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RE: TKACHUCK: BEYOND DESIGN (Origins 7:4-5)
The editorial, “Beyond Design,” leaves me with a mixed bag of agreements and disagreements, plus a vague feeling that I am being talked down to. There are, without question, faults and weaknesses in the approaches and publications of every one of the creationist organizations. None of us has a monopoly on truth, competence or wisdom. Although I do not agree with all positions adopted by those associated with GRI, I greatly appreciate their general policy of careful research and moderation in interpretation and speculation. I think we need to be careful about labeling others and that we should be always ready to acknowledge what is valid and valuable in the work of each individual and organization.
Now let me interact with several statements. Why should Christians not relate creationism with Christianity and faith statements about Christ? I am a creationist, first of all, because I am a Christian and Jesus Christ, therefore, is Lord for me in everything, including science. I did not become a creationist by the power of my intellect perceiving that the evidence sustains biblical creation. It was the other way around for me. Others have been led to Christ through the evidence for creation, and the Holy Spirit in their cases used this information as one of the means of conversion.
On the other hand I agree that it is a serious fault of attitude to accuse all evolutionist scientists of dishonesty with data and conscious enmity toward God and good. Nevertheless, the Scriptures make it clear that every attribute and power of man is corrupted by the fall, including his intellect. Thus, evolutionists are captive to their philosophical presuppositions, i.e., to their faith or faiths, and these suppositions strongly influence their interpretations of the data of science. Christian creationists function with similar influence from their faith presuppositions. It is hoped that scientists of all philosophical persuasions will freely submit both their data and their conclusions to critical evaluation by their peers. This is only proper science. One of our chief complaints in the public school teaching of origins theories is that the evolutionists and the State insist on protecting evolutionary theories, interpretations, and speculations from criticism. This can only be classified as poor science education.
Again with respect to connecting creation to Christ, to my knowledge only the biblical revelation posits creation of space-time-matter-energy by an infinite-eternal-personal Spirit. And the Hebrew Scriptures clearly identify this One as Messiah. It is quite proper for Christians to tie creation to Christ. At the same time it should be remembered that different creationist publications are often produced with different audiences or markets in view. A book aimed at strengthening the faith of believers will probably be more explicitly theological than one aimed at altering the mind-set of science-oriented unbelievers. But in the final analysis, no theory or model of origins is devoid of theological or anti-theological content. In this respect creation and evolution are equally religious, even as they are equally non-scientific because of their essential non-falsifiable character.
The editor’s remarks relative to the argument from design remind me of the stock “God-of-the-gaps” argument against God and creation. Supposedly God becomes progressively less necessary as science fills the gaps in its knowledge of nature. But as I see it, the more science reveals about the natural world, the more evidence the Christian has for creation. The editor seems to imply that scientific knowledge of design and function affords logical reason for concluding that there is no Designer. Michael Polanyi refuted this view by showing that all machine or machine-like design in either inanimate or animate objects “constitutes a boundary condition, which as such transcends the laws of physics and chemistry.” He went on to say, “It may seem unbelievable, but it is yet a fact, that for 300 years writers who contested the possibility of explaining life by physics and chemistry argued by affirming that living things are not, or not wholly, machine-like, instead of pointing out that the mere existence of machine-like functions in living beings proves that life cannot be explained in terms of physics and chemistry” (M. Polanyi. 1967. Life transcending physics and chemistry. Chemical and Engineering News, 21 August, p 64, 65).
It is both logical and scientifically valid, we contend, to believe that until evolutionists actually demonstrate spontaneous chemical-physical origin of the designs seen in living things, all new discoveries by science of design in biology support the concept of intelligent, purposeful design, i.e., special creation.
Robert E. Kofahl
Science Coordinator Creation-Science Research Center San Diego, California
Thanks for another excellent issue of ORIGINS. I certainly appreciate the fact that your journal specializes in field and laboratory research papers.
George F. Howe
Creation Research Society
RE: HASEL: GENESIS 5 AND 11: CHRONOGENEALOGIES IN THE BIBLICAL HISTORY OF BEGINNINGS (Origins 7:23-37)
I read through the article in vain for the data advertised by its abstract, q.v., “in an attempt to synchronize discrepancies in the geological and archaeological literature with the genealogies of Genesis, some have postulated the accounts in Genesis 5 and 11 to be taken only as lineage statements. The author presents data to challenge this view.”
What Hasel does do (after noting the nature and function of these genealogies) is to review the well-known data that makes it difficult to claim priority for the longer patriarchal ages of the LXX over against the shorter patriarchal ages of the MT. That is the author’s contribution which should have been highlighted in the abstract.
Lawrence T. Geraty
Professor, Archaeology & History of Antiquity Andrews University