Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Just a note about a movie I saw this weekend. I actually didn't want to go and see the movie because it has been broadly disparaged as being inept and ridiculous and unintelligent. In fact, one commentator said that there's not a shred of intelligence on display in this just-released documentary.

Well, the documentary I'm talking about is the movie "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" by Ben Stein. I was kind of surprised, quite frankly, that this movie was disparaged, knowing that Ben Stein is a trained lawyer, a political speech writer, formidable wit. He's a credible actor. And so I was wondering how this Jewish actor would do such a horribly lamentable job in this documentary. Long story short, I was telling my kids - two of them, Paul Steven and Christina, who wanted me to go see the movie with them. I really didn't want to go see the movie and they just begged and begged and I was tired and I said I really didn't want to go, but they persisted, and I finally went.

After I saw the movie I said it may well be the most significant movie that I have seen in my lifetime. The implications, if you watch the movie thoughtfully and carefully, are world-changing. In other words, we have in our epic of time bought in to a position on the basis of "science" which is more tantamount to brainwashing. Which is to say, if you adduce all of the information on one side of the ledger and you repress all the information on the other side of the ledger, that, by definition, is not education.

Richard Dawkins is prominently displayed in this piece. He's a Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford, arguably the best known Darwinist on the planet, and says that those who do not believe in evolution are ignorant, stupid or insane. But if you see him in this documentary you wonder whether or not those words might actually apply to his positions.

When he's asked about the origin of life I have never seen anyone who supposedly is an expert on the subject more tongue-tied. He simply doesn't know what to say except that maybe life emerged on planet earth as a result of extraterrestrials, which, of course, must mean that life did come from some sort of intelligent design. Of course he doesn't recognize that he actually spoke in favor of intelligent design while disparaging it.

I think in light of this you will see that rhetoric and emotional stereotypes are winning the day in the arguments against intelligent design. I think that the day should be won through reason and empirical science, not rhetoric, because worldview clearly is driving the science rather than the science driving the worldview. ID proponents are willing to follow scientific evidence wherever that scientific evidence leads. They neither presuppose nor preclude supernatural explanations for the phenomena that they encounter in an information-rich universe. As such the ID movement rightly practices what I like to call open-minded science - let the evidence lead wherever it may. Not only that, but ID begins with the common scientific principle that intelligent design is detectible wherever there's specified, organized complexity. In other words, wherever there's information. And when applied to information-rich DNA, irreducibly complex biochemical systems, as well as the fact that the earth is perfectly situated in the Milky Way for both life and scientific discovery in the first place, the existence of an intelligent Designer is the most plausible scientific explanation, period. Although it's conclusions are not worldview neutral, the intelligent design movement lends no more support to Christian theism than Darwinian evolution lends to atheism.

So I'd say this: the appropriateness of the intelligent design movement for public education ought to be judged on the basis of the theory's explanatory power, not on its metaphysical implications. Unfortunately, those who even mention the words "intelligent design" today in academic situations, contexts, pay a huge price. If you watch this documentary - and I would recommend that everybody does. I have now made it must-seeing for all of my kids. I'll tell you what - you better be ready when you see this with your kids or see it by yourself, to really think credibly and clearly through the issues involved.

I went to see the movie quite late with my kids, and late became later and then later because they wouldn't stop talking about it. They asked me question after question after question, and in the end my kids are more grounded in their beliefs than they were prior to seeing the documentary, and they were pretty grounded to start with. In other words, answers to questions that are being asked in our culture, if there are satisfying answers to questions that are being asked, only serve to solidify your faith and make you a more capable witness.

One of my daughters, the daughter that went to see the movie with me on Saturday, Christina, was quickly on the phone speaking to some of her skeptic friends, using this as an opportunity. She kept running back to ask "Dad, what do I say now?" But she was going through the process of being equipped, and what happened as a result of that will serve her for a lifetime, and that's the point of the Bible Answer Man. We are seeking to demonstrate that the Christian faith is reasonable, that it stands up under scrutiny. Even though Ben Stein is not a believer in the historic Christian faith, what he did was a credible job of exposing error, separating between wheat and chaff, heat and light. I take my hat off to him. This was a brilliant piece, and if you go see it I can't wait to talk to some of you about the piece in which he has Richard Dawkins on the hot seat. It's amazing. You've got to see it for yourself to believe it. This, I hope, is a movie that doesn't just come and go, but a movie that starts breaking down the Berlin Wall. That wall should be crumbling and falling and you should have a part in bringing it down.


Rob said...

Wow, a good review from Hank... this has just entered my must-see list.

Dwight said...

Okay, now I no longer believe Hank is doing the actual blogging here, since this is, word for word, the introduction he gave during a recent Bible Answer Man broadcast about a month ago.

Lynn said...

That's quite an allegation, he said he just saw the movie this past weekend.

Andrew said...

No, I believe Dwight is right. Because I heard this radio broadcast when the movie came out on Bible Answer Man and this is word for word his opening statement. But all of these are his opening comments from BAM. I am ok with that. He may not be sitting here typing these on to the blog, but he is the one making these statements on BAM and then one of his assistance putting on here. It still is a place for all of us to think about some of these topics and discuss them amongst each other.

Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

I agree with his assessment of what constitutes "education"...we do need to avoid brainwashing, and consider evidence and facts on both sides of the issues. This is an excellent review on the movie...I am someone who appreciates and agrees with much of what Dr. Hanegraaff has to say, but not all.

I'm off the topic, and I hope you will excuse me for that, but the parallels here are interesting. In comparison to his statements on educators being unable to raise these issues of evolution vs. intelligent design...I wonder how many mainstream Christian leaders would continue to enjoy the acceptance they now do, if they raised the possibility that the traditional interpretation on the subject of homosexuality may not be biblically sound or accurate. I wonder "what price they would pay" for raising the issues involved, with respect to what many Christians feel are truths that are swept under the carpet by those who embrace the traditional view. He speaks of "really thinking credibly and clearly through the issues." I have to say...I'm not convinced that many Christian leaders have done so on the issue of gay and lesbian people in God's family.

He speaks of how establishing "answers to questions, if there are any, do serve to solidify your faith, and make you a more credible witness." There are questions to be answered on this topic as well, and they should be answered, if there are any answers. He also speaks of "open-minded science" and how "the day should be won through reason and empirical science, not rhetoric." Again, the parallels are interesting to me. They have no use for "reason" or "evidence" on this issue, based on what they see as a clear, biblical law (though many would say, used in an inaccurate and unsound way).

Dr. Hanegraaff states, and I do not disagree, that the purpose of the Bible Answer Man broadcast is to "demonstrate that the Christian faith is reasonable, that it stands up under scrutiny." Do the beliefs of what one might call the "mainstream" church on this topic stand up under scrutiny? If you believe they do, or if you believe they don't, you might want to give my blog a look.

Another parallel that is interesting, is his mention of breaking down the Berlin Wall. I made a similar comment in my ebook...of which one of the chapters is devoted to Hank Hanegraaff's writings and words on the topic of homosexuality and the Bible, in which his assertions are soundly challenged.

You are entitled to disagree, but it is a pretty strong case to be made here. If you feel that what I have stated on my blog is incorrect, you may want to say so and I invite you to do so. This blog is for the purpose of seeking the truth, and glorifying our God, who loves truth and justice, and all people equally.

Benjamin Franklin said...

Those of us who remember the original discussion of intelligent design remember that challenges to Darwin’s theory of evolution were not met with outright rejection. Such challenges were met with invitations for ID theorists to show their evidence; to define their philosophical definitions; to define precisely what “design,” “intelligence,” and “irreducible complexity” mean. They were not faced with rejection. They were faced with counter challenges to define their terms and to show their evidence. Scientists have consistently proved to be open to alternate theories and alternative evidence to evolution. The problem was that, when challenged, the ID theorists couldn’t present any. “Design” degenerated into “irreducible complexity,” the definition of which turned out to be “those very occasional times when God — or something which may or may not be sort of like God — shows up in a currently inexplicable event. When “irreducibly complex” systems were shown to be “reducible” the evidence was deemed “rejection.”

Scientists didn’t reject ID out of hand. They rejected it when it proved to be flawed in logic and data. It was only when ID proponents continued to present their ideas as factual and logical that scientists rebelled.

Scientific careers are made by successful challenging of the evidence. Newton successfully challenged Aristotle’s 1500 year dominance of science and established himself as, perhaps the greatest scientist of all history. Einstein challenged Newton’s 500 year reign and established himself as a household name. A successful challenge to the Darwinian model of evolution would make a scientist’s career – don’t you think that, if people could come up with a real challenge they wouldn’t do so?

Not only did the scientists not reject ID out of hand, there are many Christian (not to mention Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhist) scientists who accept Darwinian evolution and their religious convictions without discord or contradiction. One has but to read discussion threads in the Chronicle of Higher Education to see that “scientists,” “intellectuals,” even “professors” are not a lock-step world-view bloc.

The danger with a movie such as Expelled is not that the true issues, freedom of academic inquiry, evidence based practice, the scientific method, and open inquiry will be subverted but that they will be perverted; that real inquiry will be stifled by an appeal to rhetorical and political manipulation and that viewpoint will determine right. Right makes right will be replaced, by visual, media manipulation makes right.

Ultimately, "Expelled" is a shoddy piece of propaganda that props up the failures of Intelligent Design by playing the victim card. It deceives its audiences, slanders the scientific community, and contributes mightily to a climate of hostility to science itself.

Dwight said...

lynn, you can continue to hope that the Bible conform to the current culture rather than the reverse but it won't happen. The Bible is clear on the issue.

The first reference to homosexuality in Scripture is in the infamous account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19. The wickedness of the men of that city is obvious and is of such a severe nature that it brought divine destruction upon the entire city. Both Peter and Jude make reference to it and describe the sin of homosexuality as " ungodly, lawless, unnatural and extreme immorality" (see 2 Peter 2:6, 8; Jude 7).
In Leviticus 18:22 and 24 homosexuality is described as an "abomination" and "defiling." It is reprehensible and unclean.
In Leviticus 20:13 it is again described as an "abomination" but here as one worthy of the death penalty!
Deuteronomy 23:17 forbade the presence of a "sodomite" in the land of Israel.
An incident similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah is seen again in Judges 19. Again the sin of homosexuality is described as "wickedness."
In 1 Kings 14, 15, and 22 the removal of male prostitutes from the land of Israel is viewed as a sign of much-needed spiritual reformation.
The prohibition in Deuteronomy 22:5 of women wearing men's clothing appears to be a specific condemnation of transvestism.
In Romans 1:18-32 the apostle Paul condemns the practice in the severest terms. Homosexuality is "unclean," "impure," "dishonoring to the body," "vile," "degrading / disgraceful," "contrary to nature," "unseemly/ obscene," "improper activity of a depraved mind," "unrighteous," "wicked," etc. Of particular importance to the apostle in this passage is the fact that homosexuality is "unnatural"--contrary to nature. In other words, nature itself teaches that the practice is wrong; we all know it intuitively. Homosexuality is, then, a particularly rebellious sin.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 the apostle Paul speaks of homosexuals as "effeminate" and "abusers of themselves with mankind" who "shall not inherit the kingdom of God." The terms he uses here seem to be specific references to both active and the passive participants in a homosexual relationship. Such people are "unrighteous," he says, and if they remain in that practice they will be condemned.
From all this we can draw at least the following three conclusions:
1) Homosexuality is contrary to Scripture. There is no way to speak of any kind of acceptable or "Christian" homosexuality. There is never any allowance for it. It is never anything but sinful.
2) Homosexuality is contrary to nature. It is a particularly rebellious sin, a violation even of one's own conscience.
3) Homosexuality is worthy of severe judgment. The Mosaic law prescribed the death penalty for this sin. The apostle Paul specified that such people have excluded themselves from the salvation that is in Christ Jesus and are headed toward condemnation.
Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets - Matt. 5:17

Anonymous said...


I think I can speak for all ID proponents by saying it is not the idea od ID not being taught that is as much a problem as the arrogance by the scientific community saying this is our "theory" and we are going to teach it as fact. And then tell the oposition "NO" you can't teach your view. Who gives them the right to not teach the oposite view of creation to the students and allow them the opportunity to make up their minds. Your denial of that right is forceable brainwashing by the darwinians to wipe out christian beliefs in schools. Did you know that the original publishing of bibles in this country were made for schools? Lie after lie has removed them and now people like yourself say it isn't okay for us to teach the oposite view of life. What are you scared of? We have had to put up with your lies for 30 years now it's your turn to put up with the opposition. It is fair.

-Thomas Edison

Benjamin Franklin said...

To annonymous, signed Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison himself disagreed with what you posted.

Edison said "I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States."

and "So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake... Religion is all bunk."

and "All Bibles are man-made."

Now, you want your children taught a particular creation myth, fine. That is what churches are for. You are also free to teach them what you want at home. But not in a public school science class.

Would you want your children taught that the sun revolves around the earth? Do you want them taught that pi equals 3? Do you want them taught that an animals color can be changed by tying the parents up by a striped post?

And what "lies" specifically do you think are being taught for "30 years now"?

It's not a question of being "scared", - that is really an ignorant remark. It's merely a question of promoting and advancing knowledge, instead of being chained to long disproven dogma and childish fables like Noahs ark, and talking serpents.

Lynn said...

Dwight, now we are both off of Hank's topic here. I was looking at what appeared to be parallels...but it is unclear who has been more prideful, between the scientific community and mainstream Christian leadership on the subject of gay and lesbian people in God's family. I'll give you a brief reply.

The Bible is a complex book. It does not serve the truth to view it selectively, especially for the sake of condemning people. We need to view Scripture in the light of all Scripture. That's all I'll say for now, because an interesting dialog is ensuing on my blog that will address your selective use of Scripture to condemn the innocent. I challenge and invite you to follow it, Dwight and everyone else who agrees or disagrees.

I think the discussion between Benjamin Franklin and "Thomas Edison" is the appropriate discussion in-depth here. Ben, I love a good review on both sides. I like what you have to say regarding the scientific community's response to ID science. I'll look more into the issue here. Also Ben, I'm sorry you haven't had the good fortune of opening your heart to the living God, without whom nothing would exist, but perhaps you will find Him and His great power and love one day...if you humble yourself and ask Him.

Faith in God is not based on science, which cannot prove or disprove the existence of God or the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This comes by the Holy Spirit.

My opinion on this...I'm all for the teaching of Darwinism in public schools, as a thoery, and the teaching of any science that claims to refute the theory. I'm also all for leaving religious beliefs to the church and family. It is a great discussion here (but you guys should really get some sleep).

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Franklin,

This book of fables known as the bible has spoken of things not known to mankind at the time of it's writing so explain how they knew such things?

According to the book of JOB he says this:
"Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep?
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

Springs of the sea? Do you know your brilliant scientist didn't know these springs existed until the 1970's.

Isaiah says this in chapter 40:22

"It is He who sits above the circle of the earth...."
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation

The earliest "scientific" view of the earths shape came from Pythagorus around 500BC "The spherical form of the Earth was suggested by early Greek philosophers; a belief espoused by Pythagoras." - wekepedia

Of course we know that Isaih lived approximately 300 years before Pythagorus.

You joke about a world wide flood but I bet you were in awe at the devistation in Iowa that happened in a short time with a large rainfall. How did our grand canyon form? By millions of years of erossion from the Colorado river? Did you even know that the elevation at the ground level goes up not down? How many rivers do you know of that go up hill? I think it is more logical that some major event took place that washed out this area and then the river has run through since that time. Did you know that when Mt St Helen erupted a mud slide came through and blocked a small creek, stream, river and created a small lake on the other side. Soon after the damn that was caused from the mud slide gave way and the water that had built up behind that dam washed through that little valley and left behind a 1,000 ft deep by 1,000 ft across trench. The evidence for (at least) the possibility has been proven. The problem is that you and others like you deny the children the right to hear it. You have no right. And just because Thomas Eddison didn't see things the way others did doesn't mean that the original bible wasn't intended for school use.

Since you choose the name Benjamin Franklin let us see what he had to say regarding God and religion:

Benjamin Franklin: | Portrait of Ben Franklin
“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."

In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."


Benjamin Franklin said...


You really should do a little more research and study on both science and history.

Your knowledge of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Biochemistry and molecular biology, Biology, Botany
Genetics, Zoology, Geology, Geomorphology, Plate tectonics, Materials Science, Meteorology,
Paleontology, Physics,
Nuclear physics (due to the decay rates of certain isotopes), Hydrodynamics, Archaeology, Linguistics, and Oceanography seem to be limited to the bible, and some nonsense young earth creationism websites such as Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research.

Similarly, your knowledge of history seems to be limited to David Barton type quotemines.

If you really want to learn about Benjamin Franklin's views of Christianity and religion, I suggest you read his actual works in full, such as:

"Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion"

-his autobiography, his actual letters, and the writings of his contemporaries.

If you do, you will see that Franklin was not a Christian, but a Deist.

"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers"

[Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin]

even more telling is this-

"You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavour in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render Him is doing good to His other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them.
"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; though it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the Truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as probably it has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed; especially as I do not perceive that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the unbelievers in His government of the world with any particular marks of His displeasure.

"I shall only add, respecting myself, that, having experienced the goodness of that Being in conducting me prosperously through a long life, I have no doubt of its continuance in the next, without the smallest conceit of meriting it... I confide that you will not expose me to criticism and censure by publishing any part of this communication to you. I have ever let others enjoy their religious sentiments, without reflecting on them for those that appeared to me unsupportable and even absurd. All sects here, and we have a great variety, have experienced my good will in assisting them with subscriptions for building their new places of worship; and, as I never opposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out of the world in peace with them all."

[Benjamin Franklin, letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale, shortly before his death; from "Benjamin Franklin" by Carl Van Doren, the October, 1938 Viking Press edition pages 777-778 Also see Alice J. Hall, "Philosopher of Dissent: Benj. Franklin," National Geographic, Vol. 148, No. 1, July, 1975, p. 94]

In other words, Franklin, as I, do not see Christianity as espoused by Christ, as a bad thing at all, but personally reject the foolish dogmatism that has corrupted it's practice into one of superstition, ignorance and foolishness.

Your choice is clear- Accept some basic facts that have been discovered in the past several centuries of scientific research, study and advancement of man's knowledge, or keep absolutely believing in those talking serpents.

Anonymous said...

It is not that I don't believe in what man has discovered I myself work in the medical field which is always changing thanks to mans creative wisdom and quest for knowledge. The definition of ignorance is one who teaches something as fact when it is proven to have no merit and that is what evolution is. I have NO problem with your side teaching the "THEORY" of evolution, just stop teaching it as "FACT". And if it is okay to teach your theory then it okay for ALL theories to be equally taught. It is called being fair.

Your statements about Benjamin Franklin are fine. So you concure that he believed in God. In fact that is what we are talking about here is it not....teaching the idea that a "Creator" is behind everything not just dumb luck. You are the one bringing up Jesus here not me.

Your list of sciences is really impressive. I see you didn't argue that what I said about the bible talking about such things before they were discovered by you intelects was false. I choose to listen to the bible (the original science book) along with mans science books. It is how I can argue my points fairly unlike you are doing. BIAS IS NOT SCIENCE.


Anonymous said...

Also Ben,

I have never heard of these:

"websites such as Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research.

Similarly, your knowledge of history seems to be limited to David Barton type quotemines."


Benjamin Franklin said...

It is ludicrous to mistake the Bible for a primer of natural science. It was written in poetic symbols that were understandable to people of the age when it was written. But that was centuries ago. Unfortunately, some people fear enlightenment, because enlightenment threatens their vested interests. Education is not to be used to promote obscurantism. Science is not about fairness, it is about what explanations hold up to experimentation, testing, review, and further testing.
Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.
It is remarkable that more than a century ago Darwin was able to discern so much about evolution without having available to him the key facts discovered since. The development of genetics after 1900 especially of molecular genetics, in the last two decades has provided information essential to the understanding of evolutionary mechanisms. But much is in doubt and much remains to be learned. This is heartening and inspiring for any scientist worth his salt. Imagine that everything is completely known and that science has nothing more to discover: what a nightmare!
Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, anthropology, etc. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts.
One of the great thinkers of our age, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, wrote the following: "Is evolution a theory, a system, or a hypothesis? It is much more - it is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of though must follow this is what evolution is." Of course, some scientists, as well as some philosophers and theologians, disagree with some parts of Teilhard’s teachings; the acceptance of his worldview falls short of universal. But there is no doubt at all that Teilhard was a truly and deeply religious man and that Christianity was the cornerstone of his worldview. Moreover, in his worldview science and faith were not segregated in watertight compartments, as they are with so many people. They were harmoniously fitting parts of his worldview. Teilhard was a creationist, but one who understood that the Creation is realized in this world by means of evolution.
Now, regarding things being “discovered” by the Bible-
Isaiah 40:22
It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
The original Hebrew word is chug, which means circle. The presence of the word circle here has led you to solicit this passage as proof that the Bible tells of a spherical earth. This however is not the case. According to Webster's dictionary, a circle is "a closed plane curve every point of which is equidistant from a fixed point within the curve." It is a two-dimensional geometrical figure that one can draw with a compass. The earth is actually shaped like a sphere. More precisely, it is an oblate spheroid (pear shaped).
True, a circle and a sphere are both "round", but the shapes are not interchangeable. A coin is an example of a circular object, flat but circular. A tennis ball is an example of a spherical object. The shapes are different. Note further the use of the word tent to describe the sky. A tent is something you put on a flat surface. There has never been a tent that is a spherical object enveloping another spherical object, as is the earth's atmosphere which forms the bluish sky or heavens.

There is a distinct word in ancient Hebrew that is translated as 'ball' or 'sphere'. Look at the Hebrew word 'duwr' for 'ball' or 'sphere' used in Isaiah 22:18:
"He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house."

Why do you think that Isaiah didn’t accurately refer to the Earth as a sphere (duwr), rather than a circle (chug)?

Anonymous said...

CHUWG - according to the Gesenius's Lexicon is:

a circle, sphere, used of the arch or vault of the sky as in Proverbs 8:27 and Job 22:14; of the world as in Isaiah 40:22

Darwin says this about his theory:
In his letter to G. Bentham on may 22, 1863, ‘Darwin writes : In fact, the belief in natural selection must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations--when we descend to details, we cannot prove that one species has changed (in other words, we cannot prove that even a single species has changed): nor can we prove that that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the ground work of the theory. Nor can we explain why some species have changed and others have not.

Too much is known about the faulty science that goes into fossil dating and other methods that attempt to discredit God. From taking jaw bones of pigs to form the "missing link" to saying that being off a few million years in their dates is within reason. This is not's a joke. Darwin said himself if his theory couldn't be prooven that it should be done away with and it still has not been proven that one animal given enough time will change into another type of animal i.e. ape into a man. Microevolution yes. Macroevolution (taught in schools as fact) - no.


Andrew said...

Benjamin Franklin,
Where are the fossil records that would prove these changes from one species to another? What did a blue whale or gray whale evolve from? What about an elephant? How do you discredit all the evidence on a world wide flood? Even if you believe in a old earth vs a new earth theory there has not been enough time for random life to happen, let alone the vast amount of species of animals, plants, humans, organisms, bacteria and insects that we have on this planet today.

Why do we not see any examples of this macro evolution going on today where species are making drastic changes? We see micro evolution where species make small adaptive changes to their environment over a period of time.

You said:
“Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.”

First, I don't think you made anything crystal clear about what is established beyond a reasonable doubt and I don't believe I even saw you state anything as crystal clear. The only thing you said was a condescending statement about anyone who does not believe in evolution. In fact there is another credible alternative to evolution and it is Creationism. What new and important facts about the evolutionary mechanisms are you learning?

From what I have seen there are many credible scientists turning away from the Darwinian theory as it is getting harder and harder to prove that it is a viable theory. Many of them do not even go as far as to believe the Biblical account of creation, but they are saying life is to complex and well designed to have come about through the evolutionary process that Darwin and other evolutionist have talked about. Many of these people are not religious, have emotional blocks or just plain bigots to the idea of Darwinism. They are people who did believe in evolution, but as they study and were open to and followed the evidence that was in front of them they changed their minds instead of just being closed minded because it didn't support what they previously believed.

God bless,

Benjamin Franklin said...


Once again, you reach an incorrect conclusion because your research is incomplete and shoddy.

I suggest you read Darwins' entire letter to Bentham, rather than just a snippet of the postscript. If you did, you would find that the main part of the letter is discussing, interestingly enough, the aspect of the fossil record that eventually lead to proposal of the theory of Punctuated Equilibria:

"The objection . . . of certain forms remaining unaltered through long time and space, is no doubt formidable in appearance, and to a certain extent in reality according to my judgment. But does not the difficulty rest much on our silently assuming that we know more than we do? ... [I]n judging the theory of Natural Selection, which implies that a form will remain unaltered unless some alteration be to its benefit, is it so very wonderful that some forms should change much slower and much less, and some few should have changed not at all under conditions which to us (who really know nothing what are the important conditions) seem very different."

In essence, Darwin is saying that the stasis in the morphology of species found in the fossil record is partly due to the imperfection of the record itself and, possibly, partly due to differential rates of change in species. While Darwin's default position was for gradualistic change in species, such concepts are relative. He saw that some change in species could take much longer than others and, of course, the Punctuated Equilibria theorists only claim that change tends to come "rapidly" in geologic terms but over very long times in human terms.

Now to the actual quote:

"P.S. -- In fact, the belief in Natural Selection must at present be grounded entirely on general considerations. (1) On its being a vera causa, from the struggle for existence; and the certain geological fact that species do somehow change. (2) From the analogy of change under domestication by man's selection. (3) And chiefly from this view connecting under an intelligible point of view a host of facts. When we descend to details, we can prove that no one species has changed [i.e. we cannot prove that a single species has changed]; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory. Nor can we explain why some species have changed and others have not. The latter case seems to me hardly more difficult to understand precisely and in detail than the former case of supposed change. Bronn may ask in vain, the old creationist school and the new school, why one mouse has longer ears than another mouse, and one plant more pointed leaves than another plant. . . . the fact that they have not been modified does not seem to me a difficulty of weight enough to shake a belief grounded on other arguments."

Here Darwin is pointing that Natural Selection can be seen to operate and serves as a single coherent explanation for many diverse phenomena. Even if all the details of the individual phenomena are not known, the "consilience", in William Whewell's phrase, of his mechanism cogently explaining a wide range of events is, itself, support for its status as a "vera causa". [See Snyder, Laura J., "William Whewell", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2004 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).] Add to that the fact that the fossil record generally shows change in life over time and the clear analogy from animal breeding, and there is substantial support for his proposed mechanism.

As to the quote mined portion, Darwin is saying that, based on the fossil record (the only evidence available at the time, before genetics), there wasn't enough detail to say that a particular species was the descendant of a particular earlier species. By the same token, then, it would be impossible to show from the fossils that any particular species had changed into another. This is a "problem" with all fossil evidence, at least until and unless we can recover DNA or other genetic material. It constitutes some sort of refutation of evolution only to those who are determinedly hopeful of one and willfully ignorant.

The other point Darwin was making in the P.S. is that it is not necessarily possible to determine just what about a trait makes it advantageous, given the complexity of the interaction of the organism with the environment. In fact, Darwin is here warning against the "just so stories" that Stephen Jay Gould would inveigh against 120 years later. Once again, this is an excellent example of just how deeply and comprehensively Darwin understood his theory.

Bear in mind also, that this letter was written 144 years ago. There have been tremendous advances, all of which only serve to verify the fact of evolution and support and amplify the changes caused by natural selection with mutation as the mechanisms for evolution.

If you are going to effectively dispel evolution, you can't do it with snippets of letters and quotes, you can only do it with a better knowledge of the subject, research and experimentation.

Again, I suggest you learn more about the subject. Read "Finding Darwin's God" by Dr. Ken Miller. It shows how evolution need not conflict with faith.

As for "circle of earth", you still have yet to show why Isaiah said circle, not ball.

Benjamin Franklin said...


You said "How do you discredit all the evidence on a world wide flood?"

There is no evidence of a world wide flood. If you find some, I would be more than happy to review it.

On the other hand, there is bountiful and copious amounts of evidence that there never has been a world wide flood.

For example-

The Great Pyramid of Cheops was built about 2589-2566 BC, about 230 years before the flood, yet it has no water marks on it. The Djoser Step Pyramid at Saqqara, Egypt, built about 2630 BC doesn't show any signs of having been under water. Likewise for many other ancient structures. But even more importantly, the Egyptians have continuous historical records for hundreds of years before and after the time of the flood that make no mention of a great flood. This shows that they were not only not aware of a global flood, they certainly were not greatly affected by one.

Outside of the Bible, there is no historical or physical evidence that would place a worldwide flood during the time period specified by the Bible for the great flood.

Additionally, how can you explain the exidence of civilizations such as

The Jiahu culture, which began in China in the 7th millenium BC,

The late Neolithic civilizations of the 5th millenium BC, where we have evidence of invention of the wheel and spread of proto-writing,

The Cucuteni-Trypillian culture in the Ukraine from the 4th millennium BC,

The Sumerian culture, also from the 4th millenium BC, which porduced cuneiform, history's oldest writing system?

Just because there was no evidence of these civilizations before Ussher presented his opinion that the earth was 6,000 years old according to his interpretation of the bible, is no reason for us to hold to his now long disproven idea.

You also said- "In fact there is another credible alternative to evolution and it is Creationism."

Proof please? And sorry, but the Bible is conjecture, not proof.

Andrew said...

For more scientific evidence supporting the flood I would like to refer you to someone much more studied and smarter than I. We could both sit here and copy and paste claims back and forth to try and disprove one another, but it would get endless. I will need to read more on some of these older civilizations you are talking about. To find out how we know from what time period they where from. Did they use carbon dating to determine the age of artifacts they found or some other method to try and determine when these civilizations where around? Did they find a calendar these civilizations had made that gave them the time frame in which they existed? Like I said I will have to look around more.

But to move back onto the subject of a world wide flood I would like to introduce this man and his book I have started reading. You can buy his book or even just read it online for free here (Use the links to the left to navigate through the different chapters) If you are interested in looking at it at all then I would encourage you to look at it a bit.

Here is a short Bio of Dr. Walt Browns background.

Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has taught college courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Brown is a retired full colonel (Air Force), West Point graduate, and former Army Ranger and paratrooper. Assignments during his 21 years in the military included: Director of Benét Laboratories (a U.S. Army research, development, and engineering facility) near Albany, New York; tenured associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Science and Technology Studies at the Air War College. For much of his life Walt Brown was an evolutionist, but after years of study, he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation and a global flood. Since retiring from the military, Dr. Brown has been the Director of the Center for Scientific Creation. He devotes full time to teaching, research, and writing on creation and the flood.


Benjamin Franklin said...


I have read Walt Brown's hydroplate theory.

I think it fair to say that I (and others) have thoroughly examined the hydroplate theory and found the evidence in its favour lacking, whereas the evidence against it is overwhelming.

If creationists choose as individuals to reject mainstream science's findings on any subject, that is their affair. If you choose to believe that it is possible for the earth to burst open and hurl gigatonnes of rock and water into orbit, simultaneously changing the compostion of the rock; or that a turbulent flood can lay many different layers of sedimentary rock whilst interspersing them with aeolian sandstones and volcanic ash layers; then good for you. But it just doesn't hold up under analysis. This is why Brown has never submitted his work for peer review and publication in any journals.

Now, just because a 6,000 year old earth is unassumable, that doesn't mean your theology and love of God need be abandoned.

Check out the information at

Take a look at their information on the stata at the Grand Canyon to see why it could not possible have been formed by a cataclymsic flood.

Then go to the Grand Canyon and see it for yourself.

Andrew said...

This is from Dr. Walt Brown's site.

Why Don’t Creationists Publish in Leading Science Journals?

Scientists should want their conclusions critiqued, or refereed, by their peers (peer review); researchers who believe their work is important should try to publish that work. However, leading science journals will not accept papers that have been published elsewhere. (That stipulation alone eliminates any portion of this book from consideration.) Seldom would a science journal publish a paper more than 6 pages in length. (That also prevents the hydroplate theory, pages 106–314, from being published in a journal.)

I certainly want my ideas tested and have frequently initiated and appreciated cordial, factual exchanges with scientists who are not creationists. But in a journal, who does the evaluation, and is there an unbiased process where a writer who advances creation or the flood can challenge an evolutionist reviewer’s disagreement? Leading science journals have a solid history of hostility toward creationists, so evolutionists are both judge and jury. Who would want to make his case in a court run by an opponent? Why would that opponent publish your case?

To level the playing field, I have had on the table, since 1980, a written-debate offer for any qualified evolutionist or team of evolutionists who disagree with what I have written. A neutral editor, acting as judge, would ensure the debate rules were followed; the jury would be all readers. Both sides would have the right to publish the complete debate if a large publisher chose not to.

Evolutionists have known of this offer for many years. It was published in the well-known anticreation journal, Creation/Evolution , in 1990. The offer was even placed on the worldwide web in 1995. So far, no evolutionist has accepted. (A few initially agreed but soon dropped out, because they were unwilling to limit the exchange to science; they wanted to include religious views.) Another debate offer is a telephone debate that could be heard (or read from a transcript) by the public over the Internet; it is explained on page 415. Can you find a taker for either debate? Until someone accepts the written debate and as long as my good health continues, both offers will remain.

Here is a link to the telephone debate page on his website with more info, it is to long to post here.

And also, because it is to long to post here. Did you read his theory on the Grand Canyon?

I am reading the link you posted, but have one question to you on it right now. Where are they getting these dates of the different layers going all the way back 230 million years ago?


Benjamin Franklin said...


I have read that on Brown's site, but it's just a cop-out. There are creationist sites that could peer review his work but even other creationist sites reject his theory.

His debate is a joke, just as all the other "challenges" offered by creationists like Hovind and Joe Mastreopollo. That's why no one takes them seriously. Look up Jim Lippard to see why they ridiculous.

Regarding your last question, it is not so much the fact that the layers have been dated to different time periods, it is the fact that it is physically impossible that the layers could have been formed in one catastophic event.

I would also suggest that the criticisms of carbon 14 dating that you see on creationist sites are very misleading.

Some good sources for information are-

Dalrymple, G. Brent, 1991. The Age of the Earth. California: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-1569-6

-Principles of Stratigraphic Analysis. Blatt, H.; Berry, W.B.N.; and Brande, S., 1991. Blackwell Scientific Publications: Boston, 512p. ISBN 0-86542-069-6.

Brown's ideas haven't been rejected becuase he is a creationist, they have been rejected because they just don't work, based upon analysis.