Analysis of Hovind-Jones debate “Is evolutioncompatible with the Bible?” Januray 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.

Response to senator Chambers speech in Nebraska Capitol Building, December 2015

Senator Chambers,

On December 20, 2015, you gave a 25 minute speech at the beginning of the Reason this Season display in the Nebraska Capitol Building. This speech was so filled with mischaracterization and lies against Christians that someone must give a proper response to it, especially since you claim to be knowledgeable of the religion that you attacked and the over one billion people you maligned who claim to be Christian. It is profound and remarkable that you hardly said anything in support of reason and rationalism, but rather attacked the Christian religion and Christians in general during your speech. It appears that you really are not an atheist or a freethinker, but rather an anti-Christian. It seems then, that atheism offers so little that it is almost entirely exhausted by criticizing theistic religions.

Christians cannot and will not keep their religion within the confines of their own homes. To force them to do so would be the same as making them deny their faith. The state cannot define a person’s faith for him. Proselytization should be allowed, since it is a part of a person’s religion. Christians aren’t forcing others to accept their beliefs. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 9, verses 52-56 we read about how Jesus rebukes His disciples for asking Him to destroy a village of unbelieving people who rejected their message.

I suggest that in similar public appearances you dress more formally. Even the poor in Victorian England strived to be respectable, and cleanly, and made an effort to have at least one set of nice clothes that they could wear to more formal gatherings.

You also managed to get basic facts wrong, and should have known better, since you claimed to have researched the things he was talking about. You claim that that the “white-oriented” people just looked on as Jesus Christ suffered on His way to Golgotha, while He was carrying His cross. Jesus was crucified by the Pharisees because He claimed to be the Son of God, not because of His skin color. Jesus was also a rabbi just like the Pharisees. You even got basic anthropology wrong, because you should know that people in the Middle East aren’t exactly of white complexion. It is also highly questionable as to where you got the idea that Simon of Cyrene, the man who helped Jesus carry His cross was black.

It is all the more surprising that you, an African American would support evolutionary theory and claim that men came from monkeys. This is because historically according to evolutionary theories, the earliest forms of humans come from Africa (the out of Africa theory), meaning that other races would be more developed compared to black people. For example, because of evolutionary ideas about the origin of man, Ota Benga, a man from Congo was put on exhibit in the Bronx zoo as a specimen of early human evolution. I don’t think you would ever savor such an idea.

Many scientific facts contradict human evolution. For example, there are simply not enough hominid remains to bear out the idea that humans were evolving for millions of years. The fossil Lucy has been shown to be a chimpanzee. Modern humans, Neanderthals and Denisovans have also been shown to have interbred, with a large portion of their genomes in common (humans having received 5% of their genome from Denisova). Fossils exist which show both human and Neanderthal characteristics. In fact, the skull capacity of Neanderthal is larger than that of modern human.

You also ridiculed the theologians from the Middle Ages because they argued about how many angels could fit onto the head of a pin. If you would have done your homework properly, you would have known that this was only a mock-question for practicing how to debate, sort of like having schoolchildren learn the multiplication table so that they can use it later in life during their careers as adults.

However, one of your most heinous statements that you said during your speech was that Christian “preachers are the biggest liars”, and that “Christians are notorious liars”. What would Americans think if a white male politician said that African Americans, or women, or Muslims were notorious liars? They’d be branded as racist pigs and their careers would be damaged beyond repair. Psychological analysis shows that every person makes untruthful comments at least a couple dozen times a day. Therefore you cannot just single out Christians calling them liars en masse.

Your attack on the Christian Trinity is also a straw man. Christianity states that there is one God (James 2:19). But at the same time, God is three persons and one substance. You could have easily read about this in any number of theology books, or in the Nicene or Athanasian Creed. Jesus commands His disciples to baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). One name, three persons, one Trinity. God is infinite, and as such, we cannot even attempt to grasp God, as finite creatures. Your error in attacking the Trinity is that you anthropomorphizes God, Who is not human. Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God, that is why He as a man was separated from the Father, when He cried out as to why the Father had forsaken Him. Since He was also fully God, that is why death had no power over Him when He died, but since He committed His spirit to the Father of life, that is where He went right after His death.

As an atheist, you deny the existence of God whom you have not seen with your own eyes, despite the very fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, one with the Father walked on this earth among men, which is all the proof that atheists demand for the existence of God. On the same note we can deny the existence of atoms since we have not [nor even cannot] seen them with our own eyes.

You also decry God justly punishing sinful people for rebelling against Him, killing babies, yet you are pro-abortion, and uphold the wholesale murder of millions of unborn babies. This is just sheer hypocrisy at its worst. If you believe that God does not exist, then ultimately there are no values, no morals, no laws, no absolute truth, and death is just a neutral factor in the grand scheme of life.

You also brought up an example of a political science assistant at Wheaton College, a Christian university. He was suspended for supposedly showing solidarity with oppressed Muslims, and that he claimed that Allah, the god of Islam was the same as the God of the Bible. You should know very well, that if somebody wishes to work at a Christian institution, he is very likely obligated to ascribe to a statement of faith. Only Roman Catholics are allowed to work within the Vatican, for example. This is only common sense and completely acceptable. If you do not believe the same thing that others do in the same church that you go to, then you are perfectly free to go elsewhere where people believe the same thing that you do? You should not attempt to define the religion of the people at Wheaton College for them. We must separate the state from the church!

It is a shame that you gave such a speech in a public place such as the Nebraska State Capitol Building, and therefore you owe a public apology to all Christians that you smeared as being liars.

I do hope that you will consider these things.

Regards,

Dr. Matthew Cserhati