Dr. Brown Interviews Young Earth Creation Scholar Dr. Jonathan Sarfati

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This is your day to call in with your most difficult questions about science, evolution, and the Bible. If you are confused about the Bible and science, if you hold to an old earth creation view, or if you are a devoted Darwinian evolutionist, your calls to Dr. Sarfati are welcome. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The more you look at science rightly the more you understand God is the glorious, amazing, infinitely wise Creator.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Let us step back from the controversies and the disagreements; and with awe let us worship God the Creator.

SPECIAL OFFER! THIS WEEK ONLY!  

This week only Dr. Brown is offering Jonathan Sarfati’s classic book, “Refuting Evolution?”, plus a CD copy of Dr. Brown’s two hour Line of Fire interview with Dr. Sarfati for the special discounted price of just $20 Postage Paid!

Call 1-800-278-9978 or Order Online!

Other Resources:

Scientific Discoveries that Point to the Creator

An Interview with Dr. Fazale Rana on the Origins of Life

Dr. Brown Interviews Dr. Hugh Ross and Dr. Fuz Rana on Hidden Treasures in Job, Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, Creating Life in the Lab, and the Cell’s Design

322 Comments
  1. It’s entertaining to see these people who don’t even have degrees in biology claiming they can debunk Evolutionary Theory. These creationists don’t want you to know that Christian colleges and universities all teach evolution and none teach creationism or Intelligent Design. Scientific theories prove themselves by being useful. The promoters of creationism can’t tell us what their “theory” can ever be used for – other than confusing an already scientifically ignorant American public. It’s ironic that many Bible believers think the Bible implies that the Earth is very young, which it does and yet the notions that the Earth is flat, never moves and is orbited by the sun are much more obvious in the Bible. However most Bible believers are not brave enough to publicly admit they hold those views. Some Christians are brave enough to admit what the Bible really says about the earth. You can find them at Fixedearth.com and the Flat Earth Society. I don’t believe anyone who disagrees with these people has any right to call themselves a Christian.

  2. Van, it says a lot that you would rather take potshots at a safe distance rather than actually conversing with the brilliant guest on the show today…. I could refute a lot of what you just said. But the fact you post it here instead of talking to Dr. Sarfati yourself tells me it is not worth my time.

  3. Van, its ironic that the current leader of the flat earth society is, in fact, an evolutionist. And to my knowledge, an atheist.

  4. Van

    “Why does a degree in Biology trump Chemistry?” Your aregument is flawed. They are both sciences, but Chemsitry covers a vast range of data that effects Biology also.

    An example would be a Finance major having a job as an accoutant. Sure his major was not Accountant, but deeper insight will show that they take a lot of the same classes, study the a lot of the same text, etc. Thus allowing person to stive in the field and comment on the field as an expert.

    If your whole issue is… “You had a Chemistry major over a Biology major” then its a very simpleton argument.

    Next time call in

  5. Thanks so much Dr. Brown for having Dr. Sarfati on again! Even more so, I especially appreciate that in the last week, you have been gladly advertising this. Hopefully in the years ahead, Lord willing, there will be some more opportunities like this. The foundations of so many problems we are wrestling with start with the origins ‘problem’, creation / creator or evolution / materialism / atheism.

    It was great to hear a full two hours of you on these topics Jonathan, great job! For anybody reading, if you heard the multiple questions about super novas, here’s the article Jonathan referenced where he addressed this issue: http://creation.com/exploding-stars-point-to-a-young-universe. It’s fascinating evidence for a young galaxy:

    Evolution / old age predicts:
    2 — 1rst stage supernova remnants (SRs)
    2,260 — 2nd stage SRs
    5000 — 3rd stage SRs

    7000 year old cosmos predicts:
    2 — 1rst stage SRs (same as old)
    125 — 2nd stage SRs
    0 — 3rd stage SRs

    Just look at those predictions / expected evidence. Same for 1rst stage, but then radically different, even magnitudes of times over, for 2nd and 3rd stages. What do we see?

    1rst stage SRs: 5
    2nd stage SRs: 200
    3rd stage SRs: 0

    !!!

    KO

  6. Oops. Just to head off any misunderstandings before they start, the Jonathan in comment #2 is me; not Jonathan Sarfati. I thought I would clarify because there was confusion about this the last time I commented on a radio program he was on. (You would think I would have learned).

    Nicholas, good to hear from you. I still check from time to time to see if your creation cosmology website is up and running.

    When I think to check it, I say a prayer that God will supply you with the wisdom and resources to complete it.

    God bless you

  7. Nicholas, do you mind if I refer some of my creationist friends to your site? I have some friends that work at a little creation museum in northern Ohio. They might be interested in it.

  8. When I read the Genesis account of creation, I can easily think about a potter beginning his work with some clay.

    He begins with some “earth” and some water, sets it upon a wheel and gives it a spin. Then he puts his hands to the work, and begins to turn it into whatever he has in mind.

    I take the days of creation to be revolutions of the unfinished earth, one revolution being one day.

    God certainly isn’t limited by light years, so I considered that he created a great expanding space, so vast that even though light from it’s far places would not without his doing, reach the earth for many many years, he went ahead with his plan for he wasn’t limited by the physics he made. He simply said what he wanted and the Bible tells us that the result was that it was so.

    Later in the Bible I’m told that God made all things through Christ, and am told things about Christ, how he made wine out of water, how he did things as it was revealed unto him by the Father.

    So I believe things are the way they are because that’s the way God wanted them to be, and they were done the way God wanted it done by his Word. And if things today are not the way they were in the beginning, it’s because of some causes which happened later because of mankind.

    God repeats the terms “evening and morning” and “day” and I believe they are important.

  9. I appreciated Dr. Sarfati’s candidness about putting the bible before science, when there is a contradiction between the two.

    At least this is honest, even if bad science. Not all creationists readily admit this.

    As for me, I think it’s an unnecessary judgment call.

    It’s sort of like saying, “When poetry conflicts with math, I will take the side of poetry.”

    It’s a needless polarization. You can have both.

    The bible is not a science textbook and science textbooks are not inspired scripture.

  10. Van,

    >>However most Bible believers are not brave enough to publicly admit they hold those views. Some Christians are brave enough to admit what the Bible really says about the earth

    Not me! I totally love what the bible says/assumes about the earth, heaven and life itself. I think it is key to understanding the bible even though challenging, at points.

    Ironically, some people consider me un-saved because of my intrepid belief in the bible.

  11. Ray,

    I’m not quite sure where you are going with that.

    The creation stories in Genesis are clearly stories, not science. The first one is is about God, with an emphasis on monotheism. The second one is more about humans, with an emphasis on our relationship with God.

    Neither are about science. I don’t believe, for a second, they were ever intended to be read that way.

  12. Greg Allen, did you actually bother listening? I said towards the end that Genesis is more of a history book than a science book (see ‘But Genesis is not a science textbook’). I also of course believe that we can and do have both Genesis and science.

    Nicholas Petersen: thanks, that is exactly the one I meant.

  13. Hello Mr. Allen,

    You said: [I appreciated Dr. Sarfati’s candidness about putting the bible before science, when there is a contradiction between the two. At least this is honest, even if bad science… As for me, I think it’s an unnecessary judgment call.]

    If you place in context what Jonathan said about placing the Bible first against the tons of information he gave about science VALIDATING Scripture, then you can see that Jonathan (and all the other leading biblical creationists I know) do NOT subscribe to what you just said, that there is in fact: “a contradiction between the two…” Rather we say the science *overwhelmingly* stands against evolution and all materialist assumptions that contradict the Bible’s account of origins.

    Here is the crux of the matter: Most people do not accept evolution and its sequence of events *because of science that they themselves have witnessed and tested*, but rather because of *the claims they have heard since childhood* made by their schools and by the society they are immersed in. So if you repeat in a child’s ears 1,000 times a made up past where dinosaur’s roamed the earth, long long before man was here (all assumed), then by the time she is 11, that child *knows* all of this history about dinosaurs living millions of years ago, simply because its the myth she was told over and over growing up. She doesn’t believe that because of *science*, she’s still only eleven! She ‘knows’ this is true because its what her society taught her repeatedly as she was growing up, as if it were factual truth.

    This is what Jonathan was referring to, when callers would call in basically recounting stories they have always heard (big bang accounts and so forth), and then seeing those in obvious conflict with the radically contrary sequence of events given in Genesis 1, such as where the Sun is made after the earth. The problem here is not science. The problem is: which assumptions are you going to start with: Materialist assumptions? Or Divine causation assumptions? And even with the latter, are you going to do that as a kind of deist, who gives little respect to Scripture? or are you going to respect the account given in Scripture? THIS is where we must make a choice.

  14. I suspect Greg Allen is not here to think about the Truth; he is here to – with dogged persistence – spread an agenda and a false teaching in the hope that he could somehow legitimize himself (as if anyone who knew God would take him for a real Christian) and sway people (which will never happen).

    Greg Allen’s behavior is more that of an “agent” than a “listener”; hopefully, while he is on his “mission” God will turn this into an opportunity for his repentance and salvation.

    Wish you the best (along those lines) Mr. Allen.

  15. One my hero biblical-creationists was the British A.E. Wilder-Smith (now with the Lord). So far from Smith “putting the bible before science, when there is a contradiction between the two,” as was stated supposedly about us biblical creationists above, consider what Wilder-Smith had to say:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agV0FO4pN7M

    (this is a terrific video, it was the first video I ever saw of Wilder-Smith, and I was instantly endeared to him):

    “(2:45)
    [Interviewer] Your against evolution, on what basic grounds?
    [Wilder-Smith] On purely scientific grounds.
    [Interviewer] Such as?
    [Wilder-Smith] There *no* evidence, *whatsoever*, in any science, that matter will organize itself. And the basis of evolution is that spontaneous generation took place, that matter, by chemical evolution, organized itself, up to the state, when it could live. You must have a certain state of complexity for a molecule, or molecules, to live, you need at least 800 macro-molecules, to live. There is *no* evidence that matter, left to itself, even when fed with energy, will organize itself up to that state of complexity, or indeed any state of complexity…

    (14:30)
    [Interviewer] So you suppose you could say that believing in a creating God is *as* scientific as believing in the model of evolution?
    [Wilder-Smith] No I wouldn’t. I should say believing in the model of evolution flies in the face of all science. [pause] I wouldn’t admit that point. I should say the only … I hear I’m not being dogmatic, I’m merely following the laws of science as I have learned them and practised them for over 40 years … that you *cannot* have, a creation of something new from nothing.

    (17:30)
    [Wilder-Smith] Faith is not a blind matter. There are certain matters in which I have to have faith because I can’t see. But in the matters where I *can* see, then it needs to be reasonable, otherwise I can’t believe it.

  16. Nicholas Petersen,
    You might be right; I just don’t want people (e.g.: Dr. S) who are unfamiliar with this forum to get the idea that talking to Greg will, of necessity, bear any fruit. It definitely determines how much time one invests in speaking with an individual. I don’t want Dr. S to waste his time.

  17. I am one that does not believe science can give us all the answers. We must look outside of science for some information. We must look to the creator and see what he has to say about things we don’t understand.

    What might science and chemistry have to say about the wine Jesus made from water at the wedding in Cana? (John 2…I should remember this is in John because it says “This beginning of miracles..”, and John begins his gospel about the beginning.)

    I suppose the short version of what science and chemistry might have to say about the wine Jesus made from water would be something like, “Well, somebody must have had a vineyard, then picked some grapes, crushed them, etc….”

    Did’nt the wine only appear to be aged? (John 2:10) And if it was aged, it was aged by a miracle, by the Word of God.

    Jesus wasn’t working to trick or to fool anybody, he was simply doing the work of God that God gave him to do.

    The stars I see might appear to be many more years old to someone who knows a lot about science, but to me it’s like the wine Jesus made.

    I’m sure there are many things about this world we may go to the grave not knowing, but as the saved of the earth, we will be going to the source of all creation himself and will see and hear and know all that we need to know and experience.

    We ought not to limit ourselves by science, math, or chemestry though those things are important to us.

  18. Greg,

    Why not be a bit more honest about why people have been concerned about your salvation? You promote homosexual immorality and child dismemberment (abortion) in the church. These are not minor issues. They are critical issues of Christian morality.

    As for me I lean toward an old earth view of the Bible. I don’t see how it is possible to reconcile an “orthodox” view of evolution with the Bible.

    Doug

  19. About my qualifications, I would say that chemistry is more important than biology when discussing chemical evolution, the claim that life began from non-living chemicals. Many biologists talk about this, including Dawkins, but they are clueless about the chemical problems. For example, at one of my talks, a Ph.D. chemist who specialized in protein synthesis, attended. I asked him if he would ever add water to his reaction. He replied that this would be the last thing any chemist would add, and indeed he must go to great lengths to exclude it, because water wrecks the reaction. So I asked what this does to the idea that life began with proteins forming in a primordial soup, since obviously contains water (and the same would apply to RNA -first models). Everyone got my point. (Of course, a rule of thumb for a speaker in such situations is: never ask a question unless you’re sure of the answer, heh heh—see Origin of life: the polymerization problem.)

  20. Hello Doug, you stated:

    [As for me I lean toward an old earth view of the Bible. I don’t see how it is possible to reconcile an “orthodox” view of evolution with the Bible.]

    Are you willing to be challenged on your old earth view?

    If not, then do not read this: http://creationontrial.com/articles/Erosion-Ultimate-Fact-Check-on-Billions-of-Years.htm

    It’s a very simple fact check on how erosion rates completely destroy the possibility for an earth that is millions (let alone billions) of years old. Mt. Everest itself would be long gone many times over. The continents wouldn’t even exist any longer. This is a matter of simple arithmetic, literally addition and multiplication. An old earth is simply impossible.

  21. Van,

    I know from personal experience that Dr. Sarfati is right. Chemistry and Biology are inextricably linked. For example, my major area is the study of ancient near eastern languages and linguistics. One of the areas of my interest is in the area of linguistic pragmatics, and, especially, in the way in which the brain processes various social and discourse features to produce things such as conversational implicature. This, obviously, gets you into the field of neuroscience.

    I have a friend at church who is a biologist, and he told me that he could get me one for free, because one of his colleagues teaches neuroscience, and he is bombarded with textbooks every year from textbook companies wanting him to use their textbook. I picked up the book, started reading, and, although I was vaguely familiar with the terminology the book was using, I knew I had seen it before, and I had. You see, I had a class in undergraduate general, organic, and biochemistry, and the terminology that the neuroscience book was using came directly out of that class. So, I simply went down to the basement, dug out my old chemistry book from undergrad, and reread through the final sections in organic and biochemistry, and started reading the neuroscience book, and it was as if I had never stopped reading the chemistry book.

    When I told my biology professor friend about it, he told me that it was because the study of neurons [and cells in general in biology] takes up very much the same topics as you find in chemistry. In fact, I even found out that there is an entire field called neurochemistry which deals with the chemical reactions that occur in neurons. These “cascade” reactions can be crucial in determining whether a neuron fires.

    For example, light actually doesn’t cause the neurons in the eye to fire. It causes them to hyperpolarize, or become more negatively charged than they already are. This causes them to release less amounts of the neurotransmitter glutamate. This is odd since one must ask the question as to how we can see light if light doesn’t cause the cell to fire.

    The answer is chemistry. There are two different kinds of receptors on the bipolar cells to which the rods and cones connect. One kind of bipolar cell has an ionotropic receptor, and the other has a metabotropic receptor. For the perception of darkness, it is simple. The transmitter bonds to ionotropic receptors, and the ion channels open allowing the cell to send a signal to the brain that things are dark [this is somewhat simplistic as the cells are centered, and perception is largely centered around a particular “focal” point in the cell, and the measurement is more in terms of light contrast between the center and surrounding points]. However, if the cell has metabotropic receptors, then, in the presence of the same transmitter, it will release a G-protein, causing a cascade of reactions which hydrolyzes c-GMP to GMP so there is not enough cGMP to bond to the cGMP gated ion channels in order to cause the cell to fire. However, once the glutamate neurotransmitter is decreased due to the increased amount of light, there is no more cascade reaction, the amount of cGMP increases, the cGMP bonds to the cGMP-gated ion channels, and the cell fires, telling you that you are seeing light.

    So, to make a long story short, both Biology *and* chemistry are involved in the seeing of light. Or, to be more blunt, if there is no intimate relationship between biology and chemistry, you couldn’t be looking at this page. The fields overlap significantly, in a very real and practical way.

  22. Whoa, Jonathan Stevenson, totally missed your comments! Don’t know how that happened. It may be because if you used a new email addressed on this forum it would have taken a while to show up, but then it showed up above, not below, so I missed it.

    [Nicholas, good to hear from you. I still check from time to time to see if your creation cosmology website is up and running.
    When I think to check it, I say a prayer that God will supply you with the wisdom and resources to complete it.]

    Thanks so much!!! For the interest and the prayers, it means a lot.

    [Oh! It is up! Cool! Glad to see your website is functional, Nicholas.]

    Yep! It is up, but I only have a handful of articles up currently (and one I had up on Genesis 1 I’ve taken down as I’m working on changes to it). Please known that, as I say in the about section:

    [I am in the early stages of establishing this website and blog, so for a bit here, you’ll see more of concrete dust flying up in the air than polished content. With that said, this site represents my ongoing studies, opened up to the world in a preliminary and sometimes unpolished (and pre-published) form, into the cosmological worldview of the Hebrews. My goal is to take my research online that I have been pursuing for some years now…]

    You stated: [Nicholas, do you mind if I refer some of my creationist friends to your site? I have some friends that work at a little creation museum in northern Ohio. They might be interested in it.]

    Absolutely! Please do. Moreover, please consider clicking some like buttons on the articles and all that jazz, it will undoubtedly help this site to figure more prominently in search results, which is important not for my sake, but for the sake of getting this alternative truth more well known. I would love for searches on ‘bible cosmology’ to show up on the first page, though that could take some real work. So please do share! This will also encourage me to keep working hard, my main thing is finding time out of my work to devote to this.

  23. Adam, interesting stuff, thanks for sharing. Would you mind sharing a couple more details about your position on young-earth/old-earth, and on your work in ANE studies? It seems like some unusual mixing of fields, chemistry and so forth with ANE ;0)

  24. I didn’t get a chance to call and ask anything, but I am curious as to whether an argument can be made for the irreducible complexity of the auditory system. I mean, you have the placement of the Basilar membrane and the Tectorial membrane in just such a way to displace the hair cells. The hair cells are constructed in such a way so as to have ion channels that are opened by the displacement of stereocilia. Even the ions involved are crucial. The scala media is full of endolymph which is rich in postassium ions. The reason they are rich in potassium ions is because of ion pumping cells in the stria vascularis. However, the perilymph in the in the Scala tympani is low on potassium, but high in sodium. The other problem is that, for the neurotransmitter to release, you need to have calcium ions enter the cell. There just happens to be voltage gated calcium ion channels on these cells. It is important that they are both voltage gated [they respond to the depolarization of the cells], and that they are calcium ion channels, because the influx of calcium is what leads to the release of the neurotransmitter. However, the low amount of potassium ion concentration in the scala tympani is also crucial, because it provides a way if efflux for the potassium ions.

    In other words, you have several different things necessary for hearing to occur:

    -The Basilar membrane and the Tectorial membrane in such a position so as to be able to displace the hair cells.

    -Ion pumps keeping potassium in the scala media.

    -Low potassium concentrations in the scala typani

    -The right ion channels on the stereocilia-both in terms of the fact that they are mechanically gated, and that they are potassium ion channels.

    -The fact that the calcium ion channels are voltage gated.

    If any *one* of these things are not in place, hearing does not occur. In fact, although the authors of my neuroscience book are openly evolutionists, they begin this chapter by saying that “the auditory system is one of the engineering masterpieces of the human body.” That was rather odd, because it is difficult to speak of evolution and engineering, considering evolution is an unguided process.

  25. Dr. Sarfati

    I didn’t hear the whole hour. But, I was giving you a compliment! I appreciate your honesty about putting the bible before science, when the two are in conflict.

    I think this makes for bad science. But, at least, it is honest. I can’t say that for some creationists I’ve heard.

    I am a creationist, by the way.

    I just think that God used evolution to create life on earth.

  26. Nicholas,

    First of all, you say,
    >>Rather we say the science *overwhelmingly* stands against evolution and all materialist assumptions that contradict the Bible’s account of origins.

    There are THOUSANDS of scientists who would flat-out disagree with you on that. The vast majority, I assume.

    I think what you mean is that your personal interpretation of the science stands against evolution.

    As for divine origin — I see no reason that evolution can’t have a divine origin.

    I think you are creating a conflict that need not exist.

  27. Daniel,

    >>I suspect Greg Allen is not here to think about the Truth; he is here to – with dogged persistence – spread an agenda and a false teaching in the hope that he could somehow legitimize himself

    Sheesh. Give it a break. I love the Lord. I am a Christian. I’m born again. I agree with you on a bunch of stuff and disagree with you on others.

    We have liberty in Christ to do that.

  28. Ray,

    >>I am one that does not believe science can give us all the answers. We must look outside of science for some information.

    Well said! I could not agree with this more.

    This is where radical atheists and Creationists have an odd solidarity. When they debate that science and the bible agree or disagree, the are presuming that it matters.

    For me, science and faith are two different ways at looking at the world. That they are different, gives us a broader insight into this beautiful gift of creation that God gave us.

  29. “old earth” vs. “new earth” is the least of problems for biblical literalists.

    How do you explain the “tehom” aka the “abyss”?

    Even the most unsophisticated reader of Genesis understands that there is no water below or above the earth.

    While the writer of Genesis clearly believed the earth was in a “void” surrounded by water, we now know that is co

  30. …completely wrong.

    (oops, I accidentally posted.)

    We now know, for absolute fact, that space is not made up of water as the bible says.

    Of course, you can say that water is a metaphor for space. But, by doing so, you are no longer a biblical literalist.

    Fine. Welcome to the liberal Christian club!

  31. Greg Allen,
    The Spirit of Jesus convicts the world of sin; because you reject the testimony which the Spirit gave to the Apostles (who also wrote about that inner witness which the Spirit bore) – e.g.: homosexuality being a sin and such people will sadly not inherit God’s Kingdom – I also reject the notion that you are a Christian.

    We cannot “approve” [Ro 1:32] of things God hates and say we “know Him” without being liars.

    It’s really that simple. You reject God’s Words and I reject the notion that you know the Word/Jesus.

  32. Greg Allen pretends to be a creationist now. But God’s written Word, the Bible, clearly teaches that death is “the last enemy” (1 Cor. 15:26) and “the wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23). But evolution is all about death of the unfit! So his position entails that God used this to bring about his “very good” creation (Gen. 1:31). While naive Christians compromise without realising the issue, atheists are most unimpressed with a god who would use such a wasteful, cruel, and inefficient process like evolution to “create” things. See my detailed paper Response to the evolution appeasers.

  33. Greg Allen

    “How do you explain the “tehom” aka the “abyss”?”
    Even now the oceans have enormous depths, such as Challenger Deep almost 11 km deep.

    “Even the most unsophisticated reader of Genesis understands that there is no water below or above the earth.”
    Of course there is. See Drowned from below and The ‘waters above’.

  34. I believe the creation teaches us that with God nothing is impossible. With God everything is possible.

    Maybe that’s one of the first (of so many I suppose) lessons the first few verses of Genesis has to teach us about our maker.

    I believe God loves science and physics in their true form as well as biology, language, and everything else that is honest and true.

  35. Dr. Sarfarti,

    But, surely you know that the tehom is not talking about the ocean.

    If you interpret it as such, Genesis 1 makes no sense.

    in the biblical world view, we are surrounded by water, protected by the fermament… in a kind of bubble] or a “vault” as the NIV renders it.

    The lights, of the day and night, were hung on the surface of that vault.

    From a scientific worldview this is absurdity.

    But, who cares? We live by faith. Not by science.

    When you believe that science can contradict the bible (and visa versa) you are assuming they are addressing the same thing.

    I do not make this assumption. But, you seem to.

  36. Daniel,

    Just because I disagree with your Hyper Literalism, it doesn’t make me a liar.

    There is room for honest disagreement within the body of Christ. When you divide the body of Christ over your Hyper Literalism, you are in direct disobedience of Jesus.

  37. Greg: You’ve got some facts confused, although on the other hand, I certainly fault no one for finding Genesis days 1-2 challenging. Even so, a lot of the challenge comes because we often, sometimes inadvertently, are working within the framework of materialistic models (like the Big Bang).

    Water is a molecule, and so it could by no means play any part in the materialistic Big Bang, at its beginnings. But what’s to say God didn’t want to start with water as an original substance to form the cosmos with, rather than with quarks? This is where we need to take our lenses off, our thick materialistic spectacles. We need to stop viewing Genesis through materialistic assumptions. If a creator intelligently started everything, who are you, and who am I, to tell Him it is silly for him to start everything with water?! What if God likes water? (It’s sure beautiful in all its forms! from snow flakes to ocean waters and etc.) Here’s what the sailors with Jonah wisely said: “For just as you have desired, so have you done!” I.e. who can speak back to God, and tell him his counsel was foolish?

    With that said, concerning the waters above of Genesis day 2, I have a question for you. Have you ever seen the Oort cloud? Has *anyone* ever seen the Oort cloud? Do you believe the Oort cloud exists?

    IF so, then that means you believe in waters above without yourself, or any scientist, ever having seen them. Waters that are a number of times more massive than the entire earth (much less simply the earth’s oceans), meaning the waters above, if they were the Oort cloud alone, would be thousands of times more in abundance than the earth’s waters.

    My point is *not* to say that the waters above in Genesis 1 are necessarily the Oort cloud waters. There *may* be some truth to that, but my real point is this: Why do we so quickly believe modern science, when it postulates the existence of things it has never seen, but only *needs* to be true so its model stays intact, but when Scripture speaks of waters above, we treat that with disdain and incredulity?

    Jonathan: thanks for linking to that article by Hartnett (The ‘waters above’), I’ve read it formerly, but was a good refresher.

  38. Greg Allen,
    A person is most certainly a liar when they say they know God yet heartily agree with sin. The Spirit reveals Jesus to those who OBEY Him [John 14:21]. Those who sin (or do the things which God condemns – among them, “approving” of what He hates) do not know God because God is not revealed to them.

    How can a person extract any meaningful knowledge from the Bible, at all if they are accused of being in an “error” of “hyper literalism” when they merely read the words (“homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God” or “because they did not honor God as God He gave them up to dishonor also themselves” [that homosexuality is among the many afflictions men were given for dishonoring God] or that “the Law was not made for the righteous person, but for the unholy, the unrighteous, the profane… homosexuals…” [1 Ti 1:9]) and believe them?

    What do you – or can you – say that the Bible definitely says WITHOUT being accused of “hyper literalism”? By the standard you have seem to promote, a person cannot take a single stitch of what the Bible says as meaning what it says; to me, this would go to further demonstrate your estrangement from Him Who is the Truth.

    If I am accused of the “error” of “hyper literalism”, I think you could rightly be shown to be in the error of “hyper liberalism” – and your “liberality” is not the “liberty” which comes with the Spirit of the Christ Who is the Savior from both the causes and effects of sin and commands us to walk on the narrow road which is “constricted with pressure”.

    These are some of the reasons why I reject the notion that you are or ever have been “saved” or “known Jesus”.

  39. Nicholas,

    As soon as you start speaking of molecules, you have left the bible and entered the world of science.

    And, them, you are doing both bad bible interpretation and bad science.

  40. Daniel,

    If you question my salvation over an honest disagreement between brothers, you have surely fallen victim to Hyper Literalism.

  41. Daniel,

    And, I hope you free yourself from the bondage of Hyper Literalism.

    As for me, the Grace of Christ is sufficient.

  42. I know that many of you think I have gone astray.

    But, if I got “led astray” it was from taking conservative hermeneutics too seriously.

    When my conservative bible school teachers told me to believe what the bible actually says, I believed it.

    The universe starts with water –“the deep” — which God hovers over. Not space. Not nothing. Water.

    Then, after water, there was light.

    Then God created a vault and this is the sky. The sky separates us from the water.

    And then under the sky, which is under the water, he created the earth.

    OK. I know this is crazy from a scientific worldview. Nutzoid. There is absolutely no reconciling it.

    But, I don’t care. I am a bible believing Christian.

    I also happen to have a degree in science. I believe in science.

    This doesn’t bother me at all.

    Why?

    Because I don’t confuse faith with science.

  43. Dan1el, when I made my earlier comment about Greg, that was before I saw his posts on other threads, and then the rest of his posts here. He clearly is a troll on this forum. That is not completely to no avail, as the words and accusations they speak still often provide an opportunity to spread reason. Even so…

    Troll (Wikipedia): [In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community … either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[5] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.]

    I would add: They simply don’t care about what others say or write, because they are not here to listen at all, just to hear their own voice shout and disrupt.

  44. Nicholas,

    As far as my work in the study of the ANE, I am especially interested in the pragmatics of ANE poetry. Especially the notion of conversational implicature is crucial to what I do. A simple conversational implicature would be something like this:

    John broke a leg last week.
    +>The leg that John broke was one of his own.

    Notice that nowhere in the text of “John broke a leg last week” does it say anything about the leg John broke being one of his own. Yet, we nevertheless assume it largely due to certain assumptions that we make about speakers in language. There are different kinds of implicatures, and there are hierachries of these kinds of implicatures [one kind of implicature can cancel out another kind if their meaning is contrary to one another]. Also, implicatures can be cancelled due to background assumptions or context.

    Aside from Neo-Gricean theories of implicature, I am also interested in Sperber and Wilson’s take on the notion of implicature as dealing with relevance. For example, take the following joke:

    Person 1: I ran out of gas. Can you tell me where I can get some gas?

    Person 2: There is a garage at the next intersection.

    Person 1: If you don’t tell me where I can get some gas, I am finding someone else.

    Obviously, person 1 did not pick up on the relevance between his statement and person 2’s response. The brain will actually process certain things together to confirm, strengthen, or even gain new information. How that works is crucial to Sperber and Wilson’s understanding of what they call explicature. Take the following example:

    John entered a room down the hall. The piano was from the ninteenth century.
    Explicature: There was a piano in the room John entered.

    Also important is the notion of social customs and background assumptions. For example, consider the fact that one conversational implicature will be produced in one statement, but not in another:

    John and Lisa bought a car.
    +>John and Lisa bought a car together, not each one separately bought a car.

    The United States and Russia tested the atom bomb in 1961
    ~+>The United States and Russia tested the atom bomb together, not each one separately.

    The reason why the second example does not produce the same implicature as the first example is because of our background knowledge that the United States and Russia were enemies in 1961, and thus, could not have tested the bomb together. Social background, historical background, etc. cancel implicatures.

    My interest is in why this happens. A lot of work has been done in the field of neurosociology recently and the building of social cognition. For example, we have discovered something called “mirror neurons” which fire not only when the individual performs the action, but also when he sees someone else do it. Other interesting work is being done by Michael Gazzazzinga on split brain patients. These are patients who have had to have the corpus calliosum severed due to severe seizures. It creates interesting social problems if a person does not have access to one area of their brain.

    I am also interested in patients with autism. One of the interesting things about patients with autism is that they have been classified as people who have deficiencies in the area of pragmatics and conversational implicature. Yet, recent studies have shown that they *are* capable of using *all* areas of pragmatics properly. This raises the question as to why this is. The answer that seems to be the most given is that people with autism have difficulty understanding other people’s minds and other people’s worlds. Therefore, if they can’t understand other worlds, it will effect whether they can see the interaction between those worlds and the principles used to derive conversational implicature. They will miss when implicatures are defeated and when they are not, or what the relevance between two different things are. All this deals with the way in which the brain constructs worlds through the use of social cognition, and then uses those worlds in the interpretation of human language.

    Given the terse nature of Hebrew and ANE poetry, I believe that the authors of these poems, including the Biblical authors, used these principles of worlds and implicature to their advantage. So powerful is the notion of implicature and pragmatics, that I believe I have even explained certain syntactical features of gapping in Hebrew poetry using conversational implicature. Word pairs and even imagery such as metaphor I believe can be explained using pragmatics and social cognition. But, anyway, that is what I am working on right now, and what I hope to do my doctorate in.

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