Am I a Speck, Stardust, or Created in the Image of God?

I remember not that long ago Bill Nye the Science Guy saying, “I’m a speck, on a speck, orbiting a speck, among other specks, among still other specks, in the middle of specklessness;” therefore, “I suck.” Now Bill Nye the Science Guy has become enormously popular. These kinds of statements have made science cool.

Now we have astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. He was in Charlotte the other night. He was communicating something exactly the opposite and it was still cool. In other words, it does not matter what your premise is. You can say, “I suck because I’m just a speck orbiting a speck,” or you can say, as Tyson argued, that we are not insignificant, and the reason we are not insignificant is that our bodies are literally made of stardust. (The same idea about stardust is conveyed in “Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Top Ten Favorite Facts about the Universe.”) Tyson thinks that we are one with the universe, that we share the same DNA as the bacteria that infest our intestines. The same bacteria that may cause infectious diseases. So, Neil deGrasse Tyson is now turning the tables on Bill Nye, and saying, “No, I do not suck, I am significant because I have the same DNA that a bacterium has, and therefore I am very, very special.”

Now what is interesting is you can have Bill Nye with his perspective and the crowds roar, or Tyson with his perspective and maybe they roar even louder. I still remember when evolutionists like Richard Dawkins argued that a boy had no more intrinsic worth than a banana because we all descended from a common ancestor and share the same DNA. He had more of the Bill Nye vibe; in other words, we are not special at all. We are utterly insignificant. But again, Tyson is turning the tables, yet either way, it is all sheer nonsense.

The reason we are special is not the composition of our DNA. We are special because we are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26–27). It is this fact that ensures that a Down Syndrome baby is afforded the same dignity given a distinguished scientist. In any case, Tyson has long ago made the departure from knowledge into the dangerous world of antiknowledge, and people applaud. He has departed the world of science and waded into an illusory world of science fiction all under the guise of making science cool.

Why do I bring this up? I bring this up because it is high time that we learn discernment skills, which is precisely what this ministry is all about. Teaching you to discern between wheat and chaff, heat and light, so that when you hear these kinds of statements, and the roar of the crowd dies down, you do not just go on as though you got new information. You process, you think, you discern. Then you become always ready to give an answer for the reason for the hope that lies within you, with gentleness and with respect (1 Pet. 3:15).

There is another article in USA Today, and this article I was very, very pleased to read. The title of the article was “Womb with a View: Fetuses Can Recognize Faces While Still inside Mom.” This is an example of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made (Ps. 139:13–14). The findings come from the journal Current Biology, and they demonstrate “it’s possible to explore sight and cognition in babies before birth.” Kristy Dunn of Lancaster University says, “It turned out that [the preborn] responded in a way that was very similar to infants.” Think about this. You can take the picture of a mom and the baby is going to react to it differently if it is right side up or upside down. In other words, they are responding the image with cognition. They also discovered that the baby’s eyes are not tightly closed, there are times when the baby’s eyes are open and blinking. So, there is a lot we are finding out about human embryology. The more we find out, the more horrendous the crime is the sin of aborting those made in the image and likeness of God.

We must remember that embryos are not potential persons. They are actual persons with potential, as written in a fantastic article in the Christian Research Journal entitled “The Human Embryo: Potential Person or Person with Great Potential?” written by Clinton Wilcox. It is an article that took me a couple of times to completely process. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is worth mastering. The reason for this is because human embryology becomes more and more plain, average, and out of the ivory tower and into the everyday vernacular. We are learning that human beings made in the image of God in the womb are sacred, they are special, just like infants and just like old people. Just remember that embryos are not potential persons; they are actual persons with potential. “I am the same individual I was when I was an embryo and, as such, if it is wrong to kill me now, it was wrong to kill me then.”

— Hank Hanegraaff

This blog is adapted from the June 13, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.


Evidence Leading to Doubts about Darwinism

Hanegraaff, Hank-Intervies Thomas Woodward-Doubts Darwinism

Hank Hanegraaff invited Thomas Woodward onto the May 3, 2016 edition of the Bible Answer Man broadcast. The following is a highlight from their discussion.

Hank Hanegraaff: Life and truth matter indeed, and when truth is vanquished, there are dramatic consequences. Think about this. Other than the Bible, Darwin’s magnum opus, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection could well be said to be the most significant literary work in the annals of recorded history. I remember Sir Julian Huxley calling the evolutionary dogma the most powerful  the most comprehensive idea that has ever arisen upon the earth, the most fundamental of all intellectual revolutions, and the father of the intelligent design movement, Michael Denton, saying that the twentieth century could not be comprehended apart from the intellectual revolution that the theory produced. The far reaching consequences of that cosmogenic myth are felt in virtually every field, in every discipline of study, every level of education, and every area of practice. I think the most significant consequence is that it undermines the very foundations of the Christian faith, because if indeed macroevolution is reflective of the laws of science, then Genesis must be reflective of the flaws of Scripture, or so it is thought. If the foundation of Christianity is flawed, then the superstructure is designed to fall.

Now all of that is just prologue to something that I want to impress you with, and that is a book by Thomas Woodward. It is titled Doubts about Darwin. It’s a history of the intelligent design movement, a movement that allows truth to lead wherever it will. This book ought to be one of the great classics of literature, and CRI has republished this book because we have a deep and abiding confidence that this book can make a dramatic paradigm shift in the way people think about Darwinian evolution.

If you think I am excited about this subject, I always have been. From the very beginning, I’ve said how one views their origins will ultimately determine how they live their life. So we’re not talking about an apologetic issue here, we’re talking about the apologetic issue. The author of Doubt’s about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design, Thomas Woodward joins me now. Hi Tom!  

Thomas Woodward: Hi, great to be with you, thank you so much for that very warm welcome…

Hank: You know, I am so delighted that we’ve had the opportunity to republish this book because I do think it is a classic. You’re a professor at Trinity College in Florida, you teach history of science, communication, systematic theology, and the significance of systematic theology, you’re a founder and director of the C.S. Lewis Society, and you lecture in universities around the world, but this book, I think, could be a lasting legacy, because it pointing the finger squarely at doubts about Darwin and why we ought to have them.

Thomas: I think that your opening there is so on target. I mean talk about hitting the nail on the head. This is where the departure from truth hinges. It kind of sprouts from here and heads everywhere. One of the main theorist today has described Darwin’s theory is like a universal acid. It eats through any preexisting major paradigm, theory, concept, worldview, partial or in full, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized worldview, which has at its core this new god substitute—Darwin’s meandering blind process. You know, of course, natural selection we can go into the details, but I think that what really struck me is when I presented some of the accounts of the challengers of Neo-Darwinism to my agnostic professors, at the University of South Florida here in Tampa Bay, they were engaged. Here were scientists, here was a law professor Philip Johnson at Berkley, here were top biochemists who were challenging the theory, and my agnostic professors saying this is really interesting, give us more. They were not theists, they were not interested in, you know, in any kind of defense for the Bible. They were saying, this is genuine, there is something new under the sun, give us more. And they egged me on to write the history. So that’s kind of a strange background but I thank my, you know, kind of secular, skeptical, and agnostic professors for lighting the fire that allowed this book to be written.

Hank: I think what’s important at the very outset to talk about is the terrible price that is paid when you try to counter what is thought of in academia as settled science. You’re telling people look put on a different pair of glasses and what you see will be entirely different as well. So, one of the things that I love about this book and I really commend you for is that you have underscored and underlined and emphasized the people who have taken a hit professionally and personally to follow truth wherever it leads.

Thomas: Well that’s been my focus I would say from the get go as I began to hang out with some of these amazing, spectacular, researchers, and thinkers, many of them scientists, some of the professors at elite universities. They have stuck their neck out. I mean, you talk about the apostles. I’m not saying I’m going to put them in the rank of Peter, Paul and others in the Book of Acts, but these guys in their own way have as you said paid the price. Michael Behe at Lehigh University, you know kind of a quasi-Ivy League school, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Behe has suffered the ongoing shock or dismay, you might say, of having a disclaimer on his own biology department web site or webpage saying we do not subscribe to Michael Behe’s views, they are religious. Of course, that is so painfully and mistakenly absurd because he doesn’t use one religious argument in his book Darwin’s Black Box; it’s all empirically driven, but he labors on and others with him. I mean it’s really a moment of marvel for me to see the courage of these gentlemen.

Hank: I want to quote something that you have written Tom, and have you comment. You say the cultural stakes of the Darwinian design debate are high. The debaters are contending over the fundamental cultural story of human kind, and those who succeed at crafting and telling the most convincing story of origins, hold in their hands supreme cultural authority. If any group, religious or scientific, gains the authority to present its own story, as uniquely true, and then label other stories as mythological, that group functions as the high priesthood of our time. That I think is a powerful statement.

Thomas: That’s where I think so many people do not realize that if they subscribe to Neo-Darwinism and all its trappings and all its variations, they are embracing, something that has never really since Darwin’s day been supported by empirical evidence, a powerful idea. I can say the same thing about many powerful ideas that can be traced all the way back to Epicurus, Lucretius before Christ. The ideas of evolution has been floating in the air, have been floating in the air for twenty, or twenty-twenty-two centuries  before Darwin came along and came up with this new mechanism. He even admitted, you know, I cannot offer any direct evidence, but I can reasonably extend from what we see going on with animal breeders. Wow, now that’s quite a leap. Animal breeders make minor tweaking. They back and forth, you know, variations of the size, or shape or color of some organ, some wing, some fur on a sheep, but they do not fundamentally change those animals, and yet that’s what Darwin’s theory has to account for. It’s been struggling. It’s been a theory in search of evidence. I like to use that phrase. I got it from Philip Johnson, our common friend. A theory in search of evidence ever since it came out in 1859 and now defenders are turning really, how shall I put it, brittle and defensive and almost vindictive, ferocious at times, if you dare to question their theory, when Darwin himself was really welcoming those kinds of responses or critiques.

Hank: Let me pick up on that because this is one of the points that you make that doubts about Darwin are not relegated to those who doubt Darwin but Darwin himself had doubts about his own theory. In other words, he was open to evidence to the contrary.

Thomas: Yes and I have to qualify that, I think that doubts about—he’s wondering why is the evidence so terrible in so many areas where I want it to be splendid? So in that sense they were bracketed, you know, doubts here doubts there, why is the evidence not supporting me. Of course, the most blatant example is the fossil record, which was dead set against Darwin. He admitted it in his chapter on problems with my theory, admitted it again in his discussion of the geological record, and I think we would say today it is ten to a hundred times worsts than it was in Darwin’s day. The evidence, and we can go into this in more detail, for the expectation of Darwinism verses what we see in the fossil record is an overwhelming loud embarrassment. Darwin said if it could be presented, any complex organ’s existence, this is a quote from his book, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications; my theory would absolutely break down. And of course that’s quite a statement. He is opening up himself for testing. I would say based on what we see now in the micro-machinery of a cell, his theory has again overwhelmingly broken down. We can credit that, of course, to Michael Behe, and before him, Michael Denton, and Phil Johnson brought out those points, but this was even evident in Darwin’s day. There were contrary evidence and he was receiving letters all the time from scientists. Well that’s part of the story that’s never told.

Hank: What I’d like you to do is to just take a minute or so and explain the transcendent importance of this particular topic.

Thomas: I would be delighted to tackle that exciting opportunity. Darwin’s theory is the reigning paradigm. It’s not just a theory. It’s a whole worldview. It’s like a broad structured thought that sort of links everybody together looking that the same issues raising the same possibility, but excluding certain possibilities ahead of time, and that’s a betrayal of science. So what we’re dealing with in the Neo-Darwinism period—if there’s an opportunity at some point today or another day I can share about some huge cracks that have opened up in the edifice in the last two or three weeks—but Darwin’s theory is now the reigning like determination of what is to be admitted within the scientific community. If it’s not materialistic, if it deals with intelligent causation, it’s ruled out ahead of time. Well, that’s not scientific at all. Darwin’s theory is the tip of a very bleak kind of situation where science has come under the control primarily of a worldview. A worldview that goes by a couple of different names but naturalism, the worldview of naturalism is probably the most common label. It means that you rule out ahead of time that anything non-material exists such as souls, spirits, God and certainly anything above the universe. As we see this triumphant theory aging and cracking it’s quite an exciting time of history.

Thomas E. Woodward is a research professor and department chair of the theology department at Trinity College of Florida. He is also the founder and director of the C.S. Lewis Society and lectures in universities on scientific apologetics and religious topics. Doubts about Darwin is one of the most significant works of Woodward for out times.

To get your copy Doubts about Darwin of click here.


Proofs for God Found in Nature, Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures

Hanegraaff, Hank-Proofs for GodHow do I respond to atheists who keep saying, “No proof, no proof, no proof!”

The atheist who says, “No proof, no proof, no proof,” is willing to say that nothing created everything, which is a pretty big leap of faith. Not only that, but they say life came from non-life, and the life that came from non-life produced morals. Again, a pretty big leap of faith.

Christians, on the other hand, are looking at the universe, and we are saying, “Quite evidently, every design presupposes a designer.” If we see a basketball, we presume there has to be a basketball maker. In the same sense, if you see the universe in its infinite complexity and beauty, we say, “There has to be a designer of that universe.”

In a Christian worldview, there are evidences then that God created the universe. Moreover, the God who created the universe and left his finger prints there also condescended to cloak Himself in human flesh. Jesus Christ is God manifested to the world. We don’t believe in Jesus Christ through blind faith; rather, we believe in Jesus Christ through faith in evidence. Christ demonstrated that He was God not only through His miracles but though His ultimate miracle, the resurrection by which He laid down His life and took it up again.

There are many proofs that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh and that the Bible’s is God’s master print for living our lives. It is divine as opposed to merely human in origin.

There are proofs. Those proofs are evident in the Word of God. Those proofs are also evident in the world in which we live.

—Hank Hanegraaff

The heavens declare the glory of God, | and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. | Day to day pours out speech, | and night to night reveals knowledge (Psalm 19:1-2, ESV).

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me (1 Corinthians 15:3-8, ESV).

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Does the Bible Claim Jesus is God? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Did Jesus Claim to be God? (Hank Hanegraaff)

What Credentials Back Up Jesus’ Claim to Deity? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Is the Incarnation Incoherent? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Folly of Denying God (Hank Hanegraaff)

Seven Science Questions for Skeptics (Fred Hereen)

Ghosts for the Atheist (Robert Velarde)

Atheists and the Quest for Objective Morality (Chad Meister)

A “Good” Problem for Atheists (Elliot Miller)

The FEAT that Demonstrates the FACT of Resurrection (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Resurrection: Miracle or Myth? (Hank Hanegraaff)

How Do We Know the Bible is Divine Rather than Human in Origin? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Bible Reliability: M-A-P-S to Guide You through Bible Reliability (Hank Hanegraaff)

Blog adapted from “How can I show atheists proof of God’s existence?