Part Three Baby!!
This is a followup to my last post, in which I looked at the twenty reasons to Reject theistic evolution by Ken Ham and a rebuttal to them provided by "Answers in Creation" and add my own commentary. By the way, I am going to frequently just use the paraphrases that AiC uses (to save space), although I am checking the original AiG article to make sure AiC did not caricature or distort Ham's position.
8. God is Good. Quote from original article:
"God pronounced of His creation that 'it was very good.'... Now think about the methods of evolution: elimination of the weak, survival of the fittest, death and struggle in an evolutionary progression, elimination of the unfit, and so on. Would God have used this method in bringing all life into being and then describe it as good?
"Young earth creationists will agree with me that the laws of nature have been instituted by God. According to these laws, God put in place a system of renewal, including death and decay. He created this specifically so that the world would last. If He created a world without death and decay, it would soon be overrun by the organisms that He created. The beauty of the system He created awes scientists and lay people alike each day. Based on the multiplication rate of some bacterial organism, this would only take a few days, unless there was some method of curbing that growth."
It is shocking to me that creationists have the nerve to say, "Well if God did it this way he must be a monster", but at the same time, how often do you hear, "The Lord works in mysterious ways" or "Who is man to judge God?" This is shameful inconsistency.
Personally I don't find this argument convincing, because most of the organisms who have lived on earth (bacteria, plants, fish, etc. most likely do not (and did not) have consciousness. I do find it odd, though, that the Native Americans did not (apparently) know about Jehovah until Europeans taught them. Isn't it shocking that God let generations and generations live and die without knowing the truth? Why not share it with them?
One more thing: The theistic evolutionist's answer makes little sense. Why install death as part of natural law? Couldn't he simply have made nonreproducing organisms eternal?
9. "Many claim that Genesis is only symbolic—a kind of analogy... However, if applying this idea—that Genesis is only symbolic—then one has to ask the question, 'Where do we learn that God is Creator?' We can, of course, go to Genesis 1:1 which says, 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.' But if Genesis is only symbolic, to be consistent we would have to question whether the words 'God created' are also symbolic. We would have to ask what this really means."
I am skipping the AiC rebuttal: Many christians interpret Genesis as a story with the point that nothing comes except by the will of God. I think this argument was mainly a "filler" to get the number of arguments against T.E. up to a nice even twenty.
10. Quote "Christ died on a cross because of sin and death and the necessary shedding of blood for the remission of sins. The origin and basis of this is in the Book of Genesis. We wear clothing because God gave clothes because of sin. We read this in the Book of Genesis. To understand Christian doctrine we must understand the foundations of doctrine given in the Book of Genesis. If Genesis cannot be taken literally, there is no foundation for Christian doctrine—therefore, Christian doctrine no longer has meaning."
(One Paragraph later):
"There are other instances where Jesus quoted from, or referred to, and thus accepted Genesis. For example, Matthew 24:37–39: 'But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.'"
Once again, this argument seems weak to me, and I believe it is probably another "filler". I think Christians might be able to see the story of Noah as literally true, except that the entire world was not covered in water. They have some fine arguments to support this, for instance here.
Stay tuned for the next installment. And by the way, I need to state that I do not agree with theistic evolutionists that the Bible is correct. I am not on a crusade to unite science and religion, nor to make it okay for Christians to accept evolution (I care very little whether they can or can not, and don't have any interest in telling them so in order to stop the textbook wars). I genuinely do not see these arguments as fatal to the TE position. On the other hand, my last post ecieved a comment which does seem to pose a problem for TE.