This post will be in response to Michael's latest post which can be found here. I will respond in bold type throughout his post and reference Michael's responses in regular font.
Michael said: "The first and foremost thing I would like to point out is Jason's continuation of everything is based on assumptions, and yet claims that God created the universe and " only the Christian can provide a rational explanation for the presuppositions..."
Michael, that is exactly what I am claiming, only the Judeo-Christian God and view of the universe can provide a rational explanation for the presuppositions we assume to be true. You seem to be in agreement with me here in part. You seem to imply that this view is valid but you disagree that it is solely Christian in nature.
...Jason, when I said that we are not looking at the same evidence, I meant it. Here is why: Creationists pretend that certain evidence does not exist...
Can you give me one particular example of a creation scientist pretending certain evidence does not exist?
...which is evident when the willfully distort the facts...
Without an example of willful distortion of the facts, you’re just throwing sand.
...we present while they rely on propaganda...
Please give me an example of propaganda.
...You claim we are looking at the same evidence, when why do creationists distort the definitions, ignore it and repeatably state they do not exist, or flat out deny it...
Please give me an example of these distortions and denials, it’s hard to respond to empty claims.
...I have evidence of such behavior, even a federal judge pointed this out...
Should I just take your word for it or can you give an example to support this claim?
No matter what, creationists will not admit that anything we ever find can fulfill Darwin's theory. They further try to distort what he theory actually explains, example, by repeatably claiming it is a random process. You, Jason, yourself said it was.
Are you saying evolution is not random? Let me ask you a question: If evolution started over today from square-one would we wind up exactly where we are today given enough time? Would we have all the exact same species as we have living today? If not, then it is random. Evolution relies on mutations, which are random, they are not orderly, that is why they call them mutations. Can you predict when a mutation will occur and what a mutation will do when it occurs? If not, then it is random.
...This is why creationists demand only monstrous absurdities...
Can you give me an example of the "monstrous absurdities" creationists demand?
...or issue challenges they know still couldn’t be satisfied no matter how true evolution may be...
Do you have an example of such a challenge?
...because they know already that whatever they insist on seeing today we may show them tomorrow, and if that happens, they’ll have to make up new excuses for why it still doesn’t count...
Michael, you are just throwing more sand without any logical reasoning or examples to support your claims.
So they won’t request to see anything evolution actually requires, and they usually won’t define any criteria they would accept either, because they already know they won’t accept anything even if we show them everything they ever ask for. Even when I asked you Jason to define "kinds" and "information" you skipped it.
I specifically stated I would answer it in a later post, because I wanted to focus on presuppositions. The definition of "kind" in biblical terms is primarily defined by the capability for a specific animal to reproduce. Originally, before the Fall, the created "kinds" were definied by reproductive ability. Today, after thousands of years of genetic mutations from the Curse, these lines may have been slightly blurred but are basically the same. For land animals and birds, the created kind most often corresponds to the conventional classification rank called “family". For example, there is evidence that the camel, horse, cat, dog, penguin, and iguana families are each a created kind. Most likely, the coyote, wolf, jackal, and dog would be in the same kind, along with the fox. The lion and house cat would be in another kind, and the llama and camel in yet another kind. Today these species (i.e., llama and camel) look amazingly different, but they seem to have been generated after the Flood from information already present within their parent kind. Lions, coyotes, and dromedary camels were probably not on the Ark but were born to parents within the cat, dog, and camel kinds.
"...Bible as your starting point to understand the world around us, you find that it is perfectly consistent with our experience and with reality" not quite, since we have no proof of any supernatural beings...
"...When addressing assumptions and presuppositions, which you imply that science is based on, shows me you do not quite understand science. It is a method that removes assumptions, as I described. The difference between science and creationists is that creationists are the only ones with a presupposition. They openly make this clear..."
Michael, are you claiming that scientists have no presuppositions at all? Did you read any of the paragraphs I wrote about scientific presuppositions? Here is a summary of what science presupposes in order to do science: 1) that his or her senses are reliable, 2) that light travels in an orderly way, 3) that the universe continually behaves in an orderly, logical way, otherwise, what good would any experiment be if the universe did not behave in a consistent, logical fashion? 4) There is also induction, which is a fundamental presupposition of science. Please logically show me how science has no presuppositions if that’s what you claim. Just saying the words “science presupposes nothing” does not prove anything.
...When I pointed out that creationists look for evidence to fit their particular views, you ignored that one too...
Michael, it’s hard to respond to sweeping generalizations without giving me an example to respond to.
...You also claim that the Bible is consistent and God makes the past consistent with the future. Again, this is based just on assumptions, but also incorrect since the Bible, as I explained is not consistent...
You have never made a case for the Bible being inconsistent. It is intricately consistent from Genesis to Revelation, actually.
...Future events cause changes in the Bible, such as the last verses of Mark (which I pointed out at the Promenade, but you curiously were quick to put the bible away and move on to a separate subject).
I agree, there is dispute over Mark 16:9-20 and whether or not it should be included in the New Testament. It is found in many old manuscripts but is omitted in two of the earliest complete copies of the Bible known as the Vaticanus (350 AD) and Sinaiticus (375 AD). However, even if we removed those 12 verses from the Bible, it would in no way change the Bible’s message about sin, righteousness, judgment, salvation, etc., so it is really a mute point. The fact that this is an open fact and even mentioned in the Bible when you read it, shows that there is nothing trying to be hidden.
You might not think there is proof of supernatural beings, but I undoubtedly do. And you don't need proof, God has already given us all the proof we need. Romans 1 says: "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1:20-23.
1. the Messiah's ancestry, that He’d be born of the seed of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, 22:18)
2. of the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10)
3. of the house of David (2 Samuel 7:12f), etc.
4. The city in which He would be born (Micah 5:2),
5. that He’d come while the temple was still standing (Malachi 3:1),
6. that He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14),
7. that He would perform miracles (Isaiah 35:5-6),
8. that He’d be rejected by His own people (Psalm 118:22; 1 Peter 2:7),
9. the precise time in history when He would die (Daniel 9:24-26; 483 years after the declaration to reconstruct the city of Jerusalem in 444 B.C. This was fulfilled to the very year.),
10. how He would die (Psalm 22:16-18, Isaiah 53; Zech 12:10),
11. that He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27-32),
12. and there are many more. All of these prophecies and hundreds of others have been literally fulfilled.
We have 25,000+ archaeological discoveries to support the people, places, customs and cultures mentioned in the Bible to give us confidence that it is a historically accurate book.
We have the amazing internal consistency of the Bible, a book written by 40 different authors from 3 different continents speaking 3 different languages over a period of 1600 years that is absolutely consistent from Genesis to Revelation. No human effort could produce that sort of consistency especially on subjects as controversial as heaven, hell, God, the meaning of life, morality, etc.
Furthermore, there are several instances of scientific foreknowledge in the Bible that preceeded the understanding of its time by more than 2000 years in some instances. This further points to the Bible's Divine Authorship.
For further evidence of the Bible's Supernatural origin and trustworthiness, please see the link here.
Michael, the Bible makes it clear that this is not an intellectual issue. The Bible makes it clear that God will give you over to a depraved mind if you do not repent of your sin and continue to refuse to believe in God and choose to willfully deny His existence and the forgiveness provided to you through Jesus Christ. Romans 1:28-32 says, "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."
For God to give someone over to a depraved mind is a very scary place to be and hopefully something that you seriously consider. That is not a place I want you to be. I can provide you with evidence, arguments and reasons to believe in Jesus Christ but ultimately you won't ever believe in God or the Bible unless God, in his mercy, opens your eyes and mind to come to that place of belief. The Bible says that "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble", so my greatest encouragement to you would be to humbly come before God and ask Him to show you His truth. Confess your sins to Him, ask Him to save you from hell and put your trust in Jesus Christ's death on the cross as payment for the sins you have committed against God. When you do this, God will grant you everlasting life and begin to open your mind to the truth in His Word.
I hope and pray you take the time to consider the things I wrote in this response and don't just respond with empty arguments and criticisms. Why don't we spend some time focusing on Jesus Christ, the Bible, or God, since those are the things that really matter anyways.
I hope to hear from you soon.