Archive for the ‘Science’ Category.

Another Rumor of the Death of Adam

Scot McKnight’s latest book which he co-authors with Dennis Venema promises to deliver a combination “left-hook, upper cut” knockout punch to demolish the traditional doctrine which teaches Adam and Eve to be historical figures.

Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture after Genetic Science (Brazos Press, 2017)
Authors: Scot McKnight and Dennis Venema. ISBN – 9781587433948

A new post in McKnight’s popular blog Jesus Creed, Adam According to Jesus” offers several reasons to reject belief in Adam and Eve to be historical figures. While I disagree with Scot McKnight’s misreading of the Bible on grounds of theological hermeneutics, I admire his honesty in going public with his rejection of orthodoxy – unlike other scholars who portray themselves as ‘progressive’ evangelicals despite rejecting several central doctrines of the Bible. Perhaps, this only confirms my suspicion that many ‘progressive’ evangelicals are really closet liberals with no guts.

But readers may echo Mark Twain and rest assure that the report of the death of Adam has been greatly exaggerated. I refer readers to two accessible critiques of McKnight-Venema: Continue reading ‘Another Rumor of the Death of Adam’ »

If Evolution – No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior

Why do atheistic evolutionists  conclude that Christianity is false? Basically, there rely on the following argument.

The Atheistic Evolutionist Argument
1) If evolution is true, there was no first, historical Adam.

2) If there was no first, historical Adam, there was no Fall.

3) If there was no Fall, the sinful condition of humanity is not an inescapable condition.

4) If the sinful condition is not an inescapable condition, moral and religious categories like ‘sin’ and ‘salvation’ are irrelevant or unnecessary, as evolution will take whatever course it takes by chance].

5) If salvation is irrelevant or unnecessary, there is no need for a Savior.

6) The heart or fundamental claim of Christianity is that it is necessary for Jesus to come as the Savior of the human race

Conclusion: If evolution is true [i.e. there was no historical Adam], then based on (5) and (6), Christianity is false.

Continue reading ‘If Evolution – No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior’ »

Toward a More Precise Definition of Evolution

Much confusion arises in the debate on Evolution and Creation because the opposing sides are working with different meanings of evolution. It would be helpful to refer to the taxonomy of evolution given by Stephen Myer & Mike Keas.

Principal Meanings of Evolution in Biology Textbooks:

1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature.
2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population.
3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms
have descended from a common ancestor.
4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited
descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random
variations or mutations.
5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended
from a single common ancestor.
6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended
from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent,
purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on ran-
dom variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection,
random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic
mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of
design in living organisms.

In my view, there seems to be evidence to support Evolution (1-4). However, the evidence for general evolution/Evolution (5) remains inconclusive, if not debatable.

Myer and Keas suggest that Evolution (6) in reality is a metaphysical theory. Continue reading ‘Toward a More Precise Definition of Evolution’ »

Relating the Bible to Science (Evolutionary Theory): Some Cautionary Notes

It is important that Christians respectfully listen to one another when they disagree on how to relate the Bible to current scientific theories. I hold the view of old earth creationism which accepts the age of the universe and the earth to be respectively, 13+ and 4.5 billion years old.  I accept that fact that interpretation of the length of the Creation day and week in Genesis 1 will remain a moot point. On the other hand, I find it hard to accept the view of the so-called young earth creationist like Ken Ham (who is pretty influential among the home-schooling Christians in Malaysia) who asserts that the earth is only 6000 years ago. Holding to young earth creationism would require an outright rejection of hundreds of technical papers on geochronology published in scientific journals written by scientists from across the whole spectrum of beliefs. It cannot be denied that consensus of old age of the universe and the earth transcends individual ideology and belief. Continue reading ‘Relating the Bible to Science (Evolutionary Theory): Some Cautionary Notes’ »

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)

Related Post – If Evolution, No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (Collated With Scientific Articles)

Contemporary Denial of Historicity of Adam
Many critics declare that the church’s teaching of the historicity Adam has been discredited by recent advancements in science. It is purportedly impossible to reconcile the doctrine of Adam as a recent historical individual with fossils remains of ancient hominids pointing to a long process of evolution of humans who share a common ancestry with apes. Furthermore, recent studies of population genetics conclude that a historical pair (Adam and Eve) is insufficient to account for the genetic variations in DNA sequences found in the present human race.

A corollary of denial of the historicity of Adam is denial of the doctrine of original sin. Without a historical Adam there would be no historical Fall in which Adam suffered a fractured relationship and lost his power of communion with God, with the consequence of sin and death spreading to all humanity. Continue reading ‘The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)’ »

Galileo’s Trial on Trial: From Teleological Science to Mathematical Empirical Science

Precis:  Secular critics of Christianity typically appeal to the infamous trial of Galilee Galileo in Rome (1616) as indisputable evidence that Christianity is an intolerant and intellectually bankrupt system. The secular critics’ story is one of the inexorable retreat of Christianity into the backwaters of social progress, and of its being left behind in the advancement of the knowledge enterprise. Consequently, one would have expected the Christian religion to wither at the margins of society and eventually go the way of the gypsies. But this has not been the case. It calls to mind Mark Twain’s remark, “The report on my death was an exaggeration.” Continue reading ‘Galileo’s Trial on Trial: From Teleological Science to Mathematical Empirical Science’ »

Mayan Apocalypse 21 Dec 2012? Doomsday is Nearer Than You Think (Part 1)

How strange can it be? Everybody is excited about the Mayan ‘prophecy’ regarding the end of the world on 21 Dec 2012. Mankind has only 7 days left but nobody seems to be panicking. People are more worried about having only 11 days left for Christmas shopping.

Can it be that the world is really coming to an end? Indeed, Doomsday is nearer than you think! Continue reading ‘Mayan Apocalypse 21 Dec 2012? Doomsday is Nearer Than You Think (Part 1)’ »

A Fine-Tuned and Designer Universe

Precis: The precise values of the physical constants of nature and the serendipitous state (initial conditions) of the beginning of the universe all point to a cosmic designer who has fine-tuned the universe. The evidence available from contemporary science suggests that theism provides a more plausible explanation for the emergence of life in the universe than naturalism or atheism. Continue reading ‘A Fine-Tuned and Designer Universe’ »

Review: Summer for the Gods

TITLE: SUMMER FOR THE GODS:THE SCOPES TRIAL AND AMERICA’S CONTINUING DEBATE OVER RELIGION AND SCIENCE

REVIEWER: DR. NG KAM WENG

KAIROS RESEARCH CENTRE

There is a rumor abroad that the Christian religion has been discredited by the advancement of science. The death blow in this ‘Warfare of Science with Theology’, to echo a phrase by Andrew White, was inflicted in the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, in 1925. It is alleged that Christian fundamentalism was so badly defeated that it was despatched to the subcultures of America.

The Scopes Trial has taken on a life of its own. Indeed, it has assumed mythological proportions in more than one sense. Continue reading ‘Review: Summer for the Gods’ »

Co-Creator or Priestly Steward

Co-Creator or Priestly Steward

Theological Perspectives on Biotechnology and the Perfectibility of Man

Ng Kam Weng

Related article: Creation Care and Renewal

This paper attempts to uncover the hidden warrants and moral assumptions utilized by theologians who support the case for biotechnology and genetic engineering. The concept of man as co-creator, which underlies these theologians’ positive reception of biotechnology, will be critiqued in the light of recent philosophical history of human agency and biblical teaching on the stewardship of creation.

* This paper was published in Beyond Determination and Reductionism: Genetic Science and the Person ed. Mark LYChan & Roland Chia. Adelaide: Australian Theological Forum 2003.

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“Then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them” Genesis 11:6
Man is neither angel nor beast. When he tries to live like an angel he acts like a beast – Pascal

Protagonists in current debates on biotechnology are conscious of the fact that technology has brought mixed blessings. How one should determine the appropriateness and limits of applying technology for human betterment is difficult precisely because the terms of reference used in the debate – like well-being, freedom, dignity and human nature – are essentially contestable. Some clarifications of these terms is necessary before we can determine the limits of applying biotechnology for the perfecting of man.

This paper attempts to uncover the hidden warrants and moral assumptions utilized by theologians who support the case for biotechnology and genetic engineering. The concept of man as co-creator, which underlies these theologians’ positive reception of biotechnology, will be critiqued in the light of recent philosophical history of human agency and biblical teaching on the stewardship of creation. Continue reading ‘Co-Creator or Priestly Steward’ »