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The Watchmaker - story


rudywoofs (Pam)

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This is the usual collection of Creationist lies packaged cutely into a warp-your-kids-mind cartoon.

Honest Christian's should be condemning such brain-washing.

If you want your kids to clign to the truth, you should start by telling them the truth - not misleading fairy-tales about Santa, the Easter Bunny, and "cells are just like watches and evolution is nothing but random creation and assembly".

/Bevin

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I have been reading a fascinating book called "In Search of Memory" by Nobel Prize-Winner Eric Kandel.

In it he weaves his Autobiography (Jew, experienced KristelNacht, chased out of Austria) with details of lots of science collaboration, with the discoveries in sequential order of how our brains work.

He points out, quite clearly, that

(a) the SAME mechanisms are used all the way from sea slugs to humans in cells, and

(B) slight variations on the mechanisms in different cells are co-opted to do completely different activities.

In short, the EVIDENCE shows that the cells are put together by a process that makes small changes to one mechanism to do something completely different - exactly what evolution predicts, and NOT what you would expect a "divine watch-maker" to do.

/Bevin

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...NOT what you would expect a "divine watch-maker" to do.

Why not?

In what way would you expect to see a difference if life was directly created by God and did not evolve from simpler life forms?

(Leaving out the problem of biogenesis for the moment.)

Graeme

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Read Steven Gould's "The Panda's Thumb"

A distant ancestor A has feature F

Two lines of descent happen - D1 and D2, along which only one (D1) evolves feature G

Both lines of descent encounter the same issue, and D1 mutates G to solve it, whereas D2 mutates F.

A watchmaker would have used the better solution, not just mutated what was immediately available. We see mutation of what is immediately available.

The panda has a "thumb", but got a very awkward one by evolving an existing bone rather than the more complex and better working one that we have.

Given two very different jobs, and a mechanism which has evolved to do the first job, there are two ways of getting a mechanism to do the second

(a) duplicate the first mechanism, then tinker with it

(B) design an ideal mechanism

(a) usually leads to a worse solution than (B), but we see (a) all the time.

/Bevin

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Complexity found in nature is evolutionists' greatest weakness. Honest evolutionists will admit that - and I have heard them do so. It is quite true that we find similar design throughout nature. That only tends to show they were likely created by the same Creator. Much like a watchmaker. A given watchmaker's design will be seen in all the watches he makes. Driving down the road I can often point out certain buildings and tell which architect designed them simply because I am familiar with the styles of various architects in my area.

The only thing I found objectionable about the cartoon (and on a whole it is really good) is that at the end it has all the planets rotating the sun clockwise. Only Venus and Uranus rotate clockwise. The rest rotate counterclockwise. Evolutionists often accuse creationists of having wacky ideas or explanations for things. Yet their explanation for Venus and Uranus rotating opposite directions from the rest of the planets is that they were hit by large asteroids! I think it fair to say both sides have some pretty wacky explanations for some of the evidence we observe.

The honest truth is that it isn't about the evidence. It isn't about science. It is about philosophy. A man's philosophy will decide how he will view the evidence. The naturalist who has decided there must be a natural explanation for everything will never see the work of God in nature. The creationist who believes in the inspiration of the Bible will see God everywhere in nature. Both will come up with theories to fit the evidence into their belief.

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The example I gave was NOT one where there is a "similar design throughout nature". The example I gave is one where there are TWO designs, and one is obviously better than the other. An intelligent watchmaker would not do this.

The cartoon is wrong factually from the get-go, when it starts with "dirt" as a initial point. Dirt is biological. It is an end point.

The origins of the planets has nothing to do with evolution, and evolution does not provide any explanation for their rotation.

The honest truth is that the evidence favors the evolution model, and that only people who don't like that conclusion claim "It isn't about science. It is about philosophy". It is a mechanism for ducking the issue.

/Bevin

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"A fanatic is someone who does what God would do if He knew the facts of the matter." Peter Finley Dunne.

"An evolutionist is someone who thinks he knows what God should have done."

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An intelligent watchmaker would not do this.
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Actually, the two-design issue goes back to my biggest complaint about "the intelligent watchmaker" argument.

Why did God create a world that LOOKS like it evolved?

Short-age creationists require God to have created a huge lie.

I don't believe that a loving and lovable God would deliberately create a huge deception and then punish people for being fooled by it.

/Bevin

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It really is a philosophical issue. The cartoon is coming from that position. It is an issue of world views. No dirt is not organic however it can be used to contrast the naturalistic and creationist world views - as the cartoon does.

Evolution is part of of the naturalistic world view. The term "evolution" is often used interchangeably with "naturalism" although it is not correct to do so. However when trying to have a healthy exchange of ideas, arguing over semantics is rarely helpful.

The evidence only supports the naturalistic philosophy when an individual is willing to accept certain assumptions. Even when these assumptions are accepted - which cannot be proven - the naturalistic world view has a lot of unanswered questions and "wacky" theories to explain some things.

Both world views, or philosophies, (naturalistic and creationist) have questions they cannot answer. Both come up with some "wacky" theories to explain some of the evidence. The evidence does not speak, it does not take a position one way or the other. The evidence is neutral. It is the individual examining the evidence that draws conclusions based on his or her world view or philosophy.

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Short-age creationists require God to have created a huge lie.

This simply is not true. It is provocative and not helpful to the healthy exchange of ideas.

In the mind of the naturalist who has accepted naturalistic assumptions about science, short-age creationism would require God to have created a huge lie. However God could have created the world 6,000 years ago, the evidence we find today could be logically explained to us within heaven's gates and God could still be a God of truth. But... that would mean the naturalistic assumptions are wrong.

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Why did God create a world that LOOKS like it evolved?

This is a good example of a question that a naturalist would ask.

The naturalist looks at the world and to him or her it (the world) looks like it evolved.

The creationist looks at the world (scientists with PhDs included) and to them it looks like it was created.

Why the difference? Philosophy. It is more than talk on a cereal box.

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What about the world WHEN EXAMINED IN DETAIL, LOOKS CREATED???

(a) The cell mechanisms look, as I have described above, evolved. "Tinkered" is the word used by the Nobel Prize Winner in cell biology I mentioned above.

(B) The gross anatomy looks evolved, as Gould shows in The Panda's Thumb

© The fossils in the rocks look evolved

(d) The continental drift shows long ages

(e) The C-14 dates show the world is way older than 7,000 years

(f) The archaeological evidence shows a world way older than 4,000 years

(g) The thermoluminescence dates show shows a world way older than 4,000 years

The difference is not how it looks, but whether you look

/Bevin

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A lot of naturalistic assumptions there leading to such conclusions. I don't have the time to go through each one and would probably be wasting my time if I did. AiG's Answers book is pretty elementary but even it address most all of those items. Those that really want to learn how the creationist world view is a logical philosophical alternative to the naturalistic world view will find a lot of the answers in that simple book alone.

------

One quick example:

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The cell mechanisms look, as I have described above, evolved. "Tinkered" is the word used by the Nobel Prize Winner in cell biology I mentioned above.

The naturalist starts off with the assumption that everything has a natural answer - as opposed to a supernatural one.

The creationist assumes the Bible is divinely inspired.

From the creationist philosophy:

  • We don't know the original state of the cells when created by God in a sinless environment.
  • We don't know the impact of the Fall and the Curse on the cells.
  • We don't know the impact of 6,000 years of sin on the cells.
  • We don't know the impact of 6,000 years of micro-evolution on the cells.
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Right = the Short-Age Creationist explanation is

(a) we don't know why things are the way they are, AND

(B) we don't know why they look like they are very old

BUT we are absolutely certain that

(a) we have the right Books, AND

(B) we have the right translation of the Books, AND

© we have the right understanding of that translation

In short, short-age creationism is based on a simplistic understanding of the Bible, and a willingness to accept the understanding regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

It is easier for me to believe that an honest God does not create a deception

/Bevin

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It is easier for me to believe that an honest God does not create a deception

Creationists do not believe He does and those that claim otherwise demonstrate they do not grasp the creationist world view.

I can understand naturalists without insulting or degrading them - some creationists cannot. There are some naturalists (like Ronald Numbers) that can understand creationists without insulting and degrading them - most cannot not. Yet if we are going to have a healthy exchange of ideas, it is crucial that we not insult and degrade each other for the philosophy held.

That said, I do point out to some compromising Christians that mixing world views is, in many cases, unbiblical. Some consider that to be an insult. I do not. Pointing out that a person's ideas are not Biblical is not saying the person is wrong, stupid or ignorant. It is simply pointing out that their ideas are not Biblical. I allow for the possibility that the Bible itself is wrong - although I do not believe it is.

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Creationists do not believe He does

Which statement do short-age creationists disagree with.

(a) God created the Earth

(B) The Earth looks old

Usually they disagree with (B). But (B) is true. The EVIDENCE for a millions of years of life on earth has been thoroughly examined by many people.

Even the AiG people agree that the life on earth LOOKS old. They are trying to find an alternative explanation for how the evidence would ALSO match a creation model.

But that is not the problem. The problem is "why does it LOOK OLD?". It is not the eye-of-the-beholder, there are far too many beholders and far too much evidence for that.

Here is an overview of a SMALL PORTION of the stuff that appears old...

Rocks can be categorized by their chemicals and their structure. The major categories reflect their origin – igneous from volcanoes etc, sedimentary from depositions of eroded material, and metamorphic from the heat/pressure transformations of existing rocks.

Huge layers of rocks clearly show indications of being pushed, folded, crushed, eroded, and metamorphosed. Since sedimentary rocks have been metamorphosed by plate tectonics, and since those processes take millions of years, most metamorphosed sedimentary rocks can not have come from an event in the last ten thousand years.

To fold mountains requires high pressures AND high temperatures. There is not enough time in the short-age model for the mountains to have cooled down.

There are chains of volcanoes at various locations in the world, the Hawaiian Islands for example. These chains show more than ten thousand years of continental drift.

The igneous rocks have magnetic fields imprinted in them. One such instance is the magnetic field in rocks around the Mid-Atlantic rift. These fields apparently come from more than ten thousand years of magnetic reversals. http://istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/earthmag/reversal.htm

Various radiometric measurements can be made in rocks, and can be used to estimate the age of the rock. http://www.asa3.org/aSA/resources/Wiens.html (covers other methods also)

There are 174 positively identified craters from meteors. They range from 15meters to 300 kilometers across. http://www.unb.ca/passc/ImpactDatabase/

Meteorites are found all over the Earth, but they are easy to find and well-preserved in Antarctica. http://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/antmet/index.cfm

There are rocks on the ocean floor around Antarctica, carried there by glaciers turning into icebergs. It would take hundreds of thousands of years to transport them there at the current rate.

There are many species on the Earth today – about 1.5 million currently named and classified. There are guesstimates of a further 2M – 50M not yet identified.

Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks and in metamorphic rock that came from sedimentary rocks

The fossil species appear in groupings in the rocks. These groupings are consistent with the patterns of deposition, erosion, folding, crushing, movement. These groupings are often common in the lower layers of rock from two different continents, but differ in the upper layers.

The White Cliffs of Dover are part of a huge chalk formation under all of the UK, into the North Sea, containing huge numbers of fossils. They are about 500 meters thick. The fossils in the lower layers differ in appearance from those in the top layers.

http://www.discoveringfossils.co.uk/chalkformationfossils.htm

http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v8/i1/chalk.asp

Ice cores drilled from both Antarctic and Arctic ice show hundreds of thousands of distinct layers.

Glass – either man-made or natural volcanic – slowly absorbs water. The amount absorbed can thus be used to estimate the time elapsed since the glass was made.

http://archserve.id.ucsb.edu/Anth3/Courseware/Chronology/10_Obsidian_Hydration.html

Archaeological sites contain ceramics. Heating these materials causes them to emit light. The amount of photons emitted is a measure of how long since the material was last heated. This can also be done to lava. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoluminescence

Archaeological sites contain charcoal. The carbon content of materials is made up of two major isotopes, with different half-lifes. The carbon in the atmosphere is affected by solar radiation, and has a different ratio of these two isotopes than we find in materials not so affected. We find in new materials made from atmospheric carbon have this same ratio, but old materials don’t. http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae403.cfm

DNA can be sequenced, and the sequences can be compared. There are many similarities between the DNA of similar appearing organisms, some between disparate organisms, and a wide range of DNA.

Very similar cell mechanisms are used for wildly different purposes – the result of evolution tinkering to create the new mechanism.

/Bevin

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BUT we are absolutely certain that

(a) we have the right Books, AND

(B) we have the right translation of the Books, AND

© we have the right understanding of that translation

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The issue is NOT that the Earth is created "mature" - the issue is

(a) The organisms APPEAR to have evolved

(B) The rocks APPEAR to have had life in them for millions of years

© The evidences of human habitation APPEAR to show it >20,000 years

Why, given a literal understanding of Genesis, do humans APPEAR to have been around for >20,000 years.

Why, for those people that believed whales and elephants did not die before the Fall, does it APPEAR that whales and elephants have been dying for millions of years?

/Bevin

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Which statement do short-age creationists disagree with.

(a) God created the Earth

(B) The Earth looks old

Usually they disagree with (B). But (B) is true...

This really reflects the opinion of someone that does not understand or grasp the creationist world view.

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Even the AiG people agree that the life on earth LOOKS old.

This is simply inaccurate. The AiG people write books and make TV and radio programs showing example after example of evidence for a young earth. I would say that Adventists are more willing to say the earth is old than the folks at AiG are.

It really does come down to philosophy. A naturalist will look at the world and see an old world. A creationist will look at the world in see a young world. The evidence is the same. The philosophies are different.

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But that is not the problem. The problem is "why does it LOOK OLD?". It is not the eye-of-the-beholder, there are far too many beholders and far too much evidence for that.

Yes, there are far more people, especially in academia, that have a naturalist world view than a creationist world view. The argument made here is that the naturalists out number the creationists so much that they must be right. That argument doesn't hold water. There are many examples throughout history of when those in the minority have been right.

It is a bit simplistic to say it is the "eye of the beholder" because the philosophies are so far apart from each other that it goes far beyond the five senses. But that is an easy way for many to understand it. The naturalist looks at the fossil record and sees evidence of millions of years. To the naturalist that is evidence for an old earth. The creationist looks at the same fossil record and sees evidence of a global flood. To the creationist, it is evidence for the reliability of the Bible. With such a difference in world views, saying the difference is in the eye of the beholder is a bit of an understatement.

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