Analysis of Hovind-Jones debate “Is evolution compatible with the Bible?” January 1, 2019

Analysis of the Hovind-Jones debate (Is evolution compatible with the Bible) on January 1, 2019

Michael Jones of Inspiring Philosophy interprets the days of Genesis 1 as part of a seven-day inauguration of the universe by God, whereby He sets everything into their proper function. God stepped into a chaotic universe, and made order out of it. You claim that Genesis 1 states that when God had started creating things (b’reshit), he set everything in the universe into its proper function (barah).

I cross-checked Genesis 1:1 with Exodus 20:11, which reads in English as follows: For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. It is interesting to note here that the verb denoted here in bold is not barah (which Jones claims does not mean to create), but asah, which means to make. Hebrew verbs can take up multiple meanings, and depend on context. Thus, Hovind’s interpretation is correct.

Let us look at Genesis 1 in Hebrew: B’reshit barah Elohim et shamayim v’et ha’aretz. I contend that this sentence does indeed mean that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Let us look at the word b’reshit. Jones claims that since the word lacks the definite article, thereby it means “in the time”, when God was creating the heavens and the earth, which does not mean an absolute beginning.

I still disagree. In Hebrew based on context sometimes the definite article may be missing from in front of a word, yet it may still denote a definite subject. I contend that b’reshit still means in the beginning, the absolute beginning. This is because Hebrew, as opposed to English not an analytic type of language. In English we have to declare the definite or indefinite article in order to exactly define a noun or a word. But Hebrew is a different language where this is not necessarily so. There are other languages where not putting the definite article still denotes a definite noun.

Hungarian is such a language. In Hungarian, Genesis 1:1 reads: Kezdetben teremtette Isten a mennyet és a földet. Literally: Beginning.in created God the heaven and the earth. Hungarian even has a -t suffix after nouns which, similar to Hebrew, denote that a noun is an object, like how in Hebrew the word et points to a noun which is an object. Hungarian and Hebrew bear uncanny similarities with one another.

Furthermore, another main problem I have with Jones’ argumentation is this: the title of the debate was Is evolution compatible with the Bible? I noticed that Jones avoided addressing the question. But this was the whole point of the debate. To me it seems that Jones took pains to disprove the young-earth six-day literal interpretation of Genesis. Now, that is one thing, and Jones did try to argue for this, but didn’t follow through in actually demonstrating that biological evolution, however generally defined, is compatible with the Bible.

One must agree, that in a general sense, evolution is, quite simply put, descent via modification. That means that if you have a long chain of organisms, A1, A2, A3, … Bn-2, Bn-1, Bn, where A denotes a species of one kind, and B a species of another kind, there will be somewhere in the middle of this chain a pair of individuals Am-B1 such that A begets B. Thus, we have an instance where kind begets non-kind, however, this contradicts Genesis 1 which states that fruits, grasses, birds and sea creatures all multiply according to their kind. Hovind did demonstrate that what evolution says and what Genesis 1 are in contradiction with each other. Jones ceded this point, thus Hovind won the debate.

Another passage from Scripture also proves this point even further. According to 1Corinthians 15:38-39, “But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.”

This means that all biological beings did not originate from the same original primordial cell billions of years ago. This means that God created different kinds of animals, fish and birds, with its own body, its own flesh. These kinds are separate from one another. Furthermore, God defined, created each body as He pleases, not according to a blind, materialistic process. How can you square an ongoing materialistic evolutionary process with creation within a set time-frame? Evolution is ongoing even now, yet God finished creating the universe in the past. Even Jones’ position claims that God first created, then inaugurated. It is clearly a contradiction.

Another major point that needs to be mentioned is that to me it seems that Jones was trying to demonstrate that God created chaos, at least in the very beginning, and that death and suffering were present in God’s good creation. But God is a God of love and of life, not of death. If death is natural, do you think that people will pass away and die in heaven? Is this a prospect one should be looking forward to? Did God really create the chaotic universe, which was without form and void? Is God sloppy? God’s work reflects upon His character. No, God is not sloppy, but then this implies that God did not create the universe, and therefore we’d be left with a dualist view of the world at best (where God and the devil are co-equal with each other, a rather horrible prospect), materialism at worst.

Because of these considerations there had to be a literal, physical fall into sin, which explains the origin of suffering and death, which is the reason Jesus came to earth, to save us from our sins.

The debate’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/279783962679208/permalink/281918972465707/

Creationism is, in fact science

Article on creation science posted July 22, 2018 in the San Antonio Express-News:

Re: “As logic, science come under attack, push back with facts,” Another View by John Blanton, Feb. 11:

John Blanton, a member of the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas, paints what he calls religious people as opponents of reason and free thought. Specifically, he cites creationists on a wide spectrum challenging established science.

First of all, it is a well-known fact that science did not begin with Darwin, whose 209th birthday was being celebrated by FACT. Rather, science has its origin within the Christian church, with the command from God to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). In order to subdue nature, one must understand it — hence the biblical injunction to pursue science.

Second of all, because it cannot be directly observed or verified, macro-level evolution cannot be considered to be a fact, however strong FACT would insist that it is. Explanations are offered only as to how species could have evolved. Lacking is the exact, precise demonstration that organisms did evolve. Thus evolution is only a theory.

Furthermore, it should never be a crime to question the authority of a well-nigh monolithic theory, which thousands of Ph.D.-level scientists such as I call into question based on scientific evidence. Blanton should remember that in 1925 the American Civil Liberties Union argued for equal representation of evolutionary theory during the Scopes trial, to which he referred. One voice openly questioning evolutionary theory should become millions, since half the population of the United States doesn’t accept evolution. An open public debate between creationism and evolution leads to more healthy science. Offering always only one side of the story leads to bad science and bad explanations.

Blanton cannot see the forest because of the trees. Blanton’s religion is materialistic naturalism, stemming from Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s idea that nature is everything that was, is and ever shall be, purposefully excluding God and the divine from the grand picture a priori. How can you be open-minded if you’re willing to consider only one line of explanation? Taken to the logical extreme, skeptics must doubt everything. Thus, truly, like Descartes they know next nothing. But God knows everything.

Creationism is scientific. Atheists acknowledge the fact that why the universe came into existence is a metaphysical question. Thus whether the universe came about either through natural or supernatural means is an open question. Therefore, since the origin of the universe has not been observed by a human eye, it is certainly possible that God created it. And, in such a supernaturally created world, it is possible to pursue origins science. Creationism doesn’t claim to be privy to the supernatural process of divine creation. Rather, creation science studies the handiwork of God’s creative acts. God created, therefore, let us examine the created world.

It is a well-known fact that thousands of so-called living fossils exist all over the world, resisting change over long periods of time. Taxonomists have discovered and studied millions of species, which all cluster into disjunct kinds that are spoken of in Genesis 1:21. Missing links are still missing. The scientific literature is chock-full of examples of genetic structures being “evolutionarily conserved,” an oxymoron if there ever was one. Genome reduction in organisms is so pervasive that researchers Yuri Wolf and Eugene Koonin in 2013 devised the biphasic model of genomic evolution whereby the genomes of organisms undergo initial rapid (miraculous) complexification, followed by gradual genome reduction, which is itself contrary to evolution.

Thus instead of trying to extinguish other opinions and points of view, so-called freethinkers should allow them to flourish.

Matthew Cserhati is a bioinformatics programmer living in San Antonio. He has a doctorate in biology and a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He has been active in the creation/evolution debate for 17 years and has presented on this subject numerous times.