A Systematic Approach to Origins Clarification
An easy way to share with confidence some fundamental reasons why you believe the biblical record of the origin of all things; with the goal being that of evangelization through the preaching of the Good News found in the Word of God (The Holy Bible).
or·i·gin (ôr¹e-jîn, òr¹-) noun
1. The point at which something comes into existence or from which it derives or is derived.
If you are like me, you don't mind sharing your opinion... if you're certain you are correct! I know that if I hear a conversation about a particular topic that I am unfamiliar with or have only a passing opinion on, I am much more likely to just sit and listen rather than add a remark that might sound ridiculous!
That is what is so neat about sharing your belief on the topic of origins; ( the point at which the universe came into existence) you can be confident that what you are saying is the absolute truth! No matter what the arena may be, whether you are speaking with some friends at work or a learned college professor, when you share what the Bible has to say about origins and the scientific evidence to support it, you can rest assured that your position is entirely secure.
It makes me think of how it might be if I were transported back in time 500 years and tried to debate with the learned men of the day on the topic of whether or not the earth was flat. The entire scientific community would be arrayed against me and yet I would not shrink back in the slightest. My knowledge of the truth would empower me to take on the mightiest opponent. Even though I am not a professor, or a doctor, or a professional scientist, I would still feel entirely confident in presenting my case. To be sure, if I were to speak with a friend from my own time after the debate, I would never say "Boy, they really had some great arguments for a flat earth. Are you sure the earth is round?" This is because I am fully persuaded by the shear weight of evidence I have been exposed to.
Such is the confidence we believers should have when it comes to the topic of origins. We know that the Bible is the word of God (1 Tim. 2:3)and therefore can rely wholeheartedly on it's trustworthiness. We all can look forward with confidence to every opportunity to share the tremendous truth of origins as clearly stated in scripture. I say tremendous truth because the creation account in Genesis stands virtually alone in all recorded history as the sentinel proclamation of Gods direct fiat creation of all things in a thoughtful and intimately personal way. No other writings, whether religious or secular, attempt to explain the beginning of the space/mass/time continuum referred to in science as the universe. All other writings begin with preexisting matter of some sort. The Genesis account is unique in that it explains God as the designer of the cosmos, a Triune Creator (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) of a triune universe (space, mass, time).
It is also a tremendous truth in that, of all the beliefs that a person can have, their position on origins has the most far reaching impact. So foundational is ones concept of origins to rational thought that it can well be viewed as the very fountainhead of all other belief systems a person may pursue. It is the axle upon which all philosophical world views rotate.
That may sound like a strong statement but if you think about it, it must be true. Since there are only two world views on origins ~ Evolution or Creation ~ we can therefore derive all behavior from one of these two sources. Either one believes that the universe is nothing more than material and/or energy that has reached the complicated form it has now merely by pure chance or one believes that an omnipotent creator God called all things into being out of nothing. The first world view is the basis of the religion of humanism (man as the measure of all things). The second is the teaching of the Judeo-Christian religion. The first world view leads to the justification of such atrocious human behaviors as communism, racism, nihilism and worse. The second world view, when founded in the saving faith of Jesus Christ, leads towards the life changing realization that all men are created in the image of God and are for that reason valuable and worthy of respect. Please note that when I say 'leads towards' I do not mean that creation science or 'Origins Clarification' leads a person to salvation. I mean that those who hold the world view of the Biblical account of creation and rest on the truth that they have been saved by faith in Christ Jesus alone for their salvation can better utilize the scientific evidence without compromise and with great authority to dispel the atrocious hoax of evolution.
These two world views are diametrically opposed and there is no way to reconcile their differences. There is no compromise which will satisfy both views. Either special creation is true or evolution is true. The world declares that evolution is true, but the Bible declares special creation to be true. Therefore, if we are to challenge the world view of evolution we need to be familiar with the evidence and be ready always to give an answer to those who ask us of the hope we have within (1 Pet. 3:15).
That is why I have written this systematic approach to Origins Clarification; Not to bash unbelievers over the head with heated arguments and sharp comments, but to organize a simple defense to thoughtfully present the truth of the creation account in meekness and in love. It is not intended to be a foolproof mechanism for conversion to Christianity. Rather, it is to be used prayerfully with supplication for the Holy Spirit to open the door of the listeners hearts so that when the gospel is presented to them He would draw them unto the Lord Jesus Christ, that they might receive from Him the salvation He lovingly offers.
STEP 1- Establish the Common Ground
When entering into a debate on any topic it is of utmost importance to first of all establish the common ground. When I say debate, I don't want to frighten any of you. A debate does not have to be a formal confrontation. A debate is merely the expression of differing views in an attempt to explore the value of each. Debates can be as simple as conversations at the dinner table or friendly gatherings during coffee break at work. Debates can also be organized events with large numbers of listeners in attendance. Whatever the arena, the basic rules will always apply.
Establishing the common ground is one of the universal rules that will greatly reduce the frustration level on both sides of the issue. As you have most likely already observed in your own experiences with debates, often emotions can rise as well as tempers. This is because of a peculiar aspect of human nature. Very often, a person will associate their beliefs with their very persona. That means if you attack their belief system, they feel like you are attacking them.
In order to avoid this type of confrontation, you should first of all establish a friendly relationship with the party you wish to debate the issue of Origins. You can do this by simply assuring the other party that you are not their enemy. You are their friend. You are not seeking to destroy them or embarrass them. You are only trying to share your opinion with them. It is sad but true that very often debates can degrade into arguments which generate all kinds of heat yet very little light. Always remember that your prime directive is to reveal the truth of origins as declared in the Word of God with the objective of evangelism as the ultimate goal; as should be the intent of all our conversations with unbelievers.
Establishing a friendly relationship will relieve the tension and provide a place of escape for both parties should the debate turn into an argument. You can always politely say "Well, I can see this is becoming a point of contention between us and I do not wish to continue because I feel we are at an impasse. Please allow me to excuse myself. It will give us both time to digest what we have discussed and perhaps we can pick up the discussion again at a later date." In this way you will not put up a wall between you and the other person. It also leaves an open door for later development.
One of the reasons debates can degrade into heated arguments is because of frustration. Frustration can occur when one party misunderstands the other. Frustration also occurs when one party feels as though he has been treated unfairly. That is why it is important to establish the common ground.
Common ground is the area upon which both parties agree. There are many areas upon which even opposing viewpoints can find common ground. For the topic at hand, we can define the common ground as follows:
We must agree that there is an answer to the question on Origins. Imagine the time wasted debating the issue only to find the other party declare: "Well, there really is no true answer to this question anyway. So forget it!" That would be a terribly frustrating event. That is why it is important to agree that there is indeed an answer to the origin question. Since there is an answer, we can logically attempt to discover it.
We must agree that a degree in science is not a necessary qualification for discussing the topic. Often people find themselves intimidated by the prospect of speaking about the topic of origins because they don't feel that they are qualified. However, it should be noted that some of the most outspoken proponents of the evolutionary model were not professional scientists themselves. Darwin himself was but a novice naturalist when he traveled to the Galapagos Islands on the Beagle. Sir Julius Huxley was an outspoken lawyer. Others ranged from philosophers to politicians. You do not need to have a doctoral degree or be on the payroll of a fancy research society to have an opinion on origins. The beauty of science is that it is all around us. It is all that we perceive through the use of our five senses; sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. If you use your senses, you are a scientist! The point is, we are all qualified to examine the evidence because we can all employ our five senses. We can look at the data ourselves and see which model best fits what we observe. We are like jurors listening to a case. Not every juror needs to be an expert witness. The only requirement is integrity and honesty.
We must agree that science can not answer the question of Origins. Since science is the application of data collected through the five senses, and since there was no one there at the beginning to collect the data through the use of their five senses, science cannot be relied upon for the answer to the origins question. This is not to say that we cannot apply our senses to determine the most probable answer. It only means that science cannot prove the answer. However, we can utilize the scientific method through the application of various origin models and examine the resultant data to see which origin model makes the most accurate predictions and best explains the observable data.
We must agree that there are indeed only two possible answers to the origins question: Either special creation or evolution.
There simply are no other possibilities. If you examine them closely you will find that all origin explanations fall into one of these two categories. Either all the universe as we know it has evolved from some sort of preexisting matter or it was supernaturally created out of nothing (ex nihilo).
Now, it is true that strictly speaking we can not rule out a third possibility simply because one has yet to be enumerated. This possibility we shall call the 'Unknown Third Possibility" (UTP) and it is only conceivable theoretically and therefore has no value to the question at hand. In other words, although we cannot rule out the Unknown Third Possibility, we cannot allow it to enter into the equation because it would render every solution moot. No matter what answer we come up with, someone could say "Yes, that may be true now, but what if the Unknown Third Possibility pops up; then what will happen to your proposition?"
As you can see, if the unknown third possibility were allowed into the equation, all scientific inquiry would cease! Who could ever be sure of any results? Gravity may hold true today, but who knows when the unknown third possibility will pop up and change everything! As scientists, we must rule out the unknown third possibility for the time being and examine the evidence in light of the two recognized alternatives.
Since there are only two possibilities, any evidence which supports one possibility automatically refutes the other.
This is straight forward enough. Since there are only two choices, any evidence which supports one choice will by the same token detract from the other.
We must agree that only the most probable evidence will be accepted. This is a simple statement and should be easily agreed upon. After all, one could argue that if a deck of cards were to be tossed into the air, there is a possibility that it could fall into the formation of the Eiffel Tower. However, the likelihood of this is so highly improbable that it must not be accepted as a likely event. Science is the application of probabilities. In order to postulate outcomes, only the most likely probabilities can be expected. Imagine preparing for tomorrow's picnic by packing an asbestos suit and lava boots because of the remote possibility of a fissure opening up in the earth's crust below your feet!
We must agree to limit acceptable remarks to valid and rational statements of facts only. In other words, we will not accept statements of speculation. This is to be a scientific discussion not a philosophical one. Therefore we will only use words like "recorded, observed, fact, actual," or phrases like "This is what we have found, this is what the data shows, these are the measurements taken" we will not accept words and statements like: "Well, we are hoping..., Maybe someday..., We don't really know but..., That's a mystery that will be solved at a later date..., No one can say for sure but..., We believe..., and other such speculative statements.
We must agree that any evidence which argues equally well for both sides is inadmissible. This is an important point to agree upon because very often great lengths of time and materials are wasted arguing a point which actually argues equally well for the opposing view. For example, one could spend hours cataloging the fact that 99% of all manmade structures have windows and for that reason they all must have been designed by the same architect. However, that same data could be used to explain that because the window is such a successful architectural design, many architects employ its use in their work. Since both sides can use the same data to argue their case, the evidence is rendered useless. By agreeing before hand not to allow arguments which argue equally well for both sides to be admissible, you will avoid a major source of frustration. With these rules agreed upon you will find a very comfortable place of common ground upon which both parties can return to when a dispute arises.
Before we begin, let us enumerate the two models:
The teachings of evolution demand the universe to be very, very old (10 to 20 billion years!). Evolution of any significant kind could never occur in a short time. Evolutionist believe the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
The evolutionist model requires that no supernatural force is required to produce the universe. The everyday processes of nature are adequate to explain all naturally occurring phenomena.
The entire universe is subject to the law of evolution and is continually in the process of change directed by nothing other than blind chance.
According to the plain reading of the Genesis record, the earth is likely to be only 6,000 years old with an absolute maximum of 8,000 years old if you allow for the most liberal interpretation of the genealogy records given.
It should be noted that at the end of the creation week the earth would have appeared to be millions of years old by evolutionary standards. For example, moments after the first tree was created, if you stood under the shade of it's branches it would have the appearance of maturity. In the same way, the worlds oceans and atmosphere were designed to sustain the life God created and would have the appearance of age at the very moment of creation. This is known as the apparent age argument and as you can see, the creation model is predicated upon an understanding of this truth.
The creation model holds that God suspended the natural laws during the creation week but afterwards instituted laws of physics to maintain (conserve) His work.
So you can see, there is a definite discrepancy between the two ideas on origins. Now we will examine the two models to see how accurately each predicts and accounts for the observed evidence.
Now we come to the fun part; the evidence. As stated earlier, of all the points of scripture to be confident about, the Creation account as described in Genesis 1 - 3 is perhaps the most securely verified by the observable evidence. This presents a bit of a problem in that, with so many fields of inquiry, we must pick one to start with. My personal favorite field is the age of the earth. Therefore the question can be posed:
How young is the earth?
Geochronometer is a big word which simply means earth (geo) clock (chronometer). Geochronometers, or earth clocks, are all around us. This is a simple fact of nature. Just as the old grandfather clock ticks away the seconds on into the minutes and eventually the hours, so too there are processes occurring all around us that are ticking away on their own specific time line. It is often a simple matter for science to investigate these clocks and derive startlingly accurate chronologies.
Before we examine some of the lesser known clocks, let us first of all examine one of the more popular radiometric clocks so often used by evolutionists to date the earth at 4.5 billion years old. Radiometric clocks employ a powerful yet marvelously simple mechanism to mark the passing of time. Here is how it works; Radioactive substances such as uranium are continually in the process of change. The change that is taking place is actually at the atomic level. The uranium is in the process of breaking down into a smaller atom. This breakdown process releases energy in the form of various types of rays. It is these rays emitted by the radioactive substance which potentially can produce the characteristic burns and mutations in living tissue. These rays can also be harnessed and put to good use such as in the safe and efficient production of low cost energy in nuclear power plants or in the pictures taken in the common medical x-ray machine.
As you can imagine, the breakdown and continuous emission of charged particles could not possibly go on forever. There comes a time when the breakdown process is completed and the material settles down and becomes safe to handle. It is no longer radioactive. This is true because the original radioactive material has undergone a complete change in structure. It has now become a new lighter element, or what is often called a daughter product. In the case of uranium, the daughter product is lead.
Studies have shown that the length of time necessary for this process to complete in many instances is very long. For this reason, scientists have adopted the practice of listing these decay periods according to ½ the total time. This is called the half life. In our example, uranium takes approximately 9,000 million years to completely decay into lead! That means that the half life for uranium is 4,500 million years.
With this information, scientists attempt to use uranium found in natural formations as a geochronometer. In other words, if you bring a rock sample into a laboratory and have it analyzed to find the ratio of uranium to lead, you can use that data to see how long the uranium was there. This is an ingenious method and when the variables are held captive it proves to be incredibly accurate. However, securing the variables is something that scientists are not able to do with radioactive material found in natural rock formations.
Let us examine the problem presented when certain variables are not known. In our example we assume that the half-life of uranium is 4,500 million years. Then we examine the rock sample to determine the ratio of uranium to lead, we find that there is 50% lead and 50% uranium. Therefore a straightforward mathematics computation will give a date of 4,500 million years because we assume it takes at least 4,500 million years for half the uranium to turn to lead and we have 50% uranium and 50% lead. The problem is, we don't know if this sample had any lead in it to begin with. We also don't know if any of the uranium or lead was added or removed. We also don't know if the decay rate for the uranium has been constant over the course of the breakdown period.
Remember in our establishment of the common ground rules, we agreed to only rely on the most probable outcome. Let us examine recorded data to see how probable the three assumptions made in our example really are.
Virgin rock samples collected from newly expelled volcanic material reveal that there has never been a case where there was only radioactive material in the rock with no daughter product. All observed formations show homogenous mixtures of widely varying ratios. Therefore, according to all observed data, the probability of assumption number 1 is highly unlikely.
Controlled studies have revealed that rock formations in the environment are greatly affected by erosion and the leaching effect of water. As water travels through the rock on it's way through the water table, it has the effect of drawing other substances with it. This is known as the leaching effect. We know that this leaching effect will remove certain amounts of uranium and lead from rock formations as well as deposit it. Therefore, once again we have shown that another one of the assumptions made in this particular radiometric dating method is highly questionable.
Scientists have now discovered that the decay rate of radioactive substances may not be as universally constant as had previously been assumed. The breakdown of the radioactive element is effected by high level energy emissions in the form of gamma and cosmic radiation. That means if the level of cosmic radiation were to vary in either direction in a significant way, there would be a correlating effect on the breakdown process of the atom. Studies have demonstrated that during certain periods of sunspot activity, there are increased levels of cosmic radiation. Historic records reveal that there may have been significant increases in cosmic radiation during the explosion of the Crab Nebula. We can safely agree that the assumption that radioactive breakdown has been relatively constant is not entirely unlikely, however, it should be recognized that there is a significant possibility that it has been effected at various points in earth history.
As you can see, the radiometric dating technique can only be trusted if you can eliminate the variables. These variables are something that can only be guessed at by the investigating scientists. Perhaps no lead or uranium was lost, perhaps no lead was present, perhaps only 50% of the lead was originally present, perhaps the decay rate has been constant throughout the millions of years of this rock sample's exposure, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps... This method of dating is so highly questionable in fact that even the proponents of the method agree that it is to be used only as a guide. If a method produces a date that seems obviously wrong, it is possible to go back to the calculations and change one of the assumed variables to make the date move in line with the expected age. Perhaps this explains why a research facility will not date a specimen until you first tell them how old you believe it to be. Because of the many problems with the radiometric dating of rocks, we must categorize this evidence as highly questionable and relatively useless. It should be noted at this point that the geologic column so often displayed in evolution promoting textbooks and museum walls, with all the purported age classifications for the differing layers, was already established and agreed upon according to evolutionary presupposition long before the discovery of radiation. Therefore, the various dates and periods (such as Jurassic, Cambrian etc.) are not dependent on radiometric methods, but rather on the assumption that evolution is true. In other words, huge lengths of time would have been necessary for evolution to explain all the observed data so the layers were arbitrarily dated according to the preconceived notion of men.
There are several other popular radiometric dating methods all of which fall under the same questionable shadow of doubt. For a much more complete treatment of the radiometric dating technique please read:
"Radiometric dating" by Master Books
On the evidence, we must conclude that the methods used by evolutionist to date the earth at 4.5 billion years are very unreliable. Are there any other dating methods that require less dependence on unverifiable assumptions?
As stated previously, there are many such geochronometers. Let us first examine the magnetic field of the earth.
1. The Earth's Magnetic Field
We know that the earth operates as a tremendous magnet. It has a north and south magnetic pole. This is what magnetic compass navigation is based upon. We can measure with great accuracy the strength of the earth's magnetic field and have been doing so for many years. What does the evidence show? Well, it turns out that the old saying holds true; 'There's no such thing as a perpetual motion machine.' The mechanism for producing the earth's magnetic field is unknown, however, the preponderance of evidence suggests that there is a molten metallic core within the earth which courses with tremendous amounts of electrical energy. The amperage of this current is what may produce the magnetic field. Because of the second law of thermodynamics which demands that any system which turns to itself for energy will ultimately come to the point of zero work available, we know that this electrical current cannot continue to operate indefinitely. This is exactly what the recorded data demonstrates. It has been shown that the decay rate of the earth's magnetic field is constant and consistent with predictions made by computer models of a planet with a molten metallic core with electrical current flowing through it. It turns out that the decay rate has been determined to be ½ every 7,000 years. This means that every 7,000 years the earth's magnetic field is half as strong as it was. Using this figure and extrapolating back we find that only 8,000 years ago the earth's magnetic field would have been that of a magnetic star, while a million years ago the magnetic field would have been impossibly high! If the magnetic field is indeed the result of electrical currents, then 22,000 years ago the heat generated by such currents would have dissolved the earth.
What is the standard evolutionist response to this evidence? Something like this; "Well, the earth's magnetic field is collapsing now, but sometime in the past, by a process as yet undiscovered, it was maintained..." or some such other nonscientific statements of speculation.
2. Meteoritic dust
The earth is like a giant vacuum cleaner in space. I know it sounds funny but it is true. Measurements of the atmosphere demonstrate that every moment the earth is being showered by tiny dust particles encountered along it's path in orbit around the sun. These tiny particles are known as meteoritic dust. Scientists disagree about the exact amount but it is accepted that thousands and perhaps millions of tons of dust settle upon the earth each year. If this has been going on for 4.5 billion years, there should be vast deposits of meteoritic dust found all over the earth. But there are none to be found. If we examine the ocean floors we find very thin layers of meteoritic dust. If we examine the amount of nickel (Nickel is the prominent component of meteoritic dust) found in the worlds ocean and extrapolate back using the conservative estimate of dust accumulation, we find that the accumulation would only take several thousand years.
What might the evolutionist say to this; "Well you see, never mind what you see happening today, because for the first 4.5 billion years the earth didn't collect meteoritic dust. This is a new phenomena... " Yea right!
3. Atmospheric helium
Remember when we talked about the breakdown of uranium earlier? Well, one of the products produced during the decay is helium - the gas that makes balloons float. Measurements show that every day there are tremendous amounts of virgin helium released into the atmosphere because of the breakdown of uranium ore worldwide. If you take today's present level of helium production and use that figure to extrapolate the total world reserve of helium you would come up with a mere twenty-six million years. This is nowhere near long enough for the evolutionists model. It should also be remembered that this figure was reached assuming that there was zero helium in the atmosphere to begin with, of which there is no proof. Some scientists suggest that the reason for this apparent discrepancy is that the helium is somehow able to overcome the earth's gravity and escape out into space. However, this defies known laws of physics and all tests conducted to date by NASA have not shown helium escaping from the atmosphere. Some scientists might say "Well, there is a process which we don't know about yet that removes the helium." However, we must remind them of the ground rule "We must agree to limit acceptable remarks to valid and rational statements of facts only."
4. Salt in the sea
Have you ever wondered why the sea is salty? The creation model would propose that God created the sea with the correct amount of salt to support the marine life He designed to live there. The evolutionist model contends that the present condition of the earth's oceans is the culmination of eons of naturally occurring processes. What does the observable evidence suggest.?
As it turns out, we now know that salt (as well as many other minerals) is continually being washed into the sea through rivers and streams. The water cycle describes how water vapor evaporated from the oceans condenses and falls through the process of precipitation onto the continents where it collects and eventually travels back to the sea through rivers and streams. On it's way, the water dissolves many minerals and carries them in a suspended form along it's journey. Among these minerals is sodium, otherwise known as salt. The sodium is brought from the mountains and plains into the rivers and is deposited in the sea in great quantities every day. When the water evaporates from the surface of the ocean, it leaves behind all the chemicals and minerals that were suspended in it. This process is known as distillation. Therefore, the concentration of minerals in the earth's oceans is becoming greater and greater all the time. There is no known natural process which removes these minerals and places them back in the mountains and plains.
As you can see, this provides us with a handy tool for measuring the age of the earth. Scientist can measure that the oceans are becoming saltier every year. The amount of increase can then be extrapolated back to find the point where the process began. Using the collected data from careful water analysis studies conducted worldwide, we find that 200 million years ago the worlds oceans would have contained no salt. Although this number is greater than the 6 to 10 thousand year expectation of the creation model it is far short of the 4.5 billion year expectation of the evolutionist model.
Now what would evolutionists say? How about this from the Berkeley University web site: "The Silurian Period (440 to 410 million years ago) was a time when Coral reefs made their first appearance and was also a remarkable time in the evolution of marine fishes." Hmm. Perhaps we should ask them how marine creatures survived for so long without salt?
It is clear from these few lines of investigation that there are significant evidences for a much younger earth than the orthodox view of physical science contends. When it is realized that the evolutionist model depends on the assumption that natural processes have always been constant in the past and other imponderable assumptions about earth's original state, the creation model emerges as the far superior explanation of the observable evidence. This realization leads naturally to the conclusion that if the creation model is true, then there must be a Creator. By removing the barrier of untruth built up by humanistic teachings, the student is now in a much better position to hear the Gospel message; that he can know this Creator God in a personal way. This is why the honest truth seeker searching for understanding on origins so often finds his way to the cross.
Thank God for giving us such a powerful tool to tear down the walls of false reasoning so deftly constructed by the enemy. Origins truth cannot save a person, it cannot lead one to salvation. However, it is quite effective in dispelling the lie of evolution. Evolution is a ghastly fraud that has ed the minds of men and led to untold misery and human suffering. To dispel this myth, God has provided the simple truths found all around us (1 Cor. 1:27) "...But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; KJV)
Pray for the people He allows you to share with and watch as His Spirit draws them to repentance (2 Tim. 2:25 "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God perhaps will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; KJV). Your life will never be the same!
When you finish telling them about origins, why not ask them this:
We encourage you to study further this exciting field of scientific inquiry. We have many resources available for you here. Please visit our resource page or our education page and discover for yourself the tremendous knowledge base available for you there.