In May 2009, a media blitz accompanied the release of a scientific paper describing a fossil dubbed “Ida” (Scientific name: Darwinius masillae – in honor of Charles Darwin) and claiming the Missing Link has finally been found.
The research team may have used the “Missing Link” phrase to promote a documentary on the History Channel and a book; both titled “The Link.” See the following quotes and links for additional information about this, apparently, pre-mature claim:
“On the whole I think the evidence is less than convincing,” said Chris Gilbert, a paleoanthropologist at Yale University. “They make an intriguing argument but I would definitely say that the consensus is not in favor of the hypothesis they’re proposing.” . . .
“The PR campaign on this fossil is I think more of a story than the fossil itself,” said anthropologist Matt Cartmill of Duke University in North Carolina. “It’s a very beautiful fossil, but I didn’t see anything in this paper that told me anything decisive that was new.”
Most experts agree that the find is significant, if only for its impressive degree of completeness, but some were put off by the bells and whistles that went along with the publicity campaign around Ida. . . .
“It’s not a missing link, it’s not even a terribly close relative to monkeys, apes and humans, which is the point they’re trying to make,” [Carnegie Museum of Natural History curator of vertebrate paleontology Chris] Beard said.
Amid Media Circus, Scientists Doubt ‘Ida’ Is Your Ancestor
Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience, May 20, 2009
Cliffe Knechtle and Dr. Michael Newdow debate one of life’s fundamental questions “Is there a God”? This show was taped on February 24, 2003 at the University of Arizona. The debate focused on evidence for and against the existence of God and is the second debate on this topic between Cliffe Knechtle and Dr. Newdow.
Note: This article is loosly based on Josh McDowell’s book “More Than a Carpenter.” I highly recommend this short book if you want powerful evidence supporting what Jesus claims in the New Testament.
He claimed to be God
Did Buddha, Muhammad, or Confucius claim to be God? No.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:61-62
When asked if Jesus ever existed, most will say yes but qualify the answer with something like, “I believe he was just a great moral teacher.” But why were the Jews (not the Romans, by-the-way) so determined to kill him? The Jews, assisted by the Romans, did eventually kill Him by crucifixion. So, why would the Jews want to kill a good moral teacher? It’s because of his claims of deity! Consider these additional verses:
The soundtrack on this video is VERY technical and will likely not make sense unless you are a microbiologist (or something related). However, you don’t need to understand what the narrator is saying to perceive the incredible complexity being portrayed. This reminds me of Psalm 139:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139
Watch Video (1)
1) Inner Life of the Cell animation conception and scientific content by Alain Viel and Robert A. Lue.
Animation by John Liebler/XVIVO.
On this website, under the “My World View” link, I use the Apostles’ Creed as a succinct statement of what I believe. I was recently asked about the statement “He descended into Hell.” Did Jesus really descend into Hell? All I could say was, “I think so, but I’ve never studied this in depth; I’ll have to get back with you with a more informed response.” The following essay captures what I’ve learned after some recent study.
The phrase “He descended into Hell” does not occur in the Bible, however, it is commonly found in the Apostles’ Creed. The Apostles’ Creed was defined over a long period of time from about A.D 200 – 750. The phase in question has been added and dropped a few times over the years and is now found in most, if not all, versions of the Creed. For example, it can be found in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
The phrase remains somewhat controversial based on what I’ve read. For example, there are many websites containing very detailed studies of this topic that conclude Jesus did indeed descend into Hell after he died. On the other hand, I have a book titled “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem that has a Chapter 27, Section C.2.f “Did Christ Descend Into Hell? that concludes “Concerning the doctrinal question of whether Christ did descend into hell after he died, the answer from several passages of Scripture seems clearly to be no.”
With that said, here are the notes I’ve captured on the topic and my conclusion.
Can Random Genetic Mutations provide Natural Selection the Raw Material it Requires to Create New Species?
Darwin Starts with a Populated Environment
Darwin’s theory of Decent with Modification through Natural Selection does not address how life began. Darwin’s theory attempts to explain how, over time, some members of a well marked species may begin to diverge in organic structure, habits, etc. into incipient (or emergent) species and eventually into an entirely new species. Darwin’s studies, observations, and postulations begin with an environment already significantly populated with organisms. For instance, in The Origin of Species chapter on the Struggle for Existence, the struggle is against numerous other competing species and is a central component to Darwin’s theory on Natural Selection.
Darwin states in The Origin of Species, Instinct chapter:
“I must premise, that I have nothing to do with the origin of the primary mental powers, any more than I have with that of life itself (1).”
Darwin’s definition of Natural Selection
Darwin states, in The Origin of Species:
“Can it, then, be thought improbable, seeing that variations useful to man [under domestic breeding] have undoubtedly occurred, that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle for life, should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of generations? If such do occur, can we doubt that individuals having any advantage, however slight, over others, would have the best chance for surviving and of procreating their kind? On the other hand, we may feel sure that any variation in the least degree injurious would be rigidly destroyed. This preservation of favorable variations and the rejection of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection.” (1)
I must briefly comment on The History Channel’s recently aired two hour program titled “How Life Began.” I watched it, curious to find out what the latest thinking is regarding this subject. The show should have been titled “How DID Life Begin?” Throughout the program, we were taken through a Life Factory that can create living cells. In one segment, the “goop” destined to become a living cell, disappeared behind a curtain and the narrator said something like, “We don’t really know what happens behind that curtain, but somehow a living cell emerges.” The rest of the program (most of it) was a case study in Evolution. The program was full of speculative explanations for how life began and has “evolved” into the diversity we see today in the world around us. It made the case that everything has been figured out except for a few nagging details and none of the many difficulties with the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution were discussed. In summary, there’s nothing new here. Click HERE for a more thorough review of the program.
Now, for the good stuff. I’ve been doing a lot of research on DNA, gene theory, etc. and find the topic fascinating. The complexity of DNA, coding and manufacturing mechanisms is astoundingly complex.
La. Governor Signs ‘Science Education Act’
By Alexander J. Sheffrin
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jun. 30 2008 03:58 PM EDT
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law last week a measure that would grant teachers and students the freedom to challenge and examine critically the tenets of Darwinism in the classroom.
The so called “Science Education Act,” the latest in a series of academic freedom bills that have swept across as many as six states, cruised through the state legislature with unanimous levels of approval.
Lawmakers said that the new law will help bring an end to allegations that teachers and students who share views contradicting or challenging the tenets of Darwinism in the classroom are marginalized, discriminated, or ostracized.
The law will also help to supply teachers with supplementary textbooks that will give greater freedom in the classroom to analyze and critique existing scientific theories concerning evolution.
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Evolution is starting to lose ground within the public education system as more and more evidence from the study of the human genome is revealed that debunks the primary axiom of the Neo Darwinian Theory (NDT): Man is the product of random mutation and natural selection. As it turns out, random genetic mutation cannot be the mechanism that provides the phenotype variation required by NDT.
BATON ROUGE, La. — Arguments over science and religion have resumed at the state Capitol with a House panel approving a bill to let public school teachers offer alternatives to evolutionary theory and a Senate committee voting to ban government funding for what is often called “therapeutic cloning.”
Proponents said the bill approved Wednesday by the House Education Committee would promote “critical analysis” of scientific issues including cloning, evolution and global warming. Opponents said it is an attempt to inject religion into science classes.
The other bill, approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, would outlaw government funding for therapeutic cloning – the asexual creation of an early stage human embryo for the harvesting of stem cells that scientists hope could be used to cure disease. Opponents said the process destroys human life.