All in the Family – Part 3

 

All in the Family - sign 2 - focus

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

Recently, while visiting the anthropology museum in Laramie, WY, I read and saw some very interesting exhibits.  Most of what I read was not new, but exactly what the book of Genesis predicted …as I will explain later.  The sign for the first display of interest read in part (pictured right and the content in the black box is printed below):

“H.rudolfensis, A. boisei, and H. erectus All lived at the same time and this means that one is not an ancestor of the others.”

All in the Family - sign 1 - focus

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

We can read from an article in the Discover magazine, that they agree with the findings of the museum.

“Human evolution is bushy with branches that go nowhere. You don’t just have Australopithecus leading to Homo habilis leading to Homo erectus leading to Homo sapiens. This lineal idea is just kind of bogus. It was all very simple in the past, but it’s all wrong.”

- Anthropologist Russell Ciochon, University of Iowa, comments on new fossil finds. Discover, Jan 1996

We neither observe today, nor in the fossil record, the vertical macro-evolution (Darwinian evolution), which is one creature evolving into a completely different creature.  There is no evidence of an evolutionary tree of life.  What we do observe in nature is horizontal micro-evolution as described in Scripture.

As I listen to people, including scientists, they seem to have a misconception of what the Bible actually teaches. Many believe the Bible states that creatures do not change at all.  But this is not the case.  With a little studying of the Greek culture, we will see that some of the influential Greek philosophers taught this concept and it is usually called ‘the immutability of species.’

“Fundamental to natural selection is the idea of change by common descent. This implies that all living organisms are related to each other; for any two species, if we look back far enough we will find that they are descended from a common ancestor. This is a radically different view than Aristotle’s Great Chain of Being, in which each species is formed individually with its own purpose and place in nature and where no species evolves into a new species.”

http://www.iep.utm.edu/evolutio/

Some in the church made a great mistake when reading some of the false teachings of the Greeks into Scripture.  So Darwin did not discredit the Bible, but those who incorporated the false philosophical wisdom of man into Scripture.

The question is …what does the Bible teach?  God created kinds, or family types, to be ‘fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.’  The original kinds would have contained a huge diversity of genetic information, thus giving them the ability to adapt to different and changing environments.  God’s intent was not for the kinds to go extinct, but to survive and fill the earth, and this would be accomplished by speciation within a kind. Speciation is not vertical macro-evolution (Darwinian evolution), but is instead the Biblical, scientific, horizontal micro-evolution.

All in the Family - sign 3

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

If a species did not have the genetic diversity to adapt to the ever-changing environments,  they would probably go extinct.  As we observe in some species today.  If a given species still has the genetic diversity to adapt to the changing environment, that species can then change to survive in a new environment.  As the Bible predicted, there would be a number of different kinds growing into diverse ‘bushes’ (instead of a tree) of species , where the specific makeup differs as the conditions change.  One species would not be any more complex or superior to the other species, but just better adapted for the current conditions. The conditions will determine what species of a kind will fill what environment.

Since God created all the kinds in just two days, there would be a number of bushes existing at the same time.

Tree of life - noAs the Bible predicted, scientists do find evidence of man existing with his so called missing links.

“At the beginning of its time range, around 1.9 Mya, H. erectus coexisted in East Africa with several other early human species including Homo rudolfensis, Homo habilis, and Paranthropus boisei. Sometimes they were even found at the same fossil sites. At the end of its time range, around 143,000 years ago, it coexisted with Homo sapiens and possibly Homo floresiensis in Indonesia.”

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-erectus

As one studies the research on Homo erectus, one discovers he is only one of many variations of a human being.  Some of his physical features are similar to modern day Australian aborigines and African groups.

“The skeleton of H. erectus was heavier, or “more robust,” than the average modern human skeleton. Body proportions vary greatly from individual to individual. “Turkana Boy” was tall and slender, like modern humans from the same area,…”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/humans/humankind/k.html

The Turkana Boy skeleton is regarded by many as a subhuman ancestor, but it is easy to see why even some evolutionists believe he is the same species as people today.

“From the neck down, the skeleton is virtually indistinguishable from that of a modern Kenyan bushman.”

http://creation.com/turkana-boy-getting-past-the-propaganda

There is also evidence of humans living at the same time as ‘Lucy.’  This topic will be discussed in a later article or you can search our website.

Creationist OrchardThe conclusion from the evidence is, we never observe the vertical macro-evolutionary tree of one kind, or family type, of creature evolving into a completely different kind of creature.  We do observe the horizontal, micro-evolution of Biblical bushes (species or speciation within a kind).  Can we use the Bible as a guide to prevent us from making scientific mistakes?  Yes, we can!

 

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.

Planet Earth: A Great Place to Be

 

http://www.nasa.gov/content/satellite-view-of-the-americas-on-earth-day/#.U1kQ4Vepb1a

http://www.nasa.gov/content/satellite-view-of-the-americas-on-earth-day/#.U1kQ4Vepb1a

If you think a full moon rising over the horizon is beautiful, just imagine being on the moon and seeing your planet overhead in the sky! Now for you couples, that would be romantic!

NASA recently came out with a remarkable “Earth Day” satellite photo of our planet.

Besides being breath-taking, one of the things it shows is the circulation in the atmosphere as noticed in the partial cloud cover. That is so important for us to have a home where we can breathe and thrive.

Do you also realize that if we were a bit further out in the solar system, we would be frozen ice cubes? Or perhaps if we were a bit closer to our sun, we would be scorched corpses? Then again, we could have an atmosphere where we would be gassed to death with noxious fumes.  If we were closer to our moon, we may be drowned because of huge ocean tides.

Yep, I think God positioned us and outfitted our planet just right and exactly where it should be in our solar system! As beautiful as it would be, I am also glad to be on Earth admiring the moon rather than on the moon admiring our planet.  After all, it is hard to hold hands or kiss your bride with those big old spacesuits!

 

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.

Ancient walk on the beach

 

Beach scene in Costa RicaPeople have asked me about the reports of footprints of a human ancestor, which were uncovered by recent tides, being found in England. An article came out a couple of weeks ago in The Telegraph (April 21, 2014)  in regards to some tracks that were preserved in soft sedimentary rock. It referenced an older article (Feb, 7, 2014) by Richard Gray, a science correspondent, entitled 900,000 year old footprints of earliest northern Europeans discovered. Researchers think the tracks may have belonged to primitive human ancestors referred to as Homo antecessor, or “Pioneer Man.”

Sure enough, the tracks look good. In fact, they look too good to support any evolutionary interpretation. Rather than an “ancestor of humans,” they certainly look like modern human tracks.  Of the 49 tracks, not only do 29 show an arch, but many show clear outlines of the foot, and one shows a detailed toe print. All of this makes the tracks look like modern human tracks. Therefore the only “ancestral to humans” I get out of it is not “ape-like creatures,” but perhaps more like great, great, great, uncle Bill.   (For more information on this discovery, see Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell’s article, Ancient Footprints Place Humans in England Early In the Ice Age,  published February 18, 2014.

In 2009, ICR also reported on other tracks that were supposedly even older (1.5 million) that also looked like modern human tracks. (See Ancient Human Footprints Look Modern by Brian Thomas, M.S.)

The point in all of this (especially in this set of 49 footprints of adults and children), is that our great, great, great, grand families, just like families today, liked to take walks as a family on the beach. The tracks likely belonged to perfectly human great, great, grand children of Noah. Also, those millions of years didn’t exist.

 

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.

All in the family! Part 2

 

Research on the Neanderthal genome has revealed modern humans and Neanderthals could interbreed with one another.  This means Neanderthals and modern humans are all of the same kind, or family. In other words, Neanderthals are just a variation of humans.

The following is from an article on the New Scientist website entitled, “Breeding with Neanderthals helped humans go global,” by Michael Marshall.

“The publication of the Neanderthal genome last year offered proof that Homo sapiens bred with  Neanderthals after leaving Africa. There is also evidence that suggests they enjoyed intimate relations with other hominins including the Denisovans, a species identified last year from a Siberian fossil.”

Tourists at the entrance to Denisova Cave, Russia from the Wikimedia Commons.

Tourists at the entrance to Denisova Cave, Russia from the Wikimedia Commons.

But another variation of humans was discovered fairly recently, the Denisovans.  Their genome reveals they were related to the Neanderthals.  But there is more to the plot.  The Denisovans also interbred with another mysterious variation of humans.

The following quotes are from another article by Michael Marshall, “Mystery human species emerges from Denisovan genome.”

“The genome shows that Denisovans were cousins of the Neanderthals – this much was already known. ”

“The new hominin has left its traces in the genome of a Denisovan, an extinct hominin known to exist from a finger bone and two teeth found in a Siberian cave. Nobody knows what Denisovans looked like because there are so few fossils. But geneticists have managed to sequence their entire genome to a high degree of accuracy.”

“The best explanation is that the Denisovans interbred with an unidentified species, and picked up some of their DNA. Or as Reich puts it: “Denisovans harbour ancestry from an unknown archaic population, unrelated to Neanderthals.”  

A finger bone and two teeth are not a lot of evidence.  But with the evidence they do have, the information seems to show that these hominins were all in the same family or kind.  There also seems to be a variation within this human family.  This is no surprise to Scripture.

Again, the Bible can shed light on the evidence.

As we study Scripture, God is a God of unlimited knowledge and intelligence capable of making and creating complex creatures.   Scientists are now beginning to see the incredible complexity of life.  Also, as we examine Scripture and science, there is the ability in the genome for great variety.  In Genesis chapter ten, we have the division of the nations as people groups that spread throughout the world.

Genesis 10:5  – By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.

Genesis 10:32 - These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

With the separation of nations, certain human characteristics would be more pronounced or prevalent in the dispersed people groups.  Thus giving us the drastic variations of humans we see today, and it was possibly even greater in the past.  As time past from the division of the nations, or even from Adam, some of these people groups have been lost due to wars (genocide), harsh living conditions, diseases, natural disasters, interbreeding with other people groups, etc.

The following is from the same article mentioned above, “Mystery human species emerges from Denisovan genome.”

“Whoever the mystery people were, they are a reminder that inbreeding was rife in human evolution.”

Interbreeding within the human kind and having more little humans is not Darwinian evolution (macro-evolution), but instead micro-evolution or variation within a kind.  This concept is both Scriptural and scientific, but not evidence for macro-evolution.

Going back to the articles, the finding of a wide variety of humans is no surprise.  Some of the humans had big jaws while some had small jaws, some had big skulls and some had small ones, some ate with big teeth and others without, some people had sloping foreheads and big eyebrow ridges and others had straight or protruding foreheads.  Some individuals were very big, and others were small.  Some people even had big noses whiles others had small ones (unfortunate).

Just because an individual has a flat forehead, larger eyebrow ridges, big jaw and teeth, or even a big nose does not mean that he or she is less human or more primitive!  These are some of the variations God has programmed into the human genome.

There are no surprises in the fossil record.  They fit perfectly with what we read in Genesis.  It’s all in the family!

 

Rich Stepanek

All in the Family! Part 1

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.

Those Stubborn Mules

 

Impossible foal

Photo and caption from the original Denver Post story linked below

I really appreciate people sending me articles. Thanks, Frank, for the one regarding the mule!

One of the tests we have imposed on the term “species” is that of reproduction. If two animals can reproduce and if the offspring is viable (meaning the offspring can reproduce), then we say the original pair are of the same “species.”

It has been a common thought that mules, which are the hybrids between horses and donkeys, do not reproduce. That would mean that the donkey and horse are 2 different species.

Leave it to a mule to be stubborn and defy genetics!  A Denver Post article posted July 26, 2007 and updated in August of 2013 was titled, “Mule’s foal fools genetics with ‘impossible’ birth.”

According to the article, “It’s an event so rare that the Romans had a saying, ‘when a mule foals’ — the equivalent of ‘when hell freezes over.’”

Yes it is a rare event, but not “impossible.” The article mentioned that there are about 50 such cases of mules having offspring. Genetic researchers certainly are intrigued about this and are trying to figure out how this works.

Unfortunately, the young foal died last August from complications after having slipped on the ice earlier in the winter. While alive, it was the center of genetic attention and seems to have opened up new areas of genetic research. This case, and many others like it, should make us question our definition of a species. At the very least, it also shows that the Biblical definition of a kind is a whole lot more useful than our man-made term, “species.”

To read the original article, see: Mule’s foal fools genetics with “impossible” birth.

 

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.

Work …a Blessing or Curse?

 

WORK.  What thoughts come to mind when you hear this word?  Are they in a positive or a negative light? Do you like to work? I have been thinking about work and its value for the past few weeks. Since my cancer surgery four months ago, I basically had the “privilege” of being served by others. This was primarily my dear husband and my family, who provided almost everything I needed. They brought me many meals in bed, washed many dishes, and served me in whatever way they could. I was unable to do almost any of the usual household duties I had been accustom to doing for the past 35 years. I had always enjoyed serving, so it was very difficult for me to now be the one to be served. This life went on for over three months.

hThen by God’s grace and some new medication, I started to feel somewhat better. I began to be able to do some simple cooking and cleaning. One of these first days as I was ironing one of my husband’s shirts, a task I had not been able to do for over three months, I just began to cry and praise The Lord for His goodness in allowing me the privilege to do this again! It felt so GOOD to work! At the end of the day, I could look back and see what God had allowed me to accomplish. Now by many standards it really wasn’t much, but it was so much more than I had been able to do before! It brought such a sense of fulfillment. Part of my joy was related to the fact that I wasn’t sure if my health would ever improve, but part was also just the joy derived from doing something of purpose, meaning, and service to my family. After several months of serving me, my husband and family were more than happy to have me resume my role and responsibilities, even with a few limitations!

The subject of work also reminds us of Genesis and creation. Work was part of God’s original plan. He gave both Adam and Eve specific duties and expected them to fulfill them. God knew that work was good and would provide joy and fulfillment. Work was NOT part of the curse after Adam’s sin. The curse made his work more difficult, because of the weeds and thorns, but the work itself was not a curse.

So the next time you are feeling discouraged or dismayed by the work that is before you, I would  encourage you to stop a moment and think. Thank God first for the ability to work, also His provision of work, and maybe ask for a change of heart that you would sense the joy that God intended to be derived from your work.

 

Sue 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.

Getting Buried at the Museum

 

AOI always enjoys opportunities, with two just this past week, to give creation presentations along with museum tours of the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, CO. We have heard that this most recent tour has already had an impact on some of the participants!

AOI Museum Tour 2One was for a group of college students. The other group was a vibrant group of home educators and their children. The children really enjoyed the station where you can “dig” up dinosaur bones. Actually, as you can tell by the picture, some of the students enjoyed burying others in the group as much as digging up bones.

Of course, like most museums across this country (except for a few creationist ones), the amount of evolution presented is daunting. Without a proper creationist introduction, it would be easy for these students to “get buried” by the evolutionary philosophy.  This is happening to a high percentage of students in the public school system, as well as many Christian students.

We encourage you, if you get out to Western Colorado, to contact Alpha Omega Institute for materials or even to arrange for a presentation and creationist tour. You can then take the information back to your church, or so we would hope.

If you are not coming out this way, call AOI and arrange to have one of our speakers come to your church or university, thus bringing the truth of creation into your community.

Another option is to come to one of our family camps or perhaps college age students can come out to take part in our Discover Creation Training Institute.  You can read about these great opportunities on our website!

Whatever you do, fortify your family with the truth!

 

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.

Good Morning!

 

Snowy in MoabAs we were preparing for a full day of field trips, with the Jackson Hole Bible College, this was the scene in what is supposed to be warm and sunny Moab, Utah. It was still snowing! The students had just came from a pile of snow and very cold temperatures in Wyoming, so they likely think this is normal. However, they did have expectations of warmer weather and had to trade in their shorts for something warmer.

We had to delay our excursion a couple of hours from where we were staying in Moab as we really wanted to have them see something other than clouds, as this is a geology and biology field trip – not a meteorology class.

This has been the case for Mary Jo & I as we have led field trips for various groups over the years, including this bible college for many years. You take the weather you get and make the most of it. One year, we were tempted to make a T-shirt which said “I slid the Grand Canyon,” rather than the traditional, “I hiked the Canyon.”

Other times the weather is just perfect and that is what we are hoping and praying to have for the rest of this trip!  But, by the time I had finished this blog (and sent it to Scott), it was snowing even harder!

 

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.

75 Years of Commitment

 

Happy 75th

My parents, Irwin and Barbara Nutting, just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. First of all, that is hardly heard of because of the age attainments necessary. Secondly, many people are amazed at 75 years because of the fact that people these days seem to drift in and out of relationships with little commitment to each other long-term.

I realize that circumstances can make a marriage seem unbearable, but so many trials that cause many people to split apart, can be overcome. Many “unbearable” situations can actually be overturned to bring victory in a marriage and lead to 75 years. But it takes effort and it takes commitment. Enough preaching.

I really appreciate my parent’s commitment to each other and working through the difficulties of raising 4 boys together to achieve this amazing milestone of 75 years. That is a great encouragement and example for Mary Jo and I. Good job, Mom & Dad.

 

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.

 

How Ungrateful We Can Be

 

As most of you know, I had a Whipple surgery on November 25th, because of cancer in the duodenum.  As the months after my surgery pass, and as I try to adjust to my “new” (but certainly not improved!) redesigned digestive system, I have found myself having some troubling thoughts.  I have often looked with envy at other people who can eat anything they want, anytime they want, and feel good afterwards.  No pills, no pain, no restrictions, and I think, “this just isn’t fair.”  These people do not think twice about what a blessing it is to have a digestive system that works well.  It doesn’t even cross their mind!  How ungrateful these people are!

Footprints on the beachThen God brought conviction to my heart.  I thought about people who are blind.  Do I really thank God daily for my sight?  I honestly had to answer, “No.”  What about people who are wheelchair bound for life?  Do I thank God daily for the ability to move and walk?  Another “no” answer.  Or how about those who are bedridden, or have lost limbs, terminally ill children, stroke victims, and the list could go on and on.  You get the picture.  I was just like the people I had called ungrateful.  I was no different.

I was suddenly overcome with my own self-centeredness.  And I cried out to God for forgiveness.  I could see my own area of suffering so clearly and yet there are so many areas of my life in which God had blessed me tremendously, but I often take those blessings for granted.  We all are keenly aware of our own “area of suffering,” whatever it may be.  But how often we fail to have TRUE compassion for those who are suffering in other ways.  My prayer is that I would truly have a grateful heart daily to see the blessings from The Lord and to have a heart of loving compassion for others.

 

Sue 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.