Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MWSB-Feb 26-Mar 7: Spring Break

I spent my Spring Break in Plummer, ID with 19 of my classmates. We all caravaned in 4 vehicles (not too comfortable riding all the way to ID in the back of a pickup . . . no not the bed, but the back seat of the cab. It wasn't too bad, but not very much leg room.), leaving right after lunch and getting to Plummer in the evening (around 8 I believe). Us girls slept at the pastor's house 2 houses away from the church and the guys slept at the youth pastor's house a bit outside Plummer.

We spent the week doing a bunch of service projects around Plummer and helping out with various youth groups around the area: Valleyford (Washington! Yes, we were that close to the border), Harrison, and Fernwood. That's all in addition to youth stuff in Plummer.

For the youth groups, we were pretty much in charge of the whole thing each night. We planned games (the garbage can game was one we played each time), some of us did a drama (the Everything skit), others led worship (I was on that, as well as worship on both Sundays we were there), some of us (myself included) shared our testimonies, and we also spent quite a bit of time hanging out with the kids wherever we went.

The service projects consisted of several things ranging from cleaning up manure for Wayne's father in law (Wayne is the youth pastor), to getting firewood, to painting the basement of the church in Plummer to cleaning house for a widow (which 2 of my classmates and I did). All these projects were very fun. 3 of my classmates painted a mural of Jesus walking on water on one of the hallway walls. That turned out really cool. On Saturday morning, we also helped clean the house of the Dole family. The first Friday we were there (the same day we left MWSB) their little baby Jethro was born, but with a heart defect. His heart was enlarged and not all of the valves were working. The doctors were unsure that he would last the night, but so far he has amazed so many people, and he is still alive today. He went in for surgery the Monday after we got back. But I'm getting a bit off topic. So, Saturday morning, since the family spent a lot of time at the hospital, their house ended up not very clean at all. We spent the whole morning cleaning up for them. My roommate was brave enough to clean out their fridge, there were people gathering bags and bags (and these are huge trash bags, not little bags) of dirty laundry, vacuuming, scrubbing, and organizing. It was hard work, but quite fulfilling.

For some fun activities, we spent some time at Wayne's, spent some time shooting, hanging out and watching movies. Very fun!

Overall this was a very fulfilling week, and if I get Venture next year, I plan on going again.

MWSB-Feb 22-26: Scientific Creationism

Our class on Scientific Creationism was taught by Chris Sherrod. This was one of my most favorite classes so far, if not my favorite. The textbook we used is part of a series that Chris wrote.

We talked about many different subjects, like why evolution is FLAWED (I'll explain the acronym in a minute--a lot of what we talked about had to do with this acronym), various rebuttals to evolutionist arguments, and some of the logic behind why we believe that there is a Creator.

Now, for the FLAWED acronym. It stands for 6 reasons why evolution is flawed:

Fossil fallacy
Laws of science violated
Absence of observation
Without mechanism
Erroneous examples
Design & DNA

Fossil Fallacy talks about how the fossil record doesn't match up to the theory (which in my opinion should be called a hypothesis, not a theory) of evolution. For one thing, there are no supposed "missing links" and there are other things in the record that also counter evolution, for example what is known as the Cambrian Explosion, a sudden "explosion" of fully formed and very complex vertebrates. This is supposedly dated at 570 million years old, but contains fossils that match vertebrates today.

Laws of Science Violated talks about just that: how evolution violates 3 basic scientific laws: The Law of Cause and Effect, the Law of Biogenesis, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Law of Cause and Effect states that 1) everything has a cause; and 2) every things that comes to be is caused by something before it. Evolution violates this in its statement that the universe just popped into existence. This doesn't work because to come into existence, there must be a cause and the theory of evolution doesn't provide that cause. Christianity however, does: God. And evolutionists will try and counter that by asking "Well then, who created God?" The problem with this however is they are trying to put God in a physical box of this world when He doesn't go in there. We are comparing the physical (the universe) with the spiritual (God). It's like asking how many inches does an animal weigh?

The theory of evolution violates the Law of Biogenesis (which states that 1) all life comes from life; and 2) Every living things reproduces after its own kind. The theory of evolution however, states that life originally came from nothing (violating the first part) and that one species will, over time, change from one to another (violating the second part) But it's impossible that things can spontaneously generate, which is the only option left for evolutionists.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that all processes or systems manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in the entropy (state of randomness or disorder) of the system. In other words, things are gonna wear out and decay. Which we see every day (rust, aging, cars running down, etc.). But this is opposite of what the theory of evolution states as true, that things are getting better.

Absence of Observation is simply the fact that we don't see evolution occurring and we cannot see it occurring. We can't observe it! There are three arguments that were presented that an evolutionist would propose: Evolution moves too slowly to observe (our counter would be like asking why we would consider something a theory that we cannot observe or recreate), then they might try and say the we can see evidence in the fossil record (then we can counter with the fallacy of the fossil record, but watch out for what Chris called the p.e.e.p.: Punctuated Equilibrium Escape Pod. Then we have to ask the question "If evolution happens too slow to observe it, but too fast to see it in the past, then when can we see it?) From here, the evolutionist will likely turn to the Galapagos finch, the pepper moth, etc. They will cite these examples as proof of evolution. However, at this point they switch from talking about macroevolution (one species to another, not observable) to microevolution (changes within a species, observable)

Without a Mechanism simply means that the theory of evolution has nothing to make it go. It's like expecting a flip book (you know, the books of cards, you flip the pages and a picture moves?) to flip without the help of a flipper. It just doesn't work. Creationism has a mechanism, we know Him as God. But evolutionists will try and cite Natural Selection (or survival of the fittest) as the mechanism for moving evolution along. The problem however is that, although natural selection does exist and work today, it does not produce new species. Evolution requires mutations to allow it to work. But the way natural selection works, mutations are actually eliminated because those who have mutations are not the fittest, on the contrary, they are weaker, and more likely to be killed off by predators.

Erroneous Examples goes back to the whole distinction between micro- and macro-evolution among other things. Examples such as the peppered moth, the horse, changes within car types/models, homology (similar structures), archaeopteryx, the list goes on! However, the peppered moth is an example of MICROevolution, not macroevolution. The example of the horse (referring to its "ancestors") proves false because some of the older horses were actually bigger (opposite of what you would expect in evolution), there is no fossil record of the transition, and (this bit of info I knew beforehand, not from this class) some of the fossils are out of order, that is, supposedly older horses are found in higher levels of strata than supposedly younger horses (flip-flopped . . . cause by the flood?). The problem with the change in car models example is that there was intelligent involvement to make those changes. Homology, evolutionists would say, points to a common ancestor since there is similar structures. However, the more likely interpretation of that is to say that there is not a common ancestor but a common Designer for a common function. And my little bit of logic on this is this: if a structure works in one species, why not use it for other species needing to do the same or similar things? And archaeopteryx is cited as an intermediate link between birds and reptiles. However, archaeopteryx is fully bird. Its wing feathers were as fully developed as any other bird (and besides, there is no fossil of a scale to feather transition), there is a strong breastbone (indicating that this bird was capable of powered flight, just like modern birds), and archaeopteryx possessed perching feet, like any modern bird, the list goes on and on.

Oh, and I gotta say something about the so-called "ape men" people conjure up. There were 8 examples listed in the book. All of them were frauds in one way or another. Nebraska Man, for example, was based off of the tooth of an extinct pig. Pig! Peking Man was based off of crushed skulls (which disappeared during WWII, leaving only photos). As it turns out, in the area in which these skulls were found, monkey brains are considered a delicacy. There were tools found with the skulls, but it appears that the tools were used on Peking Man, rather than by him. Piltdown Man was a deliberate fraud. Someone had filed down an orangutan jaw and attached a human skull. Java Man was conceived from a skullcap (just the cap) of a gibbon, three teeth, and a femur (found 50 feet away!!!) of a modern man! Oh, and 30 years later, it was admitted that 2 human skulls were found in close proximity to the same dig. Neanderthal Man was stooped due to arthritis, had a larger brain than modern man (with a fully developed language center) and possessed physical qualities of an Aborigine found in Australia.

Ok, final letter: Design and DNA. This points to the nature of these two tings. There is so much evidence for a Creator when you consider the complexity of things all around us. It would be silly to think that a message in Scrabble tiles came about by chance, or that a flagellum (which requires at least 50 genes [each one being about as complex as a sentence with hundreds of letters] for it to work, and they must be working at the same time!) could work on the first try. If even one of these genes didn't work, then the flagellum wouldn't, it couldn't work.

Or take into consideration the vast amount of information contained in human DNA. Richard Dawkins (a renowned atheistic evolutionist) is quoted as saying "[T]here is enough information capacity in a single human cell to store the Encyclopedia Britannica, all 30 volumes of it, three of four times over." That is a heck of a lot of information!!! All in one human cell. If someone saw this information for example from a SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project, would he assume that there was an intelligent source behind it? Of course! This same amount of information is in each human cell, with the added capacity of being able to duplicate and translate itself!!! One of the problems confronting evolutionists is the question of where the information came from. There is no freakin' way all this information could come about by chance. Another problem is the fact that it can indeed duplicate itself. Nothing by human invention can do this.

Whew! So that's why evolution is FLAWED. Quite fascinating, eh?