Dan Walker 5
Freedom of Religion

Dan Walker, creationism, and the witch-hunt against Bible-believing Christians

 

Dan Walker is the Bible-believing son of a Baptist minister. He is a TV and radio sports presenter who has just been appointed to front the BBC Breakfast programme following the retirement of Bill Turnbull, who wants to spend more time with his bees. Those are the facts. The media furore surrounding Dan Walker’s appointment has been quite extraordinary. That is another fact.

One expects it from the Guardian. They carry a sneery piece today by Catherine Bennett – ‘Dan Walker: it’s tricky to trust a presenter who feels God got him the job‘ – which is replete with religious illiteracy, derision, caricature and snooty barbs against the Bible-believer: how can anyone be so moronic as to believe that God – God! – has a plan for his life? “Walker is the kind of media disciple who, if he lacks the official authority of, say, a Rev Richard Coles, our own Rev Giles Fraser, or their colleague, HSBC’s Rev Stephen Green, more than compensates for this lay status with assertions of inflexible faith,” she writes, with all the hyper-flexible journalistic tolerance of Richard Dawkins on dogma-enhancing steroids. There’s nothing so insidiously hypocritical as someone who is absolutely right lampooning those who are absolutely right.

So much for the Guardian; now to the Telegraph. They published a piece a few days ago entitled ‘Dan Walker’s creationism is an affront to reason, science and logic‘, with the strap line: “The BBC has done nothing to explain how someone who believes in the literal truth of Genesis can present the news accurately.” Seriously? Does the BBC really have to explain why religious belief ought not to be a bar to employment by a public body?

The article is written by Rupert Myers, who happens also to be a barrister. With that, you might expect intellectual rigour, sound judgment, impeccable integrity and the ability to ascertain crucial facts and present complex matters succinctly and fairly. But what you actually get is a sub-Guardian – even sub-GCSE – level of religious literacy, derision and caricature. It is such a diatribe of anti-Bible-believing-Christian prejudice that it is incredible (quite literally) that the Telegraph, which is owned by devout Roman Catholics, saw fit to publish it.

Padded out with illustrative but manifestly mocking pictures of fossils and plastic dinosaurs, Rupert Myers compares ‘creationism’ (which he defines nowhere) to the non-belief in the French Revolution and (astonishingly) Holocaust denial. “As a Christian,” he writes, asserting his enlightened but manifestly superior faith credentials, “I hope society continues to protect my right to hold beliefs and to express them. But that margin cannot cover disregard for well-established scientific fact in a job where fact is key.” And then we get this:

A belief that the earth is between six and ten thousand years old, and that presumably God planted dinosaur skeletons in the ground to give us all something to talk about, goes well beyond the values for which people of faith can demand respect. The only difference between creationism and a church you could set up tomorrow which believes China doesn’t actually exist is that creationism has been around for a longer period of time. Sexism, too, has quite a vintage, but we do not accord it respect for being old.

Presumably Rupert Myers is a non-creationist type of Christian: “To believe that God literally created the earth in six days is to deny basic elements of logic,” he writes infallibly, as though the belief that a wafer may be made into the literal body of Christ at the command of a priest were a scientific transubstantiation wholly in accord with the basic elements of logic.

And so, absent a rigorous defence of this appointment by the BBC, the inference is that Dan Walker should be swiftly sacked for his inability “to interview a paleontologist objectively, to present the latest findings on the age of perceptible space, or to discuss education or science policy with ministers”, for viewers could not possibly have any confidence in his capacity for professional objectivity. It merits a line-by-line fisking, but life is too short and the devil needs accosting. Admirable and eloquent rebuttals have been written by David Robertson, Andy Walton, and Dan Walker’s sometime friend Stephen Kneale. They cover all the primary points of logical rejoinder, and explain why such hounding of a Bible-believing Christian by someone professing to be Christian is not merely illiberal, but immoral.

There is one assertion, however, which demands further comment and scrutiny, for it evidences an alarming prejudice, especially in a barrister. Myers writes: “Creationists cannot be trusted to report objectively, or to interact reasonably with their interviewees and with the public.” It was politely suggested to him that ‘Creationists’ might here be replaced with ‘gays’, ‘Muslims’ or ‘Jews’ (for the BBC employs lots of these, combined), who might be tasked not merely with presenting the news (or ‘religion and ethics’ programming), but selecting which stories are deemed worthy of coverage and devising angles for public presentation.

Astonishingly, Myers (a barrister) responded to this basic point of logic with a dismissive objection: “I’m afraid I’m horribly busy today or I’d argue with you all morning: please do try not to paint me as a homophobe or antisemite in my absence.”

Myers, a barrister (did you get that?), took a philosophically valid and perfectly logical substitutional device (philosophical parallelism, which some call ‘Whataboutery’) and turned it into an allegation of homophobia or anti-Semtism. And so all debate is muzzled, as ever it is when ‘-phobe’ is hurled or ‘hate’ alleged. Indeed, even ‘Whataboutery’ has become a slur to silence critics, akin to ‘bigot’ or ‘conspiracy theorist’, as though no discrimination may any longer be reasoned, and no political or religious agenda pursued covertly.

Not all creationists are ‘young earthers’, though it is doubtful that Rupert Myers (a barrister) had the courtesy to phone Dan Walker to try to discern fairly the facts of how he reconciles science with his beliefs, and so discover what type of creationist he is. He seems intelligent enough to be able to count the rings in a tree trunk. But even if he believes in a six-day creation by faith, what business is it of Rupert Myers? Who is he to demand that the BBC separate the logical-scientific-materialist sheep from the myth-believing goats?

Beyond scientific doubt, the earth is many millions of years old. Radiocarbon (and -uranium and -potassium) dating tells us that Bishop Ussher was wrong: the earth was not created in 4004BC. But don’t some creationists hold to the Apparent Age theory? Adam was created on the sixth day. On the seventh day, how old was Adam? 33 years or just one day? Forget whether he had a navel or not, you see the point: God reveals Himself through His created universe in very many and mysterious ways. It may offend against common sense, but the God who can raise a man from the dead is perfectly capable of creating trees with rings in them.

Faith may be reconciled with evolution: creationism is not necessarily incompatible with the known facts of science. Perhaps Rupert Myers would like all those Christians who happen to believe in a literal Adam and Eve to be barred from jobs which demand the ability to grasp hard facts and apply logic. Of course, Jews and Muslims who hold such a belief will be exempt from the inquisition, under the protective aegis of ‘-phobe’.

  • James60498 .

    I spent a considerable amount of time on (Telegraph) this article arguing both against the idiot writer and the fools who supported him.

    Don’t know why you are shocked though that the Telegraph should have published it. It has been pushing all sorts of rubbish for ages. Obsessed with gay rights certainly on its website. (I wouldn’t pay for this garbage any more), it’s no longer the Torygraph, as much as (I’ve seen it called), The Gaily Telegraph.

    One of the articles highlighted on its website at the moment is headed, (and this is not out of line with much of what it does, albeit in this case, it’s not a gay issue)

    ” Dear Graham Norton. I’ve got feelings for my gym buddy”.

    • David

      “I spent a considerable amount of time ….supporting him”
      Well done !
      So have I.
      It’s worth it occasionally, when one can spare the time, just to show up how bigoted and ignorant the anti-faith brigade really are.

  • David

    As a longtime DT reader it has become painfully obvious for about 4/5 years, that the formerly, genuinely conservative newspaper is now only fiscally conservative. On social issues, it is as PC and “right on” as any other liberal-left, bossy and bigoted news outlet. Some of their articles are juvenile in terms of their level of “argument, not to mention the quality of their English grammar.
    For that reason I longtime ended my daily purchase of a paper version, but still opt for their unlimited on-line access for £80 pa. That shift, performed by many others I’m sure, must have cost them dearly. I give my £80 grudgingly, simply because otherwise, as I shun the BBC and commercial TV, I’d have no idea regarding the distortions that “Mr +Mrs Average” middle-class is being fed, which I need to know to contrast with the wider, more reliable range of news sources that I use.

    • James60498 .

      I keep getting messages saying something like. “We are pleased that you like the Telegraph articles but you have now run out of free articles”

      As I certainly don’t like it, I delete my “history” which means that the Telegraph no longer knows that I have read it and I can start my free articles again. And I don’t have to pay £80 to fund it.

      • David

        Ingenious if somewhat dishonest, if I may so.

        • James60498 .

          Don’t think it’s either.

          The Telegraph uses the Internet to the best of its ability to spread its nonsense. It might print rubbish but it’s not stupid enough not to realise that anyone using the same internet fully has the ability to do this.

          Many people delete history automatically. I certainly don’t do it just to bypass their restrictions. Whenever I do a full scan on my computer the programme asks do I want to clear history. I was told to do so by a bank only this week.
          Occasionally if I am in the middle of a debate I will do it deliberately but I don’t spend that much time on it. I am more likely to use the free Guardian that has no restrictions at all, and isn’t really that much more ridiculous.

          Anyone who deletes automatically might not even know that they are bypassing restrictions.

          If the Telegraph wants to get it’s nonsense out to as many as possible then it’s free. If it wants to charge then it should follow the Times and charge.

          • David

            The Guardian and The Telegraph are on a convergence course I’d say, each to become quite ridiculous. Even five years ago that would have been an impossible thought.

      • Anton

        I believe you can do it without even deleting your history (which often requires resetting things you want to keep) if you use, say, Chrome to browse other things and Firefox to browse the Telegraph, and delete your Firefox history whenever you reach the limit. If you don’t like the two browsers I’ve named, you can substitute others in that sentence.

      • DanJ0

        Shift-Ctrl-P, type in the URL, and you’re away!

    • Phil R

      I read bits of the Sunday Telegraph last weekend

      Left wing tripe. Nothing worth reading

      Glad I didn’t pay money for it

  • MenAreLikeWine

    It is worth remembering that ALL Christians are “creationists”. We all believe that the Universe was created by God.

    In its purest sense that is all the word means. I am a “creationist” yet I see no problem with the science behind evolution, or the origin of the Universe. The man who in fact first put forward the Big Bang Theory was a creationist. He was called Msgr. George Lemaitre and he was a Catholic priest.

    It is only when we move onto the idea of a young earth that problems arise. As His Grace points out, not all creationists believe in the concept of a young earth. I personally believe the idea of a young earth is daft when the weight of scientific evidence is against it.

    I have no qualms with the concept of God creating the universe in six days. It is clear that the six days do not refer to what we understand as days. A day on Earth is the time it takes for the Earth to rotate around its axis. As the Earth wasn’t created until the third day, it is clear that it is impossible for days 1 and 2 to be days as we understand them.

    Even, if Mr Walker believes in a young earth, how is that an issue? He is going to be presenting the news that is given to him.

    When the BBC can have an atheist like Clare Balding presenting a programme on religion, I believe at the BBC anything goes.

  • Anton

    Come out and fight, Myers, you reprehensible intellectual coward.

  • Anton

    You know, I think there is something to be said for restricting public service employees to people who don’t deny that man is inherently sinful, given how absurd their view is in the light of several thousand years of ceaseless war and cruelty…

  • Coniston

    For the compatibility of Christianity and science see:

    The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion http://www.faraday.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/index.php
    This has very useful information sheets (4 A4 pages) by writers such as John Polkinghorne, Ernest Lucas and John Bryant.

    Christians in Science http://www.cis.org.uk They produce useful leaflets on a number of topics.

    • David

      Well said. I live locally and attend their free lectures occasionally. Their on-line papers demonstrate that there is no incompatibility between science and faith. But the aggressive atheist types are determined to pretend that there is, simply to obtain a stick with which to beat, Christians mainly.

      • Anton

        I know some of those guys personally and agree that it is good stuff. I believe that science when done correctly, and scripture when understood properly, will not disagree, because God ordained the laws of science and God (the Holy Spirit) wrote the Bible. There is one exception to this accord, however, miracles.

        • David

          Good ! Excellent.

      • Little Black Censored

        “…there is no incompatibility between science and faith…”
        The aggressive atheists are particularly annoyed to be told that such incompatibility is simply impossible: the more that science discovers, the more we know about creation. No truth can be incompatible with God who is Truth. The very notion of a Universe and its laws comes from religious study – hence the foundation of the Royal Society.

        • David

          Well said ! My understanding of it too, entirely.

  • CliveM

    I could just about see the sense of the argument if this was a science programme. But really this is only a slight step up from fluff tv.

    It will be interesting to see how the BBC responds.

    • carl jacobs

      An assumption of continuity based upon an unacknowledged Materialist presupposition does not constitute science.

      • CliveM

        I wasn’t making a point about creationism v evolution. Simply that even if we take his scientific view as fact, his comments could only ever apply to science based programmes not this sort of tv. Making his comments even sillier.

        • carl jacobs

          This isn’t about science. This whole controversy can be reduced to …

          “Good God! Who let him in the club?”

          • CliveM

            Well I don’t disagree.

  • chiefofsinners

    If creation is not true then God is a liar and the whole faith in false. The stakes could it be higher. Satan knows this, which is why his servants are so hard at work in this area. The world hates us – we should not be surprised, it was ever thus. Friendship with the world is enmity with God.

    • sarky

      Surely it should be ‘if creation isn’t true, god doesn’t exist’?

      • alternative_perspective

        Would you kindly give us a logical argument for that…
        How does the falsification of the literal creation narrative disprove God? Sarky, this is why people get frustrated with you. There’s no logical connection between the “If” and the “Then” yet somehow you think its persuasive?
        To get from the If to the Then clauses you postulate we need quite a few more steps, which you’ve omitted.
        Even if we generously open the question up then: If creation isn’t true Then none of us exist!

        • sarky

          Because a big bang followed evolution doesn’t require a god.

          • Logically, it requires a Creator Being.
            “Nihil fit ex nihilo.”.

          • Anton

            Defining “nothing” is trickier than you might think, which I believe is why Genesis never says that God created the universe from nothing, just that he created it. He doesn’t waste words on philosophy.

            (Most people think of nothing as meaning empty space in 3 dimensions, but even that has dimensions – 3 of them – whereas true nothing has no dimensions. Then there is the problem of zero-point energy according to quantum mechanics…)

          • Jack would attempt to define it. All he knows is that nothing is no-thing at all. An absence of anything. Zilch.

          • Anton

            And in that case, even no time…

          • Well quite. So the question arises: where did the elements needed for the Big Bang come from?

          • Anton

            Yes, that’s the right question for nontheists.

          • A ‘string’ from a parallel universe. But where did that come from? And so it goes on, and on, and on, and on ….

          • Little Black Censored

            “…Genesis never says that God created the universe from nothing…”
            It says he created order out of chaos.

          • sarky

            How is that logical? Or is it the old ‘we don’t know yet so god must have done it’ chestnut.

          • Google the terms “Nihil fit ex nihilo” and “Infinite regress”. You might just learn something.

          • IanCad

            As in: “Who lit the match?”

          • Who made the match ….

          • Anton

            Setting aside the evolution issue, the Big Bang is is superlative accord with scripture. Both say that there was a beginning. Many eastern pagan systems say the universe was always here. Einstein’s field equations of general relativity (confirmed again spectacularly last week), when applied to the whole universe, clearly imply a beginning, which Fred Hoyle memorably called the Big Bang.

          • sarky

            I think it’s the cause of that beginning that we differ on.

          • Anton

            I agree that that’s where we disagree. What’s your answer, please?

          • Ivan M

            How spectacular is this confirmation given that they have been looking for this for decades?

          • Anton

            That’s the point: it has been an extended effort, and the investment in expertise and time has now paid off.

          • Ivan M

            The point is after having spent 1.1 dollars they were honour bound to find something even if it lasted 0.2 seconds. Second isn’t this just possibly a confirmation that GTR is a field theory rather an action at a distance theory which is vacuously true.

          • Anton

            The equations of general relativity (GR, as physicists call it for short), derived by Einstein in 1915 after what I regard as the greatest feat of solo thinking ever by a single physicist, unambiguously predict gravitational waves – as Einstein himself foresaw. Ever since then it has simply been a matter of building bigger and better detectors as technology improved, and hoping that a major event somewhere in the universe would send some of these waves our way. Following a technological upgrade last year of a detector known as LIGO, such an event was detected.

            I don’t understand your second sentence. Field theories ARE action-at-a-distance theories, the first of which was Newton’s theory of gravity by which distant bodies still felt each other’s gravity. Einstein’s theory is ultimately a huge refinement of Newton’s. Do ask a further question if that needs clarification.

          • Ivan M

            Why should it be a surprise that putative gravitational waves are detected, given that there is supposed to be a finite velocity of propagation through what is called the fabric of space-time? I don’t understand the mathematics behind GTR principally because I am too lazy to verify the tensor calculus with pencil and paper. But nonetheless it should be reducible to a second-order wave equation form, for the detection of waves. From well known theory this implies a finite velocity of propagation of disturbances. This is already implied, in that that GTR is a field theory, of the form that is similar to that in elastic solids. My problem is that if the theory is already of that form, waves are inevitable. So what does the detection of gravitational waves prove other than GTR is a field theory which is a tautology.

          • Anton

            Since Einstein’s earlier *special* theory of relativity we have learnt (and confirmed experimentally in work that I hope does impress you!) that the notion of simultaneity is relative. Two events that look simultaneous to one observer don’t look simultaneous to another who is moving relative to the first, the difference becoming obvious when their relative speed is close to that of light.

            A decade later, the hard part for Einstein (and the greatest single intellectual achievement by any physicist in my view) was in deriving the field equations of general relativity *before* making the approximation for small amplitude disturbances that linearised them and resulted in the wave equation (which is 2nd order as you correctly state). It was not inevitable that linearisation would give rise to the wave equation, however; it might have given rise to an equation that included a first-order (or ‘diffusion’) term, or even a 4th order linear partial differential equation. That’s why it’s not a tautology.

      • Findaráto

        I thought it should be “if creation isn’t true then the Bible is full of lies and the whole faith therefore has no solid foundation”.

        The Bible being a not-particularly-convincing work of fiction doesn’t mean there isn’t a God, of course. Or Gods. Or other supernatural entities like pixies and goblins.

        Personally I quite like the Japanese taken on things. Eight million gods, or kami to be more precise, that need to be propiated whenever you want something from them. If you’re going to do religion, you might as well do it properly. And really, is it any more ridiculous to believe that a moss-covered rock is inhabited by an eternal spirit than it is to believe that the dead can rise and that pigs can be possessed by demons?

        • carl jacobs

          Introducing the New and Improved Linus Mark VII Collector’s Edition! Now with an extra-low pH factor of 1.3 and a set of bad American affectations. But wait! If you order right now, we’ll include at no extra charge six chocolate eclairs made fresh in Paris just last week. You’ll pay nothing! That’s right! You’ll pay nothing for this delicious treat. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for ordering Linus Mark VII. But call right away. This is a limited edition offer. Operators are standing by.

          • Allosexuels admirateur

            Combien? Je suis un homme avec des moyens limités.

        • Lienus

          I quite like the atheist homosexual fairytale take on things. That two men can be married and that sex can happen between people of the same gender. And everything came from nowhere and no one can tell me what to do but I can mock everyone else and police their thoughts and call them homophobe if my arguments are threatened.

        • The Explorer

          “The Bible being a not-particularly-convincing work of fiction.”
          Do you mean:
          1. It pretends to be fiction, and fails?
          2. It pretends not be fiction and fails?

          • Findaráto

            Both.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you for clarifying.

        • Ivan M

          Those Gabardine swine were special. Incidentally you may wish to speculate on Hindu reincarnation since the demons were said to have animated the pigs.

          • Findaráto

            Amazing creatures these “Gabardine swine”. Demon possessed and clad in Burberry as they plunged over that cliff into the sea.

            Now that I would have liked to see! Jesus dressing those pigs up in chavvy raincoats would be a very persuasive miracle. Burberry wasn’t invented until the late 19th century, so he would have had to reach through time in order to clothe those pigs in it. A true miracle if ever there was one!

            Pity the Bible is silent on the topic of gabardine, eh? The pigs were from Gadara, hence their description as Gadarene, not Gabardine, swine.

            But perhaps it was meant to be a joke…

        • Little Black Censored

          “pixies and goblins”
          And our old friend the FAIRY – had you forgotten him/her?

          • Findaráto

            There’s about as much evidence for Tinkerbell as there is for God, so why not add fairies into the pantheon of mythical beings available for worship?

      • Little Black Censored

        Please let us not let into ” this discussion be hijacked into “Does God exist?” That is so boring. How can somebody for whom God=Existence argue with somebody who limits his acceptance of deist proofs to within creation?

  • carl jacobs

    So, this won’t end well. I suspect he will withdraw from the position to save the BBC the embarrassment. That’s usually what happens when the audience rejects someone in this type of situation. Then we can all go back to being tolerant, inclusive, and non-discriminatory.

  • sarky

    Personally I don’t give a stuff about his faith even if some of his alleged views are a bit fruit loop. I’d rather judge him on his ability, surely that’s all that matters?

  • Anton

    Who in the previous thread was defending the BBC?

    • CliveM

      Hmm the people quoted criticising him aren’t the BBC. It was the BBC who employed him (and I understand allow him not to work Sunday’s), so at this stage at least I’m not sure they have yet (underline yet) done anything wrong.

      • Anton

        Oops yes; let’s see what happens next!

    • IanCad

      Me! Me! Me! But only WS & R4. Don’t know about TV but those two radio treasures must be preserved.

  • Findaráto

    What’s he been hired to do? Present a breakfast TV show? Or head up some vital area of scientific research?

    If the latter, I quite agree that a Bible-believin’ Christian would be a poor choice for the job. But if the former, well let’s face it, any bimbo can read an autocue, so I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

    Being a Christian may make this man even more suited to breakfast TV presenting than the average agnostic or atheist cynic. There’s the trademark Christian guileless and slightly vacant smile to consider – surely a difficult feat for any non-Christian to pull off, especially that early in the morning, but a doddle for born-agains, whose faces always seem to be frozen in a permanent inane grin.

    This man isn’t going to be asked to do anything where his faith might pose a problem. And if he starts to rant and proselytise on-screen, then he’ll be booted and that will be that. And in any case, who watches BBC Breakfast? Insomniac grannies, many of whom are probably just as Christian as he is. The rest of us may have our televisions turned on for background noise as we get ready in the morning. But even if this man did have a religious meltdown on screen and start to prophesy in “dee name of dee Lawd”, I doubt anyone would be paying any attention.

    TV shouldn’t become a no-go area for Christians or for any other minority. As long as they can do the job, they should be considered along with every other suitable candidate.

    • carl jacobs

      Dear Happy Jack.

      You were right. I’m convinced now.

      • It’s Jack’s professional eye, Carl.

    • Lienus

      Yes, Christians are welcome anywhere so long as no-one listens to them, and so long as they’re sacked if they mention their faith. Because atheists are so tolerant. In the name of the Dawkins, amen.

    • Allosexuels admirateur

      Vous me faites étourdie.

      • The Explorer

        You’ll be making Lienus jealous.

        • Ivan M

          I see that you had it figured out.

          • The Explorer

            Linus is/was very funny at times. This one is a step too far.

        • Allosexuels admirateur

          Je l’espère. Il est mon héros.

    • Ivan M

      Have the Mormons been to you again? I hope you get a river dunking next time.

  • john in cheshire

    I don’t see how anyone can call themselves Christian if they don’t accept the Bible as the true word of God. We don’t get to cherry pick the bits we like and ignore those we don’t; it’s all or nothing. As such, I don’t think this barrister is a Christian, even if he thinks he is. I think the Pharisees had the same attitude in that they thought they knew better than God. Jesus put paid to their delusions.

    • Anton

      You’d better ask a few of those liberal Christians to explain themselves then! Given that most of them take a salary from church collection plates and then sow doubt, they badly need to heed how strongly Christ spoke against hypocrisy, and James 3:1 about how teachers will be judged to higher standard. Satan doubtless regards them as “useful idiots”.

    • sarky

      Well I hope to see you out in the street stoning adulterers then.

      • Anton

        I thought you said you’d been in a church for nearly two decades? And they didn’t explain to you how St Paul said with perfect clarity that Christians were not under ancient Israel’s law?

        • sarky

          Hate Your Family:  Luke 14:26  NASB

          If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters… he cannot be My disciple.

          Give Away EVERYTHING You Own:  Luke 14:33  NASB

          So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

          I take it you’re not a family hating pauper?

          • Anton

            “Hate” in the Greek New Testament meant indifference, not intense dislike. Indifference is the opposite of love; hate is simply love gone sour. It’s worthy looking at the unedited version of Luke 14:26-7, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Jesus is saying that you have to feel about your own family as you do even about your self: that it is nothing compared to him. In the same spirit, Luke 14:33 says that believers must give UP everything. That is not necessarily the same as giving AWAY everything; it is an inner attitude of being willing to give away everything if Christ commands.

          • sarky

            Thats the beauty of the bible, you can just interpret things away.

          • Anton

            Words change meaning over time. You think that when Jesus said “suffer little children to come to me” in the early 17th century translation he meant that children should suffer?

  • DenisV

    “Beyond scientific doubt, the earth is many millions of years old. Radiocarbon (and -uranium and -potassium) dating tells us that Bishop Ussher was wrong”.

    Hmmm. Using these “scientific” dating methods, the Mt St Helens eruption in 1986 occurred 0.35 million years ago, and Mt Ngaruhoe eruptions from last century occurred 0.27 to 3.5 million years ago! (http://creation.com/national-geographic-plays-the-dating-game)

    Radiometric dating relies on several unprovable assumptions. Say you have a slowly dripping tap with a half-filled bucket underneath. From the drip rate you could easily work out how long the bucket had taken to fill. But how do you know how much water was in the bucket at the start, or whether someone added water in the meantime?

    Jesus said “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). As there is no “scientific doubt” that the universe appeared 15 billion years ago and homo sapiens appeared only 0.2 million years ago, obviously Jesus was deluded!

    • sarky

      Yep.

    • Pubcrawler

      “‘But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female’ (Mark 10:6)”

      What then of Genesis 2:18-22?

      • DenisV

        Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean?

      • IanCad

        I’ll take a stab at that Pubcrawler. It could seem that a second creation was going on, but that is not so. God is merely recounting and expanding on the previous events.

    • Anton

      That’s a broken link. Please find the right one and I’ll critique it. Meanwhile I urge readers not to believe the science that appears on “creation science” websites without checking it up, at least about astrophysics and geology. (Like most of the creation scientists I’m only an amateur scientist at biology, but I am a professional one in physics and am convinced that YOM means “era” in Genesis 1 – otherwise God is a capricious practical joker. And I am evengelical not liberal.)

      • DenisV

        Delete the ‘)’ from the end of the link

        • Anton

          Will do. You can easily edit your post so as to put a space between the end of the web address and the righthand bracket; then it will work first time.

          • DenisV

            As I’m currently working 60+ hours per week, I’m afraid I only have time to make the odd comment.

            But as you are a professional physicist, you may be interested in the writings of Australian physicist John Hartnett ( http://biblescienceforum.com/ ), who’s specialty seems to be in time measurement.

      • DenisV

        I agree. Genesis 1 was written from the point of view of an observer on the earth (hence the day and night). And with Einstein’s relativity (which has been in the news lately) there are several theories of how 7 days of earth time can be reconciled with much longer periods of gallactic time.

        But it all boils down to a question of trust. Although our scientific knowledge is growing, it is still limited. There are many, many things we don’t understand and theories are changing all the time. So do we as Christian’s rely on man’ partial, changeable theories, or on the words of Hmi “through (whom) all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3)?

    • I think Jesus meant at the beginning of creation on Earth.

  • Christians also believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. How ludicrous is that? A man literally coming back to life after being crucified and having a spear driven through his side. Well, not all Christians believe this anymore. Some do. Probably not the right-on-cool types.

    • Terry Mushroom

      Surely not “coming back to life” but rising to a new one?

      • Agreed. However, it was His earthly body that rose and became His resurrected body that ascended to heaven.

        • Terry Mushroom

          Of course!

  • Lienus

    Anyone who believes in creation is obviously mentally ill and should be banned from all employment, while also held responsible and therefore not paid any benefits. This man is a threat to community cohesion because he disagrees with some other people, so prison is probably appropriate. He’s also probably plotting against the state so take his children away from him. These people should be stopped from buying and selling by means of some kind of mark on the foreheads of those of us who are normal. It’s a good job we atheists are so tolerant or he’d be fed to the lions. Not a bad idea actually, I wonder if anyone’s thought of that before?

    • Allosexuels admirateur

      Swoooon ….

      • The Explorer

        You’ll be making Findarato jealous.

        • Ivan M

          They are all one person. Like a parody of the Trinity. The man is able to carry it off. I respect this multi-polar personality.

        • Allosexuels admirateur

          Non, il est un poisson froid.

  • Mark

    In ref to the Guardian article (as written), if he did say he felt God got him the job, he is possibly unwittingly, suggesting that God favoured him uber alles. A bit like the 100 metre sprinter who wins and claims God dunnit for him, when the second-placed devout sprinter who prayed all day long for 20 years, is a tad confused.

    That does make people look a bit silly, whichever way it’s spun.

    • john in cheshire

      No. According to the Bible and I think Jesus’ own words, nothing happens but that God makes it so.

      Oh, and of course for the time being satan rules the earth. But I think us proper Christians know how it’s going to end.

  • The vast majority of people who believe in evolution do not understand its limitations – they simply believe it is true. No other theory, which has so many gaps, might have been accepted as scientific.

    In Darwin’s time, modern genetics and the structure of the DNA were little understood, and if he had knowledge of it, it is unlikely that he could logically speaking, have come up with conclusions he did.

    For example, beneficial mutations are extremely rare and most mutations tend to be harmful. For one mammalian species to change to another, thousands of identical beneficial mutations – which confer survival advantage – had to occur simultaneously in several of the offspring born to mothers within a single generation of the parent species, to facilitate breeding within the new species. If you calculate the probability of that happening – and it is doubtful anyone has – it might be easier to win several lotteries in a single day.

    Those who support evolution cannot explain (and have never calculated) how many times these nearly impossible transformations from one species to another had to occur from the common ancestor that we supposedly shared with the apes till we arrived at the Home sapiens stage. Nor can they give reasons why all these intermediate forms vanished from the earth.

    School biology textbooks – showing drawings of evolution from monkey to man – makes it all look very simple. In medicine, however, you learn only of mutations that cause disease and not one instance of a mutation that produces unequivocal advantage for individual.

    To believe evolution you do need to have huge amounts of faith.

    • Anton

      It is precisely DNA evidence that has verified evolution beyond all reasonable doubt – of animals and of the human body, albeit not of the human spirit (neshamah) which God blew in. The extensive homologies across species of DNA strands that do not code for a protein, together with knowledge of how changes in DNA sequences take place, show this.

      • Can you give examples, please, of beneficial mutations or change of species? Other than sickle cell anaemia and antibiotic resistance in man, which do not produce unequivocal advantages in the affected individual / organism?

        • Anton

          Bacteria evolve resistance to antibiotics in a hospital environment.

          Before you say that, for a particular species of bacterium, those bacteria having genes resistant to antibiotics were already present and simply came to the fore, that is not always true. Bacteria of Yersinia pestis that caused the 14th century Black Death have been isolated from plague pits and their DNA is rather different from that of modern Yersinia pestis to which the 14th century version has given rise.

          Another example is when a disease of animals jumps animal species and infects, eg, man as well as its previous host. Comparison of the DNA of the infection in the original host animal and in man shows differences that are crucial in enabling the disease to infect man. That’s a recent mutation, for the older strain cannot in some cases transfer to man.

          You asked for examples of beneficial mutations. “Beneficial” is a word that needs clarifying but, presuming you mean beneficial for the species possessing the DNA, the bacteria I have specified are examples.

          • But there was no change of species? Resistance to antibiotics or sickle cell anaemia do not prove that species change.

            As a doctor, I have some knowledge of genetic mutations and the truth is there is not a single documented or observable instance of unequivocally beneficial mutations in human beings.

            Some mutations may produce limited survival (equivocal) advantages in a particular environment; but as you are aware people suffering form sickle cell disease are not really healthy people. The bacteria resistant to antibiotics are actually less vigorous in the wild than the non-mutant forms.

            What is now termed ‘microevolution’ – mutations producing minor and often unobservable changes – is observable in nature; to extrapolate from this that ‘macroevolution’ or a change of species could have occurred requires a huge leap of faith.

            Change of species requires huge numbers of perfectly timed and coordinated mutations in the DNA strands of several babies born at the same time. What is the probability of this happening? Why do we never see this happen even in organisms with very short lifespans.

          • Anton

            It doesn’t. You can imagine a population of a species dividing at a given moment in time by wandering off into different environments, which exert different selection pressures on the two subpopulations, while at the same time different mutations occur at random and spread in each subpopulation; to the extent that, after a long time, they are so different that they can no longer interbreed. We have *artificially* bred dachshunds and Alsatians from common ancestors but it is not hard to imagine scenarios in which selection favours larger dogs in one environment and smaller ones in another.

          • chiefofsinners

            Al the breeds of dog arise from genetic information already present in the common ancestor, with certain characteristics selected. Selection does not create the new information necessary for a dog to become, say, a fish.

          • Anton

            No, but mutations happen at random at a certain rate – you can determine that by looking at genes from several generations of the same line, in humans or dogs or fish or whatever – and the new genes created thereby are able to be recruited for function.

          • chiefofsinners

            The mutations don’t produce new information but they do produce degeneration.

            Start here if you’re interested: http://creation.com/mutations-are-evolutions-end

          • Anton

            “Information” is terribly misunderstood in these discussions. you can get more information in a longer genome and genomes can increase in length.

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes they can increase in length, but they produce only replications of existing information. More of the same information but nothing new.
            Read here:

            http://creation.com/refuting-evolution-2-chapter-5-argument-some-mutations-are-beneficial

          • Anton

            Define “information” as used in this context in your own words, please.

          • chiefofsinners

            Exactly like the words we are using. The structure and sequence of proteins in the amino acid coding regions (together with its cellular support mechanisms), is an information storage, retrieval and processing system.

          • Anton

            Then you CAN get more information in a longer sequence.

          • Still no observable evidence of change in species? They are still dogs and can interbreed with other dogs.

            “You can imagine… they are so different that they can no longer interbreed.”

            This is just what it is – someone’s imagined that this might have happened, but they have produced no verifiable proof, and not for want of trying. There are organisms which multiply so rapidly, that change of species should be possible to demonstrate. Numerous experiments have yielded no evidence, so evolutionary biologists expect us to have take them at their word.

            And where are all the intermediate species?

          • Anton

            This is obviously a process that takes some time so it cannot be observed in a laboratory, and it is then a question of what evidence you *would* accept. In my experience creationists – and I trust you will be an exception – use improper rhetorical arguments when dismissing evidence from the traces. That is why I would like to know what you would accept. I recall one example of a species that was forced south as an Ice Age came on and the population divided at the northern tip of a large lake (maybe Baikal) and the resulting two subpopulations had undergone so many different random mutations, and perhaps been subject to different predators on each side, that they could no longer interbreed when they met at the southern tip of the lake many centuries later. Allow me time to find the details in my files.

          • Broadwood

            Non-interbreeding subspecies are one thing – but species usually have distinct numbers of chromosomes, and cannot interbreed or turn into each other – it’s called the species barrier. There is no adequate evolutionary explanation for this.

          • Anton

            I disagree with your last sentence; the number of chromosomes can change too by means that are understood.

          • Broadwood

            Its only a recognised phenomenon in certain plants (polyploidy) – when it is usually a doubling of chromosomes – and even then sometimes causes catastrophic malformations. Usually, changes in chromosome number in higher animals are anything but beneficial resulting in extremely deleterious ‘syndromes’, and cannot be passed on, as they generally render affected individuals sterile.
            So how a new species can stably acquire a different number of chromosomes to the supposed ‘parent’ species is very much unexplained in conventional evolutionary theory.

          • Anton

            One difference between us and chimps is that one longer chromosome in one corresponds to two shorter ones in the other, to a very high degree of homology. It’s obvious what happened.

          • Phil R

            They have been changing the environment for fruit flies and may flies for 50 year or more.

            Hundreds of thousands of generations, lots of mutations. All mutated fruit or may flies.

            Not a single new species.

            Not one.

          • Anton

            Hundreds of thousands of generations in 50 years? If you don’t even know the lifespan of a fruit fly, how can I trust you about their genetics?

            Please look up “ring species” on Wikipedia for examples of the type I gave to which you responded.

          • Phil R

            Like all good scientists should. I like repeatability as proof

          • Even if I had not been a Christian, I would have difficulty believing the theory of evolution – as there is so much speculation backed by very little evidence. The objections to the theory are numerous and in my view these objections are valid.

            Here is a short list of the types of evidence that evolutionary biologists have failed to produce – examples from history of animals having undergone speciation, presence of transitional (intermediate) forms, unequivocally beneficial mutations in humans and evidence of human improvement through genetic mutations. They also tend to be very vague about the mathematical probability for the occurrence of these events.

            Some difficulties that I have with their approach:

            Why is speciation not observable even in organisms that multiply at an extremely rapid rate? It is not enough to show that Streptococcus pneumoniae developed resistance to penicillin– you need to demonstrate that it evolved into a new type of bacterium.

            If you can find only a handful of related species to prove your point that we all evolved from a common ancestor, which has now become extinct – that is weak evidence. Darwin thought the same: “Firstly, why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? Why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth.”

            To these questions, the Bible has the answer: “God created the creatures according to their kind …”

            Evolutionary biologists rarely give an estimation of the approximate number of mutations required for humans (or any other creature) to evolve from their most recent ancestor. ‘Several’ is too vague. Does the figure run into hundreds (too low), thousands or millions?

            If they say, for example, that approximately 1000 mutations are required for a single transition, they need to provide an estimate of the the probability for this number of the identical mutations to have occurred simultaneously in several members of the same species – to facilitate interbreeding within the new species.

            Next, how many intermediate forms are required for humans to evolve from the ancestor they shared with the monkeys? What is the probability that all these transitional forms will become extinct despite being some of the ‘most evolved’ of species? Conveniently saying that they all died somehow – is to suggest that evolution is highly inefficient and therefore improbable.

          • Anton

            …beneficial mutations in humans and evidence of human improvement through genetic mutations. They also tend to be very vague about the mathematical probability for the occurrence of these events.

            The probability of a particular type of mutation happening to a chromosome at replication can be given accurately. Whether it gives rise to a beneficial phenotype depends on the environment, and asking for the probability of *that* is like asking for a numerical probability that someone being tried in court is guilty, to two decimal places.

            Why is speciation not observable even in organisms that multiply at an extremely rapid rate? It is not enough to show that Streptococcus pneumoniae developed resistance to penicillin– you need to demonstrate that it evolved into a new type of bacterium.

            How do you define a new species given that bacteria are single cells that do not reproduce sexually, so the interbreeding criterion is not available?

            To these questions, the Bible has the answer: “God created the creatures according to their kind …”

            I accept that as an evangelical Christian but, first, HOW did God create them from the dust of the ground? Second, you are making an interpretational presumption that “according to their own kind” means that descendants 10,000 generations down the line would in principle be capable of breeding with their distance ancestors. The audience for the Book of Genesis was an ancient community of farmers, not a modern community of research geneticists. The phrase is about breeding true from one generation to the next, and does not preclude an accumulation of minor changes as the generations go by, until the descendants are so different from the distant ancestors that they would not in principle be able to interbreed, so that they comprise a different species.

            Conveniently saying that they all died somehow – is to suggest that evolution is highly inefficient and therefore improbable.

            It’s not implausible at all. Most lines die out over long enough. That’s just the maths of reproduction, having nothing to do with evolutionary controversy.

          • Your response seems to be that my questions are all the wrong one.

            “The probability of a particular type of mutation happening to a chromosome at replication can be given accurately…”

            I was talking not about a single mutation, but the probability of numerous mutations occurring simultaneously which must be necessary for speciation. I think evolutionary biologists have failed to their homework here – even an approximate figure or a range will do – and this is legitimate question.

            “How do you define a new species given that bacteria are single cells that do not reproduce sexually…”

            Apparently all species evolved from single cell organisms that do not reproduce sexually.There are different specie of bacteria.

            “The audience for the Book of Genesis was an ancient community of farmers, not a modern community of research geneticists…”

            I agree, but I also think that scientific knowledge of the origin of life – how things actually happened – is still in the speculative stage.

            I also believe that some things will remain a mystery until Christ returns – “we know in part…”

            “Most lines die out over long enough…”

            Again I agree – but my point is that our nearest ancestors must have been so highly developed and so similar to ourselves, that the idea that they died out in the very conditions that helped us survive and multiply is hard to believe.

            Anton, thank you very much for taking the trouble to explain things. I don’t think we will agree just yet – and while I am not an expert in this area, I do find the evidence available insufficient.

          • Anton

            I’m not an expert either – I’m a research physicist doing what I can to be faithful to the Bible while seeking to educate myself on biology. I’m more at home in the discussion about the age of the earth and the universe, and you will know far more about human biology than me. My bottom line is that there are hard questions that any position can ask to any other position in these debates, and I’d rather say “I don’t know” to some questions, and live in the resulting tension, than default to one or other pole. People give up on reconciling scripture and today’s science too quickly.

            There is no such thing as an illegitimate question (unless it’s predicated on something that the responder doesn’t accept). I just think it’s impossible in practice to give a numerical probability to the things you ask. Moreover probabilities change; if suddenly we learn that the earth spent a long time in the distant past under enhanced cosmic ray exposure, the probabilities will change even though the past doesn’t.

          • Anton

            Further to my reply about the lake and an ice age immediately below, I was referring to the concept of a “ring species”, of which four examples are given here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_species

          • Thank you. I have looked at the link, but the evidence there is not conclusive.

          • Anton

            Because?

          • They gave examples of separate but related species – they have not identified a common ancestor; so to conclude there must be one to because Darwin’s theory says so does not seem like proper science to me.

            Why are there so few of even these related species around? They should be numerous if the theory were true.

          • Anton

            They gave examples of separate but related species – they have not identified a common ancestor; so to conclude there must be one to because Darwin’s theory says so does not seem like proper science to me.

            That’s an accusation of circular logic. But it is an inaccurate parody of the reasoning that scientists actually do in this field, which is extrapolation backwards in time from the multiplicity of species in existence today. When the tree inferred from morphology, from insulin (slightly different across species) and above all from DNA all point to the same thing, you can be reasonably confident that you are on the right track.

            You ask why there are few examples of ring species. It is because the environmental conditions that separate a single population into two, both of which survive to the present, are uncommon.

          • john in cheshire

            Anna, isn’t it also true that if evolution was correct, species would be evolving into what I’d term better versions of themselves? Whereas in fact species are actually degrading. The opposite of what evolutionists would expect? In which case, mankind has a finite existence; which again the Bible tells us is the case.

    • IanCad

      So true. This is why I like this chap:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqBz9YPcqxM

      • Thank you for the link.

    • Broadwood

      Quite so. And Darwin himself said that his theory would be insupportable if the cell was found to be a complex structure. And it has proved that cells are mind-bogglingly complex.

      • Anton

        One of the times that Darwin was wrong, just like most 19th century scientists who have been built on today. Not even the genetic basis of heritance was known to him.

        • Broadwood

          Wrong??? His point was that if a cell, as the primary building block of life, had irreducible complexity, small-step evolution was off the table. And it does, to a degree Darwin could not have imagined. So the idea of random mutations providing advantageous steps toward development of any reasonably complex biological structure is rendered ridiculous.
          And most significant biological structures, when considered at the cellular or biochemical level, are incredibly intricate and dependant upon multiple systems and biochemical pathways.
          With even Darwin’s severely limited knowledge of the cell, he could see this posed an insuperable barrier.
          He was quite right. What he described – ‘natural selection’ – well explains the adaptation of organisms to remain fit in a changing environment, but it doesn’t begin to address the challenges posed by the emergence of new life forms.

          • Anton

            Some plausible answers to how cells moved from simple (prokyarotes and archaea) to complex (eukyarotes, as seen in multicellular organisms) are now in the literature: eukyarotes are likely to have arisen when one of the earlier two types took in one of the latter. The body that does photosynthesis in green plant cells is of this sort. See Nick Lane’s book “The Vital Question” for further details. “Irreducible complexity” arguments, whether at the molecular or the morphological level, invariably asume that a compponent of a molecular machine or organism would be used for the same purpose as in the end product organism, and as (for instance) half a wing is useless at flying they conclude that wing evolution is impossible. But its evolution might well have been driven by a different function, and at some point it started to prove useful for some other function which then took over as the evolutionary driver.

          • Broadwood

            Yes, I’m aware of those. And stubby wings may certainly prove of some use. But I’m talking about, for example, the Paramecium flagellum – a small motor, essentially, which propels the organism by rotating the flagellum, but useless until all 20 or so components are present and in the right places. A very simple example, but even so not approachable in small steps – any change towards it would not become fixed in the population through natural selection as it could confer no advantage until complete. Or, in the case of your wing – if it develops from a forelimb which is useful for running away from its main predator, its usefulness for that purpose will be severely impaired while it is becoming a wing, which cannot possibly happen in one step – rendering the animal in the mean time very unfit to escape from the predator, and any small adaptations would be selected out again.

          • Anton

            Those 20 or so components could perfectly well each have evolved for other purposes before being co-opted for their present purpose. If you think that that’s unlikely for such a large number, several of them may have worked together on previous tasks. Obsolete functions leave no trace, so working them out is difficult – but progress is being made by those willing to take on the challenge. I freely admit that evolutionary science is far from knowing all of the answers; what I am objecting to is the claim that anti-evolutionists have a “proof of impossibility”. Such things always assume one component, one function throughout any hypothesised evolutionary process. But that is wrong.

          • Broadwood

            Your faith in evolution is greater than mine! But seriously, the aggregate of problems is statistically overwhelming – even Dr Watson (of Watson and Crick fame) has recently concluded there has not been enough time in the history of earth for classical evolution to have delivered the biosphere that we see, and has had to resort to a ‘panspermia’ theory. Do you know of the Cambrian Explosion? A diversity of more than 50 distinct animal phyla arriving in the fossil record almost simultaneously, within 10 or so million years. Another colossal challenge to Darwinian theory, and we have not yet even touched on abiogenesis.

            I am not claiming ‘proof of impossibility’ – but my credulity is strained beyond its limit is attempting to assume that Darwinian processes are an adequate explanation for the world we see. I am a Christian now, but as an undergrad it was these considerations that led me to conclude that strict materialism in biology was inadequate as a creation mechanism.

          • Anton

            The time needed changes enormously with the mechanisms involved, and those are being learnt all of the time. Try Nick Lane’s book The Vital Question. Anyway, what do you think happened, in the sense of what a videocamera would show?

          • Broadwood

            I don’t think I have a definitive answer. I am not a 7-day creationist, although I consider myself a bible-believing Christian, Gen 1-3 began as oral tradition, with a mythic quality which primarily teaches some foundational theological truth, which is very important, but not reportage, IMHO.
            I’m not uncomfortable with the idea that God has used natural processes to create, that to me seems entirely consistent with His character, but Darwin’s theory is not complete. There is now some evidence for a kind of Lamarkism – in that we know that the RNA pathway is not a one-way street and can influence DNA structure. That opens a very big can of worms. But I also have no problem with the idea that God can and does intervene in his creation – quantum physics shows that our universe does not operate as a sealed box of causes and events, as nineteenth century materialists imagined.
            So I see a largely natural progression with some pretty distinct divine ‘nudges’, personally. But I think there’s a lot we still don’t know, and a wise scientist will recognise that. The Darwin or creation by fiat dichotomy is oversimplified.

          • Anton

            This is a bit of a subject change, but I don’t agree re quantum theory. Please search this website for my (fairly lengthy) comment about “hidden variables” to Albert a few weeks ago.

  • chiefofsinners

    I would encourage readers of this blog to consider again the arguments of 6-day creationists. We’re not all stupid and the arguments are in fact very good. I wholeheartedly believe that if the earth lasts long enough then scientists will one day work out that they are all in error, and reverse the pronouncements of the past 100 years or so. The earth is not billions of years old and mankind did not evolve. It is joyful and liberating to take God at His word.
    http://www.creation.com

    • Anton

      It certainly is! Please do not suppose that evangelicals cannot accept the results of science.

      • Phil R

        “Results of science”

        Right…

        • sarky

          I take it next time you or your family are ill, you’ll be going to the local witchdoctor?

          • Phil R

            Off on another tangent Sarky?

            (How is this relevant to a discussion on Evolution?)

          • sarky

            People like you are quick to dismiss science when it challenges your faith, but quick to embrace it when, for example, you or your family get sick.

          • Phil R

            I am not quick to embrace health care as it happens.

            It is a business like every other and we need to tread carefully. So i don’t embrace it. I use it when necessary

          • sarky

            And the science that went into the results of that use?

          • Phil R

            That science is invariably why rather than how.

            I would imagine that Doctors are far less dogmatic than Evolutionists about the “science” of their work, even though Doctors can see the theory of healing working every day.

            Evolutionist Scientists have yet to prove that their theory actually works.

          • The Explorer

            Apparently, some witchdoctors, shamans etc have a remarkable knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants. And look at Friar Lawrence in ‘Romeo and Juliet’.

    • sarky

      “Straight jacket for the chief please”

      • chiefofsinners

        Or, maybe you could open your mind and engage with the arguments.

        • sarky

          Not when it’s ignorant claptrap.

    • If the Biblical account of creation cannot be believed then why believe the Bible on anything else?

      • Anton

        It can. I take Genesis as describing how animals and the human body got here, but not the human spirit (neshamah in Hebrew) which God blew in. Possibly you are reading Genesis with the most anti-scientific interpretation possible, taken from a “creationist” website, in mind – and an interpretation of an English translation at that.

        • So how do you interpret that “God made the wild animals according to their kinds”?

          BTW you are wrong about my sources.

          1. As a doctor, I am not ignorant about genetic mutations, but they mainly cause disease not survival advantages.

          2. English is one of the four languages I speak and the creation story is much the same in all these languages. My forebears mainly used the Syriac bible – and this language is still studied by the priests – but the teaching is the same.

          I simply prefer to believe what the Bible says.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Who wrote the book of Genesis? And where did they get their information from?

          • The Bible from Genesis to Revelations is inspired by God.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Is there any way of testing that hypothesis?

          • Of course.

            And also a bridge called ‘Faith’ to help you find the evidence.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            So what is the way of testing that hypothesis?

          • Jeremiah 29:12-13

          • The Explorer

            That depends on when you date it from. Moses, as revealed by God; or a scribe, maybe Ezra, written after the Exile and influenced by Babylonian thought. The serpent as a Babylonian life god etc.
            Personally, I reject the later date.

          • Ivan M

            Both these savants were involved. Moses gets the role of the monotheist, somewhat universalstic in later readings. Ezra represents the tribal core. As ben Gurion told Arthur Koestler, as much as the tribal deity Yahweh chose Israel, Israel chose him.

          • Anton

            See elewhere on this thread where I wrote about the work of PJ Wiseman.

          • Anton

            So do I. What does it say in the original Hebrew, though, and with all the usual pictures we are taught unlearnt?

            Of course many mutations are non-viable. Many more are never even seen because they occur in parts of DNA that do not code for a protein. Animals today are the sum of those that are (or have been) beneficial.

            “After own kind” means only that a male leopard will mate with a female leopard not a female giraffe, and the offspring will resemble the parents and not giraffes or other animals. The phrase is about what happens from one generation to the next. It is eisegesis to suppose that the phrase is about whether the ten thousandth generation down the line will look like their ancestors 10,000 generations back; EACH generation will look pretty much like its predecessor. This does not rule out small incremental changes, generation by generation.

          • You seem to have added evolution to the creation story in the Bible. We are created in the image of God and not in the image of a monkey – and where is the monkey that so closely resembles humans? This is what sets us apart from the rest of creation and makes us accountable before God on the Final Day.

            I have not claimed to have read the Bible in Hebrew, but I understand that Jesus spoke Aramaic, a language very similar to Syriac. As far as I know, nothing in the Bible – either in the creation story or what Jesus said – encourages us to put our confidence in Darwin’s theory.

          • Anton

            It is Genesis that we are discussing and that was written in Hebrew.

            God blew in the NESHAMAH of life and that is clearly the event that made Adam carry the image of God. Before that there was non-human hominids (ie not in the image of God).

            You ask, “where is the monkey that so closely resembles human?” Today’s apes and man have a common ancestor but are not necessarily in the same single line of descent.

            It is recognised that evolution is driven more by catastrophes such as geological upheavals and two landmasses connecting when the seal level falls, following which the animals on one trash the animals on the other, as man-introduced placentals are doing to marsupials in Australia. In that case most evolution is done in very short bursts immediately following such events. Yet the fossil record is laid down at a fairly even rate. So the proportion of the record that would show intermediate forms is very small indeed; I’m not surprised that we have found few (such as Tiktaalik).

          • The tsunami in 2005 is a recent example of a widespread geographical catastrophe – did the biologists find new creatures in those areas, as a result?

            What surprises me most, I think, is that nearly all the points which you just raised in support of evolution are the same ones I learnt in school biology – except for the ring species. That was 30 years ago,and we seem to have very little new evidence. The gaps in evolution are rarely taught in schools, and people come away with the impression that there is solid proof.

            It was as a medical student that I began to question evolution – since medical genetics is all about diseases that mutations and chromosomal abnormalities cause, and you heard almost nothing about beneficial mutations – which are undoubtedly the ‘building block for evolution of species.

          • Anton

            There are plenty of such books, but in any proper dialogue we need to distinguish between quality and quantity of arguments. Even in the latter the scientists have it.

            Nobody has ever claimed that new species emerge from a tsunami or other geological ‘catastrophe’. The claim is that these may trigger a bout of rapid evolution – rapid on the timescale of life on earth but still taking longer than a decade!

            The beneficial mutations of long ago are those which we all carry! Most alteration to DNA takes place during meiosis, and the nonviable offspring never get beyond a single fertilised ovum that is then spontaneously aborted.

          • Most alteration to DNA takes place during meiosis, and the nonviable offspring never get beyond a single fertilised ovum that is then spontaneously aborted.

            Agreed

            The beneficial mutations of long ago are those which we all carry!

            This is still no evidence for speciation.

            Coming to the Bible, you will notice that in earlier centuries marriage between close cousins (and even siblings) were more acceptable and less harmful than now in our time. Examples: Abraham and Sarah, the Ptolemys and Cleopatras (Egypt). Doesn’t that prove that our genetic material in degenerating and not improving?

          • Anton

            I’m not convinced that they were less harmful. God permitted cousin marriage only because it was so common – to keep wealth in the family (which is why it is done today still in tribal cultures) – that his law would have been unenforceable if he had banned it. He permitted divorce (Deut 24) but only as a concession, as Jesus explained in Mark 10; permitting cousin marriage would have been another concession. Certainly he banned anything closer, and notice that Abraham had great difficulty conceiving in his marital relationship with his half-sister Sarah, whereas he quickly got Sarah’s unrelated servant girl Hagar pregnant (Genesis 16:1-4) and had six children by a further wife when he was even older (Genesis 25:1-2).

      • sarky

        Exactly.

        • The point is it is reliable, far more reliable than Darwin’s speculations.

          • sarky

            Maybe on your planet.

          • Certainly – on Planet Earth.

          • sarky

            As a doctor, do you prescribe healing instead of medicine?

          • As a Catholic nun once reminded me: “We prescribe medicines to patients; but it is God who heals them.”

            I have been privileged to see several miraculous answers to prayer for very ill patients.

          • sarky

            I think it’s actually the medicine that heals them. Are you sure you are a doctor?

          • A christian doctor. Do you find it strange that a Christian doctor might pray for his or her patients – not necessarily with them?

            The Bible is not against the use of medicines, but I have seen seriously ill patients, whom we had nearly given up on – then improve. My sister who is a consultant psychiatrist also prays daily for her patients, for we both believe that wisdom and skill come from God.

            Or were you being rude?

          • sarky

            I wasn’t being rude. Just seems that your beliefs may be a bit incompatible.

          • Incompatible with what?

          • sarky

            Because you infer that medicines don’t cure, god does ‘or’ at the very least they work in tandem.
            bit of a worrying view for someone in your position.

    • dannybhoy

      I don’t believe in Bishop Ussher’s dating of the earth, and I don’t think the Bible gives a date.
      What I believe is that God did it, but it is obvious that dinosaurs and other creatures roamed the earth, and those animals are not mentioned in Genesis. So where that prehistoric world fits in I don’t know.

      https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_609.cfm

    • IanCad

      I’m pretty much with you on this Chief but I do heed both Genesis 1:2 and Jeremiah 4:23; both describing in the same terms “Without form and void” the earth at creation and during the millennium.
      I am not subscribing to the “Gap Theory” but could there have been a head start so to speak?

      • chiefofsinners

        John Lennox’ book ‘Seven Days that Divide the World’ makes some thought provoking suggestions.

  • Phil R

    If you fast forward 100 years they will laugh at our certainties of science today. As we laugh at the certainties of 100 years ago

    one thing for sure they will be puzzled and appalled that science spent so much effort muzzling dissent in our time

  • Jill

    Being married to a sports fanatic, I often see Dan Walker on the programme he presents. He has a natural and friendly manner with everybody – a born presenter. I am sure he will make a success of his breakfast show, if he ever gets there, and some of these idiots will have to eat their words.

    I don’t remember all this fuss when a Muslim was put in charge of the BBC’s religious affairs – was he quizzed about his beliefs, I wonder?

  • Andrew Holt

    Was there a fuss from the liberal left when Mishal Hussein became a presenter on the Today programme? As a Muslim her views should surely preclude her from objectivity on any number of current issues, Iraq and Syria, terrorism, gay rights, I could go on.

    • carl jacobs

      You don’t understand. Muslims are de rigueur. Christians are simply gauche. Polite society does not associate with them, and certainly doesn’t want to see (let alone hear) one on the BBC in the morning. It just isn’t done, you see. There are rules.

  • Happy Jack believes there are different literary styles in scripture. The creation account in Genesis is theological truth written in myth form that was prevalent at the time. It isn’t meant to convey scientific truth about creation. It teaches us God made the universe and all that’s in it and made man for a special purpose.

    • carl jacobs

      So Abraham is a myth?

      • You may not have caught the edit. Jack included it anticipating that very question: “The creation account in Genesis ……….”
        Jack doesn’t believe Abraham is a myth.

        • carl jacobs

          So when does Genesis stop being myth and start being history?

          • Anton

            That’s the right question Carl. Genesis is not a “true myth”. PJ Wiseman (d. 1948) recognised that Genesis is a compiled sequence of ancient texts that had originally been written on stone tablets. Many stone tablets from Mesopotamia, dated as old as Abraham and Noah, have been found, and they have their own writing conventions, which Wiseman recognised within Genesis. The retaining of those conventions by the compiler – presumably Moses, who also wrote the last part of Genesis, set in Egypt – shows that he copied faithfully. Moses added the names of places which had changed name by his time, but that is all. We even know who each tablet was written by (or for), because the earlier, Mesopotamian parts of Genesis each end (not begin!) with the phrase “These are the toledoth of…” and toledoth means “historical origins”. (For example, “these are the toledoth of Jacob” in Genesis 37:2; our mediaeval chapter divisions do not match this understanding.) Each section runs up close to the death of the man named yet never reaches it, and each section gives information which only that man could have known or found out reliably. Incidentally scripture says that Moses wrote (most of) Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy but never says the same about Genesis. PJ Wiseman was well named and his work deserves to be better known. As a result of it we have a constructive alternative to the liberal and apostate “documentary hypothesis” of Julius Wellhausen, rather han just “O no it wasn’t”.

          • The first chapters covering creation are not intended to be taken literally. The account Is theologically true, not strictly factual. It is a poetic compression of the truth. Augustine and Aquinas both said that one is not bound to seek scientific exactitude in the opening chapters of Genesis.

          • carl jacobs

            The “first chapters” being … which chapters?

          • Chapters 1 to 3.

          • carl jacobs

            Glad to see you haven’t kicked Noah out of the boat … er … Ark.

            And what textual reason do you have to sustain this assertion?

          • Chapters 4 to 11 can be discussed further.
            And Jack follows the teachings of his Church on these matters.

          • Anton

            And you are free to, but in Carl you are talking to someone who doesn’t, so it doesn’t help. Please see my comments immediately below about PJ Wiseman.

          • carl jacobs

            In other words, your selected division point is totally arbitrary, you have no textual evidence at all to support it, and you are hiding behind tradition. I understand.

          • Not at all. There’s plenty of textual evidence but Jack is not an expert. For example, there are two accounts in Genesis of God making Adam and Eve.

            You’re not seriously saying it is a scientific account?

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t know what a “scientific account” of creation would be, Jack. Creation is a unique event, and unique events can’t be scientifically examined. Genesis is history. Now, who exactly was around at the beginning to tell us the history of Creation? Who is the reliable witness? The only reliable witness.

            You’re not seriously saying …

            Yes, I’m seriously saying. Good grief. How long have you read my comments? Is this a mystery to you?

            If you start saying Genesis is a myth because (you know) Science, and it’s all just myth dressed up as theological truth, then you are eventually going to have to explain why the Resurrection is also not myth dressed up in theological truth because (you know) Science. People don’t come back from the dead, Jack. You aren’t protecting Genesis from Darwin. You are undermining the Gospel of John for Darwin.

          • The bible is composed of different books written in different genres. To say one is theological truth written in myth form does not mean all scripture is written in this form.

            Sounds like you’re holding onto the scientific truth of Genesis because to not do so poses a threat to the truthfulness of the New Testament accounts of Jesus.

          • carl jacobs

            Umm, yeah. Specifically those NT accounts of the Lord Jesus affirming the Book of Genesis as reliable Scripture. Was He just confused about the matter? Genesis presents as History. The Lord Jesus treated it as history. You can’t just wave that away and say “Well, it doesn’t matter.” It does matter. The Scripture is what we know about God. If the Scripture isn’t reliable, we don’t know anything about God. It’s an integrated whole. If you undermine one part, then you undermine it all.

            What do think is the origin of Liberal Christianity, Jack. It started exactly where you are right now – trying to rescue theological truth from Scriptural metaphysics.

          • Jesus and Saint Paul both confirm the truth of Genesis that we are all descended from common parents who rebelled. Six days, snakes, apples, trees are all another matter.

          • Anton

            Six YOM – the word can mean “era”, as it must do in eg Job 15:23.

            Apples – nowhere mentioned.

            I must say I wonder what the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is. I am not prepared to say that any one commentator is right or wrong.

          • chiefofsinners

            For anyone in any doubt about Yom, read here : http://creation.com/the-meaning-of-yom-in-genesis-1

          • Anton

            No. We did this on a previous thread without decisive outcome. Anybody who understands the key points will be able to give them in their own words in a a few sentences, so please do so.

          • chiefofsinners

            Some things just aren’t that simple. Not when people want to take the simple and make it complicated in an effort to wring out of it a meaning that was never there.

          • Anton

            I can do that with complicated physics ideas, and when I can’t it invariably means, in retrospect, that I didn’t understand it properly before. I am willing to extrapolate that principle…

          • Anton

            The argument you quote seems to me to be a scholared-up version of the argument that yom means 24 hours whenever it appears with a number. I’m aware of that argument but it seems to me to elevate an observation, which holds at least from Genesis 2 to Malachi, into a principle of Hebrew grammar, and then apply it to Genesis 1. But I am not aware of it as a principle in any book of Hebrew grammar (I do have one), and there is a more likely reason: people often talk about how many 24-hour days ahead or behind it will be until (or is since) their birthday, or Easter, or whatever; whereas eras are not often counted in conversation. There is no such rule in English grammar, but if you randomly pick 50 occurrences of “day” from the canon of 19th century novels (where 24 hours is meant), and then 50 occurrences of “era”, you will find that the former are associated with numbers enormously more often than the latter.

            If you explain precisely the difference in content between that argument and the online one you are quoting, I’ll gladly respond.

          • IanCad

            ” We did this on a previous thread without decisive outcome.”
            You’ve got me there Anton.
            I can’t, off the top of my head, think of any thread that has yet had a decisive outcome.

          • Okay …. fruit.
            Talking serpents?

          • Anton

            It didn’t walk on its belly before it was cursed. We need to check how much latitude there is in the Hebrew word for serpent used in Genesis 3:1.

          • carl jacobs

            People returning from the dead? Which is more believable?

            You chase after images of the Virgin Mary in toast and defend the preservation of corpses as relics, and criticize me for discounting the visions of stigmatics. You reject the Scriptural testimony because you think it too … what … primitive? … fantastic? … ignorant? … childish? .. foolish? … while you uphold these traditions of men.

          • Who said Genesis was primitive, ignorant, childish or foolish? It’s the divinely inspired word of God conveying the truth about our existence – that the universe was specially created out of nothing by God. It’s just not written in modern American and is not a literal, historically accurate, blow by blow account of creation. Accepting this doesn’t threaten or undermine Jack’s faith.

          • carl jacobs

            Who said Genesis was primitive, ignorant, childish or foolish?

            I inferred it from “Talking serpents?” Which seemed to illustrate pretty clearly where you are coming from.

          • Not childish – but a symbol chosen for a reason.

          • carl jacobs

            Thus spake Jack – the Authority who was there in the Beginning.

            You are the one who called it myth. You can dress it up like Aesop’s fables but what you are saying when all the fluff is stripped away is this: “It didn’t really happen. It’s just a story.”

            If you have some textual evidence that can substantiate that claim, I suggest you present it. If you don’t then you are attacking the very foundation of revelation. If Genesis is history then it is reliable history. You are going to have to show me something more substantial than a bunch of materialists and their assumptions of continuity in order to overthrow it.

          • You’re being either/or again. Jack doesn’t subscribe to materialism or to Darwinian evolution theory. He believes we are beings crated by God. Jack just doesn’t accept Genesis is “reliable history” in the sense that it is literal account of creation.

            The stories are symbolic narratives that communicate divinely inspired truths. As divinely inspired, they are not the figment of someone’s imagination but are the work of the Holy Spirit on the biblical authors. The stories, whilst not literal truth, are not untrue or childish tales, but the means by which profound truths about the origin of creation and humankind are communicated. They are divinely inspired symbolic narratives that communicate reliable truth about the origins of the world and sin entered creation.

            Since Augustine the Catholic Church has never subscribed to a literal reading of the creation account in Genesis. It is theologically true, not strictly factual. So Darwin’s theory was never the bombshell for Catholics that it was for Protestants adhering to a literal reading of scripture.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack just doesn’t accept Genesis is “reliable history” in the sense that it is literal account of creation.

            You just can’t give me a good reason why.

            So you said we could “discuss” Chapters 4-11, so presumably you think those are of uncertain state. Was there really an Abel?

            so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Luke 11:50-51

            Is this a) myth mixed with fact? b) myth mixed with myth? c) fact mixed with fact?

          • So why can’t one believe there was an Adam and Eve and a Cain and an Abel? A first couple who had a family?

            And Jack has already said:
            The stories, whilst not literal truth, are not untrue or childish tales, but the means by which profound truths about the origin of creation and humankind are communicated. They are divinely inspired symbolic narratives that communicate reliable truth about the origins of the world and how sin entered creation.

          • carl jacobs

            So you are allowing that maybe there was an Abel. So your position amounts to “Genesis is true to the extent that it doesn’t undermine other parts of Scripture.” That’s what we call “special pleading” Jack.

          • Genesis is theologically true but not literally true, is Jack’s position. Not everything in the Bible is strict history to be taken exactly as it appears as if it were a newspaper account. A symbolic narrative that communicates divinely inspired truths can be based on people who existed.

          • carl jacobs

            Which doesn’t address what I said and doesn’t explain why you have decided that Genesis 1-3 must be “truth as myth” instead of “truth as narrative.” I would really like a clear answer to that second question.

          • You dismiss science about the age of the universe? You believe that mankind and the animals were created within literally days of the earth being formed? That Eve came from Adams side? The most obvious contradiction in Genesis is the first days and night occurring before God actually created the Sun and Moon.

          • carl jacobs

            The computation of the age of the universe is implicitly dependent upon an assumption of the initial system state of the universe. To be specific, they assume that the initial state must be defined at t=0 because any other assumption would imply a discontinuity and discontinuities are excluded a priori. Why? Because natural processes cannot account for a discontinuity. If you want me to, I’ll ask for the data to validate the math models that are being extrapolated over billions of years. Oh, that’s right. It doesn’t exist.

            You believe that mankind and the animals were created within literally days of the earth being formed? That Eve came from Adams side?

            Yes. Why should I disbelieve these things? Are they too hard for God? Are they somehow different from Balaam’s donkey or should I disbelieve that as well?

            The most obvious contradiction in Genesis

            Time is the fourth dimension. It exists whether the planets exist or not. But again. Is anything too hard for God? You haven’t answered my question yet. Why do you reject these things?

          • Why do I reject these things? Because there’s an understanding that does not contradict scripture that impresses as acceptable. Whatever you say, science has established the age of the universe as billions of years old and it’s still expanding. You seriously contend it’s 6 thousand years old?

            Now, Jack could believe God created the universe in 6 days, just 6 thousand years ago, and then made it appear as if it the earth’s development took much longer and it is much older. However, why would God do this? Artificially create an illusion of time? It just doesn’t strike Jack as the way God would behave. Believe it if you choose. You’re entitled too. Jack’s understanding is equally valid.

            The first three chapters of Genesis are not a text of physics or biology providing a scientific understanding of mankind and the world. Genesis is a work of theology focusing on the who, why, and what of creation. The inspired sacred authors, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, captured the truths of God and His creation.

            Big Bang, coupled with evolution, form a theory to explain scientific evidence surrounding creation. According to these theories, billions of years ago, an explosion started the expansion of the universe which continues to this day. The Big Bang theory presents creation by chance, error, and dissonance rather than a reasoned, ordered, designed progression that Genesis presents. This is the aspect Jack rejects. Nevertheless, scientific evidence gives credence to this theory and we cannot just ignore it.

            Jack goes with the CCC:

            “Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint, these texts may have had diverse sources. The inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation – its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the ‘beginning’: creation, fall, and promise of salvation.”
            (CCC 289)

          • carl jacobs

            I seriously content that the age of the Universe is unknowable because you cannot know the apparent age of the Universe at the moment of creation. You are assuming the age of the universe presents as zero at the moment of creation. Why do you assume that? The universe is a system that was created to fulfill a purpose. It has to be fully functional to fulfill that purpose. If it’s created as a functional system, then it will show apparent age. This is exactly analogous to Adam who was created as a fully functional adult. This is why I asked about initial system state. If you don’t know what I mean by that, then you don’t understand the huge unverifiable assumption at the heart of all these calculations.

            Evolution is not a scientific theory. It is a dogma of unbelief that seeks to explain origins through non-theistic mechanisms. The entire exercise is intended to displace God from his throne as creator so that man may be morally free. This is the credible explanation to which you bow the knee.

          • Anton

            Re your first paragraph, time itself was created along with space.

          • carl jacobs

            I agree. That is essential to my argument.

          • “If it’s created as a functional system, then it will show apparent age. This is exactly analogous to Adam who was created as a fully functional adult.”

            Alternatively, the universe may have been set in motion and may have actual age and Adam may not have been created as a fully functional adult but may have developed according to laws put in place by God and at some point been given a soul by his creator.

          • Anton

            “Time is the fourth dimension. It exists whether the stars and planets exist or not.”

            Careful with that, Carl. Time isn’t itself divine, therefore it is part of the creation. It exists whether the stars and planets exist, but does it exist in the absence of the entire material universe including 3-dimensional space?

          • carl jacobs

            I am well aware that time is created just like space. My point was that time would progress in the created universe even if there were no physical objects to mark its progress. In other words, you don’t need the Sun to mark a day for the time interval of a day to pass. That’s like saying time can’t exist without a timepiece. Jack’s assertion of contradiction is wrong.

          • CliveM

            But how then do you measure it?

          • carl jacobs

            Atomic clocks count frequency cycles. But I don’t think this would be a problem for God.

          • CliveM

            By time isn’t constant. You have time dilation.

            God can do whatever he wishes. He has however created a world of material rules.

          • Who said time itself didn’t pass in the process of the creation? And why would God operate within “time”? These convey logical stages, not necessarily God acting in “time”. He would have just created the universe – in a moment of thought – and given it laws determining its ultimate formation.
            Besides, even if we accept He worked within distinct time periods, which is consistent with the Big Bang theory of a cooling and expanding universe, why should this necessarily mean a 24 hour “day” based on the earth’s rotation and the moon and sun?

          • Anton

            And the genealogy of Christ in Luke 3 – at what temporal point after Adam did mythological figures beget flesh-and-blood ones, and how?

          • Cressida de Nova

            And neither was the big bang theory. Catholics accepted this easily as a theory. Profound truths which will always remain a mystery cannot be expressed literally. It is difficult to believe that Protestants can be so literal about the scriptures. It is not the way of understanding them.I cannot believe anyone would take the creation of the world in”days” literally. It is ludicrous.

          • There is, of course, an important question to answer in respect of six-day creation.
            What took God so long? Psalm 33:9.

          • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

            well said Martin.
            Context – the evening and the morning were the first day. Difficult to see how it wasn’t six literal days.

          • Anton

            Evening and morning (literal meaning: darkening and lightening) is an English translation. The original pre-Masoretic Hebrew words can equally well be translated as “there was a disorderly mixture and there was control/supervision” – entirely consistent with the earlier scene-setting verse that the earth was unstructured and empty (“without form and void”).

          • Anton

            It had a more sinister source, actually. See if you can find online a remarkable book by Rabbi Marvin Antelman called “To eliminate the opiate”. I don’t go with all the conspiracies in it but the chapter titled “The birth of biblical criticism” shows that liberal destruction of the Old Testament began with knowingly apostate Jews. The German higher critics got it from them.

          • carl jacobs

            Doesn’t really change my point, though, does it.

          • Anton

            No, but I thought it was worth adding in this public forum.

          • The Explorer

            Does he include Spinoza? He was pretty devastating about the Old Testament.

          • Ivan M

            Einstein believed in Spinoza’s God. A kind of higher mathematician who makes sure that the mechanisms are in balance but not at all concerned about earthlings in particular. As is well known the pious Jews in Amsterdam tried to get him killed for it.

          • Anton

            Not in that chapter. I’ve not read the whole book.

          • Lienus

            It’s like all that stuff about me being French. No one believes that any more. It was poetic.

          • carl jacobs

            Do people still speak French? I thought it was dead … like Latin or English soccer.

          • Half Fronchie and half Inglish. And you are a myth.

          • The Explorer

            Neither truth, nor poetry.

          • Uncle Brian

            Some of us didn’t even believe it then!

          • dannybhoy

            “The first chapters covering creation are not intended to be taken literally.”
            We could say that when God involved Himself in human affairs in order to carry out His divine will, there was no existent human awareness of the scientific history of the earth. Creation then, is set out in religious rather than scientific terms. The self existent Creator of the universe, the uniqueness of man, the establishment in the minds of men of God’s holiness and righteousness, and so on.

    • IanCad

      Careful Jack. It is also said by some that the writing is “Poetry” giving life to the contention that it is, indeed, myth. A poetic style – maybe – but truth for sure.

  • Sybaseguru

    At school we had a text book that said that the atom couldn’t be split. This was 20 years after Hiroshima. To quote the secularist and Nobel prize winner Richard Feynman “Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.” Perhaps a degree of humility is appropriate in “scientific” claims. Science has always advanced by allowing alternatives to be put forward, only a fascist would deny such presentation of options.

  • carl jacobs

    Linus: Allosexuels, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to this weblog.

    Allo: I’ll never join you!

    Linus: If you only knew the power of being a Clone! Bob never told you what happened to your father.

    Allo: He told me enough! He told me you deleted his account!

    Linus: No. I am your father.

    Allo: No… that’s not true! That’s impossible!

    Linus: Search your feelings. You know it to be true.

    Allo: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOOOOOOOO! I’m not a clone!

    Linus: Allo. You can destroy the Archbishop. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the weblog as … you know. Come with me. It is the only way.

    • Allosexuels admirateur

      Homme fou.

      • carl jacobs

        Crazy like a fox …

        • Allosexuels admirateur

          Êtes-vous flirter avec moi ?

          • carl jacobs

            No, no. Just pointing out the obvious.

      • The Explorer

        Your name is Legion.

        • Anton

          The French Foreign Legion?

          • The Explorer

            He needs a herd of pigs.

        • Allosexuels admirateur

          Mon nom est beaucoup plus poétique.

  • Manfarang

    The word day refers to eons.Before the creation of earth there could be no days. The order of creation is broadly scientifically right.

    • Ivan M

      The order is right and other civilisations such as the Hindus had it figured out too. But the reading had to support the soteriology and the associated piety . It was just an apple, why get hung up about it and condemn nameless generations?

    • silverlining

      Nowhere in the Bible does the Hebrew word ‘yom’ mean anything other than a 24 hour day. No scholar of ancient Hebrew will contradict that. The biggest question when you read Genesis is how and where do you decide that history starts and myth ends? The plain reading, putting aside prejudice, is that it has all been written as history, however difficult you may find it.

      • Ivan M

        It is not difficult. It is absurd.

      • Uncle Brian

        Nowhere in the Bible does the Hebrew word ‘yom’ mean anything other than a 24 hour day.

        Well, to be pedantic, there’s a bit of an oversimplification there. In Hebrew, as in English and just about every other language, the word for “day” has two clearly different meanings, on the one hand a period of 24 hours and on the other, that part of the 24 hours (around half, on average) which is not nighttime. In fact that is the meaning of yom the very first time it appears, in Genesis 1:5, And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.

      • The Day of the Lord.

        • silverlining

          The point is not that ‘yom’ cannot be figurative (as in the Day of the Lord or in the Job 15:23), but that when it clearly refers to time, the time is a day in the conventional sense of 24hrs (or as Uncle Brian points out, a period of daylight). It isn’t used to mean an extended period of time. ‘Evening and morning’ do rather give a clue as to how the write of Genesis understood things. As far as I know the meaning of ‘yom’ wasn’t questioned until long ages were postulated.
          And you still have the question of making an arbritrary decision as to when real history starts in Genesis. You end up tying yourself in knots to have a consistent approach to biblical interpretation.

          • Not if you accept there are different genres in the books of the bible, requiring different readings, and that the Genesis creation account is not intended to be either a historical narrative or a scientific account of creation.

          • silverlining

            You are right there are different genres. My point is that Genesis is obviously written as history. All of it (even the really hard bits like the beginning of ch6!) I challenged a lay reader at our church who is head of humanities at a local comprehensive, and author of many school textbooks on history. I asked him the question i have asked in this discussion, “How do you decide where the history starts in Genesis?” He agreed that for a historian this was a very difficult question as it all seemed to be written as history. He would not describe himself as a creationist.

          • “My point is that Genesis is obviously written as history.”
            Is it? The first three chapters? All fifty chapters? This is not so obvious to Jack. In fact the various chapters of Genesis is written in different styles.

          • Uncle Brian

            I asked him the question i have asked in this discussion, “How do you decide where the history starts in Genesis?”

            Here’s a very elementary breakdown that I saw once, and which I’d say is at least a good starting point. It’s a question of what can be dated and what can’t.

            Chapters 1—11, from the Creation to the Tower of Babel: undatable, prehistory.

            Chapters 12—50, the patriarchs, from Abraham to Joseph: datable, the second millennium BC. History.

          • silverlining

            The biggest problem here is that to say that Abraham is the start of history is to set all other evidence as being of greater authority than Scripture. This is fine for the secular historian, but has enormous theological problems for Christians.
            It is worth looking at the so-called historical evidence. It is important to understand that much ‘dating’ of the ancient ME is very suspect. It follows the work of Egyptian historian Manetho (3rd c BC). It has been documented that ancient civilisations (eg Egypt & Mesopotamia) greatly exaggerated their timelines to impress upon readers the longevity of a certain civilisation, and this was Manetho’s agenda in relation to Egypt.
            Modern archaeologists are happy to go along with this, knowing that the dates are suspect, because they have a long ages agenda.They ‘know’ that people must have been around for many thousands of years, so they look for evidence to support this. No matter that the pieces of the jigsaw don’t fit together. There are alternate chronologies put forward by biblical archaeologists, which make sense of biblical and non-biblical records.

          • Anton

            “Evening and morning” is an English translation and an equally good alternative is “chaos and order”. To get that you put different vowels into the Hebrew. And the original Hebrew was written without vowels…

          • Uncle Brian

            Would you care to enlarge on that statement, Anton? It’s news to me. Here are the relevant links to the Bible Hub online concordance, using Strong’s numbers:

            http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1242.htm

            In the case of boqer, morning (spelled beit quf resh, בקר) there are a half-dozen or so other words spelled with the same three consonants, but none of them – according to this source – with the meaning “order”.

            And in the case of ereb, evening, spelled ayin resh beit (ערב)

            http://biblehub.com/hebrew/6153.htm

            there are even more words, about a dozen, spelled the same way, including “Arab”, but once again, none of them is shown as having the meaning “chaos”.

          • Anton

            By all means. I first encountered this claim in a book by an Orthodox Jewish theoretical physicist, Gerald Schroeder, and I checked it up with a Hebrew-speaking friend of mine. The Hebrew for the second word, in the original (consonant only) text, is BKR. Now, BOKER is morning and BAKARA is control or supervision. notice how well this vie of each day maches with the overview at the start, when the earth was without form and void but ends up structured.

          • Uncle Brian

            Well, that word certainly exists, though it occurs only once in the Bible, in Ezekiel, where it has to do with a shepherd taking care of (controlling? organising? imposing order on?) his flock.

            http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1243.htm

            In modern Israeli Hebrew it turns up in management language, for example in the term for quality control.

            And ereb?

          • Anton

            My Hebrew-speaking friend tells me that ta’aruvot means mixture, disorder. Given that the beginning and end of the word is grammar-dependent and the vowels weren’t in the original of Genesis, that’s demonstrated the ambiguity.

          • Uncle Brian

            That’s a more difficult one. In modern Israeli Hebrew תﬠרובת
            means mixture, but not, I think, or not primarily, in the negative sense of a mix-up or muddle. On the contrary, it’s the ordinary word for “blend”. In chemistry it can mean an emulsion, and in connection with metals it turns up in the word for alloy.

            Does it occur in the Bible? I haven’t been able to find it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t there. Is your Hebrew-speaking friend sufficiently familiar with the Bible to be able to answer that question?

          • Anton

            I’ll ask. How do you get Hebrew characters to appear on this website, please? I’m impressed.

          • Uncle Brian

            I sometimes write my comments on Word first, and then paste them here, rather than writing directly in the little Disqus box. On Word, just use the “insert symbol”. Easy!

          • IanCad

            You are a scholar and a gentleman UB.

      • Anton

        It can’t mean 24 hours in Job 15:23 & 18:20.

        • Uncle Brian

          In Job 18:20 I don’t think it can mean “era”, either. Please see my reply to you posted at about 1 p.m. GMT today (Monday)

          • Anton

            I doubt it means a 24-hour period in that context. but never ind about thaty; Job 15:23 very clearly doesn’t mean a strict 24-hour day and that suffices to demonstrate an alternative meaning, which must therefore also be taken into account in Genesis 1.

    • Manfarang

      Day-Hebrew yom, in it context, is sometimes translated: Time (Gen 4:3) (Is. 30:8). Year (I Kings 1:1)( 2 Chronicles 21:19)(Amos 4:4). Age Gen 18:11, Gen 24:1; Joshua 23:1 and 23:2, Gen 47:28). Ago (1 Samuel 9:20). Always (Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:24, 14:23, and in 2 Chronicles 18:7). Season (Genesis 40:4, Joshua 24:7, 2 Chronicles 15:3).

  • Plasterer

    One has to admire the bravery of these people, picking on a minority opinion which is almost universally derided in the media. I just can’t work out where they find the courage to stand up and be counted.

    How about they come out against something like homoeopathy?

  • Mike Stallard

    And the circulation figures of the Guardian are?

    • Uncle Brian

      Encouraging. Though not to everybody, of course.

      • Anton

        Excellent!

  • Michael Roberts

    All christians believe in creation, so in a sense are creationists. But Creationism is usually restricted to beleive in a 6 day creation some 10000 years ago. That is simply nonsense and many of the argument to try to prove that are simply dishonest. It is thus difficult to respect creationism as a valid Christian viewpoint

    • IanCad

      Therefore should we not hold marriage as being divinely ordained?

      • Anton

        Could you explain that “therefore”? The word YOM can mean “era”, ie the six eras of creation.

        • IanCad

          Anton,
          “Therefore” – in response to Michael’s last sentence.
          Earlier I did note the described conditions of the earth at creation and the millennium. Gen. 1:2. Jeremiah 4:23. (“Without form and void’)
          Further the definition of a day is not defined as a fixed – as we know it – length of time. “–And the evening and the morning were the first day” Gen. 1:5
          There is latitude in this definition of a day. He who put the stars in place, let there be light, and divided the waters, is not bound by the clock. However long those creation days were they were still days as we now know them.

        • Uncle Brian

          As others have already pointed out on this thread, Genesis clearly says the first day, the second day, and so on. Not eras, days.

          • sarky

            As it was written for bronze age goat herders, I would imagine ‘days’ was the limit of their understanding.

          • CliveM

            You have extremely odd understanding of the capabilities off humans in the Bronze Age, they were people just like you.

            Oh…………………..

            I think I see what you mean.

          • sarky

            Of course they were people like me. .. Just without the scientific knowledge and understanding gained in the passing of millenia.

          • Broadwood

            Have you tried making a useable bronze object from scratch, including knowing where to find the ore, how to recognise it and successfully smelt it, create the alloy and cast and work it? For mediterranean Bronze Age people, that meant acquiring tin from Ireland or Cornwall.

            Tsk. Your chronological snobbery is on display.

          • IanCad

            Beautiful!

          • sarky

            Have I tried making a usable bronze object?
            Erm no….the more enlightened of us just buy them.

          • IanCad

            Have to admit it Sarky, that is a clever answer.

          • Anton

            The Hebrew word YOM used in the original has the same ambiguity as “day” in English in that it can mean “era” as well as “24 hours”; see, for instance, Job 15:23 & 18:20 in which it *must* mean “era”. So a tiebreaker is needed. What’s yours?

          • Uncle Brian

            Job 18:20 is a difficult verse, no doubt about it. Nevertheless, out of the 21 English Bibles shown here, http://biblehub.com/job/18-20.htm

            twelve translate yomoh literally as “his day” and leave it to the reader to make up his mind about the meaning. The others, for the most part, translate the word as “his fate”, but not a single one has gone for your option of “era”.

            Elsewhere, particularly in the Creation narrative in Genesis and in Job 15:23, I see no difficulty with the straightforward translation “day”. You can argue, of course, about the duration of the “day” in each case, but that is no different from arguing about the duration of the “yom”. In every case, “yom” is simply the Hebrew word for “day” (in both senses, see my reply to Silverlining, about seven or eight comments down from this one).

          • James60498 .

            My great Aunty regularly referred to “in my day”.
            She didn’t mean a one off day, but effectively meant “my era”.

            I am not by any means a scholar of Hebrew. However, when you are referring, as you are to the translation into English, because the word “day” is used does not for certain mean that it is not referring to an “era”.

          • Uncle Brian

            I would hazard the guess that your great Aunty is (was?) a lady of about my own generation. I certainly use the expression “in my day” when I’m comparing something that my grandchildren, for instance, do now with the things I used to do when I was their age.

            In this discussion with Anton, the point I‘m trying to make is that in English we can, of course, use the word “day” to designate a much longer period, exactly as in Hebrew “yom” can be used flexibly like that. Whatever shade of meaning you’re trying to convey, the linguistic fact remains that day = yom and yom = day.

            If you want to say something like “in the Victorian era”, then “era” in Biblical Hebrew would be yamim or yamei, the plural of yom, as in this verse, “In the days of Saul …”

            http://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_samuel/17-12.htm

          • James60498 .

            Noted Uncle Brian. I am hoping that your debate with Anton on this point will continue. It’s very interesting.

            My great aunt would have been 100 years old now.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            And I’ve just started reading 1 Samuel in Hebrew. Here is another similar use in 1 Samuel 2:19. (qbible Romanization, with ’alephs and ‘ains added by myself):

            ûm’iyl qä†on Ta‘áseh-Lô iMô w’haal’täh lô miYämiym yämiymäh Ba‘álôtäH et-iyshäH liz’Boªch et-zevach haYämiym

            Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

            I ain’t gonna get too deep into this argument, though.

            Why did God make man so like a monkey?
            The answer’s much to deep for my poor brain.
            I’ve such an awful gulf between my thoughts and my emotions —
            But do Cybermen get rusty in the rain?

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you for that. Yamim, literally “days” but here meaning “years”, is entirely new to me. Is that found anywhere else in the Bible?

            http://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_samuel/2-19.htm

          • Rhoda

            From Wikipedia ;
            “Yom (Hebrew: יום‎) is a Biblical Hebrew word.Although it is commonly rendered as day in English translations, the word yom has several literal definitions
            Period of light (as contrasted with the period of darkness),
            Period of twenty-four hours,General term for time,
            Point of time,Sunrise to sunset,Sunset to next sunset,
            A year (in the plural; I Sam 27:7; Ex 13:10, etc.)
            Time period of unspecified length, and
            A long, but finite span of time – age – epoch – season.

            Thus yom, in it context, is sometimes translated: Time (Gen 4:3) (Is. 30:8). Year (I Kings 1:1)( 2 Chronicles 21:19)(Amos 4:4). Age Gen 18:11, Gen 24:1; Joshua 23:1 and 23:2, Gen 47:28). Ago (1 Samuel 9:20). Always (Deuteronomy 5:29, 6:24, 14:23, and in 2 Chronicles 18:7). Season (Genesis 40:4, Joshua 24:7, 2 Chronicles 15:3).

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you, Rhoda!

    • carl jacobs

      It is thus difficult to respect creationism as a valid Christian viewpoint

      Oh dear! However will I go on? How can I live in the absence of such respect? In my despair, I shall have to find a cliff and hurl myself onto the rocks below.

      • Anton

        No, don’t deprive the human race of your genotype!

        • carl jacobs

          But I’ve already had children.

      • CliveM

        Carl

        You’re overreacting!

        • carl jacobs

          No. No, I’m not. Primitives like Luther and Calvin may have believed these things, but they were … well … primitive. I’m supposed to know better. They had an excuse. I’m just nonsensical and dishonest. And worst of all, I don’t have the respect of Michael Roberts!

          What is there left to live for?

          • IanCad

            Brace up man!! You are not the first to feel so low.
            There is always a remnant. Elijah felt the same.

          • carl jacobs

            Wait. There’s a bird here. With some bread…

          • IanCad

            That’s the spirit! Watch out for the meat though, ravens aren’t too picky.

          • CliveM

            Stiff upper lip! Man up, as devastating as this may first appear, you’ve still got your health and family.

            Either that or you will find a glass of whiskey and revolver in the library.

          • carl jacobs

            Whiskey? It tastes like gasoline. I can’t drink that stuff! It would kill me.

          • CliveM

            Ahh back from the brink!

          • sarky

            Man up!!!!

          • Anton

            And how do you know it tastes like gasoline…?

          • Mike17

            Then try drinking whisky. Far better than whiskey.

          • carl jacobs

            So … I might try this. I would have to order this drink at a bar to minimize the potential loss. So what should I ask for? Do you have a recommendation? I am under the impression that Whisky is not made in the US, so I don’t want to prejudice the trial.

          • Anton

            Then shoot the whiskey glass with the gun.

          • carl jacobs

            Waste of a good bullet.

      • sarky

        Are they those millions of years old rocks?

        • carl jacobs

          Deigning to converse with a fruit loop, sarky? I’m surprised at you.

          • sarky

            It’s purely out of sympathy 🙂

  • Rupert Myers has responded. “Creationists hate me because I challenged Dan Walker’s appointment to BBC Breakfast” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12157480/Creationists-hate-me-because-I-challenged-Dan-Walkers-appointment-to-BBC-Breakfast.html

    • IanCad

      A most interesting link YG.

      So! The Pope – I already knew about his symathy with evolution – Ex AoC Rowan Williams and the saintly Michael Gove, all deny the inspired Word of God? Far from either just admitting doubt or uncertainity it seems they want to expunge from Holy Scripture those foundational verses that contain the two essential societal and celebratory precepts integral to the entire Gospel. Marriage and the Sabbath.

      Or will they leave them in? Pick and choose? “Well, He got most of it right. A bit out of step with the times now though.”

      “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth”?
      Luke 18:8

    • silverlining

      The question is rather, why do people feel so threatened by creationism? Rupert Myers should read American lawyer Philip Johnson’s book ‘Darwin on Trial’. He would enjoy the dissection of the philosophical arguments underpinning Darwinism.
      It is also amazing how people who call themselves Christians also feel
      very threatened by the idea of six day creation. There are plenty of
      scientists with PhDs who are young earth creationists. This is not the
      view of some lunatic fringe, but of respected academics.
      Most people accept evolution as fact without examining the evidence. Evolution and creation are both beliefs that are unfalsifiable. Neither can be proved by the scientific method of observation and experimentation. Before someone says natural selection proves evolution, even Richard Dawkins could not point to evidence of the addition of new information which would be needed to show the process at work. Belief in that which cannot be observed could be called blind faith. Creationists marvel at the idea that man’s most reasoned thoughts are the result of random chemical processes.

      • Anton

        I attended a talk by Philip Johnson at Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge a decade ago. He asked what he thought was a rhetorical question demanding examples of a particular thing in evolution, and Denis Alexander (of Christians in Science and a reputable academic) asked him how many he would like before giving several.

        • carl jacobs

          Whence cometh death, Anton?

          • Anton

            The origin of human death is as stated in the tale of the Fall. But notice that even before the Fall, continued existence was (or would have been) dependent on eating the fruit of the tree of life. We die because we are denied that.

    • Anton

      More misrepresentations by Myers. It’s about his refusal to believe that a creationist (and I’m not one in the sense he means) can anchor a news programme. Why not ban all people who believe that a man was born of a virgin 2000 years ago and came back from the dead, Rupert? And all who believe that a man called Muhammad had a direct revelation from the Creator God 14 centuries ago? And… and in fact anybody who disagrees with you?

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Why not ban those who believe the Universe miraculously appeared from nothing at all in a big flash, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat? Or ban those who think we are here as sentient living beings because a few molecules happened to bump into each other at the right moment and miraculously formed a mind-bogglingly complex living cell with all its DNA etc in place and fully able to survive and replicate? I wouldn’t ban any of them, but I think I’ve made my point.

        • Anton

          Which is my point too – it’s about the suitability of this guy to be a TV presenter.

        • TIME to CTRL ALT & DEL

          except there was no magician and no hat to pull the Rabbit out of!!!

  • prompteetsincere

    With the ascent of the British and Foreign Bible Society (1804), with Devilish intent came the concurrent rational, scientific and logical attack of ‘the Higher Blather’:
    “Yea, hath GOD said?” + Genesis 3:1.
    Out of the be-doubted quagmire was born the BBC, C.S. Lewis’ favourite pulpit:
    “All that is not Eternal is eternally out of date.”.

  • len

    Evolution is a’ theory’. There are many theories most become discredited in time. Evolution’ has become the new ‘religion’ it has its Bible its high priests and its followers and woe betide anyone who dares point out that this particular religion is as naked as the king who had’ invisible garments’.
    Evolutionists must carry on with their pretence because the alternative is unthinkable …to them at least..

    • sarky

      Gravity is also a theory. You could jump off a tall building to see if it to should be discredited?

      • len

        gravity is a fact , you might get some of yours right?

        • Anton

          Sarky is absolutely right. You can observe gravity; you can also observe evolution, eg of bacteria against antibiotics. You can explain gravity, but Newton’s explanation turned out to be inadequate – the discrepancy is tiny but will become in very strong gravitational fields – and Einstein came up with a better theory. but even that doesn’t take quantum theory into account, as a correct theory must. Now, what theory explains the changes seen in bacteria?

          • Phil R

            Changes in Bacteria (same species)

            This is the best you have?

          • Anton

            No, but please look down the thread for other examples, which I’ve given in dialogue with others. I mean no disrespect but I don’t want to say the same things four times here.

        • sarky
      • Uncle Brian

        No, this isn ‘t the Gaza Strip.

      • The Explorer

        Aristotle said that objects fall at a speed relative to their mass. Galileo demonstrated that their time of descent was independent of their mass. Both had seen gravity in action. Gravity was a fact, but they had different theories about how to account for it.

        Take a gay thrown off a building. It is easier to demonstrate that gravity brought about his demise than it is to demonstrate that evolution brought about his existence in the first place.

        • sarky

          Only because of the length of time required to observe the results of each.

          • The Explorer

            It’s a big ‘only’, though. With gravity, you can watch the process from start to finish.

          • sarky

            Ah right… so if you can’t observe it, it doesn’t exist.

          • The Explorer

            That doesn’t follow at all from what I said. If you can observe the whole process , you don’t need to infer. If you miss the beginning, you do.

          • sarky

            Thats true. However, the begining can be worked out by looking at the end. You can study an omelette and work out the ingredients and what it took for those ingredients to become an omelette.

          • Uncle Brian

            Oh yeah? You chose an omelette as your example, so — Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

          • sarky
  • Mike17

    What’s a “Bible-believing Christian”? Is s/he different from other kinds of Christians? If so, how? Is it a phrase like ‘valued customer’ where, one hopes, all customers are valued and the ‘valued’ is superfluous? Or is the implication that a ‘Bible-believing Christian’ has a particular interpretation of the Bible which other Christians do not share? If so, what gives these people the right to claim that they are the ‘Bible-believing’ ones and Christians with a different interpretation are not ‘Bible-believing’? And what exactly do you have to believe, according to these self-appointed authorities, in order to be a ‘Bible-believing Christian’?

    • Anton

      Sadly there are people who call themselves Christian who don’t believe plenty of bits of the Bible today (and many of them are Anglican bishops). The word that other Christians have for them is “church liberals”.

      • Mike17

        But that’s just your opinion. Who are you to say that your interpretation of the Bible is better than someone else’s? (I happen to agree with what you say about ‘liberals’ but I don’t claim any personal infallibility.)

        • Anton

          “Interpretation” is a weasel word used by liberals. 9 times out of 10 the Bible is totally unambiguous. I challenge anybody to read the New Testament in the original Greek and deny it says that Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. At the core of liberalism is denial of the supernatural.

          • Mike17

            I think you’ll find, Anton, that people other than ‘liberals’ have used the word ‘interpretation’. At the end of the day either you are possessed by personal infallibility or your interpretation of the Bible is just your own opinion. As an example, could you give us the ‘totally unambiguous’ meaning of the words ‘This in my body’? Well, frankly, I agree with you. They are totally unambiguous. But I suspect that you don’t interpret those words to mean what they ‘totally unambiguously’ mean.
            And what about Mr Walker. Do you have to agree with all his interpretations of the Bible to be a ‘Bible-believing Christian’ or just some of them? And if only some, who gets to choose which ones are necessary for someone to call themselves ‘Bible-believing’? This mess of potage is the inevitable outcome of the claim that we should all read (ie. interpret) the Bible for ourselves.

          • Anton

            You are choosing one of the one in ten verses where there IS disagreement, of course. Any reasonable congregation will allow a little latitude; for example, in the congregation I’m in there is a young-earther and me, but our unity in Christ is unimpaired in a way it would be if he denied Jesus’ resurrection form the dead.

            You last sentence suggests that Christians should not be free to read the Bible for themselves, and that horrifies me. How would you enforce that?

          • Mike17

            Anton, you are reading something into my words that is not there. I did not say that people should not read the Bible. Of course people should read the Bible. What I meant (and I apologise for not making this clear) is that allowing people to interpret the Bible for themselves leads, inevitably, to people arriving at a widely divergent series of opinions as to what the Bible means. Luther got rather uptight when the Anabaptists arrived at different interpretations to his own. Then along comes Calvin with a whole lot of other interpretations. Are we predestined to heaven or hell? Is baptism necessary for salvation? Does baptism wash away sins? Can we lose our salvation once we are saved? There’s massive disagreement over the meaning of the Bible among people who would all, presumably, call themselves Bible Christians. As for allowing disagreement, St Paul made it quite clear what he thought about that. “So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” Nothing there about an ‘except’. Incidentally, there are, sadly, even Evangelicals who approve of so-called ‘gay marriage’. Are they ‘Bible-believing Christians’? Is there some sort of minimum a person must believe before they qualify as ‘Bible-believing’ and, if so, who determines what that minimum is? And on what authority do they act in that way?

          • Anton

            The solution I suspect you believe is no solution at all, because it merely replaces “this is my interpretation; that is yours” with “I accept this authority; you accept that one”. The problem remains. This is because the church is a movement of grace, and discussions like that try to turn it into law – and the new wine and the old wine don’t mix.

            There were different views among the rabbis, different views among the church fathers, but the unity in Jehovah in the first case and in Christ in the second was enough.

          • Mike17

            Well, I’ve been trying to find out what is the definition of a ‘Bible-believing Christian’. That was my original question. I haven’t got very far. I am told that to be a Bible-believing Christian you have to believe in the Virgin Birth and that Jesus rose from the dead. Catholics and the Orthodox believe in both of those things. Are they Bible-believing Christians? We are told that Dan Walker is a Bible-believing Christian. He believes in the literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis. Do you have to agree with him to be called a Bible-believing Christian? So. I go back to my questions. What is the minimum you have to believe in order to be a Bible-believing Christian, who decides that minimum and under what authority do they determine that minimum?

          • cacheton

            Good luck with getting an answer.
            But for what its worth I thought bible-believing meant ‘believes that the bible is the word of god’. Of course that still leaves the problem of different interpretations. Might it be worth keeping in mind that god, incarnate or not incarnate, did not write the bible?

          • The Explorer

            If God HAD written the Bible, how, in your view, would God have done it?

          • cacheton

            Being omniscient, he wouldn’t have done, and didn’t, because he would have known what humans would do with it, and that this would take them further away from him rather than closer. It is of course interesting to have ancient accounts of people’s relationship with the divine, but unhelpful to grant those accounts some kind of authority they do not, and could not, have.

          • The Explorer

            Following that line, knowing what humans would do, God wouldn’t have brought them into existence in the first place. Then the Bible would have been even less necessary.

          • cacheton

            I don’t follow your logic. We know why god brought them into existence, because he sent Jesus to show us.

          • The Explorer

            God didn’t write the Bible, according to you, because he knew what humans would do with it to take themselves further away from Him. So God wouldn’t have given life to humans either, knowing they would use their existence to take themselves further away from him. (Mind you, looking at some humans that might not be a cause for regret.)

          • cacheton

            So what if they do use it to do that? We have free will. God IS, he does not sit there pointing fingers and assigning punishments, though some religions would have you believe he does. Religions are rather good at creating people who sit there pointing fingers and threatening punishments on god’s behalf though. Reading your last sentence in brackets do I detect that it may have done that to you too??

          • The Explorer

            So if God thought it was right to create people, even if some used existence to turn away from Him, then why wouldn’t God create the Bible, even if some used it to draw away from Him?
            The brackets simply indicate that I have, in the course of my life, found some people deeply unpleasant. Generally, the most unpleasant have also been the most irreligious.

          • cacheton

            Because their drawing away from him would be in his name, those people see him as sanctioning and desiring their thoughts, words and deeds, because they think their thoughts words and deeds are based on what they interpret his words to mean. But that was not really my point, which was that books are created by humans. The only way god has of creating a book is through humans, who are imperfect filters of the divine.
            I too find some people deeply unpleasant, both religious and irreligious. Part of the unpleasantness of the religious ones is that they tend to use their religion to justify their unpleasantness.

          • Anton

            Actually I think sarky put it well just below: a Bible-believing Christian is someone who believes that the Bible, start to finish, is the word of the God it speaks of (and God doesn’t make mistakes). If someone affirms this but has a different understanding of certain verses from yours, you should discuss it. The real question is what you throw someone out of fellowship for. That is a decision for the elders in each congregation. I can tell you my answer but I’m not (thankfully) an elder.

          • cacheton

            You seem to be saying that there are some things which merit people being thrown out of a fellowship. Isn’t that contrary to the first commandment? And what happens if one of the elders is a child abuser?

          • Phil R

            If the member is an unrepentant child abuser, he is obviously in breach of the first commandment.

          • Anton

            Someone who reckons Jesus Christ is not divine in the sense of the universal Creator, even if they say he is a very high spiritual being indeed, is simply not a Christian and should not be treated as such. Child abusers, supposing you mean sexual abuse, not some mother who has slapped her unruly child on the street, should be handed over to the police. (Personally I think the local Hell’s Angels would do a better job but I have to uphold the law.)

          • Phil R

            I always thought that the best punishment for convicted child abusers would be to lock them in a room for an hour with the victims’ mothers.

            I am certain that re-offending rates would be low.

            My guess close to zero.

          • The Explorer

            “You shall have no other gods but me.” So if some one tries to introduce other gods, he/she should be thrown out for trying to invalidate the commandment. What’s the problem?

          • “A Bible-believing Christian is a Christian who believes that all 66 books of the Bible are the Word of God, without error or contradiction. It is not necessary to believe that the Bible is God’s Word in order to be a Christian. It is only necessary that a person be born again in order to be a Christian. (see What is a Christian?) However, it is necessary to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God in order to live the Christian life and be classified as a “Bible-believing Christian.”

            “A Bible-believing Christian must believe that everything in the Bible is the Word of God and thus true. A Christian who only accepts parts of the Bible as being true is not a Bible-believing Christian. He may be a Christian–if he is born again–but he is not a Bible-believing Christian. Even if a Christian believes 99.9% of the Bible, and there are only a few verses that he does not believe, he is not a Bible-believing Christian.”

            http://www.bccmnm.org/webpages/What_is_a_Bible-believing_Christian.html

          • William Lewis

            Is there some sort of minimum a person must believe before they qualify as ‘Bible-believing’ and, if so, who determines what that minimum is?”

            Surely the point is to accept and follow the Christ? The point is not to believe the Bible, per se, but to use it to find out about our creator and His plans for us. As such it seems to be a pretty good guide, in my fallible opinion.

          • Come of it, Anton. There are huge differences amongst Christians across a whole spectrum of beliefs resting on different interpretations of scripture.

            Premillennial dispensationalism and the pre-tribulation rapture?
            Justification, salvation and grace?
            The Eucharist?
            The ordained priesthood?

          • Anton

            You’re not seeing the wood for the trees, Jack. All of those differences need to be seen in the context of unity over:

            The virgin birth
            The sinlessness of Christ
            The divinity of Christ
            The fulfilment of the animal sacrifices for sin in the crucifixion
            The Resurrection.

            These are bigger than the things in your list.

          • Oh, Jack thinks the different theologies on the nature of the atonement and on justification and sanctification are profound.

          • IanCad

            Immortality of the Soul.
            Petrine Inheritance.
            Mariology.
            Sunday Worship.
            Papal Infallibility.
            Original Sin.
            ——
            —-.

        • Good question.

          • Anton

            You’re late into this exchange, Jack; my point is that most verses are unambiguous, which is why you and I agree that Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the dead. If you want to engage about one of the minority of verses over which we disagree, feel free but I’ve no taste for it on the present thread.

          • Nor has Jack.

      • What Mike17 asked – with the additional caveat: where does your authority for your particular interpretation come from?

    • The Explorer

      I remember a particular session of ‘The Big Questions’ a few years back. An atheist Anglican dean was in disagreement with an evangelical. The evangelical cited the Bible, to which the dean replied that, although he did not believe the Bible, “I’m just as much a Christian as you are.” To which the evangelical replied that it would be necessary to define what a Christian was; since they both used the term and meant completely different things. :

    • Pubcrawler

      I share your disquiet with the phrase. I believe in [insert rest of Apostles’ Creed here].

    • Jack’s always understood a “Bible-believing Christian” to be a person who believes in the literal and inerrant truth of all scripture, regardless of genre, and also that only that which is written in scripture can be accepted.

      And of course scripture does not say this of itself.

      “Everything in the scripture has been divinely inspired, and has its uses; to instruct us, to expose our errors, to correct our faults, to educate us in holy living; so God’s servant will become a master of his craft, and each noble task that comes will find him ready for it.”
      (2 Timothy 3: 16)

      Indeed, in the two verses preceding this Saint Paul writes:

      “It is for thee to hold fast by the doctrine handed on to thee, the charge committed to thee; thou knowest well, from whom that tradition came; thou canst remember the holy learning thou hast been taught from childhood upwards. This will train thee up for salvation, through the faith which rests in Christ Jesus.”
      (2 Timothy 3 14-15)

      • Uncle Brian

        There’s a funny thing I’ve noticed from time to time here at Cranmer’s, and I’m sure you must have noticed it too, Jack. There are one or two communicants who describe themselves as “Bible Christians” or “Bible-believing Christians” but who flatly refuse to admit that the Bible means what it says, particularly the Gospels. Examples:

        Matthew 16:18, “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church.”

        Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, “This is my body.”

        Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:23, “This is my blood.”

        • Anton

          He drank his own blood at the Last Supper? Even though Jews were strictly forbidden blood? This same man who earlier had said “I am the door”, which you presumably take to mean he was made of wood?

          • He isn’t made of stone either ….

            However, He did drink His own blood and eat His own flesh at the Last Supper and instructed others to do so too. We learn in John 6 of the scandal and division it caused because He wasn’t speaking figuratively.

          • Anton

            He was, moreover, speaking *before* the Last Supper…

          • Oh, you agree. Jack thought from your comment you were in disagreement.

          • Anton

            Obviously John 6 precedes the Last Supper. As to what Jesus meant in John 6, as I’ve said I’d rather discuss it on another thread.

          • Uncle Brian

            My apologies, Anton, you were too quick for me. My comment was only up for about three minutes. When I spotted another comment of yours, including this: “I’ve no taste for it on the present thread,” I realised you were right and this thread is not a suitable place for that sort of petty sniping. So I took it down immediately, and I don’t intend to return to the subject here.

          • Anton

            Yes, let it rest.

  • chrisH

    Suppose he`d be in even more trouble if he dared to go on the record to say that “climate change” was as much an article of faith for the zealots, as his-more rational and biblical belief-that God will finish with us in HIs own good time and as appointed now by Jesus.
    Bit literal for the critics though eh?…so they`ll just have to contend themselves with sneering and mocking until they find out that Pacals wager might have served them better had they been more respectful of those few brave souls in the media who worship their Creator, not the confection that the media insist upon.
    Good luck Mr Walker!

  • len

    If secularists want to place their faith (and their eternal destination) in the unproven unprovable (who’s been around for millions of years to observe?) ‘ theory’ that once there was nothing and this nothing went bang(a very big bang) and out if this cosmic explosion came birds and bees and trees and all the animals and humans too would it be unkind of Christians to attempt to awaken them from this trance like state?…I mean really.

    • Anton

      Are you kidding? The Bible says that there was a beginning. Most eastern pagan systems say that the universe was always there. Which view does the Big Bang accord with?

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        Perhaps someone can explain this to me, as a non-scientist: if the universe was not always there, how could it have begun with a Big Bang? I mean to say, where exactly did the Big Bang take place? Not in the universe, since there wasn’t yet any universe for it to take place in. And it can’t have taken place somewhere else either, because “universe” includes absolutely everywhere, even “somewhere else”.

        • The Big Bang would be seen as a direct act of God. So it took place outwith the material world and yet brought the material world into existence. Before it there was nothing – no time, no material – absolutely nothing. At the moment of the Big Bang, time and material were created and so the universe was born from nothing.

          • Cressida de Nova

            The Big Bang theory accords with” in the beginning”

          • Anton

            Yes.

          • So much briefer and more eloquent than Jack’s reply.

          • Anton

            Even briefer in the Hebrew – one word, BERESHITH.

          • Uncle Brian

            … which, unsurprisingly, is also the first word of the Gospel of St John in the Hebrew translation.

            http://www.haktuvim.com/en/study/John.1.1

        • Anton

          When you read that the universe is expanding, don’t think that it is expanding INTO anything else, because the universe is all that there is, materially speaking. What the statement means is this. Consider 2-dimensional creatures living on the surface of a balloon that is being blown up. The distance between every pair of points on the surface of the balloon increases as perceived by the inhabitants. Now increase the dimension of the analogy by one. You can’t get a picture in your mind any more, but the notion is the same.

          That is what is meant by the universe expanding. It does so according to Einstein’s field equations of general relativity. These can be used to project backwards in time from the present, and it turns out that at a finite time back the entire universe was a point. Its initial explosive expansion from that point is called the Big Bang.

          There is no notion of time before the Big Bang. Asking what happened before the Big Bang is like (very like, in fact) asking what is north of the North Pole.

          That’s an entirely secular scientific account. but it is consistent with the Bible because:

          * the Bible says that everything has a beginning

          * time itself starts at the Big Bang, and this makes sense because it shows how time is part of God’s creation – as it must be because there is only God’s creation and God, and time isn’t part of God

          * this resolves the “who created God” regress problem. The question assumes that whoever created God did so BEFORE God created the universe, and “before” is a time-word, but there is no time apart from the material creation, so the question is meaningless.

          • Ivan M

            Your analogy does not work. Inhabitants on a 2-D surface are expanding into a pre-existing 3-D space. Ants living on your balloon are possibly not aware of it, but the third dimension exist. Which space is your primordial balloon expanding into?

          • Anton

            No analogy is exact; every analogy illustrates only some of the aspects of the thing it is analogous to. If you don’t find it useful, don’t retain it. I’m not aware of a better one in this case, though.

          • Ivan M

            Yes you are correct.

          • Brian Kelly

            Whether ‘time is a part of God’ is a current question in analytical philosophy – which concedes that “before Creation” (what does that mean?), God “was” in the eternal present.

          • The Explorer

            ‘before Creation” (what does that mean?)’

            I’m probably being thick, here, but to me it seems obvious.
            The statue of David exists. Before it was created, it didn’t exist. Its creator existed, but it didn’t. What am I missing here?

          • cacheton

            The multi-dimensional aspect of being.

          • The Explorer

            First cousin to the unbearable lightness of being?

          • Brian Kelly

            I was thinking out loud: ‘before’ is a time word – but since time also began with creation (space-time), what does ‘before’ mean in the phrase ‘before Creation’?

          • The Explorer

            Yes, I sort of see the problem. Since ‘before’ is a time concept, how can it precede the existence of time?
            It’s like Berkeley’s tree. The fact that it stays where it is because God’s looking at it might satisfy a theist, but would be small consolation for an atheist.
            It’s all enough to drive one mad. That insanity isn’t higher must be because people are too busy worrying about getting to work, keeping their mouths shut once they get there, paying the mortgage etc to have time or energy to contemplate the larger issues.

          • Anton

            Einstein showed decisively that space and time are basically the same stuff. So if time is part of God then so is space. But I think that theistic philosophers don’t believe that. (Certainly I don’t.) Therefore…

          • cacheton

            And can you explain why theistic philosophers don’t believe that? Can they?

          • Anton

            I’ve realised that my post to which you replied was ambiguous and have edited it. Do respond to the post of mine that you are now reading if there is still an issue.

          • cacheton

            Still an issue. Why don’t they believe that?
            Also – I realise I don’t know how to edit posts. How did you do it?

            Whoooo – found it – can now edit – thanks Anton.

          • Anton

            I can only edit my own! There’s an “edit” option next to “reply”.

            You’d need to ask a theistic philosopher; I would not wish to claim to be a philosopher. But if space is part of God then aren’t we into pantheism?

          • cacheton

            YES.

            IS THERE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

          • Anton

            No need to shout. Pantheists are entitled to their views but these are not compatible with a doctrine of creation.

          • cacheton

            I was just SO EXCited Anton.
            And these views are completely compatible with creation.

          • Findaráto

            If the question “who created God” is meaningless, then God is meaningless.

            If there is no time outside of the universe, then how did God manage to complete the discreet action of creating the universe? Time is an integral part of action. Without time action cannot be. All actions are linear processes. Even thinking.

            What you’re describing as God must actually be an entity frozen in time and therefore incapable of acting. Unless of course heaven has its own time, which then means it must have had a beginning and must therefore have been created.

            So which is it? Infinite regress or a solid lump of eternal God-in-aspic?

          • Anton

            Your first sentence is an arbitrary assertion made without proof and you would need to justify it before going onward.

            Because time, unlike space, PASSES, it is harder to think outside its box. But Einstein showed that they are essentially the same stuff, so it is legitimate to make the effort; and theists will believe it is worthwhile. It is nevertheless very difficult, as you correctly realise, but – wheteher you are theist or secular – you surely don’t expect the deepest aspects of the universe to be anything other than profound?

          • Ivan M

            Bull. Can you exchange one spatial dimension for time? One can imagine that a north pointing vector at London turns east in Singapore. Can you do the same with time and a dimension in space. The whole spacetime construction is a mathematical convenience nothing more.

          • Anton

            Show a little humility in the face of what Einstein did. How then do you explain that fact that if you take two clocks and send one on a round trip through space at speeds (relative to the other) close to the speed of light, they are no longer synchronised?

          • Ivan M

            Einstein should have shown that humility. Just because he came up with an operational definition of time and length, which Minkowski later combined into his spacetime framework, to account for the Fitzgerald length contraction, does not mean that time and space are interchangeable. It is simply a mathematical construction. Poincare whose ideas on these matters, Einstein took wholesale, had the humility to acknowledge that limit, which is why he is derided as a conventionalist.

          • Anton

            If Einstein had not worked out special relativity in 1905 then someone else would have, fairly soon after, and you clearly know the names of some of the experimentalists and theorists in that field. But Einstein soon realised that it was incompatible with Newton’s theory of gravity and it took him another 10 years working solo to accomplish that. Anybody else would have given up or taken far longer, or a group would have been needed whose members bounced ideas off each other for many years before getting there. It was a staggering achievement. You still measure space with rulers and time with clocks, but there IS an interplay between the two which nobody had previously suspected, seen most simply seen in the twin paradox I mentioned and in the fact that velocities are not linearly additive. (Kick a football down a train corridor and the speed of the football measured by someone standing by the track is not the sum of the speed of the train relative to the track and the speed of the ball relative to the train; it is a little less, but the effect is too small to be noticed until the speeds are near to that of light.)

            The Lorentz transformation, which is the core of the relation between space and time, was known in the 19th century; it is the transformation under which Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism look the same to uniformly co-moving observers. but until Einstein that was taken to be a weakness of Maxwell’s equations! Einstein said that they were fine and the Lorentz transformation was physics, not just mathematics, and he was right.

            If you want to diss what I am saying then feel free, but you are dissing the work that first yielded E=mc2 and the reputation of the man whom just about all physicists believe was the best. Doesn’t that worry you?

          • Ivan M

            What is at issue here is the alleged transformation of space into time and vice-versa.
            a) there is no way to detect inertial motion as per Galileo and emphasized by Poincare.
            b) by measuring Coulombs interaction we can measure the permittivity of free space.
            c) we can do a similar measurement to get the permeability of free space
            d) by the product of the permittivity and permeability we get the speed of light as per Maxwells equations.
            e) it follows from a) that experimentalists in two different inertial frames that therefore cannot detect their own motion will conclude that the speed of light is a constant.
            f) there is no surprise in that
            g) it will be surprising if they are surprised since they have no way of detecting their own motions as per a)

            From this we conclude that whereof we cannot speak, thereof we remain silent as per Wittgenstein, or agree with Poincare that the transformations between inertial frames that require length contractions and time dilations are in the nature of a mathematical convention only. But our friend Einstein was at that time on the make and just had to reify these conventions to make his mark.

            According to the parsimony that is commended to us, it is stupid even retrograde to look for an explanation for the properties of the ether in terms of stresses and strains as begun by McCullough, but if Einstein says Time shrinks and railroad sleepers come closer when traveling we are to do caterwauls to accommodate it.

            I have doubts about his GTR as I indicated way below if you have any interest.

          • Anton

            I don’t. You can interpret Einstein’s maths as you wish – some prefer to see GR (as all physicists call it) as a gauge theory today – but he made predictions (special relativity: E=mc2; bending of space in general relativity, as promptly verified by Eddington at a solar eclipse) that were unguessed by anybody else, unprecedented, and subsequently proven correct.

            Who have you been reading?

          • Ivan M

            I do not understand what is meant by a gauge theory, and doubt if Einstein would have in the early days. As he wrote, ever since the mathematicians took over, he could not understand his own theories. I do not doubt the genius of Einstein when it came to the applications of the old quantum theory and statistical thermodynamics. The photoelectric effect, lasers etc, much of what we see out there. His work on time and space though is a whole other matter. In so far as E=mc2 is concerned it should be noted that many others before him had already the idea that matter is petrified energy. This included Sir Frederick Soddy, who actually could figure out a mechanism for releasing the energy, and basically anyone who thought about the enormous size of the electric force in depth. I am an avid reader of prefaces, blurbs, and conclusions. I pick things up here and there in a dilettantish fashion.

          • Anton

            Before Einstein, nobody believed that the mass of an object, if you could figure a way of measuring it while it was on the move relative to you, would be different at different speeds; and specifically equal to its rest mass multiplied by the inverse square root of the complement of the square of its speed normalised by lightspeed. There were many mathematical hints, but Einstein unified them and declared them to be physics, not just maths. (One of the hints was from Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism, but relativistic dynamics has nothing intrinsically to do with emag.) That was special relativity. General relativity was a whole load more besides, and nobody was even close to deriving the formula which Eddington tested – with success – at that 1919 eclipse.

            General relativity and quantum theory still haven’t been unified today; the effort to do so comprises part of the research frontier in physics. But special relativity and quantum theory have been, and the result when applied to electromagnetism has been confirmed to better than one part in a thousand million in determinations of one particular parameter (the “fine structure constant”). That is currently easily the most accurate confirmation of a theory in all of physics, and it would have been impossible without Einstein’s theory of special relativity.

          • Ivan M

            Sorry but I can’t resist continuing and thank you for the courtesy of replying! Hilbert had scooped Einstein by a few days in getting the GTR equation. He was a master mathematician, and could therefore easily derive the equation from his Lagrangian. I more or less know how it is done in mechanics, but have to work this out for GTR as I am not savvy with tensor calculus.
            Without the time transformation mumbo-jumbo that Einstein introduced, what is now called the Poincare invariant, ie the equation determining the metric of the space of special relativity space – the psuedo-Euclidean space, already embodied all the consequences. Poincare was the leading mathematician of his day, and could derive all this with both hands behind his back.

          • Anton

            As a result of his work in special relativity, Einstein was eminent enough to get published his milestones (and one or two false starts) on his way toward the field equations of general relativity. Historians of science can debate fruitlessly whether his motivation for doing so was generosity or establishment of priority. When Einstein was nearly all the way there, Hilbert, having read those papers (and being in correspondence with Einstein), independently got the ball over the line and pipped Einstein by a short time. He stood on Einstein’s shoulders. He was also more specific about the forms of energy (electromagnetism, etc) that would warp the fabric of spacetime, whereas Einstein’s field equations allowed for any form of energy.

            In the presence of mass-energy, the metric describing spacetime is not Euclidean.

            If you want to reinterpret Einstein’s equations according to your view of what space and time mean then you are obviously free to do so provided that no testable predictions differ. I don’t think you’d find your view helpful if you actually wish to go about applying the theory and generating testable predictions, though – which is what it’s all about.

          • Findaráto

            The first sentence of my last post was not an arbitrary assertion. A God without time must be an inert God because, as I also explained in my post, time is an integral component of action. A God who cannot act cannot be God because must be completely impotent rather than omnipotent, and such a being is a meaningless concept. An impotent God is no God at all.

            If you claim that God does not need time in which to act, then that is the real arbitrary assertion. How does action take place without time? Propose a mechanism by which one sequential act can follow another without any time passing. Without time the very concept of a sequence is meaningless. And without sequences, you can’t have acts.

            For example, how did God create the universe in six days if he exists out of time? A day is a measure of time, is it not? And Genesis describes a sequence of events, does it not? If God exists out of time, it should have taken no time at all for him to create the universe. Indeed it’s hard to see how he could commit an act of creation at all if he’s timeless, because creation is a sequential process and sequential processes need time.

            If time started with the universe, then there can never have been a time when there wasn’t a universe, which means the universe must be just as eternal as God. So how then could he create it? Something eternal can’t be created. It must just be. If there’s never been a time when there wasn’t a universe, there can therefore never have been a moment of creation. There can never have been a point at which there was a God but no universe, otherwise we would be able to speak of a time before the universe’s creation. So the universe must be eternal, which means it had no need of God because it never needed to be created.

            In other words, your eternal God is impossible. If time is limited to the universe, and outside the universe there is no time, then no act of creation can have been performed because there was no time to perform it in. If there had been, then God would subject to it and must therefore have had a beginning, and therefore cannot be eternal.

          • Anton

            I don’t know what was going on with God in the absence of time as part of the material creation. Such things are perhaps beyond our imagination; but perhaps not, if you ponder it long enough and deep enough. (I haven’t, to date.) But it is well to see a problem to its full depth before dismissing it as nonsensical.

          • Ivan M

            I have to say that you have written a well thought out post. Though of course I disagree with your conclusions but within your framework, it would be difficult to refute what you have written.

          • William Lewis

            Your materialist assumptions do not appear to be borne out by contemporary physics. Ironic, huh?

          • cacheton

            ‘If the question “who created God” is meaningless, then God is meaningless.’
            No. From the moment you agree that something exists, rather than nothing, it is not meaningless!

            ‘What you’re describing as God must actually be an entity frozen in time and therefore incapable of acting.’
            Not frozen in time, outside the dimension of time. And yes, as a BEING, incapable of acting (as we understand ‘acting’ anyway) unless dimensions are created where time exists, such as the physical world.

            It is infinite regress, to a state of BEING. If you agree that something exists rather than nothing that is ….

          • cacheton

            ‘ time is part of God’s creation’ ‘time isn’t part of God’

            Now come on Anton, if God was all there is before anything else was created, then anything created by him will be part of him. Of course it operates in a dimension inferior to his dimension of pure being, but that doesn’t make it separate from him.

          • Anton

            “if God was all there is before anything else was created, then anything created by him will be part of him.”

            I don’t understand that logic; could you clarify?

            Separately, you have used the word “before” in that sentence, which his a time-word; yet that is illegitimate when we are treating a realm in which the question is whether time exists.

          • cacheton

            You’ve lost me rather. What realm?
            In the realm of pure being, time does not exist.
            In our physical world, time definitely exists.

            If god is all there is, IS – a state of being – this IS cannot create anything that is essentially different in nature from itself. It can certainly create things which have the appearance of being different, and which may act as if they really are different, but in essence they cannot be different.
            It is a human misconception that god is like a human, who create things seemingly different from themselves. But he isn’t.

          • Anton

            Can you rephrase your critique of what I said about time, space and God in one post, please? I’m getting lost.

          • cacheton

            You said time is part of God’s creation, but not part of God. This is a human view of how things are created, things we create appear to be different/separate from us.

            But if, in the beginning, God IS all there IS, and there is nothing else, then anything created by this IS cannot in essence be any different from itself. It can only appear to be different.

          • Ivan M

            Seems like you’ve identified a stickler. Humans cannot penetrate to the essence with their intelligence, since we end up with conundrums of your type.

          • cacheton

            Where’s the conundrum?

          • Ivan M

            Well it is a conundrum for Christians. If God cannot create anything that is different from Himself, then we are of the same essence as God. This is what I take you to mean. But we are mere creatures and dare not claim consubstantiality (as the Creed has it), with the Holy Trinity.

          • cacheton

            ‘If God cannot create anything that is different from Himself, then we are of the same essence as God.’
            And there are verses in the bible that can be interpreted to say just that.
            ‘..we …. dare not…’
            Why? Because you prefer to believe the degrading verses and the degrading interpretations, because they seem to correspond more closely with reality, and this also makes it much easier for you to be controlled by others.

          • Ivan M

            We are not gods, we are creatures, there is nothing degrading in that. We do not know how we came into this world, we do not know what happens in the next. Just another order of beings, certainly not gods.

          • cacheton

            So – er – who/what was Jesus? His message seems to have been lost on you.

          • Ivan M

            For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

            So there is an ordering between Heaven and Earth, and moreover even within Heaven itself.

          • cacheton

            And your last post has been lost on me. What on earth are you on about?

          • Ivan M

            It is fairly obvious, you asked what of Jesus who apparently promised to make us like Superman. I quoted a verse from the NT, to show that hierarchy exists in the world to come.

          • cacheton

            No, he showed us what could, if we choose to, become as humans. If you think he was like Superman, well each to his own I suppose. He cannot DO anything to us, we have free will.

            Not sure what relevance this hierarchy thing has to this question, even if there were any reason to believe it were true.

          • Pubcrawler

            The Jesus who was “made lower than the angels for a time”?

          • cacheton

            Don’t know what you’re on about.

          • Pubcrawler

            The Incarnation.

          • cacheton

            Oh OK. So would you agree that in being a human for a time (angels do not do this) he showed that it is possible to be fully divine even in human form? Christians do not usually agree with that, though their reasons are differences in interpretation usually.

          • cacheton

            Each to his own…

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Perhaps at a lower level, but also apposite, maybe:

            “Well, if our brains were simple enough for us to understand, then we’d be too simple to be able to.”

            quoted in Forever Today, by Deborah Wearing.

          • Anton

            Why cannot God create anything different in essence from himself? I can, and I’m a lot less than God.

          • cacheton

            Because, in the beginning, there IS no other essence. It is not possible for god to ‘not be’ god.

            You think you can, because what you create is out of things that you already perceive as separate from yourself. This is due to the dimension we find ourselves in, which is not that of pure being from which god created.

            There is also the speculative question of why god would want to create something in essence different to himself anyway, even if he could, but that is already lowering god to less than he IS.

          • Anton

            If God can think of something other than he is then he can create it if he chooses.

          • Pubcrawler

            As God is not a created thing, anything he creates is bound to be other than he is, in that it is created.

          • Anton

            I agree, but cacheton doesn’t!

          • Pubcrawler

            Indeed. I was backing you up 🙂

          • cacheton

            God IS Anton. He does not think, that is a form of doing. Humans think, but he is not human. Why is this so hard?

          • Pubcrawler

            “It is a human misconception that god is like a human”

            it may be; but that is not a Christian view — quite the opposite.

          • cacheton

            The god of the bible is just like a human, rants and raves, punishes, condemns, hates (even though he IS supposed to be unconditional love) ‘wants’ us to be a certain way apparently, etc etc.
            And people are always praying to god asking him to ‘do’ things – stop the wars, heal the sick etc etc, as if he is a human.
            In the church I find myself at, god is 99% like a human.

          • Pubcrawler

            God’s interactions wth his creation are described in the words and according to the perceptions of those doing the describing. But they are partial and fall far short of the truth of God’s essence. As God hmself reminds us, e.g. in Isaiah 55.8-9.

            “Having made an assertion about God, we must pass beyond it; the statement is not untrue, yet neither it nor any other form of words can contain the fullness of the transcendent God.” (Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, Chap. 1, ‘God as Mystery’)

          • cacheton

            ‘ neither it nor any other form of words can contain the fullness of the transcendent God’
            Well quite. So why do people believe the bible is the word of god and try and get info about god from it?

          • Pubcrawler

            Because it is a record of people’s experiences of and reflections on God’s partial revelation of himself to them.

          • cacheton

            And why does the word ‘partial’ seem to be lost on those who take ALL the words in the bible to be something to do with god, instead of using their own partial revelation to recognise those words in the bible which are pointing to the divine and those which clearly aren’t?

          • Pubcrawler

            All of Scripture points to God and the many complex facets of our relationship with him (and his with us), all of it through a glass darkly.

          • cacheton

            So when the literal interpretations contradict the fundamentals, such as Love your neighbour as yourself, you feel you have to somehow twist them to make them correlate in however unholy a fashion, rather than reject them. I see.

      • Brian Kelly

        Is that true about ‘most Eastern pagan systems’? Chinese and Japanese mythologies are full of creation stories.

        • Anton

          Some buddhist systems, as I understand it. One must be careful to distinguish creation stories from stories that simply order what was already there.

      • len

        dunno.

    • The Big Bang theory, if true, would actually demonstrate the wonder and awe of creation and the magnificence and power of our Creator. Are you saying God couldn’t have created the universe in accordance with the process suggested by such a theory?

      • Anton

        Right idea, Jack. (I mean your first sentence, but I agree with the 2nd too.)

      • len

        Gods word is enough for me I don`t need speculation…that basically what went wrong with the RCC.

  • Mike17

    Now, now. All this arguing about the meaning of Genesis is most unbecoming. And most unnecessary. Luther assured us that the meaning of the Bible is clear, even to a plough boy. Now, I’m sure that the people arguing about the meaning of Genesis have been educated to a level at least above that of a sixteenth century plough boy. So why all this arguing? Or, perish the thought, could Luther have been wrong all along?

    • Anton

      One argument at a time not enough for you?

      • Mike17

        Well, if there’s more than one argument going on at the same time i’m quite happy to chip into all of them. Life’s for living. As I grow old I like to keep the brain ticking over.

    • carl jacobs

      The agument in this thread has nothing with understanding what Genesis says and everything to do with receiving what Genesis says. The issue starkly put is whether Science is a peer source of truth with Revelation such that Science may be allowed to correct our understanding of Revelation.

      If the Scripture was actually hard to understand, people wouldn’t care about it. There would be no content capable of binding the conscience in any meaningful way. The problem is not the people don’t know what it says. The problem is that they don’t like what it says. So they seek methods to make it say what they want.

      Case in point – this thread.

      • “The problem is not the people don’t know what it says.The problem is that they don’t like what it says. So they seek methods to make it say what they want.”

        Well Jack both understands and likes what Genesis says.

        “The issue starkly put is whether Science is a peer source of truth with Revelation such that Science may be allowed to correct our understanding of Revelation.”

        That’s not the issue at all. The issue is whether science and revelation complement our understanding of creation or whether they are in opposition.

    • William Lewis

      At least the plough boy can read the words that are being interpreted, partly thanks to Luther. There was, and is, unfortunately, a lot of snake oil out there.

      • Mike17

        I wonder how many plough boys were literate in mid-fifteenth century Germany.

        • Phil R

          About the same percentage as today?

        • William Lewis

          Probably not a lot but one suspects that they would have picked up written German rather quicker than Latin.

    • Anton

      Can you give that Lutheran plough boy quote? Or are you confusing it with the well known words that Foxe, in his (highly inaccurate) Book of Martyrs, ascribed to Tyndale?

      I defie the Pope and all his lawes. If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.

      • Mike17

        Anton. Again, my apologies. I should have checked it before I “quoted” it. It’s like the story of Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg or the story that he said, “Here I strand, I can do no more”. Seems that these are all myths which have become embedded in our memory that we just accept them without checking them. For an interesting analysis of the ‘ploughboy’ “quote” see:
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2008/11/did-martin-luther-state-that-scripture-could-easily-be-read-and-understood-by-a-plowboy.html

        • Anton

          Yes indeed. I once believed the glib story of a Pope showing a wise man round the papal treasury and boasting “We can no longer say ‘Silver and gold have I none’…”, and the wise man adapting Peter’s reply by saying “And neither can you say ‘In the Name of Christ, walk’!” Then I found that sometimes the wise man was Aquinas to a Pope of his day; sometimes (slightly later) St Francis or Dominic Guzman to Innocent III. The lack of consistency made it obvious that it never happened. And we know less about William of Ockham than we thought, because for a long time he was thought to be the same man as William of England who was at the Papal court at the same time, but very recently it has become clear that they were two different men, and the stories about the latter have to be excised from the biographies of the former. (Ockham is a hero of mine – he wrote down de Morgan’s theorem of binary logic, in words rather than in symbolic notation but in full generality, five centuries before de Morgan.)

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Ah, William of Ockham. Reminds me of William of Heytesbury, a generation or two later, one of the Oxford Calculators, of the school at Merton College.

            Way back in my undergraduate days, I could not quite grasp partial molar quantities in physical chemistry, which are based on partial differentials.

            A description in words of what we would now know as instantaneous velocity by William of Heytesbury provided a missing link in my mind which, forty years later, enabled me to grasp what had previously stumped me.

            I have just found this, which mentions both Ockham and de Morgan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Morgan's_laws

          • Ivan M

            Apropos of nothing:

            Nature does not shave with Occam’s razor
            – dearime, ace blog commenter

          • Anton

            I’m unconvinced that Aristotle grasped de Morgan’s laws fully; I’ve seen the claim more than once but never with a reference to a specific passage in Aristotle. Ockham did, though.

          • Mike17

            Anton,
            However, I did come across this today:
            Mar­tin Luther wrote “Noth­ing what­ever is left obscure or ambigu­ous; but all things that are in the Scrip­tures are by the word brought forth into the clear­est light, and pro­claimed to the whole world.” (On the Bondage of the Will.)
            No mention of plough boys but the meaning is similar.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    I rather doubt that Mr Myers has any scientific training tho. Which makes his trusting faith in what he read or heard somewhere rather cute.

  • cacheton

    ‘…Adam was created on the sixth day. On the seventh day, how old was Adam? 33 years or just one day?…’

    So the word ‘day’ in the bible does not refer to what we recognise as a ‘day’. That does not bode well for interpreting the rest of the bible then does it.

    ‘…even if he believes in a six-day creation by faith…’

    ‘…Beyond scientific doubt, the earth is many millions of years old….’

    So, the facts say one thing, but due to a ‘leap’ of faith a creationist gives him/herself permission to change them, apparently on the authority of a book in which the words do not mean the same as they do when they are used elsewhere.

    ‘It may offend against common sense,…’ but never mind because that’s just an example of the many and mysterious ways of god, apparently.

    ‘creationism is not necessarily incompatible with the known facts of science.’
    Yes it is, creationism IS incompatible with the known facts of science. As you yourself state, it requires a leap of faith, and contradicts fact.

    • scottspeig

      1. Clearly he was 1 day old but was created mature.

      2. Yet day is defined quite well – “evening & morning” and is commented on in Exodus

      3. six-day creation – Since this section is in the same work that has been proven to be reliable in other sections would allow the burden of proof to be on the argument against, not for.

      4. NOTHING is beyond scientific doubt – that’s what drives the methodology

      I was disappointed in this last section where His Grace pretty much disparaged the YEC position. It is NOT incompatible with the known FACTS of science, rather it is the interpretation of said facts YECs disagree with the majority of scientists.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    What with the stuff lawyers come out with these days, seems to me the only place you’ll find a barrister with brains is with Shaun Wallace on The Chase (ITV).

  • preacher

    Who knows when the Earth & the Cosmos came into being? I would have hoped that a barrister would have examined the Contemporary evidence before forming an opinion. Personally I find that as Science has developed & discovered more about us & the World we live in, & the Universe it occupies, the more complex it is proved to be.
    Now complexity of design does not happen by accident ! Surprise ! Surprise ! it needs – a Designer ! Deny it if you like. But Science is presenting us with more evidence of this complex system with every new Discovery it makes. But of course, it’s easier to stick with the teaching, beliefs & equipment of the 19th Century if it suits what you Want to believe.
    A small example was an excellent programme that I watched about the working & complex design of the brain, by a presenter called Eagleman. guaranteed to be very thought provoking & I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a Christian, so unbiased.

    The theory of evolution making a complex World by chance always reminds me of those old films where a factory chimney or a block of flats is demolished by explosives, then by the ” Miracle ” of running the film backwards re – emerges from the rubble as a complete construction.

    May Dan Walker go from strength to strength & prove the biased detractors wrong. Who knows. maybe some of them will wake up & smell the Breakfast time Coffee of belief – if they’ve got the courage to admit it – But I suppose that would count in some estimations as a Miracle !.

    • sarky

      “But of course, it’s easier to stick with the teaching, beliefs & equipment of the 19th Century if it suits what you Want to believe.”

      Unlike sticking with those of the first century for the same reasons.

      • Ivan M

        Where did you get your quoted sentence from? I did not see it in preacher’s post?

      • preacher

        Hi Sarky, Well Luke was a Doctor in the first Century, but he couldn’t do the things that modern medicine can do – he was limited by the technology of the time. But many facts of that time still are still true today.As you are well aware, I was referring to the question of faith being opposed to science, an obvious fallacy.
        As the old saying goes – ” Faith without Science is lame. But Science without faith is Blind ! “. There is no valid reason for Dan Walker not to be given the job of presenting the Breakfast show because he’s a Christian.
        Your statement is hardly original brother, in fact it probably dates back in some form to the first Century. I don’t care if some people invent reasons not to be believers. as I’ve said many times on here. But I do object to unwarranted bias & prejudice being spouted in ignorance posing as intelligence !.
        Have a good week mate !. P.

        • sarky

          If you look down this thread you will see I agree. Someone’s suitability for a job should be down to ability not faith (as long as that faith is not in conflict with the requirements of the job)

  • IanCad

    As this thread winds down how about a little praise for the BBC?
    Let us be thankful that although infected with the worst of the PC brigade Christians can still be front and centre. Dan Walker is not alone; there is also Neil Nunes, whose regal tones give to the news and shipping forecast a dignity bordering on high art.

    • Dreadnaught

      So long as he keeps his delusional belief to himself he’ll be no different from all the other bland presenters that front this piece of broadcasting wasteland.

      • IanCad

        “Broadcasting Wasteland”!!!???

        Radio4 & World Service????

        Where else? – where else? is there – for all its faults – any such institution to compare with the BBC?

        In times of peace and in times of war it has given hope and enlightenment to the entire world throughout its establishment.

        You should also note Dred, that it is not usually the Christians who bring their “delusion beliefs” into their work, but the sexualists, the progressives, the enviromentalists, and those who claim to be “Humourists.”

        Their workplace is their platform.

        • Dreadnaught

          I was referring to the actual programme Breakfast Time not the BBC: I defended it in a previous thread.

          • IanCad

            OK then Dred, that’s cleared up.

          • Dreadnaught

            I cant’ see the justification of this repetitive early morning entertainment when there is a 24 hour rolling news channel available.

          • IanCad

            Breakfast Time? I’ve never seen it, but if it’s just a lightweight newsy chat show I haven’t missed much.

          • Anton

            Even silence is too loud at that time of the morning.

    • James60498 .

      Most people arguing that The Telegraph and Guardian writers are wrong are arguing that his job will be to read the news, not to write it

      Most Christians are asking why anyone should object to him after all he’s only reading the news, whilst Dreadnaught has made the same point from the atheist point of view.

      The BBC has to pretend to be impartial. What better way to do that than to appoint someone to a job like this. Front of screen. Everyone now “knows” that the BBC “isn’t” an atheist, liberal organisation.

      Whilst those who go on producing and writing the news and programmes can continue to write their nasty stuff behind this “face”,

      • Dreadnaught

        I wonder if anyone queries the veracity of the muslim faces that apprear, on their belief that mohammad the islamic ‘prophet’ actually took off from Jerusalem on a flying horse.

        • Anton

          I think they think it was a dream or vision he had.

          • Dreadnaught

            A man has a dream and that justifies a claim on the land and buildings – you couldn’t make it up – Oh .. they must have!

          • Ivan M

            They had also conquered the place. Possession is 9/10 th of the law.

          • Dreadnaught

            Exactly so and on that premise: just goes to show what ignorance and violence backed peer pressure can to the most evolutionary advanced brains on the planet.

          • Ivan M

            I get what you are saying. Evolutionary advanced does not seem to have helped much.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not when Religion enters the equations that’s for sure.

        • IanCad

          They may well do, but are far too PC & LMF to talk about it.

          • Dreadnaught

            Scared is the word

          • IanCad

            True; but of their peers, not the Islamists.

          • Dreadnaught

            I wouldn’t bet the money on that distinction.

          • IanCad

            I would. The acts of both “Going over the top” and “Keeping your mouth shut” have behind them the same motivation – fear of not appearing to be one of the herd..

          • Dreadnaught

            al la the MoToons, Charlie Hebdo, Rushdie? visible targets, deaths and death threats.

      • IanCad

        All good points James. The enemy below. The man behind the mask. Those who pull the strings.

        Gremlins got in as I was trying to type and HG’s homepage came up. Is it me or has “THE WITNESS OF EVENTS TO WHERE PEOPLE GATHER” just been added?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Fair point. The BBC could have just taken him off air or even dismissed him. After all, it is now considered “extremist” not to believe in the “evidently factual” accounts of Big Bang and Evolution. I’ve no doubt there are many in the beeb who like to see him dismissed for his religious beliefs though. So I won’t praise the BBC but I will acknowledge they have at least been less bigoted than the Guardian and the Telegraph.

  • Mike Stallard

    “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth…”
    I believe that. So am I a swivel eyed loony?

  • The Establishment fears the truth about Creationism because then the Marxist-Leninists in power would be finished forever. http://www.truth.org.uk

  • Amen and amen.