INTELLIGENT DESIGN, the TEN COMMANDMENTS etc
Where do you guys stand on the question of teaching intelligent design in schools. And, should the Ten Commandments be displayed in courthouses? - Gauis Phoenix Wed, 15 Feb 2006 22:32:20 -0700
Hey G Phoenix,
How's your mom? They tell me you scared the old lady by revealing your momentary troubles. I thank God you're feeling better now. As the good book says, " many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from all".
I'm all for teaching intelligent design in the schools but may be not in a biology class. Usually, we the "religious" guys are the intolerant ones, but in this matter the pseudointellectuals are almost paranoid about any suggestion of an alternative theory to evolution. Evolution theory, in my mind, has contributed to racism, tribalism and many other bad "isms". Creationism says we all came from one created human- Adam and hence yellow, black, brown, kwahu, fanti, Kokomba and Nanumba etc., have the same origin.
Evolution also excuses animal behavior -what do you expect from guys originating from monkeys! I know I'm not thinking like a scientist but I do not think evolution theory can withstand true scientific scrutiny of proof .
Creationism can be excused because there's admission of faith-based inferences. What angers me about evolution is the arrogance of the premise that because we cannot understand or proof something that negates its existence. My patients sometimes tell of alternative therapies that work for them and I'm careful not to dismiss their assertions because we don't understand everything about the human body yet. In oncology, (G. Phoenix can correct me if I'm mistaken) do we know why some patients go into remission, cure etc and others don't. I don't think we can explain everything( though we can predict with some accuracy)- even with all the cytogenetics, flowcytometry and other modern tools available.
So I say thumbs up to teaching intelligent design in schools but once we open up to alternative theories we must be prepared to accommodate the Hindu, Buddhist, and who else's theory of the origin of man. That, I think, is the real argument against my choice. - G. Chicago 17 February 2006 04:04:15
What about our own experience? We were taught evolution. Remember the Ecology II textbook even had those ridiculous pictures about evolution of the motorcar. We "studied, passed the exams, and forgot all that rubbish. (All, except Gauis Texas, who at that time was fumbling with advanced level mathematics, Backhouse II or some other such nonsense involving log books and slide rules). Yet we all turned out OK.
Look at Gauis Columbus of Ohio: he's even gone beyond medicine and seems to be reading some "Law for dummies" or something like that. Even Gauis Pittsburgh (now calling himself Robbo for yet to be revealed reasons) has turned out pretty well, despite his conspicuous absence from the Scripture Union during the crucial years of Sixth Form.
It seems to me that having the right foundation in faith allows one's mind to be open, and some of the inconsistencies in the argument from classification, the argument of ontogeny recapping capitulation, etc become easier to see. "I have more understanding than all my teachers, because my meditation is Thy law". Somehow, I don't feel my faith or that of my children threatened in any way by the teaching of evolution in biology class. Am I missing something? - Gauis Phoenix 17 February 2006 07:43:45
Well said both of you.
A really good read on this matter is by Philip Johnson. He exposes the philosophical basis of evolution brilliantly in a number of his books. Like Jesus and Paul his critics were unable to mount a defence against his arguments and so attempted to silence him. In particular, Science (the magazine) shamefully would not permit him to rebut a very weak critique of his work by Stephen Jay Gould.
Like any false doctrine, this one has hung around but will eventually fall on the basis of its own inconsistencies. I am amused by all the versions of this theory that have arisen over time. Like the followers of any false doctrine, the disciples of evolution seem threatened by any competing theory that questions its underserved dominance in the classrooms. Truth is usually not afraid of critical examination. Most science is based on such openness. Christianity has not shied away from critical examination. Not evolution.
With the defeat of ID by the courts, perhaps Christians and other critics (secular scientists that are not convinced of the validity of this theory) should push for a more balanced teaching of this theory. Specifically, as the sole theory taught in class, most (including those who object to ID being taught on the basis a need to separate church and state), would agree that it would be fair to more fully expose the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the evolution theory in biology class.
Perhaps a separate philosophy class could more critically examine other views such as Creation. For now, I simply teach my kids the truth and know the Holy Spirit will guide them into all truth just like He did each one of us. For the other "elect" God will lead them into all truth in His own time. - Gauis Ohio 17 February 2006 14:08:18
I agree with everyone on this issue. I have never been threatened by evolution and I really feel, as Paul explained in Romans, you don't need to look around too hard for the existence of God. I think that God can uphold His own name and indeed no where in the Bible do I find Him asking us to fight to uphold His holy name by entering into arguments with unbelievers- in fact we are discouraged from getting into baseless arguments in 1 Tim 6, except where an unbeliever asks us to defend our faith according to Peter.
Rather by our good deeds we should shame the unbelieving and in the process glorify God. God is able to uphold His own name without any help from us. In reality the only command on us is to proclaim Christ. I say this because I have watched the church get sucked into these arguments and slowly loose focus of our real mission which is to proclaim Christ and soon the only really powerful tool that we have, the Holy Spirit, is left idle while we indulge in unfruitful pursuits of apologetics. I am not saying we should not have intellectual discussions but we should never try to prove to people that God exists- we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works and if we lived as he expected we would be the incontrovertible proof of His life in us and thus by direct implication His very existence.
I have actually met atheists who do not embrace the theory of evolution and I believe that that theory is no match for the gospel.
I actually have a problem with Intelligent Design. What is ID and what are we really saying? If we hold that the creation story is true then we should teach it and mention God with no apologies. The question is, is the classroom the place for the creation story? Because of the separation of church and state it may not be especially since other faiths may object. But is that a set back to Christianity? Absolutely not. We all learnt about evolution in school but how many of us even gave it serious consideration? It's absolute rubbish and only the intellectual classes who feel they know "too much" go around touting it as an answer to their existence and I feel many of them do it because its fashionable but they probably will not be ready to die for
like a fully committed christian.
We had an alternative in school in Ghana called Scriptur Union which gave many of us the direction we needed to get going and that is what Christians should try to do. Teach our
faith without the political correctness of a school syllabus. I say this because there is a little known clause in the court ruling that banned prayer in school. The same ruling said that schools had to provide for Christian clubs as long as other clubs were allowed to function. Thus there
are child evangelism programs going on in schools that some of these christian ID advocates could do well to support and promote instead of trying to fight a battle that as far as I know is not going to preach Christ.
I don't believe in ID. I believe in the creation story and that is what I teach. If that is what the Bible says, then when I speak it God will convict the hearer by His Spirit of the truth of what I am teaching and that is the faith I have when I speak it to my own kids- otherwise why
waste my time?
The only concern I have with the creation story is that traditionally people have assumed that it took place over 7 literal days and that by calculating the genealogies in the bible the world is about 6,000 years old- but I don't think the bible gives us any time frame- in our understanding of time- of how long the "earth" has existed and if there was another creation before ours that was destroyed hence the dinosaurs. Did one day in the creation equal a million? As we know from Peter Gods time is different from ours.
Also modern science is revealing that there are a lot of gaps in the genealogies that take us further and further back into antiquity as we keep resetting the clock. We don't even know how long Adam lived in the garden before the fall. I think that these are issues we should address in our intellectual discussions so that people know that we are intelligent and not zealots and also have equally good arguments for some of the discrepancies between science and the Bible.
I personally believe that the pyramids in Egypt were built by Joseph for storing grain in time of the great drought and the communist pharaohs later nationalized them as "cemeteries". I also think that the dinosaurs are the carcasses of the animals that would not listen to Noah and so perished in the flood. I am ready to defend my views on Larry King live. Any takers?- Gaius Texas Anti ID et creation activist.18 February 2006 03:04:46
G. Texas! It appears you have this whole thing figured out down to the Dinosaurs!! I must say that it was intellectually satisfying for me to read books written by Philip Johnson. Doing so also strengthened my faith tremendously. So I am grateful for those like him who have taken time to mount a vigorous attack on Evolution, which had, until recently, been given a veneer of unassailability.
Such work does not substitute for the gospel but may bring people to the point where they are ready to hear it. "He who does not work against us, is for us".
I believe G Phoenix's other question related to placing the 10 commandments in courts. My view is if one does not know not to murder or not to bear false witness by the time one gets to the court house, it is a little too late. I would rather His laws be written on peoples hearts. For me it is a non-issue. Like G. Texas said we are better served by sharing the gospel.- Gauis Ohio. 18 February 2006 05:17:05
Agreed, G. Ohio! Just a side note though. Evolution is a theory and the church must push for that to be emphasised in the school and the word theory explained. Very slowly we are allowing it to be taught as a fact and then we become the theorists.
I couldn't agree more about the Ten Vommandments. What a waste of time! Interestingly there was more injustice in the south where the ten commandments were displayed than there were in places that it was not displayed. It must be in the heart and not on stones. - Gauis Texas. 18 February 2006 13:04:08
You've all raised very important issues which the Church in America has failed to proclaim but I do have other concerns. We as parents have to take full responsibility in raising our children in the christian faith. Not the government and obviously not the school system and hence the need to "walk the talk".
We must acknowlege, however, that our children are facing more attacks on their faith than we did. I cannot recall meeting an open atheist in my teenage years, and we never had gay-lesbian clubs in our high schools! Scripture Union members were in the majority in some schools. The christian community here has overemphazised political activism to the detriment of personal witnessing by the church.
When we start dealing with legistlation to stop gay marriages or restore the Ten Commandments' place then the battle is long lost. Over 75% of those who become and stay committed christians are like us- converted as teenagers, had discipleship under christian role models like the late Uncle James, the Kweku Hutchfuls etc. and enjoyed the fellowship of other beleivers.
When we look at people in our present socioeconomic group (we must not forget the time we spent on the brink of starvation- eating kenkey and fish for brunch/dinner for most days of the week!), we can relate to the comment made by Jesus about the difficulty of the "rich" making it to heaven.
I do still believe there's a role for the James Dobsons, Pat Robertsons etc, if they remain grounded in sound Biblical doctrine. Why do we sacrifice American lives and billions of our tax dollars to free Iraq, to have them declare "Islam as the basis of our laws". Why should we neglect the Judeo-Christian heritage on which the constitution of this land is based?
A story is told of a man who kept shouting in Sodom and Gomorrah " repent or hell is coming". Someone told him its insane to keep doing that routine, aware that no one is listening. The man remarked, ' I know they may not repent, but if I don't keep doing it I may become like them'. I don't feel convicted to stage a protest around abortion clinics but if others feel that's their calling, praise the Lord for them. I'll rather support pregnancy crisis centers or better still child evangelism so as to avoid premarital sex in the first place. Gauis Chicago. 18 February 2006 15:47:55
You raise very good points some of which I agree with , G Chicago. I do want to pose a question- are we really faced with more threats today than we did growing up? There are two main threats to Christianity- the religious and the secular. If you read the Bible the problems we have today have always been around. Paul was upset with all the secular immorality of the Greeks and the religious ignorance of the Jews. Today the problems are the same but packaged differently.
Our kids are bombarded with the same secular threats but what about the religious which are rarely mentioned? How do you combat growing Mormonism, the Jehovah's witness, Buddhism etc? The Dalai Lhama draws more crowds than a lot of christians preachers. In my opinion they are all as dangerous as evolution and sometimes even worse because a person caught up in the religious diversions usually hardens his stance even more than the secularist.
In the world of the New Testament, christians were a tiny minority and rarely cried foul- actually didn't have a dogs chance to do so- but still put up the most stellar display of christian existence that we will probably ever see. They overcame by their adherence to Christ andHis cross and persistently witnessed to that fact by their lives and words. That is where the real power to change is and the devil has slowly blinded us to that and we have gone in search of many diverse schemes with "loose fellows of the rubble". 1 Cor 1:22,23 tells us that, "the Jews want signs (religious path) the Greeks want wisdom (secular) but we proclaim Christ crucified....."
These are spiritual facts that are nonsense to those without the Spirit (1Cor 2:14) and they are not argued out but spoken in faith and then effected by the supernatural work of the Spirit.
We do need to be socially active though so that the agenda is not driven by just the infidels but in so doing we need to be fair and not partial. Gauis Texas. 18 February 2006 17:01:42
Re. the question of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms: I agree with all of you. I wonder why some of these zealots are not trying to put John 3:16 or something similar into the courtrooms. Infact, i would go further and suggest that the Ten Cmmandments are not really a Christian statement, but more representative of Judaic law when they had a near-theocracy. We could chose many relevant parts of the Bible, more representative of christian views, to display in a courthouse.
Re: evolution in schools. I am also impressed by our agreement on this issue. If I may summarize, it seems to me we all agree that: the best place to teach Creation or any other christian doctrine is in the home, and perhaps the church. The best time to teach certain doctrines is when our kids are kids. As the kids grow up, as we pray for them and guide them, they will learn more age-appropriate, intellectual christian views. The over-politization of this issue can distract from our true mission of evangelism yet we must be sensitive and vigilant defenders of those public rights that are neccessary for christianity to flourish. Gauis Phoenix. 20 February 2006 19:51:56