Category Archives: Science & scripture

A climate of denial

Student protests in Australia over climate change have been in the news of late.  It makes sense that informed younger folk would be outraged by government inaction on climate – after all younger people will be disproportionately impacted.  Climate denial in the Christadelphian community follows a similar age pattern.  The blatant disregard for climate science is necessary theologically though.  Tens of thousands (and in many instances hundreds of thousands) of years of climate records fly in the face of the literalist reading of Genesis 1-3.  You can’t be an old or young earth creationist and accept climate science.  The two cannot be reconciled.  The heat on literalists will continue to grow – but much like old conservative politicians, the denial of reality is not over yet.

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Literalist creationists become non-literal when it suits them

The South Australian issued “IEAC Reaffirmation Statement” claimed that the supporting ecclesias took the Genesis creation record as “literal in all its details”.  This is simply incorrect as demonstrated by Gen 2:19-20 where Adam names every animal and bird.  The record five times tells us Adam named all/every animal and bird.  This all happened in less than one day.  Do the literalists think so?  No.  They don’t.  They adopt an inconsistent pick and mix approach to Genesis 1-3. Continue reading

Demons: A response to recent literalist claims

On 12.08.18, Neville Clark presented a lecture on the subject of demons in Scripture. The crux of his argument is that demons do not exist, and that every reference to them in Scripture is merely a well-established ancient euphemism for mental illness and/or mental disability. While Neville does make a number of valid points in his talk, he overstates the case considerably and leaves a number of crucial issues unaddressed. This paper will examine these, and present an alternative interpretation. Continue reading

Collyer: Interpretations can be wrong

“We are fully aware of many objections that have been raised by sceptics in the name of science. We respect these difficulties and we can sympathise with the unbelievers’ point islip collyerof view. It is obvious, however, that there is grave danger of misinterpretation, whether we study the ancient writings of Hebrew prophets or the book of Nature, and we entertain a rude conviction that there is in one respect at least, a humiliating resemblance between the ignorant disciple of Christ and the learned scientist. Each is inclined to place over much confidence in his interpretation where his studies have been imperfect, and each is disposed to treat with contempt matters which he has not studied at all. We may leave it an open question as to whether there are any instances of irreconcilable discord between Nature and the Bible as we’ now possess it. There can be no question, however, that in many cases the apparent contradiction is through faulty interpretation on one side or other, or both.”    Collyer, I. (1921). Vox Dei. Continue reading

An example Creationist attack

Evolutionary Creation is regularly misrepresented and condemned in our community.  Frustratingly there is limited opportunity to correct the errors or deal with the poor logic on display by creationists (certainly not from platforms and in magazines).  Following is extracts of one publicly available talk[1] with a specific example of anti EC poor logic.  The speaker agrees with the evidence EC presents of non-literal language in Scripture.  Rather than discuss a consistent approach to scripture, the speaker instead opts for an out of context attack. Continue reading

The 3 billion character tweet

[a contribution from a regular follower]

Roboam begat Abia,” says the King James version at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, and in 1 Kings 14:31 we learn that Rehoboam’s mother was Naamah the Ammonitess. This means that we are left with the intriguing possibility that the Lord Jesus was descended from Lot on account of his younger daughter’s misguided attempt to save the world.

If the earthly Jesus of Nazareth were alive today it could be confirmed by a simple test. The truth of it, or otherwise, was written inside almost every cell of his body. Our cells include a large protein molecule full of information – think of it as a three billion character tweet – which tells the story of our ancestors. For Jesus, if the technology had been available, it would have confirmed those “begats” in his genealogy and told him if he had an ancestor among the ancient Ammonites.

Three billion characters makes a big tweet! It’s about the size of three King James Bibles. But that’s how much information is used to set out the biochemical specification of a new human being. By comparing it with “tweets” from other people – and other living things, actually – a remarkably full story can be found out. This is because each person in each generation has one to two hundred non-lethal mutations, allowing the family tree to be inferred. Recently a criminal was tracked down by comparing his genetic information with a public genealogical data base, and finding his relatives. (https://theconversation.com/how-cops-used-a-public-genealog…)

For a relatively small amount of money you can have your own tweet read, if you want. There might be a chance that you too are descended from an Ammonite! A human Ammonite, that is, from the first or second millennium BC. Fossilised Ammonites are a story for another day.

Delicious dinosaurs and creationist mistakes

As more evidence comes to light the work of so called “creation scientists” trying to promote their alternative reality becomes more difficult.  One and definitely two centuries ago literal creation was the dominant paradigm but the weight of evidence – accumulating at increasing rates, makes that paradigm impossible to sustain.  Old earth creationism – as accepted by our early community – was interpretation driven by science (geology).  Even so called creation scientists make remarkable admissions occasionally about the reliability of evolutionary science and its predictions.

Continue reading