More Scientists Endorse Darwin’s Doubt: Meet Biologist Mark C. Biedebach

from evolutionnews.com site by David Klinghoffer

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Dr. Biedebach is Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Long Beach. He writes:

Stephen C. Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt is a truly remarkable book. Tightly woven in its 413 pages of text are four interrelated arguments. With 753 references, he presents evidence of the serious weaknesses in materialistic theories of biological evolution, and positive evidence for the theory of intelligent design. What are those weaknesses?

First, according to Meyer, no neo-Darwinian (or other alternative materialistic) mechanism has any conceivable way to search the vast number of possible combinations of coded symbols that could generate the complex types of functional genes and proteins found in living organisms. Second, tightly integrated networks of genes, proteins and other complex molecules are required within (and even extending from) cells, which must arrive at the right place at the right time in an embryologically developing organism. For such processes to arise, a materialistic theory of evolution would require vastly more time than has passed on earth since life began.

Third, early-acting mutations that could possibly generate large-scale changes in an organism are invariably deleterious. Fourth, according to Meyer, neo-Darwinian evolution provides no imaginable way to generate (by random mutation) the quantity of epigenetic information that would be required to generate a new body plan.

The focus of Meyer’s Part One (Chapters 1-7) is on the many thousands of fossils found in the geologically very short “Cambrian explosion” (530 to 525 million years ago). During this brief period, 16 new animal phyla and 30 new animal classes first appeared in the fossil record. (Only three animal phyla had previously existed in the Precambrian period.)

If one is to believe that each new phylum that suddenly appeared during the Cambrian explosion arrived by the process of neo-Darwinian evolution, then at least some transitional fossils (of the multitude that should have existed from the three Precambrian phyla) ought to have been found by now. According to Meyer, none have been found. Neo-Darwinian evolution works gradually over millions of years. It is a trial-and-error process of mutation and selection through which an organism must obtain and maintain a functional advantage through a series of incremental steps.

Meyer asserts that those who believe neo-Darwinian (or any other conceivable materialistic) processes provide a satisfactory explanation for the existence of life on earth must invariably resort to a metaphysical assertion known as methodological naturalism. This is the view that it is possible to explain all features and events that occur in the natural world by reference to exclusively natural causes. (This has sometimes been called “exclusionary methodological naturalism,” because a purposive intelligence, mind, or conscious agency is excluded as a cause.)

But Meyer argues that to restrict methodological naturalism in such a way renders one blind to the possibility that intelligent design is the best, most causally adequate explanation for the origin of the new information necessary for new cellular network circuitry or a new body plan (whenever previous transitional fossils do not exist).

Meyer’s attack is really against “macroevolution” (large scale population change). Michael Behe (in The Edge of Evolution) points out that there is abundant evidence for “microevolution” (smaller population change), but there is a boundary at which the evidence for microevolution stops and evidence for macroevolution either doesn’t exist, or any clues that do exist are beset with problems so serious that explanatory attempts boil down to “just-so-stories.” This leaves macroevolution sitting atop a boundary (or wall) with an outlook no better that that of Humpty Dumpty.

– See more at: http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/06/more_scientists073871.html#sthash.gDMuaWW6.dpuf

Dan Barker’s Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is a religious cult

from Examiner.com

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The Test (Pass or Fail)

by BJ Richardson at The River Walk

For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (James 2:10)

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Relate: In college, unless I was the curve wrecker, I hated them. You know who I’m talking about. Lets say you have twenty students in the class and everybody is about average… except for that one girl who has no life. All she does is study every day from the moment she gets home until the moment she leaves in the morning. Everybody else gets a 70 or worse on a test. She gets a 98. The girl is wrecking the curve.

On the flip side are the curve helpers. I love these guys. Once upon a time they showed up for a class. Somehow, they score worse on multiple choice tests than they would if they filled in the answers randomly. When it comes to true or false questions, they flip a coin. Their coin isn’t very lucky. I love these guys. Did I say that already? There is nothing like scoring a 58% on a test and then finding out that is an B-. There must have been a lot of curve fodder in the room.

When it comes to our spiritual life, some people look at those like Mother Theresa and Billy Graham as curve wreckers and Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson as curve helpers. When it comes time to the judgment, I don’t want to be the one right in line after Mother Theresa. I don’t care how god I try to be, she’s gonna make my outlook pretty rough. On the flip side, if Bin Laden’s right in front of me, I think I’ll dance a jig right on the spot.

React: Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work that way. Making the grade into heaven is pass fail. Even worse, the test is incredibly hard. Life is made up of an infinite number of choices. There are hundreds, no thousands of moral questions presented to us each day. We are faced with opportunity after opportunity, choice after choice, decision after decision with how we will live our life. A skipped question counts as a wrong answer so we aren’t just graded on what we did. We are also graded on what we should have done. It gets even worse. According to James, according to God writing through James, the only passing grade is 100%. If we fail on even one question, we have failed them all.

The fact is, passing this test, the most crucial test in all eternity is the next thing to impossible. There is a curve wrecker, it can be done, but only once in all of history. Only one person has ever answered every question right. The rest of us seem to mess up over and over again. I might say, “Oh look I got 52% right and my neighbor Joe only got 49% so I must be doing pretty good.” It’s fun to compare ourselves with the Stalins in the world who are shooting in the low 30′s, not as much with the saints who are hitting in the mid to high 60′s. It doesn’t matter. Even if I were to answer only one of the 33 million questions wrong, I’ve failed. Perfection can be achieved, but I didn’t do it. No amount of correct answers from here on out will change that fact.

But here’s the good news. Right before it was time to turn in our tests, the curve wrecker came to me with an offer. He said we could switch names. He would take my failure, the wrong answers that I’ve earned, and the judgment I deserve and in return He would give me His perfect score. All I have to do is write His name on my life and in return surrender my name (life) to Him. Considering what is riding on this test, I’d be a fool not to take Him up on the offer. What about you? He’s making you the same proposal.

Respond: 

God, I thank You for Your Name. I am a failure. I have messed up time and time again. Holiness is required and I am covered in sin. Perfection is required and I have fallen short time and time again. I’m so sorry for this. I am so sorry and willfully chose to do evil over and over again. Forgive me. I give You my name. I give You my failures and mistakes. In their place I accept Your grace. I accept Your perfection. When people look at me, let them see Your Name shining through.

Quicksand of Despair – Rescue from God – Inspirational Bible Verses

I have one in my small group that needs these verses put together by   — A Study of Christian Grace  • ( 35 )

The word mire is not used much in today’s vocabulary. It is however found in the Bible numerous times. It is often used in conjunction with clay to describe a situation in which we get stuck or are bogged down.

If you look in the Dictionary “mire” when describing life, means a situation of difficulty, distress, or despair from which it is hard to extricate oneself. It also means a mess, difficulty, plight, predicament, tight spot, trouble, quandary, or to find yourself in a pickle.

Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on solid ground and gave me a firm place to stand.

To me mire is like quicksand. Sinking in quicksand has been a part of movie genre from Tarzan to the Never Ending Story. We have all seen it when the victim falls into a pit of quicksand, and the more they struggle the more they sink. Once they fall into the pit they are doomed unless they are rescued and someone pulls them out.

David is telling us in the Psalm that God will lift us out of the quicksand of our despair. When life’s troubles come upon us, many times we struggle and fight, sinking deeper and deeper into the quicksand of despair until we are helpless and hopeless. Many times we find ourselves buried so deep that we are barely able to keep our heads above the sand in the midst of all our problems.

We need not wait until we are neck-deep to call on God. When we find ourselves stuck in the pit of misery and despair we are to call upon God for our rescue. It is when we struggle and fight on our own that we find ourselves in danger of succumbing to the troubles that overtake us. We must learn to cry out to our God. He will hear our cries, and He will turn our failings into regeneration, our grief into joy, and our helplessness into hope.

We read in 1 Samuel 17 that the battle belongs to the Lord. So quit struggling and cry out to God. Let your heart shout with joy in a God who will always rescue you from life’s quicksand and set your feet on solid ground. He will make all your failures regenerative. If you are down and broken, He is the God of risings again. He will take all your life’s sorrow and pain, absorb them in His blood and shower you with His compassion. He will freshen your world with spiritual dew, and renew your tattered, broken heart with His spirit. God will restore you and give you a life anew.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, and I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Let God’s right hand rescue you from life’s quicksand!

Little Things

  from Actsweb.com

“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” Song of Solomon 2:15

A four-hundred-year-old tree crashed to the forest floor. Over the centuries it had been struck by lightning fourteen times, braved great windstorms, and even defied an earthquake. In the end, however, it was killed by little beetles. Boring under the bark, they chewed away its mighty fibers until the giant of the forest lay broken on the ground. Bill Tucker with Pat Maxwell, “Living a Power-Filled Life.”

Little things can either make us or break us. A little lie, a little theft, a little laziness, a little neglect, a little drink a little too often, a little sarcasm, a little denial here and a little there … bit by bit we can add them all together and eventually hurt or destroy our relationships, our physical and/or mental health, and our walk with God.

On the other hand, a little smile, a little deed of kindness, a little encouraging word, a little thoughtful gift, a little phone call, a little bit of love given a lot of times every day can add up to a whole lot of sunshine that we can spread wherever we are and go—and in so doing encourage others, enhance our relationships, improve our physical and mental health, and please the heart of God.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please help me to watch the many little things in my life. Help me to clean out all the ‘little’ sins and self-destructive habits that hurt myself and others, and help me to keep on practicing little acts of love and kindness until they become an everyday habit that will show your love to others and gladden your heart. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

if I were to embrace Darwinism

Lee Strobel

Looking at the doctrine of Darwinism, which undergirded my atheism for so many years, it didn’t take me long to conclude that it was simply too far-fetched to be credible. I realized that if I were to embrace Darwinism and its underlying premise of naturalism, I would have to believe that:
1. Nothing produces everything
2. Non-life produces life
3. Randomness produces fine-tuning
4. Chaos produces information
5. Unconsciousness produces consciousness
6. Non-reason produces reason….The central pillars of evolutionary theory quickly rotted away when exposed to scrutiny.
~ The Case for a Creator, p. 277

Making God laugh

Seen on MustardSeed Budget blog

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