YOU AND THE GOD EQUATION

By Will Myers
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Each person that ever existed has observed part of the world through their eyes and the images have affected their mind. We can see the changes in the observed images. Our ancestors sensed consistencies where they discovered laws in nature. We have a sense that there is a unity in life; many scientists have searched for this unity such as Albert Einstein (Unified Field Theory).
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The caveman as his language became more advanced and the civil settings became larger and more permanent, spiritual laws, civil laws, and criminal laws began their development. Mankind continued to see or sense consistencies in all that was observed over time; in nature and our minds as humans interact. These disciplines attracted group-followings who became known as scientists.  Many scientists have concluded that the book of nature is perfect and that the book of life (bible) is perfect (RTB, apologetics). What this meant to me is that we are exposed to God’s perfect righteousness (Uspace) continually. The things that we see changing is obeying God’s eternal righteousness. We can note or codify temporary laws about any change of a thing such as it grows into being in the springtime and dies four months later, but a more fundamental law would describe the molecular development; the eternal law would be God created it.
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A law describing or codifying creation could be the God Equation, UspaceVspace=Q because Uspace is God’s perfect righteousness in all things that have ever existed; Vspace represents the change of all things (Nexus), and Q is the thing that “IS” or the results. This form holds true for nature and works of the mind, and things of the spirit because of all that God does or create is perfect.
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All of God’s creation is molding us to be like His Son, Jesus Who is the Mediator of all forms. God created all things by His Son, Jesus Christ; His Potentiality is revealed in all things:
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And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hidden in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
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Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
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But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
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Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
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Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
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The scripture below is the founding metaphysical message on which  I base the God Equation:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
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And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in RIGHTEOUSNESS and true holiness.
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The arguments concerning our faith tend to become moot because the scientific discoveries of this past 50 years (The Big Bang Theory plus more) have become tangible enough for the layman to be moved toward belief in God. With further investigation, one can easily see or understand the impact of Christ Jesus on mankind; His presence is an active force impressing on our spirit the presence of God, our Creator.
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Anyone with the knowledge that the Son of God, Jesus (Uspace Mediator, Savior), guides us up the road unto eternal life. The Disciple James, brother of Jesus, says “I am looking into the perfect law of liberty.” You don’t have to ignore God because of your fear that God has condemned you. The shedding of Jesus’s blood has paid the ransom price to bring you into the fellowship with God, our Heavenly Father. By His straps we are healed; by His blood, we are saved.
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Scientific Discovery and God: The Universe, Part 1

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – JANUARY 15, 2019

How did the universe come into being? The last century has revealed a stark contrast between what secular scientists expected to find regarding the big “origins” questions and what scientific research actually uncovered. In part 1 of this series, I’ll discuss how this contrast played out concerning the origin of the universe. In future installments I’ll consider, in turn, the origins of the solar system, Earth, and the human species.

Origin of the Universe

Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) speculated that the cosmos was eternal. In the eighteenth century, secular Enlightenment thinkers picked up Aristotle’s line of thought, often arguing that the physical universe was eternal in age and possibly infinite in extent. The universe was viewed as a brute reality without beginning and, therefore, without the need for a cause. Skeptic Bertrand Russell insisted, in his famous BBC debate on the existence of God with Catholic philosopher Frederick Copleston, that the universe is “just there.”

In the first half of the twentieth century, the view of cosmology known as the steady-state theory was popular among secular scientists. This view reflected the belief that the universe contained a continual energy source that allowed the cosmos to remain in a constant state of existence. Philosophically speaking, an eternal universe would seem more consistent with an atheistic, naturalistic view of reality. For if the universe is eternal, then it needs no causal explanation, thus no need to postulate God as a necessary causal agent. (Though, ironically, atheists often fail to appreciate that if God exists as an eternal and necessary being then he, too, would need no causal explanation.)

Big Bang Cosmology

Over the last twenty-five years, however, big bang cosmology has undergone extensive testing and has emerged as the prevailing scientific model for the origin of the universe. According to this well-established theory, the universe (including all matter, energy, time, and space) emerged about 14 billion years ago from a singular beginning. Thus, scientists conclude that the universe is not eternal. The basic big bang cosmological model has now replaced the steady-state theory as the prevailing origin of the universe. And while the big bang continues to be refined as a theory, most leading astrophysicists argue that it is here to stay. Multiverse theories may challenge the idea of our universe having had a singular beginning, but the multiverse remains speculative and lacks direct scientific confirmation.

A universe with a singular beginning from nothing was the last thing secular scientists thought would be discovered. The problem for the atheistic naturalist is how much big bang cosmology resembles the biblical doctrine of creation ex nihilo (God created the universe from or out of nothing [no preexisting materials]: Genesis 1:1; Proverbs 3:19; Romans 4:17; Titus 1:2; Hebrews 11:3).

Herein lies the contrast between expectation and scientific advance. Secular scientists thought they would discover an eternal, self-sufficient universe, but what they actually discovered is a universe that had a singular beginning. And now they have a contingent reality—the cosmos—in need of a necessary causal explanation. While many scientists were no doubt surprised by this discovery, Christian theologians expected it. Thus, the cutting-edge scientific discovery concerning the universe’s origin (a singular beginning of all things) seems to comport best with theism.

Reflections: Your Turn

How does big bang cosmology affect the secular claim that science backs atheism? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment with your response.

Resources

  • For more on the big bang and other competing cosmological theories, see Hugh Ross, The Creator and the Cosmos, 4th ed. (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2018).
  • For more on the biblical doctrine of creation ex nihilo, see Kenneth Richard Samples, A World of Difference (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007), 156–64.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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5 Important Philosophical-Apologetics Terms in the New Testament

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – JUNE 5, 2018

There are five very important philosophical-apologetics terms in the New Testament that every Christian should have some familiarity with. Learning and appreciating these key terms will aid believers in both their theological and apologetics understanding. And being so armed, the Christian is helped in their evangelistic and apologetics ventures in the service of Christ.

Let’s explore these key New Testament terms by defining them and then briefly examining their philosophical-apologetics significance:

1. Logos (Greek: λόγος), translated as “word, discourse, or reason”

The Greek word logos is the root for the English term “logic.” In John 1:1, the preincarnate Jesus is called the “logos” (or “Word”), who subsequently becomes enfleshed (John 1:14). Early Christian scholars therefore referred to Jesus Christ as “the logic of God” or “the speech of God.” What came to be known in Christian history as the “Logos doctrine” affirmed that God created the world through the use of his Word (the logic or wisdom of the Second Person of the Trinity). Being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27), human beings are equipped with the necessary rational endowments to trace the world’s intelligibility, thus making the logical and scientific enterprises possible. The Logos doctrine also implied that the gift of faith is compatible with the rational elements found in the world and within the human mind (according to historic Christianity, faith and reason are therefore compatible). Thus, when believers employ their minds in such enterprises as logic, rhetoric, and science, they use their God-given gifts to bring glory to him.

2. Apologia (Greek: ἀπολογία), translated as “a reasoned defense”

The Greek word apologia is the root for the English term “apologetics.” Apologia and its root forms are found in the New Testament (Acts 26:2Romans 1:20Philippians 1:7, 16), with 1 Peter 3:15 revealing the mandate imploring Christians to be ready to give an answer in explaining and defending their faith. Through Christian history, apologetics became known as the enterprise by which apologists sought to give a reasoned defense of the truth of Christianity. Today, Christian apologetics involves the use of various disciplines to defend the faith, including the philosophical, historical, literary, and scientific.

3. Pisteuo (Greek: πιστεύω [pisteuō, verb] and πίστις [pistis, noun]), translated as “believe” or “faith, trust”

The Greek word pisteuo is the root for the English term “believe” or to have “faith.” To have biblical faith in Jesus Christ for salvation includes (1) a genuine (factual and historical) knowledge of the gospel events—namely, Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection; (2) a personal assent to the truth and importance of those events; and (3) a confident trust in the object of that faith (the risen Lord, Jesus Christ). Faith, in a biblical context, is therefore not separated from authentic human knowledge of truth and reality. Historic Christianity has, for the most part, affirmed that faith and reason are compatible. Thus, faith can be defined in an apologetics context as trust in a reasonable and reliable source.

4. Christos (Greek: Χριστός), translated as “Christ” or “Messiah”

The Greek word christos is the root for the English term “Christ” or “Messiah.” In the New Testament, Jesus is called the “Christ” (Matthew 16:16), a title meaning “Messiah” or “anointed one.” In the Old Testament, the Messiah was expected to be God’s special agent who would possess a unique anointing by God’s Spirit. Drawing upon Scripture, historic Christianity affirms Jesus Christ as the divine-human Messiah (John 1:1, 14Philippians 2:6–7). Because Jesus Christ is a single person who possesses both a divine and a human nature, he is able to reconcile God with human beings in his atoning death on the cross. In his messianic ministry, Jesus Christ reveals himself to be both Lord and Savior.

5. Philosophia (Greek: φιλοσοφία), translated as “philosophy” or the “love of wisdom”

The Greek word philosophia is the root for the English term “philosophy.” Coming from two words meaning the “love of wisdom,” philosophy, in the ancient world, was viewed broadly as the attempt to think rationally and critically about life’s most important questions. Christian philosophy developed as a handmaid to theology, with philosophy used to explain and to defend the faith. In a biblical context, the word “philosophy” (1 Corinthians 1:20Colossians 2:8) largely means “worldview” (a big-picture view of the nature of reality). The disciplines today known as the “philosophy of science” and the “philosophy of religion” attempt to explore the foundations, presumptions, and implications of the scientific and religious enterprises, respectively.

I hope this brief introduction to these key philosophical-apologetics terms of the New Testament will motivate you to explore the Christian world-and-life view in more detail.1Thinking cogently in a philosophical and apologetic manner can provide many benefits for today’s Christian.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. In thinking about the Christian worldview, see Kenneth Richard Samples, A World of Difference: Putting Christian Truth-Claims to the Worldview Test (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2007).

About Reasons to Believe

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Approaching End Times Prophecy with Care

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – DECEMBER 4, 201

One of the most controversial topics that the Bible addresses is eschatology. This theological term literally means the study of last things—popularly known as end times. Scripture speaks of both humankind’s past origin in creation as well as our future destiny in consummation. Yet rightly interpreting and properly understanding what the Bible teaches about the end of the world has proved difficult and controversial in church history.

A few years ago I wrote a short book on the topic of eschatology titled Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times. One of the central themes of the book is that when Christian leaders engage in excessive speculation about the timing of Christ’s return and actually set dates (which are inevitably wrong), they damage Christianity’s credibility in the eyes of nonbelievers. So when eschatology is handled irresponsibly by Christ’s followers, it becomes an apologetics issue (an apparent challenge to the faith).

Some time ago, a person read my book and made several respectful but somewhat challenging comments about some of my conclusions concerning Christian eschatology. Since these comments likely reflect the thought of many evangelical Christians today about the end times, I decided to share both the comments and my responses to them.

I appreciate that the person read my book and was willing to express their thoughts and reactions to it. To respect the person’s privacy, I have reworded the comments to reflect more general statements.

Comment #1: “I am convicted on the basis of God’s Word that we’re definitely living in the end times. There’s no doubt about it. Scripture seems very clear to me—I can read the signs of the times.”

Response: Your strong convictions might prove true. The Lord’s people rightly look forward to the Parousia (Second Coming). But I would suggest greater caution because the same sort of comments have been made by prophecy enthusiasts throughout church history. Many, unfortunately, went further and set dates that were wrong—causing nonbelievers to doubt the truth of the Christian faith. Just in the last 50 years alone, several prominent Bible teachers have set dates and acted, in my opinion, eschatologically irresponsible, and evangelical Christianity’s credibility suffered because of it.

By the way, according to various biblical scholars, the terms last days or end times can describe the entire period between Christ’s two advents. And as I’m sure you know, having strong eschatological convictions isn’t a guarantee that one is correct.

Comment #2: “Israel has become a nation and is presently surrounded by enemies that want to destroy it, which is clear evidence that the very last days are upon us.”

Response: Possibly, but again, prophecy teachers said the same thing in every decade since Israel became a nation in 1948 and have been wrong thus far. Also, what you call “clear evidence” is only true if a popular form of premillennialism is the correct eschatological perspective. But many of Christianity’s classical theologians (AthanasiusAugustineAquinasLutherCalvinWesley) held different eschatological views. Of course we’re free to disagree with these scholars, but I think historical theology plays a very helpful role in testing present-day theological-biblical interpretations.

Comment: #3: “There are currently a number of nations that have the nuclear weaponry to wipe humankind off the earth, and there are other hostile nations presently seeking such weapons.”

Response: You might find it interesting to know that RTB astrophysicist Jeff Zweerink has doubts about whether present-day nuclear weapons could unquestionably wipe all of humanity from the earth. Also, one could reasonably argue that the atomic and nuclear threats were more distressing during the Cold War (from the late 1940s through the late 1980s) than now. But you are correct in stating that the nuclear threat, especially among rogue nations today, is very concerning to Israel specifically, and to world peace, generally.

Comment #4: “I don’t see end times prophecy as a matter of interpretation. Much of what the Bible describes prophetically is happening right before our eyes.”

Response: All of the propositional content of Scripture must be interpreted. Only the Holy Spirit knows all the truth of Scripture intuitively. And as the apostle Peter notes, some people’s interpretations of Scripture are in fact wrong (2 Peter 3:16). So all of us must be careful. Moreover, if a person hasn’t studied all the major eschatological positions carefully, then that person should be even more cautious.

Mere Christian Eschatology

The Bible has a lot to say about end times prophecy, but interpreting what it says is not always easy. It is unfortunately true that eschatology is one of the most divisive areas in Christian theology. That is why my little primer on eschatology spends so much time emphasizing what we can all agree on. In my book, I call it “Mere Christian Eschatology” (see chapter 3), and I hope it helps Christians avoid unnecessary obstacles as we seek to bring nonbelievers to faith in Christ.

Resources

Kenneth Richard Samples, Christian Endgame: Careful Thinking about the End Times (Covina, CA: RTB Press, 2013).

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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God’s Existence Best Explains Life’s Most Profound Realities

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES

     – DECEMBER 25, 2018

Can we justify concepts like logic, moral values, and universals from a naturalistic, atheistic perspective? Or do we need a transcendent grounding like historic Christianity’s explanation for these meaningful realities?

Using a type of abductive logical reasoning (referred to as an inference to the best explanation), I’ll illustrate how five profound realities are plausibly explained by Christian theism.

Accounting for Five Meaningful Realities

1. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the reality of abstract, nonphysical entities.

Some of the most wondrous realities of life are things that cannot be observed by the human senses. These abstract, intangible realities are conceptual in nature and include such entities as numbers, propositions, sets, properties, the laws of logic, moral values, and universals. Many people consider these conceptual realities to be objective, universal, and, of course, invisible.

On atheism, it is difficult to ground these conceptual realities. However, the Christian theistic worldview grounds them in the mind of an infinite, eternal, and personal spiritual being. God is the Creator of both the visible and the invisible, the source of both the sensible and the intelligible.

2. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the reality of objective moral values.

Moral values are a fundamental part of human life, every bit as real as the law of gravity. And people are generally intuitively cognizant of their moral obligations. In their hearts, people experience the pull of moral duty. This sense of moral oughtness is prescriptive (how things should be) not descriptive (how things are) in nature, and it transcends mere subjective feelings.

Unlike secular attempts to account for morality, the ethics of Christian theism are grounded in the morally perfect nature of God who has revealed his will to humankind in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures. God’s existence and nature provide a source and foundation for objective moral values.

3. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the purpose and significance that human beings yearn for in their lives.

If God doesn’t exist and the universe is merely the product of blind, purposeless, natural processes, then from a logical standpoint there can be no objective meaning to life. Given a nontheistic perspective, the fact that people exist becomes simply an improbable accident of evolution.

Humanity’s deep sense of, and need for, meaning comports well with the Christian truth claim that God created human beings in his image (Genesis 1:26–27) and that humanity’s greatest needs are to be reconciled to God and to enjoy fellowship with him forever. The Christian theistic worldview, with its unique gospel of gracious redemption in Christ, offers genuine meaning, purpose, and significance to sinners estranged from God and from their destiny.

4. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the enigma of human nature.

One of the chief realities a belief system must explain before gaining acceptance involves the enigmatic nature of human beings. Human nature poses a paradox. Humans are capable of greatness in mathematics, science, technology, philosophy, the arts, compassion, and generosity. Yet humans are equally capable of such shameful and evil acts as racism, robbery, rape, slavery, murder, and genocide. Explaining human nature apart from the reality of God represents an extraordinary philosophical, psychological, and spiritual feat.

The Bible seems to hold the secret to unraveling the enigma of human nature. The Christian theistic worldview asserts that humans’ greatness is a direct result of the imago Dei. As creatures made in the image and likeness of God, humans reflect the glory of their Maker. Human wretchedness, on the other hand, can be traced to the first human beings’ fall into sin. Thus humans are simultaneously great and wretched.

5. The existence of the God of the Bible provides a rationally plausible explanation for the extraordinary life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

According to the historically reliable documents of the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth made unparalleled claims to divine authority during his public ministry. Jesus fulfilled dozens of very specific Old Testament prophecies concerning the identity, mission, and message of the coming Messiah. These prophecies, which give precise details about the birth, heritage, life, and death of the long-awaited Messiah, were amazingly fulfilled by Jesus.

Jesus was a prolific miracle worker. He healed incurable diseases, restored sight to the blind, multiplied small amounts of food to feed thousands of people, calmed a storm, walked on water, and even raised the dead.

Jesus exhibited a matchless moral character during his three-year public ministry that changed the world. Not only did his teachings contain incredible ethical insight, but he also perfectly fulfilled his lofty moral ideals.

Jesus’s resurrection from the dead is supported by at least seven lines of evidence. These include: (1) his empty tomb, (2) his many postcrucifixion appearances, (3) the transformation of the disciples from cowards to apostles and martyrs, (4) the dramatic conversion of Saul of Tarsus into the apostle Paul, (5) the historical emergence of the Christian church, (6) the change in the official day of worship to Sunday to commemorate the day of Jesus’s resurrection, and (7) the fact that all alternative naturalistic explanations for the resurrection fail miserably.

Historical Christianity has both profound explanatory power and a considerable depth of explanatory scope when it comes to life’s most meaningful realities. Christians can use this explanation with confidence when engaging skeptics about the realities of life.

Resources:

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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When Did Modern Human Brains—and the Image of God—Appear?

BY FAZALE RANA – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading Ripley’s Believe It or Not! I couldn’t get enough of the bizarre facts described in the pages of this comic.

I was especially drawn to the panels depicting people who had oddly shaped heads. I found it fascinating to learn about people whose skulls were purposely forced into unnatural shapes by a practice known as intentional cranial deformation.

For the most part, this practice is a thing of the past. It is rarely performed today (though there are still a few people groups who carry out this procedure). But for much of human history, cultures all over the world have artificially deformed people’s crania (often for reasons yet to be fully understood). They accomplished this feat by binding the heads of infants, which distorts the normal growth of the skull. Through this practice, the shape of the human head can be readily altered to be abnormally flat, elongated, rounded, or conical.

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Figure 1: Deformed ancient Peruvian skull. Image credit: Shutterstock.

It is remarkable that the human skull is so malleable. Believe it, or not!

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Figure 2: Parts of the human skull. Image credit: Shutterstock.

For physical anthropologists, the normal shape of the modern human skull is just as bizarre as the conical-shaped skulls found among the remains of the Nazca culture of Peru. Compared to other hominins (such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus), modern humans have oddly shaped skulls. The skull shape of the hominins was elongated along the anterior-posterior axis. But the skull shape of modern humans is globular, with bulging and enlarged parietal and cerebral areas. The modern human skull also has another distinctive feature: the face is retracted and relatively small.

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Figure 3: Comparison of modern human and Neanderthal skulls. Image credit: Wikipedia.

Anthropologists believe that the difference in skull shape (and hence, brain shape) has profound significance and helps explain the advanced cognitive abilities of modern humans. The parietal lobe of the brain is responsible for:

  • Perception of stimuli
  • Sensorimotor transformation (which plays a role in planning)
  • Visuospatial integration (which provides hand-eye coordination needed for throwing spears and making art)
  • Imagery
  • Self-awareness
  • Working and long-term memory

Human beings seem to uniquely possess these capabilities. They make us exceptional compared to other hominins. Thus, for paleoanthropologists, two key questions are: when and how did the globular human skull appear?

Recently, a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, addressed these questions. And their answers add evidence for human exceptionalism while unwittingly providing support for the RTB human origins model.1

The Appearance of the Modern Human Brain

To characterize the mode and tempo for the origin of the unusual morphology (shape) of the modern human skull, the German researchers generated and analyzed the CT scans of 20 fossil specimens representing three windows of time: (1) 300,000 to 200,000 years ago; (2) 130,000 to 100,000 years ago; and (3) 35,000 to 10,000 years ago. They also included 89 cranially diverse skulls from present-day modern humans, 8 Neanderthal skulls, and 8 from Homo erectus in their analysis.

The first group consisted of three specimens: (1) Jebel Irhoud 1 (dating to 315,000 years in age); (2) Jebel Irhoud 2 (also dating to 315,000 years in age); and (3) Omo Kibish (dating to 195,000 years in age). The specimens that comprise this group are variously referred to as near anatomically modern humans or archaic Homo sapiens.

The second group consisted of four specimens: (1) LH 18 (dating to 120,000 years in age); (2) Skhul (dating to 115,000 years in age); (3) Qafzeh 6; and (4) Qafzeh 9 (both dating to about 115,000 years in age. This group consists of specimens typically considered to be anatomically modern humans. The third group consisted of thirteen specimens that are all considered to be anatomically and behaviorally modern humans.

Researchers discovered that the group one specimens had facial features like that of modern humans. They also had brain sizes that were similar to Neanderthals and modern humans. But their endocranial shape was unlike that of modern humans and appeared to be intermediate between H. erectus and Neanderthals.

On the other hand, the specimens from group two displayed endocranial shapes that clustered with the group three specimens and the present-day samples. In short, modern human skull morphology (and brain shape) appeared between 130,000 to 100,000 years ago.

Confluence of Evidence Locates Humanity’s Origin

This result aligns with several recent archaeological finds that place the origin of symbolism in the same window of time represented by the group two specimens. (See the Resources section for articles detailing some of these finds.) Symbolism—the capacity to represent the world and abstract ideas with symbols—appears to be an ability that is unique to modern humans and is most likely a manifestation of the modern human brain shape, specifically an enlarged parietal lobe.

Likewise, this result coheres with the most recent dates for mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam around 120,000 to 150,000 years ago. (Again, see the Resources section for articles detailing some of these finds.) In other words, the confluence of evidence (anatomical, behavioral, and genetic) pinpoints the origin of modern humans (us) between 150,000 to 100,000 years ago, with the appearance of modern human anatomy coinciding with the appearance of modern human behavior.

What Does This Finding Mean for the RTB Human Origins Model?

To be clear, the researchers carrying out this work interpret their results within the confines of the evolutionary framework. Therefore, they conclude that the globular skulls—characteristic of modern humans—evolved recently, only after the modern human facial structure had already appeared in archaic Homo sapiens around 300,000 years ago. They also conclude that the globular skull of modern humans had fully emerged by the time humans began to migrate around the world (around 40,000 to 50,000 years ago).

Yet, the fossil evidence doesn’t show the gradual emergence of skull globularity. Instead, modern human specimens form a distinct cluster isolated from the distinct clusters formed by H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic H. sapiens. There are no intermediate globular specimens between archaic and modern humans, as would be expected if this trait evolved. Alternatively, the distinct clusters are exactly as expected if modern humans were created.

It appears that the globularity of our skull distinguishes modern humans from H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic Homo sapiens (near anatomically modern humans). This globularity of the modern human skull has implications for when modern human behavior and advanced cognitive abilities emerged.

For this reason, I see this work as offering support for the RTB human origins creation model (and, consequently, the biblical account of human origins and the biblical conception of human nature). RTB’s model (1) views human beings as cognitively superior and distinct from other hominins, and (2) posits that human beings uniquely possess a quality called the image of God that I believe manifests as human exceptionalism.

This work supports both predictions by highlighting the uniqueness and exceptional qualities of modern humans compared to H. erectus, Neanderthals, and archaic H. sapiens, calling specific attention to our unusual skull and brain morphology. As noted, anthropologists believe that this unusual brain morphology supports our advanced cognitive capabilities—abilities that I believe reflect the image of God. Because archaic H. sapiens, Neanderthals, and H. erectus did not possess this brain morphology, it makes it unlikely that these creatures had the sophisticated cognitive capacity displayed by modern humans.

In light of RTB’s model, it is gratifying to learn that the origin of anatomically modern humans coincides with the origin of modern human behavior.

Believe it or not, our oddly shaped head is part of the scientific case that can be made for the image of God.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin, and Philipp Gunz, “The Evolution of Modern Human Brain Shape,” Science Advances 4 (January 24, 2018): eaao596, doi:10.1126/sciadv.aao5961.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

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Stoke the Faith Flame: Overcoming Spiritual Weariness

BY KENNETH R. SAMPLES – MAY 8, 2018

Over the years, I’ve had numerous people express to me that they have experienced a weariness concerning their faith journey. This is actually a pretty common phenomenon for Christians to encounter in life. I’ve also experienced such a weariness at times in my Christian life. Life’s pressures of job, family, ministry, etc. can weigh heavily on us at times. Sometimes, we can feel adrift without sensing a clear direction from the Lord.

Amazingly, C. S. Lewis felt that way at times, even in his remarkable life. Here’s a quote I recently uncovered from him: “Nothing about us except our neediness is, in this life, permanent.”As surprising as it sounds, a recent biography reveals that near the end of Lewis’s life, he felt he had been something of a failure when it came to his apologetics ministry.2 Spiritual and intellectual weariness and discouragement seem to hit even the best of us.

Daily Spiritual Practices: Joyful, Prayerful, Thankful (JPT)

There’s a section of Scripture that has come to mean a great deal to me—especially during times of spiritual dryness. It reminds me of the importance of daily spiritual practice, particularly when we feel fatigued in faith.

In the passage, the apostle Paul succinctly states what are virtually his talking points to the first-century Christian churches that were going through challenging times. He declares:

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

–1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

It is possible to be joyful in Christ even if you are not very happy. You can also pray even if you don’t feel like it. And there is always something we can be thankful to God for in life.

Stoking the Faith Flame

One’s faith is like a fire. It has to be stoked in order to burn brightly and give off light and heat. C. S. Lewis reminds us that a spiritual life must be fed:

That is why daily praying and religious reading and churchgoing are necessary parts of the Christian life. We have to be continually reminded of what we believe. Neither this belief nor any other will automatically remain alive in the mind. It must be fed.3

According to the apostle Paul, faith is uniquely energized through God’s inspired Word. He writes: “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17).

Hearing the message comes through participating in church services and liturgy where God’s Word is read and recited, by devotionally reading Scripture, and by studying biblically derived Christian doctrine.

So, stoke the faith flame! Remind yourself of what you believe as a Christian, and keep practicing the basics of the Christian spiritual life. Call upon the triune God to grant you the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

And finally, recognize that you are not alone in facing spiritual struggles. All believers experience weariness. God is using even these trials to develop your faith and character in his Son, Jesus Christ.

Reflections: Your Turn

Have you experienced weariness in the Christian life? What helped you to pull out of it? Visit Reflections on WordPress to comment with your response.

Resources

Endnotes
  1. C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt, 1960), 33.
  2. See Alister McGrath, C. S. Lewis—A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2013).
  3. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996), 125.

About Reasons to Believe

RTB’s mission is to spread the Christian Gospel by demonstrating that sound reason and scientific research—including the very latest discoveries—consistently support, rather than erode, confidence in the truth of the Bible and faith in the personal, transcendent God revealed in both Scripture and nature. Learn More »

Support Reasons to Believe

Your support helps more people find Christ through sharing how the latest scientific discoveries affirm our faith in the God of the Bible.

DONATE NOW


U.S. Mailing Address
818 S. Oak Park Rd.
Covina, CA 91724
  • P (855) 732-7667
  • P (626) 335-1480
  • Fax (626) 852-0178

Reasons to Believe logo

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