Response to David Ogden’s Letter

The Eagle Letters for May 5

Posted: Monday, May 4, 2015 12:00 am

Religion cannot disguise that discrimination is discrimination

Don McLeroy’s (Eagle, May 1) reasoning in arguing against granting the right of marriage to gay couples is baffling, illogical, and just plain wrong. While he concedes that racial discrimination is wrong because God created all men equal, he claims gender discrimination is not wrong because God created two genders.

Help me understand, did God not create gay people? Or, more precisely, did He not create people as gays? My guess is that He did and I would suspect He would want all his creations to be treated fairly.

McLeroy seems to worry that the husband and wife ideal will be lost if gays marry. I think he should take comfort in knowing that the institution and industry of marriage is alive and well. If fact it’s booming. Thinking that heterosexual couples will marry less often, and therefore not perpetuate the “husband-wife ideal” is worse than ludicrous because it is an intentional red herring with the purpose of inventing something else for people to fear.

McLeroy has illustrated that people who use their religious beliefs as a means to discriminate know that their position is untenable. His arguments, and others, cannot avoid the fact that discrimination is discrimination, regardless if one’s religious beliefs are used as an excuse.

The good news is that using religious beliefs to deny rights to our fellow citizens eventually will go the way of the pseudo biblical arguments that once denied interracial couples to marry. Gay marriages will become a non-event.

DAVID OGDEN

College Station

My response

My letter of May 1st was a response to Lane Fuller’s editorial that argued that same-sex marriage was inconsequential to our nation and/or our individual lives. My argument was that this is not true. I pointed out that this idea is not good for society and would lead to a morally confused world. I also noted the greatest consequence would be that of our nation abandoning its commitment to religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

David Ogden, in his thoughtful response, skips those issues and primarily deals with my claim that we would lose the “husband-wife ideal” and the statement that “Gender discrimination is not wrong.” But, if marriage is redefined, the only politically correct way—as Dennis Prager points out—to ask a kid who they want to marry is “Do you want to marry a boy or a girl?” This is moral confusion.

That “gender discrimination is not wrong” is easily shown to be true. Marriage, same-sex public restrooms, same-sex schools, same-sex camps and clubs, plus same-sex athletics are organized with gender discrimination. It is not wrong to do discriminate by gender; we do it all the time.

Ogden also raises the fairness issue, and cites the example of interracial marriage—both of which I had dealt with. I stated it was not fair and that racism is biblically wrong.

Again, the specter of losing our religious freedom by the de-facto establishment of the state as our church is a scary thought indeed. We must take a stand to defend our religious freedom.

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Letter to the editor on same-sex marriage–revised

Dear “The Eagle” Editorial Board,

Lane Filler is wrong when he states that the approval of same-sex marriage is “not my business,” and that it is “the right philosophy for our nation.” As Dennis Prager argues, while it is not fair to the same-sex couple, same-sex marriage is not good for society. The reason is because it removes the gender distinction. For example, racial discrimination is wrong—“God created man in his own image”; but, gender discrimination is not wrong—“male and female created he them.” (Genesis 2:27)

Even without a Supreme Court decision, our society’s blurring of gender distinctions has resulted in Catholic Charities, because of their refusal to place children with same-sex couples, having to stop adoption services in several states. The loss of the husband-wife ideal destroys the family unit. Woe to our society when this ideal is lost! Again Prager argues, adopting same sex marriage might make us feel good about our sense of compassion and fairness, but it will leave our children and grandchildren in a morally confused world.

All this, and the specter of religious organizations being denied tax exempt status if they take a stand on their religious convictions turns our nation’s protection of religious freedom upside down. Our nation’s philosophy of the separation of church and state is too important for us today to claim same-sex marriage is “not my business.”

Don McLeroy

Here is the link to the Letter to the Editor.
http://t.co/Nul3nQdLNS

Here is a link to a tweet.

Here is the column that was run in my local paper yesterday to which I am responding.
http://www.newsday.com/opinion/columnists/lane-filler/bruce-jenner-and-same-sex-marriage-ain-t-nobody-s-business-but-their-own-1.10344021

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Address to the Constitutional Coalition’s 26th Educational Policy Conference, St. Louis

Let us Revive America!

I.            Hook

To revive America we must revive her religious convictions. This is a worldview/culture war issue that we can win and we must win. In Texas, we have made some progress; last September a Politico headline blared “Texas textbooks tout Christian heritage.”  But, if we hope to reverse our nation’s decline into chaos and anarchy, more progress is needed. British historian Paul Johnson, in the closing paragraph of his classic history of the 20th century—Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, (1991), lays out the task before us. He writes that the chances for the 21st century becoming an age of hope for mankind depends on the eradication of four underlying evils that characterized the 20th century and that resulted in over 125 million citizens murdered by their own governments. He identifies these evils as “the rise of moral relativism, the decline of personal responsibility, the repudiation of Judeo-Christian values, [and] … the arrogant belief that men and women could solve all the mysteries of the universe by their own unaided intellects….”

II. Our Job
As we will see, the only way these evils can be eradicated is by proclamation of our Judeo-Christian religious convictions. In a way, our task is simple. We are advocating biblical principles—the wisdom of God himself; what does the world have to compete with this? Plus, biblical Christianity has a great historical track record; when properly understood, it sells itself. The embrace of biblical principles and convictions has produced the good life—rich and fulfilling individual lives, strong and vibrant families and some of the freest and most scientifically advanced societies in history—especially the United States. There are reasons for this and people need to know them; we have a great story to tell them.

But, “how” shall we tell them? In 1898, Abraham Kuyper in a series of talks at Princeton University—Lectures on Calvinism, stated the “holy mission” of the church was “recommending to others the superiority of its principles.” So, let us do just that; let us identify some key religious convictions and simply recommend them—first to our own children and then to others. We do not even need to claim that these biblical ideas are superior; if presented clearly, others will see it for themselves.

III. America is a Biblical Nation

Before we begin, let us first establish that America truly is a biblical nation founded on religious convictions. When you stand in the center of the Jefferson Memorial facing the White House and look up to your right, you will read these words of President Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberty of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Our liberty, according to Jefferson, is not the result of our good nature, our intellect or our good intentions; it is the result of a religious conviction that it is a gift from God. Jefferson’s view was the consensus position of our founding fathers. Religiously, they were ethical monotheists; they believed in an omnipotent God who cared about right and wrong. Interestingly, if alive today, they would probably be labeled “religious conservatives.”

Like Jefferson, President Calvin Coolidge understood the importance of America’s religious convictions. In 1926, on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he reflected:
“A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features, the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration, not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man, these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.”

But even beyond the testimony of these Presidents, the best way to establish our biblical heritage is go back to July 4, 1776, to the actual words of the Declaration. Consider: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The modern liberal believes there is no truth, there is no God and that we just evolved. Yet, the Declaration clearly states that truth exists, there is a Creator and that we are created. So, are we a Christian nation? When you define a Christian nation simply as being founded on biblical convictions then the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

As obvious as this appears, why does the modern liberal’s mind shut down when they hear us making this claim? It is because they have been taught a myth. M. Stanton Evans, in his book The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics and the American Tradition (1994), calls this myth the “Liberal History Lesson.” Evans explains that from their earliest education, the lessons taught to our children are based on the idea that “Our religion and our liberty…have always been in conflict. Freedom, democracy and intellectual inquiry allegedly flourished in the pagan era, only to be crushed to earth in the Christian Middle Ages.” And, “that freedom reappeared when ‘humanist’ scholars of the Renaissance and Enlightenment threw off the shackles of religion of the ancients…”Yet, it is a historic fact that biblical convictions have produced freedom. Evans proves this point by connecting two obvious facts: biblical teaching formed Europe, and Europe was the nursery of freedom—especially England.

IV. Three Religious Convictions

We will now get specific and take a brief look at three foundational biblical convictions and the role they have played in shaping our history. We will also highlight how these convictions would eradicate Paul Johnson’s four evils.

A. God is the Creator

Our foundational conviction is in a transcendent God who God created the heavens and the earth—the God who is actually there. This seems pretty obvious. Jonathan Edwards observed “It would seem self-evident that if God has no competitor but “Nothing” [capitalized], he has nothing [little n] for a competitor.” Amazingly, in today’s intellectual and scientific circles, the universe is considered to come into existence from “Nothing!”

And, because God exists, truth exists. This is also easily demonstrated. Tomorrow, when you go to church, simply ask a youth if this statement “There is no such thing as truth.” is true? Watch their minds and eyes light up as they realize for themselves that the statement is self-contradictory, that it is nonsense. One youth wisely observed “That statement doesn’t work.” Our whole idea of the Declaration’s “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” is built on this conviction.

And, because truth exists, morality exists. Therefore, holding this conviction, is the only way we can eradicate, Johnson’s 1st evil—the rise of moral relativism—and its evil twin sister—political correctness.

And, it is with the loss of this conviction that Johnson’s 4thevil—man looking only to himself for answers—plays its ruinous hand. As Johnson observes, all that the modern liberal has to offer is “New Deals, Great Societies and always and everywhere, Plans!” They rely, not on God, but on themselves. As T. S. Elliot observed, “They are constantly trying to escape the darkness outside and within; By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one needs to be good.”

Finally, it is this conviction has given rise to modern science. James Hannam, in his award-winning book The Genesis of Science: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundation for Modern Science (2009), states: “Most significantly, the Middle Ages laid the foundation for the greatest achievement of Western civilization, modern science.” Hannam clearly documents the consensus view of historians of science that it was the conviction that God created nature that led to the development of the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages which then led to the achievement of modern science.

And again, with the loss of this conviction, modern science gets in trouble and lets dogmatism—the assertion of opinion as a fact—creep in. Despite all their learned pronouncements, dogmatic evolution is not science. The supposed “fact” of evolution has resulted in more wasted thought and bad reasoning than probably any other idea that is popular today.

B. Man is created in The Image of God

Our second religious conviction is that man is created in the Image of God. It is this conviction that helps explain one of the amazing qualities of the West today—why we value other people. Can anyone dispute the fact that untold millions if they could, would cherish the opportunity to move here; while those who live here and have the freedom to leave, stay? All Americans may not share our conviction, but they do share a common heritage of carrying and compassion for others.

It even explains why people are important to a secular-minded atheist—even though they see them as just as the product of blind purposeless processes—they have inherited the conviction. David Brog explains that “morally they were born on third base and think that they have hit a moral triple.”

Clearly, the source for the moral power on which the foundation of our country is based is the Judeo-Christian idea that all men are created in the image of God. Our whole idea of liberty, of the Declaration’s “all men are created equal”, and of the importance of the individual is grounded in this great truth.

Also, as Benjamin Wiker points out in Worshipping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion, (2013) it is this idea—that each individual soul has been created in the image of God— that has led to the distinction between the church and the state. The church can get a soul to heaven but the state cannot. Thus, as the state “establishes” Liberalism as our state religion—as a heaven on earth—then religion and state have joined forces and our “free exercise” of religion is lost.

And, it is the denial of this conviction that leads to chaos and anarchy—as we saw in Ferguson. Man, in the eyes of the modern liberal, is a helpless victim. Policies are then passed—in the name of liberal compassion—that squeeze the humanity out of man and Johnson’s 2nd evil—“the denial of personal responsibility” results. As people take on an entitlement mentality, society disintegrates. Denis Prager observes:
“Next time you assess any social policy, or you think through any issue, ask this question first …Will it increase or decrease a sense of entitlement among people? … And then you will know whether it is something that will bring more goodness and happiness to the world, or less.”

In stark contrast, the strengthening of this conviction favors human flourishing. The free enterprise system is built upon the principles of limited government and personal responsibility—which are built on the belief that man is created in the image of God. The free enterprise system makes better people; it rewards hard work, diligence and competence; it punishes laziness, cheating and freeloading.

C. Man is fallen

Our third foundational religious conviction is that man is fallen, that man is a sinner. This conviction is absolutely crucial to a well-functioning political system.

Our founding fathers had a clear biblical understanding of the nature of man. They not only understood that man was great—having been created in God’s image, they also knew that man was bad—having a fallen nature. Having this in mind, they designed our Constitution accordingly. Clearly understanding the reality of sin, our founders made it difficult to govern—that is, they made it difficult for tyranny to succeed; they adopted the separation of powers doctrine with its numerous checks and balances.

It is not surprising, therefore, that when modern men who deny the thinking behind our Constitution gets thwarted in their dreams, they will wrongly conclude our government is dysfunctional. But, for example, when Congress over-reached and passed an unpopular healthcare bill, the control over the House of Representatives switched parties less than one year later. Our Constitution worked flawlessly!

There is no clearer example of the repudiation of Judeo-Christian values—Johnson’s 3rd evil—than the modern liberal’s rejection of the separation of powers doctrine of our Constitution.

Also, the conviction that we are a flawed people gives insight in understanding Jefferson’s conviction that our liberty is not secure without God. As Dennis Prager points out in Still the Best Hope: Why the World Need America’s Values to Triumph, (2012) “There is, of course, one great risk to a society founded on liberty—anarchy”—a theme of this conference. He asks “Won’t inherently flawed people inevitably abuse liberty?” Yes, of course. Therefore, how did the founders propose to deal with anarchy, since they had rejected using strong government? They simply counted on their citizen’s having a faith in God and then letting God hold them accountable. It is “In God We Trust.”

V. Testing the Religious Convictions

We have now established that America is a Christian nation—having been founded on biblical principles. We have also briefly looked at three foundational religious convictions and seen how they have helped shape our nation. But our job is just beginning. Just having these convictions is not enough; we must, as Kuyper suggests, recommend them to others. To do so, let us use one of Christendom’s jewels—modern science.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s 2014 Cosmos TV series presents a powerful definition of science; he explains that science is just a “simple set of rules” with the primary being “Test ideas by experiment and observation.” Since our convictions are “ideas,” they are the subject of scientific investigation. Let us now test them and the modern liberal’s counter-claims “by making some observations.”

We will first test the idea that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”? When we consider that everything that had a beginning is always observed to have a cause and since we now know the universe had a beginning, simple logic tells us that the universe must have had a cause and that cause is God. This conviction has passed the test.

What about the idea that our universe popped into existence out of “Nothing?” If we accurately define “Nothing” as “what a sleeping rock dreams of,” then, we can conclude that this idea has absolutely failed the test.

Was man “created in the image of God?” Man is unique, but so are other creatures. However, as G. K. Chesterton observed “It is customary to insist that man resembles the other creatures. Yes; and that very resemblance he alone can see.” Only a strict materialist does not see the obvious—that we are of a completely different quality than all other creatures. Thus, this idea has passed the test.

What about the idea that human consciousness arose from purely naturalistic processes. For this idea, we find no observations. This idea has simply failed the test.

Finally, to prove the idea that man is a sinner so obvious it is hardly worth a comment. Even a 100 years ago, Chesterton observed “Whether or no man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing.”

Thus, our foundational convictions easily pass the test of science while our culture-war competitors all fail!

VI. Texas’ Accomplishments

Texans, simply standing up for these religious convictions were elected to the State Board of Education. Then, with the help of an active grassroots—especially ladies like Cathie Adams, Pat Carlson, and MerryLynn Gerstenschlager—Texas now has textbooks that tout our religious heritage. Texas also has biology texts vainly attempting to explain evolutionary origins for the complexity of the cell. Our new standards painted the evolutionists into a corner; the explanations they have offered are so weak, that all we need to do is to point out this out to our students.

VII. Conclusion

Let us conclude with two final thoughts from President Coolidge’s speech. First, like Paul Johnson, he highlights the importance of personal responsibility:
“The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.”

He then concludes:
“We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed….”

Coolidge said, we must “cling to the things of the spirit;” President Obama, however, mocks those who “cling to their religion.” Nothing describes how America has changed better than this.

Again, according to Paul Johnson, the chances for the 21st century becoming an age of hope for mankind depends on the eradication of four underlying evils that characterized the 20th century. And we have seen, the only way these evils can be eradicated is by proclamation of our Judeo-Christian religious convictions. We actually hold these truths to be self-evident—that God is the creator, that man is created in the image of God and that man is fallen. If we want to stop anarchy and preserve our Constitution, we must be able to make the case for reviving these religious convictions to our friends. We are not asking them to accept our theology or religion; we are only asking them to recognize some obvious and scientifically sound truths about God and the nature of man that have major far-reaching consequences.

We have the winning hand; let’s make our case.

Thank you.
Don McLeroy
Former Chairman, Texas State Board of Education
979-255-2538
donmcleroy@gmail.com

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The Cosmos is Yours

In the opening episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Neil deGrasse Tyson presents an incredibly clear and powerful description of the scientific process. He claims that if you “accept these terms, the Cosmos is yours.” I accept!

These terms, Tyson explains, are just a “simple set of rules.

• Test ideas by experiment and observation.
• Build on those ideas that pass the test.
• Reject the ones that fail.
• Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and
• Question everything.”

We will now test four ideas—two from the Bible and two from the materialist. All these ideas will be tested by observation as they cannot be tested by experiment. We will first test the biblical claim that man is “created in the image of God.” Man is unique, but so are other creatures. However, as G. K. Chesterton observed, “It is customary to insist that man resembles the other creatures. Yes; and that very resemblance he alone can see. The fish does not trace the fishbone pattern in the fowls of the air; or the elephant and the emu compare skeletons.” Only a strict materialist does not see the obvious—that we are of a completely different quality than all other creatures. Thus, this idea has passed the test.

Now let us test the materialist idea that human consciousness arose from purely naturalistic processes. For this idea, we find no observations. Physicist Nick Herbert stated “Science’s biggest mystery is the nature of consciousness. It is not that we possess bad or imperfect theories of human awareness; we simply have no such theories at all. About all we know about consciousness is that it has something to do with the head, rather than the foot.” This idea has failed the test.

What about the idea that our universe popped into existence out of Nothing? If we accurately define Nothing as, for instance, “what a sleeping rock dreams of,” then, we can conclude that this idea has absolutely failed the test.

What about the biblical idea that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”? When we consider that everything that had a beginning is always observed to have a cause and since we now know the universe had a beginning, simple logic tells us that the universe must have had a cause. And, since the qualities possessed by this cause describe the God of the Bible, we again find a biblical idea has passed the test.

Therefore, let us begin to build on the two scientifically strong ideas that have passed—the idea that God is the creator and that we have been created in his image. Let us further reject the materialist ideas that have failed—that a universe can come from Nothing and that materialism can account for human consciousness. Join with me and let us question more ideas from the Bible, and question more ideas of the materialist. Then, let us follow the evidence where ever it leads.

Especially, let us build on the idea that overwhelmingly has the most scientific support, with endless supporting observations, the greatest idea ever, that God created the heavens and the earth.

I believe—as already demonstrated by our first four tests—that when we accept the terms presented to us in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, we will find, not only that science and religion are compatible, but that science actually supports what the Bible says. The Cosmos is yours!

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America is a Biblical Nation

This week as the Texas State Board of Education is adopting new history books, liberal academics and activists are claiming that portions of the textbooks overemphasize the biblical religious heritage of our country. These critics are wrong. America was founded on the biblical principles:

  • Truth exists,
  • God exists,
  • Man is created in the image of God, and
  • Man is fallen.

This is an incredibly important discussion to have. For example, read this excerpt from the essay that follows. Here we learn that our government is not broken, as so many today claim, but that it is working exactly as it was designed! And, we learn that the underlying principle that makes it work is the biblical conviction that man is fallen–that man is a sinner.

“Our founding fathers had a clear biblical understanding of the nature of man. They not only understood that man was great—having been created in the image of God, they also knew that man was bad—having a fallen nature. Having this in mind, they designed our Constitution accordingly. Clearly understanding the reality of sin, our founders made it difficult to govern—that is, they made it difficult for tyranny to succeed; they adopted the separation of powers doctrine with its numerous checks and balances. It is not surprising, therefore, that when modern men who do not understand the thinking behind our Constitution gets thwarted in their dreams, they will wrongly conclude our government is dysfunctional. But, for example, when Congress over-reached and passed an unpopular healthcare bill, the control over the House of Representatives switched parties less than one year later. Our Constitution worked flawlessly!”

Not only are these thoughts timely for the Texas textbook adoption, they are incredibly important nationally  as our president is about to take on an unprecedented step of defying our separation of powers doctrine with an executive order on granting amnesty to millions.

Please read the following analysis and see if you do not agree. Thank you.

Don McLeroy

 

America is a Biblical Nation: Let Us Renew America by Reviving her Religious Convictions

 

America is a Biblical Nation

America was founded on her biblical religious convictions; the result has been American Exceptionalism; even as early as 1862 President Lincoln recognized that we were “the last best hope of earth.”  It can be easily demonstrated that religious convictions are the lifeblood of our republic, that they gave it its birth and maintain its health. When you stand in the center of the Jefferson Memorial facing the White House and look up to your right, you will read these words of President Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberty of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”

Our liberty, according to Jefferson, is not the result of our good nature, our intellect or our good intentions; it is the result of a religious conviction that it is a gift from God. Jefferson’s view was the consensus position of our founding fathers. Religiously speaking, they were ethical monotheists; they believed in an omnipotent God who cared about right and wrong.  Interestingly, if alive today, they would probably be labeled “religious conservatives.”

Like Jefferson, President Calvin Coolidge understood the power of religious convictions. In 1926, on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, he reflected:

 “A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features, the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration, not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man, these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We cannot continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.”

A key question is: Will a future president make a similar declaration in 2026 on our country’s 250th anniversary? Already, many secularists insist that the United States is not a Christian nation; they even claim that our nation was not even founded on biblical principles but on secular principles. Frankly, the best way to settle this dispute is to go to the very beginning, to July 4, 1776, to the founding document of our country—the Declaration of Independence. Consider: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Secularism says there is no truth, there is no God and that we just evolved. The Declaration clearly states that truth exists, there is a Creator and that we are created. So, are we a Christian nation? When you define a Christian nation simply as being founded on biblical principles then the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.”

Biblical Convictions Produce Freedom

So why then is there such widespread disagreement about Christianity and freedom today? The fact is too many Americans have been taught a myth that the mixing of religion and politics is a threat to freedom. M. Stanton Evans, in his book The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics and the American Tradition (1994), calls this myth the “Liberal History Lesson.” Evans explains that from their earliest education, the lessons our children are being taught are based on the idea that “Our religion and our liberty…have always been in conflict. Freedom, democracy and intellectual inquiry allegedly flourished in the pagan era, only to be crushed to earth in the Christian Middle Ages.” And, “that freedom reappeared when ‘humanist’ scholars of the Renaissance and Enlightenment threw off the shackles of religion of the ancients…” The only problem with these statements is that they are wrong.

It is a historic fact that biblical convictions have produced freedom. Evans proves this point by connecting two obvious facts:

“That biblical teaching was the formative influence in the creation of Europe, and that Europe was the nursery of freedom as we know it, are both established facts of record. Taken separately, these are prosaic statements of common knowledge, hardly worth the trouble of assertion. Put them together, however, and the result is intensely controversial. This is not the linkage, after all, suggested by the usual story; the notion that Christianity equals Europe equals freedom is, indeed, reverse of what should be expected. If Christian doctrine is opposed to freedom, then liberty ought to flourish where Christianity has had the smallest degree of influence, and languish where that influence is the greatest.”

Now consider two more facts. When Nazi Germany rejected Christianity, they became pagan; when Communist Russia rejected Christianity they became atheist. And, both became totalitarian.

I will now take a brief look at three key biblical convictions and the role they have played in shaping history. They are actually simple and obvious truths. When clearly presented, they are acceptable to almost everyone. These convictions are not obtuse theological points but are easily grasped—even by my fourth grade Sunday school students. They are immensely practical and, as we will see, even secular critics unknowingly reason on the foundation which they provide. What we must do is simply teach them to our children—no one else will.

The Religious Conviction That God Is the Creator

God or “Nothing “

Our foundational conviction is in a transcendent God who God created the heavens and the earth—the God who is actually there. This seems pretty obvious. Jonathan Edwards observed “It would seem self-evident that if God has no competitor but “Nothing”, he has nothing for a competitor.” Edwards also defines Nothing as “what a sleeping rock dreams of.”

I can think of no more powerful and practical concept to teach our children than this in today’s anti-supernatural climate. Amazingly, in today’s intellectual and scientific circles, the universe is considered to come into existence from “Nothing!”

Science arose in Christendom

The conviction that God has created the heavens and the earth has many important implications and consequences, but here we will just consider one; it is this conviction that has given us modern science. James Hannam, in his award-winning book The Genesis of Science: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundation for Modern Science (2009), states:

“Most significantly, the Middle Ages laid the foundation for the greatest achievement of Western civilization, modern science. It is simply untrue to say that there was no science before the ‘Renaissance’. Once medieval scholars got their hands on the work of the classical Greeks, they develop systems of thought that allowed science to travel far further than it had in the ancient world. Universities, where academic freedom was guarded from royal interference, were first founded in the 12th century. These institutions have always provided scientific research with a safe home. Even Christian theology turned out to be uniquely suited to encouraging study of the natural world, because this was believed to be God’s creation.”

Hannam clearly documents the consensus view of historians of science that it was the religious conviction that God created nature that led to the development of the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages which then led to the achievement of modern science. He also describes how the Christian theologians of the Middle Ages, whom he refers to as “God’s philosophers,” made the crucial distinctions about how God uses secondary causes or natural laws to affect his will which encouraged the study of nature. Without such distinctions theology becomes fatalistic and no science ensues.

Rodney Stark of Baylor, in his book For the Glory of God: How Monotheism led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery (2003) concurs. He concludes with two points, “First, science arose only once in history—in medieval Europe. Second, science could only arise in a culture dominated by belief in a conscious, rational, all-powerful Creator.”

The result of losing this conviction—scientific dogmatism

And, it is with the loss of this conviction that modern science gets in trouble and lets dogmatism—the assertion of opinion as a fact—creep in. Ironically, it is the secular-minded that become dogmatic because they are trapped by their beliefs. Consider evolution—the idea that all life is descended from a common ancestor as a result of unguided natural processes. The atheist must accept evolution—not a very good position to put in scientifically. For them, evolution has become more than just science; it has become the foundation for their beliefs.

But, a theist is free to accept or reject evolution. For example, many Christians believe God created the heavens and the earth and after looking at the evidence do not believe he used evolution to do it. Other Christians, such as Francisco J. Ayala, former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, believe he did use evolution.

Next, we will look at one of the amazing qualities of the West—how we treat other people.  Can anyone dispute the fact that untold millions who could, would cherish the opportunity to move here; while those who live here and have the freedom to leave, stay? We in the West may not all share the conviction that God created the heavens and the earth, but we do share a common heritage of carrying and compassion for others. Let us now identify the source of our Western moral ideals.

The Religious Conviction That Man Is Created in the Image of God

Why people are important

Where did we get this ideal of caring?  More to the point, why are people important to a secular-minded atheist if they are only the product of blind purposeless processes? There is a simple answer; he has inherited it, without even realizing it, from our next religious conviction that all men are special having been created in the image of God.

David Brog in his book In Defense of Faith: The Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity (2010) convincingly describes how the secularists’ attempts to purge religion from our society would purge the moral high ground from where they preach. In analyzing the secular-minded, he states that “morally they were born on third base and think that they have hit a moral triple;” “they begin life on a high moral summit and believe they have scaled a high mountain.”

Brog’s book makes clear that the force for moral progress in the West is the religious conviction that man has been created in the image of God. He shows that those who stood up against genocide, against slavery and racism were predominantly the strongly religious—for example: Antonio de Montesinos, Bartolome de Las Casas, William Wilberforce, William Lloyd Garrison, and Martin Luther King. Do our children know these names?

Christian principles favor human flourishing. For example, the free enterprise system is built upon the principles of limited government and personal responsibility—both of which are the result of a belief in man as created in the image of God.  The free enterprise system makes better people.  The free enterprise system rewards hard work, diligence and competence; it punishes laziness, cheating and freeloading.

The source for the moral power on which the foundation of our country is based is the Judeo-Christian idea that all men are created in the image of God.  Our whole idea of liberty, of the Declaration’s “all men are created equal”, and of the importance of the individual is grounded in this great truth.

We take for granted that our society is the normal state of affairs, but ours is uncharacteristic of what is found in human societies around the world. That all men are “created equal” and have “inalienable rights” is self-evident to us, but to the people of the ancient world, before the advent of biblical revelation such ideas were not self-evident at all.

Next, we will see how a third foundational religious conviction is absolutely crucial to a well-functioning political system.

The Religious Conviction That Man Is Fallen

Why people cannot be completely trusted

Like the other convictions, the fact that man is a sinner is perfectly obvious. But amazingly, the secular-minded deny it. G. K. Chesterton in Orthodoxy (1908) observed “Whether a no man could be washed in miraculous waters, there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But now certain religious leaders… have begun…not to deny the highly disputable water, but to deny the indisputable dirt.”

Our founding fathers had a clear biblical understanding of the nature of man. They not only understood that man was great—having been created in the image of God, they also knew that man was bad—having a fallen nature. Having this in mind, they designed our Constitution accordingly. Clearly understanding the reality of sin, our founders made it difficult to govern—that is, they made it difficult for tyranny to succeed; they adopted the separation of powers doctrine with its numerous checks and balances. It is not surprising, therefore, that when modern men who do not understand the thinking behind our Constitution gets thwarted in their dreams, they will wrongly conclude our government is dysfunctional. But, for example, when Congress over-reached and passed an unpopular healthcare bill, the control over the House of Representatives switched parties less than one year later. Our Constitution worked flawlessly!

Thus, if we lose the religious conviction that man is fallen, we run the risk of a totalitarian state. For a free society, history is everything.  Since the founding era represents the one of the most shining examples of biblical principles in action, we should utilize these illustrations as often as we can. This is especially true with the fallen nature of man.

The Importance of Religious Convictions

Eradicating the Four Underlying Evils

Since one of our society’s greatest needs is a defense and reviving of our importance of religious convictions, I believe one of the greatest threats is their mocking and ridicule. Most who disagree with us are not mean-spirited. Dennis Prager, in his book Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph (2012), points out they believe that their rejection of religion is most reasonable. They think their way is the only way to think and that what I am describing is anti-intellectual, anti-science and anti-reason.

However, esteemed British historian Paul Johnson in his classic history Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties (1991), laments the over 120 million citizens murdered by their own nations in search of human progress. Johnson concludes his book with the following paragraph.

“Certainly, by the last decade of the century, some lessons had plainly been learned. But it was not yet clear whether the underlying evils which had made possible its catastrophic failures and tragedies—the rise of moral relativism, the decline of personal responsibility, the repudiation of Judeo-Christian values, not least the arrogant belief that men and women could solve all the mysteries of the universe by their own unaided intellects—were in the process of being eradicated. On that would depend the chances of the twenty-first century becoming, by contrast, an age of hope for mankind.”

Note, all four of the “evils” Johnson identifies are secular values. This is why we need to make the connection between biblical principles and what has actually happened in history known to our children. When they know the fruit of what Christianity has brought into this world they should be better prepared to hold on to these important truths. As Johnson points out, lives are at stake.

If we fail to make this connection, here a quick summary of some of what they lose:

  • They won’t understand their own country.
  • They will lose modern science.
  • They will lose the moral high ground for our compassionate and caring society, and
  • They will not understand how our Constitution prevents tyranny.

Cultivate Reverence for the Things that are Holy

Back in 1926 President Coolidge concluded his speech on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration with these words:

“We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed….”

Coolidge said, we must “cling” “to the things of the spirit;” We must not mock these ideas. We need to teach our children to easily recognize some obvious and simple truths about God and the nature of man that have major far-reaching consequences. This is very similar to something Moses once said.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-8)

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My Response to Jerry Coyne and his Readers on the Resurrection

Reply to “Why Evolution Is Not True”

 

Jerry Coyne, on his popular blog: “Why Evolution Is True” (WEIT) posted about Kenneth Miller’s theistic evolution position—”Catholic biologist Ken Miller talks about God and evolution.” In it, he commented:

Miller adds that he sees Jesus as divine and as “saviour of the world.” That being the case, Varg should immediately have asked him if he thought Jesus was resurrected from the dead. I don’t think Miller would have been on as firm a ground if he had said that that, too, might just have been just a story to underscore Jesus’s “teachings”. For if Miller really thought that, he would be flying in the face of very important Church dogma, and in fact could hardly call himself a Catholic. (If Jesus wasn’t crucified and resurrected, on what grounds do we consider him saviour of the world? And isn’t a denial of the Resurrection a heresy?)

In response to that quote, I sent in a comment that stated “Jesus did rise from the dead; there were over 500 witnesses.” Dr. Coyne then generated a new blog post “Jesus Delusion” featuring my comment. Later that day he posted my reply to “Jesus Delusion” in a new blog post entitled “McLeroy replies about the crucifixion.”

This blog post is my response to Dr. Coyne and the WEIT readers who made almost 400 comments to these two blog posts.

First, I would like to thank and complement the many who took the time to thoughtfully reply to my two comments on the 500 eyewitnesses. Daniel Dennett touts “Sturgeon’s Law” which says that 90% of all comments are rubbish, but here, this is clearly not the case. Most were very serious reflections and reasonable statements and questions.

Biblical scholars differ on the resurrection. I admit that I am only well-read among the conservative scholars and my familiarity with the liberal scholars is limited to the critiques of them by the conservatives. Definitely not the best policy. The only skeptical book I have read is Russell Shorto’s Gospel Truth: On the Trail of the Historical Jesus as he had interviewed me for a major essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine.

Just as the scholars differ so do I and the readers. I accept a scholarship that dates the Gospels as written between 40 and 65 A.D. whereas most readers believe they were written 65 to 100 A.D. or later. These later dates allow for conspiracy theories and myths to be more easily developed. I don’t think any reader held the early dating gospel view.

But no matter which scholars are correct, we still have to account for the phenomenon of Christianity and its powerful influence over the last 2000 years and today. And, we have to account for the fact as to why my simple comment about “500 eyewitnesses” could stir up so much interest? Christianity seems to draw a lot more interest than it should. Of course, atheism and evolution do the same for me. I admit that I enjoy following many of Dr. Coyne’s blog posts. I like keeping up with the evolutionists and atheists; I want to understand how the atheist mind thinks and reasons. I believe that Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins are much clearer thinkers about the implications of evolution than Kenneth Miller and other theistic evolutionists.

Specific Objections

 

Overall, I found the objections raised to the resurrection to be focused on plain skeptical thinking about miracles in general, the accuracy and reliability of the scriptures, contradictions in the gospel story, and especially, the lack of corroborating evidence of biblical accounts concerning the resurrection—especially the dead coming out of their graves and seen walking around Jerusalem.

Specific to the resurrection, no one advocated the swoon theory, and only a few commented that they thought the disciples hallucinated. Most focused on the idea of a conspiracy of early Christians or the gradual development of Christianity as myth. Also, no one was impressed with the experts I cited—Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw, Peter Kreeft, Norman Geisler, Frank Turek, Lee Strobel, James Hannam, Moyshe Averick, Rodney Stark, Ravi Zacarias,G. K Chesterton, Paul Johnson, Abraham Kuyper, C. S. Lewis, and David Brog.

I do not know why there is no mention of the dead coming out of their graves and seen walking around Jerusalem in non-biblical accounts. But, it does seem odd though for a bunch of conspirators to add such a detail that could easily be dismissed unless it actually happened.

While we do not know their names or have the testimonies of the 500 in question, we do for Paul and James and Peter and John and Mark and Matthew. I am not too bothered about the actual number of eyewitnesses. As noted in my comment to McLeroy replies about the crucifixion the testimony of just two eyewitnesses is very powerful. Even so, if Jesus did actually rise from the dead and spent around a month among the people, it seems logical the claim of the 500 witnesses could have happened. And, Paul is issuing a challenge to those skeptics reading his words to go and ask these folks—many who are still alive. This is not something you would do if making up a myth or a conspiracy.

Another good point the readers made are why some disciples did not recognize Jesus immediately. I don’t know. Again, it does seem odd though for a bunch of conspirators to add such a detail that could easily be dismissed unless it actually happened. I can only speculate as to why he was not recognized; my speculations are not very important.

I am not in a position to debate the strength and weaknesses of Bart Ehrman’s scholarship. As noted in my first reply in Jesus Delusion I have my own set of experts I trust. I will let them have that debate.

As for Paul’s claims he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus, it certainly was more than a vision. There was light and all present heard Jesus speaking.

One reader stated that Christianity “attained its current heights due to” purely naturalistic causes. I hold the view that Christianity reached its lofty status because it is based on truth—truth about the nature of God, the nature of man and the nature of the world.

One reader asked if I would still believe if there were no eyewitnesses. A good question. I can only speculate because the account says they were eyewitnesses. With no witnesses, the biblical accounts would have been totally different and history would have been completely different. I don’t know what I would believe today if that were the case.

Biblical Trustworthiness in General

 

It seems to me that the starting point for many of the readers in rejecting the resurrection are an anti-supernatural bias and assumption that the Bible is not reliable or authoritative. I believe the supernatural exists and miracles happen. Miracles can happen; the greatest miracle was the creation of the world. For me, I have found the Bible to be extremely reliable; this is not the case for many of the readers; I see no way of resolving these differences here.

Other Questions

 

A very good question raised by Dr. Coyne and others is why I believe I am right when I have not studied other religions for 29 years. Could I be wrong? Yes, I could be wrong. I try to understand what others believe or don’t believe. This is one reason I listen to the podcast “Point of Inquiry.” They have fascinating discussions about issues such as these. Again, my testimony of “How I became a Christian” can be found on my website.

The timing of events during the “Passion Week” is difficult. I do not know for sure. A lot had to happen if the “Last Supper” was Thursday night and the crucifixion was Friday. For me, this is not insurmountable.

One reader asked “What would it take to change my mind?” This is a good question. Since my whole life is wrapped up in my faith—my friends, my church, my sense of who I am, it would be very difficult to give it all up. I believe I am honest enough to do so if I was presented evidence of a viable alternative.

This works both ways. For those of you who are atheists, how can you hold to something with so little evidence? You have to have something from “Nothing.” If “Nothing” is defined as “what a sleeping rock dreams of;” I would think you have a serious problem.

For those of you who are evolutionists, how can you hold to something with so little evidence? To explain all the diversity of life on this planet by unguided natural processes requires a titanic amount of evidence. I think the best evidence you have is the fossil record. You say the present is the key to the past. Yet, present animal life consists of life so discontinuous that it is unimaginable how the gaps could have been bridged , and the fossil record shows the same gaps—with some transitional fossils. This is not enough! There should be “zillions” of them. And, when it comes to explaining the evolution of  biochemical processes in the cell, you have nothing.

Therefore, I find my biblical beliefs to be much more reasonable. For any other alternative, the evidence doesn’t support it.

In conclusion, all of us reasoning creatures hold some irrational beliefs. I find mine to be less of a problem than the way I understand yours; this is why I read your blogs—to better understand your beliefs. However, I must admit that after reading your responses to these two WEIT blog posts by Dr. Coyne, I find your reasoning much more coherent and evidence based.

Thank you.

Don McLeroy

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Why Evolution is Probably False (revised)

Miller and Levine’s Biology (2014) Clearly Demonstrates Why Evolution is Probably False

Texas’ high school biology textbooks—written to standards adopted in 2009—have finally been completed. Back then, Science reported “New science standards in Texas strike a major blow to the teaching of evolution.” (3 April 2009)Two months later, Science—quoting noted evolutionist and textbook author Kenneth Miller—reported:

Miller’s answer [to the standards]… is not to get too excited. The new Texas standards leave plenty of room for authors to explain the robustness of evolutionary theory, he says, and that’s precisely what he and his publisher, Prentice Hall, plan to do. “The advocates of these standards underestimate the strength of the scientific evidence for structures and phenomena that they mistakenly believe evolution cannot account for,” Miller says. “The new wording is an opportunity to make biology texts even stronger.

For example, Miller intends to “introduce more material on the evolution of organelles” within the cell to show that the cell’s complexity is in fact explained by evolution. (12 June 2009) Emphasis added

 One of the supposedly “major blow” standards—Biology 7G—simply requires the students to “analyze and evaluate scientific [evolutionary] explanations concerning the complexity of the cell.” To fulfill this new requirement, Miller followed through on his plan to “introduce more material on the evolution of organelles“—specifically the ribosome.

 Miller and  Levine and the Ribosome

The Assignment

Kenneth Miller and Joseph Levine, in their new textbook, Biology (2014), at the end of  Chapter 19 “The History of Life,” have an assignment for the students to “Think Critically and Evaluate” the evolutionary origin of ribosomes.

16. Evaluate Evaluate scientific explanations concerning the complexity of the cell. Ribosomes, which are composed of RNA (rRNA) and proteins, are part of the complex structure of cells. One hypothesis proposes that the earliest cells may have produced proteins using RNA alone, and that ribosomal proteins were added gradually. Evaluate the proposed explanation of the evolution of ribosomes based on evidence that has been presented to support it. Emphasis added (Page 565)

Miller and Levine’s Evidence for the Evolution of the Ribosome

Here is the text of the “evidence that has been presented.”

Ribosomes are complex organelles used by all living cells to translate the coded instructions of RNA molecules into the sequences of amino acids that make up proteins. Ribosomes in eukaryotic cells consist of four ribosomal RNA molecules and more than 80 different proteins. The origin of this complex structure has long been a mystery. New research, however, has led to some surprising findings. One of these is that the part of the ribosome where chemical bonds are formed between amino acids completely lacks proteins. This is true of other key places in the ribosome as well, so it is now clear that ribosomal RNA itself carries out the most important tasks in protein synthesis. How should we understand and evaluate this surprising fact? One interpretation supported by the evidence is that the earliest cells may have produced proteins using RNA alone. Over time proteins were added to the RNA in ways that improved the efficiency of the process, leading to today’s more complex ribosomes. Emphasis added (Page 557)


Figure 19-18 A prokaryotic ribosome Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) of the large subunit is shown in gray while rRNA of the small subunit is blue. RNA makes up the interior of the ribosome, where protein synthesis takes place. Ribosomal proteins (shown in lavender on the large subunit and purple on the small subunit) and largely confined to the surface of the ribosome. This revealing image was produced in the laboratory of Dr. Harry Noller, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Some Questions for Students

If you are a student, let us tackle this assignment presented by Miller and Levine; let us now “Evaluate the proposed explanation of the evolution of ribosomes based on evidence that has been presented to support it.” We need only ask some questions. You can then decide for yourself how compelling their evidence is for explaining the evolutionary origin of a functioning ribosome? You decide if the authors have demonstrated “the robustness of evolutionary theory?”

Here are a few of the questions that could be asked:

Life without ribosomes?

  1. Are there any cells anywhere that do not have proteins? NO
  2. Can you have life as we know it without proteins? NO
  3. Are there any proteins anywhere in a living cell today that was not made by a ribosome? NO
  4. Therefore, can you have life today as we know it without ribosomes? NO

RNA-only ribosomes?

  1. Is there a “pure RNA-only molecular machine” that makes proteins today? NO
  2. Do they have evidence it ever existed? NO
  3. Wouldn’t actual evidence of RNA-only ribosomes be better than speculating “that the earliest cells may have produced proteins using RNA alone?” YES
  4. Therefore, is their entire argument based only on speculation? YES

How robust is the single “surprising fact” they do provide?

  1. Even granting that “Ribosomal RNA carries out the most important task in protein synthesis,” what does this “surprising fact”  demonstrate?
    1. Does it explain the origin of the ribosome? NO
    2. Does it explain how the ribosome incorporated the “more than 80 different proteins?” NO
    3. Does it explain the origin of the original four RNAs? NO
      1. Does it explain how they were formed? NO
      2. Does it explain how they joined together? NO
      3. Does it explain how the messenger RNA (mRNA) with the coded instructions found them once they joined together? NO
      4. Does it explain how they were able to reproduce themselves? NO
    4. Since the evolutionary preservation of the initial rRNA-only ribosome is dependent on its operating on a coded mRNA string, does it explain the origin of the coded instructions for the first protein to be coded in the mRNA? NO
      1. Do they have an idea where the coded information came from? NO
      2. Do they know how the mRNA with coded information reproduces itself so it can make a more proteins? NO
  2. Were all the 80 proteins in the ribosome made by a ribosome? YES
    1. Do they know which of the 80 ribosomal proteins was added first? second? third? and so on? NO
    2. Can they add an extra protein today to “improve the efficiency of the process?NO
    3. Do they know the function of the ribosomal proteins? a frame?  a support structure? a chassis? THEY DON’T KNOW.
    4. Can you make a support structure out of pure RNA? THEY DON’T KNOW.
    5. Can RNA without proteins support itself and also make a protein? THEY DON’T KNOW.
    6. If not, how can you have a ribosome without a protein and how can you have a protein without a ribosome? THEY DON’T KNOW.

An Analogy

Consider an automobile. Couldn’t we say that its engine carries out the most important tasks?” How plausible is it then to conclude that the “engine” gradually added a chassis “that improved the efficiency of the process, leading to today’s more complex” automobiles? NOT PLAUSIBLE AT ALL.

 

Conclusion

Remember, if there are no ribosomes there are no proteins; if there are no proteins, there is no life as we know it. But there is life, there are proteins, and there are ribosomes. Science tests ideas by experiment and observation; Miller and Levine have produced neither; they have only provided a just-so story “the earliest cells may have produced proteins using RNA alone.” Given this evaluation “based on the evidence” available today, are ribosomes the result of evolutionary processes? YOU DECIDE.

A closing argument:

  1. All life—every single living cell—requires ribosomes
  2. If  you decide that as of today, evolutionary explanations “have not accounted for the origin of the ribosome and have failed the test of science,
  3. Then, the simple conclusion is that evolution itself “cannot account for” life and has failed the test of science.

One final question

According to Kenneth Miller, do “the advocates of these standards underestimate the strength of the scientific evidence for structures and phenomena that they mistakenly believe evolution cannot account for?” 

Or, do the advocates of evolution overestimate the strength of the evidence?

 

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