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Genetically Modified Mosquito

Have you heard the news? Scientists have created genetically modified mosquitos in an attempt to help control the mosquito population. Because mosquitos carry such a variety of diseases, scientists are discovering ways of reducing the population and ways of switching off the gene that allows malaria to survive inside the mosquito. It is a neat trick, but here is what we think of it:

If it takes a lot of REALLY intelligent scientists YEARS of study and millions of dollars worth of equipment to be able to MODIFY the gene code of the lowly mosquito, why can’t these same people see that the One who WROTE the original code and CREATED the incredibly complex insect was REALLY SMART?  How can anyone with one eye and half a brain believe the mosquito (or any living organism) evolved by chance over billions of years? II Peter 3 hits it right on the head. The scoffers are WILLINGLY IGNORANT.  Like a friend of mine said one time, “They had to have help to be that stupid. They could never have done it on their own!”

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Leave84 Responses to testGenetically Modified Mosquito

  1. Stephen Holshouser March 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    “It is like Jack Napper said (I can’t believe I’m agreeing with him, let alone quoting him)”

    Facepalm

    Mark, I’m fairly certain that the CSE blog moderator inserted that… : )

  2. Rod Naugler March 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Is there some way we could all agree to constrain our comments to the topic of the blog post rather than continuing discussions from other threads. It is most confusing to have to chase a conversation between blog posts as well as picking up in the middle of a conversation when you read an interesting blog post.

    Although I would like to respond to some of the mis-information posted in this thread, it doesn’t apply to the mosquito thread, so I will restrain myself. :)

    How could a good God create such an evil creature as the mosquito, or the malaria virus?
    Well, lets go back to the scripture involved: Genesis 1:20-25. This is from the Amplified version:
    20And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.

    21God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (suitable, admirable) and He approved it.

    22And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth.

    23And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

    24And God said, Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, and [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds. And it was so.

    25And God made the [wild] beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and domestic animals according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.

    Now, mosquitoes are not specifically mentioned, but I think we can agree that they are likely covered somewhere in this passage as either flying creatures or creeping creatures (bugs?). So, how does God describe everything he created on these days? “And God saw that it was good (fitting, pleasant) and He approved it.” Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t find mosquitoes pleasant, even if they didn’t bite. There was a famous quote, although I couldn’t find an attribution: “People who claim they don’t let little things bother them have never slept in a room with a single mosquito”

    So, now we have a dilemma. Did God create an annoying flying insect that would live on blood that was good, and then people decided or developed the sense, that they were unpleasant? Well, again we should go to the scripture and see what God says: Genesis 3:17-19
    17And to Adam He said, Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life.

    18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field.

    19In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.

    Well, this does not seem like existing things suddenly became unpleasant, but rather that new features were developed. Thorns and thistles would not seem to have been part of the original creation. This would say to me that blood sucking insects were also not part of the original creation. Mosquitoes, it would seem, either did something different for food in the original creation, or were a new creation. Is there any evidence for them having done something else?
    Excuse me for using the Wikipedia, but it is an easily accessible source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito
    According to the wiki, they are nectar feeders. Could they have been nectar feeders exclusively previously? Its possible.
    What about the other possibility. Could they have been a new creation? Well, since thorns and thistles didn’t exist before the fall, its possible. What other creatures could have been newly created. Well, if thorns were new, could these treehoppers have existed previously? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehopper Its possible, or they could have been safe from predation before this time since Genesis 1: 29-30 says:
    29And God said, See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the land and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

    30And to all the animals on the earth and to every bird of the air and to everything that creeps on the ground–to everything in which there is the breath of life–I have given every green plant for food. And it was so.

    So, camouflage and the like was not needed.

    What about malaria? Did God create malaria or did it arise naturally?
    Well, both sides of the debate have a problem. Firstly, the creationist. If God created malaria, it would have had to have been good. Otherwise, it would have had to have been newly created with the thorns and such, or at least modified from an existing life form.
    For the evolutionist, they would have to explain either how malaria came into existence needing to rely on two separate organisms for its life cycle (and there are many other organisms with at least this many required hosts) or how a higher or more independent organism became more dependent or lost the previous independence. It would seem to my logical brain that malaria must have had an earlier existence in which it only needed one of the two for its life cycle, and previous to that, needed none of them. Or, possibly, it developed in one organism as an mutated symbiote and then ‘evolved’ to need two.

    Either way, it has no bearing on what Eric was trying to say. His comparison is between the effort of scientists to understand and design a ‘hack’ to the mosquito’s DNA and the apparent complexity of the simple organism that is the mosquito itself. If it takes such great intelligence to merely ‘hack’ the DNA, does that not lead to the conclusion that a greater intelligence had to create the original? That is Eric’s question.

    Can we not limit ourselves to discussing that alone?

  3. Mr T March 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Carl M
    Law of Information – “There is no such “Law”.

    Its called the “First Law of Information” and is included in yesterday’s (2/MAR/2011) article at the AnswersInGenesis website.

    “Assertion is not evidence.” – DNA repair systems are “design built upon design” & that’s a problem for naturalists, as well as being a hinderence to evolutionary processes as they restrain/prevent genetic changes required for evolution’s limitless changes. Instead it confirms the (KIND) limit to variability described in Genesis (or Fixicity of Genus).

    I have used the analogy of Computer Programs as a way to describe the DNA system, in particular the similarity of Constants (defining Kind) Variables (variety within the Kind) and Instructions. The article at AIG mentioned above describes a new DNA model that seems to be similar to the Computer Program analogy.

    “Fossils are more than “observable” they are actually observable.” – True (but I didn’t say otherwise), however its the RELATEDNESS (common descent) of them that isn’t OBSERVED. We don’t observe who the parents or the offspring of the fossil are. Evolutions just ASSERT common descent and fossil relatedness.

  4. Jennifer Preston March 2, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Stephen Holshouser wrote:
    “It isn’t that we don’t know how it happened, it is that it has been shown that it COULD NOT have happened on its own.”

    Go on then, enlighten me. HOW did God create everything. Did he poof it into existence? Or, like I believe, make space-time expand? HOW exactly did God create everything. If you’re going to tell me he breathed it all out tell me exactly HOW his breath could’ve resulted in everything we see today.

  5. Mark James March 2, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Hi Duane,

    You wrote: “And are you saying that if you take a rib, you can grow a whole new person (of the opposite sex) from it???”

    Why would this not be possible? All the genetic code would be present, including the X-chromosome. Now-a-days we would call it cloning, albeit far more advanced than anything we have yet been able to achieve. Yes, we have to use technology to make it happen but it would be conceit in the extreme to suggest that we, as a part of the created order, have discovered technology that the Creator Himself doesn’t know about.

    Am I saying this is how God did it? No! But to laugh it off as being a fairy tale when we are on the verge of being able to do it ourselves is hypocrisy in the extreme.

    It’s like the people who deny the virgin birth on the basis that it couldn’t possibly have happened. And yet fertility clinics can treat women who’ve decided they don’t want a man in their life, making it highly likely that many thousands of children are now born to virgins every year.

  6. David McCrea March 3, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Duane,

    Hold the phone! Here is another of your quotes that defies logic and truth, but I promise not to call you “obtuse.”

    “Once again you demonstrate what I’ve said in here multiple times. Christianity is a con that uses classic brainwashing techniques. You degrade the person’s character and esteem until they are at the bottom, only to lift them again in the warming glow of Jesus.”

    Really, Duane? WE (as in Christians and/or Jesus Christ our Savior) degrade [a] person’s character and esteem until they are at the bottom? You mean like Charlie Sheen the atheist actor? Or Bill Maher, the Christ-hating atheist who smokes dope and commits fornication on an on-going basis at the Playboy mansion? WE are responsible for their self-degradation and self-destructive behavior?

    THEY are responsible for THEIR actions. GOD is there to help them rediscover truth and overcome their sin. GOD’s influence is restorative physically, emotionally and spiritually.

    How dare you suggest otherwise.

  7. andrew Ryan March 3, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    Stephen H: “No, you are NOT good Andrew, and you would justly be cast into everlasting darkness”

    Stephen, if you view that as ‘just’ then you and I really don’t have anything to discuss. I can only say that your moral compass and sense of justice is seriously skewed.

  8. andrew Ryan March 3, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Mark James: “This again implies that the mosquito was created exactly as we see it today, which misrepresents the Genesis account.”

    Well if the mosquito today is not the same creature God made, Eric’s original point is undermined. Furthermore, it’s a cop out to absolve your God of any responsibility for the misery caused by Mosquitos. The millions of children killed by malaria every year had nothing to do with the Fall. Why does God allow his creation to be perverted in such a way that it kills so many kids like that? Being omnitient, he would have known when he created Mosquitos that they would end up killing more people than anything else in history (and that is fact, not exaggeration).

    So I’m afraid my money is still on the scientists here, not your God. They’re actually trying to make things better.

  9. David McCrea March 3, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Darwinian evolutionists worship two gods; the gods of time and chance, collectively called naturalistic forces. Evolutionists believe given enough time, anything is possible, provided it involves only living organisms.

    Yet we know this is not true. Naturalistic forces with no “intelligence” to guide it will not even produce a paper clip. Not in a billion, billion years.

    (Side note to evolutionists. In case you hadn’t thought about it, it’s slightly more challenging to create a LIVING organism than an inanimate object. Just thought I’d throw that out as a reminder.)

    How then can evolutionists honestly believe every living creature on planet Earth, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the tallest mountain, arose from naturalistic forces alone?

    The problem as I see it is the average evolutionist really doesn’t take the time to properly assess the scope of their beliefs. They view life on earth through pop bottle glasses and can only see general outlines and shapes. These general outlines and shapes viewed through the spectrum of millions of years can eventually make sense to some. But what’s lacking is honest and soul-searching critical thinking of just how truly complex and remarkable life really is.

    How many creatures inhabit planet Earth? Scientists have classified over 1.7 million animals, plants and algae since 2010 with many, many more yet to be discovered and classified.

    Now we’re entering the realm of mathematics, and the numbers do not support an evolutionary worldview. Let me explain.

    How many distinct FEATURES comprise each of the 1.7 million known animals, plants, and algae? Please don’t just angrily disregard this question. It’s a fair and logical question to ask in the “Is Darwinian evolution a valid scientific theory” debate. Does anyone know or want to even venture a guess? I don’t know the number, but it has to encompass upwards of trillions and trillions of individual features, IF we exclude the trillions of living cells in each organism.

    Using statistical permutations, a very rough mathematical formula would start by multipling 1.7 million with, let’s say, 1 trillion. A very lowball number to say the least, but we have to start somewhere.

    Now we have to add at least two more permutations to the formula, both of which are extremely difficult to assign a number. The first is SIZE and the second is LOCATION. What I mean is this.

    Darwinian evolution would have to CREATE an organism; it would have to know how to create all the individual FEATURES that comprise an organism; it would have to know how to properly SIZE each of the individual features that comprise an organism (fingernails the size of scoop shovels are pretty useless); and lastly Darwinian evolution would have to know where and how to properly PLACE or LOCATE the individual features that comprise an organism (the incredibly complicated eye would be fairly useless located at the bottom of your foot, wouldn’t you agree?).

    So, the mathematical probablity of Darwinian evolution creating 1.7 million animals, plants and algae, creating trillions of distinct features for each organism, and “knowing” how to properly size and locate each of these trillions of features that comprise 1.7 million animals, plants and algae would look something like this:

    IMPOSSIBLE.

    In fact, within the last 30 years a number of award-winning (atheistic) scientists (Blum, Hoyle, Morowitz, Shapiro, Crick, Wald) attempted to calculate the odds of spontaneous generation giving rise to the terrific diversity of life on earth. Their number varied anywhere from 10^40,000 to 10^100,000,000. In other words, the odds are IMPOSSIBLE.

    So atheistic evolutionists are betting their eternal souls that their worldview is correct with odds amounting to 10^100,000,000.

    I won’t quote scripture since you don’t believe it anyway. And I’m really tired casting pearls here. So I thought I’d use your beloved science to demonstrate your need to repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, creator of Heaven and Earth and people and the other 1,699,999 plants, animals and algae on Earth. And the ones we haven’t discovered yet.

    God bless.

  10. Duane March 3, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    Stephen Holshouser March 2nd at 9:15 am

    Duane said:
    “This classical “argument from ignorance” and “God of the Gaps”. The universe is too complicated for me to understand, therefore God. I don’t know how this all started, therefore God.”

    Stephen:
    It isn’t that we don’t know how it happened, it is that it has been shown that it COULD NOT have happened on its own.

    No. It hasn’t. You are personifying a natural event.

    Duane:
    “But let’s go into this deeper. How am I certain is wasn’t God? Same way I know it wasn’t Thor or Zeus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s a silly suggestion.”

    Stephen:
    Does anyone claim that they created the world? It isn’t suggested that any of them did. Again, the Lord is not a “God of the gaps,” He is the Sovereign over all things, known and unknown. Colossians 1:12-20. Zeus is more believable than “everything from nothing by natural processes”.

    Is that all it takes? The claim they created the world? More baseless assertions. Establish first that there is a God and that His is sovereign over anything other than your imagination.

    Duane:
    “And are you saying that if you take a rib, you can grow a whole new person (of the opposite sex) from it???”

    Stephen:
    Not a problem for the One who spoke the universe into existence. You still didn’t address the questions about the rib. Why did they say that God used Adam’s rib to make Eve?

    No, you answer the question. Where does it unambiguously state that the writers of the Bible knew that a rib would grow back? As to why they said God used Adam’s rib, are you seriously asking me to justify nonsense? We know now that the female is the default form and males are just adaptations to facilitate reproduction. And we still have living examples of nearly every step necessary to evolve a male.

    Duane:
    “And as for the lineages, they don’t trace to individuals, they trace to entire tribes (Canaan, Israel, etc.).”

    Stephen:
    Go back and read the lineages in the beginning of the gospels. They go back from Jesus thru Mary’s line and Joseph’s all the way to Adam himself and then God (not to an ape-like creature, btw.) Your knowledge of the Bible, its transmission process and its historical and archeological accuracy seem to be severely lacking and biased. If you are genuinely interested in a study to find the truth of the matter, I will be glad to help you out, but if you are just interested in repeating what some dyed-in-the-wool God-hater spewed out, then there’s nothing I can do for you.

    The Bible does NOT have Mary’s line. It has two error-filled lineages for Jesus that were completely made up to pretend that Jesus was of the lineage of David and there are a lot of extra-biblical excuses. And isn’t it handy that if the archeology does not agree with the Bible that it must be from a God hater. Bible-believers are by definition biased. Rather than look at the Bible objectively, they are required a priori to believe what it says at face value no matter how irrational and force the facts to fit (or ignore them). I’m going to ask for the third time, can you look at Genesis objectively and not see why we would question that it is history? I am still astounded that an adult can read that and think it is representative of real events. Do you also believe in Jack and the Beanstalk as historical? Whether or not Science has the answers, it still will never justify a literal Genesis account.

    Duane:
    “Religion gives people a disease and offers them the cure. You are a horrible sinner. We can save you. You can only go to Heaven if you believe our story.”

    Stephen:
    Do you really, honestly believe yourself to be a good person at heart, Duane? If so, what standard are you going by?

    Just to remind you; God is still being patient with you, and giving you life and breath. He still commands you to repent and accept His terms of surrender. He is merciful even to those that hate Him. Could you ever really love or do good to people that hated and despised you? Would you ever even offer them forgiveness?

    Once again with the preaching, right from the script. You are on a site run by questionable individuals and you want to preach to me about my morality? Do you not understand? I don’t believe in your God. I don’t believe in your Jesus. You have yet to explain why I should chuck all rationality and believe what is obvious to any rational person a fairy tale created by a primitive people in a pre-scientific age. The creationist worldview has no explanatory value whatsoever beyond “it was magic”. Science and Religion are fundamentally INCOMPATIBLE. ‘If the basic claims of religion are true, then the scientific worldview is so blinkered and susceptible to supernatural modification as to be rendered nearly ridiculous; if the basic claims of religion are false, most people are profoundly confused about the nature of reality, confounded by irrational hopes and fears, and tending to waste precious time and attention-often with tragic results.’ In all of human history, we do not have a single verified supernatural event. The only thing to conclude is that the religious worldview is a false one based upon delusion and wishful thinking. I take it one step forward and state outright that your religion is a scam based upon a fraud that keeps people ignorant and supplicant so they can be taken advantage of by those in the know (and we need look no farther than the televangelists, revivalists and faith healers for evidence of that, let alone the selling of indulgences and relics in the middle ages). Christianity is a first century mystery cult plagiarized from an ancient Hebrew religion that had the good fortune (for it, bad for us) to be forced upon Europe in the last throws of the Roman Empire. Your Bible is an interesting cultural artifact from bronze age desert people, but it is not the word of a god (nor does it really claim to be, that was just something people declared years later), it does not represent actual history (demonstrable by archeology), it is internally inconsistent and error ridden. It presents patently absurd stories as fact (or does it? Some stories are so obviously meant to be read as metaphor and parable but are taken by the naive to be history. Jonah and the fish, the trials of Job, the creation of the world, etc.). Its followers claim prophesy, when most cited examples are merely textual correlations not prophesies, or post hoc justifications by authors with agendas (no Gospel was written by witnesses). There is NO amount of textual confirmation of miracles that could suffice as evidence (if we must believe the Bible, we can’t dismiss Homer then, can we). It is made obvious by the creationists in this blog that you have no interest in reality or in whether or not your claims are true. When not a one of you has demonstrated any understanding of basic science, let alone evolution, I’m not sure how we can take your criticisms of it seriously. If you can’t describe how the world works, how can we trust your belief on what is “beyond”. It is obvious you have far too much invested in your fantasy world of angels and gods to accept the cold hard facts of reality. No, we aren’t the pinnacle of God’s creation, but we live in a much more spectacular world that is all the more amazing through the lenses of reality than the blinders of religious dogma.

  11. David McCrea March 3, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Hey Duane,

    Sorry, but I’m not done with you yet.

    So you believe Christianity brainwashes people to the point they lack esteem and their character is degraded. (And calling my Lord a “jerk” in a previous post does wonders for my disposition towards atheists.)

    How about this for brainwashing? What do you think happens to a young person’s “esteem” and “character” when they learn in government school they evolved from bacteria and their life has no purpose or meaning other than to spread their genes? And they must be listening to your vile poison. Our nation’s illegitimacy rate is fast approaching 50%. Well done, atheists.

  12. John Bebbington March 3, 2011 at 4:52 am #

    Stephen,

    Last night I went to see Black Swan, a story about somebody who is unable to discriminate between reality and her own tortured misconceptions. I thought of you.

    You wrote to Geno:

    Did you ever finish Jason Lisle’s paper on Anisotropic Synchrony?

    It’s brilliant but rather spoilt by his blatant ignoring of known physical laws – rather like Ken’s contributions to this blog.

    If James Maxwell was alive today and could be bothered to read the paper, as soon as he had stopped laughing he would be spinning in his grave. Twice as fast one way than t’other, obviously.

  13. Mr T March 3, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    John B
    “you admit that fossil evidence is evidence for common descent.”

    Its CIRCUMSTANCIAL evidence, similar in nature to the MICRO v MACRO interpretation of evolution.
    All dogs have a common ancester, all humans have a common ancester.
    Yes there is evidence, but to what extent can we extrapolate it?
    Creationists say Adam & Eve for Humans; Evolutionists say Apes, then all the way back to the first cell that came to life from non-living matter.

    Junk DNA arguments are about the information DNA stores, not about the storage capacity of DNA itself. One of the definitions of information includes that it is independent of its storage media.

    Investigation into Junk DNA is too pre-liminary to draw any conclusions at present, and there is certainly not much concensus in the scientific community.

  14. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    I’m going to break my response to Stephen into a number of parts as he addressed several issues and the post would be far too long to answer in a single message….

    Stephen wrote:
    thank you for your service to our country as you mentioned in a thread a while back. God has used men like you to give us this freedom to discuss things like this openly without fear. It is much appreciated.
    ####
    Geno:
    Thanks for your comment. At the time I served, during the Vietnam era, the military was very unpopular. When travelling, I used to go to the airport in “civies”, get to the gate where my plane was departing, go to the rest room and change into uniform to get a military discount on my flight. Then at my destination, I would go to the first restroom near the gate and change back to civies… just so I wouldn’t be seen in uniform.

    Thankfully, the country now realizes the military doesn’t make the decision to engage in war and those who serve are giving up some of their most basic rights to protect and defend the United States. Someone said it not long ago: “The service man (and woman) has given ‘Uncle Sam’ a blank check payable on demand for a value up to and including life itself.”

    Interestingly, there are a couple words I decline to say when reciting the “Pledge of Alegiance.” I bet you can’t guess what they are….

  15. andrew Ryan March 3, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    David McRea: “Our nation’s illegitimacy rate is fast approaching 50%. Well done, atheists.”

    Non sequitur. Illegitimacy is higher among Christians than atheists, and higher in countries with more Christians. The same goes for crime rates and abortion rates. I’m afraid that lots of things you consider to be bad correlate much more highly with Christianity than with Atheism. So ‘Well done Christians’ is what you should actually be saying.

  16. John Bebbington March 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    Kenneth Tyner wrote:

    It appears that John B and Geno can’t avoid straw man arguments and the mockery of things they simply don’t understand.

    My trouble is that I do understand very clearly what you have written and it is all nonsense. You have just made up stuff off the top of your head without the barest recognition of basic physics. If I have erected any strawman arguments you should address them.

    I think we would all agree that space is considered a “pressure” vacuum. That however does not equate to a “material” vacuum.

    Geno can speak for himself but I haven’t a clue of what you are talking about. Who considers that space is a “pressure” vacuum and why should we all agree that it is so considered?
    


    Without the atmospheric pressure we find on earth, there will not be a compression of the fluid medium of space as compared to our oceans under pressure.

    That sentence does not make any sense

    Therefore, you should not expect to see resistance in space as you would on earth.

    This follows from nothing you have written previously in this or previous posts.

    This is further born out in the fact that objects are weightless in space.

    Weight is a function of mass acted upon by gravity and has nothing to do with “space fluid”.

  17. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Stephen wrote:
    On a different note; you claim to be a Christian, right?
    ###
    Geno:
    Right.

    Stephen:
    … why have I never once seen you write to these atheists that you side with and tell them about their need of the Savior?
    ###
    Geno:
    I see little possibility of changing their minds and certainly not by insisting on Biblical literalism. In that matter, I feel St. Augustine of Hippo was exactly correct. (More on that below.)

    Stephen:
    Do you think it is more important for John Bebbington and the like to believe on Jesus Christ, or for them to believe the earth is millions of years old.
    ###
    Geno:
    I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive.

    Stephen:
    Do you care one whit for these atheists’ eternal souls, or would you rather attack those who are living their lives in defense of the Creator?
    ###
    Geno:
    It has never been my intention to attack anyone. Never have you seen me call into question anyone’s belief in God. I do, however, question their interpretation of certain portions of the Bible which are in clear conflict with what we can clearly observe in God’s creation itself. Do you speak in defense of the Creator or in defense of the Bible?

    My belief is that God does not speak to us only through the Bible, but in His creation itself. Our proof of God must come from His creation because using the Bible for that proof would be a circular argument. For that reason, I reject the doctrine of “sola Scriptura.”

    It is my honest belief that YEC/Genesis literalism does far more damage to the faith than atheists could ever do. This is based on my personal observations of those who have expressed their reasons for converting from one position (theist or atheist) to the opposing position in some 15+ years of participation in evolution/creation discussions. Of a dozen or so “conversions,” I’ve only seen one switch from atheist to YEC… all the rest were YEC to atheist.

    Here’s what St. Augustine said:
    Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth,
    the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion
    and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions,
    about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of
    the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs,
    stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being
    certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and
    dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably
    giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these
    topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing
    situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and
    laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant
    individual is derided, but that people outside the household of
    faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great
    loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our
    Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find
    a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and
    hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are
    they going to believe those books in matters concerning the
    resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom
    of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on
    facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the
    light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy
    Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren
    when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and
    are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our
    sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and
    obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy
    Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which
    they think support their position, although they understand neither
    what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.

    Geno comments: I couldn’t have said it better…..

  18. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Kenneth Tyner claims:
    It appears that John B and Geno can’t avoid straw man arguments and the mockery of things they simply don’t understand.
    #####
    Geno:
    Really? I must have missed that unit of measurement for entropy. Your inability to produce it and relate it to the speed of light is self-explanatory.

    It’s clear one of us doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. The difference is I know how the measurements are made, what they mean, and how to do the relevant calculations. Clearly, you do not.

    ‘nuf sed…..

  19. John Bebbington March 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    Rod wrote:

    It would seem to my logical brain that malaria must have had an earlier existence in which it only needed one of the two for its life cycle, and previous to that, needed none of them. Or, possibly, it developed in one organism as an mutated symbiote and then ‘evolved’ to need two.

    Rod, I think that you are probably correct.

    Either way, it has no bearing on what Eric was trying to say. His comparison is between the effort of scientists to understand and design a ‘hack’ to the mosquito’s DNA and the apparent complexity of the simple organism that is the mosquito itself. If it takes such great intelligence to merely ‘hack’ the DNA, does that not lead to the conclusion that a greater intelligence had to create the original? That is Eric’s question.

    Can we not limit ourselves to discussing that alone?

    Spoilsport.

    Why is a greater intelligence than human intelligence required to create something complicated? There are a great many complex but naturalistic forms surrounding us which take a very great deal of intelligence to unravel. Geological formations, the periodic table, cave systems, for instance, but none of these have been created directly by an intelligent agency. If DNA really was “created” by a supernatural mechanism then why is the genome of the onion some 5 times larger than human DNA? Was the onion God’s favourite food but his first clumsy attempt at creation? Or why does a cell of an amphiuma, a salamander, contain 70 times as much DNA as is found in a cell of a chicken?

    The DNA of the mosquito has taken perhaps 3 billion years to develop (yes, it has) and through even a greater number of generations on its journey from a rock to a pest. The DNA of every individual mosquito was different to that of its parents so, of course, reverse engineering would take an intelligent mind a long time to unravel its secrets.

    Who is more intelligent? Mandelbrot with his simple equation (z maps to z^2 + c in the Complex plane) or the fellow faced with a picture of the Mandelbrot set for the first time and successfully deriving its equation without resorting to trial and error? I think that Mandelbrot would have said it was the other guy.

  20. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    Stephen wrote:
    I could list about 4 times as many evidences for a young earth, but you have already heard them.
    ####
    Geno:
    Yes, I have. CSE used to have a list of 23 (or so) that, AFAIK, was written by Randy Berg. Of those, around 15 (salts in the oceans; age of Niagara Falls; age of the Mississippi Delta; the oldest tree; Saturn’s rings; population growth; historical records; etc.) were so bad even my 9th graders saw thru them.

    Stephen:
    You have more evidence for a young earth/ universe than an old one,
    ####
    Geno:
    When most of the “evidence” presented fails to impress a 9th grader, there isn’t a lot of credibility left…..

    Stephen:
    but you choose to believe in millions of years, so that is what you defend.
    ####
    Geno:
    I started out believing a few thousands of years. It was the evidence (most notably the ability to actually SEE objects far more distant than we should be able to observe, that convinced me thousands of years is wrong.

  21. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Stephen wrote:
    Do you still believe that the radioisotope dating is accurate? I think me and you have hashed this out before; there is simply too much inconsistency in those tests and too many questionable assumptions utilized therein to put any trust in radiometric dating at all.
    ####
    Geno:
    Radioisotope dating is far from perfect. It almost always involves minisucle numbers of atoms from tiny samples that have insignificant fractions of the relevant isotope. Samples must be precisely handled and prepared otherwise contamination can render the results inaccurate and/or useless. Sample selection is also a problem. There are simply some substances we know will give inaccurat dates (examples: carbon dating of polar bears and seals or K-Ar dating of pillow lavas.)

    That said, when properly performed on an appropriate sample, radioisotope dating will produce statistically valid results.

  22. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Stephen wrote:
    We’ve also been through the starlight thing before as well, which is based on the speed of light in a vacuum. We discussed the different scenarios where the speed of light varies and that ‘meters’ and ’seconds’ (the units of measurement for the speed of light) can, themselves, vary.
    ###
    Geno:
    Playing with the terms “meter” and “second” is merely an effort at semantic word games. Change the unit of measurement and you still get the same result because you would also have to change the length of a “day.”

    Stephen:
    I did concede that your assumption was not an unreasonable one if we assume the speed has always been the same, and that the stars were formed at that same distance, and that the distance is, in fact, billions of light years away.
    ####
    Geno:
    It’s not merely an assumption. It’s a conclusion based on direct observational evidence. Even AIG has listed changing speed of light as an argument creationists should avoid (because we should see things we don’t see) and Jason Lisle accepts the distances. IMHO, Sn1987a settled the distance argument for once and for all as the distance to that object has been measured at 167,000+ light years by direct trigonometry.

    Stephen:
    However, I think that it can be explained… Did you ever finish Jason Lisle’s paper on Anisotropic Synchrony? I think last time you said you hadn’t.
    ###
    Geno:
    Yes, I did. I have also asked a physics PhD I know (who is an active Baptist and teaches at Georgetown University) to review the paper and let me know what he thinks.

    As far as I can tell, my first impression of Lisle’s work was correct. This is simply an expanded version of his “dual speed” velocity of light in which light travels infinately fast toward an observer but only half of “c” away from him. Aside from the paradox Lisle’s proposal creates by having light reach a destination at two different times…..

    1) Lisle claims his model can’t be tested. It took me only about 5 minutes to figure out how to get past his declared problem. He uses two points “A” and “B” and descibes how it is impossible to synchronize their clocks. The obvious solution is to add a third station “C” halfway between the other two. Send a synchronizing pulse from “C” to the both of the others at the same time. In either model, Einstein’s or Lisle’s, the light will reach both “A” and “B” at the same time and their clocks will be synchronized. It is then an easy matter to send a pulse from either station to the other and determine if the speed of light toward the destination differs significantly from the established value.

    2) In Lisle’s model, GPS wouldn’t work as it relies on a time delay between the signal from satellites to the receiver. In Lisle’s model, there would be no time difference and position could not be accurately determined. Therefore, the very fact GPS works argues strongly that Lisle’s model is flawed.

  23. John Bebbington March 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

    David McCrea wrote:

    How about this for brainwashing? What do you think happens to a young person’s “esteem” and “character” when they learn in government school they evolved from bacteria and their life has no purpose or meaning other than to spread their genes?

    Which school teaches that its students’ lives have no purpose or meaning “other than to spread their genes”?

    In your lust to evangelise your religion you just told a whopper.

    Were you home schooled? I ask because your comment contained about five grammatical errors.

  24. John Bebbington March 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    David,

    Stephen, your fellow brother in Christ wrote:

    ……..you are wicked, vile and repulsive in the eyes of a Holy God.

    You wrote:

    WE (as in Christians and/or Jesus Christ our Savior) degrade [a] person’s character and esteem until they are at the bottom? ….. GOD’s influence is restorative physically, emotionally and spiritually. How dare you suggest otherwise.

    I hate to be a party pooper but I think that you and Steve should get together and sort out your apologetics. At the moment you two don’t quite see eye to eye.

  25. Geno Castagnoli March 3, 2011 at 5:47 pm #

    Stephen wrote:
    Global flood layer? Are you saying that there should be one layer that shows evidence of a global flood?
    ####
    Geno answers:
    I’m saying geologists have no difficulty identifying flood strata. If there was a global flood, it should leave clear evidence. An example of an event that left a global record in the strata is the iridium layer at the K-T boundary that has been connected with the Chicxilub crater in the Yucatan. It is only reasonable that a global flood would leave some kind of similar evidence.

    Stephen claims:
    The layers are all from the flood.
    ####
    Geno comments:
    A creationist (Terry Hurlbut) claims, on his blog, that the Salado formation in New Mexico is evidence of a layer that resulted from the flood. The problem is this strata is several hundred feet of evaporative salts covered by over a thousand feet of sedimentary rock. Getting a formation such as that in a single flood event would be a pretty neat trick.

    Stephen:
    We know fossilization is rare, yet we have billions of fossils all over the world that appear to have been buried alive, or buried dead, but with their bodies intact.
    ####
    Geno:
    There is no reason those fossils couldn’t have resulted from hundreds, even thousands of local flood events and other disasters such as volcanic eruptions.

    Stephen:
    We have fossils that go through many of these layers that supposedly differ in age by millions of years; how does that fact alone not disprove the theory that the layers are different ages?
    ###
    Geno:
    As I recall, fossils tend to be pretty hard. Much harder than the sedimentary strata in which they are buried. Let’s see… creature dies and is fossilized. The covering strata erodes exposing portions of the fossilized bone. Then it gets covered by new sediments. End result… a single fossil thru multiple strata with no flood required.

    Why not explain how a single flood will cause alternating layers of terrestrial fossils and marine fossils?

  26. Stephen Holshouser March 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    Jennifer,

    “Go on then, enlighten me. HOW did God create everything. Did he poof it into existence? Or, like I believe, make space-time expand? HOW exactly did God create everything. If you’re going to tell me he breathed it all out tell me exactly HOW his breath could’ve resulted in everything we see today.”

    I have no idea. There is definitely a “stretching out” of the heavens mentioned in the Bible. I do like to ponder it, but I really doubt we will ever come close to knowing in this life… we may not even have the capacity to know how the Infinite God did such a thing. Can a chicken be taught calculus? Maybe in the next life we will know more. One thing we do agree on that is obvious… God did it!

  27. Stephen Holshouser March 3, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    Andrew,

    Stephen H: “No, you are NOT good Andrew, and you would justly be cast into everlasting darkness”

    Stephen, if you view that as ‘just’ then you and I really don’t have anything to discuss. I can only say that your moral compass and sense of justice is seriously skewed.

    Andrew, I know you think that is unjust. It is only when you see how abhorrent sin really is in the eyes of a holy and just God that you would ever think a person to be worthy of eternal judgment. Probably very few people believe that eternal punishment is just, but reality is independent of what you believe. God the Father even poured out His wrath on His own Son when the sin of His people was placed to Christ’s account. If sin was ever going to be overlooked, it would have been with Jesus… but, ALL sin must be paid for because God is just and holy.

  28. Mark James March 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    Hi John,

    You wrote: “So you have no naturalistic theory to explain how Adam’s sin caused mutations in insects thus changing a non-mosquito into a speciated mosquito. I thought that might be the case.”

    When you asked me to provide a theory to explain how fruit-eating female mosquitos mutated into blood-sucking child killers I admitted that any attempt I made could only ever be a histotical narrative, much like those proffered by proponents of evolution. But at least the changes required would be relatively minor and I would be able to call on mutations that jumble DNA code (which are the only mutations we ever find).

    Now you’re giving me a hard time because I can’t explain how non-mosquitos changed into mosquitos? Isn’t this your area of expertise?

  29. Duane March 3, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    @David McCrea March 3rd at 2:50 am

    Hey Duane,

    Sorry, but I’m not done with you yet.

    So you believe Christianity brainwashes people to the point they lack esteem and their character is degraded. (And calling my Lord a “jerk” in a previous post does wonders for my disposition towards atheists.)

    How about this for brainwashing? What do you think happens to a young person’s “esteem” and “character” when they learn in government school they evolved from bacteria and their life has no purpose or meaning other than to spread their genes? And they must be listening to your vile poison. Our nation’s illegitimacy rate is fast approaching 50%. Well done, atheists.

    The post was about the implication that God had created the mosquito, which is responsible for more deaths than any dictator. If God created this insect, he deserves to be called a jerk. Now, if it is as your compatriots state, that the mosquito became a bloodsucker because Adam ate the fruit, then God deserves to be called worse names than jerk. To hold that kind of grudge against humanity for such a minor transgression is beyond the pale. It is monstrous and this God does not deserve worship if he did in fact exist.

  30. David McCrea March 4, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    Andrew,

    Stop getting your anti-Christian talking points from the likes of Bill Maher.

    What’s next on your “Let’s blame everything bad on the Christians” list?

    That members of the Mexican drug cartel are devout Roman Catholics?

    Or that members of MS-13 or the Latin Kings are actually Christian missionaries?

    Or that pornography is a Christian-sponsored enterprise to raise money for orphans?

    Or that Christians have more abortions…oh, wait. You already listed that one. Sorry.

    Silly atheist.

  31. David McCrea March 4, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    Geno,

    Here is the oath you would have taken upon induction into the military. Did you leave out the last sentence, or did you become an atheist after your induction?

    I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

  32. Mark James March 4, 2011 at 2:19 am #

    Hi David,

    You wrote: “So atheistic evolutionists are betting their eternal souls that their worldview is correct with odds amounting to 10^100,000,000.”

    To those atheists clinging to the belief that one chance in 10^100,000,000 (or even 10^40,000) means that there is still a chance, I offer the following:

    The generally accepted number of atoms in the entire universe is 10^80. Multiply by the the smallest division of time that any one of these atoms can undergo any type of change – derived from the Planck constant, 10^45 changes per second – and you get a total of 10^125 possible changes in the entire universe per second. Now multiply by the total number of seconds that the universe has been in existence (lets be generous and assume that the number is 10^25) and you get a total of 10^150 possible changes.

    This number accounts for all possible change to all possible particles in all possible time. And it puts the chance of life evolving by chance in its proper perspective.

  33. Stephen Holshouser March 4, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    John Bebbington,

    “But He loves me.”

    Really? Show me the biblical passage where you got that, and I will show you a passage that is not refering to every individual human being. The Lord would never love someone with an everlasting love, only to cast them away at last… that is not love. He IS good to you and longsuffering with you, but to say that God ever loved anyone that ends up in hell is simply false. That said, you may be one of His children after all… only time will tell. Will you come to Jesus Christ and believe or not?

    “Stephen,Last night I went to see Black Swan, a story about somebody who is unable to discriminate between reality and her own tortured misconceptions. I thought of you.”

    Thank you, John… coming from you, that is a compliment. I can’t believe you actually spent money to see that movie, let alone stayed to watch it. At least I can discriminate between good movies and a huge waste of time. Please tell me your wife made you go see that, and it wasn’t by your own choice. One man told me it made him physically ill to watch it. Did you fair any better?

  34. Duane March 4, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    @David McCrea March 3rd at 2:03 am

    Darwinian evolutionists worship two gods; the gods of time and chance, collectively called naturalistic forces. Evolutionists believe given enough time, anything is possible, provided it involves only living organisms.

    Yet we know this is not true. Naturalistic forces with no “intelligence” to guide it will not even produce a paper clip. Not in a billion, billion years.

    (Side note to evolutionists. In case you hadn’t thought about it, it’s slightly more challenging to create a LIVING organism than an inanimate object. Just thought I’d throw that out as a reminder.)

    Non sequitor. Paperclips can’t reproduce and pass on genes. Projecting. Darwin evolutionists do not worship anything.

    How then can evolutionists honestly believe every living creature on planet Earth, from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the tallest mountain, arose from naturalistic forces alone?

    The problem as I see it is the average evolutionist really doesn’t take the time to properly assess the scope of their beliefs. They view life on earth through pop bottle glasses and can only see general outlines and shapes. These general outlines and shapes viewed through the spectrum of millions of years can eventually make sense to some. But what’s lacking is honest and soul-searching critical thinking of just how truly complex and remarkable life really is.

    How many creatures inhabit planet Earth? Scientists have classified over 1.7 million animals, plants and algae since 2010 with many, many more yet to be discovered and classified.

    Now we’re entering the realm of mathematics, and the numbers do not support an evolutionary worldview. Let me explain.

    How many distinct FEATURES comprise each of the 1.7 million known animals, plants, and algae? Please don’t just angrily disregard this question. It’s a fair and logical question to ask in the “Is Darwinian evolution a valid scientific theory” debate. Does anyone know or want to even venture a guess? I don’t know the number, but it has to encompass upwards of trillions and trillions of individual features, IF we exclude the trillions of living cells in each organism.

    Using statistical permutations, a very rough mathematical formula would start by multipling 1.7 million with, let’s say, 1 trillion. A very lowball number to say the least, but we have to start somewhere.

    Now we have to add at least two more permutations to the formula, both of which are extremely difficult to assign a number. The first is SIZE and the second is LOCATION. What I mean is this.

    Darwinian evolution would have to CREATE an organism; it would have to know how to create all the individual FEATURES that comprise an organism; it would have to know how to properly SIZE each of the individual features that comprise an organism (fingernails the size of scoop shovels are pretty useless); and lastly Darwinian evolution would have to know where and how to properly PLACE or LOCATE the individual features that comprise an organism (the incredibly complicated eye would be fairly useless located at the bottom of your foot, wouldn’t you agree?).

    So, the mathematical probablity of Darwinian evolution creating 1.7 million animals, plants and algae, creating trillions of distinct features for each organism, and “knowing” how to properly size and locate each of these trillions of features that comprise 1.7 million animals, plants and algae would look something like this:

    IMPOSSIBLE.

    In fact, within the last 30 years a number of award-winning (atheistic) scientists (Blum, Hoyle, Morowitz, Shapiro, Crick, Wald) attempted to calculate the odds of spontaneous generation giving rise to the terrific diversity of life on earth. Their number varied anywhere from 10^40,000 to 10^100,000,000. In other words, the odds are IMPOSSIBLE.

    So atheistic evolutionists are betting their eternal souls that their worldview is correct with odds amounting to 10^100,000,000.

    I’m not sure how many times I have to point this out. You are again projecting your belief and then removing a key element making it absurd and calling it my belief. If Evolution were as you described it, I would agree with you. It’s logically ridiculous to expect millions of species to develop 1000s of features at random all at once. But that’s not what evolution says. You are making the assumption that every form of life has unique features and they have to be rebuilt from scratch each time. That would be what we would expect in the case of Creationism, where each life was created individually. Not saying commonalities would not be an evidence for a common designer using the same techniques each time, but all life having unique individual features that no other lifeform had would be a falsification against common ancestry. This is not what we see. There are certain life processes that are identical in all lifeforms down to the genetic level. There are certain configurations that are common to each branch as we go down the cladistic tree. Those features don’t need to be reinvented each time for each creature. Once we have gastriculation, all life after that will form using that structure. From there, we have life that has one orifice (picture a ball with a hole that brings in and expels substances through the same orifice). Eventually it splits into populations where one group continues to have one orifice (which eventually becomes sponges and starfish and the like) and another has developed two connecting orifices (picture a tube), one for entry the other for exit. From there we have splits that eventually end up with a branch that is bilaterally symmetrical while the other branch is not. Once we have bilateral symmetry we have it down the rest of the line of its progeny. When you get to the chordates, all descendants will have notachords. Branching from there, some will develop into full on vertebrates while others remain unchanged or branch off into their own directions. Skipping down some off the vertebrate line, when you have tetrapod configuration, every descendant will have it, so that doesn’t need to be recreated. From here you split into groups, some will be amphibians, some will branch off and become the mammals. When you get to mammals, they will all have common features that continue on through their descendants like fur, milk production, etc. Early mammals laid eggs, so that’s when the monotremes split off into their own line (platypus, echidnas), and marsupials split off from that line. The original line may have continued to lay eggs until a branch split off that became placental. The placental mammals became dominant and their egg laying cousins died off (except those isolated in Australia). Of the placentals, those further split off into other groups that then split and so on. At the point they split, they may gain new features, but they don’t have to reinvent the ones they brought with them. Split after split, incrementally over time, we get to today. Some features are common because they were ancestral, some exist because of convergent evolution (that is, some branches might have developed similar features independently of others because they had to adapt the the same pressures, like birds and bats. Both developed wings, but did so independently as their common ancestors split long before either developed wings.).

    Here’s the interesting part. The splits aren’t just conjecture. There are multiple lines of evidence that show this to be the case, from morphological developments to most intriguingly in the DNA. We can see in the DNA that there are duplications and errors. Some duplications merely deactivate and others change (mutations) and actually gained new functions without affecting the original DNA (this is admittedly rare, but it does happen). The deactivated DNA bits don’t affect anything, so they are just blind duplications and don’t go away. These tend to mutate at a predictable rate, so we can compare the DNA to the active DNA it duplicated to see how much change there is and deduce how long ago the DNA duplicated. They become markers. Other markers include DNA that lost the bits that activate it (like the one that we have in our genes that would allow our bodies to manufacture vitamin C. Since we still get vitamin C in our diet, that mutation doesn’t harm us as a species – but still can as individuals. All our primate cousins have this exact same mutation, but with slight differences. The ones that are most similar to our mutation are exactly as we would expect them to be, with Chimps closest in similarity, and the rest following exactly where we expect them to. Also, the rate of mutation accumulated exactly at the rate predicted.), and remnants of retroviruses. These markers are exactly where we would expect them to be and absent where we would expect them to be absent along the cladistic lines in the case of common descent. While a common designer might explain common DNA that codes Common features, it does not explain common errors exactly where they would be in the case of common descent.

    I won’t quote scripture since you don’t believe it anyway. And I’m really tired casting pearls here. So I thought I’d use your beloved science to demonstrate your need to repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, creator of Heaven and Earth and people and the other 1,699,999 plants, animals and algae on Earth. And the ones we haven’t discovered yet.

    God bless.

    Thank you for not quoting scripture.