Evolving controversy

Evolution theory. It has been a subject close to my heart for many years. Why is it controversial now?

For starters, recently [first week of Jan 2018] in India Union minister Satya Pal Singh , who is the minister of state for human resource development had stoked a controversy saying that our ancestors have nowhere mentioned that they saw an ape turning into a man, thereby casting doubts on Darwin’s evolution theory.

In January 2018, he stuck to his claim that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution of man is “not scientific” and called for an international debate on the issue to decide if it merits a place in school textbooks.

Blaming the media for fuelling a controversy over his statement, Singh said the issue calls for debate and not controversy. “In the last 100 years, many evidences have come out against the theory, in favour hardly anybody. It is not my statement. So many world scientists have said it,” Singh, the former Mumbai Police Commissioner, said.

I felt this is  good time to try to clear the murky atmosphere of Evolution.

What do I mean by evolution? It may be totally different from what you understand, so let me explain by defining it as I understand.

Evolution is a change in the characteristics of a living being over generations. 

Sounds simple, right?

The problem starts when people start assuming or rather over estimating the degree of change that this simple process can bring about.

For example, let us look at the dog.

Dog breeds

If you call this evolution, fine. I would agree. Dogs have been selectively bred by intelligent human beings to give them desired characteristics over hundreds of years.

But look at this picture

animalsEvolution

Creative Imagination

The above picture is what I call stretching your imagination 🙂

It is okay to think that dogs can evolve, but to think a dog can evolve into a cat? It just shows how ignorant these people are about the complexities of life and especially about genetics.

Let me explain in simple terms:

There are millions of species of living beings on earth [and the numbers are fast declining every day]

Each species is unique and cannot breed or produce viable offspring when mated with another, no matter how similar looking.

I believe that an intelligent being, popularly called God, created species and defined them some time in the past.

He also gave the creatures he created the ability to adapt and survive in this physical world that we inhabit. This is again a testimony to his wisdom, his ability to see beyond time and space, into the future, where he knew that we humans would be altering the world due to our greed and mindless consumption.

This ability to adapt and survive is being stretched beyond its designed parameters and hence we see species getting extinct these days.

However many species do adapt and survive, some better than others. For example pests like flies, cockroaches and mosquitoes seem to thrive in these conditions.

But there is a limit to how much a species can adapt or change, and that is written in its DNA by the one who made it in the first place.

The problem with us humans is that we like to think we are gods. That we can decide what is true. That we can simply issue a statement and it will change the facts:

For example, the United States National Academy of Sciences states:

Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth’s history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.

— National Academy of Sciences, Science, Evolution, and Creationism[24]

The confusion caused by the definition of Evolution adds to this. If you go by the simple definition that I gave earlier of dogs, it is nothing but adaptation. If you try to go by the definition proposed by some over-imaginative “scientists”, it would mean something like the Creative Imagination picture I posted.

That, dear reader, is what mainly causes the controversy. The degree of change considered possible by this process of ‘Evolution’.

And of course among other things the refusal to consider that there even exists a loving and intelligent being who could have created you and me and the entire universe.

The God who created you and me so wonderfully, has also given you free will to choose absolutely anything. You can decide what or whom to believe. Ultimately it is a matter of the heart.

I do not want to give you enough scientific reasons to make you realize the fallacies of the 2nd picture, but I want to plant a seed of a desire to find out for yourself what is true. Because in that way the faith you find would be truly yours.

 

 

 

 

 

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Homecoming or Ghar Wapsi?

There is a lot of talk about Ghar Wapsi or Homecoming in India nowadays [Dec 2014], especially by people belonging to the RSS or similar groups who want people of other faiths living in India to embrace a particular religion.

I say, great! I am for it too!

What, exclaim my friends! You being a Christian are saying this?

I say, cool, relax, let me explain 🙂

Ghar Wapsi or Homecoming is all about going back to our original religion, the God whom our very first ancestor worshipped at the beginning, right?

If that is so, let us peek back in time, shall we?

Where have our ancestors, forefathers come from?

National Geographic did a study on Mitochondrial DNA to study where humans have migrated from. “Every drop of human blood contains a history book written in the language of our genes,” says population geneticist Spencer Wells, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence.

In the mid-1980s the late Allan Wilson and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, used mtDNA to pinpoint humanity’s ancestral home. The map of human migration which they made based on mitochondrial DNA studies. The map was a big surprise for those who believed that humans have come out of Africa! [Please see at bottom of post]

Archeology and history also point to the fact that our earliest recorded civilizations are no more than five thousand years old, and most of them are located in the region of present day Iraq. [If evolutionary timeframes were true, where is the evidence for the so-called millions of years of human history?]

Did you know that there are stories of a global flood in almost all the people and cultures of the world, either in written form or oral.

The Bible in Genesis also tells us about a global flood around 4500 years ago, ie 2500 BC.

Why was there a flood?

Just a few centuries after Adam and Eve, this is what happened: The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created–and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground–for I regret that I have made them.”

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

(Genesis 6:5-8 NIV)

History tells us that this flood wiped out all humans who existed at that time except for eight people on the ark.

After the flood the ark with Noah and his three sons and their wives settled in the region near Mount Ararat.

The placing of the catastrophic global flood in the year 2504 BC means that all civilizations discovered by archaeology must fit into the last 4,500 years.

Within a few centuries of the flood, humans had spread over the Middle East.

After God confused their languages at Babel, around 2200 BC humans spread out to the entire world [Genesis 11:9].

So our ancestors came from the region of present day Iraq [as confirmed by genetic analysis]

So what is our original religion?

God has made man with a heart that loves to worship. We still love to worship anything or everything that we adore or aspire. Some worship money, others power, others a Cricket hero and so on.

After Noah, God allowed his descendants the freedom to worship whatever or whoever their hearts desired. That is how religions came into existence. Religion is man trying to reach out to God. What prevents man from connecting with God is our own selfish nature, our heart. That is why the Bible talks about the amazing love of God in reaching out to us humans as Jesus Christ, the Saviour who would rescue us from our sins and shame.

Since we are on the topic of Ghar Vapsi or Homecoming, let us come back to Noah our very first ancestor. He worshipped the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth!

Indians [and the whole of humanity] are descended from Noah and his three sons and their wives who were in the ark with him.

That is why I say, I am all for Ghar Vapsi or Homecoming! I say, let us all, all Indians, go back to the original, the God that our very first father worshipped. God is waiting for all of us to return to Him.

PS: No one can force or tempt you to accept the real Jesus Christ.

Why? Because Christianity is a heart relationship with God through Jesus Christ born out of love.

Jesus never promised money, property, jobs or fame, only inner peace, joy, eternal life and freedom from Sin, along with persecution from those who are opposed to the truth!

Have a blessed homecoming or Ghar Wapsi, dear reader.

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My answer to the Jihadist and Moral Police

By Jihadist or Moral Police I mean people who wish to see society behave in a morally righteous or legally ‘correct’ manner and are willing to do anything, even take up arms, to achieve their ends.

This is what is called Moral Fanaticism.

We see it ever increasing in this world today.

Figure 1 Common scenes across the world today

Is there an answer to such Moral Fanatics?

Yes indeed!

The moral fanatic imagines that his moral purity will prove a match for the power of evil.

But like a bull he goes for the red rag instead of the man holding the red rag. He grows weary and succumbs; he becomes entangled with non-essentials, and falls into the trap set by the superior ingenuity of his adversary, the prince of this world, the father of lies, who is much more cleverer than any human being who relies on his own intelligence or even worse, philosophy or belief system.

Figure 2 Moral Police

These are the words of none other than Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was hanged in 1945 for his part in an assassination attempt on Hitler in his Letters and Papers from Prison begun in 1942. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/bonhoeffer.html

The opening essay is titled After Ten Years. Here Bonhoeffer identifies with the evil of the times, and especially the war. He speaks of the unreasonable situations which reasonable people must face.

He warns against those who are deceived by evil that is disguised as good, and he cries out against misguided moral fanatics and the slaves of tradition and rules.

In viewing the horrors of war, Bonhoeffer reminds us that what we despise in others is never entirely absent from ourselves.

This warning against contempt for humanity is very important in light of authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus, whose contempt for the war turned into disillusion with humanity. This is a striking contrast between several witnesses to the war who came to very different conclusions.

Bonhoeffer’s conclusions were the direct result of a personal relationship with Christ. The conclusions of Hemingway, Sartre, and Camus were the pessimistic observations of those without a final hope.

“God’s truth judges created things out of love, and Satan’s truth judges them out of envy and hatred.”

The peacemakers abhor the violence that is so often used to solve problems.

This point would be of special significance for Bonhoeffer, who was writing on the eve of World War II. The peacemakers maintain fellowship where others would find a reason to break off a relationship. These individuals always see another option.

So what is the difference between morality and true righteousness?

This picture will give you an idea.

Figure 3 The difference between Morality or Self-righteousness from True Righteousness

The one who thinks of himself as righteous has a partial understanding of true life and joy in the Spirit.

Here is a link you might find useful. http://thedomesticfringe.com/morality-vs-righteousness/

morality says…

Do what is right.

Righteousness says…

Be right with God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

morality says…

Live by the Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Righteousness says…

Love your neighbor as yourself.

And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. ~ Matthew 22:39

God bless you with true righteousness today. J