The original version of my origins essay can be found here. This was written for my wikipedia user page back when I was an active editor there. I have moved it to this site, but I now consider it long-paragraphed, clunky, and not the clearest way to approach origins, so I'm working on a new essay here.
UPDATE: The following is a draft of the new essay. Please note, it is very much a work in progress at this time.
My journey to belief in the Bible has been a long one, but I believe that now I have found a way to prove that God exists and did send Jesus as the Savior to give everybody who wants it the free gift of eternal, joyful, perfect life in heaven. I've never heard anyone else give this reasoning, so I feel it's vital for me to "put it to paper" (I know this isn't really paper :P), even if nobody might ever read it.
The one "catch" to the good news of the Bible is that we must have faith, or must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and will raise us as well if we love him.But, this is not something we can just go, "Okay, I choose to believe. BAM! Saved!" Believing means you have to be convinced. But how can we know?
That's what I wondered; I was raised Christian, in a biblical church, but I simply did not believe. I wanted to, but I needed to know it was true in order to believe. So I spent several years researching and thinking on this. I found countless proofs and strong evidences that the Bible is trustworthy, but the one that has been the most convincing to me is this. I finally thought of asking, one day, this question:
How can existence possibly be finite?
I realized that this is the essential difference between the Biblical God and all other beliefs, with some exceptions who may accept an infinite God but one who behaves differently from the Bible's God. Especially, this is what atheism denies, and the main worldview I was tempted to believe instead of the Bible was atheistic evolution. With all others I had already found some fatal flaw or contradiction.
We know for sure that existence exists, and it is filled with finite things.
We don't necessarily understand exactly what it is... yes, we're made of atoms, and atoms are made of wave-particle quality stuff, and these might be made of something even more basic and so forth, but what's beyond that, why there would be these things... we don't know that for sure, but we know that we do exist in some form. We know there is time, we know there is space, energy, and matter.
Atheism says that this existence is fundamentally finite --not infinite, limited -- definitely not including the infinite God.
But how can this be?
To explain where I'm coming from a little, I'm very interested in causality, the study of causes and effects. We have observed clear laws of causality that always apply. Every effect has a cause, and every cause is in turn an effect of a previous cause.
In debates with atheists, going back to the Big Bang, I would ask, what caused the Big Bang, then, if not God? (And if God exists, then why would he use such a clumsy and drawn-out process to create, including death and suffering before people existed to sin, etc.?)
I was assured that, don't worry, the scientists have it all figured out; there didn't need to be a cause of the Big Bang. Recently on a TV show, Stephen Hawking said the same thing (although he only considered the possibility of finite evolved Gods; he did not consider an infinite God). Basically, since time did not yet exist, he said, there was no need for a cause because cause and effect only works in time (he claimed).
This doesn't make sense to me. I think the laws of causality have to go back before time.
There had to be a cause for the beginning of this universe. Especially because even while atheists like Hawking were saying the origins could violate a law of physics, Genesis's creation account is ruled out too because (they say) it violates laws of physics via "miracles". Their "no cause" idea is itself a secular miracle, and thus they have contradicted themselves. Something, or someone, or something who can be a someone to us, had to cause it.
There are only two options, I concluded. (At least in initial consideration.)
First, there is a single Infinite Cause. God. Not limited to non-life, weakness, or anything of the sort. Infinite existence.
Or, there had to be an infinite chain of finite causes. This could include an infinite number of Big Bangs and collapses (although since the universe's expansion is accelerating this appears to be ruled out). But this begs the question of, why would this setup exist?
If you think of time as a string, then what is next to the string to cause it to be a string?
Recently the causeless Big Bang idea has been falling apart in popular science, interestingly. The other day I read this article on creation.com in which many prominent evolutionist scientists have admitted that time could not have started with the Big Bang, and speculated many different alternatives. Among the ideas is the string of Big Bangs. One of the scientists made the following claim:
"And in mathematics, invoking infinity is the same as giving up, or cheating."
But when it comes to explaining known existence I think the exact opposite is the case! Any explanation that says that existence is finite doesn't work.
To explain why, I need to introduce the concept of "transtime" or a transtemporal perspective. Da big word basically means "beyond time" (not just outside of it; including it, but not limited to time).
A great example of someone missing this was Richard Dawkins in his book The Blind Watchmaker. (Which I got to read excerpts of in a textbook, without giving money to an anti-God cause directly lol). In Chapter 11, Dawkins says this (trimmed so the main points are visible together, and emphasis mine):
[Dawkins chooses not to try] to demolish some particular version of [creation] such as the [version of creation]... in Genesis... It has no... special status... All these [views] depend on the deliberate intentions of some kind of supernatural being. [He does not define what he means by “supernatural”.]
We cannot disprove beliefs like these... All we can say... is... that [creation] assume[s] the existence of the main thing we want to explain, namely organized complexity. The one thing that makes evolution such a neat theory is that it explains how organized complexity can arise out of primeval simplicity.
If we want to postulate a deity capable of engineering all the organized complexity... that deity must already have been vastly complex in the first place. The creationist... [believes in] an already existing being of prodigious intelligence and complexity...
The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that [explains] the existence of organized complexity... It would be untamed chance if once there was no eye... then... an eye appeared... This is possible but the odds against it [are extremely high]. The same applies to the odds against the spontaneous existence of any fully fashioned, perfect and whole beings, including... deities.
But the God of the Bible is not just vastly complex, but infinitely complex! That Dawkins could claim to comment on this without realizing that is very telling. In fact the difference between atheism and beliefs in "little g gods" are by contrast negligible. The Genesis creator is literally infinitely beyond them all in terms of special status. Belief in little-g, temporal (within time like us) gods is basically belief in aliens, which is really not foreign to all flavors of atheism.
Still more important than this, though, are two more observations, both about time:
1) Evolution is entirely inside time. It is a process within time, to explain the things found within time like us.
2) The biblical God is beyond time. God is not inside time to be able to evolve as Hawking, Dawkins, and countless others seem to think we believe. The Gods they are rejecting are Straw Gods anyways; they are not claimed to exist. (Although demons could masquerade as little-g gods and angels could be confused for gods, but that's a discussion for another place.)
And it's not just a little-g god that is beyond the limitations of time, but an (really, the only) infinite God that is infinitely unlimited beyond time.
Dawkins failed to consider time from a transtemporal perspective. Looking at time from a beyond-time view is like looking at an old-style film reel, where you can see all the frames at once. Time exists in this way, whether God exists or not.
But evolution could act only within time.
From the essential transtemporal perspective, both of Dawkins' key claims are wrong:
1) Evolution does not explain known existence including time. It does not help in the slightest to explain why there is a universe in which things move forward, etc. nor why there would be complexity at all, let alone organized.
2) God is not inside time to be explained by an evolutionary process the way aliens or we might (seem to) be.
Going back to the linked article, all those scientists have been once more forced to move closer to the biblical position (as has happened countless times in science history). All of their new explanations move closer and closer towards true infinity. But this fundamentally contradicts the basic evolutionary concept because once it's established that the infinite God exists, then he could create in just six days without using anything like evolution.
This is the only answer that is consistent with the laws of causality that can have time have a beginning, etc.
Now, here's the key proof.
Considering that from a beyond-time perspective, we know that there is at least a finite existence, what -- again, beyond time -- could cause existence to "stop" existing at a certain limit?
Try to imagine existence appearing as a little dot and then getting bigger and bigger and bigger... but then some unimaginable mechanism stops it and that's it... Yet no such mechanism is possible because mechanisms require time... and we're trying to explain even time itself. No process of growth or any such thing can explain existence, not even the wildest imaginings of evolutionists...
No, it is crystal clear -- existence has to be infinite, including God!
The only other logical alternative would be that literally no existence at all exists. This is clearly false.
Once this is established, we can conclude several more things based on this infinite, beyond-time nature.
God has to be entirely self-consistent. This could be called Holy, unable to sin, etc.
God has to be Love; to hate would be self-contradictory. He cannot go through changing contradictory states of mind because he is beyond time.
Being love, he must desire to make other beings (and being infinite he has the power to do so). He must desire true love which requires the freewill not to love. If we do sin, there must be payment due to his self-consistent nature. Everything must be balanced. Yet, being love, he would want to pay this cost himself.
God is aware of the past, present, and future all at once.
Thus, he could know that revealing certain details of the future to temporal beings in the past would not mess up that future, and could thus give some prophecies to prove he is who he says he is. These prophecies would have to sometimes come true, and be incredibly unlikely by chance.
Given the previous two it would make sense to make many prophecies about the event that means the most to him; when he pays the cost for the freewilled beings so he can allow them to live forever. And to make these prophecies the least likely to come true by luck, being very detailed.
Yet, in order to pay that cost, he would have to be killed, and being Holy, he could not do it himself.
He had to let created temporal beings do it, and if his enemies knew that death was what he needed they would prevent it, so many of these prophecies would have to be cryptic, becoming clear once they were fulfilled but difficult to guess beforehand. Also, keeping them ignorant of what they were doing would enable them to be saved too.
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. All of this derives directly from the necessary existence of an infinite transtemporal God, and only the Bible fits this. Atheism is ruled out right from the start. All other religions contradict it on some point, although some, especially Islam and Buddhism come close.
All versions of evolution are ruled out because the cost of sin is imagined to be before freewilled beings existed.
Admittedly theistic evolution is still closer, and old-earth biblical creation fits with everything I have derived above, since God's transtemporal nature does allow him to put effects before their causes if he wishes. But I don't think this makes sense as it would needlessly confuse his creations because they are inherently temporal, and it would make more sense that the punishment for sin would only come after sin.
Also, it would throw into question whether he really is able to create a perfect universe without death and suffering as he promises for the future. He would want to demonstrate to the first humans that he is Love, and has made life perfect for them, and memory of this would be passed down through all generations.
And we can conclusively rule out old-Earth creationism because once God establishes by prophecy and miracles, etc. that the Bible is his Word, we can look to see what it says about the things that aren't easily derived from basic causality logic. And in Genesis, the use of the Hebrew word yom with a number and the phrase evening and morning can only mean literal days; God went out of his way to confirm it was normal days.
NOTE: Biblical Judaism, of course, fits this as well, except that once Jesus fulfilled the Christ prophecy, in my opinion it is irrational to deny that he was the Messiah. Just as God gave the different books of the Old Testament over time, the New Testament is the completion of his Word (and it seems clear it is complete, at least until the Millenial Kingdom when perhaps Jesus might add to it, but there should be no doubt that until Jesus is literally on the throne no other claims of adding to the Bible can be valid.)
Some things in this existence aren't explained either by basic causality logic or by the Bible, especially, why do the freewilled beings have to be shaped the way we are?
But I think science has shown that the human form is nearly ideal for general adaptability for a truly sapient being, especially beings capable of invention.
Once that's established, God would want to be able to appear to us in a human-shaped form so that we could more easily related to him. This fits the Son facet of the Trinity.
He may also wish to be related to as two other Persons, the Spirit manifesting his all-present nature and the Father his beyond-time nature. See this blog entry for more: Biblical Trinity Theory. Since those two natures are then used up in this Trinity it makes sense also that the Son would manifest the omnipotent nature.
Thus, the Son would be primarily in charge of Creation, and would be the one to come as one of the freewilled beings eventually to pay the cost of sin and give eternal life, promising a restoration of perfection creation to all who accept him. He would also likely be in charge of judging us (the Bible reveals Jesus will), and would be the creator of the new universe to make later.
Another important aspect of this whole concept is the idea of the "supernatural."
Being an English major and a logician, my main area of expertise is in how people tend to define words in certain ways, and often confuse the act of defining words for making a logical point or proving a conclusion. Supernatural is one of the words most misuses in this way.
As I said in the original origins essay:
[E]volutionists refuse to consider that a God used "supernatural" means in terms of origins, or in terms of the fossil record, etc.... The central idea? The "supernatural" cannot be considered, because it falls outside the realm that science can study.
However, the problem is that evolutionists arbitrarily decide what to consider "supernatural", and have no basis upon which they can say it falls outside the realm of science. Creationists, on the other hand, simply consider God part of what is "natural", and his abilities to be part of physics.... In fact, God is really all that is truly "natural", because he exists outside of time and existed "before" all the physics and material things that today we consider "nature." Put simply, "nature" is supernatural!
The definition of "supernatural" [on Dictionary.com] is as follows:
1. of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
Notice the key phrase "unexplainable by natural law". What is natural law? There's a common misconception here that evolutionists are taking advantage of. The "laws" of physics are not laws in the sense of legality. They are simply observations... about the rules of reality....
A complete list of "rules of reality", in other words, would include much more than just what evolutionists allow. The physics of God can be considered... Creationists therefore consider it within the realm of science.
A complete list of such "rules" that included the nature of God could also be falsified. For example, if there really was a global Flood caused by God (whether through direct intervention or not; the Bible does not specifically say), we would expect to find billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, laid down by water all over the Earth, as Ken Ham is so fond of saying. And we do. We would expect him to be able to rise from the dead, and historical evidence proves that he did. We would also expect to find information coded by him that explains how life can grow and follow rules, and that is what we find in genetics....
Evolutionists, however, mistakenly believe that definition #1 of "supernatural" is the same thing as definition #2:This is the cause of most disagreement between Creationists and Evolutionists. And it's quite simply wrong. It is not supported by logic or the evidence...
2. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
Another way of saying "supernatural" is a system or physics rules, of how things work, that is more fundamental than another system. Reality is now known to be filled with such levels of physics.
For example, forensics is the study of how the natures of (criminal) intelligent beings (humans) interact with the non-human natures of settings, things, etc. (As well as less intelligent beings if animals, bugs, etc. are involved.)
Sometimes atheists claim that science cannot study intelligence, but forensics is an excellent disproof of that myth. In this case, how humans work is a level "above" the more basic physics that governs our cells, atoms, etc. which also applies to the things we interact with. Forensic scientists can use knowledge of how minds and bodies work to study the effects of criminals' behavior on their surroundings.
Likewise, God is a level above at least one more fundamental physics -- whether we know it or not -- that determines his own abilities and limitations. Creationists refer to this as God's nature (it is not separate from him, since He is the most basic existence). Being something like infinite transtemporal energy certainly makes him very different from us, but his existence is just as possible -- in fact I think necessary. We can study him and what he has done.
In fact considering he put humans in charge of creation (acccording to Genesis and Romans), and we sinned, causing death and suffering to enter the world, really you could say that we can study cosmic forensics. Even atheistic scientists are unknowingly studying such things all the time.
There is also anthropology, etc.
But back to the concept of levels of physics, there are at least two levels, and probably more, "below" (being more fundamental than) the normal atomic physics we are used to.
One is relativity; the relatively recent (punny ha ha ha okay) discovery that time can flow at different rates for different people/things depending on speed and proximity to large amounts of gravity, among other related effects.
Even more important, quantum mechanics has revealed that there is a complete system of "tiny physics" that the larger physics we're used to is made out of, that is vastly different. Many of the basic rules on the large scale are "violated" on the small scale, such as that things we think of as particles are apparently waves; they have a wave-particle duality nature, as it's said. Under some circumstances the wave nature of atomic particles can be observed.
There may also be a third level of string physics, which says that the fundamental forces like gravity and electromagnetism are explained by multidimensional strings vibrating. Some creationists have made convincing arguments that this may be merely a rescuing device for evolution, however, and thus may not be well-grounded science, but something else might explain these patterns. And then someone else might explain that, etc. It's quite possible that there may be an infinite amount of levels to create physics, and that this is altogether part of the substance of God. Or, there could simply be a finite number of created levels based on whatever was logically necessary for efficient design, resting on an infinite sea of God's transcendant nature.
But what might God's physics be?
I think these recent discoveries, especially quantum mechanics, have given us some great clues.
We've discovered that location may be a construct rather than something concrete and changeable only by motion, for example. God's infinite nature and beyond-time nature may be more fundamental even than direction, dimension, or any concept based on location. He may be an infinite sea of something like energy, and timespace may simply be the coding of location constructs in certain bits of energy that he designated to be part of the creation.
God's all-present nature could be accomplished simply by not having location defined for the infinite energy he reserves for himself. He would function something like an infinite brain or computer, able to analyze anything.
He could send bits of himself through any points in time and space by giving them location functions, using a nonlinear version of time if that served his purposes. He could also send bits of him to live like us in time, not knowing the future unless his beyond-time nature deemed it good to tell those parts, or withhold whatever they didn't need to know (like Jesus, when he said he did not know the time of his second coming).
Being beyond time, he may not be alive in a temporal sense as we are, but rather as we move through time, we are moving through him and thus experience him as a living being.
This process could go on forever since he's infinite, especially if location and time are indeed constructs within a larger causal existence. His causal thought-processes, emotions, etc. could follow any path through this vast sea of energy he wanted -- exploring any possible future in creation for example that he needs to, in order to figure out the best design of a created being or the best and not so good behaviors to tell them about.
If his creation is made of bits of him with location and time constructs coded in, then he could make whatever amount of things he wanted, in whatever form, by adding waves into this initial sea of energy.
He could code what the waves should do into the fabric of reality, and make the waves in a similar method to how a Braille machine punches bumps in Braille paper. The closest thing in our ordinary terms this could be compared to would be speaking, incidently, which fits Gensis 1 perfectly.
Knowing the future (and indeed all possible futures), he (and only he; no little-g god could handle this) could arrange every single wave that acts like a particle in just the right way so that through a cosmic, super-uber-majorly-wow-awe-inspiringly-complex version of the domino effect it would continue from there through time with little to no guiding.
If at any time there was a purpose, especially related to proving who he is and convincing people of his promise of future salvation, that the domino effect would not be enough for, it would be a small matter for him to use the Braille method to add new waves or change the paths of existing waves to act in ways nobody else could cause, especially the creation of new matter or the miraculous transformation of one type into another (like the feedings of the multitudes or turning water to wine).
He would also be able to miraculously give knowledge to the Son facet of himself or even to created beings that they were not at the time able to know by any other means. Many miracles in the Bible could be explained as knowing things later science could discover, before people had done the science to find them out (such as perhaps some instances of turning bitter water sweet, which might have made use of chemistry).
Also, we should not assume that God is "supernatural" in the sense of levels of physics.
If you take a laptop computer like the one I'm using as I write this for example, it has its own "specific physics", as I call it. This means the complete list of rules for how it works because of its own design, the atoms in it, etc.
The human who owns the computer has their own design, which has different specific physics than the laptop.
If I set my laptop on a shelf and don't interact with it, it will run only according to is own specific physics. But if I touch the mouse pad and move the pointer, or type in a word processing program, I have brought my own specific physics in and altered its behavior.
This does not mean that the computer and I have different levels of physics. Our general physics is the same -- the physics of atoms, energy, space, and time.
Likewise, atheists and even many Christians may be wrong to assume that God's general physics are really different from ours. It's vital to remember that our scientifically observed laws of physics are NOT the actual physics at work; if we could know everything, we may be aware of far more laws of physics. Or perhaps we already understand most general physics.
Thus, miracles could be done by a "natural" God acting on a natural creation, like me controlling my laptop.
Also, notice in the laptop example that when I "work a miracle", I am not overriding the specific physics of the laptop. I am using its own physics to accomplish what I want.
We design technology, in fact, for the very purpose of making actions easier, so the simplest action from me like pushing a button will enable advanced actions like publishing a large amount of text the entire world can access on a website. Before computers I would have had to write an original on paper someone had to make, somehow make six-billion-plus copies, and have them physically sent throughout the globe.
Likewise, most of God's miracles after creation was complete may have been like pushing proverbial buttons that use systems in creation to cause unusual results, perhaps using physics systems our science hasn't even discovered yet, or using some of the deeper levels of physics in ways humans can't naturally do. Sometimes in the Bible a method like this is even mentioned, like the wind that drove aside the Red Sea. God might have caused a minor disturbance in normal physics that made the wind drive downwards at a shallow point abnormally, or even domino-effected it via his foreknowledge during creation.
When you think of it this way, then in some sense the difference between "natural" for creation and "supernatural" for God may simply be that God's specific physics differ from ours, while the same general physics is at work. (Again, the actual physics, not just our listed observations.)
It's worth mentioning that the term "supernatural" is not mentioned in normal translations of the Bible, by the way.
Searches in the NIV (1984 and new) turned up zero results. I found two in the "Reader's Version," from words that are translated spiritual in 1984 version. English Standard, New King James, original King James, American Standard, and others also turned up zero results, although I did find 3 or so results in some of the more unusual translations like the Message.
It appears this was an idea originating more recently as believers tried to understand what the Bible was teaching about God, and they formed a general theory of religions including the Bible and others that there was a "supernature." This should not be confused for Scriptural truth; at best it is a theory.
And how the term seems to have been intended by those who invented it is also different from how atheists typically use it now, to mean "no physics" when it originally meant "super" or more advanced/fundamental physics.
One thing we can clearly rule out is that God is limited to physical, material specific physics like we are (or seem to be).
God is not just a being made of matter, like the aliens of atheistic panspermia. That much is clear.
But the imprecision of definitions comes in here as well, because atheists often claim that they only believe in physical reality.
But if by physical they mean material -- made of atoms -- this is clearly not true. No atheist today believes there is no light, no energy, no timespace, no information, no abstract concepts, etc. and although most don't have a strong conceptual grasp of things like chemistry, relativity, quantum mechanics, or the like, surely most do believe they exist.
So it seems that by "physical" they really mean all the things, and the open possibility of much more beyond mere atoms that's undiscovered so far, that sound so similar to how God is described in the Bible. Atheistic science has taken a long road to get here, but it's now only one step away from belief in God; the idea that all of this that science has indicated, especially quantum mechanics, might include life.
One Nobel-winning scientist even recently speculated that what is operating behind quantum mechanics (more on why I say that in a moment) may in fact be God.
He illogically tried to say that this couldn't be the God of the Bible because no human-made tradition could have accurately described this transcendent God, ignoring the rather obvious point that if this transcendent quantum collective was alive, it (or "he") could communicate.
So atheists' actual definition of "physical" seems to be "anything is possible but God," and as a logician that is simply not good enough for me.
There are countless other things that seem to prove or are strong evidence of God, some of which I'll try to get to, but this alone seems to be completely proven.
Now, I'm a truthseeker and if I'm wrong I desperately want to know it.
As I often say, I always win debates, because if it turns out through logical analysis I am proven right, then that's cool, but if it's proven that I'm wrong, then I can change my mind and become more right. It's certainly reasonable that if I am wrong about eternal life, then being wrong doesn't matter, and I would definately want to risk it... but the Bible also teaches that the truth sets us free. If the truth was that the Bible was false, I would want to know.
So I challenge atheists or others who disagree with the biblical belief to answer this. The fundamental difference between the Bible and atheism (and atheistic "little g" alien-religions) is that existence is truly infinite, which includes God. Although some versions of Big Bang astronomy for example include limited infinite; the idea of space stretching for infinite difference, they all have some finite limit imposed, and as far as I can tell they're all arbitrary.
So how could existence be finite?
I'm not asking for proof that it IS finite -- I'm merely asking for even just one plausible speculation.
Really, if you have the slightest speculation, just want to think out loud, whatever, I want it all, yanno? I might think that none of it is plausible, but maybe not. (You can post a comment here.) Here's hoping somebody on the planet responds, heh.
So, because existence has to be infinite, and this has to result logically in certain traits, God must exist. And because only this beyond-time infinite God could explain the prophecies and other historically proven miracles in the Bible, we can know that it is his Word, ruling out any other religious text or idea. And finally because the rules of language further constrict his Word, at least in principle, to a single correct intended meaning, which is summarized as biblical Christianity, we can put our faith in Jesus and receive salvation. ^_^
Further considerations can strengthen our faith and clarify details of it as well. The rest of this essay will delve into some of what strike me as the most important of these reasons.
Before I continue I want to explain in some detail my methods for finding truth. [etc., finish later]]]
The question of how certain we can be of anything is an important one, and following along that line of reasoning, I have found, is one of the most helpful, because when you really think it through, we can construct a fully sound extrapolation from a few basic universal observations, that leads directly to the conclusion that the Bible is true, and even how to properly interpret it. The above causality logic is a part of it; this is the larger framework. I'll also include a few important side notes along the way.
At the very beginning of the analysis, if I am totally honest as I choose to be, everything is reduced to only one thing I can be absolutely sure of. However, further consideration enables me to be sure of other things, and eventually reach sound support for much else about reality that clarifies initial uncertainty. That first truth is, as written from my own perspective:
-I myself, as an entity of thoughts and emotions, definitely exist – whether anything else exists in the way I perceive it, I cannot be completely certain (for now ;)), but of this one thing I personally can be fully certain. (However, read on for an important caution about “the way we perceive”.)
-IF you exist as a similar entity, then you have the ability to know you exist in the same way, but like me, you lack the ability to absolutely certain anything else exists in the way you perceive.
Beyond these two points people often get tied up in poorly defined terminology, like the question of whether material reality exists – but what, then, does “material” mean? The patterns of the behavior of “material” things as we sense them obey predictable rules. And then there's the question of whether there is such a thing as “external” reality or if it's all just in our minds – but then, where would our minds really stop? If you look past the “word gamey” aspect of such questions, an important answer emerges:
-Patterns of (apparently external, as well as internal) existence do exist, regardless of what the true (possibly unknowable for-sure??) causes are for them. So, for example, my pet dog exists. The patterns that make up his substance, his mind, his behavior, his motion, even his fur color, all do exist. This is the crucial point that many people seem to miss when they wonder whether external material reality “really exists” (as we perceive it) or whether it only exists in our minds.
My dog may exist in some larger physics network that contains me (external material reality, etc.), or “I” may be that larger physics network (the “it's all a dream” idea, etc.). But either way, my dog exists.
-Furthermore, my dog's behavior (and all other apparently external reality) is controlled outside the region of existence that I experience as “me.” Therefore, in at least some sense, there really is “external reality” from “me”. So regardless of how absolute the boundary is of where “I” end and external reality begins, that boundary exists.
For now in this analysis, I can't be sure whether the apparent non-me is something generated by what would hypothetically be my own vast subconscious, or whether the apparent “me” really is the limited “me” in my brain, etc. If “I” am not really my brain, then the appearance of brains and all scientific observations of brains would all have to be a generated illusion. Yet there would have to be something like a brain, only much larger to generate these patterns. Part of what this larger supposed “me” would be generating includes both the narrower subconscious and the linear conscious of the apparent “me”.
-Now here's the vital step that unlocks countless other truths – my observations of those patterns (both internal and external) universally shows causality. From this we can reliably determine the relationships between things, parts, aspects, etc. of all the patterns of existence.
Some of the basics we can conclude from this include:
-Other people do exist. Whether they are confined parts of a larger “me”, confined in the same way as “apparent me” becomes totally irrelevant. They have the same basic nature as me, they have their own consciousness, etc.
-Material reality does exist. Again, whether it is how we perceive (again, see caution below) or not is irrelevant. It exists, the patterns in it exist, and the causal relationships in the patterns exist. The way we interact with it exists.
-Many beings that are not people exist as well. Animals exist.
-So do plants and all other life.
-The same can be said for all technology, planets, etc. It all exists.
-Immaterial patterns also exist. This includes language, written or spoken, and the ideas that generate them and are in turn generated by them. That is, the same idea can be expressed by many different immaterial codes; the specific mode is not as important (though it can carry different connotations as well) as the immaterial pattern being conveyed. The same word can be written with ink (of vast variety of chemical types), pencil, marker, inscribed on a tablet, typed into a keyboard, drawn in a digital art program, etc. And it can be spoken, with every different human voice. And the same idea (more or less) can be conveyed in most language, in any of these means.
All of these communication methods require a translation system, present in both sender and receiver, to convert the (often quite different) pattern of the transmission back into the intended idea to be understood by different consciousnesses (different people, etc.). A similar system is in place in DNA (which again, exists, even if it's “in a dream”).
-Further study into the patterns and causality of existence reveals much about physics, like chemistry, biology, temporal relativity, quantum mechanics, and all the subdivisions of observational (testable, repeatable) science. Once again, it is irrelevant whether these patterns “exist as perceived” or are illusions.
-At this point, the analysis has matured to a point where we can make another fundamental observation about existence – the absolute nature of sound, valid logic. From the very beginning of this analysis (of every being's analysis), logic has already been operating. Logic can be defined in its simplest form as the patterns of thought, in our “apparent me”s. When we progress this far, though, we realize that the study of these patterns produces reliable ways of thinking, and unreliable ones. That is, ways of thinking that accurately predict patterns of existence, and ways that do not.
This is an absolutely vital step towards answering the really big questions. Now we can begin to extrapolate beyond merely directly observed reality (or somewhat less directly as in microscopes, etc.). This especially becomes relevant as we try to understand origins, and the question of afterlife (since we universally observe that beings with minds, including all humans, die; their conscious life patterns cease to exist at least within the realm of reality that is observable to those who haven't died).
-However, we can also observe the existence of flawed psychological analysis that rests on emotionally-chosen assumptions, societal praise-or-condemn feedback loops, and fallacious thinking tends to form false opinions – that is, opinions that consistently fail to predict future observed patterns of existence.
This includes evolution, which often confuses the above observable patterns in reality (the study of this is science) with our own psychological constructs that seek to explain the world around us in purely material ways (evolution). Or, more technically, the way that those reliable observational patterns influence the adapting of our non-observed constructs like evolution. Evolution from the beginning of its founding has made a countless series of flawed predictions, as have most other worldviews, while only the Bible has always accurately predicted our observations, when thoroughly logical analysis is done.
This is of course a vast subject and this analysis isn't going to go into all of that; see the rest of this site and sites like creation.com and answersingenesis.org for more. Many people have been kept ignorant of these things via peer pressure, etc. but they are always welcome to learn! And note that the same principles of flawed analysis can produce conclusions such as that the Bible -hasn't- accurately predicted our observations, but these claims are not rooted in real observation but emotional perception. This is not to say either that emotions are bad; this is all just a much vaster discussion than can be summed up in one paragraph.
-Working from causality observations, we can conclude what I did above about the requirement for existence to be infinite, including God. Once we understand what causality demands that this God be like (infinite, beyond time, all-knowing, all powerful, self-consistent, Love, etc.), again relying on the same rules of causality and logic, we can realize that the Bible must be the Word of God, etc.
Now, what does this mean as far as our analysis has gone? This means that regardless of the nature of external existence – whether it's really a bigger “me” containing the apparent me and you and everything else, or whether me = me and the external really is external – regardless of that, we can conclude that God definitely exists. If “big me” exists, then this is simply synonymous with God. In fact, “I” would have to be infinite, according to the rules of causality, if there was no truly external existence, since existence cannot be merely finite.
-At this point, thankfully, we can “conclusively” (more or less) debunk the idea of a “big me”. (With a caution, that these are really just labels anyways...) It now becomes crystal clear that the limitations of the “apparent me” are, as far as I or anybody else can determine based on observing those real patterns, real. I can influence external reality, but only from my brain via the patterns that we label “material reality”, and “energy” and immaterial patterns and the like. My own mind can be considered proven to be limited to my brain, and indistinguishable in this way from others' minds which are limited to their brains, etc.
Therefore, considering that “me” is just a label in a language anyways, I think it only makes sense to apply this label to the “apparent me”. The rest of reality is not a figment of “my” imagination.
This also means that God, as a separate entity from myself, must exist. I am a created being, and God is the Creator. Furthermore, all of us mere humans are "created equal"; none is the same being as the "big being". However, the possibility remains in this analysis, and nothing I've ever found disproves it, that another being could have a manifested body but be a manifestation of the infinite being, as Hebrews describes Jesus.
So in Jesus' own perspective, in a sense, it is actually somewhat accurate for him to say that everything else is a "figment of his imagination"; that the reality he experiences as external to hid physical manifestation (the Son of God Person of the Trinity, and later his human form and then resurrected and possibly modified human form) is generated by and upheld by a greater continuation of his intelligence beyond his physical body which is the same being as himself; who he could think of as his "big me".
-Now for the caution. The very idea of things “existing as we perceive them” is very dependent on our subjective choices for how to label things with vocabulary. That is, even our own consistent observations of material reality show us that it is not really much like how we perceive it with our senses directly. We do not see atoms, and yet... we do. We see just part of the overall pattern created by a really far more complex system of molecules, electrons, light, etc. And this system itself, it seems, is absolutely required to be dependent on even more complex, “tiny” systems like quantum mechanics, and ultimately in the infinite nature of God, so in a sense, it all really is an "illusion", and we know a lot about how that illusion is generated.
So whether the whole “it's a (much more complicated version of) a dream” idea is right or not, it is still true that “how we perceive” reality is not as simple as it might sound.
You can make a strong argument that the idea of a dream is ultimately synonymous with “material reality”, since material reality is made out of tiny wave patterns in an infinite consciousness of God. I would say that those who still haven't realized God exists could even agree with this idea in principle, since “dream” here can be metaphorical for a vast generated reality in a computerlike physics network. After all, in our literal dreams we experience the imagery of material appearances, not usually significantly different from the material nature of external reality in the waking world (though it will lack the specificity of the real world).
The argument can even be made that a labeling scheme that defines “the big me” as infinite, beyond time, etc. would be just as valid as “God”, as long as “apparent me” and “apparent you” are fully equal within this larger consciousness (thus the "big me" is really the "big you" too; the "big us" and "big everything"), and that at the same time, another labeling scheme that defines infinite external reality as “material” would be just as valid. When you really think it through, all of these ideas can converge to describe different aspects of the same ultimate and apparently inescapable reality.
At the same time, we can definitely rule out certain conclusions; the labeling is not purely subjective. We can rule out the idea that God does not exist. Since infinite, intelligent, transtemporal existence has to exist, with all the attributes that the label “God” includes, beyond (and being the cause of) the creation and ourselves, the label is valid and appropriate.
Atheism is therefore disproved. Some of the ways that atheists try to define reality are technically valid, but they fail to realize that no unspoken, implied sense of those definitions that excludes God is possible. That is to say, often they make statements in attempting to define atheistic existence, that as worded, I can actually agree with. Rarely does an atheist explicitly define the universe in a way that by its own wording excludes God, technically. They usually seem to have a limited understanding of what the words they're using mean or could mean, so the atheism part of their definitions is usually merely implied. It is obviously intended to be communicated clearly by them, yet they struggle to pull this off. In other words, they seem to be unable to construct sentences to explain logically how they could arrive at a conclusion that God need not or does not exist. I suggest that this is not a coincidence and may be a design feature of our brains.
They would do well to realize that those descriptions are not necessarily mutually exclusive with God. For example, they often say that they only believe in “material” reality, yet by saying this they seem to imply that they do accept the existence of patterns beyond merely our direct observations of how matter appears. They accept that light exists, subatomic physics, immaterial codes like language and thought, even spacetime and the possibility of existence of some sort beyond it, generally. All of this is consistent with the existence of God; indeed, God must exist in order for any of it to exist, explaining why the rules of existence's consistent patterns are upheld, rather than pure chaos.
In other words, by a definition of “material” that includes all possible patterns of existence, God could be called “material.” When you realize that, the statement becomes almost pointless (as does atheism). Ultimately (although I question whether most have consciously realized this), atheism is all about the assumption that existence could be merely finite, which clearly violates the universally observed laws of causality, for reasons explained in the first section of this essay.
Even their usual caveat that atheism is merely a lack of belief in God fails here, because in order to have a lack of belief in God, you absolutely must have a positive belief that the rest of existence is possible without Him, or to be more precise, a belief that existence can be merely finite (and according to some, merely temporal, which is also demonstrably false due to relativity).
So to say "I don't believe in God" is an affirmation of the hypothetical idea that observed reality, and ourselves (or just the atheist personally as "I think, therefore I am") is possible without God. This may seem reasonable early on in the analysis, but nobody should stop the analysis partway, and at this point in the process that affirmation is soundly shown to be wrong. This point alone stands even if we conclude that the rest of observed reality may be an illusion; existence still has to be infinite, and we ourselves are clearly finite, therefore regardless of the nature of the rest of creation, God has to exist.
-Now that we have ruled out atheism, and proven that some sort of infinite being exists that is outside us and created us (even outside time, created time), we can begin to establish even more truths due to that infinite being's gift to us of His Word.
Since we can rule out any other explanation of the Bible's origins other than how it itself describes its origins – inspired by God and inerrant in the original autographs (though it also states that copies can be corrupted by sinful and mistake-prone people) – we can now begin the science of learning from what God told us.
This works for three main reasons.
First, God is all-knowing. He has infinite energy to cause, and scan, and extrapolate, etc. every pattern in all of existence, and deliver fully accurate conclusions about that existence to us in a coded immaterial pattern form that we can understand – in language.
Second, God cannot lie. He has to be fully self-consistent, and can only express things that are fully consistent with his perfect knowledge.
Third, the rules of how language works are crucial in properly understanding what God meant to tell us – as a result, although it is a process and confusion can exist during that process, when we reach the end of the analysis of the Word, we can be sure of a single proper interpretation.
We do not necessarily have, in all cases, the soundly proven single interpretation of all passages. It's also very possible for any given passage to have multiple intended meanings, for some meanings to emerge when you consider two or more passages in context, etc. But through all of it, the rules of language can be our sure guide. This is basically because God is fully able to make sure his Word is communicated understandably to us.
There is still some nuance here as well in the fact that the original languages known at the time each part of Scripture was given may have been partially forgotten, modified, or obscured over time, and that we do not as far as we know have the original manuscripts (instead we have countless copies, which is actually better because it becomes easier to tell when something is a copying error).
Still, logic demands that God would ensure that to the beings who He wants to understand his message (including especially salvation and eternal life), he would make sure observable patterns are maintained throughout history so that we can scientifically determine accurate-enough conclusions as to the proper interpretation of the vital messages in the Bible.
Now, whether He wants all of us to get that message is another question, or more accurately whether he causes us all to, etc. which can get into predistination and the like which I'm not really trying to answer here conclusively, but here's the basic gist of my understanding so far.
My sense is that from a transtemporal perspective the question is largely irrelevant -- everything has a causal nature but "exists all at once" so the importance we tend to imagine for "pre" destination is flawed because we're also mixing up our temporal perspective with the transtemporal one. From God's perspective he knows the causes of everything, and overall he has chosen the design of everything that is ideal, even if it doesn't always seem so to us. So in that sense, predestination as the Bible mentions occasionally is true. Yet from our temporal perspective, we do have freewill, and are accountable.
Also, the idea that "God caused evil" is resoundingly debunked by the Bible. Any design has to have balances between multiple factors, especially for this creation which is so complex. Therefore, there are always "downsides" to any design. The whole idea of cost is "built in" to God, due to causality, which is part of why he must punish sin; why Jesus had to die on the cross to pay for our sin. Therefore, a designer can make an ideal system which includes bad things but overall produces a good result.
And this is really just scratching the surface of that tangent, so maybe more later in blog entries, etc. if I find the time. Ultimately it seems to me that my basic analysis here makes these questions unimportant. We can be confident that God is holy, perfectly loving, able and willing to deliver us from death to eternal life, and make that life perfectly satisfying. That is enough for me. And really a lot of the apparent disputes in these subjects are just over what labeling schemes to use; just semantics.
-A common objection to the idea of God, related to the above points, that I'd like to bring up now is summarized in this interesting YouTube video, namely in the “God is in the Neurons” section. This video makes a lot of very intelligent and (I think) right points. Notice, though, that at the point where evolution enters the story, the grounding from observed science is lost (at least as far as what is stated in the video; obviously some evolutionists believe that such science exists, even if they never seem able to reveal it).
The basic point the video makes is that our minds work in part by the generation of “reward” substances, and when we experience cognitive dissonance; the apparent contradiction between our choices and other choices (same with ideas), this lowers the reward substances, so we seek to generate “justifications” to explain the contradictions away, which causes the generation of more rewards (interestingly similar to my idea of patches; I've made the point often that patches could be constructed to make anything seem to fit anything; perhaps we actually do this far more than we realize?). After this, we generate psychological constructs, usually aligned socially with those of others in an interdependent system, a sort of “thought internet” (communicated through language of any kind). We then tend to fit all our observations into these psychological models of reality.
Part of the brain is focused on maintaining the status quo of our psychological model (seeking "patches" and/or "stitches" to explain apparent contradictions between observations, and thoughts), while the other is able to force change in this model and if dissonance increases too much may do this despite stubbornness.
Some people will follow a less rational path in this process, where they will experience more dissonance than others which will result in uncontrolled emotions such as temper tantrums, etc. They will tend to have great difficulty in “putting two and two together” about the patterns of observed reality.
Others will generate a more accurate construct that includes the ability to wield sound logic to unravel the mysteries of existence (basically by luck). The more we use sound logic, the better we get at it, and also the more we become able to control our own emotions (to put it into my terms).
All of that makes sense, but at this point the video deviates into some illogic – but part of what they state is correct, and that's the distinction I want to draw here. It states that, essentially, religious ideas are all part of this attempt to rationalize things, specifically our existence, from a primitive or less informed, more basic level of observations. This is a common atheistic idea which seems to make sense at first glance.
The idea is that an adult human, with full rational powers and emotional control, able to understand the face-value patterns of reality, but no access to the accumulated knowledge of the more difficult means of observing the patterns behind the patterns, will still have a need to develop explanations of the face-value patterns. Statistically most are likely to be seen to be incorrect after the more advanced scientific observations are performed. Therefore, most explanations will be wrong. This makes sense.
Where it goes wrong is in blindly assuming that only atheistic explanations can be correct, and theistic ones must be the wrong ones. But what if most theistic explanations and all atheistic ones are wrong, and a single theistic explanation is correct? Further analysis beyond what was included in the video does show this to be necessary, as I've pointed out. It is fully logical to simultaneously believe that the single transtemporal God of the Bible is real and that the “little g gods” of other religions are false. Atheists often equivocate the two; using reasoning that debunks one religion, and then lumping the Bible in with them without thinking it through. Many analyses soundly rule out atheism specifically, showing that some kind of theistic explanation is required; further analyses narrow it down to just the Bible, as I and many others have shown.
Therefore, atheistic and secularistic evolution are best understood as the very sorts of dissonance-driven rationalization attempts that that video describes, akin to the manmade religions. It is worth pointing out that it does not seem to occur to the videomakers to even consider whether this might be the case; evolution is just blindly assumed, as usual. (Still, I highly recommend the video for its other points.)
And I have noticed that those who hold to atheism display far more signs of the behavioral patterns of dissonance than biblical believers, as described in that video and elsewhere; lack of self-control, strong emotionalism, pervasive contradictions in their expressed reasoning, etc. and they tend to be more miserable in general, and those in false faiths will have varying degrees of the same issues (including nominal Christians, etc.) although they will usually refuse to verbalize agreement with these observations. Former non-Christians, however, are very eager to tell us that this is what they were like before they were saved. And I personally have experienced, and many others have as well, that this sort of dissonance is greatly lessened after accepting Jesus, and I became far more able to think rationally and control my emotions, etc. – the more so the more I pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance and read God's Word.
-By a similar reasoning to the one about ruling out any definition that by its wording excludes God (such as “existence is merely finite” or “God doesn't exist”), we can also rule out the idea that existence can only be understood as a dream. Material rules “matter”, if you'll pardon the pun.
Therefore, we can be confident that the Bible, as understood by mainstream biblical Christians, especially biblical creationists, is true. We can rule out the mystical ideas of Buddhism that deny material reality, and we can rule out atheistic explanations. We can also rule out all “little g gods”.
-When you understand all of this in context, it becomes clear that material rules need not be absolute. They can be overridden, but ONLY by the Supreme Being who generates all the rest of existence. We personally cannot cause miracles by willing them, as the “it's all a dream” idea would seem to imply. And yet, miracles are fully possible, and really there is no logical reason to deem them as different in any important way from normal physics, except for the one rule that they are caused by the will of the transtemporal existence we call God rather than anything within the created universe. All physics is directly maintained by Him just as miracles are directly caused by Him.
Objectively, absolutely everything about our temporal existence is a “miracle” in the sense of a pattern of existence caused by God. (This is not to say that God causes evil, to be clear, but see below for a clarification on topics like that.) However, it seems more reasonable to use the label “miracle” for special cases rather than the normal upheld physics. There is a real difference in the patterns of these unusual methods versus the usual methods, so it makes sense to have a term for the special ones. For the normal methods I choose the terms maintenance or upholding. My point here is that most people, especially atheists, seem to have a severely flawed assumption about the idea of “miracles” that they are fundamentally different from normal physics, as if it would be impossible for God to work a miracle even if he existed, or even "wrong" as in a "violation" of "law". This is a misunderstanding of the nature of reality
-It's also easily possible for God to “hear” all thoughts, including of course prayers we consciously think of as talking to him (and in fact it would be impossible for him not to be aware of any thoughts, though in terms of action he could refuse to “hear” our prayers if we have the wrong motives, etc.). If we pray for a miracle, and it is within His will, he will do it.
His will is necessarily defined as what he understands correctly to be the perfect balance of all existing factors among all the patterns, so that usually a special miracle will not be ideal, but sometimes it might. Note that our expectations of ideal will usually be wrong because our perspective is limited while God's is omniscient, plus we are fallible while he is perfectly Holy.
-We can also conclude that God's likelihood of doing as we ask in prayer will increase the more our minds are aligned with his, in the sense of being more rational, more loving, more self-controlled, etc. The Bible teaches that this happens as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us (though a rudimentary version may be “fakeable”), when we accept the Savior. (I think there may be some important nuances to this but it's not my intent to get into that here.) The fundamental key here is whether we love God. This in turn logically requires faith that He exists and loves us, etc.
This means that the more faith we have, the more likely God will do as we ask. Jesus goes so far as to say that if we have enough faith, God will do anything we ask.
Why doesn't God deliver miracles on demand? Well, there are two parts to the answer. First, our wills are not very aligned with his in this life, so it makes sense that if they were, we would not want certain miracles because we would realize that God already has better systems in place in his normal creation and larger systems. Second, we simply lack faith in a high enough degree for God to alter his will to our desires. In this life, for the vast majority of us other than for example the biblical prophets, this is probably not curable. But in heaven, likely he will work any miracle we ask for -- and we would know better than to ask for miracles when one is not warranted.
In a sense these are somewhat synonymous, but faith is a more indirect route to aligning with God's will – that is, a rational route. Theoretically we could have a perfect will in terms of a specific action, but if the rest of our will is faulty – so that we fail to seek the truth and find it that God exists, God will not fail to notice this. If we are faulty on such a basic level as to not believe in our own Cause, then our motives are pretty much guaranteed to be faulty, and giving us a miracle would not help us.
There may be times when it would be appropriate as a means to lead people to God, but it seems to me that this is far rarer than atheists typically assume, as for example when they wonder why God doesn't just show himself to prove his existence (again and again, I guess); the theory is that more people would take Him for granted this way or try to explain this away rather than focusing on the basic truthseeking analysis that can once for all conclusively prove God is real whether we see him at the moment or not.
-What about the afterlife? Well, this is a big subject I don't plan to cover thoroughly here. But the basic idea that God would give us eternal life in linear time makes sense. He has infinite transtemporal energy to introduce to overcome all effects of decay, forever. And since the Bible confirms it, we can be certain of this as well. Specifically, that we need to accept Jesus in order to live forever. For more on my views of the afterlife, see my basic reasoning here [[[[LINKY WHEN MAKEY]]]], and a somewhat radical possible theory about souls and discussion of other possibilities here [[[LINKEEEEE]]]].
-An important point that derives from this analysis is that it is ideas that really matter as well as the effectiveness of communicating them to others. Some people will have an emotional reaction against "simple" words because they do not "feel scientific", yet these terms are merely labels, and more concise words make for more efficient communication. Likewise others will object to "big" words, but sometimes the language we are using does not have a commonly known vocabulary base for shorter synonyms to be effective at communicating accurately, and to get the idea across clearly a longer word is neccessary (as in combining parts from commonly known terms or parts of terms, etc.). There are two biggest problems I see here, which also imply guidelines to solve them.
First, a "forgiving" attitude towards someone's word choice is highly reasonable. The main problem in debates and truthseeking discussions seems to come about when one person's style of communication doesn't "sync" well with the other person's style, so the other person emotionally rejects the ideas that the words are intended to carry. I've often experimented by saying the exact same thing (in terms of ideas) to members of particular rigid belief systems like atheism -- that is, different people, but choosing those that behave virtually the same -- but saying it in two radically different styles. Time after time, their attitude and choice of rejection or acceptance to the same idea is radically different depending on that style.
This is not to say that all ideas should be accepted either, but the truthseeking method should be used to filter ideas, rather than "paradigm defensive" emotionalism. The style of their wording should be largely irrelevant.
Second, if someone doesn't know the meanings of the words you're using, communication fails completely. Nowadays with the internet that is somewhat less of a problem; if you're reading this essay on a normal computer (rather than most current "smartphones" or the like which at the time of writing this have more minimal features), you can look up any words on dictionary.com, wikipedia, or if all else fails a general search engine like google. Still, time-efficiency matters, so finding some way of balancing accuracy with understandability (for lay readers) is important. Nobody wants to spend half their day looking up the words in a single paragraph.
Now, between specialists in any field of study, it does make sense to have jargon. This has practical value because it can often be more concise, and all specialists in that field will know the jargon. So for them it will be helpful to use jargon.
Personally, though, I generally prefer to stick to a style of communication that is understandable to any proficient speaker/reader of English, avoiding jargon that laymen tend not to know, making exceptions rarely and only for the most important overall concepts (like baraminology for the study of the biblical created kinds of life). It will vary in style and complexity as I feel it needs to do to express what I want to say most efficiently, but with an intentional emphasis on being somewhere on the border between simple and technical.
Ideally I would want to define (and/or theorize) every idea in fully accurate, technical-style language, but language that is still understandable by laymen, and then apply simpler labels to these concepts for future reference -- generally being the most commonly known labels applied to those concepts (or in some cases perhaps the most similar concept if I think the normal meaning of the term doesn't fit with reality, so I would be "reappropriating" the label, but if this is done it should be stated directly, ideally), so that the sense of the meaning of the shorter words is even more clear to the average layman. "For lack of a better term", I refer to this as plain English, though not as a rigid rule.
And I would make the case that this would be adviseable for many specialized fields as well, as it would make them easier to enter, thus more likely that wider perspectives from others would show useful innovations and analyses. Plus that would make it easier for nearly everyone to become something of an "omniologist", my term for the study of everything (distinct from "scientist" in a sense, which usually carries the connotation of a specialist, though systematic study of science is the goal of omniology).
The goal of this labeling strategy would be to find concise labels for everything that any native speaker of English could understand from the word parts, in a more normal style. In some cases it could even be more efficient for specialists as shorter words are often available.
To give an example of what I mean by this, in anatomy there is a vast array of technical terms, much of which the average layman doesn't know, but they know a few. The front half of an arm, from the elbow to the hand, has a Latin technical label of "antebrachium", but the "plain English" term "forearm" is more efficient in speech and writing, as well as being clear to any speaker of English.
It may be impossible in some cases to find an efficient "simple" term for some concepts; in those cases the solution I would urge would be for laymen to adopt some new terms and/or jargon into common knowledge, converting them into "plain English." This has happened in many cases. The average speaker of English knows many anatomical technical terms for example, like "cranium" or "vertabra". This can be done easily if everyone who uses these terms, for a time of many decades at least, tends to define the terms whenever they first use it.
This of course happens often, but sometimes the tendency to define it fades too early when the average laymen hasn't absorbed the definition yet. Gaining a better sense of when that time is reached is advised. (Here is where being an English major really helps for my purposes of communicating the results of my objective truthseeking. :)) Pride is also to be strictly avoided in this process, as sometimes someone will use highly technical language knowing full well that the listener won't understand it, to make themselves feel smart or the like.
-A determined omniologist (studier of everything) can still learn enough sound reasoning in terms of every specialized field, and the relationships between fields as the "big picture", under the current system, but it will take more time and effort than most laymen will have available to get into the jargon of every different specialty. As a result, if (and really since) the current system persists, it's good for some people to focus on "translating" these subjects into understandable "plain English".
-Due to those time constraints, learning the full technical "proofs" in every field is difficult within any human's lifespan. I personally hope to accomplish this before I die but I'm aware it's unlikely. A big problem is that the more technical the analyses, especially when it gets into the advanced maths, the more likely we are to forget that math when it falls into disuse. One solution I have found very helpful is to focus on "conceptual logic"; that is, to try to understand everything not from virtually impenetrable mathematical expression but understand the meanings behind the math and how they relate.
Often I have noticed that while this has its flaws, it can be used to more easily spot flaws in the thinking of those who tend to focus just on the math, and miss that part of their math doesn't accurately describe the real world. Of course, by the same token, math can spot problems that conceptual logic alone may not be able to, so ideally there should be a balance. Ultimately we hope to have math that fully explains everything about creation. But God has designed this universe in a way that on the normal scale, many things are understandable using basic conceptual logic, so I suggest that this should be our "grounding".
Now, I want to move on to some more specific scientific subjects that relate to worldviews.
First, I want to take a moment to talk about some of the really big things that I am just bursting to tell you, then I will slow down and try to proceed through a careful analysis of the general to specific questions in origins and its related subjects, leading up to a comprehensive description of the most important ideas of biblical creation, especially those that are often not known by those who haven't spent years paying attention to what creationists teach. Finally I will attempt to continue the basic analysis started in this section into some more speculative possible explanations of some of the most interesting mysteries that remain in observed reality.
When I planned my earlier origins essay, I intended to compile lists of the best evidences for each of the major origins worldviews. The problems soon became, how do you define "best", and how do you define "evidence for"? And worse, when I formulated principles of truthseeking --essentially, an open mind, logic, all-inclusive research, and imagining possibilities, and thus formed a time-tested definition of what makes evidence "for" an idea (basically avoiding "just so" rescuing devices or "patches" -- see here for more about this method)... after this I found that all the lists for the other worldviews other than biblical Christianity shrank to nothing.
This was especially so for the competing worldview I was most tempted by; evolution. At one point I had a few big apparent evidences that I thought I could fairly state "as far as we can tell for now these seem to be for evolution, though given the weight of the other evidence and some disproofs, I have faith they aren't really." It turned out that mainstream creationists have already found sound reasoning showing why all of these big issues are actually best answered only by biblical creation.
So before I get into anything else, I wanted to look at these as I find them very telling.
--Observed biological "downvolution" in contrast to the mythical "upvolution" that secularistic evolution requires. I prefer these concise terms to refer to the common and important creationist concepts of decreasing (decaying) genetic information, and the alleged increasing information. The reason there is a need for this distinction (regardless of what terms you ultimately pick), is that observed biological change is downward with regards to information.
Evolutionists often don't seem to grasp this, and point to countless observed cases of "downvolution" as evidence. Their reasoning seems to be based on the common terms "microevolution" and "macroevolution", which mainstream creationists advise not to use. According to some early creationists and current less informed ones, "small" changes are all that are possible or observed, not "large" changes. There are two obvious errors with this outdated reasoning. The first error evolutionists do pick up on -- that it's easy to imagine how small changes could add up to big ones over time.
The more serious error, which evolutionists usually don't seem to notice, is that the direction of the changes is always shown to be in the opposite way that origins by evolution requires. That is, fully formed and well-designed creatures are gradually breaking down. This is exactly what we should expect given the teachings of the Bible that everything was created perfect, but after humans (who were placed in authority over the rest of creation) sinned, the Fall occurred.
Recently a few evolutionists have seemed to take notice of this creationist argument, but so far have only dug their hole deeper, because instead of trying to explain how the observations could fit with evolution (instead of bothering to "patch" it), the current stock response as of this writing is to equivocate that "evolution doesn't have a direction". By this they seem to be misinterpreting what creationists are saying as being about whether the changes are "directed" by intelligence, and trying to emphasize that secularistic evolution is unguided, since it's obvious to everybody that secularistic evolution describes upward change from a simple original cell to the rest of life.
(Even the unguided argument fails in light of their other frequent objections to the mere appearance of our side neglecting to consider guided theistic evolution as one possibility, though this objection is not warranted either as mainstream creationists have debunked those reasonings too for as long as I've been paying attention at least; basically with the reasoning that they put death before sin in direct contradiction of Genesis and Romans.)
Trying to brush the distinction of the observed downvolution under the rug by hoping we'll just stop noticing it is of no help to their case at all, at least not to those of us well educated in how to think. It creates the impression that they do not wish to engage with observed reality.
As of now, it appears to me that this is not solveable in their favor; the only possible alternative for them if they wish to remain "scientific" in light of these observations is to posit a secularistic spontaneous generation of fully-formed, high-complexity life in the past, which then "downvolved". The problems of course would be that (as Dawkins is quoted above pointing out), this is highly unlikely and virtually unimagineable, and could not be evidence against the Bible since that's what it's taught all along. (See more in the Origins Worldviews section below, and here. [LINK TO THE SUPERSTEM THEORY AFTER POSTING IT])
--Fossil scatter pattern of biblical kinds -- You've probably heard this basic argument phrased in an unclear way, that there is a serious lack of transitional fossils, creating huge gaps between the major kinds of lifeforms. Evolutionists have a whole array of ways they seek to brush this very real problem under the rug, but all of them miss the point of just what the problem really is.
So I prefer to phrase it in this way -- the problem is the apparent "distance" between the similarities in form that are recorded, because we have very tiny "gaps" between the natural-genetics variations within the basic kinds (including currently extinct varieties, such as if all those people with long noses went extinct) and yet vast gaps between these kinds. This forms a very readily identifiable "scatter pattern" that is clearly not a smooth transition of gradual changes as Darwin expected. Rather, it is exactly the pattern that the Bible teaches that we should expect.
In order to "patch" this realistically, evolutionists must suppose that somehow complex, gradual changes occurred which magically escaped fossilization, yet the same rapid (or often even more rapid) minor changes between individuals and subtypes within the same kind mostly did manage to be fossilized.
This is exactly the opposite of what (unguided) evolution logically demands! The longest stretches of gradual change, resulting in the largest changes, should have more representation in the fossil record, by far. The minor (biblical) changes we do see should by far be the exception.
The only other patch is to imagine, essentially, guided evolution, or long-age creation. This works fine for theistic evolution and other compromise views, but evolution was originally invented specifically as the justification for atheism, and such a patch would appear to conclusively rule atheism (and secularistic unguided yet theistic evolution) out.
And all such patches obviously ignore the problem that you can create a patch to make anything seem to fit the contradictory evidence, so this would provide no positive reason to accept evolution. Since biblical creation already fits the fossil observations with no need for patches, the most rational conclusion is that the Bible is true.
Note also that the occasional paltry attempts to show transitional forms, even if they were true, would do nothing to change this scatter pattern, and are just as easily explained within the Bible without patches as well (as extinct created kinds or unusual -- and given that they went extinct probably poorly adapted -- variations of other kinds).
Also, recently the last bastion of apparent (oft-cited) evidence for transitional forms, whale evolution, was resoundingly debunked; see here. Evolutionists will no doubt continue to put forth similar poorly researched or even deceptive claims, but we can by this time literally be scientifically confident that they will also be shown to be not correct when further research is done, since this principle has now been repeatedly tested and confirmed in all previous cases. No cases of allegedly unbiblical transitional forms have withstood serious scrutiny; in most cases there is no positive evidence but merely a lack of evidence (missing bones, etc.) which is merely replaced with imagination.
Finally, lining up similar creatures as if one descended from the other is fallacious reasoning anyways. To apply what I call the "Jeep Test" -- to try to apply the logic to a car to see if it works against creation-- we could line up a Jeep next to a Model T on a chart, but this would not prove the Jeep evolved into the Model T. It's just as possible that each car was designed, and has similar features in order to accomplish similar goals. In that case, the Model T even came first; it may superficially appear more refined than a Jeep, but in the original sense of the word "evolution" (meaning intelligent adaptation and learning by designers) the T "was evolved" into Jeeps. If you looked at performance and engine advancement this could become obvious, but if all you have is two snapshots, similar to the fragmentary fossils we often are left with, you might put them in the wrong order. And either way, neither resulted from accidents in the factory that made one ending up making the other without a designer.
In the context of biology, a ratlike creature might be more similar to other mammals than to reptiles, and reptiles to fish, etc. but this does not prove that fish evolved into reptiles or rats into horses, etc. It is just as likely that the fish and the reptiles share certain design features because they are helpful to survive and/or thrive. Of course, there really are biological descents in living things, and sometimes those result in small changes that can add up, but again, not in the sense of upvolution. We can see some similarities like this that do convincingly seem to indicate biological descent, but this only adds to evolution's problem, because these are shown in the fossil record only within created kinds, not between them, and only in the sense of downvolution.
-Web pattern of biological similarities -- Evolutionists often make what sounds at first like a convincing argument that because many different creatures share similarities, they must be biologically related. Often the idea is so strong that people will just assume that similarity is conclusive proof of evolutionary relationships, and thus of evolution and its long ages.
This is already not logical -- the presence of similarities is not mutually exclusive with a common designer. At worst, this is of no help either way in choosing which worldview is right. It's important to realize this.
But there's an even more important point here, which makes similarity actually debunk evolution if you think about it. That is because the pattern of the similarities does not match evolutionary biologic descent. Instead, it matches only a common designer.
The problem is, evolution requires a branching tree relationship between all life, so the similarities we should see need to match this specific pattern, and there should not be any close similarities between points along the tree. Every lifeform's connection to the others has to be linear -- either along a single line into the past, towards a common ancestor, or forward into various branches of its descendants. You cannot have a complex feature appear on a "twig"of a branch, and also appear on a twig of a separate branch. Features can't "go sideways".
This breaks down when we look at actual life, both current and in the fossils. We see countless instances of similarity that cannot fit a single linear nature. One creature will bear similarities to another that could be arranged as a tree, yet also unique similarities to yet another that is otherwise not much like it, with no trace of these features following the same linear path.
In other words, the similarity patterns form a web of relationships, not a tree.
This makes sense only with a common designer. When we humans design things like cars, computers, etc., innovations in design for one thing can be applied intelligently to other things. It can feel something like "evolution" in that we let the observations of how things work best guide our choices in designing, but the thing is not making itself independent of our intelligence. And the "evolutionary" relationships between the branches of things will be like a web.
This alone doesn't necessarily prove that the designer was the God of the Bible, or created in a single day. Looking at this alone for now, it could seem that a long-age partially guided theistic evolution was the case. However, there is no reason to rule out that it was made all at once (roughly), if the biblical God does exist.
This is because of his infinite, transtemporal nature. The amount of "time" needed to intelligently consider all the factors of the extremelysuperwowcrazycomplex "simplest cell" alone, for a finite being limited in time, would far exceed any current claims for the age of the universe and the idea of an "evolved god" as in Stephen Hawking's Straw God [[[[Do a blog entry specifically about this so I don't have to keep summing it up, LINK]]]. Yet being outside time, lines of analysis can go in a nonlinear path through all possible considerations of arrangements and what their effects would be. In essence, from God's own point of view, he had infinite "time" (in a translinear sense) to calculate the ideal designs for everything, so within the created linear time itself, he could take as much or little time as he wanted to actually construct organisms.
Since other analyses rule out atheistic evolution, this point does, when you think about it, also prove that the vastly intelligent, transtemporal God has to exist, as no other explanation could account for the complexity and good design of life. Note that many early and even current assumptions of poor design have with better research proven false. Things are undoubtedly broken down due to the Fall. But even with all known flaws and all imagined flaws, given all we now know about life's design and considering the web arrangement of similarities, the Designer wouldn't fit within either space or time, and it definitely couldn't happen by accident. He either has to be unimaginably vast or infinite, and he must be beyond time. (And the second makes the answer to the first have to be infinite, etc.)
This may be a big part of why the Bible says that people who reject God are without excuse, being seen clearly through what has been made. Even without microscopes and the like, this is obvious just from what we see of creatures with our own eyes. The conscious might not always get it, but the subconscious probably always does in everyone (see here [[[[LINK TO PARALLEL PROCESSING ENTRY]]]]).
-Order of fossils -- At one time I considered this the sole remaining apparent evidence for evolution over the Bible; the idea that the pattern of how the fossils are arranged vertically wouldn't make sense if it all happened at once in a Flood. At first glance, you'd think a Flood would result in all types of creatures being randomly mixed. However, when you think it through, and look at the actual pattern of the order, it soon becomes clear that the order is exactly what we would expect from the Flood.
Seagoing, especially bottom-dwelling, creatures are fossilized first. Evolution matches this, but need it? Evolution is the idea that life evolved rather than special creation. There is no reason evolution absolutely has to begin with ocean bottom-dwelling creatures, especially since no known abiogenesis (origin of first life) method is known at all, so how could we be sure deep sea life was needed? But with the Flood, especially the runaway subduction model, deep sea life would have to be buried first.
Next we have other sea life, as would be expected, and then we see what appear to be coastal environments. As the Flood raged across the land, this is again exactly what would happen. We see an "explosion" of varieties of land and sea life, especially plants.
Further up we tend to have animals that would be more able to flee floodwaters for a time. Many of these are large creatures, including apparent herbivores, yet they are fossilized without much plants. What would they eat? This is all very strange if evolution is true, but makes perfect sense with the Flood. Plants obviously cannot swim upward or climb mountains, etc. Flying creatures are included around here, and this could be when they ran out of energy to continue fleeing, etc.
So in short, the biblical explanation for the vertical arrangement of fossils is that they were more or less buried where they lived, with some other factors like how likely they would be to flee death and burial and for how long, etc. What I thought was the only good argument left against the Bible turns out to be one of the strongest for it!
-Geologic evidence of the Global Flood -- Evolutionists have long persisted in teaching that the organized layers we see in the geologic record represent millions to billions of years of time, and thus any fossils contained in those layers were gradually laid down over those long periods. If you don't think about it too hard this seems seductive, but there are countless problems with it, and more importantly, what we find is exactly what we should find if the Bible, including the Global Flood of Noah, was true. This is one of the most obvious categories in which the Bible's statements can be taken as scientific hypotheses, which observation has universally and often very dramatically confirmed repeatedly, vaulting the Bible on geology at least to theory status if not fact.
One of the simplest problems with evolution is the question of why there are so many well-defined layers in the first place. Layers begin abruptly, remain uniform, and then just end. But if the rocks are the record of such long ages and gradual change, things should be more of a gradient. There shouldn't be well-defined layers, for the most part. Yet, when particulate settles from a watery Flood, it naturally falls into defined and level layers by type of material, etc. just as we see.
These features persist across vast swaths of land as well, creating an even more serious problem. In some places where certain chemical and temperature features are present, namely where no life can survive, some things like annual climate effects and longer climatic cyclesare observed to make distinct rock layers still today, such as mud layers in the Dead Sea. But where life thrives, burrowing creatures and roots disturb the soil so that layers become obscured and usually eradicated. And these layers are found uniformly across the whole world -- where exactly was life supposed to live, then?
Another related problem is the vast scale of many of the layers. Individual layers often stretch across continents, again exactly as we should expect during the Flood.
We also see two major "layers of the layers" which fits the Flood especially. For example, at the Grand Canyon, the very deepest layers are parallel with each other, but tilted with respect to the surface. These are probably the remnants of the pre-Flood basement rocks, disturbed due to the powerful geologic upheaval of the Flood (namely the runaway subduction model, which I'm convinced is correct at least in basic concept; see more below). Then suddenly these are sliced through horizontally, and all the layers above this sit atop this horizontal plane, parallel with each other and the surface. See diagram here for example.
This is strong evidence that there have only been two major geologic events in Earth's history; the formation of Earth itself (specifically the continents on Day 3), and the Global Flood (with its breaking of the fountains of the deep and the like). If evolution were true, there should be any number of different alignments of the layers, not just two. Or if the Global Flood was NOT true, then there should not be such an obvious "big difference."
On a smaller scale, often multiple layers are bent without any sign of fracturing, showing that they were wet when they were bent (presumably by tectonic pressures), and only solidified later. Under evolution, one layer would solidify millions of years before the next, and bending should fracture all but possibly the top.
Besides the "horizontal" issues, there is vast evidence of catastrophic erosion, including the Grand Canyon itself. I'll get into this more below, but to summarize, we see both sheet erosion (of a vast plane) and deep channel erosion (often beginning where a normal river could not reach, such as at the Grand Canyon), showing two stages in the Flood's recession.
And there is a vast range of other evidence that indicates that the layers were wet for a while after being laid down all at once, including the presence of fossils.
Gradual laying down of sediments do not preserve skeletons -- and especially not skin and other features like actual fleshy material inside dinosaur bones. Evolutionists have recently been forced to admit that catastrophism is necessary for this; they simply imagine countless "little catastrophes" instead of the Flood. But this leaves us with the problems described above, and countless others. For example, if there was a little catastrophe resulting in the destruction of existing rock to form sediments to bury new fossils in, wouldn't it also destroy the earlier layers? The single Flood has no issue here, because there's no reason to think the surface layers from before it weren't destroyed, and afterwards there was no comparable mega-catastrophe to destroy the Flood fossils (or the vast majority of them; smaller disasters obviously have occurred).
-Radiometric evidence -- Most people who aren't informed on origins have a misconception that radioactive materials provide strong evidence against biblical creation, especially its timescale due to the concept of a radiometric "clock" which ticks down at uniform rates (they assume). Radiocarbon is the type most often claimed to be the strongest. However, radiometric finds actually are some of the most dramatic evidence contradicting evolution and confirming the Bible, and radiocarbon specifically is actually one of the best, which may in fact disprove evolution.
To explain this it's best to give an overview of how these materials originate and in which types of layers they are found. The science behind this is complicated, so I'm just going to focus for now on the basic "bottom line" concepts which are most relevant to the question of origins.
There are two major types, which coincide with the two major types of geologic layers.
The first, radiocarbon, is found in fossils, which in turn are found in sedimentary layers (rock that was mud when it was laid down). Radiocarbon is formed by a process in our atmosphere, and breathed in by living beings. It is only added while they are alive, making a ratio of normal carbon and radiocarbon in their bodies. The moment they die, this process stops, and it begins to decay into nitrogen. Radiocarbon can only last at maximum thousands of years, not millions, yet it is found in fossils even in the deepest layers, and in coal, even when the detection instruments are checked against contamination. Thus, the rock layers cannot be millions of years old.
The second major type is actually a vast variety of types which occur in volcanic rock. These do not occur in sedimentary rock (generally). Many of them could last (again, at maximum) for millions or even billions of years. Contrary to popular misconception, thus, radiocarbon is never used by evolutionists to reach dates of millions of years old, but rather these other radiometric materials are used. Fossils are not generally found in volcanic layers, but a simple logic is applied when a volcanic layer is found just above a sedimentary layer. A "date" that is "found" in the volcanic layer means that the fossil-bearing layer below it must be older than it.
There are many problems with this, but the one that it's most urgent you understand is that heat speeds up decay. Evolutionists tend to assume that the radioactive decay always goes at a uniform rate (really a uniformly exponential rate, but one that can be measured and extrapolated). But these volcanic radiometric materials should be expected to be aged by heat, especially if they remained hotter for longer than gradualists think due to being laid down at the same basic time and buried deeply in water that was also heated (read on for why this would be so under the runaway subduction model).
Thus, it should be no surprise that it is in the volcanic layers that we seem to find very "old" radiometric measurements (volcanoes obviously produce heat!), while in the sedimentary layers in between we find measurements too "young" for evolution.
Another issue comes up with "parent" and "daughter" ratios. The "parent" material is the original radiometric material that is unstable and decays. The element that it decays into is the daughter element. Some materials decay into other unstable forms which then decay into others, in multi-step forms. As long as a rock sample began with only the parent substance, and zero of the daughter substance already present, and assuming uniform decay rate, you could get a good estimate of the rock's age. However, in reality there is usually some of the daughter element already present. How much? Well, there is usually no way to tell. Thus, evolutionists make up assumptions as to what the original ratios were, and they adjust these assumptions at will to make the "dates" end up aligning with how old they want the rock to be in order to fit into their preconceived notions.
With both of these problems, plus other issues of contamination and water-draining which are often not accounted for, what is really being measured by these "clocks" are more like maximum ages, not the real ages. (Although in some cases if they were consistent the "date" would actually be even older but stretch the bounds of credibility even for the low standards of evolutionists.)
Most people hear about these radiometric dates and misunderstand them as if they were the minimum ages, but in reality there usually are no serious minimum ages. Given enough heat, and enough of the original daughter materials already present, all of these materials could reach their present states in just a few thousand years.
Some volcanic rocks of known young age (due to having been observed forming) have been measured by evolutionary methods and have given "ages" of millions of years. And many different methods used on the same rock will produce wildly contradictory and varied "dates". Evolutionary assumptions make nonsense of radiometric science.
Further problems come up when daughter elements will tend to escape from the rocks at relatively fast measureable rates. There have been many cases of daughter materials still found in "old" rocks, when they should have escaped. This also shows that the rocks are young, and that something like heat or the like explains the higher state of decay. And in other cases daughter elements are "missing", because evolutionists fail to realize the rock layers were laid down during the Flood, and its waters washed them away. All in all, only biblical creation reconciles all the data consistently.
-Distant starlight and time dilation in the spherical universe --[Write later; basically temporal reference frames, etc.]
Main worldviews that people hold or have held (there are various sub-versions, some of which overlap between these major categories):
-Judeo-Christian (JC) Biblical Creation – the beyond-time infinite God created a perfect world in six Earthframe days roughly 6000 years ago, put humans in charge, we sinned, the world became fallen, then later there was a global Flood, the Tower of Babel causing language confusion, but through the nation of Israel God's Word was given, culminating in the Messiah. To this Christians add that the Messiah was Jesus, who provided the final sacrifice for our sins to reconcile us to God; God created the world through Jesus in his Son of God pre-incarnation form, and Jesus will one day end this fallen world and create a new, perfect one that will be incorruptible for the saved to live forever, and undo all that's wrong.
(This is the only fully biblical belief as several OT considerations prove that Jesus was the Messiah, such as that the Messiah would have to be able to prove his lineage from David, which became no longer possible soon after Jesus. The “still waiting” view common among Jewish believers today is unbiblical even according to just the OT, and of course the NT has just as much miraculous proof that it is Scripture as the OT had, so disbelieving the NT is unbiblical anyways. However, technically this doesn't change the categorization for the specific question of creation; Jews that are biblical on the subject of creation and biblical Christians agree on the first sentence in this definition.)
All things considered, only fully biblical creation is scientifically accurate on every count, without any need to resort to patches, and specifically only biblical Christianity is logically coherent and deserving of confident, informed faith that it is true. (Though prior to the coming of Jesus, biblical Judaism was true since the Messiah had not yet come.)
NOTE that “biblical” is defined by using proper hermeneutics science (applying the known rules of language to finding the meaning of the text intended by God). Some other worldviews mistakenly see themselves as biblical either through ignorance of certain hermeneutics considerations or through failure to understand proper interpretation, especially those that hold to the liberal idea of there being no such thing as truth (other than that alleged truth :P).
-Old-Earth Creation (JC-only as I mean it here) – various versions, which usually do accept much of the Bible but arbitrarily reject various parts to fit just the long ages of science, especially from the astronomical (distant starlight) argument, while rejecting secularistic evolution. Especially “progressive creation.” Some accept the biblical fully transcendant God but believe he chose not to use his power to create instantly, and also chose to give an apparently misleading account of his creation that states otherwise. Others believe in a different God (who biblical believers would call a false god) who is finite, limited within time like us, etc.
This view is the most scientifically accurate of the wrong ones, and some versions of it are mostly biblical. In some cases it is well-intentioned and the person who has fallen for it is likely not in any danger of losing their faith, as they honestly do not care about origins; their faith is based on other convincing considerations and they are willing to accept that however God made things, he had the power to do so. Sadly in some other cases it appears to be incompatible with the Bible and these may be in serious danger of losing their faith because compromising with any tenet of secularistic evolution can turn into a “slippery slope” (and long ages is one of the most foundational requirements for it).
-Other Creation (Islam, Hindu, etc.) – Believe that some god other than the God of the Bible created, generally rapidly. Come in young and old varieties and subvarieties.
Most scientific considerations limit the only possibilities to one of these first three categories, because it is clear that there had to be a creator and he had to operate within a relatively short timeframe. Further categories must ignore vast swaths of scientific observations, or invent countless “patches” to explain them away unscientificially.
-Intelligent Design (both JC and other) – Some ID proponents actually fall more in the above categories, but simply prefer to focus on the intelligent design aspects of the analysis as their reasoning. What I mean here is those that are “agnostic” on other considerations besides the basic question of whether a Creator used intervention methods to build life at any point in its history at all, as well as those that do accept that evolution by natural selection and mutation played a much larger role than biblically, and over long ages (ID upvolutionists). These ID believers know that there was a designer, but do not have specific beliefs as to what that designer is like beyond the basic requirements that he/she/it was highly intelligent and able to create. This specific view does not attempt to theorize how the designer originated.
-Theistic Upvolution (both JC and other) – These reject the idea that God created progressively, generally speaking, though some may accept that he may have had to intervene occasionally. Many of them disagree with secularistic abiogenesis (the claim that life evolved from nonlife without God's intervention, or in the case of atheistic evolution without God at all), but think that the rest of life evolved upward from that first simple cell by essentially secular means. Others hold that God's only action was in creating the universe itself at the first moment, or even the universe of universes (the hypothetical “multiverse”), and everything proceeded from there exactly as in atheistic evolution. In recent years a vehemently dogmatic new breed of the latter has emerged in the apparent cult organization of BioLogos, which specifically claims to be “biblical” (under a rejection of hermeneutics which holds that any interpretation is fair game), yet accepts many wacky heresies such as that Jesus held false views and God is completely unknowable. If this view continues to gain adherents it may begin warranting a completely separate category distinct from the TE views that make no attempt to appear biblical.
-Secularistic Upvolution (could include some rare JC types) – this is more of a categorical term referring to both atheistic upvolution and the essentially identical subtypes of theistic evolution that teach that whether or not God exists, he played no role other than possibly an initial creative act, and everything proceeded naturalistically after that. (Could also be called “naturalistic”, but that term is highly misleading, as “nature” can be subjectively designed, and is often misapplied to create the impression that God could not be seen as scientifically possible to emotionally bolster atheism beyond what reason allows.)
-Alien Designers Upvolution (Greek, Roman, etc. and modern “aliens did it” panspermia) – These views hold that clearly finite, limited beings first evolved from chaos sometime after the universe originated secularistically, and these beings later came to Earth (or in the Greek style versions originated essentially on Earth?) and initiated and/or aided evolution.
-Atheistic Upvolution – This is the most well-known of the Darwinian beliefs and is what is generally meant by the terms “evolution” and “Darwinism”. It includes abiogenesis (evolution of the first life), stellar evolution, etc. In recent years it has become increasingly rare as many have moved more towards theistic evolution, ID, old-earth creationism, and biblical creation. On the other hand, within the wide category of theistic belief, there's also been a sad trend away from biblical creation and towards various compromise views, according to the most recent research. Many fear, as parts of that research indicate is happening, that this is contributing to a slide away from faith in Jesus, endangering more people's souls. Later on these trends may culminate in widespread atheism again, though ultimately it doesn't matter if you lose your salvation through rejecting Jesus for a false god or for the atheistic equivalent.
-Soft Agnosticism – this refers to simply being too unsure of any worldview to proclaim belief in it. Generally agnostics lean towards biblical creation, atheistic evolution, or one of the compromise views in a spectrum between those, though there are of course others that lean more towards the creation or theistic evolution views of other religions besides the JC Bible. This kind of agnostic believes that the truth can most likely be found, but simply knows that they have not done enough homework yet to know what they're talking about either way, and hopefully plans to try to do so. Some may believe that we do not currently have the tools to be certain enough either way, or at least be aware of this possibility. (I belonged to this category for a while, leaning towards either biblical belief or atheistic evolution.)
-Hard Agnosticism – this refers to a positive belief in the claim that we actually cannot know the truth about origins (that is, cannot find sound support for such a thing, or cannot find one that is honestly convincing even with a leap of faith). Those that hold to this today are extremely rare, and apparently exist as tiny sub-groups within every other major worldview.
For example, some atheists such as David Hume once held to this basic idea, in absence of any idea of a theory of origins to compete with the Bible, and stating that they could not know what they have not directly observed. Although some modern atheists do still praise and cite Hume, they apparently also accept evolution in virtually every case. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some so-called “Christians”, even pastors of “churches” who blatantly proclaim that they believe “God” is symbolic of a communal collective of socially interacting people who hold to the idea that we can't know for sure if the apparent meaning of the symbol is true or not and they don't really care either way. These seem to hold that we will find out at death, however, so may not fully qualify as hard agnostics, but they do hold essentially the same view of it during this life.
Alternate worldviews that seem to have no or virtually no adherents:
-Atheistic Downvolution – since atheists so loudly proclaim that they use reason and science to form their worldviews, and seem perfectly content to believe in various “somehows”, one would think that they would not be comfortable with the countless contradictions of atheistic upvolution with observed science. Since all observed changes are downward, the idea that we evolved from a simple original cell is not scientific or logical.
I predict that at some point, under the vast burden of evidence some atheists will be forced to once again adopt a partial hard agnosticism and conclude that “somehow” the first life must have evolved atheistically and yet also must have been the most genetically advanced life-form in existence. Most likely it will adopt my theory of the “ultimate stem cell” but will refuse to give God the credit for it. [[[DO A BLOG ENTRY AND LINK]]] This cell must come complete with instructions to separate into different cells destined to originate each branch of life – all this information must be physically present without being physically manifested, so natural selection could not possibly account for it. Only pure chance could. These would then have deletion mechanisms to remove the information that is not for their rootkinds. Later these would begin manifesting instructions to make the transition to multi-cellular beings and again have a deletion event, leaving us only with evidence of the existing DNA that can only make that particular kind of being.
Under this view, life would still be a tree, but the branching would all entirely occur in the single-cell, most complex (informationally) stage. So humans could not evolve from apes, for example. Essentially this would be the biblical rootkinds (created kinds; baramin), with natural selection, mutation, etc. accounting for minor variation and changes later. This could operate under a relatively short timespan, in fact (see next point), but for this bullet point I'm assuming the atheistic version of this view would still include millions of years, or several thousands, just to have something major to differentiate it from the Bible, since atheists generally seem to hate it so much.
Obviously, currently nobody would fall for the idea that atheistically such a perfect superstem cell could come about. There may have once been a time that something like this was plausible. Darwin seemed to be under the impression that natural selection alone was needed, which if he'd thought it through would mean downvolution by definition, yet he also did not seem to understand genetics very well, and obviously since his time we have learned much about it that he could not know. Modern science has highlighted countless reasons that cells could not just pop into existence atheistically with full functionality and full genetic information and the rest of its brilliant design.
Yet, we must keep in mind that human minds are (genetically speaking) deteriorating over time due to accumulating harmful mutations, so it is quite possible that in the distant future many will be less able to have a qualm with the logical absurdity of this idea. Especially if ignorance once again takes over, as seems to be the trend under the spreading reign of evolution, and people forget that physics doesn't allow such things without a designer.
Also, I have thought of two concepts that could even be used to seem to rationally explain atheistic full-complexity abiogenesis. However, because I do not wish to spread arguments that enemies of God could use, and since I also continued the analysis beyond those concepts to understand why they are wrong, I cannot in good conscience explain what they are lest they be misused by people unwilling to likewise continue the analysis. It's also interesting that apparently none of them have thought of these ideas either, which I could be tempted to think meant I'm smarter than all atheists, heh, but more likely their logical abilities are poorly exercised as a direct necessity to being an atheist. It'll be interesting to me to watch how things unfold from here. I suspect that eventually they will either have to find one or both of those ideas (or another I haven't thought of), or they will have to finally abandon all pretense of being scientific or logical because to continue in that vein has been what has uncovered so much disproof of their beloved upvolution worldview.
-Atheistic Young-Earth (Global Flood) Downvolution – This would be a subtype of the above that would go all-out on blatant “evolution of the gaps” -- that is, making evolution essentially indistinguishable from the Bible so that it can match scientific observations, and yet still claim atheism with no hint of evidence. It would essentially admit on nearly every point that all the evidence appears to back up the Bible, and would probably agree that the Bible is accurate in every historical detail from the moment Adam first awoke, as observed by humans, but that still God does not exist and this contradiction is explained “somehow.”
This would hold that the biblical chronology is more or less accurate (though probably with a few thousand years or at least a few years before Adam), accepting the spherical form of the universe with Earth near the center and the time dilation that this implies, and most importantly agree with all the geologic evidence that the fossil layers were laid down during the global Flood, explaining the lack of erosion between layers, etc. Thus, any fossil evidence of whatever period of time occurred during the evolution of all the rootkinds and finally Adam and Eve was destroyed, or some such thing.
This is an "excuse" that I'm quite frankly shocked that atheists haven't yet thought of using. And despite my concern about feeding them ideas they could misuse, I feel it's good to share this one just to demonstrate that I'm not bluffing about having such ideas. Why not as atheists just admit to the global Flood and biblical timescale, and use the Flood to explain why there's no evidence of evolutionary origins?
My sense is that it's for the same reason they strangely resisted admitting the necessity of catastrophism in general for fossilization to occur and taught for a long time that gradual burial could do it, despite the obvious fact that things would decay before being buried that way. The reason is apparently a strong emotional defensiveness, seeking to fight any slight indication that their paradigm might be wrong, as seen in anyone defending any paradigm who is not well practised in self-aware truthseeking. Since catastrophism and the Global Flood etc. are from the Bible, admitting them is giving ground to biblical believers, who they have labeled the enemy and direct strong hatred or similar emotions towards.
This is enforced with a vitriolic social pressure feedback loop system which makes it even harder for them to improve their understanding of reality since do to so not only demolishes your own construct but those of others, who respond with intense negativity, stifling truthseeking and slowing down science to a snail's crawl. Of course, the answer to this is for more and more of us to realize that we create such social systems and therefore we can dismantle them, realizing they are only hurting us. And those of us who have trashed such bad constructs can leave the others behind, continuing our truthseeking rationally, calmly, and freely.
NOTE: Likely it would not actually name the first male and female after the biblical names, but would hold to something like the JEDP myth of biblical formation [[[[LINK]]]], rejecting the details of Genesis 1-11 other than the basic idea of the young age and the global Flood. They would have to come up with some alternate explanation besides the miraculous guiding the Bible describes for how “Noah” got representatives of all the land and flying rootkinds onto the ark, or some other method of preservation. They might have to conclude that a “Noah” figure was a superscientist who figured out how to predict the Flood and used those “120” years (or whatever) to research and collect representatives in addition to building the Ark. But this would also require admitting the Bible was right that the ancient ancients were smarter than us (see anthropology section below). This would, however, fit the downvolution idea, so who knows? And since atheists seem incapable of accepting the Ark despite the abundant research that it's plausible, they may abandon any pretense of “how” and opt again for “somehow” here.
Are either of these views likely to happen anytime soon? Well, it's hard to predict because they might come up with some kind of a patch for how complex information could evolve besides natural selection and mutation, perhaps some concept of how aliens that are nothing like us could evolve and be intelligent, and then make us in an ID style. Barring that, I doubt it. I expect that atheism is going to either go virtually extinct in favor of any version of theistic explanation, or will come up with a strong motivation to emotionally abandon scientism, perhaps based on a corrupted “morality” argument similar to their argument against science in the case of abortion (that it's okay to murder children of a certain age, especially unborn, for a "moral right" of the mother to "control her own body"; this is never backed up with any reasoning that would explain why the moral right of the baby to life can be ignored, but it happens, and similar non-reasoned "morals" could be concocted as well).
-Theistic Downvolution – Obviously this would be far, far more rational than any atheistic view. It could even fit with the most essential part of my causality argument proving that God must exist. Why theistic compromisers of today seem to universally stick to gradual upvolution is beyond me, unless it is that they are so far usually just too ignorant of what we observe to realize the need to abandon it, or by peer pressure since it is so vitriolically demanded by current atheists. But there is almost no internal consistency reason for TEs to avoid downvolution. The idea that God could have invented a superstem cell and let it all evolve from there, including a global Flood version which would fit most other scientific evidence, is very logical. I would especially not be surprised if BioLogos-type TEs would accept this [[[[LINK]]]].
The main problem comes back to the science of hermeneutics and the many proofs that the Bible is God's Word. God clearly told us he did not use death and suffering as part of the method of creation. So any “downvolution” that occurred had to come after the Fall, which is in turn after the original rootkinds were already created. There is of course no logical reason to rule out the biblical view in favor of pre-Fall death, and the Bible has been proven reliable, so this potential worldview can be rejected as well.
-Spiritual Humanism – This is a fictional religion I invented for my Christian science fiction stories (though in place of “spiritual” I used the name of a country in which it originated), and I have theorized that subconsciously it is what most evolutionists really seem to hold to currently, but they do not usually seem to have consciously realized it. This is the idea that spirits similar to angels or demons or the popular idea of human souls actually came to exist at some point after an atheistic Big Bang type origin of the universe, and from then on they guided the semi-naturalistic upvolution of the first life and continued upvolution from there, akin to some popular versions of theistic evolution today.
The difference is that these spirits would not be seen as God or gods but rather “proto-humans” seeking to evolve bodies for themselves to inhabit. They would have no supernatural abilities other than the ability to exist independent of matter, and to slightly influence matter to get past the limits that deny unguided upvolution. Believers in this would thus be able to accept most paranormal, spiritism, ghost, witchcraft, and demon worship practices as tapping into those proto-humans' spirits who have not yet become embodied or had been embodied but died. This could include reincarnation, or (as in the fictional version I used), the idea that once they become embodied and die, they are promoted to actual gods (or it could have some of both).
This would not seem compatible with the consciously proclaimed versions of atheistic evolution today, but it would seem to be fair game to the mindsets that produce any version of theistic evolution which hold to the belief in finite “little g” gods. Also, it actually would be consistent with the apparent implications of the arguments of modern atheists, especially those that call themselves Humanists. Some humanists already use mystical language that seems to approach closet spiritism. The others seem to have not consciously thought of this but show strong dissonance traits, and their behavior seems motivated out of some kind of religious devotion that might imply this.
Due to the prophecy in Revelation that in the end times witchcraft and similar practices will be common, I think it's very likely that this worldview will actually come about, or perhaps something very similar (like demons being little-g gods that helped us evolve but don't actually become us). If so, here's a preemptive strike – like other false worldviews, the main reasons we can know this is wrong are that the Bible has been proven reliable in so many ways and the study of languages reveals what it says against witchcraft and the like, and the One True God must exist; mere finite spirits alone can't come into existence any more than anything else can without God, and since He does exist, he can ensure no spirit that He created could do anything like this.
-Post-Creation Evolution – This wouldn't really be a new view but a rebranding of the term “evolution”, if the current trend of evolutionists to use an equivocation fallacy tactic on the term “evolution”, defining it merely as change and pointing to the observed downvolution as examples, backfires. Future generations could come to redefine “evolution” to strictly refer to the biblical changes that happened after the creation of the genetically advanced rootkinds.
This could come in a fully biblical version, and various compromise versions in-between (accepting that only biblical “evolution” occurs but still presuming a different god created or a “somehow” for abiogenesis). I think both are highly likely. I have already seen some mainstream creationists occasionally using the word “evolution” in this sense, and word seems to be spreading that the observed changes are downward.
This spreading seems to be what has motivated the desperate equivocation ploy upvolutionists have used, which is usually explained as “evolution doesn't have a direction.” But this is an obvious hand-waving, intended to distract from the fact that they do believe life started simple and evolved new information later, thus they do believe that it HAD to have an overall upward direction, in direct contradiction to the highly repeatable observations of overwhelming downvolution. This ploy may turn out to be a last gasp for upvolution. But “evolution” redefined to be more friendly to the Bible does not necessarily mean that everybody will suddenly accept Jesus either.
All versions of this would implicitly or directly reject atheistic downvolution since it is so obviously irrational. Essentially this would be the victory of the intelligent design argument, and further research and debate would then need to tackle who the Designer was, or designers were. Likely panspermia would become more popular as the antireligious version (though there could be religious worship of “alien creators” too I suppose).
This would be the recognition that “evolution” can only be a small part of any true origins view, and could no longer work as a summary of a complete worldview. So nobody would be an Evolutionist anymore, just as you wouldn't call someone who accepts that cars are manufactured by intelligent designers and then wear out a “car-decayist”. We'd all be some version of creationists, with the term “evolution” referring to the natural, observed changes that occur after creation. (A few stubbornly ignorant holdouts could remain evolutionists, but they would be viewed as akin to Flat Earthers, as many of us already view them.)
BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW DETAILS:
The following sections will explain my understanding of the truth and/or likely truth of origins, focusing on major points that many people don't often know. The goal here is to build a biblical worldview, simple in terms of being understandable by lay readers, yet detailed enough to explain all major questions, especially scientific ones. I will go roughly in the order of subjects of Biology, Anthropology, Geology, and Astronomy, thus will divide this up into those sections. I will include some relevant ideas from my own analysis and suggestions.
-Life was originally created perfect, but since the Fall, has been gradually getting worse.
-Lifeforms were created in distinct pairs of what I call “rootparents”; the original created males and females, which were the ancestors of “rootkinds” (the technical term modern creationists use is “baramin”; “bara” is Hebrew for “create” and “min” means “kind”)
-Humans are all within a single rootkind; there are no true “races” but merely different traits that later got geographically isolated (after the Tower of Babel). These traits are no more important genetically than the differences between individuals within the groups that were called “races”, so are merely superficial. Racism is not at all justified. (More about this in the Anthropology section below.)
-The rootparents had all the created genetic information and “variable settings” so that normal genetics could recombine the variables in their offspring in various ways.
-After the Fall, extinction-based natural selection, selective breeding, and mutations also influenced offspring.
-When beings with certain average combinations of those genes tended to become reproductively isolated, sometimes accompanied with copying errors (mutations) that caused the loss of the ability to reproduce with other related beings (speciation), the rootkinds's descendants formed what I call “branchkinds”. (Some later biblical passages refer to “mins” in this sense, not necessarily meaning baramins but probably more equivalent to species.)
-These are a result of “downvolution” or observed adaptive selection, rather than “upvolution” that evolutionists believe in; it is a loss of genetic information within each branchkind rather than the generation of new information required by secularistic evolution. I use the term “downvolution” often as a nickname for biblical (and observed) genetic changes in life-forms. Upvolution is never observed, and at this point if it ever did occur, it would still be entirely swallowed up by the overwhelming decay that is proven to happen, rendering simple-to-complex evolution scientifically impossible. Although I sometimes use the term loosely to refer to the changes that happened post-Fall, much of those changes are not really “down” in the sense of anything bad happening but are normal genetics; this could be called neutral change; the recombination of various created traits or variable settings.
-If the Fall had not happened, normal genetics could have resulted in branchkinds without any genetic corruption. To some extent, this is responsible for the branchkinds that did occur after the Fall. However, mutations, which are copying errors or genetic corruption, have also contributed to the varied branchkinds, since the Fall did enable such decay.
-Mutations and natural selection always result in the loss of genetic information, but sometimes both can result in “beneficial” traits. A change that helps an organism survive in a particular environment must not be confused with upvolution. The stock example is a beetle branchkind whose information coding for wings is corrupted so that they lose their wings – they may survive better on a windy island because they will be less likely to be blown to their deaths in the water. But they have lost both genetic information, and as a direct result have lost their adaptive potential in this category for other environments. On a continent they will be out-competed by beetles that retain their wings.
-Much of what has gone wrong with life since the Fall has been the loss of limiting functions, which is often mistaken by evolutionists for a gain in the sense of upvolution. The most commonly cited “evidence of evolution”, germs “evolving” resistance to antibiotics, is actually such a loss.
-Microbes were in the original creation symbiotic with all other life. They served as regulators.
-For example, a bacteria that would live in our stomachs and help us digest food properly would have a limiting function that would generate a self-destruct in the absence of stomach acids of the proper mixture. Other similar designs could trigger the self-destruct in the presence of other substances. If descendants of this bacteria lost the primary self-destruct mechanism through mutational corruption, they would no longer destroy themselves outside of the stomach. So loss of the limiting function would enable their digestive systems to turn on the rest of their host organism, becoming a disease germ.
-This would happen more and more as time went on and copying errors accumulated, explaining why many modern diseases were not recorded in earlier history – incidentally, the timing of the explosion of new diseases in recorded recent history is yet another evidence against long-age evolution, since it should have happened far earlier, probably long before the evolution of humans. Antibiotics work by triggering other self-destruct mechanisms that are still intact, but are not normally triggered by anything in the body or by certain systems that the disease attacks, etc. Later losses of those other mechanisms can make new branchkinds that are resistant to that antibiotic. Thus, either way, loss of a limiting function results in a branchkind that will attack what previous versions did not, and is still downvolution.
-Often whole branchkinds have gone extinct (global natural selection), removing some of the “variable settings” of DNA within a rootkind entirely from the living population on Earth. A similar process can occur with geographical separation (localized natural selection) where certain genetic variable settings are extinct within a region but present in other regions.
-Both types of selection tend to make the members of the rootkind less adaptable to future ecological changes. A germ that adapts to antibiotics by losing information for self-destruct mechanisms triggered by that medicine will tend to be less competitive in a normal environment, as genetic corruption tends to make other traits and processes less effective. Often the “self-destruct” is normally used in a non-destructive way to aid normal survival, such as the “waste bin” components of cells (popping these is a common method of self-destruct, releasing the toxins into the whole cell), so losing that system will make them digest nutrients more slowly or build up waste materials and die younger, etc. If this happens only locally, and then the resulting strains are put in competition with uncorrupted relatives, the resistant strains will be out-competed. This is another way in which this kind of seemingly beneficial change is still really downvolution.
-A similar weakness occurs without mutation, when a rootkind that at first retains genetic variety becomes isolated into branchkinds with less variables present in the isolated descended populations. These will be less adaptable to future environmental or other difficulties.
-By contrast, those branchkinds with more variables present in the population will be more adaptable to future problems.
-Wolves are a good example of descendants of a rootkind that retain more genetic variety than specific breeds of dogs. When taken to the extreme, the wolf equivalent or “rootlike kind” would be able to spawn naturally selected branchkinds in a variety of ecologies, while each specific branchkind would only ever be able to spawn creatures adapted well to specific environments. Thus natural selection tends to be a limited-use contingency mechanism. After enough selection occurs, there is no more material left to be selected, and adaptation becomes much more difficult. This also argues against millions of years, during which vast numbers of global or widespread-enough ecological changes must have occurred.
-Originally reproduction between any members of a rootkind was genetically ideal; harmful mutations had not yet accumulated.
-Given enough time to accumulate them later, reproduction among close relatives became risky for the offspring because the same mutation will be more likely to be present at the same spot in the genetic code in both parents, and become expressed in the child as a genetic disease. Genetics works with two genes paired at any given spot, and harmful mutations tend to act as recessive traits, so offspring of the most distantly related humans will be more likely to have the mutation only present in one parent, and be unexpressed in the child.
-In humans, this means that after creation, and later after the Flood, the first children intermarried with their own siblings, then later close cousins, etc. This became unacceptable only much later, and God's law at the time of Moses forbade it. This is the answer to the common question of “where Cain got his wife”, etc. (What remains unanswered is simply why anybody focuses on Cain, rather than the more obvious Seth, since it is only clearly stated that the humans that survived the Flood were descended from Seth, but that's tangential... However, see my theory here for more on that.)
-Soon after the Fall, this was likely not a serious problem at all. However, at the time of the Flood, some mutations must have already accumulated and probably did become universally expressed. It is thought that this is a major part of the reason that humans lived to closer to 1000 years old prior to the Flood but afterwards lifespans rapidly deteriorated until they stabilized at our under 100 years.
-This is also probably why God promised never to send another Flood, and probably implying no other similar disaster to cause a genetic bottleneck event. The DNA of humans (and other life) at that time was still only a little uncorrupted, but if such a thing happened now that harmful mutations are much more common (but still recessive and usually unexpressed due to widespread avoidance of close-relative reproduction), likely the descendants of the closely related survivors would be so full of expressed mutations that extinction would follow rapidly. The only other disaster that will occur as prophesied in the Bible will be at the end of this world and the recreation of the new one and the resurrection into new, perfected bodies, so this problem will be irrelevant then.
-The modern term “species” is properly applied to branchkinds that have lost the ability due to harmful mutations to interbreed with different branchkinds within the same rootkind. Often partial reproductive ability is maintained but the offspring will themselves be unable to reproduce (such as most mules). In general, this is the true “origin of species”; a result of downvolution, the opposite of Darwin's faulty understanding. However, “species” is often applied inconsistently to branchkinds that could reproduce but tend not to merely due to behavioral rules that make them prefer mates that look like them.
-It seems likely to me that in undomesticated animals, the behavioral rules probably downvolved first; this caused the higher risk of the same mutations in parents, which then tended to cause glitches common to that branchkind, causing reproductive limitations. Later as the branches repopulated the Earth, their numbers grew so that continued rapid degradation due to that effect was lessened, resulting in life as we see it today, also factoring for occasional extinctions due to other causes.
-It also seems likely to me that a similar period of very common infertility would have occurred in the thousand or so years after the Flood, but that later these traits would tend to fade away as the total Earth population increased exponentially. This may explain the common references to biblical women being concerned about being apparently unable to bear children, which seems not to have been as common later. Sarah for example may have been infertile due to such a copying error but God miraculously restored the correct genetics. Or even a programmed non-miraculous corrective mechanism could have done it? There have been some indications that similar things occur, including “backups” in the genetic code which can be used to overwrite corrupted regions of DNA, or become favored due to Lamarckian-esque epigentic adaptations in some cases (such as proteins attaching to the genetic code that alter which parts are uncoiled and thus able to be read, which can in rare cases be passed on to descendants; then presumably later marriages would bring in unmutated versions of the reproductive code into that family line from outside; see here).
-Mainstream creationists' studies into biblical rootkinds (baraminology) have so far considered the rootkind to be roughly equivalent to the family level of the currently popular taxonomic classification.
-Often a “species” should really been seen as synonymous with “breed” as in dog breeds. This is often likely the case for extinct branchkinds that we only know of through fossil evidence, and for ones that humans did not follow or guide the process for as with domesticated animals, so that if we had observed the process we would likely consider them breeds as well. The differences between the breeds of dogs are usually comparable or even much more extreme than the differences between these so-called “species” within the same family.
-However, in their baraminology studies, creationists have wisely overestimated the number of created kinds in an attempt to be fair to skeptics, producing the worst case scenario with the global Flood in mind. Even with these worst-case high estimates, these studies have proven that representative pairs of all rootkinds (of the categories stated to be taken, which didn't include sea creatures) fit on the Ark, with plenty of room to spare for food supplies, human housing, etc. Personally I feel no need to overestimate since I simply want to have the closest picture to the truth based on the best understanding we have, so I tend to apply the “dog rule” in all cases. But for cautionary purposes, that overestimating makes perfect sense, so I wholeheartedly endorse it in those cases (such as for Answers in Genesis's Ark Encounter project).
-For the same reasons, it seems likely to me that in the cases of creatures we are less familiar with, including extinct ones, the rootkind level is actually much higher than the current taxonomic family. These classifications currently tend to be highly changeable as scientists learn more, so that species are sometimes promoted to families or demoted to subspecies, etc.
-For the most part the higher taxonomic classification jargon that is more obscure to laymen is likely irrelevant in terms of actual biological descent, and as such I will tend to ignore them. I also ignore the “genus” which is a level between family and species, mainly just because it is also relatively obscure to laymen. However, these terms may have value in a process of seeking what categorizations the Creator may have considered them to be in.
-In reality, the rootkinds are “related” (in the sense of having a common Creator) in more of a web format of design similarity, due to God being able to re-use parts and concepts from one creature where ideal for another creature, without the need for a tree-format of biological descent. This understanding sees both “convergent evolution” and the similarities that evolutionists contradictorily use as evidence of divergent evolution (actual biological descent family tree lines) as evidence of a common designer. It is comparable to how an advancement in design technology in one vehicle, computer, etc. will be added into other technology if we find uses for them. (This is in fact much more than just an analogy as organic life is really an extremely advanced form of molecular “nanite”-like technology, invented by the all-knowing and all-powerful God, though it is obviously so much more advanced than our clunky tech that it enables beings like humans to transcend mere computer programming and have true sapience, including having our own freewill, emotion, and ability to love.)
-After the rootkinds were made and began producing branchkinds, actual biological descent trees did exist, and with normal genetics and downvolution or corruption-adaptation, do follow a process similar to what evolutionists imagine for all life. Answers in Genesis has thus stated that there is a “forest of life” rather than the evolutionary tree of life. Each rootkind and its branches form one tree in the forest. I would add to this that you could imagine a horizontal web of connections at the floor of this forest, representing the design relationships God employed, which often are seen in genetic similarities and expressed functional similarities, but do not represent actual biologic descent.
-Thus, the similarities that evolutionists use to argue common descent are sometimes correct, in showing evidenced rootkinds descending with “downvolution” and/or natural genetics from rootkinds, and sometimes are not. In the cases where there are major similarities between rootkinds (such as whales, apes, and bats all being mammals), that distinction is really no more important than the similarities between whales and fish, apes and lizards, and bats and birds. Since neither actually represents biological descent, it is purely subjective which is used, at least from our perspective.
-There is abundant evidence that God considers the mode of transportation and similar things a more important classification system than mammal vs. reptile, etc. due to the order he created them in. So from a designer's perspective, and to some extent the creatures' perspectives (except in the cases of plants and plantlike life of course), the ability to fly is more important than whether you lay eggs or have feathers, for example. This makes much sense.
-Also, Genesis 1 is clear that in some of the major categories, God actually separated the timing of the creation of animals by different days. The term sometimes translated “bird”, for example, actually meant “flying thing” (possibly flying vertabrates; it seems unclear on which day insects for example were made) and would include bats and pterosaurs, while “fish” meant “swimming thing” and would include whales and likely some sea reptiles like ichthyosaurs.
-Flying things and swimming things were made on Day 5, while land animals (walking, crawling, etc.) were made on Day 6 (as were humans). Continued uses of these and similar terms later in the Bible may also refer to these “mode-based” classifications, not the modern mammal/etc. classifications.
-However, within “mode” classes, the subdivisions of life used by modern taxonomy may actually be accurate to how God would classify them for the most part; meaning the order He created them on within each Day.
Baraminology is the study of the biblical created kinds; baramin, from Hebrew bara meaning create and min meaning kind. The term "kind" later in the Bible can also refer to subdivisions or branches, so there could be any number of biblical creationist subsciences studying the baramins' history after initial creation.
-All of these factors taken together open up a fascinating area of scientific study that evolution lacks, yet is consistent with some of the most popular ideas that evolutionists promote (unaware usually that they are shared by biblical creation). This is that each rootparent would have had half of the full possible range of created genetic variables, and their descendants would rapidly variate into lineages which could then compete in rapid natural selection. Factoring the effects of the Fall, behavioral reproductive isolation, and/or some genetic speciation, could happen almost immediately in many plant and animal lifeforms. As a result, we should expect that there were countless other branchkinds on Earth for a while soon after the Fall, and that dramatic competition wars raged in nature which were largely won by only a select, narrow amount of branchkinds, well before the Flood.
-These “champion branchkinds” were preserved in the Flood as fossils. However, any fossilization of the “lost branchkinds” from prior to this would have been near the top (surface) of the ground prior to the Flood and thus almost certainly destroyed by the Flood. So, we should not expect to be able to look to the fossil record to see any direct insight into this period of natural drama. Instead, we must look to modern genetic science to try to extrapolate what other “variable settings” might have existed within the same rootkinds as the champion branches we know of from the fossil record and modern extant life. This science is so young it's practically not even born yet, as it were, but as science moves forward, assuming enough scientists remain committed to biblical belief, it should be quite possible to consider many possibilities. And it is very fun to just try to imagine the possibilities as amateurs too. Understanding this could go a long way towards understanding why the particular champion kinds that made it to the Flood fossils had the features they had.
-I've chosen to call this area of analysis “nodminology”, after the Genesis reference to the eastern Land of Nod (which means wandering, as in lost, so “lost kinds”), where Cain went after killing Abel. These competitive struggles would be occurring at about that time, and likely would mostly be concluded by the time Cain built his city later. And like Cain's crime, this exact process would not have occurred had the Fall not happened, although a deathless version that would result in population percentage patterns could have occurred, and could have been far more interesting since we'd see all the individuals still alive today. NOTE: I mean the term to refer to the kinds of life alive at the time, not just in the specific place of Nod.
-So to summarize, nodminology (as I call it) is the study or consideration of what possible branchkinds went extinct soon after the Fall (nodmins; lost branches), through genetics science and indirect extrapolations from the fossil records of the champion branchkinds that out-competed them. Its aim is specifically to theorize what those lost types could have been like, not really the study of the fossilized champions themselves, although the process would include many creatures that would be ancestors of the champions, which I would include. In other words, it would be the study of all the branched or speciated life (including the more rootlike branches) as it existed just in those very early years. Whatever was alive at that time is in view, but with a focus towards the lineages that died out.
-However, it may be also augmented by studies of the rarest fossilized forms, as seminodminology; the study of populations that competed enough to survive but not enough to dominate percentage-wise.
-The study of the dominating champion branchkinds who survived long enough to be fossilized in the Global Flood, like the infamous Tyrannosaurs, could be called tyraminology; “king kinds”. (I realize now I'm mixing source languages but these are my own informal names, and after all why not? :P)
-Several related areas of study are opened up for the effects of the Flood on biology (these would be subdivisions of tyraminology); they can effectively incorporate the fossil record more so than the previous. This is because of the vital question of whether the representatives of land and flying animals on the Ark were more wolflike or more specialized. The answer is likely somewhere in between for the majority. (Wolves themselves are probably in-between; it's unlikely they are literally the same as the rootparents of the created dog kind. Perhaps a better analogy would be to mutts.)
-The studies of stasis and extinctions may be the most relevant to these Flood-related sub-minologies.
-A type that appears to have died out in the Flood is likely a champion branchkind, but just one of several within the same rootkind or baramin, whose genes were not chosen. A different branch champion would have been chosen. In these cases, the fossils are literally a record of their extinction events.
-This one has been harder to think of a name for, but I've chosen cataminology, from cataclysm, which comes from a Greek term that is thought to refer to the Global Flood (the Greeks retained knowledge that such a mega-flood occurred, as did most cultures, albeit corrupted since unlike Genesis it was not written down, nor inspired by God). This is the study of which creatures went extinct due to the Flood and not being genetically represented on the Ark.
-By contrast, a type that is preserved exactly as we see its apparent descendants today could mean two things – that it was a champion branch that was chosen to go on the Ark, or that a more wolflike relative was chosen (whether a rare semi-champion or a coexisting champion), with all the variable settings to again branch into a mirror image of it later. Where only one branch of many similar branches apparently in one rootkind survives today, the former is most likely. Where multiple branches of apparent relatives who were fossilized also survive today, it could probably only mean the Ark representatives were more rootlike, not speciated.
-For this I've chosen the name noahminology for obvious reasons; the study of the individual animals that were chosen to go on the ark and thus the branchkinds that descended from them afterwards. We have a few stated clues to this one in the cases of doves and ravens, for example, and most of the domesticated kinds can probably be considered preserved by man in their approximate noahmin forms.
-Another sub-science of noahminology, similar to nodminology, occurs due to the fact that there would be a similar urgent time of intense competition after the Flood, and several branches of the noahmins would have gone extinct soon after it, around the time of Babel.
-Since not all life needed to be on the ark, those animals and plants that survived the Flood off of it can be studied in “hydrominology”; “water kinds”, meaning both literal sea life and any land life that could survive the Flood, mainly plants, fungus, and some microbial life.
-The study of the early branchkinds from the ark animals (and surviving non-Ark animals, and plants and the like whether they were on the Ark or not) that soon went extinct can be called araminology, after the mountains of Ararat, where the Bible says the Ark landed.
-Yet another similar science that would be very interesting would be the study of the branches that settled in for the long haul afterward but did not survive until the modern era of rigorous taxonomic classification and records, due to environmental changes in the wake of the Ice Age and other factors like overhunting. This would include the post-Flood dinosaurs that inspired the widespread dragon myths and the desire to exterminate them which appears to have been successful (sadly, or thankfully, depending on your point of view :P), at least as far as we've been able to tell so far. Perhaps we could call this nimrominology, after Nimrod, the grandson of Ham who the Bible describes as a mighty hunter (who founded the first post-Flood Empire, apparently beginning with the Tower of Babel); these creatures would be champions of that era, but would have fallen prey to other factors that left only the modern animals later.
-Some of the nimromins would be ancestors of more niche modern creatures. In other cases the modern ones would have coexisted with the nimromins and later out-competed them.
-The study of modern (currently surviving) animals is called by secular science extent taxonomy, though unbiblical scientists will not be constructing organizational schemes as accurate to how God originally organized the baramins, most likely. We could simply call it extant baraminology, though I don't quite like the term “extant” as it's so easy to mistake for “extinct” which means the opposite. I propose the term remnaminology after “remnant”, a common biblical concept referring to the idea of a surviving subpopulation from a time of judgement; using English purposefully in this case to help imply the modern sense of the term.
-And of course, all such considerations within the whole extended family of each rootkind (baramin) can also be used to try to guesstimate what the original created rootparents were like. This could be called edenminology after the Garden of Eden, meaning the very first creatures as they existed at the very beginning of the brief time Adam & Eve were in the Garden (exactly as God created them, with the full created variable settings present in their DNA and no genetic corruption at all). This includes Adam and Eve. (Note that it's likely the vast majority of animals and plants began reproducing and thus variating prior to the humans' eviction from the Garden. These might have formed branchkinds, or it might have been too early for that sort of differentiation to start to become obvious enough for that, so they may simply have been more individuals within the baramins. It's probably far too difficult to even begin to guess at the timing of the distinct branching until the Fall happens and death enters as a factor forcing brutal competition, so I won't bother to name a subdivision aimed at that. That can essentially be considered the first stage of nodminology, distinct from edenminology)
-Creationists have already named the scientific subdivision holobaraminology; the study of all creatures who are overall similar to each other but different from other creatures, and the two contrasting study-oriented terms monobaramin (a group of creatures who appear similar to each other) and apobaramin (a group of creatures that appears very different from other creatures not in the group). The hope is that eventually holobaramins can be discerned by thorough science that factor both similarities and differences properly, and thus arrives at a very likely theory of where the classification boundaries of the created kinds are. It refers to every member within the whole group, not to specific subgroups.
-Forming a complete holobaramin would be a major first step towards trying to later discern these subgroup studies I'm bringing up, especially with the ultimate goal of finding the most likely theories for the edenmins. It should be noted that the study prefixes holo, mono, and apo should be attached to all actual scientific theories that could be reached towards what would populate every division including the entire baramins. Even if a holobaramin or a subdivision holomin is determined, this refers only to the scientific theory or estimate of what the original created kinds were like. This would be a manmade model and as such is always subject to change in case of new information or new analyses. This is distinct from the actual baramin which refers to whatever they really were like; only God know that for sure and it cannot change (we will find those out for sure in heaven or the New Creation, hopefully!). Similarly, creation science could determine a holonodmin, but this should not be treated dogmatically as an actual nodmin.
-That said, personally within my fiction stories I do intend to include some “semitheories” as to edenmins and treat them as “canon” within that fiction. (“Semitheory” is my term for something in my own fiction that does seem to make sense to me with some evidences from real life, and if it turns out to be true, cool, but if not, is considered to be intentionally fictional.) I would greatly encourage creationist authors to explore such possibilities in their own fiction with the goal of inspiring the imagination of future creation scientists. In those cases the holo/etc. prefixes wouldn't be needed (nor would they make sense, unless of course the fiction was telling about a fictional or real scientific theory rather than actual fictional creatures, that is). Really the terms would probably not work in most situations in fiction merely because it would seem too technical, but I wouldn't absolutely rule it out.
-Speaking of stasis, here's a few more terms to propose that don't refer to such specific branchkinds but to the process of settling into unvarying types. It's important to realize that this “natural sifting” system begins with full genetic variable settings in a “raw” form (having muttlike “averaged-out” features), and through normal genetic recombination (with no need for selection or mutation) results in a wide variety of creatures. It's like a multiplication table; a rootparent of the dog kind would tend to have medium length limbs, brownish-gray medium fur, medium length snouts, etc. Recombination will result in some types that have only the codes for specific allocations of all these variables. Some branchkinds will end up with only short limbs, long fur, short snouts, others long limbs, short fur, long snouts, some light-colored fur, others dark, and thousands of other combinations with similar features.
-This does NOT occur as evolutionists often imagine by the generation of new genetic information, but rather each branchkind has lost information that the more raw muttlike ancestors had. Yet, what IS being generated is new combinations of genetic variables that had not yet been combined that way. In other words, God designed genetics to naturally explore these new combinations through multiplying.
-We could call this “outvolution”. It is essentially the decompressing of information that was contained in full “zipped” format in the original two kindparents for every rootkind. All those combinations were already programmed in, but they were not yet physically expressed.
-When a rootkind results in a specific branchkind that is fully (or close to it) “outvolved”, and becomes at least behaviorally limited to reproducing only with other members of that branchkind (so more like “purebreeds” rather than mutts), that could be called a statimin. This term is intended to be clearer than the often equivocated “species” which sometimes refers to genetic limits on reproducing with other branches, and other times to mere behavior. Since this often can't be determined in the fossil record either way, but statis can, this gives a label that can be used for such creatures.
-The original rootparents, the more muttlike early descendants, and the continuing rarer wolflike types that still have a lot of variable settings within the reproductively isolated group, can by contrast be called varimins.
-Other than the actual original rootparents and perhaps highly rare early descendants, most varimins would not have the full variety within their reproductive group. And it seems unlikely that most statimins are literally lacking any variety of settings within their populations either; I'm mainly referring to the most important features like size and overall shape, like how two different housecats will almost always have slightly different fur patterns but overall you can always tell a housecat from a lion, and most breeds of housecat are also easily distinguished. Another good example would be fingerprints; the specific designs have no noticeable effect on survivability, so neither natural selection nor behavioral selection is ever likely to sift human fingerprint patterns down to one static form. Thus we have retained immense variety with them, down to the individual.
-So, most creatures are somewhere in-between, on a spectrum between true varimins and true statimins. I would use the terms approximately, with emphasis on our ability to easily discern the differences. That is subjective to humans, yes, but so is applying labels anyways.
-Furthermore, when a specific branchkind, whether or not it is closer to a varimin or a statimin, becomes ideally suited for its environment so that it does not branch out into more reproductively isolated groups, but remains a single reproductive group with varying individuals (until or unless the environment changes and it has enough variables left to branch in response to this change), we could call this a habimin, after “habituated”, for a “habitat”, and possibly by “habit”, heh.
-Since the Fall damaged much of nature, the history of animals, plants, microbes, etc. after that is the recombination from varimin forms, towards statimin forms, until certain groups “snap” into ideal allocations of their variables for their particular habitats, becoming habimins. When events such as the Flood, Ice Age, human overhunting, introduction of overcompeting branchkinds from other places, etc. change the environment, the more varimin forms no longer “snap” well into place there, and individual variety within them becomes reproductively selected, turning into two or more branchkinds. So, future changes to the environment can trigger the process again. Sometimes, due to natural selection, some of the old settings will become extinct, so even if later changes would have made them fit will to a new environment, those settings aren't available for it. Mutations and behavioral selection also cause life to become more locked into less varied forms.
-So as environments change more and more, variable settings are lost more and more, until eventually habimins generally become essentially synonymous with statimins. This also puts all life more and more in danger of extinction the more time wears on since the beginning because with less settings available, future descendants will not be able to adapt to more major disruptions of the environment.
-This process could result in several interesting phenomena, like the simultaneous “downvolution” of branches in separate rootkinds into “lookalikes”, without any need for naturalistic evolutionary origins and without the branchkinds necessarily having been programmed exactly in those forms by God (rather it would be a contingency he would be aware would be possible after the Fall to help some survive).
-Here's an example to help explain how this is possible. Mutations could remove limits on some destructive protein generation in certain organs in a type of bug, making them poisonous, in a varimin with a variety of colors. Those that blend in well will tend to get eaten because they're not as easily recognized. Even though their predators will die too, the dull-colored ones will die out too. Those that have bright colors are easier for the predators to notice. So enough predators could just eat small ones, and get sick, and put two and two together behaviorally and remember to avoid the bright colors. Those predators that don't notice this also die out (similar processes in other situations would tend to make surviving carnivorous animal habimins more intelligent on average than most omnivorous habimins would need to be, so the omnivores would tend to lose their intelligence while predators would retain it). And now members of varimins from entirely different rootkinds that have the settings for bright colors would tend to be left alone by these predators, while the duller colored ones would only tend to survive if they are dull enough to blend in unusually well, etc. Most varieties would die out, leaving some habimins that look very similar to the poisonous bugs.
-Such processes can occur entirely without any generation of new genetic information in the sense of what secularistic evolution supposes, so are fully biblical. A whole array of other terms to focus on chracteristics like lookalikes, carnivores, camouflage, etc. could be added to the vocabulary as well (like camomins as one obvious example), but since that list could get quite huge I won't try to construct it now. It may become useful to do so once the science of minology becomes more robustly researched many years down the road.
-It should also be noted that some variable settings can originate due to mutations, like the setting for blue eyes. This is not considered by creation scientists to be new information. Some secularists object to this reasoning, along the lines of saying that the full context of each individual's DNA could be considered “information”. However, changing the labels doesn't negate the fact that there is something real that is present in DNA and that mutations cannot generate, and that honest analysis should have a term for something so vital. In general, creationists define information as “specified complexity.” Degradation of existing settings like making one color turn to a different one could result in more advantageous traits, which could then be selected for, but not new information of the sort needed to generate eyes or creatures from scratch. It simply has the effect of increasing the variety within existing kinds. Furthermore, it's quite possible God intentionally programmed things that way to be able to generate new variable settings via downvolution; he is all-knowing, after all, so no such turn of events surprises him. Read more here.
-Contrasting habimins are branches that are not ideally suited to their environments but may still survive in small percentages anyways, which we could call perimins (imperiled and on the perimeter of survivability rather than the healthiest in the center, as it were), and branches that go extinct, which we could call morbimins.
SUMMARY OF KIND TERMS:
-So, to summarize, rearranging in categories by descent (extinct lines listed first), here are all the terms I use for the kinds and subkinds:
-baramin – created “rootkind” extended family; the “trees” in the “forest of life” (standard term)
-edenmin – original “rootparents” created directly by God, including Adam and Eve
-nodmin – “lost kinds”; major branchkinds out-competed before Flood (no fossils)
-seminodmin – very rare survivors of the less competitive branchkinds (rare fossils)
-tyramin – “king kinds”; champion branchkinds, survived till Flood (common fossils)
-catamin – “drowned kinds”; tyramin variations not on Ark, went extinct
-noahmin – “arkparents”; land & flying animals, & food plants on the Ark
-hydromin – “water kinds”; non-Ark plants & sea animals that survived
-aramin – “Ararat kinds”; were out-competed soon after the Flood
-nimromin – “legendary kinds”; post-Flood champions now extinct
-remnamin – “remnant kinds”; branches of life still surviving today
-varimin – “varied kind”; closer to edenmins, or mutts, more variable settings, more adaptable
-statimin – “static kind”; reproductive group with less individual variety, less adaptable
-habimin – “habituated kind”; branchkinds with gene allocations ideal for environs
-perimin – “imperiled kind”; branches not ideal for environs but survive
-morbimin – “dead kind”; branches that go extinct for whatever reasons
-apobaramin – “different kind”; group of creatures different from other creatures (standard term)
-monobaramin – “similar kind”; group of creatures similar to each other (standard)
-holobaramin – theoretical created kind; combination of apo & mono (standard)
-baraminology – study of biblical created kinds (standard term) – & can add “ology” to any of above
-The “ancient ancient” humans were far more intelligent than us due to their brains not suffering from 6000+ years of decay.
-That decay later caused “dim ages” and then still later the “dark ages” as ancient know-how was gradually forgotten, prior to the current reformation age of upward technology and science.
-This is a vital point that skeptics usually don't seem to grasp; upvolution supposes that humans began as primitive, apelike “grunt grunt” idiots, and that intelligence gradually accumulated due to mythological generation of new genetic information. They often illogically import their assumption into their attempts to understand biblical creation, and this results in vast arrays of fallacious criticisms. For example, they wrongly see Noah as a “primitive farmer” who could not possibly have built an Ark suitable for a year-long voyage during the Global Flood while keeping the representatives of the land-animal and bird rootkinds alive.
-CreationWiki has defined their mistake as “your theory doesn't work under my theory, therefore your theory is wrong”. (The same mistake is also commonly used by evolutionists in other categories besides anthropology as well, apparently indicating widespread intellectual decay among them? Or at best, widespread lack of basic logical education, even among the most outspoken evolution proponents and scientists.) The point being, in order to properly understand our theory, you must only use the assumptions that are actually within it. (This is especially relevant because the same skeptics often actually take out parts of biblical belief that are shared with evolution, such as natural selection and mutation or any biological change at all, contradicting themselves.) It also ignored countless historically proven examples of ancient intelligence. For an example countering the “primitive Noah” misconception, there are historical records of massive wooden ships accomplished by ancients, but over time the methods used to build them have been forgotten.
-However, there are some important nuances to this principle that may seem counterintuitive at first, so need some further thought to understand how it all makes sense, as I'll try to summarize in this section.
-Since early humans were so smart and physically healthy (due to lack of accumulated genetic deterioration), they tended to feel no need to invent advanced technology such as electronics, computers, fuel-powered vehicles, etc.
-Often, relying on technology other than some very basics was until very recently seen as lazy by those with strong work ethics, and as contemptibly weak by those who prided themselves in superior competitive performance in that work. This basic philosophy appears to have been applied to everything. It is not really biblical; it appears to be mostly sinful, though of course a good work ethic and maintaining good health are certainly biblical. It appears to have been motivated by the “original sin” of pride (what in my opinion, anyways, was the root sin, and this opinion is shared by many biblical scholars). However, for a while people really did have far less need of most of our modern technology, so this wasn't entirely sinful.
-So there was an ancient “natural materials” period of advancement prior to and just after the Global Flood, which tended to use things like wood, stone, clay, etc. in highly intelligent ways, often far better than we could use them now, with no apparent desire to go beyond natural materials with things like plastics, electronics (other than some very rare and ineffective exceptions as with the Baghdad batteries), computers, cars, planes, etc.
-The main problem was that by limiting productivity, they tended to shirk their God-given duty as recorded in Genesis to rule all of the animals and plants, due to poor scientific understanding of all of life's vast variety, so many nutrient plants went extinct and most animals lost their reproductive balance limitations; as a result predation and chaos tended to spread, as recorded in many lifeforms buried in the Flood, and after it a contingency system of wild animals afraid of humans was set up, with entrenched predators keeping over-reproducing herbivores in check, while only finding enough meat to support a limited population of their own.
-Yet, within a very limited range of plant and animal life especially useful for aiding the survival of humans, the ancient ancients did usually do a good job of stewardship. Selfishness was a big part of the motivation in these cases; there seems to have been very little, if any, self-less desire to aid wild animals. They became seen as little more than prey for hunting. This became so entrenched that God was forced to allow the eating of meat, hunting, and meat-animal farming after the Flood, partially for nutritional requirements, and as of yet it has not been revoked. Thus, for now hunting of animals is allowed by God to cope with this life; hunters need not necessarily feel guilty about enjoying their sport, to be clear. (It will be revoked at the Resurrection. IMO in heaven there will likely be plant or technological equivalents that will be able to move, which those people will be able to hunt, possibly generating fruit that will taste every bit as good as meat as well.)
-The history of humanity since the Fall has been a story of the long struggle of love against the deeply and rapidly entrenched social “disease” of pride. A partially prophetic statement in the book of Daniel summed up this history symbolically, as nation after prideful nation arose in early history with the goal being all about domination of the rest of the world. Slowly, God used some compromise to move history towards love (but demanding that they compromise upwardly with him, rather than the downward type of compromise of for example modern old-earth creationists).
-When this had occurred to enough of an extent, Jesus was able to come and demonstrate the ultimate act of love in saving us of our sins by dying for us once for all. Inspired by this, Christians went on to revolutionize the world, prophesied in Daniel as a rock that would grow to become a mountain enveloping the entire world.
-This change wrought by Christianity has changed our attitude towards science and technology. Now the weed of pride has been beat back, though the root has still not been entirely eradicated yet, and we have allowed our minds to clear and see that by allowing technology, we can actually increase productivity along with a good work ethic, helping more people and even animals. Love motivates us to desire to do this, rather than an evolutionary type “survival of the fittest” mythology based in pride which seeks to crush the weak (and for reasons explained earlier is highly unwise as overall it makes the whole population weaker).
-However, the downside is that in some ways we really have decayed a lot, and so more and more ungodly people have become unable to afford the ancient stigma, and have opted to embrace technology. This does not mean that technology is bad, but merely that it really has become more necessary to make up for our growing handicaps, illnesses, and misapplications as we decay over time. Of course, it's also possible for certain applications of technology to be irresponsible in specific instances. (For example, the difference between using carefully contained nuclear reactions to provide power, and nuking the planet, heh...)
-Another big part of this is that there is a “difficulty hill” that must be overcome in research and development of effective technology before the good results can be seen. Prior to the modern era, very few people had chosen to invest the kind of resources (really, gamble their life's earnings) on the really difficult lines of research (like inventing computers, which requires countless successful research lines to be established first before it can be really attempted). Thus only the relatively easy technologies were invented for more of that time, including likely many accidental discoveries. Once enough Christians did accomplish some of the really demanding work and people began to see the results on a wide basis (especially modern medicine), others started to gain a basic faith in the value of scientific research, and became more willing to work hard to try to get over those hills.
-Sadly some of that stigma is still with us as some will still act as if working to get over a hill and finding no benefit on the other side means that you erred in exploring that particular area of interest. However, what it really means is that you have continued the process of elimination, and also likely things you learn on the other side of those apparently failed hills will later become useful as other hills are surpassed and you find better ways to incorporate those discoveries. Of course, there actually are real economic limitations that must be considered, so this is somewhat understandable.
-A related part of it is that prior to the spread of biblical belief throughout the West and beyond, very few people (few enough as to not have enough resources to get very far in research on their own) understood that the One True God upholds consistent rules of how things normally work, so that we have a logical reason to believe that technology will continue to operate as long as it's properly maintained, etc. This is another major part of why science did not really progress very far in most nations until the Christianizing of Europe and other regions, and why all the major founders of modern science were Christians. Unfortunately modern evolutionists have tended to forget this foundation consciously and take the idea of reliable laws of physics for granted, without any idea of why, which has allowed them to stray from God while still clinging to a veneer of being “scientific”. Often they do perform true science on the small-scale, observational, repeatable science and technology, but fail to apply it to historical or origins science.
-The longer lifespans of people prior to the Flood and immediately after must be factored as well.
-A person nowadays will have difficulty grasping every area of modern scientific knowledge, so we have seen a remarkable amount of overspecialization even among the best of modern scientists under evolution, with its weaker moral foundation encouraging laziness again. This is threatening to bring on another dim age if we do not turn back the spiritual tide soon. The reason for this is that we are painfully aware that we do not live very long, and may wish to spend a lot more of our time in “having a life”, entertainment, or certain immoral practices, than would be possible if we tried to study everything (what I call “omniology”; as I decided to intentionally pursue at a very early age; trying to learn everything there is to know about everything). Even for those of us who do try to apply a strong work ethic to understanding, just as we are gaining deep profiency in a wide variety of subjects, so that we might begin to see how they can all work together to produce highly efficient, inexpensive solutions, we die.
-This was less of a problem for those living almost to 1000 years. Even while spending about the same proportion of their time in non-omniology (entertainment, survival necessities, what have you), they still retained what they learned far longer, giving them more time to apply it in efficient ways that could take countless different scientific factors into consideration.
-This tended to result in highly efficient, “green” natural materials methodology and construction.
-However, it also had a limit in that since they were so much slower to reproduce apparently (at least if the trends seen in the pre-Flood genealogy were average), and since violence had become so much more radically universal than we can easily imagine or experience today, the population was very small, and very destructive. Thus, you could not see much of the sorts of technology that required cooperation like an internet or flight technology. Not to mention space exploration. So, the advancements that were established were of the sort that a fairly lazy to very lazy range of behaviors could still produce and understand within their own personal lifespan.
-This also means that as soon as the Flood occurred and lifespans went drastically down, the super-green inventions that required vast knowledge of engineering, materials, and physics principles all working together necessarily faded away.
-Some of the methods could be preserved by tradition for a while, by rote memory and some remnants of inventive ambition, but the ability to think of new methods to solve new problems, or even to understand why the old methods even worked, would be rapidly lost.
-This is the main reason why the post-Flood “dim ages” (as I call them) occurred. This was a time of gradual loss of know-how.
-The “dark ages” as they are widely called probably refer to the time when so much of that ancient knowledge had been lost even from tradition, or corrupted into useless rituals and even harmful practices, that health and lifespans went dramatically down and virtually everything about life was affected.
-Thankfully this began happening (in most “civilized” areas) at about the same time that Christianity began to spread to begin to work on reversing this trend by opening up the new method of cooperative science. It's possible this very fact was another major part of why God chose that time for Jesus to come, in addition to many commonly known factors like the Roman roads system, etc. (Note, Rome represented one of the last widespread gasps of ancient inventiveness before the “barbarians” who overthrew it ushered in the dark ages. And of course, Rome partially brought this on itself by suffering a similar moral decay as what evolution is now again bringing on us, so that life became all about selfish power and seeking after vile pleasures rather than responsible love-motivated hard work and research.)
-Note that the timing of these social trends varies when you consider modern tribal cultures, etc. Creationists believe that in those cases, pagan religions vastly sped up the abandonment of effective know-how.