our justification.  In effect it repudiates the whole of Christian anthropology and by extension soteriology.  God becomes the much more benign figure of human imagination instead of the Holy Just God who displays His wrath against sin.  It’s just a short step to replace salvation with therapy.  This whole effort is a snare and a trap.


[5] Posted by carl on 11-16-2010 at 12:50 PM · [top]

The proposal by BioLogos would be self-defeating in more ways than one.  It is intellectual nonsense, as Dr Mohler points out.  More than that, however, the nature of sin being what it is, those who reject the Christian faith over the rejection by Evangelicals of Darwinian evolution will find another reason to reject Christ even if the Evangelical world did embrace Darwin.

[6] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-16-2010 at 12:54 PM · [top]

Although I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, I do not believe that the creation story in Genesis was ever meant to be read literally.  I don’t claim this arbitrarily, but on the basis of good exegetical practice: namely, the principle of reading texts according to their genre.  I won’t argue the point here since this has already been hashed and re-hashed in other threads.  My point is simply that a disbelief in the historicity of an actual, literal “Garden of Eden” does not amount to a rejection of biblical inerrancy or inspiration.   

Similarly, I do not believe that a belief in evolution necessarily entails the atheistic, materialist worldview that so often (unfortunately) accompanies it.  As far as I can tell, one can believe in evolution yet still also believe that God is the Creator and Preserver of all things; that they were created by His Word, i.e., through Jesus; and that ultimately they were created ex nihilo.

I have Christian friends who are scientists who believe in evolution, but who hold that God could have “interfered” now and then in the natural evolutionary process by making new sp

[7] Posted by Hindustaaniwalla Hatterr on 11-16-2010 at 03:31 PM · [top]

While I disagree with you on this, I’m extremely pleased to read that you hold to the doctrine of inerrancy.

[8] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 11-16-2010 at 03:37 PM · [top]

somehow my last post got cut off…it said this: making new species (like humans?) or new adaptations (like an eye?) which would not or could not have appeared merely through natural selection (perhaps this happened during the Cambrian explosion?).  This perspective is a lot like C.S. Lewis’ view on miracles: that they are not examples of natural laws being broken, but of the supernatural breaking in from the outside and acting upon nature.  Could it not be that God created evolution as a natural process, but that evolution is not sufficient to explain all natural developments because God sometimes (often?) acts upon nature in unexected ways?

(My original post had more, but I can’t remember what I said!)

[9] Posted by Hindustaaniwalla Hatterr on 11-16-2010 at 03:39 PM · [top]

I will be accepting apologies beginning at 3:07 p.m. CST.  raspberry

[10] Posted by Jackie on 11-16-2010 at 04:00 PM · [top]

Lets suppose hypothecially that a single-celled organism was the first bit of life.  What would it have to be able to do to survive?  Eat?  Digest?  Excrete waste?  Reproduce?  Identify food vs. non-food?  Move around to find food? 

If you think through scenerio this I am confident you will come to the conclusion that it’s not so simple after all, and that all the different systems it needs to survive must be there day 1, that the systems interact with each other and are complex, even for a single-celled organism. 

Hmmm…smells like design to me…

[11] Posted by B. Hunter on 11-16-2010 at 05:03 PM · [top]

Ask anyone who believes in evolution for proof.  Put the onus on them.  I have never had one person ever be able to give me anything even resembling proof - they just “trust” that scientists know what they were talking about…you know, like global warming… wink

[12] Posted by B. Hunter on 11-16-2010 at 05:15 PM · [top]

I think I come in on the side of compromise—in that I don’t really care how God did it, while never doubting that it was God (in all Three Persons—Father as Creator, Son as Logos, Spirit o’er the waters) that did it. Instead of taking my text from Genesis 2, I prefer the first chapter, in which the order of things created (while different from that in Genesis 2), curiously matches what the evolutionary biologists claim happened.

What I do not believe is that evolution just “happened”—or that the Universe in which it occured just “happened”. That’s the hand of God (or rather, the Voice of God) at work. If you slowed down the “Big Bang”, like slowing down a sped-up recording, what you’d get from “BANG!” is “Let there be light!”. And there was, and it was good.

I’m much less worried about the how than the Who—I’ll let the scientists wrestle with the “how” if it makes them happy and keeps them employed (always a good thing these days), while focusing on the Who, on the Creator of us all and of the entire universe.

And I will also continue to question why the Church sees fit to honor the Incarnation (March 25th) and the Nativity (Dec. 25th), the Crucifixion and Ressurection of Our Lord (Holy Week and Easter), but has no day that honors the Creation of the Universe by God Almighty… it doesn’t even make Lesser Feasts and Fasts, even though none of the rest would matter without it.

[13] Posted by Conego on 11-16-2010 at 06:33 PM · [top]

[13] Conego

I’m much less worried about the how than the Who

If the ‘how’ disconnects death from sin, then you should worry about the ‘how.’  There is no way around it.  Christian anthropology places death after the sin of Adam.  That means 1) that any evolutionary mechanism that depends upon death simply could not have occurred, or 2) Christian anthropology is wrong.


[14] Posted by carl on 11-16-2010 at 06:42 PM · [top]

To Hindustaaniwalla and Conego, I am not a theologian nor a scientist, but have always believed that God created evolution.  My kids and I have talked about this much, both having attended religious elementary school.  I thought that was the truth; God created evolution, it was that incredible, not accidental.  What is the truth?  I thought that the Genesis passages were descriptive more than literal as well but I will now confess that I no longer know anything that is truth. 

SFIF has me reading a book by Allison on heresy and all other manner of text, including the Bible and I am totally lost.  Sat in a pew with little real religion (having come from TEC, now looking elsewhere) and now confronted with every manner of question.  The chance to discover is thrilling and also daunting with the gaping hole of knowledge and have no business commenting on this site.  Thanks to all who share here.  It is a treat.

[15] Posted by episcopal100 on 11-16-2010 at 09:35 PM · [top]

Given that one of the BioLogos guys is the Rev. Dr. Polkinghorne, I’m perhaps more inclined to at least give them a hearing than it seems others are. But what the heck, I can respond to the speech by Mohler that started it all on my own.

Mohler understates the level of evidence for an old earth. It’s not just radioisotope dating; there’s a lot of geological evidence showing that it has been there a long time, evidence that connects to processes we can see going one now. That evidence ties together to show a progressive development of living creatures.

So the basic problem, to start with, is that someone dealing with the evidence is stuck with an “as if” approach: one must work with the material as if the thesis of an old, developing earth is true. Mohler has the option of ignoring this because, after all, he’s a theologian and doesn’t have to live with doing science under his dogmas.

[16] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-16-2010 at 10:48 PM · [top]

So, a day arrives when scientists do it:  they actually create life.  It’s been an ongoing struggle, but one finally goes to God and says, “See, we’ve done it!”  God says, “That’s wonderful.  Let’s get together and compare how we did it.” 
A couple of days later, God and the scientists meet up.  God says, “You first.  I’m thrilled to hear you’ve done it and really want to see how you did it.” 
One of the scientists brings out a box with soil in it, when God interrupts.
“Un-unh,” God says.  “Use your own dirt.”

[17] Posted by maineiac on 11-16-2010 at 10:53 PM · [top]

On a more serious note, my dtr (7th gr) is starting a unit on evolution at school.  They’re using a video series by Hawkins.  The teacher’s very excited about it all. 

What resources can I get hold of that can give my dtr some other ways of looking at the whole evolution picture?  I had a bio prof in college who pointed out in one of his lectures how similar the evolution line of life was to Gen 1.  I’ve also heard, but can’t quote a source, that Darwin himself rejected a good part of his evolution theories before he died.

I can see the sense of “evolution” meaning species change/adapt to their environment: the dandelions here in ME are different from the dandelions in MD.  But it’s clear they’re both dandelions.  the idea of changing from one species to another is less plausible, esp when there’s evidence that interbreeding like that doesn’t result in life, but sterility: look at mules. 

Any ideas?  She’s only 7th gr, but is capable of higher levels of thought.  She’s one of 3 kids in the “olders” class -  2 7th and 1 8th grader.  School is K-8, 10 kids total, 7 of whom are gr 1-3.  She’s quite capable of holding her own in disagreement with other students (the life of a younger sibling?). 
Thanks in advance.

[18] Posted by maineiac on 11-16-2010 at 11:28 PM · [top]

For many people, the Bible occupies a place of honor. A man whao has not read the Bible and understands nothing from it, will place his hand on it to swear an oath.

Acknowledging that BioLogos are serious thinkers, for many modern people the Theory of Evolution occupies a place of honor. It is not necessary to read any of the opus, nor to understand the premises and analyses; it is necessary and sufficient to acknowledge its supremacy and leave the rest to a tenured priesthood.

[19] Posted by Just a Baptist on 11-17-2010 at 07:09 AM · [top]

In the same vein as #11, I would like to hear an answer to this question from one who believes in macroevolution.
How did the first mammal, born to its no doubt shocked reptilian or avian mother, survive infancy?  Mammals are defined by nursing their young, but its mother would have no breasts!  And if it did somehow survive infancy on liquefied worms or vomited up food, where would it find a mammal mate with which to reproduce?

Or more simply - which came first, the chicken or the egg?

[20] Posted by Milton on 11-17-2010 at 10:40 AM · [top]

#16 An old earth neither mandates macroevolution nor rules out special creation.  The “millions of years” could have been the Holy Spirit brooding over the waters of an earth that was formless and void, after which a six-day creation unfolded after the LORD decreed “Light be!”.

[21] Posted by Milton on 11-17-2010 at 11:21 AM · [top]

My OT Intro prof, Dr Meredith Kline, at Gordon-Conwell, said that Genesis 1 was poetic in structure and should not be taken as six 24-hour days.  His position was that, grammatically and structurally, the story of creation gave the broad outline and scope of creation, but not the details.  He pointed out that the first three days describe the creation of realms - Light; sky & water; earth & vegetation - while the second three days populates those realms - sun, moon, and stars; aquatic creatures and birds; animals and human beings.  (Chapter 2:4-25 is a “close-up” of the creation of humanity, after the broad strokes of chapter 1.)  Dr Kline pointed out that that this sequence is a logical way of proceeding, moving from the foundational elements of creation on to the specific things dependent upon those foundational elements.

Dr Kline did not believe in evolution.  It was plain, he said, that God was an active agent in all that happened.  He did not create possibilities and then watch it all unfold.  God may have taken his time (the Hebrew “yom,” - “day” - is not restricted to a 24-hour period), but he was overseeing and involved in the events.

Kline insists that Adam and Eve were real persons.  While Gen 1 is quite poetic in structure, Gen 2 is less so, and Gen 3 is not, except for God’s decrees to his rebellious creatures.

More recently, I have been listening to RC Sproul’s podcast (and radio broadcast), “Renewing Your Mind.”  There are several episodes on creation.  The most telling point against classic evolution is the information contained in DNA.  The odds of the amino acids needed for DNA being formed by chance are mind-bogglingly small.  If you add to that formation the odds of mere accident setting the DNA into an order that can carry the vast amounts of information needed for a cell to live and to reproduce, you have to have a far greater faith than I am capable of.  The programmers at Microsoft know that Windows XP did not come about by a series of accidents, and the information on even a one-celled life-form is more complex than Windows program.

The only reason I can see to accept Darwinian evolution is to avoid having to be responsible to God.

[22] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-17-2010 at 11:37 AM · [top]

re 20: Any decent scientist isn’t going to feel particularly held to such a demand, and indeed I would have more respect for those who refused to speculate. Our failures of imagination, understanding, and knowledge are not contingent upon reality.

In many respects that is what is at fault with the more dogmatic secularists. I don’t think we will ever know enough to fill in the gaps so well that God cannot not only hide but reveal Himself in them. It thus seems to me that their assertions need not be taken seriously. The evidence is strong enough that there is a development of hominids into something that at some point looks enough like a modern man to be called Homo sapiens; assigning meaning to that development is another matter. It is easy to find theologians who will state that even in this there is still to be found a single Adam and Eve. I’ll say again: there is a rich heritage of people who are neither six day creationists nor dogmatic secularists, and most Anglicans who have written on the matter fall into this middle group. Read them; we are not so impoverished that we have to rely on theological aliens for our arguments.

[23] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-17-2010 at 11:53 AM · [top]

#23 Question neatly dodged with the assumption of being too lofty and superior to be held to mere logic as evolutionists demand of creationists and IDers.  So just how did the first evolved mammal survive infancy, antway? smile

[24] Posted by Milton on 11-17-2010 at 12:15 PM · [top]

Milton, what’s your justification for the assertion that there has to BE a first mammal? And just exactly how are you going to identify it as a mammal anyway?

[25] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-17-2010 at 12:56 PM · [top]

“The odds of the amino acids needed for DNA being formed by chance are mind-bogglingly small.”

I would object to the use of probability at all in the discussion. Suppose there is a very loaded pair of dice that the odds of rolling a snake eyes is 1 in a trillion (or more), and I am told that I will be shot in my sleep unless my prison guards roll the pair and get snake eyes. If I wake up in the morning, then my existence shows that I got lucky they did indeed roll a snake eyes.

[26] Posted by robroy on 11-17-2010 at 01:01 PM · [top]

If one holds to macroevolution doesn’t that describe the emergence of one-celled life from inanimate matter, evolving into life forms of increasing complexity?  Starting with one-celled plants and animals up through larger green plants and multi-celled animals through birds and reptiles and finally mammals?  Or do you postulate all the different orders of biological life simultaneously emerging from inanimate matter?  And isn’t the definition of a mammal a type of animal that bears its young alive and not in an egg and nurses their infants from the mother’s mammary glands?  I have always heard the emergence of new species by macroevolution described as by individual mutations that survived and improved the survival of the species, hence my playing the evolutionists’ game and postulating a first mammal.

[27] Posted by Milton on 11-17-2010 at 01:11 PM · [top]

Robroy, I admit that statistics are of little use for logically disproving Darwinian (or materialistic) evolution.  If something happens, it does not matter what the odds were against it, it happened.  But at least probability shows that the process in question is not something that is readily available or “perfectly natural.”

[28] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-17-2010 at 01:45 PM · [top]

btw:  where did the environment for the first single-cell life form come from?  If Earth has just been spinning along for centuries or millenia and then life springs from (fill in the blank) - where did Earth come from?  Do any of the evolutionists address that?

[29] Posted by maineiac on 11-17-2010 at 05:55 PM · [top]

maineiac #17 Really enjoyed your post.

[30] Posted by episcopal100 on 11-17-2010 at 07:45 PM · [top]

I suspect most of you are familiar with the list that reads, “Inerrancy, virgin birth, substitutionary atonement, bodily resurrection, imminent return.”

Well, there are five fundamentals to the faith in evolution.

1. Mendelian genetics - this is pretty established. Leastways, there’s a lot of hybrid corn ‘round where I live.
2. Natural selection - selection by human intervention is pretty well established. People have been breeding dogs and horses for thousands of years. Selection by natural causes has been observed for over a century and is plausible, if not proven.
3. Molecular genetics - this is pretty established. We understand DNA, RNA, mitosis and so on, pretty well.
4. Linear sequences of speciation - mesohippus, merychippus, pliohippus, etc. These are lots of fun, but not really proven. I am cautiously sceptical, but, hey, maybe all those different kinds of squirrels really did come from the one pair on the ark.
5. Abiogenesis - How did this slip into this list? Is anybody buying the Miller-Urey experiment? C’mon.

I will sign up for the first 3 and I am open to consider examples of the 4th. The 5th, abiogenesis, requires a Kierkegaardian leap of faith that I am not willing to take.

[31] Posted by Just a Baptist on 11-17-2010 at 07:46 PM · [top]

John Polkinghorne was a world famous particle physicist, is now an Anglican priest and is a member of Biologos. He stresses that we shouldn’t make God as the explanation of the unknown. Because God then shrinks as our knowledge expands. How can life come about from nothing? It must be a God thing. Polkinghorne talks about understanding the forces that makes atomic nuclei together. Rather than say, God holds protons together when they should really explode apart because of the proton-proton repulsive force. But then we find that it isn’t God holding the nuclei together but a previous unknown force, the strong force which is governed by quantum chromodynamics. That doesn’t make God smaller. In fact, as a Christian scientist, I think it makes God even greater, because it is so very wonderful to the point of mind blowing. When one predicts and then finds heavy mesons, it is ten thousand beautiful sunsets.

How can life (self replicating bilipid membrane cell) come about from primordial goo? I don’t know but it doesn’t have to be a magic black box God thing. It might be a open non-magic box Gog thing.

Now, are humans that are apes with really big brains or are we “God-breathed”? That is a different matter.

[32] Posted by robroy on 11-17-2010 at 07:47 PM · [top]

On the surface, I am sad to learn that The Rev. Dr. Polkinghorne is a member of Biologos.  I have read most of his books, and as a physicist in a former life I have admired his use of the laws of science to draw parallels to theological thought and to help explain some facets of Christian Doctrine.  But as I (admittedly poorly) understand Biologos, I am concerned if he agrees that Christianity needs to get on board with Evolution (as the origin of the species)so that it may have proper intellectual credentials.

Is that what others understand of his membership?

[33] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 11-17-2010 at 08:35 PM · [top]

I once saw a biology textbook that gave the development of the Corvette as an example of evolution, as it moved from the relatively simple 1954 six-cylinder model to the brawny T-top, etc.  My jaw dropped.  It was an example that worked against Darwinian or materialistic evolution, because of course, Corvettes do not breed, nor do they have genetic material.  They do, of course, have designers and engineers…

[34] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-17-2010 at 08:39 PM · [top]

If I could get hold of a 454 Corvette before the computers and automatic transmissions took over…....not that I worship the things of the world mind you (sigh).......

[35] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 11-17-2010 at 09:45 PM · [top]

The Corvette example is Lamarckian, not Darwinian.

It is fascinating to me that a typical believer will expound a Lamarckian view of selection, with an assumption of a natural progression of acquisition of traits based on desirability; rather than the Darwinian view of heritable trait selection by random mutation and subsequent competition; but the Lamarckian heresy is still compatible with atheism, so it is tolerated.

[36] Posted by Just a Baptist on 11-17-2010 at 10:05 PM · [top]

re 27: Well, first of all, your progression isn’t what the evolutionists posit. Second, your definition of a mammal is incorrect.

But getting back to the point, surely a zoologist could rationalize some scheme of development. I don’t see how your rejection or acceptance matters in the least.

[37] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-17-2010 at 11:35 PM · [top]

#27 OK, then would you please summarize what evolutionists do posit as the progression of evolution of new species and the correct definition of a mammal.  Specifics, please, not vague lofty superior dismissals.

Here’s one dictionary definition:

mam·mal (mam′əl)
any of a large class (Mammalia) of warmblooded, usually hairy vertebrates (bolding mine) whose offspring are fed with milk secreted by the female mammary glands
Origin: < ModL Mammalia < LL mammalis, of the breasts < L mamma: see mamma
Related Forms:
mammalian mam·ma′·lian (mə mā′lē ən, ma-) adjective, noun
Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Wikipedia gives a very basic timeline for the development of species:
The basic timeline is a 4.5 billion year old Earth, with (very approximate) dates:
3.8 billion years of simple cells (prokaryotes),
3 billion years of photosynthesis,
2 billion years of complex cells (eukaryotes),
1 billion years of multicellular life,
600 million years of simple animals,
570 million years of arthropods (ancestors of insects, arachnids and crustaceans),
550 million years of complex animals,
500 million years of fish and proto-amphibians,
475 million years of land plants,
400 million years of insects and seeds,
360 million years of amphibians,
300 million years of reptiles,
200 million years of mammals,
150 million years of birds,
130 million years of flowers,
65 million years since the non-avian dinosaurs died out,
2.5 million years since the appearance of the genus Homo,
200,000 years since humans started looking like they do today,
25,000 years since Neanderthals died out.
The more detailed timeline has the first mammals appearing (from what or where?) long after the first fish and reptiles and after the earliest dinosaurs:
225 Ma   Earliest dinosaurs (prosauropods), first cardiid bivalves, diversity in cycads, bennettitaleans, and conifers. First teleost fishes.
215 Ma   First mammals (e.g. Eozostrodon), minor vertebrate extinctions occur
BTW, the timelines I saw mention “first” mammals, but not whether their (non-mammalian) mothers had mammary glands.

My personal acceptance or rejection does not matter in the least, but one would think simple objective logic would behoove at least a nod in its direction, lest the evolution emperor be found wearing no clothes at all.

[38] Posted by Milton on 11-18-2010 at 07:23 AM · [top]

Hi Robroy,

I think this is a bad argument against ID and/or creationism:

“He stresses that we shouldn’t make God as the explanation of the unknown. Because God then shrinks as our knowledge expands.”

That is not what any creationist or ID theorist does. Instead they tend to want to say that God is the explanation of both the known and the unknown…

[39] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 11-18-2010 at 07:30 AM · [top]

Milton, rather than spend more of my time on this I will direct you to the lengthy Wikipedia article on evolution of mammals.

[40] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-18-2010 at 11:45 AM · [top]

#40 Your non-answer speaks for itself.

[41] Posted by Milton on 11-18-2010 at 12:09 PM · [top]

Just a Baptist (#36), the “evolution of the Corvette” may indeed be Lamarckian, but the high school textbook I saw it in gave it as an illustration of Darwinian evolution.

[42] Posted by AnglicanXn on 11-18-2010 at 12:17 PM · [top]

re 41: My non-answer, spelled out, is “go look it up yourself and quit trying to push your obligation to read the material onto someone else.”

[43] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-18-2010 at 04:08 PM · [top]

You confirm the point. The objective is not to teach students to understand Darwinian selection and to try to discern whether it is actually happening. The objective is to use the disguise of science to teach that there is no God. Given that objective, it is immaterial that the science is sloppy.

[44] Posted by Just a Baptist on 11-18-2010 at 10:16 PM · [top]

C. Wingate, I did look up and read the article you linked.  Most of the structure of the evolutionary tree is based on conjecture from bits of bones, rarely complete skeletons.  As the article text admits, very few fossils reveal anything about hair (a defining mammalian trait) or mammary glands because those soft tissues usually decompose too quickly to leave a fossil impression.

So the evolutionists are left demanding our accession to their assertions that the fossil record be interpreted according to their unsupported assumptions and conceptual framework.  Their status as “scientists” excuses them from being intellectually accountable to mere honesty and logic, let alone to us inferior lesser beings.  Much like your refusal to resolve a fundamental logical flaw in evolutionary theory - the survival past infancy of the first mammals to emerge by mutation from non-mammalian parents.  When there is no resolution to a dilemma one is forced either to admit such or to dissemble.  You owe me no answer but you do owe yourself and anyone you attempt to persuade an honest answer searching your heart and mind before God and His written word and His living Word.

[45] Posted by Milton on 11-18-2010 at 10:25 PM · [top]

You call it a “fundamental logical flaw”; I do not agree. As I said, your failure to imagine a series of transformations that works compels nobody else, and it is not a logical flaw in any case. It is not a dilemma, but merely a scientific mystery.

[46] Posted by C. Wingate on 11-19-2010 at 10:39 PM · [top]

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