Evidence for God from Science
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“”What would have happened if I had been in the crowd the fateful day the sentence was handed down? Would I have just stood there silently and watched as events unfolded? Or would I have been one of the ones shouting "Crucify him!" It's a scary thought. I admit it - I am the guilty one.
|—Richard Deem, giving accountability for actions that happened roughly two millennia prior to his birth.|
Evidence for God from Science or godandscience.org is a Christian apologetics website created by Richard L. Deem. It defends belief in Old Earth Creationism by making a day-age interpretation of the Bible, whilst considering both Darwinian evolution and a 6,000-year-old universe unbiblical.
The site is quintessential example of the cargo cult science phenomenon. This means that articles look elaborated and professional, but lack substance at closer inspection. Citations are abundant to the point that they make up the majority of the article's text, giving a false impression of truthfulness. However, Deem either provides the reader with references to menial information —such as the age of Earth, which is well-known to have scientific consensus— or Bible passages to justify his point.
Shortly said, no. In order to make the Bible seem scientifically accurate or concordant with his beliefs, Deem misinterpretes scripture. A recurring motif is pointing out that the original Hebrew words in a verse have multiple meanings, then choosing the one he likes.
|The Bible states that the covenant and laws of God have been proclaimed to a "thousand generations". A biblical generation, described as being 40 years, would represent at least 40,000 years of human existence. However, since the first dozen or more generations were nearly 1,000 years, this would make humans nearly 50,000 years old, which agrees very well with dates from paleontology and molecular biology (see Descent of Mankind Theory: Disproved by Molecular Biology).||God keeps his loyalty to those who love him forever, "even for a thousand generations." It does not say that God has kept his loyalty for a thousand generations, not being a statement about the past. In addition there is nothing special about 50,000 years in the past. 10,000 years, 100,000 years and even 1 million years could be matched to historic events of humans as well.|
|In Genesis 1:2, God was "hovering or brooding" over the seas of the newly formed earth (4.4-3.8 x 109 years ago). We know from science this is where the first unicellular life forms first appeared. The Hebrew word, rachaph, translated as "hovering or brooding" is used only twice in the Old Testament. The second reference is to an eagle caring for its young. Therefore, it seems likely that the use of the word rachaph in Genesis 1:2 may be referring to God creating the first life forms in the sea.||Here, rachaph definitely means to hover. Culturing the primeval sea with microbes would be a creation event, but none is described. Your other meaning makes it seem like God is taking care of the surface of the sea.|
|In other verses, the Bible says that the earth is controlled by the heavens, refuting geocentrism.||The verse refers to God's sovereignty over creation. Indeed, other versions are more explicit.
Basis of homosexuality
Both sides of the nature vs. nurture debate are criticized. Rich Deem suggests that sexuality is a preference rather than an unchanging orientation, nonetheless he thinks that past child abuse cannot be the root of homosexual behavior.
By accepting the concept of deep time, the site exposes a vastly more accurate view of the Universe. Rich Deem is critical towards Young Earth Creationist belief that death did not exist before The Fall, arguing that such a world cannot function and adhering instead to a day-age interpretation. It is argued that the original Hebrew text uses the word yom to describe each span of time during creation, which does not necessarily mean day.
Contrary to how many creationists "reason", the observed instances of macroevolution are acknowledged, and scripture is cited to suggest that much of plant life might have come about without divine intervention. However, these occurrences are looked down as "not very striking", as Deem argues that populations which undergo speciation rapidly revert to their original phenotypes in the wild. Even if this claim is true—and no citations are given—populations changing back to look like their ancestors does not change that they are no longer chemically interfertile. Macroevolution can happen relatively quickly if mutations occur in sperm-egg binding proteins, even if populations retain other similarities. Further, considering observable macroevolution as "not very striking" could be misleading, as if evolutionary theory predicted diverse new taxa arising within a human lifetime, when in actuality the rate of mutations and short life cycles required would drive populations to extinction.
Deep homologies are portrayed as the result of a common designer, not common descent. The phrase that "God created man from dust" actually refers to the creation of new species by using pre-existent genetic material, since Deem argues that the alternative of creation de novo is ineffective and time-consuming. However, these problems would not pose limitations to an all-powerful, all-knowing, timeless creator. Arguably, limiting to modify templates (called exaptation by evolutionary biologists) limits the effectiveness of the design. The embryological development of kidneys is an example. At one stage, the pronephrotic kidney develops in vertebrates, only retaining a permanent function of waste removal in lampreys. Its exact function during the development of land tetrapods is dubious, but it most likely gives way to key processes that help to form functional kidneys, before withering away. Remodeling is the leading force of evolution, but God could just figure out a less time-consuming and wasteful way of developing functional kidneys.
The site shows no animosity towards genetically-modified food, for both scientific and religious reasons. With Rich Deem being a molecular biologist himself, he is aware that such kinds of crops help to reduce the use of environmentally-harmful pesticides and the carbon footprint, and that they are not any less healthy for consumption than non-GMO food. From a religious standpoint, Deem sees that altering genomes is no more offensive to God than subjecting its non-human creations to selective breeding. His YouTube video explaining his position was received with negative comments despite its accuracy, claiming that Deem must have been paid by Monsanto, while in reality he is employed in a medical center and has no ties with either the organic food nor the GMO industry.
Deem made a statistical study which showed a strong positive correlation between secularism and UFO accounts (Pearson's correlation coefficient of 0.75). Not believing in extraterrestrials, he suggests that Satan and his demonic minions deceive the non-religious by creating the illusion of extraterrestrial encounters. Christians have protection from Satan's deceit, you see. A far more rational explanation is that religious people are less likely to regard strange celestial phenomena as extraterrestrial activity, regardless of faith. Secular people are unlikely to attribute them to demonic (or angelic) forces, as Christians do. Curiously, the site does provide links to accounts of demonic possession.
Deems justifies the mistreatment and murder in Old Testament, such as against the Canaanites, because they did reprehensible acts such as religious child sacrifice. However, in a similar fashion, Yahweh commands Abraham to sacrifice his son as a test of loyalty to him in Genesis 22. Although Yahweh stops the sacrifice at the last moment, Abraham’s obedience is presented as righteousness, implying that human sacrifice is acceptable if Yahweh commands it. This amounts to nothing more than special pleading, demanding a special treatment of Yahweh simply because he is Yahweh.
In response to Yahweh's genocidal campaign, which involved infanticide, Deem dismisses it because "[...] in having babies killed, God is actually doing them a favor, since, if they had grown up opposed to God, they would have gone to hell." This justification stands in direct contradiction of God, first and foremost, wanting humans to choose him, even if it means that some will "choose Hell." Bizarrely enough, Deem explains elsewhere that God designed human existence so that people are rewarded or punished in the afterlife according to their behavior and faith in life. In addition, Deem could not object a couple who chooses to conceive and abort as many fetuses as they can, so that as many souls as possible go to Heaven. Objecting this activity would require special pleading again, because regardless of Yahweh or the couple doing it, the result is the same: souls forced into Heaven. It also ignores the possibility of Yahweh's followers adopting and taking care of these orphaned children, which would have respected their free will. If their original parents were killed, they could not possibly influence their children, as Deem implies. If anything, killing children from neighboring countries is motivated by zealous racism. In fact, far from promoting agape, the Old Testament sees little value in other nations beyond their wealth and virgin women.
Most of the articles are written by Deem himself, who derives his information from an extensive list of sources. These range from articles to books, such as The Cell's Design, by Fazale Rana and The Creator and the Cosmos by Hugh Ross, also Old Earth Creationists. There is an entire subsection dedicated to review books and movies, the themes of which include humor, philosophy, religion and science.
- Anti-Semitism in Mel Gibson's Movie, The Passion: Is the Bible Anti-Semitic?.
- Richard Deem. Conservapedia. Retrieved 17 March 2017
- About Rich Deem. godandscience.org. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
- Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? Day-Age Interpretation.
- Job 38:33 New International Version.
- "Genetics and Homosexuality: Are People Born Gay? The Biological Basis for Sexual Orientation". godandscience.org. Rich Deem. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Does Genesis One Conflict with Science? Day-Age Interpretation. godandscience.org. Rich Deem. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- Naturalistic Biological Change and the Bible
- Evidence for evolution: development of our kidneys. whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com. Jerry Coyne. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
- Genetically Modified Food: Is it safe to Eat Genetically Modified Crops?. godandscience.org. Rich Deem. 18 March 2017.
- GMO Foods: Safe to Eat? Playing God?. GodAndScienceOrg. YouTube. 13 October 2013.
- UFOs and the Existence of Supernatural Demonic Forces.
- Did God Commit Atrocities by Ordering the Killing of Entire Cities of People? godandscience.org. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- Why Would God Create a Person Who Would be Destined for Hell?. godandscience.org. 10 December 2019.
- Book Review: The Cell's Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator's Artistry. godandscience.org. Retrieved 17 March 2017.