The heavens [and octopuses] are telling of God’s glory

When I see things like this, it provokes me to wonder: Can something like this really be explained by time and chance and a random collocation of molecules? Not in a million years…or even a few billion.

Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. -Genesis 1:20-23

27 Responses to The heavens [and octopuses] are telling of God’s glory

  1. Paul Reed September 27, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Agreed. There is no way time or random chance could explain this.

    But let me ask you this. Is not the virus that causes AIDS, HIV, very complex as well? Look at the intricate ways in which HIV enters the cell, and how it replicates itself. Even if we wanted to engineer a bio-weapon, not even humans are smart enough to engineer something like HIV. So since you understand that octopuses and the heavens were designed by God, will you also agree that HIV is designed by God? What about fleas or bed bugs? How did those get here, if not by God?

    • Esther O'Reilly September 27, 2013 at 8:05 am #

      The devil.

      Next.

      • Sean James September 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

        I disagree. The devil is a created being and has no power in himself to create anything. I don’t know why we have things like fleas and bed bugs and HIV and mosquitoes and poison ivy and electric lawnmowers and Lady Gaga, but I’m confident ALL things are ultimately purposed for God’s glory. Yes, even that last one.

        • Esther O'Reilly September 28, 2013 at 10:28 am #

          I agree that all things are purposed for God’s glory, but God often uses evil things that he didn’t bring about.

  2. Sean James September 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    I disagree. The devil is a created being and has no power in himself to create anything. I don’t know why we have things like fleas and bed bugs and HIV and mosquitoes and poison ivy and electric lawnmowers and Lady Gaga, but I’m confident ALL things are ultimately purposed for God’s glory. Yes, even that last one.

  3. James Rednour September 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Agreed. There is no way time or random chance could explain this.

    True, but evolution is not a random process; it is a randomly seeded, self-correcting process. Genetic mutations are indeed random, but natural selection is not random at all. Those mutations that prove beneficial to the organism are selected by nature for inclusion in the next generation.

    • buddyglass September 28, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      AFAIK the word “random” is used here to mean “undirected” not “bereft of any discernible pattern or governing processes”.

  4. James Rednour September 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Can something like this really be explained by time and chance and a random collocation of molecules? Not in a million years…or even a few billion.

    And you know this how?

  5. Nathan Cesal September 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Paul & Esther, according to the Bible in John 1, “All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made.”

    Next.

    • Esther O'Reilly September 28, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      We have a couple possibilities to work with. First, it is possible that all those nasty things really did exist before the Fall, but Adam and Eve were just immune to it all (so the viruses and scorpions and other creepy-crawlies weren’t harmful to humans, yet). That’s an interesting possibility, but that verse doesn’t preclude other possibilities as well. It could mean that Satan came along and just tweaked some of God’s blueprints, but for evil, meaning that God had done the heavy lifting creation-wise and then allowed Satan to come along and screw some stuff up after the fall. That’s one of the most plausible considerations. Or maybe Satan had more of a hand in the creation process, but again, God had to allow it. I said “The devil” partly in jest, but we really don’t know for sure.

  6. Chris Ryan September 27, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Hmmm… I don’t really see a contradiction between Creationism and Evolution to be perfectly honest and I’m a literalist. In light of 2 Peter 3:8 what took billions of years in man time would have been an instant to God. For He that is Alpha and Omega, what is a billion years? Or even a trillion? God being God He could have set forces in motion & then sat back & enjoyed the show! 🙂

    To doubt radio-carbon dating would be to doubt the same science that underlies the atom bomb. Considering Hiroshma and Nagasaki that science seems pretty sound. So once you pair radio carbon dating with the fossils of dinosaurs, and Cro-Magnon, and Neanderthals, and all the other cave man species that walked the earth… Well, it makes me think that God wasn’t so much giving us a science book when He gave us the Word, but giving us a guide book to salvation.

    • Paul Reed September 27, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

      “I don’t really see a contradiction between Creationism and Evolution”

      I don’t recall who said it: “If you don’t see a contradiction between creationism and evolution, then you’re either really confused about creationism or evolution, or both”

      • James Bradshaw September 27, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

        @Paul: How does evolution explain complex biological systems where there are a myriad of inter-dependencies? For example, a circulatory system depends on a heart, but a heart has no purpose absent a circulatory system.

        How do biological beings in developmental phases of these systems exist long enough to reproduce? Isn’t reproduction required to pass on these traits to another biological being?

        • Paul Reed September 28, 2013 at 9:48 am #

          @James Bradshaw

          Don’t ask me. I believe in a 6-day literal creation, as per the Bible. I suppose that evolutionists would answer your question by stating that these systems developed independently and then later became dependent on each other (perhaps like transportation and gasoline; i.e. a carriage doesn’t require gasoline.)

      • Chris Ryan September 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

        There are a lot of conservative Christians pushing Intelligent Design, Paul. I’m a literalist but I do recognize that God speaks in metaphor at times; in Matthew 5:29-30 He doesn’t really want us to pluck out our eyes & cut off our hands. So if the Bible says, “Let the waters teem…” I don’t see anything in the text that precludes Him using evolutionary processes to do it.

        The physics behind radio carbon dating & the existence of fossils demonstrate that humans have been around at least 170K years; and cave men ‘cousins’ of ours like Neanderthals even longer. Dinosaur fossils are millions of years old. We even know from DNA examinations that early humans interbred with Neanderthals, and that people today still carry small amounts of Neanderthal DNA.

        A metaphorical reading of Genesis best accords with all these facts. A metaphorical reading also reconciles the 2 creation stories given in Genesis. The first creation story is of course Genesis 1:1-2:3 and it indicates that animals preceded Adam & Eve. The second creation story is Genesis 2:4-25 and it indicates that God created first Adam, then the animals, and Eve last. A literal reading of these verses would make them inconsistent, but a metaphorical reading harmonizes them.

  7. Muff Potter September 28, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    Dr. Burk,
    Not all liberals and conservatives are in lockstep with, nor do they all believe the same things in their respective camps. I am a liberal, and I too reject the evolutionary paradigm. If my liberal colleagues ever found out, they’d be after me like the villagers in the old Universal Frankenstein flicks, torches, pitchforks, rakes and all.

    • Esther O'Reilly September 28, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      Frankly, the “evidence” for evolution stinks so bad that I firmly believe anyone should be able to discard it, Christian or no. Of course, that allow a divine foot and perhaps a divine torso as well into the door, so any non-Christian will have to deal with that in his own heart if he has the academic integrity to recognize the power of the evidence for ID.

      • Lauren Bertrand September 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

        “Stinks so bad” — no really it doesn’t. You’re just heaving the colossal weight of your own rigid ideology onto the moderates (the squishy middle), and expecting us to play ball with it. For non-Christians who have repudiated evolution in favor of their religion’s own respective creation stories, and are vocal advocates about THEIR creationism, would you be willing to remain at peace with them?

        • Esther O'Reilly September 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

          If you got out more, you’d realize the evolutionists are every bit as rigid as your favorite foaming-at-the-mouth YEC creationist stereotype, if not more so. Take it from somebody who hangs out in the world of hard-core academia quite a bit and knows some of the politics behind the “science.” My family and I have quite a few friends who could tell you quite a few stories, and they’re not even all Christians.

          I’m not sure what you mean by “remain at peace.” Perhaps you could define that more clearly. I believe Muslims have done some excellent work when it comes to the cosmological argument. The kalam in particular is a powerful tool that Christians can avail themselves of as well (William Lane Craig, etc.)

  8. Don Johnson September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    If anyone wants to see how one can try in faith to both be a believer in Jesus and accept evolution, see the biologos website.

  9. Lynn Burgess October 1, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    Wow! What a crazy diverse bunch of comments.

    Evolution cannot be true because there was no death before the fall.

    Ken Hamm and his friends at AnswersInGenesis.org have some good materials on this subject that range from children to serious scientific/biblical discussions for adult who are critical thinkers.

    All of the physical record (i.e. fossils, etc.) can be explained in light of the Bible but I cannot begin to explain it in this brief post. Noah’s flood played a big part. The Answers In Genesis Creation museum (creationmuseum.org) is a top notch display with detailed explanation of it all. It would make an awesome vacation experience and is located near the Cincinnati Airport in northern KY.

    • Paul Reed October 1, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      @Lynn Burgess

      “Evolution cannot be true because there was no death before the fall.”

      Agreed. Also, evolution has many transitional species between humans and animals. Thus, humans aren’t really special, or made in God’s image. Do people really want to live in a world where all they are is just a high-level evolved animal? And I also highly recommend the Creation Museum.

    • Esther O'Reilly October 1, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      I am actually not a big fan of Ham and AIG, as I think they disregard some important evidence for an old earth. BUT, I do not believe this necessitates the acceptance of evolution. God could have simply taken his time over creating each thing. The theistic evolutionist is in an absurd and untenable position, completely lose-lose.

  10. Brett Cody October 3, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    The Matthew passage you are referring to is not a metaphor. It is hyperbolic.

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