David Lehman on Divine Creation

The following is a transcript which I made myself from a debate between  “Christians and Athiests” which appears on Youtube . While the debate itself was somewhat of a disappointment, as the atheists seemed more interested in appearing witty and in ridiculing the Christians than in actual debating. They were sadly lacking basic data to support their arguments. (You can watch for yourself and see if you agree, the link is at the bottom of the article). But I feel that David Lehman’s presentation is excellent and that he had valuable information and statistics.  So I went through the trouble to make a transcript. I did my best to look up a couple terms that I didn’t understand. Words in question, I put in italic.


David Lehman transcript ~

As I look around and I see the animals the trees the flowers the sun the moon the stars the people, I can know something about the creator from the creation. “He that formed the eye does he not see? He that created the ear does he not hear?” We have a personality, therefor we would expect the creator to have a personality as well. The cause is usually greater than the effect.

But for answers to questions like:

Who am I?
Am I just an intelligent animal or do I have a soul?
What about life after death?
How should I use my time and my talents?
What does God require from me? Obviously, if he’s gone to the trouble to create us he’s going to want us to know what he requires of us, but where is that information found?
And how can I be sure it’s from God?

Looking through the gamut of literature available to us I find that one book passes the test required to be the word of God and I believe that’s the Bible.
The four tests that I would give are

and Illumination

Inspiration comes from the Greek word theós emfýsise, literally meaning God breathed or God directed. It’s like a master musician playing a piano each one of the keys on the piano has a different sound just like each one of the prophets had a different personality but God superintended the finished product so that it was without error. And of course it would have to be without error, otherwise I’d need a red letter edition to tell me what’s true, what to teach my children, what to send my missionaries out with. And of course we don’t have that.

3,408 times in the Bible it claims to be the word of God. “Thus Sayeth the Lord”, “The Lord spoke saying” … We’ve accepted these not as the words of man but for what they really are; the word of God. And then it makes a challenge to all the other religious writings in the world. Isaiah 43:10 44, 45 & 46 it makes the same statement over and over in different words it says I the Lord am One God there’s none other that’s beside me before me that should ever come after me that’s able to tell the end from the beginning. So if God’s in charge, he’s gonna be able to tell the future, nobody else can do that. And of course we find that 28.5% of the old testament and 21.5% of the new testament is prophetic. We go through all the different cities, Tyre, Sidon, Memphis, Thebes, I’ve just got a whole list of cities, and each one would take about 15 20 minutes the details of the prophecy and then how it was fulfilled.

We look at Tyre, we see that there was 7 things that were going to happen to the city. The city of Tyre was going to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. That others would participate in this destruction. That it’s rubble would be scraped into the sea. That it would become a place for the spreading of fisherman’s nets and that it would never be built again. And those are exactly the things that happened to the city of Tyre. And of course we could go through each one of these cities and see that kind of detail, it’s really kind of interesting to see how the exact description of scripture has been fulfilled.

We know when these things were written. One fellow, Peter Stoner, who is the head of the math department at Westmont college taught statistics and he said “what’s the probability that just some of these things would happen and so he finally came down to the Messiah – how many prophecies are there in the old testament concerning the coming Messiah? He said there were about 300, but there are actually about 456 prophecies in the old testament concerning the Messiah. He said what’s the probability of just 8 of those things happening in the life of one person? For example that he be born in Bethlehem, Michah 5:2, that he be sold for 30 pieces of silver, that it would be used to buy a potters field and cast onto the temple floor, that he would be crucified, crucified between two thieves, that his garments would be cast lots for. He said “Just take 8 of those prophecies and it would be the same as spreading silver dollars over the state of Texas, two high, marking one, blindfolded guy and having him find the right one the first time.” He says “what’s the probability of 48 of those things happening in the life on any one person?” He says “That’s the same as taking an electrons, cramming them one up against another, it would take you nineteen million years to count a long one inch long and at the rate of 250 a minute. So to count a cubit inch would take you nineteen million years times nineteen million years times nineteen million years jus to count them. Start at the center of the earth go 6 billion years in radius, create these balls of electrons 6 billion light years in radius at the rate of 500 per minute for 6 billion years and it would be 10 to the 10th times that, mark one, mix them up and have a blindfolded guy pick the right one the first time and that’s just 48 prophecies and we’re talking about several hundred.

There are no prophecies concerning Buddha before he came, no prophecies concerning Mohammed before he came, no prophecies concerning Joseph Smith, or the founder of any other cult or world religion before they came. Christianity is unique. And then I would ask is “how would we know that what we have today is what was written down by the early apostles and prophets?” Well we could take the old testament, or we could just take the New Testament for an example, we have about 24,500 existing manuscripts. We have 5,400 Greek manuscripts. I was talking to Gleason Archer, who is probably one of the leading textual critics in the world who spoke 29 languages, because I’d asked him about Utheridic (?), I teach that every other year. What he said was interesting, that there’s only (and he’s not the only one who has said it) there’s only 400 words in the New Testament that there’s any question about at all. He said “It’s as if God inspired the variants because the variants do not change the meaning or the doctrine in any way. So for all practical purposes we have the original autographs. So we’ve got a 99.5% accuracy of the original words of the text, and the words that we’re not sure of don’t change anything. So this is what we call preservation. In Isaiah 40:8 it says “The grass withers and the flower fades but my word shall endure forever.” In other words God’s promised to keep it together and this is how we know, just simply by the sheer number, if we had just one copy we wouldn’t know what percentage accuracy we’re dealing with.

And then the last one is about the illumination. There’s something about the Bible that speaks to the heart of man like no other book. So many people have become Christians without any outside influence, just reading their Bible. It’s nice to have it in your own language. But then we look at the creation itself. His invisible power and attributes are clearly seen by the things that are made so that man is without excuse. And I think that there are three testimonies that we have, every one of us. We have the conscience, that we all think that there is more to life than what we are experiencing right now. There is the testimony of the creation itself, the detail, the complexity of the creation. “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”. “The firmament declares his handiwork”. We could just look at the human body, the eye, with over 10,000,000 photo receptor cells in the back. Each one of those photo receptor cells can perform the equivelant of 500 nonlinear simultaneous differential equations 100 times a millisecond When you consider that there’s 10,000,000 of them interacting with each other in complex ways it would take a a crazed supercomputer over a hundred years to simulat what take place in the back of your eye many times every second. The ear in the cochlea duct has three outer layers and one inner layer of hair cells. Thesehair cells have a little trap door that can open and close, this is a spring cell over 20,000 times a second. Your ear has a dampening mechanism so you can stand next to an airplane taking off or you can hear a pin drop. But it takes a little time.. so if you have someone shoot a gun right next to you, you could actually do some damage, but your ear will adjust. It’s an amazing, complex thing. I was talking to one of my Muslim friends and he said “well whoever created the ear must have known about hearing in order to create an instrument so precisely designed for that purpose alone.

So there are only two possible worldviews. Either there is a theistic explanation for things or there is a nontheistic explanation. Either God did it or he didn’t. Either it happened naturally or supernaturally. So if you disprove one I think you’ve proved the other. I don’t think there are any other options. Well, as I look at the evidence, I start to say, “Where’d we come from?” In fact that’s the question that we always want to know. One of my professors at Grace Seminary, actually he was president of the school, said “There are two things that determine how a person will respond in this life; Where they think they came from and where they think they’re going.” And so we kind of study the creation and we kind of study prophecy. We try and understand what is the future? What does God have in store for us? We like to know. Most people would like to know what’s gonna happen.

I kind of enjoy studying the cosmo-physicists. They have an ever changing kaleidoscope of quantum fluctuations of nothing into everything, cosmic inflation, multiple universes, ten dimensional spaces, effects without causes, black holes, universes reproducing themselves, cold dark matter, ordered systems out of chaotic explosions, hyper strings, anti-matter, loops of time. All kinds of these wonderful things, generated by higher mathematics, and they come up with some interesting concepts, the “Copenhagen Interpretation One”, is that there is no deep reality. This is quantum physics. Reality is created by observation, so the moon is demonstratively not there if no one looks. Reality is undevided wholeness, reality consists of steadily increasing number of parallel universes. The world obeys some kind of non- human reasoning. So really there is no way we can know. Our consciousness creates reality. So this kind of leads us to the idea that our universe is simply one of those things that happens from time to time.

So in other words, a tiny bit of nothingness packed together so tightly that it blew up and it created everything we see. That’s the concept basically behind the big bang theory. Well, first of all nothingness can’t pack itself together. There’s no way to push itself into a pile. Second a vacuum has no density. It says that nothingness got very dense and that’s why it exploded but a total vacuum is the total opposite of total density. Third there can’t be any ignition to explode the nothing. There’s no fire, no mass, it couldn’t be a chemical explosion for there’s no chemicals, it couldn’t be a nuclear explosion, there are no atoms. Fourth there’s no way to expand it, how can you expand what isn’t there? Even if that magical vacuum could somehow be pulled together by gravity, what would then cause the pile of emptiness to push out, gravity that caused it to come together would keep it from expanding Fifth, nothingness can’t produce heat, the intense heat caused by the exploding nothingness is supposed to have changed the nothingness into protons neutrons and electrons. First the empty vacuum with the extreme cold outer space couldn’t get hot by itself, second an empty void couldn’t magically change itself into matter. Third there can’t be any heat without an energy source.

And then we have the problem with these proteins. Where did protein and DNA come from? Sagan called this a biological treadmill because in order to form DNA, It can’t form or even exist without preexisting proteins. If oh sufficient DNA to code a 124 different proteins and sufficient protein 124 to house and catelize the DNA independently evolved sufficiently, subsequently, assembled itself to create the first living entity. The individual probabilities must be multiplied. There’s a guy that wrote a book, Weissong, and in it I try to follow his reasoning pretty carefuly, it is interesting. He comes up with the fact that it would be, the total probability would be 1 over 10 to the 89,190th power. That’s the probability of forming DNA, times 1 over 10 to the 78,436th power, the probability of forming 124 proteins. You’d multiply that together which means you add the exponents of 1 over 10 the 167,626th power, assuming one million earths around every star in the universe and every single amino acid is trying to form a protein. Now, you can only cram 10 to the 13th power of electrons into the known universe. So despite the virtually impossible odds, proteins arose by chance and processes. There’s not the least or remotest reason to believe that they could ever form a membrane encased, self reproducing, self repairing metabolized living cell. That’s jumping to a complexity that nobody can even imagine. That’s what caused Michael Beaty to write Darwin’s Black Box. Here’s pretty much a secular, cell biologist saying “There is just no way that this could happen.” Excellent book.

So then we have moving technology. Technology that is so complex. We want to find out how to do stuff, we look at the animals and we try to figure out how to create self sharpening blades and we look at the rat. And we see just the right angle to sharpen his teeth as he cuts. We look at metamorphisis. We know that 87% of insects have some kind of metamorphisis. For example the monarch butterfly. After two weeks it eats milkweed continuously and then eventually, about two weeks later it forms a crysalis. All of it’s bodily organs, it’s brain dissolve into this gray mush, and two weeks later it comes out as a beautiful monarch butterfly that can navigate 3000 miles with a brain the size of the head of a pin. Now how did this actually evolve? What caused this process? I think the codes have to be there initially. It’s not something that would happen gradually.

That is one of the problems because the idea of uniformitarianism, that this happened gradually, has been rejected by more than 50% of the scientists. Charles Layelle, came up with the idea of uniformitarianism, then Darwin even said “If it can’t be done in small incremental steps his theory would totally break down”. But Steven Gould, Steven Stanley, Niles Eldridge and several others became punctuationists when they said “well every 50,000 years we’re going to have to have several million mutations”. … all of a sudden.

Well I asked Jerry Berman five years ago at the International Creation Conference.  (Now here’s a guy with 4 earned doctorates, and 9 masters degrees) I asked him “Has anybody ever seen a positive mutation?” Because I had just downloaded Mendals Accountant onto my laptop… (It took me several hours to do that.) And he said “According to Mendals Accountant, it would take a billion positive mutations to get a new changed organism, of some kind. But not only do you have to get the new organ, you have to locate it in the right part of the body. Then you not only have to locate it in the right place, you have to connect it to all other bodily organs. All through a random process. So I asked him “has anybody ever seen a positive mutation?” And he said “Wait til the rest of them get here”. So we waited. We had 200 leading scientists from all over the world crammed into this room. And I asked Jerry “Has anyone ever seen a positive mutation?” He said “Nobody’s ever documented a single positive mutation, but I need a billion of them to get this thing to work.” .. And it has to all affect the same part of the body and if you get a negative one you might have to start all over again. So it seems very difficult for anybody to imagine how this could happen naturally. So I would just say as Dr Earnest Meyer from Harvard said; “Mutations provide the only mechanism that would cause evolution to occur at all”. …So with that I close.

LINK—> Debate Part One <---

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