RE: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith? (Laminin too)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Mon Jan 05 2009 - 12:00:22 EST

Jon said:
"Anyway, the main point where I mentioned evolution specifically was in suggesting "Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation" as a viable "creation model" that many Christians sincerely hold, based on the evidence that they see. "

I was wondering if even saying that could get you a frosty reception, but it may be easy for them to shrug off. They could think "Oh- he's talking about what other Christians might believe, like Catholics, but not us."

Also- an interesting thing I once read. The book "The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation" has Phillip Johnson writing a summary. Which position does he like best (YEC, OEC, "TE")? Drum roll... he likes NONE of them. He says they ALL have strengths and weaknesses. I was surprised! Wow- he wasn't able to summarily reject TE! Didn't something change for him? I thought his earlier books were so against evolution (that's the clear message I got when I read them years ago, and encouraged me to be an evolution-denier). Maybe he's been talking with Michael Behe who also accepts much of evolution.

The funny thing to mention to people who are friendly for YEC is to mention evolutionary supporters, such as CS Lewis who is a positively viewed celebrity for most Christians. And now even Philip Johnson even has nice things to say about "TE" (Howard Van Till repeatedly objected to the "TE" label- wants "fully gifted" instead; he was obviously irritated by the "TE" term given to him).


From: [] On Behalf Of Jon Tandy
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2009 10:18 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith? (Laminin too)


I wasn't promoting the evolution controversy, in contrast with the previous speaker. However, I did feel a bit of a "cold chill" in the moments before I had to go up, in thinking that even in the very mild, balanced presentation I was to give, there could definitely be a "tension of conflict" between the two presentations. It was actually an interesting spiritual experience. I had this feeling come over me that I recognize from the past as being due to an evil spirit, and I had to go outside and have a talk with God. Felt his Spirit return, and all was good - I am suspecting that I was letting a spirit of fear or something else distract me from the right focus.

Anyway, the main point where I mentioned evolution specifically was in suggesting "Theistic Evolution/Evolutionary Creation" as a viable "creation model" that many Christians sincerely hold, based on the evidence that they see. And no, in this particular audience they didn't start throwing stones. There were several places where I could have provoked a debate, but that wasn't my purpose. In particular, if I had brought up too many faith-shaking revelations from science, without sufficient time to explain the theological and scientific reasons and approaches to the problem, I could have weakened rather than strengthened the faith of some involved. I told them they'd have to come back for the rest of the 30-hour presentation (which I haven't written yet).

There was a point where someone asked me to explain why "no beneficial mutations" was a bad scientific argument. I approached it by first saying, this one is on AIG's list of arguments not to use; and that many Christians now suggest very rapid evolution occurred post-Flood, which means they are saying the same thing as evolutionists - there are beneficial mutations. Then I mentioned the 20-year study (Lenski) on E.coli, which showed after about 20,000-30,000 generations, that a mutation had occurred that was beneficial to the organism's ability to thrive in a less than optimal environment - just one of many examples that exist, showing such mutations have now been demonstrated by scientific evidence. There wasn't much response, other than (I felt) a collective, silent "Hmm".

I've recently read something about Laminin, and my "baloney detector" is definitely turned on to that. But I haven't done any research on it.

Jon Tandy

From: [] On Behalf Of Dehler, Bernie
Sent: Sunday, January 04, 2009 10:52 PM
Subject: RE: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith? (Laminin too)

That's unfortunate that the organizer of the event didn't know beforehand of the conflicts and work them out prior. It shouldn't be too difficult to foresee if you ask the presenters what their main points are, and inform them of the other speakers.

I wonder as you mention evolution, if a "cold chill" came across the room, as Francis Collins says it does when he talks about it to evangelical groups.

In the Sunday School class I attend we are starting in Gen. 1. I brought-up a lot of points about evolution. It is interesting to hear the old arguments that people mistakenly think; gave me a chance to practice telling what I learned (why evolution doesn't go against entropy; DNA evidence for evolution; etc.).

We were going to watch the famous laminen video. Have you seen it? The "cross in the molecules" ... holding everything together just as the Bible says (Col. 1:17). The video wasn't available, so we'll watch it next time likely. Sorry to say, I have a lot of rebuttals for it.


Colossians 1:17
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.


From: [] On Behalf Of Jon Tandy
Sent: Saturday, January 03, 2009 9:08 PM
Subject: [asa] Is Science an enemy of faith?

I just got done with teaching a class at a "FaithBuilders" seminar, designed for high school and college age youth, to help prepare them for the challenges to faith as they head to college, etc., and have to confront difficult issues. I got the organizers to schedule a "science and faith" class, which I titled "Is Science an enemy of faith?" I was unaware that the person who spoke before me (on the subject "Is there absolute truth?") had chosen to speak quite a bit about evolution, and repeating the Answers in Genesis line, essentially that evolution is the root of all modern moral evils, and it has to be confronted at all costs.

My presentation went something like this (I only had an hour, and later had a chance to answer a few additional questions on the "bad scientific arguments" that I mentioned). The presentation started and ended with scriptures from Psalms on the wonder at God's creation and his care for mankind.

This year is Charles Darwin's 200th birthday anniversary, and 150th anniversary of "On the Origin of Species". We are going to hear a lot about science and faith this year in the media, mostly negative toward religion. The "New Atheists" are increasingly mounting the attack on Christianity, and using "science" to make their case (actually philosophy masquerading as science). Some Christian leaders agree with the New Atheists that we can't accept both good science and the Bible, which is not a wise approach to science and faith.

Science could cause us to lose our faith for several reasons: 1) warfare model, 2) bad science, 3) bad theology/philosophy, and 4) failure to acknowledge God.

The warfare model says that science and religion are in conflict, and only one or the other can be right. The truth is that the early scientists were Christians who worshipped God as they sought to understand the workings of nature (Galileo, Newton, Kepler, etc.). There was no conflict in their minds. Warfare model sets up a false dichotomy between the actions of God and the actions of nature. (gave examples of "what the Bible says" vs. "what science says", such as whether God or nuclear fusion makes the light from the sun, God knits us in the womb vs. sperm/egg as cause of babies being formed, God or gravity upholds the world, God or pressure/temperature/humidity is the cause of rain and snow) There is no reason why these different sets of explanations have to be in conflict.

Bad science taught as "Christian truth" builds our faith on a shaky foundation. Gave several examples of bad science in creationist writings, such as decreasing speed of light as evidence of young universe, Grand Canyon as evidence for global flood, dino and human tracks together in Paluxy River bed, no beneficial mutations, no transitional species, water vapor canopy, and no new species formed after initial creation. For many of these, even Answers in Genesis lists them as bad or questionable arguments for creationists to use.

Bad theology: "The Bible must teach accurate science, or else it can't be trusted for anything." "False accusation of fellow believers" (calling them atheists because they accept the age of the earth, etc.). and "Science has proved that there is no God" (this is where the atheists bring in philosophical conclusions and falsely call it science.)

Failure to acknowledge God: If we fail to see God's order, purpose, and beauty in creation we may lose sight of faith. If we believe that nature is fully sufficient to account for the origin of everything, then God is extraneous. Science can tell us "how" and "what", but it can't answer questions of meaning and purpose, "who" and "why", and ultimate origins.

Revelation and truth: "Two books" of God's revelation (nature and scripture/revelation). No truth can threaten God, or genuine faith, because all truth is God's truth. Science is man's flawed interpretation of nature, and theology is man's flawed interpretation of scripture. There might be conflict between science and theology, but not between nature and God.

Possible models (theories) of creation: 1) Instant creation. 2) Separate acts of creation over time (gap theory, day-age, days of proclamation). 3) Theistic evolution/Evolutionary creation. Each of these models is held by thinking Christians, who is trying to deal with the evidence, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. I didn't have time to elaborate all the strengths and weaknesses, but throughout the presentation I did comment on some of the unsupportable young-earth arguments. Later in response to a question, I talked some about the appearance of age hypothesis and its problem of a deceptive God.

Some reasonably good arguments for God (mainly philosophical, not necessarily scientific): 1) anthropic principle, 2) Cosmological argument / origin of matter, 3) moral argument, 4) argument from religious need, 5) argument from joy, 6) historical arguments for Christian faith, and 7) argument from experience with God (miracles, healings, personal ministry of Jesus Christ or angels, answers to prayer, etc.)

The class was pretty well received. For an introductory class to a group that were not necessarily all scientifically literate, it may have gone too deep. But hopefully it will give them something to think about, and possibly give them something to refer to, for those who do face faith challenges once they study enough scientific evidences.

Jon Tandy

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Received on Mon Jan 5 12:01:00 2009

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