A staple of anti Evolutionary Creation articles is pointing out the complexity of some detail in creation. This is a bemusing argument from creationists which misses the point. Boiled down the proposition is ‘I don’t know how something so complex could have evolved therefore God must have made it in 6 days’. Continue reading
Young earth creationists claim, with no thought whatsoever, that the entire world was flooded approximately 4000 years ago, and that our present society arose since that time. This idea is based upon two very mistaken ideas. The first is that humans are infinitely inventive, and the second is that a small number of people can bring a world of technology with them. This essay will dispute that notion.
For a small while, I was essentially the research department for a company. I was told, in effect, go in that room and think deep thoughts. The idea was that I was not to be bothered by day to day activities so I could think. I got no phone calls, was asked to no meetings and consequently, I thought of no new ideas. There was no stimulus. It was boring. I quickly begged my way out of that job. The lesson here is that technology and invention requires intellectual stimulations.
You can see this same phenomenon with the Tasmanians. The Tasmanians were Australian aborigines at the time that the seas rose and cut them off form Australia 8,000 years ago. The small island could really support only about 4000 hunter-gatherers. So these 4000 people were isolated for 8,000 years. Josephine Flood said:
“No other surviving human society has ever been isolated so long or so completely as were Tasmanian Aborigines over the last 8000 years. (The land bridge was gradually inundated between 12000 and 8000 BP?….)” (Flood, 1989, p. 173)
What was the effect of this isolation? A decline in technology. There is an infamous article by William McGrew, an anthropologist, who compared Tasmanian technology with that of the chimpanzee. Mithen writes:
“Bill McGrew, author of the most comprehensive study of chimpanzee material culture, firmly believes that chimpanzee tool use is of considerable complexity. Indeed, in an (in)famous article written in 1987, he directly compared the toolkits of chimpanzees to those of Tasmanian Aborigines and concluded that they were at an equivalent level of complexity. For this comparison McGrew chose to measure complexity by counting ‘technounits’, which is simply an individual component of a tool, whatever material that component is made from and however it is used. So a hoe used by, say, a peasant farmer, comprising a shaft, a blade and a binding, has three technounits, while the suite of computerized robots operated by a modern car worker has perhaps three million technounits.
“When McGrew measured the technounits in the tools of the Tasmanian Aborigines and those of the Tanzanian chimpanzees he found that the mean number of technounits per tool was not substantially different. All chimpanzee tools and most of the Aboriginal tools were made from a single component. The most complex Aboriginal tool, a baited hide, had only four technounits.”(Mithens, 1996, p. 75)
Did the Tasmanians start out this way when the waters rose? No.
“Bone tools were also present at Rocky cape. Seven thousand years ago people here were using a considerable number and variety of bone artefacts: large, rounded tipped points or awls made from macropod shin bones, small, sharp needle-like points (without an eye), broad spatulae, and an assortment of split slivers of bone fashioned ot a point at one end. The people were using one bone tool to every two or three stone ones.
“A remarkable change took place over the next four thousand years: bone tools dropped out of use. By 4000 years ago only one bone tool was being used for every fifteen stone ones, and by 3500 years ago they had disappeared from the Tasmanian toolkit altogether. This disappearance of bone tools in Tasmania about 3000 years ago has been confirmed by the evidence of several other sites in both the north-west and east of the island.” (Flood, 1989, p. 176-177)
Does the claim ‘archaeology prove the bible true’ have merit? Well yes and no. Why the equivocation? Because often those who make the claim ‘archaeology proves the bible true’ fail to distinguish between their understanding of the bible and what the bible says. They might as well say ‘archaeology proves my understanding is true’. Archaeology categorically undermines the creationist claims about the bible. The writers of this blog don’t question the inspiration of the bible. But we certainly reject the exaltation of one reading of the bible to be as certain as scripture itself. Continue reading
The ACBM website as at 25 October 2017 states there are 18 members of the Taipei ecclesia. The ACBM annual report for 2017 reports there are 10. This ecclesia, as suggested by the ACBM information, was not long ago a self-sufficient meeting holding both memorial meetings and study classes. Today there are three sisters, occasionally 4, sometimes 2, clustered around a Skype call listening to an exhort from South Australia. Continue reading
“Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.” James 1:15 NET
James describes from verse 14 onwards that we are personally responsible for our sins. While God might try us, His objective is not to see us fail. We are tempted and fail due to our own lusts – and the inability to control them. When our lusts go too far, when we do not control them they lead to sin. James says this then leads to death.
The Lampstand Magazine and many conservative Christadelphians insist on a reading of Romans 5:12 that replaces the word death with mortality (claiming the words are equivalent). Clearly such an approach is nonsense – the word mortal cannot fit in James 1.
Furthermore the passage simply shows that death can be used as the fate of the wicked. All humans sin but some will never die 1 Cor 15:51. James is not talking about the forgiven saints whose death is elsewhere styled sleep. They do not die because of sin. It is those who allow sin to reign in their mortal bodies who will reap the reward of death. For those saved by grace it is an altogether happier story as Paul says:
“we were dead in transgressions, [but God has] made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved.” Eph 2:5 NET
Bro CC Walker, editor of the Christadelphian Magazine after Robert Roberts, Wrote a series of articles in the magazine in 1910. Commenting on Genesis 1 he observed the evidence did not support a young earth and strangely there was no evidence of the cessation and restart of life 6,000 years ago which is what a literal reading of Genesis 1 requires. He reminds us that Genesis 1 is not teaching us science and our interpretation of it could be adjusted by further scientific discoveries. Walker was no fan of evolution but would be shunned by creationists today. Continue reading