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Looking for a Fight?

 

Chess-BattlePut up your fists! Are you ready for a fight?

Every day of a Christian’s life contains some conflict. It may be physical or psychological persecution, philosophical debate, or the everyday conflict of the spirit against the flesh; but we are always fighting something. Some people relish the thought of a debate, but few, if any, truly enjoy being “on guard” all of the time.

In reality though, isn’t that what we are called to do? 1 Peter 3:14-15a says “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” That sure looks like “on guard” language to me!

When I think of this in terms of defending Biblical Creationism, I am challenged to equip myself with answers. As a follower and representative of Christ, I want to be able to “make a defense” when God’s authority is challenged. The Creation vs. Evolution battlefield is full of heated skirmishes and drawn battles, making a peace-loving soul like myself cringe at the thought of the conflict and tension that I will encounter at most every turn.

Does taking a stand for the accuracy of a literal interpretation of Genesis require a passionate desire to take stabs at my “enemy,” hoping to take him down? In order to be used by God, do I need to be armed with an arsenal of scornful words and a mental resolve to “show no mercy?”

Remember the rest of that verse from 1 Peter 3: “Yet with gentleness and reverence.”

I want to be armed and ready with God’s truth (His word) so that I am equipped to represent Christ well; but that doesn’t require a “thirst for blood” and ravenous need to chew up and spit out my opponent! I don’t seek to defend the truth of Creationism so that I can put a notch on my metaphorical pistol when I out-talk someone in a debate.

I want this to be true of me: “And keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:16) Even when I am scoffed at because of the apparent foolishness of my beliefs, I can still speak gently and reverently, knowing that it is God who works through His Spirit and uses the evidence to confirm His truth.

So whether you are like me and inclined to be a peacemaker, or the idea of a war of words gets you chomping at the bit to get a piece of it, I encourage you to keep this in mind; when you are in the midst of a conflict of beliefs, remember the end of 1 Peter 3:15 (and read the rest of 1 Peter 3:13-16). Always be ready to make a defense, but in as much as you can, do it the way God designed. After all, He’s the one we’re fighting for.

 

Aimee Mariani

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.

Why Doesn’t God . . . ?

 

Atheists and agnostics contended with my blog, which honored God for clearing the smoke from the forest fire when we prayed. They asked why this God is interested in the smoke, but doesn’t seem to care enough to end poverty, disease, and hunger. To some of the committed atheists who I hear from, it becomes one excuse to claim that God doesn’t exist.

Why Doesn't GodThere is a powerful concept that atheists have totally missed: God does care. Actually, God really showed that he cares and is doing something about the problems by stepping into His created world. Two thousand years ago was the start of an amazing movement which turned the way people saw and responded to the needs of other individuals upside down. This is when Jesus came to earth, announced the Kingdom of God, demonstrated it with power by healing thousands, restoring sight to the blind, making the lame to walk, and feeding thousands of people. Most importantly, he empowered those who believe in Him to do even greater things than He did. Even though the wickedness of this world nailed Jesus to a cross (another topic), His kingdom has been advancing throughout the world ever since– especially by those who are His followers.

Look around. You can see the results of God’s intervention which He started way back then. Keep in mind that God usually uses people to carry out his desires. Frequently people pray for God to help a need or a group of individuals. When they are done praying, sometimes they are left with the distinct impression or, even a stronger sense as if by an audible voice asking, “What about you? I’ve chosen you to be my instrument to bring that about.” Today, there are hundreds of thousands of non-governmental orphanages, medical clinics, food and clothing banks, housing projects, etc., which had their origins when Jesus’ followers prayed and then acted on His teaching to have an impact not only in people’s spiritual needs, but also in their physical needs – food, clothing, shelter, and health.

Yes, there are some groups led by those claiming to be atheists who have done something significant, although that number is a fraction of the multitude of Christian organizations and individuals who are actively providing for those important needs. To the confirmed atheist, the question is, “What are you doing personally about the poverty, disease, and hunger?” You do have a choice. You can choose to shake your fist at a God you may not believe in for not doing something (which is not true) or you can respond to His way of employing people to become part of the solution to the issues you see. By the way, you can do some great things, but I personally believe you can accomplish even more if you turn to Him and allow Him to empower you. I believe working alongside of a powerful God can get a whole lot more accomplished.

 

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.

Our Ministry Goal is Helping Your Ministry

 

Hey guys, on our last post, we gave our introduction and testimonies. Now I want to share a little bit more. I want to share about my vision and motivation in working with AOI.

For the past 10 years, I have been interested in Creation Science, but never have known how to get involved. I believe that there is a whole army of young people who see the importance of Creation and want to make a difference…yet they don’t know how. You may be one of those people that want to get involved (even if you are not “young”).

As you know, our ministry is small and limited to what we can really do, but I want to connect people all over the country in small, local Creation Groups and in being connected, WE can do a lot to affect our local communities, which in turn is affecting the whole world.

You may be thinking, “what can I really do?” By yourself, you are limited, but we want to connect you to be able to do Creation Ministry with other people who are doing Creation Ministry. There can be strength and growth in numbers.

So I have put together a short checklist below on how to get involved in Creation ministries. Helpful explanations and resources can be found on the expanded checklist on our Get Involved in Creation Ministry blog post.

ChecklistPray about what God wants you to be involved in. Getting started in Creation Ministry might be the hardest step, but it may not be as hard as you think.

Start a group, whether on facebook or a small Bible study group, among family or friends. With this group, you can teach each other, outreach to your local community, and many other projects that could greatly impact your church, your community, AOI, other Creation Ministries, evolutionist and atheist groups, and beyond.

Connect your group to AOI by contacting us, so that we can build a network of people sharing and teaching creation from all around the world. If there are other groups in your area, then we can help connect you. This is the body of Christ in action.

For more information on doing Creation Ministry, check out our new facebook group, Amateur Creation Speakers.

Remember, God works through the lives of normal people.

Do you want to make a difference and make an impact in the world? How do you do that?

Checklist to get involved in Creation Ministries

  • Pray
  • Connect to a Group
  • Read and Learn about Creation Topics
  • Know the Heart of the Matter
  • Study Evangelism
  • Answer Youtube Comments or engage the virtual community
  • Start Writing (or using other talents)
  • Do Short Videos
  • Create Powerpoints (or other demonstrations)
  • Do your Presentation for your youth group, church, or do a VBS with your local group.

 

*To learn more (or if you have problems with the links above), each section is expanded at http://brianandaimeeforcreation.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/get-involved-in-creation-ministry/  or also at https://www.facebook.com/groups/amateurcreationspeakers/  and in the File section entitled: “Full Checklist to Get Involved in Creation Ministries”

 

Brian Mariani

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.

 

Copying to Prevent ‘Copying’

 

Blue Morpho Butterfly wing - reflected lightHow do you prevent counterfeiters from copying money, drugs, designer clothes and accessories, etc.? Some engineers are turning to the amazing wing of the South American Blue Morpho butterfly for a solution.

The Blue Morpho’s brilliant wing color isn’t due to pigment. Instead of pigments, the butterfly’s wings have complicated scales with very tiny holes that reflect different colors or wavelengths, producing iridescent, shining blue and greens.

The Nanotech Security Corp., in Vancouver, Canada, has copied the design of the Blue Morpho butterfly.  Using a new technology called nano*-optics, they have developed a method to produce nano-holes in silicon or quartz. The process takes from a few hours to a couple of days to produce a master pattern (image), after which a second process grows the image on nickel. From there it can be embossed to any material.1

Blue Morpho Butterfly wing - microribs“The entire image could be large enough to be seen from a distance, and, if embossed on high-priced items like designer handbags, would make it easy to spot the phonies,” said Doug Blakeway, Nanotech’s CEO.2

Because the image would be very difficult to reverse engineer, and expensive because of the equipment needed, it has been stated that the process is ‘unlikely’ to be counterfeited. Hmmm – that has been said about many types of security … time will tell.

This type of work is yet another example of biomimicry – adapting God’s creations for advanced human technologies.

 

*Based on the scale of nanometers – one nanometer is hundreds of times smaller than even the tiniest bacterial cell.

1 Butterflies Inspire Anti-Counterfeit Technology, Inside Science, Joel N. Shurkin, 6/19/13

2Ibid.

 

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.

Assault on Academic Freedom

 

Assault on Academic FreedomThe photo is of the Shafer Bell Tower at Ball state University. At this moment, some radical atheists are hoping that any sound that might be coming out of it might be a toll on academic freedom that challenges evolutionary dogma. World Magazine reported June 18th that one of Ball State’s untenured faculty members, Assistant Professor Dr.  Eric Hedin, “crossed a line when he encouraged classroom discussion that included multiple views of life’s origins.”

That got some of the atheists mad who only want to hear atheism taught in the universities. The Freedom From Religion Foundation jumped on a rumor that Dr. Hedin was “proselytizing.”  Evidently that stems from their idea that if you challenge atheistic evolution by suggesting intelligent design, you are promoting a different religion other than their revered atheism. In other words’ “How dare you challenge the “God of Atheism and Evolution.”

This is a direct assault on academic freedom. I also consider it an assault on student’s minds to think that they need to be protected from other viewpoints, even if that viewpoint opens the door to a religious possibility. A teacher’s role is to help students think. From reading all the positive ratings the students have given this professor, he is apparently doing a great job.

In a letter to the editor at News-Sentinel.com, Dr. Arnold Burron wrote, “As a graduate of Ball State University, and as a professor of education at the University of Northern Colorado for almost three decades, I urge the Ball State community to vigorously support professor Hedin. It is time to stop stifling academic inquiry by acquiescing to the cacophonous complaining of special interest groups.”

He also wrote, “Shutting down one’s opponents by clamor, rather than by challenging them in intellectual discourse, is a threat not only to achieving quality education, but also to maintaining a free nation.”

I can certainly identify with this discourse. While teaching at what is now called Colorado Mesa University, I was warned by my department chairman that my challenge to evolutionary dogma was a “touchy subject” and that I “had better drop it.” Even my outside speaking on the topic got too much for them. Well, . . .  today, I am a full-time speaker on the subject of origins. As this was in the mid-eighties, you can see that this assault on academic freedom has been going on for quite some time.

Dr. Hedin, I encourage you to hang in there and keep up the good work! Students need teachers like you! I hope university instructors across this nation will get behind you in this and will also help you lead the charge against this type of censorship by special interest and outspoken atheist groups.

 

Dave Nutting, Director

Alpha Omega Institute

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.

Box-Like Aerodynamic Car

The Bionic Car

When I first saw a picture of the Mercedes-Benz bionic concept vehicle, I had to laugh. In my view, it was quite comical, as far as cars go. All humor aside though, the boxy, rectangular body of the Bionic Car is a very efficient design.

As it turns out, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz were looking for a new aerodynamic design in a car. They found their inspiration in the tropical boxfish (Ostracion Cubicus) that lives in warm ocean waters. Although the rather large body of the boxfish appears to be cumbersome, it is able to swim very fast because of its low coefficient of drag and rigid exoskeleton.

The BoxfishBy modeling their concept car from the overall shape of the boxfish, the engineers designed a vehicle that had one of the lowest co-efficient of drag ever tested.

The 2005 model of the Bionic Car was able to reach a top speed of 118 miles per hour, while getting an astounding 70 miles per gallon fuel economy. Not only does the aerodynamic shape give the car a highly efficient fuel performance, its rectangular frame adds stability.

Once again, through biomimicry, engineers have examined God’s creation and applied what they have learned to make efficient products we can use.

 

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.

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.

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.

Elusive Transitional Forms

 

Geologic Time Chart

Geologic Time Chart

Has Science and the Scientific Method been misused? That was a question asked in my blog – Scientific laws and the Big Bang.  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 Fossil Record

Consider the following statement:

“Working with an incomplete fossil record is something like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing.  But after the puzzle is together, even with missing pieces, you will probably still understand the overall picture.”

Glencoe Biology 2006, p. 400

 

How incomplete is it?  2/3 of Earth’s land surface has only 5 or fewer of the 12 geologic periods in place.  80-85% of Earth’s land surface does not have even 3 geologic periods appearing in “correct” consecutive order.

 

Stephen J. Gould admitted: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology, the evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils.”

Stephen J. Gould, Natural History, Vol. 86, pgs 22, 30

 

He also admitted: “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”

Gould, S. J., in Evolution Now: A Century After Darwin, ed. John Maynard Smith, Macmillan, New York, p. 140, 1982

 

Niles Eldridge said: “Paleontologists ever since Darwin have been searching (largely in vain) for the sequences of insensibly graded series of fossils that would stand as examples of the sort of wholesale transformation of species that Darwin envisioned as the natural product of the evolutionary process.  Few saw any reason to demur- though it is a startling fact that, most species remain recognizably themselves, virtually unchanged throughout their occurrence in geological sediments of various ages.”

Eldredge, Niles, “Progress in Evolution?” New Scientist, vol. 110 (June 5, 1986), p. 55

 

Are these reasonable questions that should be asked?

1.  “Is the actual fossil evidence anything like the chart?”

2.  “What about the absence of transitional fossils?”

3.  “Are there any fossils clearly in transition?”

 

Is there another explanation that should be explored?

 

These are again good questions Dr. Arv Edgeworth has posed.

*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.

Fuzzy Dinosaurs

 

I received an Email from Terry Beh, who is the author of a new kid’s book on Dinosaurs which we sell at seminars. It is called T is for T.Rex - Some of Gods Most Amazing Creatures from A-Z. (Available from AOI for $20 includes shipping, just mention in the comments that you saw it here).

Terry Beh mentioned, in his email, that he has just recently visited the Witte Museum in San Antonio. Currently the museum is featuring a traveling exhibit on dinosaurs. Terry was certainly “impressed” with the amount of artwork, but also noted a definite lack of actual evidence for that artwork in the exhibits. It is evident that the main thrust of the exhibit is to convince all the kids who come to the displays that dinosaurs evolved into birds – despite the lack of solid evidence. Why the big push?  I think it is to help children connect with evolution at the youngest possible age. Since dinosaurs are always a huge attraction to kids, start them off with a bang by introducing them to the idea of evolution through dino’s evolving into birds.  Here is what Terry wrote:

Would you believe feathers on a T.rex? How about Velociraptor? I’m talking long, stringy, hair-like stuff that evolutionists are calling “protofeathers”–and that make some of these dinosaurs look like refugees from a nightmarish hippie convention. This is exactly what I found recently at a new dinosaur exhibit at the Witte (“witty”) Museum in San Antonio, where the latest in secular scientific propag…er, that is, education, is on display at an exhibit called, “Dinosaurs: Bigger, Better, Feathered…”. To read the whole story, read my article, “Museum’s Dinosaur Exhibit Not Too Witte,” at http://tisfortrex.com/?p=383.

Parents, make sure you understand the hype, and the rationale for that hype, so that you can guide your children correctly in 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.