God's Existence, Science and Faith, Suffering and Evil, Jesus' Resurrection, and Book Reviews

Book Review: Creating Life In The Lab🧫

Book Review: "Creating Life In The Lab" by Dr. Fazale (Fuz) Rana of Reaosns to Believe (reasons.org)


Creating Life In The Lab: How New Discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make A Case For The Creator is Dr. Fazale Rana's latest contribution to Christian apologetic literature. The goal of the book is to provide a case for God's existence from the controversial efforts of scientists to "play God" by creating life. He has written the book with the backdrop of Frankenstein to provide some cultural connection. The book has thirteen chapters plus an appendix that includes a short refresher on biochemistry. The book, though not officially, is divided into two parts: the first examining the quest to create artificial life and the second investigates scientists research behind the origin of life.

Chapter 1- Waking Up in Frankenstein's Dream

Dr. Rana begins his book by giving a little of his own history- what made him want to study biochemistry and what brought him to the point he is at now. He then begins setting the stage for the rest of the book. He explains what has happened regarding origin-of-life research. He starts at the Miller-Urey experiment and brings the reader to the present. He then discusses a bit about the main topic- scientists' attempts to create life in the lab. He explains the two different approaches commonly used. He acknowledges that historically such attempts have been seen as threats to Christianity, but he believe that the opposite is actually true- that the success of scientists will be empirical evidence that the creation of life requires an intelligent agent to accomplish.

Avoid Overstating Your Case

A while back I wrote a couple posts about the danger of overstating a conclusion and the importance of recognizing alternative explanations for evidence. I also blogged about the way in which science and scripture are interpreted (Nature vs. Scripture). Those posts each stand on their own; however, in this post I want to bring some of those concepts together and provide specific examples found in discussions between evolutionists and intelligent design proponents of overstating conclusions. Familiarity with the content of those posts will help you understand the content here.

We are going to look at  two sets of arguments provided by each side regarding the similar body plans of humans and the great apes. We will look at why the conclusions are valid, thus exposing the limits of the conclusions. When we know the limits of the conclusions, we are less likely to overstate our case.

Common Descent Compatibility
Let's look first at an argument on the evolutionary side:

1. Humans and the great apes have similar body plans
2. Common decent has the ability to explain similar body plans
3. Therefore common decent has the ability to explain the fact that human and the great apes have similar body plans

A Very Good Creation That Undermines Christianity

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good"- Genesis 1:31 #God #Bible #Creation #Creationism #Sunset #Beach #Tides


If you've been following Faithful Thinkers for a while, you will know that I take a very strong stance regarding the age of the universe. For those who don't know, I take the old-earth creation view (OEC) (as opposed to the young-earth creation view [YEC} or theistic evolutionary view [TE]). I enjoy discussing and debating it as long as I'm not talking to zombies (please read that post as this post draws from the practices encouraged in it). This past week I've been actively discussing one particular interpretation of a certain passage of scripture. I decided to blog about it because I believe that I have identified a powerful argument that an atheist or other unbeliever can add to their arsenal of arguments against Christianity.

What Does "Very Good" Mean?

Our discussion began by my asking Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis (AiG) on his Facebook page what he believed God meant in Genesis 1:31a ("God saw all that he had made, and it was very good"). Specifically, I asked about the phrase "very good". I asked if he believed that it meant a moral good (all the matter/energy that God created has moral value), a teleological/utilitarian good (as in the creation being very good to accomplish His goals), or both (the two options are not necessarily mutually exclusive). Ham did not respond to me; however, another person did. According to Ham's view, this is a proclamation by God that creation was perfect at the end of creation day six as He is perfect. He believes there is no other legitimate way to interpret this passage. I was given an audio recording by Mr. Ham where he explains this view and his argument here: http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/ken-ham/2006/06/06/refuting-compromise-what-does-2/

Please listen to it as the rest of the post depends on the reader's familiarity with the content of the recording. It will also allow the reader to determine if I am arguing against a strawman.

The Fear of Atheism

Last week an apologist friend of mine posted a fairly common atheist challenge to a private Facebook group. The specific version is this:
"Why are you so AFRAID of atheism? What is it about thinking you have a big daddy in the sky that you need to believe in that you just can't let go of? Aren't you arguing because REALLY you are AFRAID it is all just a big lie and you know that all your cherished religious beliefs are false?"
This challenge has three individual questions that need to be addressed on their own. Let's look at the first one.

Why are you so AFRAID of atheism?
When I first saw this question I wasn't sure why it was asked. The reason is that it assumes that the theist IS afraid of atheism. Many could put forth reasons for why atheism is nothing to fear. The chief one would be that if God does not exist, then there will be no one to account to after death for the lives we lived. If there is no one to account to, then why not live like you want? Atheism offers a freedom to follow our desires without fear of eternal consequences. As long as we are acting within the confines of the cultural laws, we don't even have to fear consequences while we're alive. Further if we don't like a law, all we have to do is rise against the law, and it will eventually be changed. Cultural relativism rules the day.