"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" A Teacher With Authority (1:21-28) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   A Teacher With Authority (1:21-28)


1. Up to this point in Mark's gospel, everything has been preliminary...
   a. The ministry of John the Baptist, sent to prepare the way of the
   b. The baptism of Jesus, introducing Jesus to Israel as the Lamb of
   c. The temptation of Jesus, preparing Him to face the difficult tasks
   d. The theme of His preaching, concerning the coming kingdom of God
   e. The calling of His disciples, who would eventually carry on His

2. But now we begin to read of Jesus' actual ministry...
   a. Things He did
   b. Things He taught

[When people saw and heard Jesus, they immediately noticed something
different.  Especially in regards to His teaching, for He was "A Teacher
With Authority."  In the text (Mk 1:21-28), note first His...]


      1. Capernaum - on the NW shore of Galilee where Jesus lived 
         - Mk 1:21; Mt 4:12-13
      2. On the Sabbath, teaching in the synagogue - Mk 1:21
         a. The Law of Moses was still in effect, so as an observant Jew
            Jesus kept the Sabbath
         b. The synagogue on the Sabbath provided a ready audience
      3. Luke gave a detailed description of what it was like when Jesus
         spoke in the synagogue at Nazareth - cf. Lk 4:16-22
      -- Teaching in synagogues became a feature of His itinerant
         ministry - cf. Mk 1:38-39

      1. Astonished the people - Mk 1:22; cf. Mt 7:28-29
      2. Note this later reaction:  "No man ever spoke like this Man!"
         - Jn 7:46
      3. Because He taught as one having authority, not like the scribes
         - Mk 1:22
         a. Scribes would quote well-known rabbis as their authority for
            what they taught
         b. But Jesus would say things like "But I say to you..." - cf.
            Mt 5:27-28,31-32; 19:8-9
      -- Jesus spoke that way because He had authority (even to forgive
         sins)! - cf. Mk 2:10

[But it wasn't just the manner of His teaching.  Jesus complemented His
teaching with miraculous signs, thus...]


      1. Demonstrated by casting out an unclean spirit - Mk 1:23-26
         a. In a man who was in the synagogue
         b. That knew Jesus' true identity as the Holy One of God!
         c. Whom Jesus rebuked, then cast out
      2. What were unclean spirits (demons)?
         a. Their origin not clearly stated in Scripture, but their
            reality acknowledged
         b. Some believe they were spirits of wicked men (Josephus,
            Alexander Campbell)
         c. Others view them as fallen angels (though bound to Tartarus)
            - 2Pe 2:4; Jude 1:6
      3. Demonic activity in the Bible appears in waves
         a. There is more recorded demonic activity during Jesus' life
            than any other time in biblical history - Baker's
            Evangelical Dictionary
         b. If fallen angels, perhaps temporarily released during such
            times so God's true servants could be identified by their
            authority to cast them out of those who were possessed
      4. Jesus later explained His casting out of demons was evidence of
         the coming rule or reign of God - cf. Mt 12:28
      -- Jesus proved He had authority by casting out the unclean spirit

      1. The people in the synagogue are amazed - Mk 1:27
         a. They wonder what new doctrine is being revealed
         b. Which was the purpose of such signs, to reveal and confirm
            the doctrine was from God - cf. Mk 16:17-20; He 2:3-4
         c. They understood that He not only spoke with authority, He
            acted with authority!
      2. His fame spread throughout all Galilee - Mk 1:28
         a. A natural reaction to such an amazing event
         b. One that would later make it difficult for Jesus - cf. Mk 1:33,45
      -- The people were amazed, but they understood the significance of
         the miracle:  this Man must be bringing a new revelation


1. Thus Jesus was "A Teacher With Authority"...
   a. He taught as one having authority (Grk., exousia:  power, right)
   b. He did signs (miracles) that proved His authority

2. It is tempting to be distracted by the miracles themselves...
   a. But as the people deduced on this occasion, there was new doctrine
   b. So we should focus our attention on what Jesus taught, not on what
      He did

3. Later, Jesus would claim to have "all authority...in heaven and on
   earth"... - Mt 28:18
   a. Then command His apostles to make disciples of all the nations,
      baptizing them - Mt 28:19
   b. And that such disciples should observe all things He has commanded
      - Mt 28:20

4. Later, the apostles would preach Jesus as "Lord"...
   a. Commanding repentance and baptism in His name (by His authority)
      - Ac 2:36-38
   b. That He has the authority to one day judge the world - Ac 10:42;
      17:30-31; 2Co 5:10

Those who gladly accept the authority of Jesus as Lord are baptized (Ac
2:41) and continue steadfastly in His apostles' doctrine (Ac 2:42).

Are we willing to accept Jesus as our Teacher today by submitting to His
authority in the same way...?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Call Of Four Fishermen (1:16-20) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Call Of Four Fishermen (1:16-20)


1. Jesus began His public ministry by preaching...
   a. Proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God - Mk 1:14
   b. That the time was fulfilled, the kingdom of God was at hand - Mk 1:15a
   c. That people needed to repent and believe the gospel - Mk 1:15b

2. As He did so, He also called people to become His disciples...
   a. Calling them to follow Him
   b. Offering to make them "fishers of men"

[His first disciples included two sets of brothers, four fishermen who
later become apostles.  In our text (Mk 1:16-20) we read how Jesus
called them.  Let's take a closer look at them, beginning with...]


      1. Their background
         a. Sons of Jonah - Jn 1:42
         b. From Bethsaida of Galilee - Jn 1:44
         c. Fishermen by trade - Mk 1:16
         d. Partners with James and John - Lk 5:10
      2. Their call to discipleship
         a. Both met Jesus a year earlier - Jn 1:35-42
            1) In Bethabara beyond the Jordan - Jn 1:28
            2) Andrew had been a disciple of John
            3) Andrew introduced Simon to Jesus
            4) Jesus named Simon "Cephas" (Aramaic), "Peter" (Greek),
               meaning "a rock"
         b. They were called while fishing in the Sea of Galilee - Mk 1:16
            1) They had been washing their nets - Lk 5:1-2
            2) Jesus had Simon take him out in a boat, to teach the
               people on shore - Lk 5:3
            3) Jesus told him to launch out and cast his net, resulting
               in a large catch - Lk 5:4-9
            4) Then Jesus called them to follow Him and be fishers of
               men - Lk 5:10; Mk 1:17
            5) They immediately left their nets and followed him - Mk 1:18

      1. Their service as apostles
         a. Simon and Andrew were selected along with twelve others - Mk3:14-19
         b. Simon (Peter) became part of Jesus' "inner circle" - Mk 5:
            37; 9:2; 14:33
         c. He is well known for his denial of Christ and restoration
            - Mk 14:66-72; Jn 21:15-19
         d. He is a key figure in the first half of the book of Acts,
            and wrote two epistles
         e. Andrew is known for introducing people to Jesus - Jn 1:40-
            42; 6:8-9; 12:20-22
         f. Both asked Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem - Mk 13:
      2. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Simon (Peter) died a martyr at Rome about 67 AD, along with
            his wife
         b  Crucified upside down at his own request, felt unworthy to
            die exactly like Jesus
         c. Andrew is thought to have been crucified in Greece, on a
            cross in the form of an X
         d. Various sources attribute his missionary work in Bithynia,
            Scythia, Greece, Ephesus

[Simon and Andrew:  brothers, fishermen, disciples, apostles, martyrs.
One well known, the other lesser known.  Both faithful servants of the
Lord Jesus Christ.  Next we take a look at...]


      1. Their background
         a. Sons of Zebedee - Mk 1:19
         b. Their mother was Salome - Mk 16:1; Mt 27:56
         c. Many believe Salome was Mary's sister, making them Jesus'
            cousins - Jn 19:25
         d. Successful fishing business (several boats, partners with
            Simon and Andrew, hired servants) - Mk 1:20; Lk 5:10-11
      2. Their call to discipleship
         a. While mending nets by the Sea of Galilee - Mk 1:19
         b. When Jesus called them, they left their father and hired
            servants - Mk 1:20

      1. Their service as apostles
         a. James and John were selected along with twelve others - Mk3:14-19
         b. To whom Jesus gave the name "Boanerges" (Sons of Thunder)
            - Mk 3:17
         c. Perhaps due to a fiery temper (though see below) - cf. Lk 9:54
         d. John tried to forbid one from casting out demons who did not
            follow them - Mk 9:38
         e. Both became part of Jesus' "inner circle" - Mk 5:37; 9:2;
         f. They asked to sit at Christ's side in glory - Mk 10:35-37
         g. Both asked Jesus about the destruction of Jerusalem - Mk 13:
         h. Both were present when Jesus appeared the third time after
            His resurrection - Jn 21:1-14
         i. John was likely the "disciple whom Jesus loved" - Jn 19:26;
            20:2; 21:7,20
         j. John often worked with Peter - Ac 3:1; 8:14; Ga 2:9
         k. James became the first apostle to be martyred, fulfilling
            the Lord's prophecy that he would drink the same cup as His
            Master - Ac 12:1-2; cf. Mk 10:39
         l. John went on to write his gospel, three epistles, and the
            book of Revelation
      2. According to apocryphal (doubtful) literature (cf. ISBE)
         a. Zebedee their father was of the house of Levi, their mother
            of the house of Judah
         b. Called "Sons of Thunder" because they were of both the
            priestly house and royal house
         c. James joined Peter in a missionary trip to India; also
            preached in Spain prior to his death
         d. John is thought to have spent his later years in Ephesus,
            following his exile on the isle of Patmos (cf. Re 1:9),
            dying around 98 AD

[James and John:  brothers, fishermen, disciples, apostles.  One an
early martyr, the other a lifelong witness.  Both faithful servants of
the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now for some concluding observations...]


1. Becoming a disciple of Jesus often involves sacrifice...
   a. For Simon and Andrew, it meant leaving their business behind
   b. For James and John, it also meant leaving their family behind
   c. For all four, it meant lives of service that included hardship,
      ending in martyrdom or exile

2. Becoming a disciple of Jesus means to seek the lost...
   a. Jesus wants His disciples to become "fishers of men" - Mk 1:17
   b. Just as He come to "seek and save the lost" - Lk 19:10

3. As disciples of Christ today...
   a. Are we willing to sacrifice for the Lord?
   b. Are we willing to seek the lost?
   c. If not, can we really claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ?

Jesus would have everyone become His disciple today (cf. Mt 28:19-20).
May "The Call Of Four Fishermen", and the service they rendered to the
Lord, inspire us to greater dedication as disciples...
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Noah’s Flood and The Epic of Gilgamesh by Kyle Butt, M.Div. Harrison Chastain


Noah’s Flood and The Epic of Gilgamesh

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.
Harrison Chastain

One of the most remarkable and memorable stories in the Bible is that of Noah’s Flood. One man’s righteousness and courage separated him and his family from a vile world of sin. God’s disgust at the world’s wickedness brought about the worldwide Flood in which Noah and the other seven members of his family were the only humans saved, along with representatives of each kind of land-living animal that was alive at the time. This story is so well-known that virtually every children’s Bible story book features a rendition of it, and there are numerous references to it in the New Testament.
As could be expected, some who have read the story in Genesis 6-9 have questioned its validity. How could so many animals fit in the Ark? What would a global Flood even look like? How could the Ark float while being loaded down with so much cargo? Etc. When each of these questions is considered, sufficient answers are available to show that the biblical narrative is both scientifically accurate and historically correct (see Miller, 2014). One challenge that has been repeatedly brought against the biblical account of the Flood is that the author copied the story from previously written material. The most common claim is that the biblical Flood story is a rewrite of an ancient tale from Babylon titled The Epic of Gilgamesh.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a 2,900-line poem, written on 12 tablets, describing the life of King Gilgamesh and his reign over an area near the perennial powerhouse of Babylon. The tablets date back to about 650 B.C.; and scholars suggest that the material they contain comes from legend and myth that dates back to between 1800-1600 B.C. (Kovacs, 1989, p. xxvi). The 11th tablet of this work contains an account of a massive flood. Supposedly since it predates the biblical account, and is so similar to the story found in the Bible, then the author of Genesis must have copied material from Gilgamesh or its source material. Does this challenge to the biblical record hold up under a thorough investigation? Not at all.

Does the Fact that One Account is First Prove the Later Account is a Copy?

In discussions of this nature, it is often helpful to ask the simple question of what would the situation look like if there really was a global flood that destroyed all but a few people. If those people survived such a flood, what would they have told their descendants? What would have happened in the retelling of the events when their children and grandchildren moved farther away from each other? After such an event, and so many retellings of the story over hundreds of years, would we expect to find differing tales that trace their origins back to the actual event? A brief moment of thought about these questions reveals that if a universal flood occurred, we would expect to find differing stories with (certain similarities) that date hundreds or thousands of years apart, and that arise from various geographical locations and ethnic groups across the globe.
Interestingly, that is exactly what we find. There are over 200 flood legends in different cultures all over the world. For instance, the Aztecs tell of a worldwide flood in which only two people, Coxcox and his wife, survived. Immediately following the flood, giants constructed a pyramid in an attempt to touch the clouds. In China, the legend is told of God sending a messenger to Earth to warn three sons that a flood was coming. The oldest was the only one to heed the warning, and he built a boat. As a result of his hard work he survived the flood. After the flood, the boat landed on a mountain, and the son had three sons that repopulated the earth. These are just two of the numerous flood legends from around the world (see Lyons and Butt, 2003 for more information).
The fact that one of these stories (such as Gilgamesh or various others) was preserved or written down first cannot be used to argue that it is (a) the correct and accurate description of what happened, or (b) the basis for the text of any narrative that was recorded at a later date. To illustrate, suppose that a certain battle occurred in the American Civil War. One soldier who was not there, but heard about it, told his friend. His friend embellished the story as he retold it to many others. One of those to whom he told the story decided to write it down just a few years after the battle occurred. Decades later, however, a young officer who took part in the battle decided to write a history of it. His memory was exceptional and he related the events much more accurately than the story that was being passed around by the soldier who was not even at the battle. If such events are possible, even probable, then we can show that simply because one telling of a historical event predates another does not make it more accurate, and does not mean the later story copied from it in anyway.

How Similar is Gilgamesh to the Genesis Account?

Even though the two accounts of the global Flood have similarities, it is actually quite striking to see the differences that exist between the stories. For instance, Gilgamesh tells of a man named Utnapishtim who, as a result of various gods wanting to destroy all people, was warned to build a boat 120 cubits on four sides by 120 cubits high, making the vessel a giant cube. The boat was finished apparently in five-six days, having six decks, and was loaded with gold, silver, ale, beer, butchered meat, “wine as if it were river water,” and a host of living animals. Just before the boat launched, the god Shamash rained down loaves of bread and wheat from heaven. Utnapishtim and all his family got in the boat, and a massive flood broke apart the Earth and drenched the ground for seven days. When it stopped and Utanapishtim looked out, “all the human beings had turned to clay.” The survivor then waited seven days and sent forth a dove, a swallow, and a raven. The dove and swallow returned, but the raven did not. The survivors then exited the boat and sacrificed to the gods. When the god Enlil saw that humans had survived, he was furious because “no man was to survive the annihilation.” The god Enlil then blessed Utanapishtim and his wife with the ability to be like gods and live an extended life (these details are taken from Kovacs’ translation of the poem, 1989, pp. 99-103).
While the similarities between Gilgamesh and the account of the Flood in Genesis are striking, there are vast differences that the Genesis-copied-Gilgamesh theory does not adequately explain. Why are the number of decks and the dimensions of the Ark different? How does Utnapishtim finish such a massive boat in so brief a time? Why such a large difference in the two accounts between how long the flood lasted (in the Bible Noah and his family don’t exit the Ark for a year, while Utnapishtim seems to spend only two weeks or a little more on the cubical boat). Why doesn’t the Genesis account include the swallow? Why does Gilgamesh say that one of the gods is unaware of the survivors?
The skeptic who insists that Genesis plagiarized Gilgamesh is then obligated to account for the various and serious differences. Once it is admitted, and it must be, that the Genesis account had some other source than Gilgamesh for those differences (i.e. God), then it must be conceded that the Genesis account could also have gotten all the details from that source, including the ones that are similar to the Babylonian poem.

What Would We Expect?

A closer look at The Epic of Gilgamesh presents Gilgamesh as a pagan, idolatrous king who tyrannically imposed his will on the land. One of his laws was to participate in sexual intercourse with every girl in his territory before they were married. This literature is just what one would expect from a society that had departed from the worship of the true God and distorted His Laws as well as an accurate account of the past. When we evaluate the biblical record, we can know that it was penned by Moses (Lyons, et. al., 2003) and is the most historically reliable collection of writings from the ancient world (Butt, 2004). The discovery of The Epic of Gilgamesh and other ancient writings that contain Flood stories does not call the Genesis account into question. On the contrary, it provides evidence that verifies the fact of a global Flood, and is exactly what any person who has given the idea much thought would expect to happen if the Flood were a historic reality.


Butt, Kyle (2004), “Archaeology and the Old Testament,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1347.
Kovacs, Maureen Gallery (1989), The Epic of Gilgamesh (Standford, CA: Stanford University Press).
Lyons, Eric and A.P. Staff (2003), “Mosaic Authorship of the Pentateuch: Tried and True,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=36.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2003), “Legends of the Flood,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=64.
Miller, Jeff (2014), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate Review: Tying Up Really Loose Ends, Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4801.

How I Would Prove to a Jury that the Bible is True by Robert C. Veil, J.D.


How I Would Prove to a Jury that the Bible is True

by  Robert C. Veil, J.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: A.P. auxiliary writer Robert Veil, Jr. formerly served as a district attorney for the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, and previously maintained an active private law practice. He currently preaches in Martinsburg, West Virginia.]
The truthfulness of the Bible can be proven in much the same way that we prove cases to a jury every day. As a prosecutor, I had the responsibility of presenting numerous cases at trial, including a large number of jury trials. Working within the rules of evidence and procedure, I soon learned that juries are, for the most part, receptive to logical and reasonable arguments. They have an almost uncanny ability to hear cases presented and come to a fair verdict. They may not always get it right, but they usually do.
I also learned that the same type of logical arguments which are compelling to a jury can be formulated from the inspired biblical record. Proving the truthfulness of the Bible is no mysterious, incomprehensible exercise. It is done by the presentation of logical proof. And, at its most fundamental level, the Bible is an extremely logical and compelling book. It does not leave the reader depending upon mere hopes, wishes, and hunches. It is an evidentiary record (Hebrews 11:1).
The Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God. But in a secular culture of increasing ignorance and doubt, these claims are often rejected without investigation. Fewer and fewer, it would seem, are willing to accept the Bible’s claim that it is the infallible and absolute truth of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13). In teaching others how to be saved, we sometimes need to take a step back to a more basic question.
So, how would I prove to a jury that the Bible is true? I would do it the same way that I would prove any factual pattern or scenario. I would utilize the rules of evidence in presenting the case, and then emphasize the standards which the jury should apply in making a fair and correct decision based upon that evidence.
For example, it is commonly recognized in the various criminal justice systems of our land, that the jury can properly evaluate the credibility of witnesses. It can do this by considering such things as: (1) The witness’s opportunity to observe the things about which testimony was given; (2) The accuracy of the witness’s memory; (3) Whether the witness has a motive not to tell the truth; (4) Whether the witness has an interest in the outcome of the case; (5) Whether the witness’s testimony was consistent; (6) Whether the witness’s testimony was supported or contradicted by other evidence; and (7) Whether and to what extent the witness’s testimony in court differed from the statements made by the witness on any previous occasion (“3:10–Credibility…,” 1986).
Let us notice how these accepted standards can be applied in a specific Bible event: the empty tomb. Actually, they can be applied in a similar fashion to most any major event recorded in the Bible. But we will use the incident involving the empty tomb because of its centrality to the gospel message, and because if it can be established, most of the other Bible events will readily fall into place.
First, we raise the question, who observed the empty tomb? Who are the witnesses? We recall that the Bible teaches, and good jurisprudence demands, that important matters must be established “at the mouth of two or three witnesses” (Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16). Interestingly, the witnesses to the empty tomb more than satisfy this corroboration requirement. They are listed in the complimentary accounts of John, Matthew, Mark, and Luke as follows: Mary Magdalene, the “other” Mary, Mary the mother of James (that is, James the less, or Jacob), Salome, Joanna, and “other” women. Also of significance is the fact that there are actually two different “layers” of witnesses, since both John and Peter arrived at the scene as well.
These individuals are among the last people to see the Lord before He died. They had an excellent opportunity to observe the events immediately preceding His death, as well as His body after crucifixion. Most of them were in close proximity to Jesus throughout His intensive ministry, and they had an excellent opportunity to observe the facts in question.
Their memory has never been seriously questioned. There is not the slightest indication that any of them suffered from mental illness, delusional episodes, senility, or mental impairment of any kind. Both John and Peter went on to write detailed narratives and well-reasoned statements of doctrine and instruction. None of them would appear to have had any trouble recalling the events, and there is no indication that any of them ever deviated from their recollection of the empty tomb. If they had given conflicting reports due to failing memory, such would no doubt have been published broadly, but history records no such discrepancies.
Second, we cannot help but notice the details in the record. Details are signs of credibility. They tend to establish a witness’s opportunity to observe the events in question, and they show a carefulness typical of truthful testimony.
John details these events as occurring “on the first day of the week,” “early,” and “while it was yet dark” (John 20:1). Matthew’s account is consistent, but utilizes language which might be expected with a Jewish audience: “after the Sabbath.” He then provides an additional detail: “as the first day of the week began to dawn” (Matthew 28:1). Another mark of truthfulness is the fact that these accounts use language which at first glance appears to be contradictory. The contradiction disappears upon a realization that Matthew is framing the time with a Jewish mindset, as opposed to John’s description. But that realization may not be at first apparent, and if these accounts were falsified (developed in collusion), it is hard to understand why they would not have simply used the same language, rather than what at first seems inconsistent. Mark, reverting to a Gentile mindset, sets the time as “when the Sabbath was past” (Mark 16:1) and adds yet another detail: “very early on the first day of the week, when the sun was risen” (Mark 16:2). Again, one wonders why language was used, which at first seems contradictory, if this is a concocted account. Typically, when witnesses are falsifying a story, they try to present their accounts using identical language. This, then, becomes another mark of truthfulness, particularly when all three accounts are read together, which suggests that these events occurred after the Sun was risen, but just barely risen, in the early morning, while it was still largely dark. Such an understanding comports well with Luke’s detailed observations that the events occurred “on the first day of the week at early dawn” (Luke 24:1).
Thus, when all of these details are considered together, we get a consistent and complete picture of the time of these occurrences. Yet it reads like truthful testimony, each using slightly different wording, providing additional detail, seeming at first to be contradictory, but upon closer examination stating an accurate account.
If four witnesses had taken the stand in court and described an early-dawn occurrence as depicted here, it is difficult to imagine a more believable sequence of testimony. Had it been manufactured pursuant to some preconceived plot, it would have been much more uniform, but far less believable. The differences provide helpful details, and do not amount to contradictions or discrepancies in fact. On the contrary, they provide helpful and credible pieces of the overall picture. After reading and considering each of them, we get the confident conviction that we understand exactly what occurred.
There are a great many other details, which, if they are not truthful, are unexplainable. John tells us that, as between him and Peter, he arrived at the empty tomb first (John 20:4). Mark informs us that the women brought spices that they might “anoint him” (Mark 16:1), and Luke adds that the women brought spices which they themselves had prepared (Luke 24:1). Such details have the ring of truthfulness. Further, John advises us that he stooped and looked into the tomb (John 20:5). Mark actually provides details of the conversation the women had on their way to the tomb regarding who would roll away the stone (Mark 16:3). Luke offers the interesting detail that Peter ran to the tomb (Luke 24:12). Upon arrival, John tells us that he saw the linen cloths lying there (John 20:5), but Luke adds that Peter saw the linens by themselves (Luke 24:12). John agrees that Peter saw the linen cloths, but adds the telling fact that he saw a napkin separate from the cloths, “in a place by itself” (John 20:6-7). Why would such details be included if they were not true? Details provided in a witness’s testimony are marks of truthfulness, especially when they appear to serve no other purpose, because they end up establishing overall credibility of the narrative.
Third, we notice some things which might have been omitted in these accounts, had they been manufactured for some deceptive purpose. These are relatively small insertions which would not be necessary to advance a false narrative. For example, it is a consistent trait of human nature that people do not usually include “unflattering” details about themselves, especially if they are not necessary to the narrative. Mark provides the unflattering detail that the women did not speak to others after this occurrence out of simple fear (Mark 16:8). Indeed, the women are seen, not in some artificial and well-reasoned conspiracy, but in a completely believable state of confusion, failing to even consider who would roll away the mighty stone until they were well on their way to the tomb. Such details, however unflattering, are completely consistent with actual human events. They are typical of what people really do, not of what people say they do.
Mary’s pitiful, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we know not where they have laid him” (John 20:2), so typical of an exasperated and unplanned predicament, shows that she did not at all comprehend what had really occurred in the resurrection of Christ. Such is an unflattering admission, written long after the events, which would have been corrected had it not been true.
Nor do the apostles escape this less-than-complimentary treatment. Luke concedes that the report of the women “seemed as idle talk” to the apostles, and admits very plainly that they did not believe them (Luke 24:11). If they can be avoided, people do not usually include details which make themselves look bad. John, for example, admits that after he had out run Peter to the tomb, he hesitated and did not enter. But Peter boldly did, a fact included by John himself which appears to be unaccounted for unless it is true. It is also stated that the apostles, who later had such a commendable understanding of God’s plan, at the time simply left the tomb and went to their own homes. Such behavior, being fully characteristic of confused and exhausted men, would be inexplicable were it not true. People making up a story do not usually include distasteful or disagreeable details about themselves.
Finally we notice the consistency in these accounts. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each describe the same event. Yet their language is quite dissimilar, far from a mere copy of each other. Such consistency is a mark of truthfulness. It has the indicia of reliability, and does not read like accounts which were deliberately manufactured to advance a false story. Each writer approaches the story from a different cultural background and expresses it in words and concepts consistent with his audience. The accounts are not contradictory but supplementary. By reading all of the narratives in full, one gets a complete understanding of what occurred. Likewise, reading only one or two narratives leaves questions and an incomplete perception. This suggests an over-arching Guide in these writings, a higher control, which guaranteed that all of the necessary information was included. It verifies the Bible claim that these writings are inspired by God.
Our faith is founded upon evidence (Hebrews 11:1). The evidence adduced from these credible witnesses is believable and compelling. It certainly proves the narrative beyond any reasonable doubt. If there is any remaining doubt, one might well ask how could a band of working-class fishermen and women “cook up” such a well-documented event? If they had lied, the accounts would not bear such marks of truthfulness and credibility. Further, if they had lied, they would have had to have maintained those lies consistently to their deaths. Believing such a thing would stretch credibility beyond its limits.
If I were trying this case before a jury, I would summarize the evidence we have and point out these standards which the jury should apply. When that is done, the conclusion becomes obvious: There is no reasonable and proper explanation, except that the events described in the Bible concerning the empty tomb are true.


“3:10–Credibility of Witnesses” (1986), Maryland Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions (MCPJI) (Baltimore, MD: MICPEL, Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.).

Global Warming, Earth’s History, and Jesus’ Return by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Global Warming, Earth’s History, and Jesus’ Return

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

As to whether or not the Earth is currently going through a warming trend, there is much debate. Although many, including former Vice President Al Gore, vehemently defend the man-made global warming theory (see “An Inconvenient Truth,” 2006), countless others, including thousands of scientists, have rejected the theory in part or in whole (see “Weather Channel Founder...,” 2007; Bonnici, 2008; Brennan, 2008). One truth that seems to get little attention, however, is the fact that the Earth has gone through various warming and cooling periods in the past.
Today, Antarctica is covered by seven million cubic miles of ice, which represents 90% of all the ice on Earth (“Antarctica,” 2008). The continental ice sheet at the South Pole is about 9,000 feet thick (Amundsen-Scott..., 2008). The average temperature at the South Pole is nearly -50 degrees Celsius. Nevertheless, Antarctica has not always been the frozen tundra it is today. The pro-atheistic, evolutionary science journal New Scientist recently ran an article titled, “Once the South Pole Was Green...” (2008, 198[2661]:34-38). The journal admitted that scientists are well aware that “Antarctica was once warm and forested” and inhabited by at least six different kinds of dinosaurs (p. 34). “Antarctica once enjoyed a climate warmer than that of England today” (p. 38). The fossil record indicates that in the past Antarctica was “almost sub-tropical,” lush with ferns, cycads, and conifers (p. 37). What’s more, fossils of breadfruit trees, crocodile-like creatures, and turtles have been discovered well inside the Arctic Circle (pp. 35-36). It is “abundantly clear” to scientists that at one time “both the Arctic and the Antarctic were ice-free and warm” (p. 37)—“more than warm enough for a pleasant swim” (p. 38).
Although today certain ones (e.g., Al Gore) are attempting to scare people into a “global-warming submission,” the fact is, our planet has gone through various stages of warming and cooling throughout its history—long before the invention of carbon-emitting planes, trains, and automobiles. At one time, the polar ice sheets were more extensive than at present; at another time, the Earth’s Arctic and Antarctic regions were virtually ice-free. In view of such naturally changing climates on Earth during its history, why should it surprise us if our planet does occasionally get warmer or cooler?
Our forefathers, along with plants and animals, have been on the Earth “from the foundation of the world” (Luke 11:50-51; Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11). They survived the ice-age(s), as well as the so-called “hothouse phase.” Today, we are flourishing in what scientists call the “icehouse” phase. In truth, man will continue the cycle of life on Earth until our Lord returns and destroys the Earth with fire (2 Peter 3:10-13)—a global warming for which man must prepare, else he will suffer in the hothouse of hell forever (Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).


Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (2008), National Science Foundation, [On-line], URL: http://www.nsf.gov/od/opp/support/southp.jsp.
“Antarctica” (2008), Britannica, [On-line], URL: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/27068/Antarctica#tab=active~ checked%2Citems~checked&title=Antarctica%20--%20Britannica%20Online% 20Encyclopedia.
Bonnici, Tony (2008), “Global Warming? It’s the Coldest Winter in Decades,” Daily Express, [On-line], URL: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/35266/Global-warming-It-s-the- coldest-winter-in-decades.
Brennan, Philip (2008), “31,000 Scientists Debunk Al Gore and Global Warming,” May 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/al_gore_global_warming/2008/05/19/ 97307.html.
“An Inconvenient Truth” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://www.climatecrisis.net/aboutthefilm/.
“Once the South Pole Was Green...” (2008), New Scientist, 198[2661]:34-38, June 21.
“Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming ‘Greatest Scam in History’” (2007), [On-line], URL: http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/comments_about_ global_warming/.

Darwin in Light of 150 Years of Error by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Darwin in Light of 150 Years of Error

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

If the latter part of 2009 is anything like its beginning, this year will go down in secular history as the year of Charles Darwin. The scientific establishment is rallying virtually its entire arsenal of resources to celebrate the life and writings of Charles Darwin. Scientific American’s January cover story is titled: “The Evolution of Evolution: How Darwin’s Theory Survives, Thrives, and Reshapes the World.” In his editor’s note that introduces the issue, John Rennie wrote: “Today, 200 years after his birth and 150 years after Origin of Species, Darwin’s legacy is a larger, richer, more diverse set of theories than he could have imagined” (300[1]:6). Contributing writers to NewScientistpenned an article titled “The Years of Thinking Dangerously” in which they polled scientific heavy-hitters, such as Paul Davies, Daniel Dennett, Matt Ridley, Steven Pinker, and Michael Ruse, to decide who deserves 2009’s “anniversary crown”—Charles Darwin or Galileo. The article stated: “In the end, our panel concluded (with two abstentions) that Darwin has done more to change our view of ourselves. For our rigorous peer reviews, 2009 is Darwin’s year!” (“The Years...,” 200[2687/2688]:70-71, emp. added). The official Darwin Day Web site informs viewers that 128 events are currently scheduled in 21 different countries to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin on February 12, 2009 (“Darwin Day Celebration”). The site gives a description of many of these events, and includes a countdown of the days, hours, and seconds until the big day. (Incidentally, the debate between Dan Barker and Kyle Butt on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Columbia is listed among these events; see “Darwin Day Event Listing.”) In addition, the British Museum of Natural History has organized its “Darwin” exhibit, hailed as “the biggest ever exhibition about Charles Darwin. It celebrates Darwin’s ideas and their impact for his 200th birthday in 2009” (“Darwin: Big Idea, Big Exhibition”).
An exhaustive list of all such activities would take hundreds of pages. Needless to say, Darwin and his theory will be in the global spotlight this year. This being the case, it is a good time to analyze Darwin and his ideas. Is it true that Darwin left a legacy worthy to be celebrated? Or is it the case that Darwin’s ideas were not only wrong, but also harmful in that they have provided the basis for racism, devaluing human life, and erroneous scientific study? In truth, when Darwin’s contribution to society is critically considered, the publishing of The Origin of Species is an event that should be marked, not as worthy of celebration, but as an event that will live in infamy. This issue of Reason & Revelation will highlight several of the most glaring deficiencies of Darwin’s theory.


The late Theodosius Dobzhansky remains well-known for a particularly catchy article title that he penned in the 1970s. In fact, the title of his article contains an idea that is accepted and maintained by a large portion of the modern scientific community—“Nothing in Biology Makes Any Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” (1973). This idea—that without a “proper” understanding of evolution one cannot understand, much less contribute to, biological studies—has taken a firm hold of many professors and science teaching professionals. Professor Michael Dini of the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University stated: “The central, unifying principle of biology is the theory of evolution, which includes both micro- and macro-evolution, and which extends to ALL species. Someone who ignores the most important theory in biology cannot expect to properly practice in a field that is now so heavily based on biology” (n.d., emp. in orig.).
Is it true that a proper understanding of evolution is a prerequisite for any person who wishes “to properly practice” in some field of biology? The eminent evolutionist and outspoken Darwinist, Richard Dawkins, offered some interesting thoughts along these lines. In a discussion of one particular group of scientists, Dawkins stated:
They have decided, perhaps rightly, that they can do taxonomy better if they forget about evolution, and especially if they never use the concept of the ancestor in thinking about taxonomy. In the same way, a student of, say, nerve cells, might decide that he is not aided by thinking about evolution. The nerve specialist agrees that his nerve cells are the products of evolution, but he does not need to use this fact in his research. He needs to know a lot about physics and chemistry, but he believes that Darwinism is irrelevant to his day-to-day research on nerve impulses. That is a defensible position.... A physicist certainly doesn’t need Darwinism in order to do physics (1996, p. 283, emp. added).
According to Dawkins, it is very possible for a person to engage in productive cell research (an extremely important branch of biology) without using evolutionary ideas in any of his procedures. In fact, evolution could defensibly be “irrelevant to his day-to-day research.” Please notice, however, that Dawkins makes sure to include the idea that the researcher believes that the cells are the “products of evolution.”
But let us take Dawkins’ thoughts a step further. Could it be that the researcher would not have to believe that the cells are the product of evolution? Would that belief affect his “day-to-day research”? Dawkins must answer, “No.” Then, according to Dawkins’ line of thinking, a person who does not believe in evolution could be just as (or more) successful in the biological sciences than one who does believe in evolution.
It should not be surprising, then, to hear statements like the one made by Thomas Geelan. Geelan is a teacher of advanced placement biology in Buffalo, New York. His course is titled, “An Interdisciplinary Course in Evolution.” In the abstract that describes the class, the first line states: “Evolution is the central organizing theme in all biology, yet few biology courses are taught that way” (n.d., emp. added). In the introduction to the class, a similar statement is made: “Evolution is the central organizing theme in all biology, but it is ironic that most biology curricula are pitifully deficient in their treatment of it” (emp. added).
What is the primary reason for this deficiency in “most” biology courses? The answer simply is that evolution is of no practical value in day-to-day research. In fact, evolution can be considered an irrelevant idea that has no bearing on the outcome of any scientific experiment. The cell researcher does not need it. The physicist does not need it. The taxonomist not only does not need it, but it gets in his way so much that he is better off if he does not consider it. In truth, not only is evolution a false idea, it is light years away from being the central tenet of biology. It is a counterproductive, anti-knowledge theory that, at the least, is useless, and is often destructive. Dobzhansky’s title would be better worded, “Nothing in Biology Makes Any Sense in Light of Evolution.”


Charles Darwin did not always believe in evolution. In fact, at one time he believed in God as the Creator. He wrote in his autobiography: “Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality” (1958, p. 85, parenthetical item in orig.). But as he grew older, he changed his view and began to think that natural forces created the world. He described his “deconversion”: “Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct” (p. 87). Sadly, one of the reasons for his change in thinking came from a misunderstanding of the Bible.
In Darwin’s day, the Church of England misunderstood the biblical account of Creation. The book of Genesis says that animals multiply “according to their kind” (Genesis 1:21). However, the Church of England confused the biblical word “kind” with the word “species.” The Church of England taught that God had created every separate species in the world. This idea was called the “fixity of species.” The problem with this view was that it simply is not true; they had misunderstood the Bible (Garner, 2009).

Darwin’s Finches

When Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands, he discovered something that greatly interested him. He found several different species of finches which were unique to the islands. The basic differences between these species was the size and shape of their beaks. Some of the finches had short thick beaks, used to crack open seeds, while others had long, thin beaks that could be used to catch insects or drink nectar from flowers. As he studied the birds, he came to the conclusion that the finches were very similar and must have been related. In fact, Darwin believed that the species had originally diverged from a single species of birds. He guessed that long before he had arrived on the islands, a storm must have blown this flock of birds to the Galapagos Islands. To give a very simplified version of Darwin’s hypothesis, he thought the birds with long beaks stayed together and ate insects, while the birds with short, stout beaks were able to survive in different places on the islands where they could find seeds. Eventually, due to drought, climate change, and environmental pressures, each group became its own species through the process of natural selection. Darwin also thought that if nature could change one species of finch into several different species, then it could change an amoeba into a man. Here Darwin made a major mistake in his thinking. He did not realize that small changes have limits.
In recent years, two researchers have become well-known for their trips to the Galapagos Islands to study Darwin’s ideas about the Galapagos finches. In the July 14 issue of Science, Peter and Rosemary Grant presented a paper titled “Evolution of Character Displacement in Darwin’s Finches.” The thesis of the article is that one particular species of finch (Geospiza fortis) “evolved” a slightly smaller beak due to the arrival of a larger-beaked finch (G. magnirostris) competing for larger seeds of the Tribulus cistoides plant during a severe drought (Grant and Grant, 2006).
Randolph Schmid, an Associated Press author who reviewed the Grants’ article, opened his summary of their findings with these words: “Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it—by evolving” (2006). Notice the subtle maneuver Schmid made in his introduction: he commingled two distinct definitions of evolution into his statement, falsely equating the two. The generally accepted definition for the concept of evolution proposed by Darwin is “huge genetic changes turning one kind of animal into another,” often called Darwinism. But the “evolving” accomplished by the finches on the Galapagos Islands was simply “small changes within the same kind of organism.” Unfortunately, evolutionists often use this type of sleight-of -hand tactic.
Schmid interviewed Robert Fleischer, a scientist who works with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, who stated that the Grants merely had documented an instance of “microevolution” (small changes within the same kind of organism). Yet, the titles of the articles by both Schmid and the Grants misleadingly imply that Darwinian evolution has been proven by the finch research—and Schmid goes so far as to assert this bold claim in his introductory paragraph.
What do the finches really prove? They prove that finches stay finches, and the only documented kind of “evolution” is that of small changes within the same kind of organism. The Grants have been studying the finches for 33 years, and this change in beak size, which amounted to about .6 millimeters in beak length and .8 millimeters in beak depth (“Study: Darwin’s...,” 2006), was “the strongest evolutionary change seen in the 33 years of the study” (Grant and Grant, 2006). Even more ironic is the fact that this “evolutionary” change to a smaller beak that allegedly helped the finches to survive might not be so helpful after all. In the same article for Science, the Grants alluded to research done in 1977 when a drought struck the same island and killed many of the finches. The Grants noted: “Most finches died that year, and mortality was heaviest among those with small beaks” (2006, emp. added). Thus, if G. fortis keeps “evolving” a smaller beak size, a major drought in the future could easily spell the bird’s demise.
Scientific observation has never produced a single shred of evidence that proves even the possibility of “huge genetic changes turning one kind of animal into another.” In fact, all the observable evidence proves that every living organism multiplies “according to its kind” exactly as stated in Genesis 1:24, small changes in beak size, body weight, or skin color notwithstanding.

The Fruit Fly

According to the prevailing theory of evolution, beneficial mutations acted upon by natural selection provide the driving force behind nature’s production of new creatures. Of course, since mechanisms that reproduce genetic information in organisms are remarkably efficient, genetic modification by mutations are extremely rare. What is more, the overwhelming majority of mutations are so detrimental to the welfare of the mutant organism, the mutant dies or becomes a victim of predation before it has the ability to pass on its genes, and thus nature eliminates the mutation from the gene pool. Allegedly, in the rarest of cases, a “good” mutation that confers an advantage on an organism slips into the gene pool. Since this “beneficial” mutation aids the organism’s survival and reproductive ability, more offspring are produced that have the mutation. Supposedly, myriad millions of these types of mutations have accrued, by which single-celled bacteria have evolved, over billions of years, into humans. When asked why we do not see this process taking place before our eyes, we are told that it simply happens too slowly, is too gradual, and cannot be tested or witnessed in a single human generation, or even in hundreds of years.
What if, however, the process could be expedited? What if we could find some way to introduce exaggerated numbers of mutations into an organism’s gene pool? Could we select the “beneficial” mutations and produce our own, humanly initiated, evolving creatures? If evolution was actually true, and we could find an organism that could be genetically manipulated satisfactorily, then we should be able to “reproduce” evolution in a lab.
Enter Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the common fruit fly. Drosophila maintains several characteristics that make it the perfect specimen for laboratory mutation experiments. First, the female fly is extremely fertile. She can potentially lay 100 eggs a day, up to 2,000 eggs in her life (Reeve and Black, 2001, p. 157). Second, Drosophila grows from an egg to an adult in 10-12 days, thus producing up to 30 generations per year (p. 157). Due to these and other ideal traits, the fruit fly has been one of, if not the, most often used organisms in genetic mutation experiments since 1901. Reeve and Black noted: “The exploitation that made Drosophila the most important organism for genetical research was its selection by the embryologist Thomas Hunt Morgan for his studies of mutation...” (p. 157).
Since the early 1900s, multiplied millions of fruit fly generations have been bred in laboratories across the globe. Scientists performing these experiments have introduced fruit flies to various levels of radiation and countless other factors designed to produce mutations. Sherwin noted that over 3,000 different mutations have been documented in the fruit fly gene pool (n.d.). These mutations have caused such physical characteristics as eyeless flies, flies with different colored eyes, flies with legs growing from their heads, extra pairs of wings, various colored bodies, wingless flies, flies with unusually large wings, flies with useless wings, flies with twisted wings, etc. The list could go on for hundreds of pages.
So extensive have fruit fly experiments been, that the massive numbers of generations produced, and the mutations created, would be the equivalent of millions of years of supposed evolutionary time. Furthermore, intelligent scientists have acted as the “selecting agent,” thus speeding up the accumulation of “beneficial” mutations. If evolution by genetic mutation and natural selection really can occur, we should discover that the fruit fly has mutated into several new kinds of animals that branch out from their “flyhood” into other types of organisms. We should see creatures that are part fly and part something else.
What do we see? Fruit flies. That is all we see. After a hundred years of experimentation, thousands of lab-induced mutations in multiplied millions of flies, and intelligent, purposeful selection acting on those mutations, the world’s most brilliant minds have not been able to produce any creatures other than Drosophila. Concerning the fruit fly stasis, the late evolutionist Pierre Grassé stated: “The fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster), the favorite pet insect of the geneticists, whose geographical, biotopical, urban, and rural genotypes are now known inside out, seems not to have changed since the remotest times (as quoted in Sherwin, n.d.). Norman Macbeth highlighted the late evolutionist Richard Goldschmidt’s thoughts about the fruit fly: “After observing mutations in fruit flies for many years, Goldschmidt fell into despair. The changes, he lamented, were so hopelessly micro that if a thousand mutations were combined in one specimen, there would still be no new species” (1971, p. 33). The bottom line of all experiments ever done on fruit flies is that they stay fruit flies.
The results of such experimentation “fly” in the face of evolution, but they are exactly what one would expect to find if the biblical story of Creation is true. Darwin’s finches, fruit flies, and all other living organisms in the material world have been producing after their own kind since the beginning of creation. Since Darwin refused to recognize that small changes within a kind cannot be used to extrapolate unlimited changes into many different kinds of animals, his theory cannot be maintained in the face of what true science teaches us about the biology of living organisms.


In the May 6, 2002 edition of Newsweek, Fred Guterl wrote a brief article titled “Evolution: Birds Do It” (139[18]:11). The gist of the article centered on the aforementioned Peter and Rosemary Grant, “a married team of biologists from Princeton, [who] have worked for three decades to fill in Darwin’s blanks” (emp. added).
The major problem with Mr. Guterl’s article, and many people’s understanding of Darwinian evolution, hinges on the fact that he apparently was not aware of the true “blanks” that need to be filled in with regard to Darwin’s theory. In the opening paragraph of the article he wrote: “Charles Darwin described how the daily struggle for food and sex ultimately determines the future of a species, be it dinosaur, bird or human. He had plenty of fossil evidence to back him up, but he never actually observed natural selection taking place” (emp. added).
In sharp contrast to this statement, the tenth chapter of The Origin of Species is titled “On the Imperfection of the Geological Record.” In it, Darwin argued that, due to the process of natural selection, “so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed, be truly enormous” (1860, p. 234). However, he went on to admit: “Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be argued against this theory. The explanation lies, I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record” (p. 234).
Darwin most certainly did not have “plenty of fossil evidence to back him up.” He hoped that future geological research would fill in those blanks, due to the fact that fossil evidence was the primary proof needed to verify his theory. Unfortunately for Darwin and his theory, that evidence has been much less forthcoming than he had hoped. In fact, if Mr. Guterl had checked his own publication’s archives before he printed his misleading article, he would have discovered that in the November 3, 1980 issue of Newsweek, Jerry Adler went on record as stating: “Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school: that new species evolve out of existing ones by the gradual accumulation of small changes, each of which helps the organism survive and compete in the environment” (96[18]:95, emp. added). Nothing in this regard has changed in the more than two decades since Mr. Adler made his admission.
The cover of the March 1-7, 2008 issue of NewScientist pictures an illustrator’s attempt at drawing a half fish/half reptilian creature. Above the illustration is the title: “Amazing Missing Links: Creatures that Reveal the Real Power of Evolution.” Allegedly, evolutionists “have abundant evidence for how all the major groups of animals are related, much of it in the form of excellent transitional fossils” (Prothero, 2008, 197[2645]:35). After making half a page of introductory comments, the author, Donald Prothero, listed several alleged transitional fossils, which supposedly “are conclusive proof that evolution has occurred, and is still occurring” (p. 41). Included in this list were a variety of animals—from velvet worms to dinosaurs, and giraffes to manatees. Readers, however, have to go no further than Prothero’s introduction to see the inaccuracy of his assertions.
Prothero introduced his list of “transitional forms” that supposedly prove evolution with two examples to which science dealt a crushing blow long ago. Prothero wrote: “Darwin’s 1859 prediction that transitional forms would be found was quickly confirmed. In 1861 the first specimen of Archaeopteryx—a classic transitional form between dinosaurs and birds—was discovered, and in the 1870s the iconic sequence of fossil horses was documented” (p. 35, emp. added). Of the alleged “numerous fossils and fossil sequences showing evolutionary change,” Prothero chose to begin his article with Archaeopteryx and the “sequence of horse fossils,” both of which are supposedly “documented” proof of evolution. In truth, Archaeopteryx and the horse family tree are light years away from confirming evolution.
Regarding horse evolution, the fossil record simply does not bear out what NewScientist writer Prothero claimed. In fact, due to the glaring lack of fossil evidence linking the various horse “family members” together, even prominent evolutionists have abandoned the “horse evolution” argument. Prothero claimed that as far back as “the 1870s the iconic sequence of fossil horses was documented” (p. 35). Since that time, however, evolutionists such as Dr. George Gaylord Simpson have admitted, “The uniform, continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers, never happened in nature” (Simpson, 1953, p. 125, emp. added). In a 2000 article that appeared in the journal Natural History, Dr. Stephen Jay Gould soundly criticized science textbooks’ use of misinformation surrounding the evolution of horses. He wrote:
Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because, as stated above, textbooks copy from previous texts. (I have written two essays on this lamentable practice: one on the amusingly perennial description of the eohippus, or “dawn horse,” as the size of a fox terrier, even though most authors, including yours truly, have no idea of the dimensions or appearance of this breed...) [2000, 109[2]:45, emp. added].
In light of such statements by renowned evolutionists, one wonders how Prothero can be so confident that the evolution of horses was documented by fossils as far back as the 1870s. Is Prothero’s article just another example of how “misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent” in many evolutionary writings?
And what about Archaeopteryx? Is it a “confirmed” transitional form, as Prothero asserted? Simply because Archaeopteryx has teeth in its beak and claws on its wings, does not prove that it was the transitional form between reptiles and birds. Consider that some modern birds have claws on their wings, and yet no one thinks of them as being missing links. The African bird known as touraco has claws on its wings, as does the hoatzin of South America when it is young. Both of these birds use their fully functional claws to grasp branches and climb trees. If you have ever seen an ostrich close up, you might have noticed that it, too, has claws on each wing and can use them if attacked. Obviously, simply because a bird in the fossil record is discovered with claws on its wings does not mean that it is a transitional fossil.
In 1993, Science News reported that an odd fossil bird had been unearthed in Mongolia. It supposedly is millions of years younger than Archaeopteryx and, interestingly, had teeth in its beak (Monasterky, 1993, 143:245). As with the claws on the wings of Archaeopteryx, evolutionists cannot prove that the presence of teeth make the animal something more than a bird. What’s more, consider that while most reptiles have teeth, turtles do not. And, some fish and amphibians have teeth, while other fish and amphibians have no teeth. How can evolutionists be so sure that Archaeopteryx’s teeth make it a dinosaur-bird link? Such an assertion is based on unprovable assumptions.
Archaeopteryx also had fully formed feathers, just like living birds. Fossils of Archaeopteryx leave no hint of the animal being a half-scaly/half-feathered creature. It was not in some kind of in-between stage. Furthermore, “[e]xperts don’t know what Archaeopteryx’s closest [alleged—KB/EL] dinosaur ancestor looked like—fossils haven’t yet been found” (“Fossil Evidence,” 2007), i.e., evolutionists have been entirely unsuccessful in finding the real alleged transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds.
Finally, what makes the suggestion that Archaeopteryx was the missing link between reptiles and birds even more unbelievable is that “[a]nother bird fossil found in the desert of west Texas in 1983, Protoavis, is dated even earlier, 75 million years before Archaeopteryx” (DeYoung, 2000, p. 37, emp. added). Although some paleontologists have questions about the fossil remains of Protoavis (birds, after all, were not supposed to be around with the “earliest dinosaurs”), Dr. Chatterjee of Texas Tech University “has pointed out, the skull of Protoavis has 23 features that are fundamentally bird-like, as are the forelimbs, the shoulders, and the hip girdle” (Harrub and Thompson, 2001). In 1991, Science magazine ran a story titled “Early Bird Threatens Archaeopteryx’s Perch,” wherein Alan Anderson wrote: “His [Chaterjee’s—KB/EL] reconstruction also shows a flexible neck, large brain, binocular vision, and, crucially, portals running from the rear of the skull to the eye socket—a feature seen in modern birds but not dinosaurs” (253:35).
The fact is, the fossil record does not, in any way, demonstrate that dinosaurs evolved into birds or that horses evolved from little, dog-like creatures. Ironically, although Prothero, writing for New Scientist, wrote that a “favourite lie” of creationists is ‘there are no transitional fossils’” (2008, 197[2645]:35), evolutionist Mark Ridley wrote an article for the same journal 27 years earlier and confessed that “no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation...” (1981, 90:832, emp. added).


Darwin’s theory of evolution is false for a host of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it cannot account for the origin of life. According to Darwin, the simple cell, which he honestly thought was simple—contrary to modern cell biology—could have arisen from non-living chemicals in a warm little chemical pond (Darwin, 1959, 2:202).
Every evolutionary scientist must recognize that the fundamental tenet of organic evolution is the idea that life arose from non-living material substances such as chemicals. This idea, often referred to as spontaneous generation, certainly is testable. Ironically, however, biological scientists have been testing this idea for centuries and have discovered that life in this Universe does not and cannot arise spontaneously from natural processes. This fact is well-known and admitted even by evolutionary scientists. George Wald, the Harvard professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, wrote in Biological Sciences: “If life comes only from life, does this mean that there was always life on earth? It must, yet we know that this cannot be so. We know that the world was once without life—that life appeared later. How? We think it was by spontaneous generation” (1963, p. 42, emp. added). David Kirk noted: “By the end of the nineteenth century there was general agreement that life cannot arise from the nonliving under conditions that now exist upon our planet. The dictum ‘All life from preexisting life’ became the dogma of modern biology, from which no reasonable man could be expected to dissent” (1975, p. 7). Even the eminent evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson and his colleagues observed that “there is no serious doubt that biogenesis is the rule, that life comes only from other life, that a cell, the unit of life, is always and exclusively the product or offspring of another cell” (1965, p. 144, emp. added). And marine biologist Martin Moe stated:
A century of sensational discoveries in the biological sciences has taught us that life arises only from life, that the nucleus governs the cell through the molecular mechanisms of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and that the amount of DNA and its structure determine not only the nature of the species but also the characteristics of individuals (1981, p. 36, emp. added).
In 2005, Dr. Robert Hazen, a well-respected origins-of-life researcher, produced a college-level course titled “Origins of Life.” In that course, he made several telling admissions. He stated: “First, this course is unusual because at this point in time, there is much that we don’t know about how life emerged on Earth” (p. 5). He further declared:
This course focuses exclusively on the scientific approach to the question of life’s origins. In this lecture series, I make an assumption that life emerged from basic raw materials.... Even with this scientific approach, there is a possibility that we’ll never know how life originated.... If life is the result of an infinitely improbable succession of chemical steps, then any scientific attempt to understand life’s origin is doomed to failure (1:6, emp. added).
According, then, to every piece of experimental datum that has been collected, life in this material Universe does not arise from non-living chemicals. Thousands of experiments have been designed and executed, each of which verify this fact (for more information see Thompson, 1989). Biogenesis deals the crushing blow to Darwin’s theory.


In grappling with the moral implications of his theory, Charles Darwin arrived at the only conclusion that can be inferred logically. He stated: “A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones” (1958, p. 94, emp. added).
William Provine, a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the distinguished Cornell University, commented on Darwin’s position on morals as they relate to evolution. Eleven years ago, Provine delivered the keynote address at the second annual Darwin Day on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In an abstract of that speech, on UT’s Darwin Day Web site, Provine’s introductory comments are recorded in the following words: “Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent” (1998, emp. added).
Carefully notice the underlying effects of such assertions. If there is no God, as Darwin admitted evolution implies, then humans are not bound by any moral standard other than the instincts that each human desires to follow. Thus, if one person considers it best to beat his children, while another considers it best to lovingly nurture his children, according to evolution, both would be acting in accord with their evolutionary origins, and neither would be guilty of any real, moral right or wrong. [NOTE: cf. two previous Reason & Revelation articles document what happens when Darwin’s thoughts are practically applied to the human experience (see Butt, 2008a, Butt, 2008b).] Heinously immoral actions, such as infanticide, rape, murder, sexual promiscuity, pedophilia, homosexuality, adultery, and abortion, have all found justification in Darwin’s theory. Darwin’s theory implies that humans can act like animals without any moral responsibility.


In the creation/evolution debate, 2009 promises to be an eventful year. Darwin will be honored, adored, praised, and worshiped by his faithful followers, in spite of the fact that his ideas were not only wrong, but often detrimental to the moral fabric of human society. In this article, we have provided only a few of the myriad evidences that disprove evolution. We could multiply this material by 100 and still only scratch the surface of all the lines of evidence that “kill” the theory of evolution. As Darwin himself said years ago: “To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact” (“The Quotable Darwin,” 2009).


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