Archive for May, 2013

Rejecting the Current Concept of Macro-Evolution

  world view

This is the last excerpt of a series I have been sharing on my blog taken from, “Truth and Science – Is Real Science At Risk?,” an article by Dr. Arv Edgeworth*.

“There are 3 basic scientific reasons I reject the current concept of macro-evolution, although I acknowledge that micro-evolution takes place on a regular basis: 

  1. The laws of science are in disagreement with it.

            The first and second laws of thermodynamics

            The law of biogenesis

            The law of cause and effect

            The law of inertia 

 

  1. The two mechanisms actually work against it. Rather than helping a life form change into something else, scientifically, natural selection seems more likely to help it remain the same.  Mutations are harmful and cause a net loss of information over time.

 

  1. I believe there is a better answer for the fossil record that fits the evidence better. Catastrophism, like the scientists in the mid-1800s believed.  I believe hydrologic sorting should be given more consideration.

Would considering this possibility completely revolutionize science as we now know it?

 The Real Reason?

I hope this isn’t the case: but could there be a philosophical reason why many accept the current concept of macro-evolution?  Is it possible that some may just embrace it because they fear what they consider to be the only alternative, and psychologically have a certain amount of fear concerning the future?  Would it make a difference if there were no fear of death or possible future judgment of any kind?  There really doesn’t have to be.  Sometimes that can have a subconscious effect on us and we don’t even realize it.  What if we could eliminate that fear from the equation?

Worldviews are sometimes like wearing a pair of sunglasses….  We forget we have them on, and sometimes we tend to react in a negative manner if someone else tries to remove them.  In a perfect world, the interpretation of scientific evidence would never be affected by our pre-conceived biases.  I’m not sure that is realistically possible today.  We all have a worldview, and we tend to view everything in light of that, even though we may deny, to ourselves at least, that we have the philosophical sunglasses on.”

Thank you Dr. ARV Edgeworth for the very valid questions and conclusions in your article!

 

* www.truthandscience.net – website of Dr. Arv Edgeworth

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Cornerstone Bible Institute Graduation

 

Rich and EugeneI had the honor of giving the Cornerstone Bible Institute commencement address for our daughters’ (Claudia and Abby) graduation in Hot Springs, SD.  It was a lovely day, and graduation went very well.  The girls’ old friend, Eugene the Lion, showed up to congratulate the graduates.  Of course, Abby and Claudia sank deep in their chairs when they discovered that Eugene was there.  They have fond memories of Eugene and traveling with the Johnsons as we taught creation.

But how did I become the commencement speaker?  Well, I had just joined the board of CBI  (it was my very first full board meeting) and they needed a speaker.  I did not realize until it was too late, the board usually has a new board member or someone who has a graduate speak. Well, I had both!  If I had to speak about bacteria, black holes, or junk DNA, then it would not have been a problem, but this was out of my comfort zone.

GraduationThat is where God likes us to be, out of our comfort zone. Beyond our abilities so we cannot get the glory, He gets the glory… and that is exactly what happened.  He received the glory during the address.

But why would I join the board of a small Bible college?  Cornerstone Bible Institute is a Bible college dedicated to protecting and defending the Word of God.  Many Bible colleges are compromising with evolution and liberal theology, but Cornerstone is standing firm on the Rock of a literal Genesis and creation.  The Creator, Jesus Christ, is the Rock and the Truth.  Cornerstone believes that there is absolute truth and they teach it.  Because of their commitment to the truth, I wanted to be a part of equipping  students to be sound in the Word.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Question Your Assumptions

 

Wrong WayAs Mary Jo & I were driving the other day to one of our speaking events, we were reminded of something we frequently tell students: Question your assumptions.

We were driving on Highway 69 and had been told that the highway made a jog in a little town. When it jogged to the left, we thought we were right on track. We didn’t realize that the highway also had a quick jag to go along with the jog.  Having missed that part, we happily sailed down the wrong highway thoroughly enjoying the scenery – but unfortunately it was the wrong scenery.

Down the road quite a ways, and still thinking we were on 69, we saw signs pointing to Highway 165 and some other towns. I asked Mary Jo where else this highway 165 went to as it looked like a nice highway. When Mary Jo looked at the map, the assumption that we were on the right road, led to the following wrong conclusions. That highway number just wasn’t on the map, and that section of the map didn’t even show the towns the road signs listed. We had even concluded the map was very accurate. Since there were only graveled roads and no paved roads marked on the map for that section of the highway we thought we were on, we also were led to believe that the nicely paved road taking off to the right must have been very recently paved, or maybe just paved close to the intersection and the rest a gravel road.

We never questioned our assumption that the map was right and that we were on the wrong road. It wasn’t until we saw the sign telling us how far it was to Pueblo, CO, that we even began to question our assumptions. Pueblo?? How could that be?? Highway 69 doesn’t go to Pueblo. We then looked at the map and saw the missed jag that went with the jog way back there. At that point, we turned around and ended up taking that nice highway we had wondered about. It at least went mostly the direction we wanted to go, albeit, the missed jag cost an hour of driving time. However, it was wonderful scenery on that nicely paved road.

Needless to say, this illustrates the point to students we speak to. Question your assumptions. Don’t just assume that your teachers and professors are unbiased when it comes to their anti-religious statements and “facts.”  Don’t assume that that they have looked into the evidence for creation when they speak against it. Perhaps they are biased or had just assumed themselves that their own professors or authors they consult had given an unbiased presentation.

The Bible tells us to “examine all things.” That includes our assumptions. Don’t get led down the wrong road. Hold fast to the true North—Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Ministering to the homeless

 

Homeless-Please-HelpWhile I was on tour teaching creation in Eureka, CA, my host pastor asked me to teach to a particular audience I had never taught before.  I have taught in jails, private and public schools and colleges, homeschool groups, private homes, camps, churches, etc., but I had never taught to the homeless.

I was invited to teach at a rescue mission.  I really did not know what to expect.  Would they accept or even care about trying to understand the scientific information for creation?  Would they even be interested in this subject at all?  After all, they are without jobs, homes, and many without families.

To my surprise, the experience was far beyond what I had imagined!  They were excited, supportive, humorous, and some were very knowledgeable about the subject.  It was a wonderful time.  By teaching a firm foundation in which the Bible is true, the men were encourage to know that God is real and He loves them.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Here We Go Again!

 

Hail ice ballYep, here we go again. Mary Jo & I are in Texas for a homeschool conference. Yesterday morning, we were in Waco, Texas, heading for San Antonio.  Can you believe it, a big tornado was hitting just north of us.  One system was heading for Waco.  A thunderstorm nearby had dropped hail ice balls the size of a soft ball —  that is 4 inches in diameter.   The picture is what I snapped off of the TV report.

Sure hope these storms don’t hit any closer! Reminds me of Revelations 16:21 in the Bible, where it warns of huge hail stones of about 100 pounds each coming down from heaven! Softball size hail is big enough, but can you imagine hail stones 50 times larger?

So why did I say, “Here we go again”?  Well dodging tornadoes is what we did a couple of years ago when we were driving from San Antonio, Texas, to Missouri. We dodged tornadoes at Austin, Texas, through Oklahoma and managed to get through Joplin just two hours before the big tornado demolished much of that city. (See our blog called “Ducking the Tornadoes.”)

It looks like strong storms will be with us for the next several days, so we don’t know what to expect.  Please keep us in prayer for a successful conference in San Antonio, as well as the weather.

 

Dave & Mary Jo Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

The Origin of Life, Mutations and Natural Selection

 

Has Science and the Scientific Method been misused? That was a question asked in my blog Elusive Transitional Forms. The following is another excerpt taken from “Truth and Science – Is Real Science At Risk?”, an article by Dr. Arv Edgeworth*.  Ponder the questions he poses at the end and consider – are these viable questions that should be asked, and if they are being asked today or have been asked in the past?

 

The Origin of Life

From Goo to YouHave you noticed lately the tendency in science books to no longer consider Biogenesis a Law of Science? Has any new evidence or experimentation given reason to question this as a law of science? No. Could it be because it is just in conflict with abiogenesis?  Is it possible that some educators just don’t want abiogenesis to be in opposition to a known Law of Science, so they attempt to downgrade Biogenesis from a “Law” status?  Is that what is happening? If it is, will that have a negative effect on the scientific process?

Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1.  “Isn’t Biogenesis a law of science?” (Life only comes from other life)

2.  “Is the hypothesis of abiogenesis (life from non-life) scientific?” (Has it ever been observed?)

3.  “If chemical evolution isn’t happening today, how do we know it happened in the past?”

 

Personally, whether it is the beginning of the universe, or the beginning of life, I think we should discuss “origins” in another venue, not the science classroom.  Why even have it in the textbooks?

 

Mutations and Natural Selection

Mutations are random chance happenings. They are not supposed to be directional.  One beneficial mutation is supposed to be extremely rare, and almost unheard of. But a series of these occurring that took an irritation on the skin of an early life form through a totally non-directed process until humans have two eyes, that depend upon about 40 individual subsystems, that all have to be connected to a brain, to allow us to see; is an occurrence that would seem to be mathematically impossible to say the least. Before this would occur, shouldn’t there be such an accumulation of non-beneficial mutations that the life form would already be extinct? 

Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1.  “Aren’t mutations almost always harmful?”

2.  “Don’t mutations usually cause a net loss of information over time?”

3.  “Wouldn’t mutations usually be the least likely to survive?”

 

Should scientists be looking for another possibility?  Are some perhaps allowing their philosophical worldview to affect their science perspective? Or is there another reason?

 

Once again, good questions to ponder.

 

*www.truthandscience.net – website of Dr. Arv Edgeworth.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

A Primary Intent….To Reach The Lost

 

Just ThinkingAs I reflected on my last speaking trip to California, a couple of thoughts stood out in my mind.

A pastor from Eureka, CA, asked if I did debates or if I was, instead,  just interested in teaching on a university campus.  I informed him that I was not interested in debates, but I was interested in teaching and dialoging about scientific ideas.

The primary reason I hate debates is that people who disagree with my ideas, on the origin of life and the universe, are not my enemies.  I love those people and so does God.  God actually loves them so much that He died for their sins, so He could have a close relationship with them.  I would sooner be seen as a fool, so they can have a close relationship with the God of creation, than win any debate.  Debates have the atmosphere of a battle, or war.  I am not at war with flesh and blood.  My enemy is much more powerful and resides in a different realm.  I see people who reject God’s Word and His plan of salvation as victims of a masterful deception.  This concept does not come from my own thoughts, but from the Word of God.

I spoke at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, CA, this last trip.  We had a good turnout, but only people favorable to my ideas seemed to have attended.  This was in a way sad.  Please do not get me wrong, I was very glad they attended, but I knew where most of them will spend eternity (in heaven).

It was very good to encourage and edify the saints, but what about all those who have rejected God and His salvation?  Where will they spend eternity? This I felt was the matter at hand.  Evolution is the number one reason why people reject God’s love.  My teaching at the university was not so much a discussion about evolution and creation, but more about where we will spend eternity.  What was sad is that those who would disagree with me did not even attend, so they could learn about my arguments for Genesis and creation, and be able to dialog about creation/evolution and the scientific concepts in Genesis.  They don’t seem to be concerned about their eternal state.  I pray for these people and I hope you do to.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

AOI’s White Water Rafting & Kayaking Adventure

 

AOI WWR 1The dates have been set and permits obtained! Excitement and learning loom ahead! Mark your calendar for AOI’s 60 mile raft trip down the Green River through Desolation and Gray canyons. We are teaming up with Journey Quest, a Christian rafting ministry.

This is a tremendous trip with a lot of river fun and excitement in both rafts and kayaks… whatever you prefer. See Flood geology and biology up close, as well as Indian cliff paintings and old west historical sites. Hike, raft, Kayak, relax, explore, and have a blast in or out of the water. Hear fascinating stories (some might be true), camp along the river, and enjoy Bible teaching and worship time.  There will be many fascinating “mini-lectures” and discussions.  Good meals are provided as well as tents. You will only need to bring personal items and sleeping bags.

AOI WWR 3The stretch of river is not overly dangerous but has some great excitement with over 50 rapids. The minimum age is 5 years old.  The cost is only $695 per person. A love offering to AOI is always appreciated for extra expenses, but not required.

We will meet in Grand Junction, Colorado, at noon on Saturday, August 24, to organize our gear. As soon as our gear is packed, we will be transported to our first camp site for a launch on the river the next morning. We will be on the river until about noon on Friday, the 30th, and then be transported back to Grand Junction.

For MORE INFORMATION, many MORE PHOTOS, a VIDEO of last year’s adventure, and REGISTRATION, visit: the Journey Quest website

Space is limited, so register soon! Hope you can come!

 

AOI WWR 4Dave & Mary Jo

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Sands of Time

 

TNL at CMUSometimes I am reminded about how long we have been in the Creation ministry. A few weeks ago, I was teaching for Master Plan Ministries (MPM) at their weekly TNL (Tuesday Night Live) meeting on the campus of Colorado Mesa University. They begin the evening with about a half-hour of praise and worship, followed by announcements, and then a time of teaching.

After the praise and worship time, the worship leader approached me and inquired if I remembered his parents. He told me who they were, and I realized that I had known this young man since he was in diapers! He was a toddler when Marilyn and I had joined with Alpha Omega Institute in January of 1994.

As I looked around the crowd of 65 students, I recognized several other ‘kids’ (I consider everyone younger than me as a ‘kid’) that my wife and I had known for years. There was a girl whose parents have always been encouragers of our ministry. Another girl had attended a Vacation Bible School we presented when she lived in Denver … at that time she was in the first grade. We also had worked with her recently at a Bible camp where she had been a camp counselor. The young man playing the bongos with the band … we had taught him creation (along with his brother and sister) at the same Bible camp, and later worked with both he and his brother (they were also counseling campers). The director and his wife of MPM … we had also taught their children at camp and worked with several of them, also at Bible camps.

Another young man, that was not there that evening, we have also known since he was a toddler. Over the years we have worked together several times – he had a Bible study in high school that I shared at several times, and we went on several mission trips together. At this time, he is raising support to work full-time with MPM on the Auraria Campus in Denver, Colorado.

Several months ago we were teaching in a church in western Kansas, and had a young lady share with us that she had attended one of our Creation Vacation Bible Schools when she was about 8 years old. What made my wife and I feel very old at the time … she was holding the hand of her 8 year old daughter!

We realize that we are getting old. However, I have searched the Bible and have not found any examples of those in ministry retiring. So as we approach (very quickly) social security age, we are going to keep on keeping on as long as God continues to give us the energy and health to do so.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.

Snow Storm Surprise

 

Snow Storm SurpriseYou have to like Colorado. It is frequently said that if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait 5 minutes. It will change. Sometimes it really surprises you. I almost hate to admit it, but the Christmas photo out my front door (to the right) was not actually taken at Christmas. It was taken about two weeks ago. I hadn’t yet taken down the Christmas lights, as we have had a pretty busy schedule. Or should I say, I am really early in getting prepared for this coming year’s Christmas season.

The extra snowfall also hit the mountains hard, which is a good thing as it looks like we may not have as much of an issue with a drought like we had last year.

On the Monday after the snowstorm, the temperatures were around 84 degrees. I kind of like that better, as I’m not too fond of cold temperatures.  I was also particularly thankful for the quick change to warmth and snow–free weather, because I had to drive over the Rocky Mountains for a Creation project with the Navigators in the Colorado Springs area.  I certainly don’t like that drive in a snow storm. But when you do a Creation ministry and are scheduled months in advance, you take the weather you get… and that includes road conditions.

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your partnership.