"...but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (1 Jno. 4:1)

McDonald's Fourth Defense

Mr. Hadley and respected readers:

   I am once again pleased to be back with you in defense of my proposition and to respond to the article that you have just read. As before I will respond to things that Tedd had to say and then I will advance my affirmative material further. Again I want to compliment Mr. Hadley on his fine attitude in this debate and I strive diligently to match it.

   Mr. Hadley states that he doesn't believe that the existence of God cannot be disproved with certainty, but he believes that it is possible to demonstrate that the "God of the Bible as interpreted literally within the framework of Christian fundamentalism is not likely to exist." I am not certain as to what he means by "interpreted literally within the framework of Christian fundamentalism," but if he means to say that the God of the Bible as stated in the Bible, then I would ask him what makes him think that there is any God, if the God of the Bible doesn't exist. Where does he get his information about the attributes of this God he thinks might or might not exist if he doesn't get them from the Bible? Why couldn't it be that the God of the Bible is the one, true and living God?

   He tells us that he rejects theistic (God-directed) evolution on the same basis that he rejects creation. He finds it "plausible and logical that entirely natural forces are responsible for life on this planet and therefore there is no need to invoke any kind of supernatural interference." He doesn't understand theistic evolution if he rejects it on that basis. Theistic evolution says that there is a God, but God allowed all life to come into existence by purely natural forces; he didn't interfere with it at all. What I wrote last time about God intervening at times is not part of the doctrine of theistic evolution. Theistic evolutionists believe that the only time that God intervened was when he gave man a soul. Other than this, they believe that he stayed out of the picture and let things evolve naturally. The statement I made was my own inference, not something that theistic evolution propagates.

   Tedd then tells us that he will defend the theistic evolutionist because his philosophy is willing to "address the majority of the body of evidence in favor of evolution. In this respect" he says "theistic evolution is superior to creationism because the latter typically dismisses the evidence outright." In other words, the theistic evolutionist agrees with Tedd on evolution so he will defend him regardless of how absurd the position is. The position is false because the theistic evolutionist believes in God, and even Tedd understands this: "(t)heistic evolution does paint a rather inconsistent portrait of an omnipotent creator, I agree." If I was to say: "(t)heistic evolution does paint a rather inconsistent portrait of an omnipotent creator, I agree. However, I will defend the theistic evolutionist on one point: his philosophy is willing to address the majority of the body of evidence in favor of God's existence. In this respect, theistic evolution is superior to atheistic evolution because the latter typically dismisses the evidence outright" Tedd would be quick to point out that I am inconsistent for defending the theistic evolutionist even on this point. He would point out that it is "logical that entirely natural forces are responsible for life on this planet and therefore there is no need to invoke any kind of supernatural interference" thus my defense of the theistic evolutionist would be irrational and illogical. So I do the same. Tedd's defense of the theistic evolutionist is irrational and illogical. If it is logical that entirely natural forces are responsible for life on this planet, then there is no need of a creator. Since evolution and creation are in total opposition to each other anyone who holds to both of them is inconsistent and anyone who defends those who hold to both is inconsistent.

   Tedd tells us that he is not sure why I state that there is not enough time for evolution to work. He asks: "(w)hy isn't 4 billion years enough?" Herbert H. Ross said that "evolution operates on a highly complicated set of actions and processes. Measured in terms of year-to-year change, evolution is slow as it is complex" (Understanding Evolution, p.1). Mr. Ross stated that "(a)ccording to the explosion theory, the beginning of our present universe started at a time when all matter had collapsed from space into a tremendous glob of primordial matter. In this presumed glob, pressures and temperatures became so high (the temperature is estimated to have been about a billion degrees) that the matter was dissociated into neutrons (bits of matter smaller than atoms). Presumably at this point of greatest contraction, the internal pressure literally blew the glob of neutrons apart, or started expanding it. This matter has been expanding ever since...If the explosion theory is correct, the time since the actual explosion can be computed from the rate of expansion in the universe to be about 20 billion years." (Ibid, p.13). According to the steady state theory Mr. Ross says: "the universe would always have had the same general appearance; it could have had in infinite past and could continue for an infinite time into the future" (Ibid, p.14). Those are the two theories he looked at. I don't think that Mr. Hadley holds to the steady state theory because he has admitted on the challenge list that matter was not eternal. Thus we have the explosion theory and according to Ross this happened, roughly, 20 billion years ago.

   During this 20 billion year period you have to have the earth forming along with the rest of the planets and stars. Skipping down to the formation of the earth Mr. Ross states: "Age determinations form radioactive elements indicate that the crust of the earth is at least 4 billion years old. The earth itself is probably about 4.5 to 5 billion years. And so far all we have is lifelessness. It took at least 15 billion years for the universe to come into existence as well as the planet earth on which no life existed.

   Now, sometime during the last 4.5 to 5 billion years life, on this planet, came into existence from lifelessness. Mr. Hadley seems to think 4 billion years is enough to bring life from lifelessness. How and when did life begin? What caused it? What caused that which caused it? Can this be duplicated today? These are just four of the many questions that can be legitimately asked to the evolutionist.

   In answer to the first question Mr. Ross says: "Life evolved in shallow waters more than 2 1/2 billion years ago from mixtures of organic compounds probably produced by heat and light" (Ibid, p.90). According to some evolutionists early life came about as a result of amino acids (proteins) and Nucleic acids getting together with organic phosphorous compounds in some shallow water and starting life. Let me ask a question here? Would it be possible, today, to mix these same contents in a shallow tank of water and have life come into existence? How long would this process take? Would it be instantaneous, or would it take a week, a month, a year, a decade, a century or even a millennium? You might say that I don't know the exact amount of these chemicals to start this life, and you would be correct. However, did evolution know just how much of these chemicals it would take to start life? How long would it take evolution to get it right? How long would it take evolution to get all these chemicals in the right puddle of water at just the right time, in just the right environment, in just the right spot, so that they could all get together and form the first life on this earth? What are the odds that evolution (which doesn't think, which is purely by chance) would get all of the right amounts of all of these chemicals in just the right puddle of water, in just the right environment and in just the right spot for life to take place? That's why I say that it would take more than 4 billion years to do it. One has to make a lot of presumptions and assumptions in order to get evolution working right.

   Tedd informs us that we need a precise definition of life and tells us that by some definitions a virus is alive and by others it isn't. Then he gives us what he thinks is a precise definition of life: "the only requirement for life is 1) reproduction 2) with errors (mutation)." Thus implying that the virus is alive, it is a living entity. Hmmm...does this mean that it is morally wrong for us to try and kill virus' out? Maybe we ought to stop trying to kill virus' and just let them do their job. Maybe natural selection has selected them to kill out the human race so a more advanced race can come on the scene. Or maybe these virus' have been selected by natural selection to cause us to mutate into some greater advanced level of the evolutionary scale. Or maybe the virus is just the next step in man's evolution. Maybe all these virus' that we are trying desperately to kill are just evolved humans. Who knows, maybe we are hindering evolution by fighting virus'. Okay, Tedd, next time you get a virus don't go to the doctor, just let it run its course because after all it does reproduce and it does mutate. :) Therefore it is alive by your own definition of the word "life." I don't think you have a very precise definition of life...try again. However, I thought it strange that you would define "mutation" as "error." We'll look at that closer later on. :)

   Now, just what was it that caused the life? According to some evolutionists early life came about as a result of amino acids (proteins) and Nucleic acids getting together with organic phosphorous compounds in some shallow water and starting life. However, that doesn't answer the question. What caused the amino acids and nucleic acids to start life? As I asked earlier, if you put those compounds in just the right environment and in just the right proportions, would it cause life today? If so, then why isn't it being done? Tedd is trying to jump ahead to where life is already in existence, but that won't do. In order to propagate the evolutionary theory he must explain how life got started in the first place. This is something that neither he, nor any other evolutionists, will ever be able to do.

   How is it possible for these molecules, that Tedd told us about, to duplicate and mutate into what we have today? Is this being done so that scientists can observe life evolving? Are there any documented cases where these molecules have evolved into humanity today? What about dogs? What about plants? Can what Tedd is describing be done in a lab today? If not, then all he has is theory, no proof.

   He informs us that I am wrong about most mutations being harmful. Well, I quoted one of his own people, and his response was: "I can respond that the vast majority of evolutionists disagree with Michael Denton. A critique of some of the problems in Denton's book can be found at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/denton.html". The article that he refers to was written by a 3rd year grad student at the University of Illinois named Mark Vuletic, born in 1974. Michael Denton is a molecular biologist who has his Ph.D in this field. Let us notice four of his objections to Dr. Denton's statement: "a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from the self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe it is."

   Mr. Vuletic says that even the evolutionists who agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky (who said that nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution) would be surprised by Denton's suggestion. Vuletic says that evolutionists do not believe that macroevolution is an a priori truth, but rather, they believe that the evidence for evolution compels any good scientist to accept it as an a posteriori truth. The difference between the two words is that a priori means: "reasoning from self-evident propositions" (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, p.56) and a posteriori means: "reasoning from observed facts" (Ibid, p.53). Now my question is just what facts have scientists observed that would necessitate macroevolution? Vuletic mentioned a few of them so let's look at four of them.

   A. The gradation of organisms in systematics. This, I assume, is talking about organisms forming successive stages. This is nothing more than reproduction and mutation. How does this prove evolution? Can these organisms evolve into something that is outside of their boundaries? In other words can one type of animal evolve into another type of animal, or must it simply change its present state and better (or worsen) itself. That is the theory of evolution isn't it; that one type of animal can evolve into a completely different type? Where is the observable data which compels scientists to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth?

   B. The Biogeographical distribution of species. This has to do with natural selection and adaptation. You see evolutionists teach that different species are selected to live and even to live in different parts of the world and that they adapt (purely by chance) to that environment. They see this as a great proof of macroevolution. I see it as a great proof for special creation and the existence of God. God made all life with the ability to adapt to the present environment. But this took thought, planning and design. Macroevolution (natural selection) has no thought, there was no planning and there was no designed. It happened purely by chance as evolutionist Peter Volpe stated: "Purely by chance, some varieties prove to be ill adapted to their current environment and thus disappear, whereas others prove to be adaptive and their numbers increase" (Evolution, by Peter Volpe, Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia). I see no proof, here, for macroevolution. Just how does this prove macroevolution? Where is the observable data which compels scientists to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth?

   C. The existence of homologous and vestigial structures as demonstrated in comparative analogy, embryology and molecular biology. This can be broken down into two parts {a} homology which argues that because there are similar structures that there was common ancestry, and {b} vestigial organs which argues that we have some structures (organs) left over from our non-human ancestors which we do not use. Let us look at {a} first. We do have structures that are similar to those of animals. However, this does not mean that man and animals had the same ancestors. We have some organs like those of pigs, but that doesn't mean that we had the same ancestors. All it means is that God had a working pattern and there was no reason to change it. There are differences between man and animals, but the evolutionist says that these differences don't mean that we had different ancestors, so why say that similar structures mean that we have the same ancestors? I'm sorry, I don't see observable data here which compels scientists to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth. What is there in the argument that we have some similar structures that necessitates the conclusion that man and animals had common ancestors? Now for {b}, the vestigial structures. A structure is not vestigial if we have ever used it. They used to claim that the appendex was a vestigial organ until they found out that a very rich blood supply flowed through it now it is no longer classified as a vestigial organ. It was useful in infancy and therefore it is not a vestigial organ. What are these vestigial structures that we have. The Bible tells us that each member of the body is useful in some way (1 Cor. 12:12-24). The assumption is that we have evolved so far that these structures are no longer important. Well, if we have evolved that far why haven't these structures evolved out of us. Why is that every human has them, still? The truth is that our organs are important to carry out some function at some time during our life. We don't use the navel for anything today, but before we were born it was quite useful. Without it we would never have lived long enough to be born. So the navel can't be considered a vestigial structure. Where is the observable data that vestigial structures compel scientists to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth? I'm sorry I just don't see it.

   D. Then there is the presence of transitional forms and gradual sequences in the fossil record. The fossil record really does a lot of damage to macroevolution. They are still hunting the missing link between human and non-human. O...they say that the changes were so gradual that you can't find the exact being when it stopped being a non-human and started being a human, but this is just a smoke-screen to hide their inability to find the missing link between human and non-human. Now while I am not asking Tedd to find that exact time in man's history; the fossil record, if it really upholds evolution, should be able to pin point the exact time when the thing that was fully non-human evolved into something that was partially human (even if it had only one human characteristic), but the fossil record does not show such to be the case. This is why they contend that you could look carefully and never find the exact moment in time that the fully non-human ever gave rise (either by birth or transformation {including mutation}) to that being that had even one human characteristic. The reason they can't find it is because it isn't there. As hard as they have looked, they would be able to find it if it was there. Therefore I don't see where the fossil record gives observable data which compels scientists to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth.

   Well if the gradation of organisms, the biogeographical distribution of species, the existence of similarities of structures and the vestigial structures and the fossil record doesn't give them observable data to accept macroevolution as an a posteriori truth, then it must be the case that they accept it as an a priori truth. That is that they reason from self-evident propositions that evolution is a fact. They can't observe it. The fossil record doesn't demonstrate it. The similarities of structures don't prove it. The vestigial argument doesn't show it. The biogeographical distribution argument doesn't prove it and the gradation of organisms don't prove that it is a fact. Yet, they will continue to accept it, so they must accept it as an a priori truth, exactly what Dr. Denton said. So where is the devastating evidence that Dr. Denton is not correct in his statement about mutations?

   As was stated earlier Tedd defined "mutation" as "error." Error is not a good thing, or at least I have always been taught such. Error is defined as: "an act that through ignorance, deficiency, or accident departs from or fails to achieve what should be done" (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, p.385). Now if mutations are errors then mutations are acts that through deficiency or accidents depart from and fails to achieve what should be done. Yet Tedd is trying to make it sound as if mutations are good things or at least neutral. He says that: "(m)ost mutations are neutral, actually." So they neither help nor harm. Most of them are useless as far as macroevolution is concerned. With this being the case, how can Tedd say that "mutation is the mechanism that was used in evolution to bring man from his earliest form to what we have today"? Most mutations are useless when it comes to evolution. Then he states "(h)owever, it is true that harmful mutations probably outnumber beneficial mutations. Harmful mutations, though, typically result in the death of an organism outright, culling that mutation from the population." From Tedd we learn that most mutations are useless in evolution to bring man from where he began to where is presently is, and that of the mutations that are not neutral, most of them are harmful thus causing the death of the organism. Only a small portion of these mutations are beneficial, according to Tedd, but he wants us to believe that these few beneficial mutations are responsible for all the wonderful systems that we have: the eye, the lungs, the liver, the heart, etc.,. Sorry, just can't buy it. So what was my eye supposed to have been? If it was caused by a mutation then that mutation (since Tedd has defined mutations as errors) was a failure to achieve what should have been. Everything that a mutation has ever supposedly done (according to Tedd) was a mistake and what should have taken place did not take place because of an error (a mutation) which departed from the right path. So we are here because of mistakes in nature.

   Next Tedd brings up the chimp named "Lucy" who has an accident in the middle of the floor which her trainer, Roger Fauts, observes. Roger asks her who did it and Lucy tells him (through sign language) that she does not know. Upon being interrogated she falsely places the blame on "Sue" (whoever that is). Then she places the blame on "Roger." Then finally she admits that she did it. This is supposed to convince us that animals have consciences and can make moral decisions. I'm afraid that it falls short of that goal.

   First I would have to know for sure that this is what Lucy was actually doing. A few years ago Carl Sagan and his wife, Ann Druyan, wrote a book in which they recorded an experiment in the 1960's where some scientists had placed Macaques in a room with a rope to pull when the monkey was hungry. All the monkey had to do was to pull the rope and the food would appear. The problem was that every time one pulled the rope, he would look through a one-way glass, and see another monkey who had electrodes attached to his body. Every time the rope was pulled it would send an electrical current into the monkey with the electrodes. Each monkey had to wear the electrodes and each monkey had to pull the rope and look through the one-way glass. The monkeys quit pulling the rope and refuse to eat. From this the scientists reasoned that these monkeys had made moral decisions and were refusing to pull the rope so they wouldn't hurt that poor monkey in the other room.

   Several things are wrong with this theory. First a number of years ago, (I believe it was) the state of Alabama began using shock therapy on pedophiles to keep them from molesting children in the future. They would attach a set of electrodes to the pedophile's head and set a pictures of naked children in front of them. Each time the pedophile would look at the picture, an electrical shock would come through the electrodes and shock the pedophile. It got to the point that everytime the pedophile looked at a picture of a naked child (even when there was no electrode attacked to his head) his brain would process an electrical shock and send it to his body. This way he would make the decision not to look at nude children. There was no moral decision being made here, just survival. The pedophile didn't want to be shocked, so he quit. I have to wonder the same thing about the monkeys. These monkeys very probably saw the other monkey reacting to the shock which triggered an electrical shock inside of their brains. This would have kept them from pulling the rope to get food. They did not know that they were looking through a one way glass, and that the monkey in the other room couldn't see them. It could be that they thought that the monkey in the other room was trying to attack them so the reactions of the monkey with the electrodes scared them.

   Secondly, these scientists had no way of knowing why these monkeys were not pulling the cord. It wasn't as if they could ask them and the monkeys could respond with: "Well, you see I just didn't feel that it was morally right to pull that cord and get food when it would bring harm to my fellow monkey." They went into the experiment with the intention of proving that monkeys could make moral decisions and that his how they interpreted the data; regardless of how many problems were caused by that interpretation. So in the case of Roger and Lucy it is very possible that Roger interpreted this in the way that he wanted to interpret it.

   Another question that I would have to ask is how Roger knows that Lucy knows what is wrong? Does she know what is right and wrong, or is she merely responding to training? When I worked security I worked with a Rotwieler (guard dog). This dog was very well trained. I could have him tear up a cardboard box by putting it on the ground and whispering "Max, hit." Max would then tear that box to shreds. If anyone tried to harm me in the least Max would tear that person to pieces. However, if I worked with him on Monday night and Darrell Wells (a friend of mine) worked with him on Tuesday night and I came to the compound on Tuesday night and talked with Darrell and I raised my hand to hit Darrell, Max would tear me up (even though he had worked with me the night before). If I was working with him and his owner came up and raised his hand to hit me, Max would tear up his owner. Max was simply responding to training. He had no conscience (which is proven in the fact that he would turn on me in a heart beat, after working with me the night before), he just simply responded to training. It is possible that Lucy was simply responding to training. It is possible that she had been trained that she was not to have an accident and if she did she would be scolded. How does he know that she made a moral decision? Now for the part about blaming others. Animals like to play games and it is possible that she was blaming others with the accident to play a game with Roger. They can be trained to do that.

   When you say that she has a conscience and lied and then made the moral decision to retract the lie you are assuming an awful lot. You are assuming that she knows the difference between right and wrong and that she knows that it is morally wrong to lie and that it is morally right to tell the truth. How would you make such a determination? You are assuming that (if she was asked if it was morally wrong to lie) the answer she gives means that she knows that it is wrong to lie and why it is wrong to lie, rather than simply giving an answer that she thinks that you might want to hear. These are assumptions that you are not allowed to make. When you state that she has a conscience you had better know these things rather than just assume them. I don't see any reason for stating that she has a conscience anymore than I can state that Max or the monkeys in the experiment mentioned by Dr. Sagan and Ann Druyan had consciences. We can assume many things, but assumptions are not proof.

   The conscience is a God-given characteristic to help man do that which he knows is right. It is not a set of learned responses. The word is defined as: "the sense or consciousness of moral goodness or blameworthiness, of one's own conduct, intentions, or character, together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good" (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, p.238). You know why it is wrong to lie (something that remains to be proven with Lucy) rather than just having some learned response. The conscience is not the ability to learn what is right or wrong, but rather the ability to know what is right and wrong and why it is right or wrong; to judge one's own conduct, intentions and characteristics and have a feeling to do what is right. There are things that we learn, for example: The Jew feels guilty about eating meats because he has learned that God taught that those under the law of Moses were forbidden certain meats. The Christian feels guilty about drinking because the Bible forbids it. Some Christians have ignored their conscience for so long that "they have been seared over with a hot iron" (1 Tim. 4:2). However, this does not mean that our consciences are nothing more than learned responses. We know what is wrong and we know why it is wrong. We know why certain actions are wrong, we are not simply responding to training.

   I continue to maintain that all human have a fully operating conscience; some simply choose to ignore their conscience (1 Tim. 4:2), which allows them to do things that they know is wrong. They know why it is wrong, but they do it anyway and after a while of ignoring one's own conscience it becomes common place with them and they no longer hear what it says to them. Why does Lucy know that defecating on the floor is wrong? Does she know it because she has been trained to know it? Or does she know it because she knows what morality is and why it is wrong to do it?

   Tedd said: "As increased intelligence evolved in primate ancestors, the ability to distinguish behavior gradually emerged, and with it the conscience." You are assuming an awful lot, and before you can claim that they have a conscience you have to make sure that they know why things are wrong. Assuming that Lucy knows why it is wrong to defecate on the floor is not sufficient. You have to know that she knows why it is wrong rather than her just responding to training. If you have a puppy and he has an accident in the middle of the living room floor you train him that such is wrong. After a while he will respond to the training and will not do it. He is not doing it because he knows that such is not morally acceptable behavior, but rather because he is trained not to do it.

   Tedd said: "Long before I would conclude that someone is irrational, I would suspect them of being misled or ignorant of the full scope of evidence." Tedd do you not think that I am misled and ignorant of the full scope of evidence? Do you think that I am irrational?

   Tedd wants to know if I think that the complexity of a system is not itself an argument that rules out natural processes. With the way he is defining natural processes, my answer is "yes." When he uses the words "natural processes" he means evolution--with no design, no thought, no purpose. The thunderstorm is a result of certain weather conditions coming together. God didn't create the thunderstorm (the tornado, etc.,.), but the thunderstorm was the result of certain weather conditions which were the result of natural forces that God placed into existence when he created the world. However, the respiratory system is not even a second cousin to the thunderstorm. As I pointed out (and if Tedd had read my objection, he would have known this) the respiratory system is precisely complex system that must operate exactly the same way all the time, and the weather system is not such a system. The weather system does not require such preciseness in order to operate properly while the respiratory system does. If the respiratory system does not operate (properly) today the same way it did yesterday then the human body suffers. So your so-called parallel is not parallel at all.

   Next he goes to the first lung again and after I have asked for proof that this is the way it happened, he responds by saying: "I need to remind Jerry that proof is not required in this argument. I am trying to show that God is not necessary to explain the respiratory system and to do that I need only show how the respiratory system could originate through natural means." That's convenient isn't it? Let's just show how this could have happened and it will nullify God's existence as being essential. So if I can show how the respiratory system could have been created by God this nullifies evolution, right? If you are going to make an assertion here, I have every right to ask you for proof. In a debate such as this it isn't enough to simply say that this could have happened, you have to be able to give proof that it could have happened. If you will remember I asked how mutation could have been responsible for this lung. I asked how the oxygen-to-blood transfer worked before this lung. I asked when the lung became fully operational. I pointed out that he was trying to make it make it where the pouch on this lung was small, but still large enough to offer some degree of oxygen-to-blood transfer when air was gulped inside. I pointed out that this was all probability (according to Tedd), but when I asked for any kind of proof for it, he tells us that he is not obligated to prove it. All he is obligated to do is to show how it could have been done naturally and this (I suppose) necessarily rules out God. In other words, let me show you how it could have happened and then you jettison your belief in God. Sorry it doesn't work that way. We want to see proof that this could have been done and that it was done before we forget about our devotion to God.

   In answering my questions (above) he gives basically the same answers as he gave in the beginning. The earliest lung was a bladder like structure, it did not need to function anywhere near as well as modern lungs today need to. I understand all of what you said, however my questions are still unanswered: Where did this bladder come from? Was it just a mutation which by chance came into being rather than a fin? I understand that fish have a different system than we do, but you are saying that this bladder was the beginning of our (man's) respiratory system. I asked how the blood-to-oxygen transfer worked before this system evolved. Simply repeating your statements in the beginning won't answer the questions I have raised since. I want to know if mutation was responsible for this bladder like lung. I want to know what happened before this lung came into existence. I want to know how the oxygen-to-blood transfer worked before the lung. I asked the question when it became fully functional and his response is: "This bladder was always 'fully functional', it merely improved in efficiency over time." So, in other words this bladder didn't evolve, it was there and fully functional when the fish evolved into a fish, right? So special creation is essential to this fish with this bladder like structure because it had to have a fully operational lung before it could live. So it couldn't have mutated and evolved otherwise the fish would have died. It had to have been created fully functional so the fish could survive. Is that what you are saying, Tedd? All I have to do is to find one instance in which evolution couldn't work and your entire theory is down the drain. If this fish had to have a fully operational lung, designed for that fish, from the time it became a fish, then how can you say that our respiratory system could have evolved over a period of time and we survive? Why wouldn't we need a fully operational respiratory system designed for us from the time we came into existence? What makes that fish any better than we are? If you can see that this fish had to have a fully operational lung, why can't you see that we had to have a fully operational respiratory system?

   Then he goes to natural selection and tries to show that natural selection is not a random process. He says that a mutation that increases the efficiency of the primitive lung would allow an organism to survive in an air environment. But where did the primitive lung come from? Was it a mutation, or did it have to be created for that special purpose. If it was a mutation then it was random and if natural selection selected it then natural selection is random. There are no thoughts in mutations; as you earlier stated they are errors; mistakes, etc.,. If natural selection is not random then is there thought behind it? Is there purpose behind it? Does natural selection ever make errors? Does it know that it makes errors? Does it plan to make errors and then correct the errors? Just what is natural selection anyway?

   I quoted Peter Volpe who said: "Purely by chance, some varieties prove to be ill adapted to their current environment and thus disappear, whereas others prove to be adaptive, and their numbers increase (Evolution by Peter Volpe, Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia, 1992) and Tedd says: "This is natural selection...". Thus the conclusion that natural selection is purely by chance or random. What in the world are we talking about then? If what Volpe describes is natural selection and if Volpe says it is purely by chance, then natural selection is purely by chance or random.

   If there is no thought behind natural selection then what you have is random chance. And Tedd admits that there is no thought behind natural selection. If I come to an intersection and I have no thoughts as to which way I would like to go; I have no purpose at any destination and I throw a coin up in the air and "heads" I go left and "tails" I go right and the coin lands on "tails" and I go right, wasn't that random chance? Wasn't it just random chance that I go right rather than left? Now Tedd says that there is no thought behind natural selection, so it must necessarily be random chance. He gives us an example of some people with hair and that some people moved from one climate to another and those who had a mutation grew hair and those who didn't have that mutation didn't have hair. He says, "those that had mutations had resulted in longer hair were able to migrate to and survive in colder climates. The latter requires only RANDOM (emph mine jdm) mutations and natural selection. If mutations are random then it was purely an accident that they received this hair and since natural selection selected them to have this hair this selection was done by random chance. Thus natural selection is random, completely random.

   He never did answer my question: "If most mutations are harmful then how did the species survive until the few, advantageous mutations (which were necessary for the survival of the species) came along?" His only response is that the mutations are not essential for survival, but only if the organisms were going to expand into a new environment. Alright, but how did those organisms which did expand into a new environment survive until the few advantageous mutations came along? Now you see why I say that it would take more than 4 billion years for man to evolve?

   Then he goes into defending his statement on the Heaven's Gate Cult Member. He says: "Jerry did you know that this Heaven's Gate member made the above statement just before committing suicide?" Well, I figured that. That fact, however doesn't nullify the fact that the word "know" in English also means "to think" while the word gnoridzo in the Greek can only mean to know, to understand. Why would he be willing to die for something that he wasn't sure of? People will do things for things that they just think is right. They even might be talked into suicide if they think that they are going to have a better life. Since the man is dead you can't talk to him and find out what he was thinking. However, this still does not nullify my statement. Paul didn't just think it, he knew it. And if he says knew it (gnoridzo) then he was lying if he did not know it, and if he did know it then he was telling the truth. The word that Paul used, left no room for "I think." There were words he could use which would give that connotation, but he did not use them. He used the word gnoridzo and if he used that word he was either telling a lie or telling the truth.

   In responding to my arguments on the Bible being authoritative and all sufficient, he says that if the Bible is of divine authorship then he can accept these two arguments. However, he says that the Bible is not of divine authorship. Well, I have given you the argument and to date you haven't been able to defeat it. I guess maybe pigs can fly--better get your umbrella! :) None taken.

Further Affirmative Arguments

Element Number Four: "The Argument For The Canon Of The Bible"

   The Canon that we have in versions such as the KJV and the ASV is the correct canon. What do we mean by "Canon"? Josh McDowell wrote: "...the word 'canon' applied to scripture means 'an officially accepted list of books,'....One thing to keep in mind is that the church did not create the Canon or books included in what we call scripture. Instead, the church recognized the books that were inspired at their inception" (Evidence That Demands A Verdict, p.29).

   Major Premise: If the Old Testament Canon that we have today in versions such as the KJV and the ASV is the same Canon that Jesus used, then we have the correct Old Testament Canon.
  Minor Premise: The Old Testament Canon that we have today in versions such as the KJV and the ASV is the same Canon that Jesus used.
  Conclusion: Therefore we have the correct Old Testament Canon.

   A. The Old Testament Canon that we have today is essentially the same Canon that Jesus used. The only difference being the arrangement of the books. The number and names of the books are the same. In Luke 24:44 Jesus said: "that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me." Here he indicates three sections into which the Old Testament was divided. (1) "the law of Moses" or the first five books of the Bible--Pentateuch. (2) "the prophets" (which include the former prophets -- Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings), and the latter prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve -- what we would call the minor prophets "Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Haggia, Zechariah, and Malachi."). (3) "and the Psalms concerning me" or "other writings." This section was probably called the Psalms because it was the first and longest book of that section. It included the poetical books (Psalms, Proverbs and Job), the five rolls (Song of Songs {Solomon}, Ruth, Lamentations, Esther, Ecclesiasties), and the historical books (Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah, Chronicles). Though the arrangement is different you can see that the Canon's are the same.

   B. Jesus spoke of, "the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah" (Lk. 11:51). Abel was the first martyr (Gen. 4:8) and Zechariah was the last martyr to be mentioned in the Hebrew Old Testament (2 Chron. 24:1). Genesis was the first book of the Hebrew Bible and Chronicles was the last book. So Jesus basically said from "Genesis to Chronicles." Our order is "Genesis to Malachi." The Canons are the same, just arranged in different arrangements.

   I have gone way over on space so I will save the next for later. I do apologize for the lateness of this article, but things came up which demanded my immediate attention and I was unable to get to it before now. Thank you for your patience and kind attention. I now invite you to pay attention to Mr. Hadley's next response.

In Christ's Service,
Jerry D. McDonald

CHALLENGE is published quarterly by Challenge Publications.
Jerry D. McDonald, Editor; Michael P. Hughes, Associate Editor.

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