examinescience

A personal journey into the world of Science and Human History

This Day in History: Scopes Monkey Trial

In the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, in some of the hottest weather of the year, two heavyweights or oration and law met over the teaching of a quiet teacher of slight build named John Thomas Scopes. It was one of the worst events in the church’s collective history. While it did not kill people like the Salem witch trials or the Inquisition, it effectively alienated the religious institution from the scientific community.

To be fair to my fundamentalist forefathers, it was a circus show to begin with. The ALCU staged most of it by picking a fight through the likes of Scopes. I rather think that Scopes had no idea what the ALCU had cooked up for him, but such is life.

Still, even though baited and prodded by the ALCU and others, Scopes did indeed break the law (Butler Act of 1925), by teaching evolution in his classroom. The funny thing is that no one ever thought that the law would be enforced. Not even the governor of Tennessee planned to actually enforce the law he signed.

Yet the stage was set and the big guns came in to town for a trial starting on the 1oth of July, 1925. I think that Bryan thought he was winning (indeed he did get the ruling as a fine was levied against Scopes), but in hindsight, he lost before he started, just like the modern evangelicals are losing with the issue of homosexual marriage.

The Scopes Monkey Trial ended in the death of Bryan (he passed five days after the trial), the end of Scopes’ teaching career (he went on to study geology), and almost zero pressure on evolutionary scientists while it further alienated Christianity from science. It was not worth it.

We must be better…do better. And we will.

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Alienating ourselves from Culture

Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, 1925

Clarence Darrow, a famous Chicago lawyer, and William Jennings Bryan, defender of Fundamentalism, have a friendly chat in a courtroom during the Scopes evolution trial. Darrow defended John T. Scopes, a biology teacher, who decided to test the new Tenessee law banning the teaching of evolution. Bryan took the stand for the prosecution as a bible expert. The trial in 1925 ended in conviction of Scopes. ca. 1925 Dayton, Tennessee, USA

As I write this post, I’m in the middle of researching the Scopes Monkey Trial, wherein a Tennessee school teacher by the name of John Thomas Scopes violated the Butler Act of 1925 and taught evolution in his local high school. As some of you know from your high school history, this was the modern equivalent of Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church.

The entire thing was a sham. The ACLU wanted a test case to run up to the Supreme Court and the fundamentalists wanted to prove that they were more powerful than the liberals of the time.

Quick side note: This is a theme reoccurring today. Replaced by evangelicals, the religious establishment is still trying to prove it is more powerful than liberal ideology. In fact, if you go back to the New Testament, Jesus ran into the same problem when he tried to talk to the Pharisees and Sadducees of his day. Any time a religious sect is in power, they try to stay in power. This is very frustrating for the following reason: The possibility of even some form of evolution “poisoning” the evangelical establishment will result in the most vehement response. Instead of taking the time to effectively evaluate the information, like William Jennings Bryan, they lash out and attack.

Normally, I don’t get involved in this issue. I avoid most Facebook debates like the plague. It’s just not worth it. I’d rather debate in person anyway because I can manage the situation better. I wish William Jennings Bryan had done the same thing. The Scopes Monkey Trial was the historical predecessor of modern Facebook debates. It was all yelling and arguing without a single forward idea made.

It did manage to do one thing…it alienated fundamentalists from American society. Now, granted, fundamentalists had been heading this way for a long time and most believed God wanted them alienated from society. However, instead of having a method of working themselves into a conversation with society, which could have led to the gospel witness, fundamentalists torched any possibility.

My hope through this journey is that, in addition to discovering some answers about how the creation account differs and matches reality, we can bridge the gap between society and the gospel, to introduce the former to the latter. To that end, it will never be my desire to alienate myself from society and culture.

To keep up with this project and to learn how to engage culture, sign up here.

Neanderthal: The Other Human

sting

Copyright: http://www.sting.com. All rights reserved.

I’m a big Sting fan. Ok, I have one of his albums and part of a Police greatest collection. Still, I love his music. It’s soothing, complicated, deep, and yet fun. Very good stuff. One song in particular makes gives me a giggle. It’s called Seven Days and it’s about a woman who has given her man seven days to make a decision about her before she moves on to another man. In that song, Sting sings about his rival and his situation. Here’s a few lines from the song:

Ask if I’m a mouse or man
The mirror squeaked, away I ran
He’ll murder me
In time for his tea
Does it bother me at all?
My rival is Neanderthal

neanderthal-national-geo_front-300x199

Picture from National Geographic.

We all have that one guy at work who acts like he drags his knuckles down the hall as he walks. He’s rather obtuse at times and he’d be more at home pounding something into something else than delicate repair work on something like electronics. Sting’s song is cute, but it belays a foundational problem for us: We treat Neanderthals like they’re a joke, but they are not. Not only is Neanderthal not a joke for Christians, but he’s someone that we have to truly come to terms with.

Here’s why:  Christians tend to explain Neanderthals away by saying that they were just humans who had diseases or deformities. They say this because of the unique bone structure and walking gait, among a few other things. If you have that mindset, you are partially correct. Neanderthal and human DNA is pretty close, differing at some 3 million points among billions. That seems pretty close, especially if you consider that the Chimpanzee is close enough to be 30 million points off of ours. Unfortunately, those 3 million are pretty important differences.

This is why Christians must wrestle with the issue of Neanderthals, and other humanoids for that matter. It would seem that we have more than one species of human on our hands, and Neanderthals is just the most famous of them. He certainly isn’t the only one. Anyone remember Lucy? Now that scientists have mapped some of the genetic code for Neanderthals, we know that they were different enough to be human-like, but not human as we are.

Not only must we wrestle with the issue, but we will…on this blog and in the coming book. It’s too important not too. And I have a theory brewing in the back of my mind about how it all relates to Genesis One.

To keep up with the research, click HERE.

Dearest Mother mtDNA Eve

My mother came from Africa…well, if you trace the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) back far enough. Science generally accepts this theory as having enough evidence to call a fact, or as much of a fact as scientists can without contradicting scientific dogma.

I remember talking to an atheist about this issue once. While he made various arguments about human evolution, I countered with the idea that, once upon a time, there had to be an eve. There had to be one human who was different enough from the apes around her that she was Eve. And there had to be a male who could mate with her, so once upon a time there had to be an Adam too.

My friend accepted my argument, but only despairingly. He certainly accepted that there had to be an original evolved couple that was different as to be called human, but of course he couldn’t accept the names Adam and Eve.

nwswk8I had no idea then, because I had just started my journey, but this is really an old argument in scientific circles. My friend and I just hadn’t learnt about it! In the 11 January, 1998 issue of Newsweek, an African-American-looking couple graced the cover. It wasn’t a normal shot of a couple, however. Instead, it mirrored the normally Caucasian version of Adam and Eve we see in older children’s Bible storybooks.

There was a time when scientists thought that the different races of homo sapiens sprung up individually in different regions. This is called the multiregionalism and while not completely disproven, it looks rather obsolete as a theory. I plan to write about that in some detail later on in the journey.

Ironically, the Eve of science isn’t all that old. She was probably alive around 200,000 years ago, and most likely in Africa.[1] With evolution’s timeframe consisting of some billions of years or more, it’s interesting to note that the evolution of human really took a foothold so recently.

But where does this leave us? I think this puts us in a great place! Unfortunately, many, many of my brothers and sisters in fundamentalist camps (read: evangelical) will reject the idea because it’s more than a 6,000 year timeline and science still holds that it required evolutionary movement from an ape-like animal to human.

Yet the journey isn’t about finding a magical bullet. Rather, I am trying to investigate science for what it might show me about God’s creative process. In that the “Our of Africa” model, with it’s beginning point at mtDNA Eve, I find a great common point between creation and evolution. And now that there is also a way to trace the Adam Y chromosome as well, a truly common point of emphasis is starting to form.[2]

I used to be caught up in the fight against Peking Man, Java Man, Lucy, and the rest. I rejected a common ancestor because I thought that scientists were trying to show that all of them were on my ancestral timeline. Once Eve became a reality, however, a clearer picture formed.

There is still much work to do, and much more research to sift through. But I am excitedly celebrating the idea of mitochondrial Eve and look forward to learning more about “mom.”

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[1] Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Real Eve: Modern Man’s Journey Out of Africa, Carroll and Graf Publishers, New York. 2003. Pg 37.

[2] Ibid, pg 41.

Transition to the next Topic

Your children, as you already know, are inundated with ages of the earth that are astronomically different than most evangelical estimates. This can cause some confusion and leave evangelical children outside looking in socially and educationally in public schools. The goal of this blog is to keep that from happening by arming you with real data in as unbiased a manner as possible.

The central question to be asked in order to combat his issue is this: Can Genesis and evolutionary science reside together? I hope so, but I have concerns that must be addressed. This post attempts to do so while providing a path ahead.

We know, in general terms, what evolutionary science tells us about the “creation” of everything. Most notably, it takes a very, very long time and like doesn’t always give way to like. Creation accounts from Genesis, however, suggest that creation was fairly short, certainly not billions upon billions of years, and that God created everything, “after its kind.”

This is the problem: If God created everything, and evolution says everything happened by chance, how could they coexist?

We must always go back to the beginning. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” We can debate timeframes later. The important thing to understand is that it doesn’t allow for macro forms of evolution. “Read literally, this precludes evolution of one “kind” of plant or animal to another.”[1]

Genesis isn’t the only place that this occurs. John 1:1-3 tells the same story, but introduces Jesus as the co-creator with the Father. Here is the passage:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

My concern is that both of these passages, if read literally, remove the allowance of any macroevolution of any kind into the mind of the faithful follower of Christ. It probably doesn’t remove the idea of microevolution, as my daughter’s cystic fibrosis (CF) didn’t create a different kind of humanoid, but just a mutation that is at least hypothesized to defeat tuberculosis.

The Bible says that God created all of the “kinds” of animals, plants, fish, etc on this planet and left no place for the creation of one “kind” from another by chance. If evolution were proven correct, then, it would leave little place for the Bible. At best, it would remain as a testament to an older time of myth. At worst, it would be a relic of ignorant fools.

The example I can’t shake is the Mammoth, which is a cousin to the Asian elephant via some ancient, prehistoric elephant. If AiG and ICR are correct, then the Mammoth and the Asian elephant were together on the ark. Presumably the African elephant as well. Genetics suggest a different story.

I read a good book on this subject called How to Clone a Mammoth, by Dr. Beth Shapiro. It’s an excellent book on cloning, genetics, evolution, and extinction. The problem is that it lays out a good case for how the mammoth and other elephants evolved, and that wasn’t even the goal of the book!

The biggest issue is the genetics connection between the mammoth and the Asian elephant. Geographically, it makes sense that the two are related because Asian elephants could have been a natural southern cousin to the northern mammoths. But the problem is that they’re different species, yet have so much concurrent genetic code that we can use Asian elephants (someday) to clone a mammoth (or something close to it).

I don’t want to be too forward in invoking the dad card here, but we’ve simply got to figure out this stuff. First, does the Bible allow for this sort of evolution? I’m not sure it does. Genesis 1:1+ and John 1:1-3 seem to allow only for God in creating actual species. I don’t think the Bible cares how long we’ve been here, but I do think it wants us to know that He created all of the species.

Unfortunately, naturalists have known for a long time that not all species lived together at the same time. As early as the 1820s, long before Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands, naturalists and paleontologists knew that different strata in the geological record had different specimens. More than that, the specimens appeared and disappeared, indicating different creations and extinctions.[2] This idea had sprung up around the same time in England with a fellow named William Smith, who, as a canal digger, realized that different strata along his canals contained very different specimens. While Smith never made a conclusion against faith, and as far as we know stayed true to his religious stance, he did realize that something wasn’t as traditionally taught.[3]

But there were no other creations, at least not without a gap theory, and we’ve looked into that and found that theory lacking, unfortunately, though more research is needed.

So I’m going to turn my attention from cystic fibrosis (as a research project) to the fossil record, particularly with the mammoth, to see if I can find an answer to the issue at hand.

Your comments are welcome below, as is your subscription to this blog, which you can get by clicking HERE.

[1] Larson, Edward J. Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory. Random House. New York, NY, 2004. Pg 11.

[2] Ibid, pg 29

[3] Prothero, Donald R. Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. Columbia University Press, 2007. pg 55.

Choosing the Right Bible for the Journey

If you’re a Christian and you’re like me, you are struggling with the scientific data coming to you. Sometimes it seems like Christianity, and the traditional reading of the scriptures, can be defended fairly easily. Then there are times that make you doubt what you believe. This is normal (at least I hope it is) and you shouldn’t be ashamed to admit it.

You have to have the right tools for this journey. A family doesn’t usually just jump in a car and drive across country (believe me, that would be a disaster). As a military family, we’ve moved plenty of times, and every time we’ve done it, we’ve had to have a plan. Where will we stop? What supplies do we need for the trip? Where are the gas stations and bathrooms along the planned road? Do we have time to make a stop at that cool place to explore? Yes, the questions are plenty.
And if you’re embarking, or have embarked, on a journey like the one I’m on, to discover as much as possible about the truth, you need to have the right supplies. For a long time, I have existed with a study Bible on my iPad. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. More than anything, I like having my notes electronically. That way, through the Olive Tree app, I can access my notes on my iPad, my iPhone, or my MacBook. No matter where I am, I can always get to my notes.

Another reason I have tried not to buy another physical Bible is that I think we, particularly in the western world, are inundated with Bibles while so many overseas are too poor to afford one or don’t have access to one. So as my old KJV Thompson Chain wore out, I held out buying a new one. That one was a gift from my church in my hometown when I graduated from high school, so no shame that it couldn’t last. It’s been 20 years! I do still go to it periodically, but it’s time to retire it.

But I’m an old soul in an aging body, and I still like to turn pages. Even more than that, I like to have research notes handy. That’s why my wife and I both decided it was time for a new Bible. I ordered the ESV Study Bible after reading a great article on choosing a study Bible. I highly recommend the article!

My Review:

The ESV Study Bible is big (4.2lbs)! I usually don’t take it to church because of its size, but I did this weekend and, as I had expected, it was really too big to be toting around. I don’t regret buying it, though. It’s big for a reason. It has more notes than I can hope to absorb and a lot of study guides. All of that information comes for a price though, and it’s size is the price.

Update (August): I’ve started taking the Bible to church more often because, with the lighting system our church has, the overhead lights glare off of my iPad screen. I’m concerned sometimes that I might be blasting my worshipping neighbor with the glare!

Speaking of information, the notes are amazing! As a sailor stationed aboard the USS Hue City (CG 66), it helps immensely. I was able to take the notes on Matthew 6, for example, and teach a class on the Lord’s Prayer to a few fellow sailors. I’ve had a lot of Bibles over time, most of them including some form of notes, and this is the best I’ve seen.

IMG_5383

As the picture to the left shows, the notes come complete with drawings as well. As with many,probably most, study Bibles,  the ESV Study Bible comes with maps also. I found them to be more than adequate. It is the drawings that I find most useful, however.

The notes are listed in order of verse number. Inside the verses themselves is a letter combination system that cross-references other passages with the same theme. Those are found on the inside margins.

Another thing I found particularly useful was the concordance. I’m doing a word study on forgiveness (I’m sure that’s something I’ll blog about at some point) and having such a large listing without going to another source is very helpful. I still plan to go to outside sources like commentaries and my trusty copy of Strongs that my grandparents used to have in Kansas, yet I’m more than pleased with the ESV Study Bible.

I’ve never had a daily reading plan before in a study Bible, and I found it both interesting and helpful. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to mark out the passages as I read them or keep track of what I do another way, but it’s nice to have. As I go through the Bible, however, I think I’ll stay with my daily readings from the Olive Tree app that I use on my iPad and iPhone.

Update (August): Here’s how I’ve started working the electronic and physical copies of my Bible. I have started using the physical book for actual research while using the electronic Bible to record my notes and run searches for words and phrases. When I’m at church, to avoid the glare that my iPad screen produces, I use my iPhone to update the Olive Tree app if the pastor says something I want to keep hold of.

Update (August): This is a blog on creationism and evolution, so how does the ESV Bible handle the issue? Very well, I’m pleased to say. I was concerned about how a relatively conservative group of scholars might work through Genesis 1, but I’m very excited. A full two pages are devoted to the ideas of Genesis 1, including a discussion on the different ideas of how Christians explain the creation. Day-age, the gap theory, and others are all given their due here. Most importantly, the scholars report that none of the five major creation theories are in conflict with Genesis 1. Theistic evolution, however, is not mentioned in that group and therefore must be considered suspect by those scholars (Dr. Miller would be upset I’m sure).

The scholars also discuss the issue of genealogies, which means they have probably accepted the idea that Ussher inadvertently miscalculated his time of creation. Go to that post for specifics on the matter.

I’m very excited about having the ESV Study Bible for this research project because it will give me the ammunition I need as a theologically conservative Christian while encouraging me in the freedom I have in Christ to learn and expand my horizon.

If you have any questions you’d like to ask about the ESV Study Bible, please do so in the comments and I will do my best to answer them as I use the Bible. Thanks!

 

The difficulty of remaining unbiased in Research

I struggled at points in my graduate work because I already had presuppositions about things such as the pretribulational rapture, the role of baptism in the Christian life, and yes, even creation. While I “survived” my graduate work, I did struggle (please don’t look up my GPA!).

That struggle continues as I conduct research in the scientific world of modern evolution science. It started with cystic fibrosis, wherein I noticed a time gap between when cystic fibrosis started to appear and when the causal agent started to appear. My presupposition was that evolution could not have caused cystic fibrosis because its agent wasn’t “available.”

I may or may not be right about that; the research continues. I want to find holes in the evolutionary natural history that only biblical events could explain. That’s my problem. No matter how unbiased I attempt to be, I struggle with my preconceived notions.

I’m certainly not the first person to struggle with this. In the 1700s, natural historians started realizing that the world had to be older than we first thought. Georges Cuvier, the 18th Century French naturalist who conducted a lot of work in the field of paleontology, never left his Protestant roots as he learned more about the development of nature around him. In fact, he remained a Protestant to his death. He reviewed the ideas on evolution at the time (no, Darwin wasn’t the first to think of it), and “found it wanting.”[1] Like Cuvier, I have been reviewing the theory of evolution and have my issues.

And also like Cuvier, I have my biases against evolution. I DON’T WANT IT TO BE TRUE! Is that so wrong? Probably not, but what is wrong is that I claim to want to review the scientific data on its own without my biases so that I can find the truth for my kids. I don’t want them confused in school or ridiculed unnecessarily for beliefs that I have always taken for granted. Yet I struggle hard with these presumptions about evolution and creation which I must get past.

So today we try again. Again we look at science as modern scientists want us to. If anything, I need to see the current scientific study from their perspective, which is the presumption that the theory of evolution is correct and time will give us the answers that we’re seeking (such as in the case of transitional life forms).

I can’t promise that I’ll always be unbiased, but I’m hopeful that I can proceed with the correct mindset. Click HERE to stay on top of the research project.

[1] Larson, Edward J. Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory. Random House. New York, NY, 2000, pg 10.

The Fall of Man, Microevolution, and the Cruelty of Nature

As I review the scientific literature, I become more and more convinced that some microevolution occurred and probably still occurs. I also believe that this microevolution could be the result of the fall of man. The end of this argument postulates that the fall of man created the petri dish of the current natural order.

Let me give you an example:

Darwin made the case for evolution based in part on how cruel the world was, including how vicious animals were in the wild (humans too really). This was to counter the idea that God’s creation was perfect and that, even in its fallen state the natural order continued in the design of almost benevolence.[1]

I think that the fall of man demands cruelty in the natural world. When Adam and Eve fell, the world order crumbled under the weight of their sin. Natural order that had existed suddenly didn’t. Replacing it was the necessary reality that many animals continued to eat plants, but some animals became adapted to eating other animals, and humans adapted to eating both. Teeth structures, digestive systems, instincts, etc, need time to adapt, so it would probably have been several generations for this fall to fully come to pass. During that adaptive process, mutations of other sorts also occurred, such as my nemesis, cystic fibrosis.

I realize that I’m speaking as an apologist in this post. I am, at my core, a believer in Jesus Christ who is wrestling with the natural history of the world. I am simply a husband, father, and believer seeking to find answers. The answers I’m finding so far, however, don’t tell me that evolution is true as natural selection suggests.

So the search continues. Click HERE to sign up for updates.

[1] Larson, Edward J. Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory. Random House. New York, NY, 2004. Pg 90.

The Day that God Created the Heavens and the Earth

Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” The next several verses detail that creative act that takes place, from a literal reading of the Bible, in six days. Yet in Genesis 2:4, the writer says, “these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”

So did he take six days or one day? Traditionalists, fundamentalists, and most evangelicals will believe that an old earth creation is just not possible because God took six days to create the earth, not billions, and that there are generations for only six thousand years or so.

Here’s the problem with that thinking. If you’re willing to read the Bible literally, and I certainly believe there are parts that should be read that way, then you have to decide if God made the earth in six days, as Genesis one says, or in one day as Genesis two says.

I don’t personally see a problem because I don’t think it should be read literally. I think Genesis one shows that God was intimately involved in the creation of the world and everything in it, and I believe that Genesis two is the general brush strokes that show his artistic style.  I think, by the way, that this is another summary statement, much like Genesis 1:1 and 2:1. If anything, the “day” in Gen 2:4 suggests an “age” of creation, which denotes a progression, but I digress.

Also, there may very well be two writers of Genesis, with a second writer expanding on the first. This really upsets my more traditional brethren and sisters because it suggests Moses didn’t write Genesis with his own hand. I’m sure that I’ll write on that at some point, but I just don’t have time at the moment.

The point of this post isn’t to drive a wedge between Moses and the book supposedly authored by him, but to show my fellow fundamentalists that the traditional reading of scripture isn’t necessarily plausible and never was. Genesis tells us that God made everything, but even by chapter two of the first book of the Bible we have word problems.

In closing, I’m not saying that this is a problem. Instead, it is a fresh drink of cool water as it shows us that we can open up the scriptures and take a look at them, and see how God might have used the fossil record to fill in his gaps in creation. I’m very excited for this, and I hope you are too!

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Creation, Evolution, and Cystic Fibrosis (Part Five)

May is the month for cystic fibrosis awareness. It is also the month we conduct our annual Great Strides walk, which seeks to raise funds and awareness to combat this deadly disease. As I am a husband and a father before I am an amateur scientist, my loyalty is always going to be to my family.

I’ve said it before…we all have our biases. These are the presumptions that we bring to a particular issue. This can apply to everything from how we handle conflict at work to how we approach a research project. It also comes with us as part of our morality. Flawed though I am, I carry a certain moral code in me, just like you do, that I bring to the issue of cystic fibrosis.

At first, I was intrigued about the decline of cystic fibrosis in Brittany, a region of France. I’m not a mathematician, so wrapping my head about a formula that could show the increase or decrease in cases in any region just about blows my mind. I just don’t see how two people who haven’t been tested for a disease can prevent the future chances (roughly 1 in 4 according to Mendelian genetics) of the mutations being passed down. So when the cases were being reported in a decline in Brittany, I looked into it.

“We show, in this study, that the birth incidence of CF has dropped in our area following the implementation of prenatal diagnosis.”[1] It’s so clinical…so sterile. We have found a drop in CF since we learned how to predict if a baby in the womb has CF. Well, there’s only one way that ends, isn’t there? So here are the numbers according to the Scotet study: A full 35.8% of CF children were aborted on the sole basis of them having CF. Not allowed to live. Killed in the womb. Let it sink in for a minute.

This is evolution at its finest. Humans, the current evolutionary peak in nature, have decided to conduct evolution for themselves. After all, in mid-century 1900s and before, people with CF didn’t usually live into their teenage years anyway. This is just speeding up the process. And why have a child who suffers when you don’t have to?

This doesn’t just apply to CF either. “They both now take part in both premarital and prenatal testing, and even though every one in five pregnancies is abnormal, they can determine which embryos carry two copies of the same mutation and choose to terminate.”[2] This is in regards to Samaritans who can suffer from a wide array of genetic conditions. Yes, that’s the same Samaritans that Jesus talked about as being a good neighbor.

None of us want to pass on bad genes to our children. We want them to have the best of us…we want them to be better than us. So the answer is this: “Doctors can test a fetus early in pregnancy and terminate it if it carries the mutation.” This is in regards to Huntington’s disease.[3] So that’s how we’re going to handle disease…terminate the mass of cells that just happen to be developing into a baby, just like we might cut out a cancer.

Look, it’s clear that I’m not a normal person when it comes to things like this. I’m a Fundamentalist when it comes to abortions. I love babies, though I’ve only fathered three of them myself. And though I am a Fundamentalist, I’m also very flawed. I’m sure everyone is a hypocrite about something, and I have played the role in my life too.

But this is tantamount to the Tower of Babel. We have decided to be gods. If a developing baby (we call it a fetus so that we don’t have to admit that it’s a baby) proves to have a genetic disease, we terminate (KILL) it. We have decided to take evolution into our own hands.

Alicia and I were very surprised to find out she was pregnant with our third child. We had decided long before to stop trying. At first, I was extremely hesitant to have another baby after our daughter was born with cystic fibrosis. I did not want more than one sufferer in our family. We had already dealt with one “tune up” and a minor CF-related surgery with Samantha. My heart couldn’t take another child with that. So I told Alicia I wasn’t going to have another child. We could adopt maybe someday, but that was it.

I came around at some point, but by then we had both gotten a little older and another child would change the dynamics of our family a lot. So even though I wasn’t as worried about the genetics anymore, we decided two children were enough.

Imagine my surprise then, when she told me we were going to have another child! We went in for our first meeting with her OBGYN and wouldn’t you know it, one of the first things we talked about was genetics. I don’t remember the exact conversation word for word, but here’s the gist:

Doctor: So I see you have cystic fibrosis in your family history.

Us: Yes. Our daughter has the disease.

Doctor: Do you want to test your baby for it?

Us: No thanks.

Doctor: It’s a relatively easy test.

Us: That isn’t the point.

Doctor: So I assume you’d keep the baby even if you found out it had CF?

Us: Yes.

Doctor: Ok, then we’ll approach this by checking via ultrasound as the baby develops to check for signs of CF so we’ll know how to handle the baby once he or she is born.

Us: That would be wonderful.

I’m not better than you, and this isn’t an attempt on my part to pretend to be better than you. The sins you struggle with are not the sins I struggle with and vice versa. But ending the life of a baby is not a sin I struggle with.

I am convinced that the vast majority of humans would not kill their newborn babies even if they found out immediately after birth that the child had a crippling disease. They just wouldn’t. So in order to combat that issue, humans kill the baby when it’s a fetus so they don’t have to admit that it was a baby. This is how modern evolution works.

We found out a few weeks after our youngest daughter, Hannah, was born that she carries the same mutation we do, but only from one of us (since we both carry the same cystic fibrosis mutation, we’ll probably never know which parent she got it from). She does not have cystic fibrosis, but she is a carrier. Theoretically, she, like her parents, are protected from tuberculosis, though I’m not going to put her in a position to test that theory.

I just don’t understand how researchers and writers can be so sterile when talking about abortions as if though they are the best way to handle genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis, Tay Sachs, sickle cell anemia, etc. Yet it’s true…staring me right in the face. The research proves it’s a tool being used in many parts of the world now.

This doesn’t mean that people who abort their babies are bad people any more than my sin makes me a bad person. Yet I do believe that it makes a person misguided and maybe shows a weakness on their part to look for the easy way out. Samantha has had three hospitalizations and two procedures since she has been born, all CF-related. And she has gotten off “easy” as it were. Many sufferers have gone through more.

Yet I wouldn’t have given her up for the world if we had known she was going to go through this. Instead, we work to find a cure by supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and raise awareness through talking to people about CF, my writing, etc.

To join our fight against cystic fibrosis, click HERE.

To stay up on the latest research on evolution and creation, click HERE.

[1] Scotet et al. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 2012, 7:14

[2] Kenneally, Christine. The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape our Identities and our Futures. Viking Publishing Group, New York, NY. 2014. pg 300.

[3] Ibid – 293