You know what I love? Aside from Nachos, I mean. I love applying transitions and animations to Power Point Slide Shows. I had spent a Wednesday evening in my home office paradise, making a presentation that was truly boffo, and come the following day I was distracted all day by the thought of getting to present it to the lads down at Danny’s Bar, Grill, and House of Rabbelrousing.
This week’s presentation was a defense of the Biblical Creation Model (or as I like to call it, “What really happened.”). This part of my larger case was not, strictly speaking, actually necessary. The discussion which we had begun all those weeks ago was about the actuality of Darwinian Evolution. Carl had said Evolution was a fact, and I had said it was not. Since then we have been discussing the facts and I had concluded that Evolution fails on its own merits. One did not need to first accept Biblical creation to see that Darwinian Evolution did not happen. One only needed to understand Darwinian Evolution.
But my good friends Carl and Tom had asked me to present the case for Biblical Creation, and I was certainly happy to do so. Thus I had made a presentation for them, and for our friends Bill and Captain Blue Beard, to be presented this evening pre-Nachos. It was entitled, “In Defense of the Biblical Creation Model,” and subtitled, “What Really Happened.”
Once again our round table near the dart board in the back was adored with fresh, frosty root beers and as we began, I had surprised the boys with an order of Buffalo Wings.
“Who is ready for some science?” I asked, bringing up the title screen of my presentation.
“Boo!” shouted Carl. “Get off the stage!”
“Ya can’t heckle him yet,” Blue Beard scolded him. “He ain’t said nothin’ yet.”
“I wanted to get it out early,” said Carl, “in case I had a mouthful of buffalo wing when the opportunity presented itself later.”
“Oh,” replied Blue Beard. “That actually sounds pretty logical and efficient.”
“Last week,” I began, undeterred, “I was asked to present the evidence for the Biblical Creation Model, or as I call it, “What really happened.” Today I shall do just that, keeping in mind that each of these topics could be its own week of discussion, or an hour long lecture by a PhD in the field.”
“And for your brevity,” said Bill, “and for these Buffalo Wings, we thank you.”
“I shall start,” I said, “by contrasting the two models. We remember the Darwinian Tree of Life,” I said showing a familiar image on the screen. “Every living thing, according to it can be traced back through common ancestors until the first common ancestor is reached, which is something like a bacteria. The Creation Model, on the other hand, is not a single tree but rather an orchard.
The evidence is rather simple. One of the problems with the Darwinian Tree of life is a lack of transitional forms. There is the limb representing the turtle kind, which branches off into the many varieties of turtle, and the limb representing the dog kind, branching off into the many varieties of dog, but there is no evidence for there ever having been a half dog, half turtle. Nothing connects those two limbs except wishful thinking and blind faith in evolution. This lack of transitions is on the list of Achilles’ heels for Darwin, but is actually evidence for Creation. For the model built on the Creation account in Genesis shows that the Turtle limb is not a limb, but a separate tree. Similarly, the dog limb is its own tree. Each Kind of animal is its own tree, thus the Orchard.”
“I think you’re forgetting,” said Carl, “that the very definition of Special Creation is that God made all of the species. Everything that lives today was made that way by God according to your holy book, or are you letting science guide you away from the sacred texts?” He gave a buffalo covered smirk.
“As usual, our good friend Carl has brought up a good point which is rooted in a misunderstanding and the modern wave of illiteracy,” I said.
“How do you mean?” Carl demanded.
“I mean,” I replied, “that like many people, you think you know what the Bible says having not read it. It’s not very unlike the way a lot of people, having never read it, think Romeo and Juliet is a romantic comedy.
“The Bible does not say God made the species. What the Bible says that is God created everything according to its KIND. Although to be fair, the word Species did once refer to the created kinds, or, kinds specially created, which is the origin of the word, but in the 1700’s the word started to be used in a different way among some, and so there became a confusion amongst lay persons. Prior to then, one would say there was one dog species, and one turtle species, because species meant the created kind, but the more modern animal classification redefined species to mean variation within a kind, so some people did maintain the position of saying God created the species without realizing that the definition of that word had changed. Thus your confusion, Carl.”
“Don’t feel bad, Carl,” said Blue Beard. “It’s only been three hundred years. We don’t expect you to get caught up that quickly.” He smiled a sea-faring smile and washed down a chuckle with some root beer.
“So how do you define a kind?” asked Tom.
“A good question, Tom,” I said. “Molecular Geneticist Dr. Georgia Purdom says that a kind “represents the basic reproductive boundary of an organism. That is, the offspring of an organism is always the same kind as its parents, even though it may display considerable variation.””
“Consider the orchard. Each tree has a trunk, and all of the branches share core similarities with the trunk. All turtles have common, core turtle features. All bats have common bat traits. The trunk would be the created kind, and the branches would be the varieties which have diversified from that original gene pool.”
“Sounds like descent with modification to me,” said Carl smugly. “I suppose the variations which arise are weeded out through Natural Selection to create the species which are best fit to their environment, or as I like to call it, the Survival of the Fittest.”
“Yes, that’s right,” I replied.
Carl nearly choked. “Did I hear you wrong? Or did you just define your Creation model as working along Evolutionary lines?”
“Apparently you did hear wrong, because I said nothing about Evolution,” I said.
“I have to side with Carl,” said Tom. “You did just call upon descent with modification, Natural Selection, and Survival of the Fittest. Those are all Darwinian ideas.”
“Ah, but this is the very reason we had to define Evolution,” I reminded them. “Because if you recall, none of those idea are Evolution, even if they are used by Evolutionists, Darwin included. Descent with modification happens, as we know it did in the dogs, because of the shuffling of existing genes and the occasional loss of genes from a population. The next generation of dogs is a little different than the last, but not because genes have been added. Thus, new varieties are created, the dog tree grows some new branches, but no evolution has occurred because these changes cannot grow the Darwinian tree of life. These changes will never turn a fish into a lizard. They CAN grow a tree in the Creation Orchard, but they can never grow the Darwinian Tree of Life.”
“Let me refresh yer memories,” offered Blue Beard, pulling out a deck of cards. “The deck has all of the cards in it. Fifty two cards. I shuffle and deal, and I get a hand of cards which was already in the deck. I can do this a million times or more and never get the same hand twice. I can also change the outcomes by leaving a card in the box, or hiding one up my sleeve. But while each successive hand is unique, and different than the last, that’s because the deck was full to start with, and because I shuffle each time I deal.”
“So the model,” Bill added, “would say that the genome of the created kinds were the full deck. They were made with a lot of variations in the original, parent population, and then those genes were shuffled in each following generation, and occasionally lost as time went on.”
“That’s right Bill,” I said. “So the full deck is the created kind. From that original parent kind comes all of the variations that exist. Descent with modification, but due to shuffling or gene loss, not due to the arisal of new genes or new genetic information, which, I will remind us, we have never seen in nature.”
“But you’re still stealing Natural Selection right off the title page of Darwin’s book!” Carl said accusingly.
“Actually,” I replied, “Darwin stole the idea of Natural Selection from a Creation minded Scientists named Edward Blythe, who had published on it several decades before Darwin’s book would be published. He described it just as it is, and as Darwin eventually understood it, as an editor. Nature shuffles the deck but occasionally deals a bad hand- such as a cow with five legs. But because this hinders the cow’s survival or chance of reproduction, the variation is selected out- the cow dies and fails to pass on this trait to offspring- and the species remains more like the created kind than different. Once again, Darwin eventually admitted that Natural Selection was an editor which removed harmful variations and preserved beneficial ones, but he also admitted clearly in writing that Natural Selection does not create any variations. It can only act on variations which already exist.”
“So survival of the fittest,” said Tom, “just means that the beneficial variations survive, where as individuals with harmful variations don’t.”
“That’s it exactly,” I said. “The genes in a created kind can create a huge range of variations in the population, both by shuffling and occasionally losing genes, such as we’ve done by breeding dogs. But we’ve made a lot of different dog variations which would never survive in the wild. In nature, those variations would be unfit to any environment, and would be removed by natural means because they are unfit. Those dogs which are more wolf-like would survive in some environments because they are more fit to survive.
“Again, it’s not evolution. It’s just the natural equivalent of market factors determining the success of sales for a particular product already developed. It doesn’t develop products, it just determines if they will continue to be produced. Good sales insure more production of one product, and poor sales insures a variation on the same product will stop being produced and will disappear.”
This was a language Tom understood, and he nodded in agreement.
“But that still leaves you with one big evolutionary idea in your model,” said Carl. “Common Ancestry.”
“Actually,” I replied, “that just leaves Evolution having stolen another idea from Biblical Creation. Common Ancestry is just that. Some members of a species came from common grandparents. You and I come from the same great great grandparents, if we go back far enough through our own family trees. Darwin would tell you that your great great great grandmother was a rock. Literally, a rock. But unlike Darwin, the Biblical model says kinds come from the same kind, which is what we always observe in nature. The common ancestor of all dogs is a dog. The common ancestor of all turtles is a turtle. Everything reproduces according to its kind, just as Genesis says. We’ve never seen anything to the contrary. A litter of bunnies may look different than the parent bunnies, but they are still going to be bunnies, and not some kind of fish, or tomato.”
“So if I’m gathering all of the information,” said Tom, “you’d say the created kind is defined by having a genetically rich first ancestral pair or population, which had all of the genes that the members of the kind today still have, but the original collection of genes has been disseminated and sometimes lost due to Natural Selection.”
“Something like that,” I said. “Some will add that the created kind is either able or historically were able to reproduce with members of their own kind, even when not members of the same species. Depending on how you define species.”
“How’s that?” asked Blue Beard. “You saying some members of a kind can’t reproduce with their own kind?”
“Consider dogs,” I said. “If you try to breed a Labrador and a Poodle, you can get a Labradoodle. But if you try to breed a Chihuahua with a Mastiff, you probably don’t get anything but a frustrated Chihuahua and an annoyed Mastiff. Those two varieties have lost too many genes or been shuffled too far to breed together, but they both come from past generations of dogs which would have been able to interbreed. So they still share common dog features, and can breed with other dogs, but not with each other. I know its possible to breed a Chihuahua with a Beagle to get a… well, whatever you call that. Beaghuahua? Anyway, I suspect it is also possible to breed a Mastiff with a Beagle, or at least possible to breed a Mastiff with a dog that CAN breed with a Beagle. So, even if it if several varieties separated, we can show that they are the same KIND because they can breed with others members of the same kind.
“We now know you can breed a camel and a lama to make a calamal, or a comma. This means that they are both descended from the same created kind. The same is true with lions and tigers, and with polar bears and black bears, and zebras and horses and donkeys. On the other side, you will never successfully breed a camel with a tomato or a whale or a finch. Or to broaden it, you will be able to breed any two dogs either with each other, or with other dogs which can then breed with each other, but no variety of dog will ever be able to breed with any variety of turtle, moose, or tomato.”
“So, would the created kinds for some animal groups be what we call the family, class, or order? Tom asked.
“In some cases, yes,” I answered, “but sometimes it’s not that clear. Rarely is it going to be anything we call a species, but again it depends on how you define species.”
My friends all acknowledged their understanding with the consumption of another buffalo wing, and so I continued.
“There is an important historical event which effects the Creation Model,” I said, “which is the flood of Noah. It happened about a thousand years after the creation. In the study of the created kinds, this is called a Genetic Bottleneck. What that means is, the variations which existed at the time of the flood had all of the genes of the created kinds, but only two of each kind were taken on the ark.”
“Hang on!” said Carl. “Are you trying to whittle down the guest list on the world’s oldest floating zoo by saying that Noah took two of every KIND and not SPECIES? Sounds like a convenient fix for a logistic problem in your Ark fable.”
“What does the Bible say, Carl?” I asked. “Does it say Noah took two of every species, or two of every kind?”
“It… well, I don’t know,” he admitted.
“It says kind,” I informed him. “But then again, when the Bible was first translated into English, no one distinguished between Species and Kind like we do today. So the four hundred variations of dog we have today are the great grand puppies of possibly a single pair of dogs on the Ark. The fact is, none of today’s dog varieties existed until AFTER the flood. You won’t find Poodles in the fossils.”
“So let me paint the picture thus far,” said Blue Beard. “God creates the orchard in the first week, over a couple of days. The orchard- the full genetic deck- fans out into probably a wide variety of interesting critters, many of which are still preserved in fossils, but then the flood comes along, and so the trees each get pruned down to one pair per tree taking a year long non-pleasure cruise. Then, from them whats got on the Ark, the varieties of the kinds which we have today descended from those sea faring great grandparents. That sound about right?”
“Yes indeed, Blue Beard,” I replied. “And I think you just discovered why you love the open waters. It’s somewhere in the blood of all of our ancestors.”
“It might also explain sea sickness in land locked persons such as myself,” added Bill.
“Now the key point here,” I said, “is that the Genesis account calls for plants and animals reproducing according to their kinds, and that is exactly what we observe. Evolution, on the other hand, demands that plants and animals give rise to different kinds. On Darwin, dogs came from non-dogs at some point in their past, and turtles came from non-turtles. But we never observe this, and have no evidence of it ever happening. Nothing spanning two kinds is found alive now or in any fossil ever discovered. So, in a nutshell, that is the Creation Orchard, and a basic summary of the Creation Model.”
“Say, I just remembered something,” said Blue Beard suddenly, rummaging through his coat pockets. “Speakin’ of a summary of the Creation Model. When we was first talking about this, many Nachos ago, I had got us talking about what evolution was not. Here it is.” He pulled out a small parchment and read part of it to us.
“Biblical Creation is, and evolution is not:
- Creation by an intelligent designer
- A great deal of functional genetic information in the past gradually decaying over time into less functional genetic information.
- A great deal of genetic information in the beginning of a kind being disseminated through subsequent generations so that genes are lost over time.
- Animals reproducing only within the genetic boundaries of their kinds, and no kind ever giving rise to a different kind.
- Animal kinds and even species remaining the same for very long periods of time.
“Hang on,” interjected Carl “We already decided that extinctions aren’t any more a part of the Creation story than it is the Evolution story.”
“Oh, fair nuff,” replied Blue Beard. “I guess everyone’s got room for that in their story.”
“Let me take these from the bottom up,” I said, taking Blue Beard’s parchment. “Number five, Animal kinds and even species remaining the same for very long periods of time. This is just stasis, which we discussed when we talked about fossils. If you accept the evolutionary dates, you see animal and plant kinds staying the same for long periods of time. Of course, I don’t accept those dates, so there’s no long time, but there’s also no changing. In the fossils we find bats and turtles and dogs and camels and horse shoe crabs, and in nature today, we find all of those guys. And nowhere do we find any of them turning into something different. There’s no half crab, half tomato, or half dog half cabage. Stasis is just plant and animal kinds reproducing according to their kind, just like Genesis says.”
“And number four,” said Bill, “Animals reproducing only within the genetic boundaries of their kinds, and no kind ever giving rise to a different kind, is just a restating of that idea again. Plant and animal kinds reproducing according to their kind. It’s the old testament non-evolution clause.”
“Number three,” I continued, “A great deal of genetic information in the beginning of a kind being disseminated through subsequent generations so that genes are lost over time, is just a genetic description of the orchard. The base of each tree, for example, the created dog kind, had a perfect genome with a lot of variation built into it. The dogs of today, while very wide in variations, are the results of the genes being shuffled or lost.
“Number two, A great deal of functional genetic information in the past gradually decaying over time into less functional genetic information, kind of piggy backs on three, because it explains how mutations can cause the break down of existing genes, which logically means the genes were more perfect in the past and are getting worse over time. This fits perfectly with the observation of genetic entropy. Once again, while evolution says DNA accidentally wrote itself, and then gained new genes by misspellings, Creation says God designed living things and wrote the DNA code, and since the fall the code has been breaking down. It makes a lot more sense and fits what we have been learning in genetics for fifty years.
“And of course, number one, an intelligence is the only possible cause of information and irreducibly complex chemical and mechanical systems. Every living cell is a system of information and machines more complex than the Star Ship Enterprise, so there is no logical alternative to intelligent design.”
“So you’ve got a model,” said Carl. “So do the Flat Earthers. What does it prove?”
“Well, consider the model and known and observed data thus far,” I said. “The model calls for evidence of intelligent design, and every cell and every genome has that by the boatload.
“The model calls for plants and animals to reproduce according to their kinds, and this is all we’ve ever seen, and there is no evidence from the lab or fossils which would suggest anything different is even possible. Genetic entropy points toward a more complete and perfect genome in the past, just as Creation would imply, and regardless of your view on the age of the earth, all we see in the fossil record is stasis- meaning animal and plant kinds showing up fully formed and staying the kind they are for as long as they were on earth. So far I’d say we’re doing fairly well.”
“But what about all of them mechanisms of evolution,” said Blue Beard. “Whats any of them got to do with it?”
“Ah, yes,” I said, locating my next slide in the presentation. “I figured we could go through those and separate fact from fiction in light of the Creation model.
First of course was Natural Selection, and as we said, it works as an editor to keep the kind fairly consistent while allowing the great diversity in the genome to be expressed. No new genes are made, no evolution occurring, but it shows nature working to keep the created kinds themselves. No two headed turtles or five legged cows becoming the norm anywhere.
“Then there was genetic drift/migration. All this means is that animals and plants can be found in different places over time. Its such a non issue that I can’t believe that we’re even talking about it. In short, it doesn’t prove much when it comes to the Creation model, accept to validate the idea that animals could hop off of Noah’s boat and travel all over the earth, adapting to their new environments due to their diversity in their genome.”
“You mean they evolve to fit their environment!” interjected Carl.
“No,” I replied. “I mean they already had enough diversity in their genes and in their populations that, in any environment, some were able to survive. But of course, over time this means that the populations in the frozen tundra start to look a lot different than the populations in the sub Sahara, even if we’re just talking dogs. This is what we call “Speciation,” meaning that a unique variation becomes different from and geographically isolated from members of the same kind who are adapted to a different environment. Evolution can’t help in cases like this because, evolution allegedly takes many generations to create new genes, yet if the present population can’t survive the summer and the winter, the whole species goes extinct. Thus, a dense genome at the start makes sense of what we see happening far more than the hope that evolution will come through at the last second.
“Decent with modification we acknowledged doesn’t mean a whole lot, and can be a phrase easily applied to the kinds which diversify as they adapt.
“We took a look at vestigial organs and structures, but of course those imply a greater amount of structure and genetic information in the past, which goes right along with Creation and very much opposed to Evolution.
“Mutations are almost always harmful, which tells us that they are the corruption of existing information and never the creation of new information. But of course that still points toward a perfect genome for every kind in the past gradually decaying through mutations over time.
“Fossils are great evidence for the global flood. First, the fossils as we actually find them are random, often having land and sea creatures combined. But even more so, the vast majority of fossils found anywhere are marine invertebrates, like clams. This defends the idea that the entire earth was covered with ocean in the past. Whole herds of dinosaur and whole pods of whales have been found buried quickly together. And while we find some species in the fossils which no longer exist, we still find the kinds clearly distinct, and almost all of them the same as they are today, save a few minor variations.
“We saw that molecular clocks were unreliable at best, but have been used to prove that the human race had a female ancestor in common about six thousand years ago. So if you accept molecular clocks, you have evidence for Adam and Eve, about six thousand years ago. If you don’t accept molecular clocks, I don’t really blame you.
“And finally, homologous features show common design, which we would expect if the designer was a brilliant engineer. He made use of the best solutions for each kind depending on their needs, and sometimes used similar design or similar code, just as automotive designers or computer programmers do today. But then, we also concluded that we could not call two features homologous unless a certain evolutionary tree was accepted first. The only observable fact here is similar design, which, as I have said, easily implies a common designer. The alternative is, once again, evolution is used as evidence for evolution, which is meaningless circular reasoning and should never be mistaken for science.
“In conclusion, Creation fits the facts, and Evolution is the Faith the Facts have Failed.”
A smattering of applause from my friends told me that the buffalo wings were almost gone. But I had one more segment of my presentation to share.
“The last topic I wish to address, which is not strictly necessary to the topic, is why all of this matters. Why does someone like me even bother to learn about the science behind creation instead of taking the easy way out and doing what so many have done in America since the 60’s blinded us with drugs and bad music and merely say, “OK, evolution is a fact, but God did it and that was what Genesis chapter one really means anyway.”? The simple answer is: The Gospel.
“While many people have been able to staple Genesis and deep time/evolution like stapling a frog to a chicken’s backside, far more have found that solution unbelievable, and have decided that they will reject the Bible for what they believe to be science. The statistics are bleak gentlemen. Around 60% of the kids growing up in church youth groups are going to leave the church in college, never to return. They are fed this deep time, Big Bang, evolution drivel and, because their college professors tell them it is scientific fact, they reject the Bible from cover to cover in one unfortunate and ill advised swoop. But this means they have distanced themselves from God, and thus are lost in their sins.
See, everyone knows the bad news. We are all sinners, or, as we like to excuse it, “Nobody’s perfect.” But the truth is, our sins don’t fade over time, even if the memory of them does. We need the debt of our sins to be paid, but we can’t pay it. But God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus paid the debt we owed by giving himself as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that God could justly forgive us and adopt us as sons and daughters.
That’s the gospel, the good news. We are saved from our sins and the judgment to come through putting our trust in Jesus. But when people are taught to reject the Bible, when they are told it’s been proven it wrong, they reject salvation and remain enemies of God.
This is why this conversation is worth having. We are not the result of blind, random, accidental processes over millions of years. If I may be so bold as to quote a famous story telling tomato, “God made you special, and he loves you very much.”
It was only moments before Wendy arrived with our weekly tour de Nacho, but I think we all had a lot to think about in addition to having lots to consume. Soon our talk wandered off onto other things, but what is more important to you than what we talked about next, is what you will do next. You have heard the case. You have been given the facts. Will you follow the evidence where it leads? Will you acknowledge the work of our loving God, Creator of heaven and earth? Will you learn to see yourself as the purposeful work of a great artist, a person wonderfully made in the image of God? And most importantly, will you accept the free gift of Salvation through Jesus Christ?
I hope you do.
Thanks for letting me be your Rent-A-Friend, and happy Nachos!