Saturday, January 21, 2006

the scopes trial (the monkey trial)

After spending a weekend with Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis, I have come to appreciate the truth of Scripture over unproven theories.
For example, do people really understand the Scopes trial from 1925? Do people really know that Mr. Scopes was a pre-law student, and only taught in the school system for one year? Did you know that he was not a biology teacher, nor a science teacher for that matter. Did you know he taught physical education and was a football coach for one year in Dayton, Tennessee? He taught science class for two weeks at the end of the year, filling in for an ill teacher. Did you know that Mr. Scopes confessed that he did not even remember teaching a lesson on evolution? It is interesting to find out ACLU's involvement in the case.
I was unaware of how fictional the movie "Inherit the Wind" is. This is the so-called movie of the 1925 Scopes trial. The trial was supposedly about charging Scopes with teaching that man did came from a lower level of animal. The trial really was about the truth of the beginning of human life: creation or evolution. The movie does not portray actual, historical facts. Hollywood, again, has changed the facts of the trial and has a bias towards the truth of Scripture. For example: I did not know they changed the names of all the people in the movie so they could have poetic license to change the facts and the truth.

Several questions that the evolutionist has not been able to answer:
1) Who was there in the beginning to record the Big Bang?
2) Where are all the missing link fossils at?
3) Mt St. Helens...left layer after layer of sedimentary rock. oh yeah, how long did that take?
(p.s. not millions of years)
4) How come we haven't seen species evolving into other species? Surely, ape giving birth to a human should have happened again? right? why did it stop?

Evolution is not an observatory science. It is not even a scientific theory, because you cannot test whether evolution is true or not. Why not? Because it takes "millions of years."

The debate over creation and evolution is not based on facts. The facts are the same for both arguments. I take refuge in the first verse of the Holy Scriptures, that God recorded for us.
"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth!"

5 comments:

gretchenjohnson said...

The scopes trial was basically pushed by the media and not even by scopes himself. Yes, that movie if full of lies, and yes, it is still being shown in public schools today presented as facts.

Nate said...

One more reason why Christian families have an obligation to NOT SEND THIER CHILDREN TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

Nathan Zamprogno said...

Good Lord preserve us. Where does one even begin to try to unravel you from the web of lies, simplistic medieval thinking and horsefeathers your head has been filled with?

As a fellow Christian, it's with some sadness I say that you've been fraternising with a cult. Let's start with a working definition:

"A cult, then, is any religious movement, which claims the backing of Christ or the Bible, but distorts the central message of Christianity by 1) an additional revelation, and 2) by displacing a fundamental tenet of the faith with a secondary matter." (Gordon Lewis, Confronting the Cults)

Your friends at Answers In Genesis state that unless you believe that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, you cannot be a fulfilled or effective Christian (the claim is clearly made on their website). I suspect that Young Earth Creationism may be prevalent, even dominant, in your corner of the world, but the majority, the overwhelming majority of Christians elsewhere, including Europe, and here in Australia, do not subscribe to this fantasy, and take it as an insult that people like Ken Ham choose to slight and malign our faith in Jesus by stating that if we don't subscribe to his shonky theories then somehow we are less effective (or "compromised" to use his term) as Christians. They purport to be an evangelical organisation but their website and written material shows how they displace a fundamental tenet of faith (the Gospel of Jesus, which they mention as an afterthought) with a secondary matter (the age of the Earth and God's method of creation). That, my friend, is a cult.

I am familiar with the specific claims you raise in your post, as they are well-worn standards of Answers In Genesis presentations. I have studied them and their works for many years and it seems nothing is new in their standard spiel.

The tragedy is that these claims are so easily refuted, and have been repeatedly, for so long, that AiG have the nerve to continue to offer them with a straight face. All I can do is implore you to take what you have heard and do some real research. For one thing, read Ken Miller's excellent book "Finding Darwin's God". Professor Miller is a committed Christian and Scientist. He neatly picks apart Creationist arguments in a Christ-honouring way.

I'll touch briefly on your favoured points (assuming that they struck you as the strong ones of Mr Ham's presentation)

"Who recorded the Big Bang?": This is offered as a standard introduction into the "Science is based on observation, but no one was around to see the Big Bang except God, so declaring the Big Bang 'scientific' is an act of faith. Why not ask the one who was there?" My advice: dont' confuse acts with their causes. The fact that a big bang occurred has been proved by astronomers and the echo of it can still be detected in all kinds of ways (microwave background emission, cosmic red shift etc). No, it's not as though you can see that evidence through a different 'lens' of assumptions (like that what we're observing only happened thousands of years ago) and have the same evidence fit these different assumptions if only you 'aren't biased'. Such assumptions and the unbiased evidence are irreconcilable. The Universe is Billions of years old. Get over it. This does not prove or disprove God one iota. Again, acts and causes. Astronomy has nothing to say about the cause of the big bang, even if Mr Ham wants you to beleive that it's been cooked up to do away with God.

"Where are the missing links": An old, old lie. There are thousands of fossils demonstrating transitional forms, and even a tiny amount of research shows papers detailing all the transitional forms between, say, the common anscestor of the African and Asian elephants and their descendants today. Mr Ham says there are "no transitional fossils". He is lying, he has known he's been lying for years, and it's not like Scientists shuffle their feet in embarassment when this claim comes up. All they need to do is whump down 10 or 20 pounds worth of scientific papers based on the wealth of fossils that have been found that completely demolish Mr Ham's claim. But who among the congregation Mr Ham preached to will bother to do that kind of research? Very few, and Mr Ham counts on it. Just so long as the collection plate has already passed by to fund his Creation Museum before people wise up.

"Mount St Helens strata": Yes, volcanicly caused stratafication can happen rapidly. So? Can glacial varve sets be persuaded to form so quickly? No. Can Rubidium be persuaded to decay into Strontium in less than billion-year timescales? No. Has the speed of light decayed over historical time to permit the light from distant galaxies to arrive with only the 'appearance' of age? No.
The onus of proof Mr Ham carries is not "can layers of rock form quickly", because St Helens proves what we already knew, and that's yes. It's no dirty secret in geology. Mr Ham would have to prove all natural processes, from the speed of light, to the decay of radioactive isotopes, to the geology of every major feature on Earth (including the arrangements of entire continents), had to happen in 6000 years, not just one or two processes. He can't.

"Why don't we see an ape give birth to a human again": Did Ken Ham actually say that? Are you kidding? Please tell me you're paraphrasing, or stretching the point he was trying to make. It's so breathtakingly inane and ignorant I'm hesitant to even take it on. Evolution is a process. It takes millions of years. Change accrues by tiny degrees. Apes didn't suddenly give birth to humans any more than you were brought by the stork. We are not descended from Chimps, or Gorillas, or Orangutans. They evolved beside Homo Sapiens, and are evolving today, right alongside us, seeking to be better adapted to their environments like we are adapted to ours.

If you have swallowed what Mr Ham has said then you have decreased the amount of human wisdom at large in the world, and that's something we can ill-afford. Creationist ministries do an immeasurable amount of harm by dispensing ignorance and lies about the world, and about how we should read the Bible. They count on people like you not going on and researching the real truth- the one that confirms that Science and Christian Faith are entirely compatible, and that the vista Science has opened for us in our lifetime ennobles and enlarges the wonder of the Lord's creation, not done away with it.

Whether Mr Scopes taught PE or Biology is profoundly beside the point. Are you smart enough to find out the real truth, or will you stay duped? I'd suggest you go over to the talkorigins
website and start reading. Why not post back here on what you find.

In the meantime, feel free to drop by my website
and have a read of more of what I believe. Cheers.

karl said...

Nathan,
so glad you found this website. Listen, I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, the 4 points I made are mostly my own thoughts, not Ken Ham's so don't be mad at him). Second of all, do you believe that the Bible is true?
If you do, then the Bible clearly teaches that God formed man out of dust, and woman out of man. If you do not believe this to be true, then you believe the Bible is a lie. The Bible teaches several times that Adam was the first man and Eve was the first woman.
Ken Ham believes that creation is the foundation of the Gospel story, and I agree. Can someone be a Christian and deny the biblical creation story? Yes.
To be a Christian:
1) admit that I'm a sinner (romans 3:23, we all are sinners)
2) believe in the triune God. (the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, which we see from the beginning with Hebrew word and grammar with Elohim, Jesus' baptism, 2 Cor 13:14, Matthew 28:20)
3) believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for my sins (John 3:16, Romans 3:24-5, 10:9-10).
so yes, someone can be saved without believing creation story. Sadly, I think that believing in species evolution into other species is compromising what Scripture teaches.

you state that the big bang was proved by astronomers? where is this proof? we need to get it out to the masses if this is so true!

please let us know where these "thousands of transitional fossils are?" by the way, if evolution is correct, there should be billions of fossils alone, since the earth is "millions of years old."

anyway, thanks for finding my humble little site.

ps are you mad because ken ham moved out of australia? do you miss him?

tanyawells said...

Remember when you where behind us on the elescalator and we didn't even know it? That's funny right there I don't care who ya are! Thanks for making a blog Karl. Thanks for living in New Jersey and for having a little chubby dog and a pregnant wife, and for having tevo, and crate and barrel corn.