The two sides of the coin

Two sides of the coinGuy P Harrison wrote a book, ’50 Simple Questions for every christian.

We respect his attitude. His basic civility is demonstrated by the following quotes:

  • This book is not an attack on Christian people.
  • My goal is to help Christians gain a better understanding of why, after two thousand years, the majority of the world is still unconvinced by the basic claims of their religion.’ 2
  • This book presents a skeptics perspective, the view many Christians never hear.’ 3
  • Those looking for a cliched or cartoonish angry atheist attack on crazy Christians will have to keep looking, because they won’t find it here. While I pull no punches in explaining many of the reasons why I and so many others remain unconvinced of Christianity’s claims, I have no interest in scoring debate points or attempting to make myself feel intellectually superior to anyone.4

Despite his good attitude, make no mistake about his intention.  It is to make atheists, to convert Bible believers into Bible doubters. He considers faith in the Bible as irrational, illogical and unscientific.

Our research into the Bible and God’s Plan for man lead us to exactly the opposite conclusion. So we present the other side of the coin. To us the Bible is rational, logical and scientific. An example of the kind of strategy that is used against the Bible, is to claim that it has thousands of errors. Seldom does the critic give the list of errors, or mention that there are other opinions.

Dick Wilson studied especially the Old Testament, and knew at least 25 ancient languages and dialects.  He concluded,

  • I have made it an invariable habit never to accept an objection to a statement of the Old Testament without subjecting it to a most thorough investigation, linguistically and factually.’ 5 
  • In my conclusion, let me reiterate my conviction that no one knows enough to show that the true text of the Old Testament in its true interpretation is not true.’ 6

We are skeptical of the opinions of skeptics who say they are rational, logical and scientific when they criticise the Bible. We have found that the Bible is a logical, understandable book with a magnificent message, and it has no reason to hide its face in the sand when it comes to science.

References

  1. Guy P Harrison, Prometheus Books, 2013, location 110 of 5739, e book.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid, location 116 of 5739.
  4. Ibid, location 130 of 5739.
  5. R D Wilson, A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament, Moody Press, Chicago, 1959, p 20.
  6. Ibid, p 13.

Jerry Coyne and biology

Jerry Coyne and biologySam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation, said in the praise section of Coyne’s book on evolution,

An indispensable book: the single, accessible volume that makes the case for evolution. Jerry Coyne has given us an utterly fascinating, lucid and beautifully written account of our place in the natural world. If you want to better understand your kinship with the rest of life, this book is the place to start.’

Christopher Hitchens wrote,

“Its ignorant opponents like to say that the process of evolution by natural selection is ‘only a theory.’ (That’s how they prove their ignorance). Jerry Coyne shows with elegance and rigour that it is hypothesis that meets and withstands all tests, and strengthens itself as a theory thereby. One could almost say that it had the distinct merit of being true.”

In his introduction, Coyne wrote,

Among the wonders that science has uncovered about the universe in which we dwell, no subject has caused more fascination and fury than evolution…..It shows us our place in the whole splendid and extraordinary panoply of life. It unites us with every living thing on the Earth today and with myriads of creature long dead. Evolution gives us the true account of our origins, replacing the myths that satisfied us for thousands of years. Some find this deeply frightening, others ineffably thrilling.’ 1 We can safely assume  that the ‘myths‘ he refers to is the Bible. He might be referring to other accounts of creation also, but we are not discussing them, for reasons we will explain later.

The problem is whether he correctly defines Darwinian evolution, which is:

The general theory of evolution is the theory that all living forms in the world would have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic [non-living] form,’ 2

We know it as the ‘molecules to man’ idea of evolution. Has Coyne proved that is true in his book? Has he proved how first life began and how all life evolved on the earth? Has he proved that the genetic code, the DNA, evolved? Did he give prominence to the origin of the cell, since it is the basic building block of living organisms? No, he does not give much attention to those things in his book.

What we want to know is if there is any scientific evidence for the origin of life on earth, or for the millions of species, any compelling reason to trash the Bible’s account of supernatural creation?

We want ‘hard facts,’ not general statements. Coyne believes that the changes in the beak size of finches on the Galapagos is evidence of evolutionary change, but that doesn’t accord with Kerkut’s definition of evolution.3 Does Coyne tell the public that he uses the word ‘evolution’ in different ways?

These are some of the things we want to discuss in this big issue of the ‘myth,’ the Bible, versus the ‘science’ of evolution.

References

Jerry A Coyne, Why Evolution is True, Oxford University Press, 2010, paperback issue, p xvi.

G A Kerkut, Implications of Evolution, Oxford, UK, Pergamon, 1960, p 157, cited by J Sarfati, Refuting Evolution 2, Master Books, 2002, p 55.

Reference 1, p 145.