3/28/17

Seeing genuine beauty by Gary Rose

What a beautiful flower! I wish I knew what the name of it was- just because. My wife didn't know either, so I am guessing it must be rare, but who knows? Anyway, I was taken aback by it at first glance- beautiful things do that!  

In addition to the above, I find it attractive because it seems to me that this picture is in false color. And I think that makes this photo even more unique!!

As I consider this beautiful "work of art", I wonder: What is genuine beauty, and what makes something beautiful in the first place? From intricate designs like those made by the "Etch-a-Schetch"of long ago to the subtle shades of hue which enhance the works of master artists, is beauty just in the "eye of the beholder", or is it something more than that?

If you have ever spent much time on facebook, then you probably seen those "where are they now" (before and after) series of pictures of stars from the 60's or 70's. A few people age very well, but most don't (especially if the time change is 40 years or more). And what about pregnancy- are ladies really more beautiful with bloated stomachs? For that matter, can a married woman celebrating her 60th wedding anniversary still be beautiful to her husband?

I think the answer to these questions can be found in Peter's first letter. Please read on and you decide....


1 Peter, Chapter 3 (World English Bible)
 1 In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don’t obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word,  2 seeing your pure behavior in fear.  3 Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing;  4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (Emp. added, vss. 4 and 5, GDR) 5 For this is how in the past, the holy women who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands.  6 So Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.


The answer to my questions is that God looks at the human heart, and so should we. External beauty is temporal, even if you are a movie star. And there is a glowing beauty of a pregnant lady that is amazing. In may, my Linda and I will be married 49 years and in some ways she is more attractive than the day I met her. Look inside, at the beauty which is not based on mere appearance and consider the beauty of the human heart and you will forget about the false color of youth and rejoice how God has molded the person you are on the inside (where it truly counts)!

Bible Reading March 28 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading March 28 (World English Bible)

Mar. 28
Leviticus 11, 12

Lev 11:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them,
Lev 11:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'These are the living things which you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth.
Lev 11:3 Whatever parts the hoof, and is cloven-footed, and chews the cud among the animals, that you may eat.
Lev 11:4 " 'Nevertheless these you shall not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those who part the hoof: the camel, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:5 The coney, because he chews the cud but doesn't have a parted hoof, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:6 The hare, because she chews the cud but doesn't part the hoof, she is unclean to you.
Lev 11:7 The pig, because he has a split hoof, and is cloven-footed, but doesn't chew the cud, he is unclean to you.
Lev 11:8 Of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you.
Lev 11:9 " 'These you may eat of all that are in the waters: whatever has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, that you may eat.
Lev 11:10 All that don't have fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of all the living creatures that are in the waters, they are an abomination to you,
Lev 11:11 and you detest them. You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses.
Lev 11:12 Whatever has no fins nor scales in the waters, that is an abomination to you.
Lev 11:13 " 'These you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the vulture, and the black vulture,
Lev 11:14 and the red kite, any kind of black kite,
Lev 11:15 any kind of raven,
Lev 11:16 the horned owl, the screech owl, and the gull, any kind of hawk,
Lev 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,
Lev 11:18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,
Lev 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe, and the bat.
Lev 11:20 " 'All flying insects that walk on all fours are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:21 Yet you may eat these: of all winged creeping things that go on all fours, which have legs above their feet, with which to hop on the earth.
Lev 11:22 Even of these you may eat: any kind of locust, any kind of katydid, any kind of cricket, and any kind of grasshopper.
Lev 11:23 But all winged creeping things which have four feet, are an abomination to you.
Lev 11:24 " 'By these you will become unclean: whoever touches the carcass of them shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:25 Whoever carries any part of their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:26 " 'Every animal which parts the hoof, and is not cloven-footed, nor chews the cud, is unclean to you. Everyone who touches them shall be unclean.
Lev 11:27 Whatever goes on its paws, among all animals that go on all fours, they are unclean to you. Whoever touches their carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:28 He who carries their carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. They are unclean to you.
Lev 11:29 " 'These are they which are unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,
Lev 11:30 the gecko, and the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink, and the chameleon.
Lev 11:31 These are they which are unclean to you among all that creep. Whoever touches them when they are dead, shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:32 On whatever any of them falls when they are dead, it shall be unclean; whether it is any vessel of wood, or clothing, or skin, or sack, whatever vessel it is, with which any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the evening; then it will be clean.
Lev 11:33 Every earthen vessel, into which any of them falls, all that is in it shall be unclean, and you shall break it.
Lev 11:34 All food which may be eaten, that on which water comes, shall be unclean; and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
Lev 11:35 Everything whereupon part of their carcass falls shall be unclean; whether oven, or range for pots, it shall be broken in pieces: they are unclean, and shall be unclean to you.
Lev 11:36 Nevertheless a spring or a cistern in which water is a gathered shall be clean: but that which touches their carcass shall be unclean.
Lev 11:37 If part of their carcass falls on any sowing seed which is to be sown, it is clean.
Lev 11:38 But if water is put on the seed, and part of their carcass falls on it, it is unclean to you.
Lev 11:39 " 'If any animal, of which you may eat, dies; he who touches its carcass shall be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:40 He who eats of its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening. He also who carries its carcass shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the evening.
Lev 11:41 " 'Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth is an abomination. It shall not be eaten.
Lev 11:42 Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, even all creeping things that creep on the earth, them you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.
Lev 11:43 You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creeps, neither shall you make yourselves unclean with them, that you should be defiled thereby.
Lev 11:44 For I am Yahweh your God. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy: neither shall you defile yourselves with any kind of creeping thing that moves on the earth.
Lev 11:45 For I am Yahweh who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Lev 11:46 " 'This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the earth,
Lev 11:47 to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.' "

Lev 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 12:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'If a woman conceives, and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her monthly period she shall be unclean.
Lev 12:3 In the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
Lev 12:4 She shall continue in the blood of purification thirty-three days. She shall not touch any holy thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying are completed.
Lev 12:5 But if she bears a female child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her period; and she shall continue in the blood of purification sixty-six days.
Lev 12:6 " 'When the days of her purification are completed, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the door of the Tent of Meeting, a year old lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon, or a turtledove, for a sin offering:
Lev 12:7 and he shall offer it before Yahweh, and make atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the fountain of her blood. " 'This is the law for her who bears, whether a male or a female.
Lev 12:8 If she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves, or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean.' "

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken by J.C. Bailey

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/kingdomt.html

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

The Holy Spirit said in Hebrews 12:28 that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Daniel foretold this kingdom in Daniel 2:44. He said this kingdom would stand forever. In this second chapter, Daniel said there would be four world-wide kingdoms.

History reveals that there were four world-wide kingdoms before John the Baptist came preaching that the kingdom was at hand (Matthew 3:2). John was beheaded and Jesus took up his ministry and he preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 4:17). He told us, Mark 9:1, how close the kingdom was, for there were those that would not taste death until they saw the Kingdom come in POWER.

Then the Holy Spirit told us the power would come in Jerusalem, upon the apostles, before they left the city to preach of the resurrected Christ: "And behold, I send forth the promise of the Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:48). Before Jesus left this earth He explained to the apostles when the power would come: "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). So we have learned that the Lord would set up a kingdom that would last forever. John said that kingdom was at hand. Jesus said that kingdom would come in the lifetime of those people who were there with him at that time. He said that the kingdom would come with POWER. That the Power would come in Jerusalem and then we learned that the apostles would receive POWER when the Holy Spirit came.

Before Jesus left this earth he said that he had all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). The Holy Spirit said that Jesus had POWER when he arose from the dead: "who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:4). Then on the day of Pentecost, Peter ended up the first part of his sermon with this statement: "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." So if we can prove anything by the Bible, we know that the kingdom of Christ was ushered in on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

People often ask why we do not pray the Lord's Prayer. Jesus never prayed what we call the Lord's Prayer. He gave it as a model for the apostles to pray. He said: AFTER THIS MANNER THEREFORE PRAY YE (Matthew 6:9). They were told to seek FIRST the KINGDOM and his righteousness (Matt. 6:33). Did they seek in vain? No, we have shown you that the kingdom began on the day of Pentecost. We do not pray for something that the Lord has already given us. SO NOW WE THANK GOD THAT WE CAN RECEIVE THE KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN. To pray "THY KINGDOM COME" IS A MOCKERY.

The kingdom came and after the day of Pentecost it is always spoken of as something that was already in existence. Paul told the new converts that through many tribulations they must enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:23). In the next verse it says that they appointed elders in EVERY CHURCH (Acts 14:23). Despite the teaching of men to the contrary, the church and the kingdom are one and the same thing. Of necessity this has to be. THERE IS ONE BODY (Eph. 1:4). The body is the church (Eph. 1:22,23). Jesus Christ, himself, made the church and the kingdom ONE. I quote: "And I also say unto thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Let us read next from Colossians 1:13: "who delivered us out of the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love." Then in the 18th verse of the same chapter he says: "and he is the head of the body the church: who is the beginning the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." If Jesus has the pre-eminence in ALL THINGS, he must be reigning NOW or he does not have the PRE-EMINENCE.

There are many who teach that Jesus did intend to set up his kingdom but when the Jews rejected him he set up the church instead. There is not a semblance of proof for this theory. As we have shown, the Scriptures time after time speak of the kingdom as an established fact. Someone says that Jesus will set up his kingdom on this earth. How can Jesus set up an earthly kingdom when he said in John 18:36: "My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered unto the Jews; but my kingdom is not from hence?" So this theory that Jesus some time in the future, would set up an earthly kingdom flies right into the face of the statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ.

We shall go farther. People knew that Jesus had taught that the kingdom was at hand when he first began his ministry. They knew that John the Baptist had taught that the kingdom was at hand. So they approached Jesus and asked when the kingdom was going to come (Luke 17:20). JESUS SAID THAT THE KINGDOM WOULD NOT COME BY OBSERVATION. I want to dwell on this. Those who teach that Jesus will yet set up a kingdom on this earth are going to have it come by observation but THE KINGDOM OF GOD is within you (Luke 17:21).

People say we are now living in the church age. When Christ comes we shall then be in the kingdom age. The Bible never talks about a church age or a kingdom age. It does say that the church was the eternal purpose of God (Eph. 3:10-11). So then the church was not an afterthought as some vainly teach. There is to be NO AGE after the church. We read: "unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever." So the church is going to last eternally according to Ephesians 3:21. I would like here to inject the statement that Paul made in Acts 27:25: "I believe God that it shall be even as he hath spoken unto me." Peruse carefully all we have studied and I can say very confidently that I BELIEVE GOD THAT IT SHALL BE EVEN AS HE HATH SPOKEN UNTO ME.

We hear a great deal of talk about a born-again Christian. If you are a Christian you are born- again. Let us look at the fact of being born again. Where are those who are born-again? Jesus said that: "Except ye be born anew ye cannot see the kingdom of God." What is the conclusion of that statement? Those who are born anew see the kingdom of God. If the kingdom does not exist how can one be born anew? Jesus further said, when Nicodemus questioned him about the new birth that: "Except one be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). So if there it not a kingdom, of necessity there is no new birth. False teaching gets people into queer predicaments.

By our study of the word of God we have learned that there is one body. That body may be referred to as a church or a kingdom. More proof is not needed but we shall speak now from the Book of Hebrews: "But of the Son he saith, thy throne is forever and ever; and the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." The Holy Spirit says THY THRONE IS. He did not say it had been nor did he say it would be. He says it is FOREVER AND EVER. We turn now to the 12th chapter, verse 23, of Hebrews. "To the general assembly and church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven." The church is enrolled in heaven. However in the 28th verse of the same chapter he calls this church of the first born A KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN.

THERE IS NO SCRIPTURE THAT SAYS JESUS WILL EVER SET FOOT ON THE EARTH AGAIN. I read this about the return of our Lord: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16, 17). Ponder the statement. We shall be caught up in the air to meet the Lord and so we shall be forever with the Lord. No room for a reign with Christ on earth.

Those that teach that the kingdom is still future say that the righteous will be raised and a thousand years later the wicked will be raised. This is contrary to the teaching of our Lord for He said that THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED WOULD BE RAISED IN ONE HOUR (John 5:28, 29). There cannot be a thousand years inside of one hour. Then to add to that, Jesus said four times in the 6th chapter of John that the righteous would be raised at the last day, verses 39, 40, 44, 54. You cannot have time after the LAST DAY. After the last day we shall have eternity and there will not be a thousand year reign of Christ after the last day.

The ascension of Jesus is told in this language: "And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Daniel tells us what happened on the other side of that cloud: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto the son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13, 14).

John received a message for the seven churches in Asia and the Lord assured him: "and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father, to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 1:6).

TRUTH NEVER CONTRADICTS TRUTH. Revelation 20 does not teach anything contrary to the truth we have learned. That would be impossible.

J.C. Bailey (1987, Bengough, Saskatchewan)

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

One Little Word by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=855&b=Genesis

One Little Word

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Some verses in the Bible seem to stand in such glaring contradiction to other Bible passages that reconciliation appears virtually impossible. But, after looking into the problem with only a small amount of diligence, the solution generally becomes apparent, and the supposed contradiction vanishes like a plate full of chocolate chip cookies in the midst of a group of hungry teenage boys. Such is the case with Hebrews 11:17: “By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten son.” When this verse is compared to Abraham’s history as recorded in the book of Genesis, we immediately notice that Isaac was not the “only begotten son” of Abraham. In fact, we read that Abraham fathered Ishmael by Hagar (Genesis 16:16) more than a decade before the birth of Isaac. And following the death of Sarah, Abraham took Keturah as a wife, by which he begat at least six more sons (Genesis 25:1-2).

How is this seeming contradiction to be resolved? First, let us remember the general context of Hebrews 11:17. This verse comes near the end of a book whose writer has shown an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament. Even in the very chapter under discussion, we read a rather complete list of Old Testament heroes such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, et al. Furthermore, much more obscure characters like Barak and Jephthah make their way into the discussion. Add to this the numerous allusions to Melchizedek and the priesthood in earlier chapters, and one soon realizes that the writer of Hebrews was a true Old Testament scholar. To assume that he thought, or accidentally wrote, that Abraham had only one son would be to attribute to the writer a grievous, careless mistake of colossal proportions.
In truth, the problem has nothing to do with the writer of the book of Hebrews, but everything to do with the translators of the Greek into English. In the Greek text of Hebrews 11:17, the word translated as “only begotten son” is monogenes. While this word could possibly be used to refer to an only child, that certainly was not its sole use. Josephus used the word monogenes to refer to Izates, who had an older brother and several younger brothers (Antiquities, 20.2.1). The well-respected Greek-English Lexicon by Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker explains that the word can be used to denote something that is “unique (in kind), of something that is the only example of its category” (1979, p.527). This meaning fits perfectly the passage in Hebrews 11, where the writer was explaining that Abraham offered up his “only promised son.” Abraham had no other children that fit in the category of being promised by God. Isaac was the only “example of a category”—that category being a son who was promised to Abraham and Sarah. Although Abraham had many other children by other women, he had no other child “of promise.” Isaac was his unique son, the only one of promise: the “monogenes.”
Sometimes, clearing up a supposed contradiction in the Bible is as easy as looking up the possible meanings of a single word from the original language. Before we allow our faith to be shaken by superficial claims of contradiction, let’s resolve to give the Bible the benefit of the doubt that even an ancient secular document would deserve. It borders on comical to imagine that the Hebrews writer, with his commanding knowledge of the Old Testament, accidentally “slipped” when referring to Isaac as Abraham’s only son. Once again, we find that no contradiction exists; the honest Bible student has his or her question answered, the Bible skeptic has his or her allegation refuted, and the Bible remains the inspired Word of God.
REFERENCES
Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Josephus, Flavius (1987 edition), “Antiquities of the Jews,” The Works of Josephus, transl. William Whiston (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

Shall We Murder to Stop Abortion? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=595

Shall We Murder to Stop Abortion?

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

The abortion clinic’s doors closed and its staff went home. No abortions were performed that day. While rejoicing over the few lives that were spared, Christians are made to grieve over two deaths—the death of an abortion doctor and his bodyguard. Although we may find it difficult to grieve for a man who had slain so many innocent children, we must. The murders of John Britton and James Barrett were heinous acts.
Paul Hill felt differently about it. He reasoned that if children were being killed in a clinic, we would be willing to take lives to protect them. Why should we do less for pre-born children? To some, his logic sounds valid and his actions appear justified. So when Hill’s shotgun blasted Britton and Barrett into eternity, some rejoiced. Such rejoicing is an offense against God and those made in His image.
Yes, abortion is the taking of innocent human life. Even some who allow for abortion can admit that truth: “The status of the human embryo appears a simple matter. It is alive, and it is neither hamster nor chicken—it is human” (Edwards, 1989, p. 95). The shedding of innocent human blood is an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19) that impoverishes any nation that practices it. Ronald Reagan put it well:
These children...will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss. We are poorer not simply for the lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for erosion of our sense of worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all (1984, p. 56).
America should bow its head in shame and repent of the 30,000,000 abortions it has permitted since 1973. The blood of these children cries out to God against us. God hears, and will judge us accordingly.
So, too, will He mete out judgment upon those who feel justified in employing murder to stop murder. When our Lord came to this sin-cursed planet, He had at His disposal the power of the Universal Sovereign. He could have—with a word—slain every rapist, murderer, and child molester. He could have ignited the flames of hell upon the Roman Empire until it was purged of every abortionist then living. Instead, Jesus preached the good news of peace and gave His life on a cross. Murderous Barabbas walked free.
In turn, Jesus calls His people to be a community of the cross (Mark 10:21)—to be a people willing to give their lives for others, not to take lives (1 John 3:16). Killing abortion doctors is no different than shooting drug dealers in their sleep or assassinating government officials because they supply foreign governments with U.S. military equipment to kill their own people. Might we also rob the rich to feed the poor? How does this approach appear in the face of Jesus’ statement, “whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matthew 6:39)?

REFERENCES

Edwards, Robert (1989), Life Before Birth (New York: Basic Books).
Reagan, Ronald (1984), President Reagan’s Quotations, ed. Clark Cassell (Washington, D.C.: Baddock Publications).

God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2106

God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by A.P.’s staff scientist. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington and Auburn University, respectively, with emphases in Thermal Science and Navigation and Control of Biological Systems.]
“[T]he principles of thermodynamics have been in existence since the creation of the universe” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 2, emp. added). So states a prominent textbook used in schools of engineering across America. Indeed, these principles prove themselves to be absolutely critical in today’s engineering applications. Much of the engineering technology available today is based on the foundational truths embodied in the Laws of Thermodynamics. As the writers of one engineering thermodynamics textbook stated: “Energy is a fundamental concept of thermodynamics and one of the most significant aspects of engineering analysis” (Moran and Shapiro, 2000, p. 35). Do these laws have application to the creation/evolution debate as creationists suggest? What do they actually say and mean? How are they applied today in the scientific world? Let us explore these questions.
The word “thermodynamics” originally was used in a publication by Lord Kelvin (formerly William Thomson), the man often called the Father of Thermodynamics because of his articulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in 1849 (Cengel and Boles, p. 2). The term comes from two Greek words: therme, meaning “heat,” and dunamis, meaning “force” or “power” (American Heritage..., 2000, pp. 558,1795). Thermodynamics can be summarized essentially as the science of energy, including heat, work (defined as the energy required to move a force a certain distance), potential energy, internal energy, and kinetic energy. The basic principles and laws of thermodynamics are understood thoroughly today by the scientific community. Thus, the majority of the work with the principles of thermodynamics is done by engineers who simply utilize the already understood principles in their designs. A thorough understanding of the principles of thermodynamics which govern our Universe can help an engineer to learn effectively to control the impact of heat in his/her designs.

THE FIRST AND SECOND LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS

Though there are many important thermodynamic principles that govern the behavior of energy, perhaps the most critical principles of significance in the creation/evolution controversy are the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. What are these laws that not only are vital to the work of an engineer, but central to this debate?

The First Law

The First Law of Thermodynamics was formulated originally by Robert Mayer (1814-1878). He stated: “I therefore hope that I may reckon on the reader’s assent when I lay down as an axiomatic truth that, just as in the case of matter, so also in the case of force [the term used at that time for energy—JM], only a transformation but never a creation takes place” (as quoted in King, 1962, p. 5). That is, given a certain amount of energy in a closed system, that energy will remain constant, though it will change form (see Figure 1). As evolutionist Willard Young says in defining the First Law, “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another” (1985, p. 8).
figurea
Figure 1
This principle, also known as the “conservation of energy principle” (Cengel and Boles, p. 2), can be demonstrated by the burning of a piece of wood. When the wood is burned, it is transformed into a different state. The original amount of energy present before the burning is still present. However, much of that energy was transformed into a different state, namely, heat. No energy disappeared from the Universe, and no energy was brought into the Universe through burning the wood. Concerning the First Law, Young further explains that
the principle of the conservation of energy is considered to be the single most important and fundamental ‘law of nature’ presently known to science, and is one of the most firmly established. Endless studies and experiments have confirmed its validity over and over again under a multitude of different conditions (p. 165, emp. added).
This principle is known to be a fact about nature—without exception.

The Second Law

In the nineteenth century, Lord Kelvin and Rudolph Clausius (1822-1888) separately made findings that became known as the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Suplee, 2000, p. 156). The Second Law builds on the first, stating that though there is a constant amount of energy in a given system that is merely transforming into different states, that energy is becoming less usable. Extending our wood burning illustration above, after the wood is burned, the total amount of energy is still the same, but transformed into other energy states. Those energy states (e.g., ash and dissipated heat to the environment) are less retrievable and less accessible (see Figure 2).
figure2
Figure 2
This process is irreversible. The implication, to be discussed below, is that the Universe is running out of usable energy. Lord Kelvin stated that energy is “irrevocably lost to man and therefore ‘wasted,’ though not annihilated” (as quoted in Thompson, 1910, p. 288). This principle is known as entropy. Simply put, entropy states that nature is tending towards disorder and chaos. Will the paint job on your house maintain its fresh appearance over time? Will your son’s room actually become cleaner on its own, or will it tend toward disorder? Even without your son’s assistance, dust and decay take their toll. Although work can slow the entropy, it cannot stop it. Renowned evolutionary science writer Isaac Asimov explained:
Another way of stating the Second Law then is “The universe is constantly getting more disorderly!” Viewed that way we can see the Second Law all about us. We have to work hard to straighten a room, but left to itself it becomes a mess again very quickly and very easily. Even if we never enter it, it becomes dusty and musty. How difficult to maintain houses, and machinery, and our own bodies in perfect working order: how easy to let them deteriorate. In fact, all we have to do is nothing, and everything deteriorates, collapses, breaks down, wears out, all by itself—and that is what the Second Law is all about (1970, p. 6).
Entropy is simply a fact of nature. Entropy can be minimized in this Universe, but it cannot be eradicated. That is where engineers come in. We must figure out ways of minimizing energy loss and maximizing useful energy before it is forever lost. Thousands of engineering jobs are dedicated to addressing this fundamental fact of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Your energy bill is affected directly by it. If the Second Law was not fixed, engineers could not develop the technology necessary to maximize usable energy, thereby lowering your energy costs.
This concept is analyzed and quantified by engineers using what thermodynamics textbooks call “efficiencies.” Efficiencies reduce to “energy out” (desired output) divided by “energy in” (required input) (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 249). For instance, a turbine is the “device that drives an electric generator” in steam, gas, or hydroelectric power plants (p. 188). By taking the actual work done by the turbine and dividing it by the work required to operate the turbine, an engineer can calculate the turbine’s efficiency. Discovering or designing ways to maximize that ratio can be lucrative business for an engineer.
Another type of efficiency is called “isentropic efficiency.” For a turbine, isentropic efficiency is essentially the ratio of the amount of work that is done by the turbine to the amount of work that could be done by the turbine if it were “isentropic,” or without entropy. Again, the closer an engineer can approach 100% efficiency, the better. However, engineers know they cannot reach 100% efficiency because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Energy loss is inevitable. As the engineering textbook Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach states: “Well-designed, large turbines have isentropic efficiencies above 90 percent. For small turbines, however, it may drop even below 70%” (Cengel and Boles, p. 341).
Some engineers devote their entire careers to minimizing entropy in the generation of power from energy. All this effort is based on the principles established by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. These principles are established as fact in the scientific community. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines “law” as “a statement describing a relationship observed to be invariable between or among phenomena for all cases in which the specified conditions are met” (2000, p. 993, emp. added). Since laws are invariable, i.e., unchanging and constant, they have no exceptions. Otherwise, they would not be classified as laws. Tracy Walters, a mechanical engineer working in thermal engineering, observed:
It has been my experience that many people do not appreciate how uncompromising the Laws of Thermodynamics actually are. It is felt, perhaps, that the Laws are merely general tendencies or possibly only theoretical considerations. In reality, though, the Laws of Thermodynamics are hard as nails, and...the more one works with these Laws, the deeper respect one gains for them (1986, 9[2]:8, emp. added).
Evolutionist Jeremy Rifkin stated that “the Entropy Law will preside as the ruling paradigm over the next period of history. Albert Einstein said that it is the premier law of all science; Sir Arthur Eddington referred to it as the ‘supreme metaphysical law of the entire universe’” (1980, p. 6). God designed it. Creationists believe it. Engineers use it. Evolutionists, as will be shown, cannot harmonize it with their theory.

ENGINEERING EXAMPLES EXHIBITING THERMODYNAMIC PRINCIPLES

Some evolutionists argue that creationists take the Laws out of context when applying them to the creation/evolution debate. Mark Isaak, the editor of the Index to Creationist Claims, for instance, alleges that creationists “misinterpret” the Second Law of Thermodynamics in their application of the law to the creation/evolution controversy (Isaak, 2003). So what is the proper context for the Laws of Thermodynamics? Do these principles apply to the debate or not? Are creationists “misinterpreting” the laws?
A host of examples could, of course, demonstrate how mechanical engineers use the Laws of Thermodynamics in design today. Without these laws being fixed and well-understood by the scientific community, such designs would be impossible. As explained earlier, the vast majority of the work engineers do with the laws today is in their application to nature, rather than the study of the laws themselves. The laws already are thoroughly understood. To determine if creationists are “misinterpreting” the Laws of Thermodynamics or inaccurately applying them to the creation/evolution debate, consider three engineering examples that demonstrate the Laws in action.
Example #1. Perhaps one of the most celebrated—and appreciated—engineering designs of the 20th century pertaining to thermodynamics is the air-conditioning system. Briefly explained, an air-conditioning unit is a machine that was designed to acquire a large quantity of air from a system (e.g., a home or the interior of a car), remove heat from that air, and then release the cooled air back into the system, while disposing of the heat into a “heat sink” (e.g., the outdoors). Simply stated, this process occurs through what many engineers call a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle (Moran and Shapiro, 2000, p. 517)—a cycle heavily rooted in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In this cycle, a fluid (called a “refrigerant”) in “super-heated” vapor form flows through a pipe and into a compressor where it is compressed into a hotter gas with a higher pressure. From the compressor, the gas moves into the next phase of the cycle, composed of a set of coils (a condenser). As the refrigerant flows through the condenser, some of the heat is removed, and the refrigerant condenses into a liquid. Moving through an expansion valve, the refrigerant is “throttled” into a colder, lower-pressure mixture of liquid and vapor.
One principle of thermodynamics, as noted originally in 1824 by the French physicist Sadi Carnot (Suplee, 2000, p. 156), indicates that in a system, heat will move from higher temperature sources to lower temperature sources until an equilibrium temperature is reached (Incropera and DeWitt, 2002, p. 2). This principle is directly utilized in the final step of the cycle. In this step, the low temperature refrigerant exiting the expansion valve moves through a set of coils called the evaporator that absorbs heat from the refrigerated area. At this point, the refrigerant has absorbed enough heat to return to its initial vapor state, and is ready to repeat the cycle.
In what way did the thermodynamic laws come into play in this process? One of the major responsibilities of the engineer is to take the principles stated by the laws of science and understand them enough to be able to apply them in new designs. In order to apply scientific laws, engineers must formulate ways to quantify the concepts articulated by those laws. In the case of the above example, engineers must take the principles stated in the Laws of Thermodynamics in particular and quantify them. To apply the First Law of Thermodynamics to design, engineers must first quantify the energy that is or will be present in a system (work, potential energy, kinetic energy, heat, internal energy, etc.). As the First Law states, the amount of energy present in the system remains constant during a closed system process—a system that “consists of a fixed amount of mass, and no mass can cross its boundary” (Cengel and Boles, 2002, p. 9). The engineer must calculate the amount of energy utilized within a system before a process and set it equal to the amount of energy present in the system after the process. The energy may change forms (i.e., work is partially transformed into heat), but the total amount of energy in the system remains constant.
Considering the above example again, engineers would quantify the energy that is being inserted into the system (such as the electrical energy required to run the compressor) and the energy that results from the processes in the system (such as the heat released into the “heat sink”). The energy would then be equalized, with a primary concern being to achieve the optimum usable energy as an output, understanding that there will be a certain amount of wasted energy due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see Figure 3). The more usable energy achieved in the system processes, the more financially desirable the process, and the less energy wasted.
figure6
Figure 3
In order to facilitate this endeavor, a quantification of the principles inherent in the Second Law of Thermodynamics is essential. As noted earlier, efficiencies are essentially a measure of the usable energy achieved during a process. Achieving optimum energy efficiencies in the design of different machines helps to reduce the inevitable entropy implied by the Second Law.
Again, in the above example, in order to accomplish the refrigeration cycle, a compressor is used. To run the compressor, work (energy) must be used to compress the refrigerant to the right pressure to go through the condenser. Engineers must design these compressors to yield optimum efficiency, taking the Second Law into account, since the refrigeration/air conditioning process is not an isentropic one (i.e., a process with no entropy). The amount of energy required to operate the compressor to pressurize the refrigerant is more than the heat transfer that will occur from the hot room to the hotter outdoors due to the presence of the Second Law. In other words, usable energy is lost along the way (see Figure 4). This unalterable principle, which governs and permeates all of nature, will be shown to contradict the theory of evolution. Available energy is gradually being consumed. Engineers can slow the process, making the loss as efficient as possible, and maximizing energy usage. However, energy loss cannot be stopped due to the existence of the exceptionless Second Law of Thermodynamics.
figure4
Figure 4
Example #2. A second thermodynamic engineering example is seen in much of today’s electronic equipment. For example, a computer has many microchips (see Figure 5). Due to an understanding of the First Law of Thermodynamics, when work is done within a computer by a microchip, an extremely high amount of heat is released to its surroundings. As noted earlier, the Laws stipulate that the amount of energy that goes into a process must equal the amount of energy that results after the process. As computers get more powerful, the heat energy output becomes a more serious problem, especially considering that the computer components are moving closer to each other as computers become more compact. The intense heat that radiates from chips must be transferred away from the computer, or melting will occur among the system components. Faced with this significant problem, engineers are called upon for solutions. How can we continue to decrease the size of computers, increase their power, and still have the ability to transfer enough heat out of them to preserve their components? By adjusting the amount of power input and the rate at which heat is released in the First Law equation, engineers can ensure that the system will not be overloaded with heat.
figure5
Figure 5
Example #3. A third example of how engineers use thermodynamic principles in design is demonstrated by the examination of a vapor power plant that produces electrical power (see Figure 6). Similar to the air conditioning system, the vapor power plant cycle also often is composed of four components. According to Moran and Shapiro, in this cycle liquid water is passed through a boiler which has a heat input. The water then changes phase to a vapor and enters a turbine, where it expands and develops a work output from the turbine (electrical power). The temperature of the vapor drops in the turbine and then goes through a condenser where heat is passed from the vapor into a “cold reservoir.” Some of the vapor condenses to a liquid phase. The water then passes into a pump (compressor) where the water is returned to its initial state before repeating the cycle (2000, p. 229). Again, engineers recognize the limitations imposed by the Second Law, and must minimize entropy as much as possible when designing the turbine and pump (recognizing entropy cannot be eliminated). The more efficient the cycle components are designed, the more power the world gets and the less wasted energy there will be.
figure6
Figure 6
To recap, the engineering community utilizes the simple concepts inherent in the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics—laws which govern nature in a very straightforward manner. The First Law: Energy in any closed system is constant. The amount of energy in a system before a process must equal the amount of energy that is in the system after the process (though it will change form). The Second Law: The energy in a given system is becoming less usable. Some of the usable energy inevitably will be lost, no matter what measures are taken. It would be beneficial if entropy were zero for an automobile’s fuel system. We could buy one tank of gas and simply reuse all of its energy indefinitely! The fuel would not transform into wasted, less usable forms (heat, exhaust, etc.).

IMPLICATIONS OF THE LAWS

When understood properly, the Laws of Thermodynamics apply directly to the creation/evolution controversy in precisely the same way they apply in the above examples to the work of engineers. In fact, these foundational truths utilized daily by the engineering world, have eternally significant, spiritual implications in that they prove that God exists. How so?
If there is no God, the existence of the Universe must be explained without Him. The Big Bang theory claims that all matter in the Universe initially was condensed in a sphere the size of a period at the end of this sentence (see Thompson, et al., 2003, 23[5]:32-34,36-47). However, this theory offers no explanation for the origin of that sphere. The only logical possibilities for its existence are that it popped into existence out of nothing (spontaneous generation), it always existed, or it was created (see Figure 7).
figure7
Figure 7

Possibility 1: Spontaneous Generation of the Universe

Consider the entire physical Universe as a system consisting of all mass/matter/energy that exists in the Universe. Without a God, this Universe would have to be a closed system. Since our system encompasses the entire Universe, there is no more mass that can cross the system’s boundary, which necessitates our system being closed—without the existence of God. If mass, matter, and energy could enter and/or exit the system, the system would be an open system—which is the contention of a creationist. However, without a God, the entire physical Universe as a system logically would have to be a closed system. Atheists must so believe in order to explain the Universe without God.
The First Law of Thermodynamics states that in a closed system, the amount of energy present in that system is constant, though it transforms into other forms of energy, as in the case of the above compressor. So, if the Universe as a whole initially contained no mass/matter/energy (energy input is equal to zero), and then it spontaneously generated all of the mass/matter/energy in the Universe (energy output is unequal to zero), the First Law would be violated. Applying the earlier example of the compressor, this circumstance would be equivalent to saying that the sum total heat loss and compressor work is greater than the electrical input—which is impossible. Without intervention from an outside force, the amount of mass/matter/energy in the Universe would have remained constant (unchanged) at zero. As was mentioned earlier, there are no exceptions to laws, or else they would not be laws. The First Law of Thermodynamics has no known exceptions. As previously explained, the Law is accepted as fact by all scientists in general and utilized by engineers in particular. Therefore, the Universe, composed of all mass/matter/energy, could not have spontaneously generated (popped into existence on its own) without violating the exceptionless and highly respected First Law of Thermodynamics. The energy level of the Universe would not have been constant. Spontaneous generation would be the equivalent of a zero energy input to a system and a non-zero output (see Figure 8). The Universe could not have come into existence without the presence and intervention of a Force outside of the closed system of the entire physical Universe. The Universe therefore must be an open system that was created by a non-physical force (not composed of mass/matter/energy) outside of the physical boundary of this Universe (above nature, or supernatural) with the capability of bringing it into existence out of nothing. That Force can be none other than the supernatural God of the Bible. Scientifically speaking, the Universe could not and did not spontaneously generate.
figure8
Figure 8
Unfortunately, though this truth is so glaringly obvious, there has been a recent surge of sentiment in the impossible notion that this Universe could have created itself—that something could come from nothing. British evolutionist Anthony Kenny (1980), physics professor from City University in New York, Edward Tryon (1984), and physicists Alan Guth from MIT and Paul Steinhardt of Princeton (1984) are just a few who are open proponents of this notion. However, the truth still stands. Until the First Law of Thermodynamics ceases to be a fundamental law explaining this Universe, the spontaneous generation of this Universe from nothing is impossible.

Possibility 2: Eternal Existence of the Universe

Again, considering the entire Universe as a system necessitates that it be a closed system. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that though energy in a closed system is constant (First Law of Thermodynamics), that energy is transforming into less usable forms of energy (i.e., the Universe is “running down”). This process is irreversible. There is a finite amount of usable energy in the Universe (which explains the widespread interest in conserving energy). That usable energy is depleting according to the Second Law, as illustrated by the less usable heat output in the examples cited earlier. Engineers strive to slow this inevitable depletion of energy, but it cannot be stopped. If the Universe has always existed (i.e., it is eternal), but there is a finite amount of usable energy, then all usable energy already should be expended (see Figure 9). Yet, usable energy still exists. So, the Universe cannot have existed forever. It had to have a beginning. The eternality of matter would be the equivalent of a system with an energy input and 100% usable energy output (see Figure 10).
figure9
Figure 9
figure10
Figure 10
No wonder the evolutionists, themselves, sometimes concede this truth. In his book, Until the Sun Dies, renowned evolutionary astronomer Robert Jastrow stated:
The lingering decline predicted by astronomers for the end of the world differs from the explosive conditions they have calculated for its birth, but the impact is the same: modern science denies an eternal existence of the Universe, either in the past or in the future (1977, p. 30, emp. added).
In his book, God and the Astronomers, Dr. Jastrow reiterated this truth: “Now three lines of evidence—the motions of the galaxies, the laws of thermodynamics, the life story of the stars—pointed to one conclusion; all indicated that the Universe had a beginning” (p. 111).

Possibility 3: The Inevitable Implication

To repeat, there are only three possible explanations for the existence of matter in the Universe. Either it spontaneously generated, it is eternal, or it was created. Atheists use the theory of evolution in an attempt to explain the existence and state of the Universe today. In order for the theory of evolution to be true, thereby accounting for the existence of mankind, either all of the mass/matter/energy of the Universe spontaneously generated (i.e., it popped into existence out of nothing), or it has always existed (i.e., it is eternal.). Without an outside force (a transcendent, omnipotent, eternal, superior Being), no other options for the existence of the Universe are available. However, as the Laws of Thermodynamics prove, the spontaneous generation and the eternality of matter are logically and scientifically impossible. One possible option remains: the Universe was created by the Creator.

CONCLUSION

Evolutionists claim that science and the idea of God are irreconcilable. “Only one of them can be the truth,” they say, “and you cannot prove there is a God.” However, the Laws of Thermodynamics, which science itself recognizes in its explanations of the phenomena in the Universe, were designed by the Chief Engineer. As expected, they prove to be in complete harmony with His existence, contrary to the claims of evolutionists. God, Himself, articulated these laws centuries ago. At the very beginning of the Bible, the First Law of Thermodynamics was expressed when Moses penned, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done” (Genesis 2:1-2, emp. added). After the six days of Creation, the mass/matter/energy creation process was terminated. As evolutionist Willard Young said regarding the First Law: “Energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another” (Young, 1985, p. 8). Through the hand of the Hebrews writer, God also articulated centuries ago what scientists call the Second Law of Thermodynamics: “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment” (1:10-11, emp. added).
The inspired writer wrote in Hebrews 11:3, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Paul declared in Acts 14:17, “Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” The psalmist affirmed, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). Paul assured the Romans, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (1:20, emp. added).
In closing, we return to Lord Kelvin, the Father of Thermodynamics, for fitting final thoughts.
I cannot admit that, with regard to the origin of life, science neither affirms nor denies Creative Power. Science positively affirms Creative Power. It is not in dead matter that we live and move and have our being [Acts 17:28—JM], but in the creating and directing Power which science compels us to accept as an article of belief.... There is nothing between absolute scientific belief in a Creative Power, and the acceptance of the theory of a fortuitous concourse of atoms.... Forty years ago I asked Liebig, walking somewhere in the country if he believed that the grass and flowers that we saw around us grew by mere chemical forces. He answered, “No, no more than I could believe that a book of botany describing them could grow by mere chemical forces”.... Do not be afraid of being free thinkers! If you think strongly enough you will be forced by science to the belief in God, which is the foundation of all religion. You will find science not antagonistic but helpful to religion (as quoted in Smith, 1981, pp. 307-308, emp. added).
So, according to the Father of Thermodynamics, evolutionists are failing to “think strongly enough.” No wonder the psalmist asserted: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (14:1).

REFERENCES

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Asimov, Isaac (1970), “In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can’t Even Break Even,” Smithsonian Institute Journal, pp. 4-10, June.
Cengel, Yunus A. and Michael A. Boles (2002), Thermodynamics: An Engineering Approach (New York: McGraw-Hill), fourth edition.
Guth, Alan and Paul Steinhardt (1984), “The Inflationary Universe,” Scientific American, 250:116-128, May.
Incropera, Frank P. and David P. DeWitt (2002), Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer (New York: John Wiley & Sons), fifth edition.
Isaak, Mark (2003), “Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution,” The TalkOrigins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy, [On-line], URL: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#proof.
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Jastrow, Robert (1978), God and the Astro­nomers (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kenny, Anthony (1980), The Five Ways: St. Thomas Aquinas’ Proofs of God’s Existence (South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame Press).
King, A.L. (1962), Thermophysics (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
Moran, Michael J. and Howard N. Shapiro (2000), Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (New York: John Wiley & Sons), fourth edition.
Rifkin, Jeremy (1980), Entropy: A New World View (New York: Viking).
Smith, Wilbur M. (1981), Therefore Stand (New Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing).
Suplee, Curt (2000), Milestones of Science (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society).
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique [Part 1],” Reason & Revelation, 23[5]:32-34,36-47.
Thompson, Silvanus P. (1910), Life of Lord Kelvin (London: Macmillan).
Tryon, Edward P. (1984), “What Made the World?,” New Scientist, 101:14-16, March 8.
Walters, Tracy (1986), “A Reply to John Patterson’s Arguments,” Origins Research, 9[2]:8-9, Fall/Winter.
Young, Willard (1985), Fallacies of Creationism (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig Enterprises).

Did Moses Make a Scientific Mistake? by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=113

Did Moses Make a Scientific Mistake?

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Q.

The Bible speaks of two animals, the coney and the hare, as “chewing the cud.” Isn't the Bible mistaken on this point? These animals do not actually chew the cud, do they?

A.

An infidel once wrote: “Something that has long perplexed me is the way that inerrancy proponents can so easily find ‘scientific foreknowledge’ in obscurely worded Bible passages but seem completely unable to see scientific error in statements that were rather plainly written.” This skeptic then cited Leviticus 11:5-6, where the coney and the hare are said to chew the cud, and boasted that since these animals do not have compartmentalized stomachs like those in ruminants (e.g., the cow), Moses clearly made a mistake. What shall we say to this charge?
First, no scientific mistake can be attributed to the Bible unless all of the facts are fully known. In such an alleged case, the biblical assertion must be unambiguous. The scientific information must be factual. And an indisputable conflict must prevent any harmonization of the two. Do these criteria obtain in this matter? They do not.
Second, we must note that the words “coney” (Hebrew shaphan) and “hare” (arnebeth) are rare and difficult words in the Old Testament. The former is found but four times, and the latter only twice. The etymology of the terms is obscure. In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament), shaphan is rendered by dasupoda, meaning “rough foot,” and arnebeth becomes choirogrullion, literally, “swine-pig.” Hence, identification becomes a factor. It is commonly believed, however, that the arnebeth is some species of hare, and that shaphan denotes the Syrian hyrax.
But, so it is claimed, neither of these chews the cud. A number of scholars have noted that both of these animals, even when at rest, masticate, much like the cow or sheep, and that Moses thus employed phenomenal language (i.e., describing something as it appears), for the purpose of ready identification, inasmuch as these creatures were ceremonially unclean and thus prohibited for use as food (Archer, 1982, p. 126).
That is not an impossible solution. Bats, for example, are listed along with birds in Leviticus 11, not because both are mammals, but simply because both fly. The Scriptures do not necessarily follow the arbitrary classification systems of man. When Christ said that the mustard seed is “less than all seeds,” (Matthew 13:33), He was speaking from the vantage point of the Palestinian citizen—not that of a modern botanist. We today employ phenomenal jargon when we speak of the Sun “rising and setting.” Technically, it is not correct to refer to a woman’s amniotic fluid as “water,” and yet doctors employ this language frequently. Why do we not allow the biblical writers as much literary license as we ourselves employ? The bias of agnosticism is utterly incredible.
There is, however, another factor that must be taken into consideration. Rumination does not necessarily involve a compartmentalized stomach system. One definition of “ruminate” is simply “to chew again that which has been swallowed” (Webster’s Dictionary). And oddly enough, that is precisely what the hare does. Though the hare does not have a multi-chambered stomach—which is characteristic of most ruminants—it does chew its food a second time. It has been learned rather recently that hares pass two types of fecal material.
In addition to normal waste, they pass a second type of pellet known as a caecotroph. The very instant the caecotroph is passed, it is grabbed and chewed again.... As soon as the caecotroph is chewed thoroughly and swallowed, it aggregates in the cardiac region of the stomach where it undergoes a second digestion (Morton, 1978, pp. 179-181).
This complicated process provides the rabbit with 100% more riboflavin, 80% more niacin, 160% more pantothenic acid, and a little in excess of 40% more vitamin B12 (Harrison, 1980, p. 121). In a comparative study of cows and rabbits, Jules Carles concluded that rumination should not be defined from an anatomical point of view (e.g., the presence of a four-part stomach); rather, it should be viewed from the standpoint of a mechanism for breeding bacteria to improve food. Cows and rabbits are similar in that both possess a fermentation chamber with microorganisms that digest otherwise indigestible plant material, converting it into nutrients. Some of the microorganisms in these two animals are the same, or very similar. Carles has stated that on this basis “it is difficult to deny that rabbits are ruminants” (as quoted in Brand, 1977, p. 104). Dr. Bernard Grzimek, Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Gardens in Germany, likewise has classified the hare as a ruminant (1975, pp. 421-422).
On the other hand, the hyrax also is considered by some to be a ruminant, based upon the fact that it has a multiple digestive process.
The hyrax has a very long protrusion, a caecum, and two additional caeca near the colon. At least one of these protrusions participates in decomposition of cellulose. It contributes certain enzymes necessary for breakdown of the cellulose (Morton, 1978, p. 184).
Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia (1975) considers the hyrax as a ruminant. Professor Joseph Fischel of the University of California has suggested that the biblical allusion to the coney as a cud-chewer probably was due “to the structure of its digestive system, the protuberances in its large stomach together with its appendix and maw possibly being regarded as analogous to a ruminant’s four stomachs” (1971, p. 1144). In his significant study of the intestinal microflora in herbivores, scientist Richard McBee observed that the hyrax has a fermentation chamber for the digestion of grass by microorganisms (as quoted in Brand, 1977, p. 103).
Finally, the precise meaning of gerah, rendered “chewing the cud” in most versions, is uncertain. Many orthodox Jews consider it simply to mean a second mastication, or the semblance of chewing. Samuel Clark stated that the meaning of gerah “became expanded, and the rodents and pachyderms, which have a habit of grinding with their jaws, were familiarly spoken of as ruminating animals” (1981, 1:546).
In view of the foregoing facts, it is extremely presumptuous to suggest that the Mosaic account contains an error relative to these creatures. A sensible interpretive procedure and/or an acquaintance with accurate information would have eliminated such a rash and unwarranted conclusion.

REFERENCES

Archer, Gleason (1982), Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Brand, Leonard R. (1977), “Do Rabbits Chew the Cud?,” Origins, 4(2):102-104.
Clark, Samuel (1981), “Leviticus,” The Bible Commentary, ed. F.C. Cook (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Fischel, Joseph W. (1971), “Hyrax,” Encyclopedia Judaica (New York: Macmillan).
Grzimek, Bernard, ed. (1975), Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold).
Harrison, R.K. (1980), Leviticus (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press).
Morton, Jean Sloat (1978), Science in the Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody).