All posts by waynespencer

Who Defines Marriage?

In the political arena there has been much discussion of Gay marriage lately, as President Obama has changed his position in support of Gay marriage.  I do not want this blog to be political, but the issue of Gay marriage comes up from time to time.  It is an issue that exposes what peoples real values are.  It also tends to make Christians make up their mind about what’s important for our society.  I believe that the Bible is the revealed word of God to all mankind.  The morality from the Bible about sex being within marriage between a man and a woman is a moral absolute that applies to all people.  It is not something that becomes out of date because it is not man who defines marriage.  God’s word has the authority to define absolutes for all people to live by.  There may be various legal definitions of marriage.  They can be either right or wrong because God sets the moral standard and laws should be based on the moral standard.  The laws should be based on the Biblical moral standard because that is healthier for society and for individuals by God’s design.  You could also look at it in a pragmatic way related to child rearing and argue that it is a good means of raising children, totally apart from what people believe about the Bible.  Most religions in the world have a similar concept of marriage to what the Bible teaches, with some exceptions.  So you could argue that traditional marriage is a cross-cultural global societal norm and be correct for most people in the world.  Thus, traditional marriage should not be abandoned or devalued.  In an evolutionary atheistic world view, marriage would be something that was merely invented for practical convenience sake in raising children.  If marriage is something man invented, then why wouldn’t it be something man could reinvent to be something different?  This is a logical question.  There has been resistance to God’s definition of marriage and the morality that goes with it all through history.

Human beings have always tried to come up with some kind of substitute for God’s standard of marriage.  People tend to attempt to lower the moral standard to make it seem easier for them to live by.  But the substitutes for marriage all have problems.  God’s design is best.  Multiple wives was perhaps the first variation (polygamy).  This was allowed by God in ancient times but was not really recommended.  Genesis shows some of the complications and conflict that can arise from the practice.  A more modern substitute for marriage is living together, where two people do not have to make a life-long commitment to each other.  Gay marriage is another kind of substitute for God’s standard.  American society used to frown on people living together but not any more.  Divorce has become so common that some have proposed that marriage be changed into a contract that is only in effect for a limited number of years.  One man wrote a book arguing that in about 50 years robotics technology would advance enough that people would be marrying robots.  There are still religious groups that practice polygamy, mostly Muslims in certain Arab nations.  The practice is illegal in the United States, even though there are occassionally Mormon or religious cult groups that engage in the practice.  I fear that in coming years we will see a variety of efforts to redefine marriage.  Gay marriage may only be the first of these movements.  Christians have to stand up for the truth of traditional marriage and for what is healthy for society in times like these.  Man’s efforts to invent substitutes for marriage have a way of exposing over time the wisdom of God’s design, though most people do not recognize this.  Unfortunately some people’s lives end up going through much pain before they turn around and find the right way.  I wonder what the prevailing opinion in society will be toward Gay marriage, say 40 years from today?  What will children who grew up in Gay households think of it when they are adults?  Society values tend to swing back and forth over generations sometimes.  Perhaps values can swing back to the right, in time.

There are many who think of the opposition to Gay marriage as discrimination and they present the issue as a civil rights issue.  But this is a fallacy because a moral argument against homosexuality is not related to discrimination.  God determines right and wrong, not human beings.  If the laws approve of something which God does not approve of, the legal status (and social acceptance) does not take away from adverse consequences of the immoral lifestyle.  God is completely nondiscriminatory in applying the standards of morality.  This is true whether people “believe” it or not.  All people have reason to acknowledge right and wrong about sex and marriage from their own experience.  If I make a moral argument against homosexuality, that is not about discrimination.  It is saying that a kind of argument exists that the homosexuals deny.  They do not accept a moral argument because they don’t accept biblical morality.  They do not accept a moral absolute that applies to all people the same way.  So they don’t agree with me, but that does not give them a basis for saying that I am encouraging discrimination.  Discrimination is something different than a moral argument against homosexuality.  When I was 20 or 30 years younger, the gays had a legitimate issue over discrimination in the work place.  But that was different than the present situation in our society and it is not the same as what they are trying to accomplish about marriage.  Gays want states, and the nation, to redefine marriage just for them.  I say this is wrong because gays do not have the right to redefine marriage.  In fact, it seems to me it is odd for gays to want something similar to traditional marriage but allowing for their lifestyle.  With so many giving up on marriage anyway, why are they trying to have something similar to the traditional institution?  In a way they are trying to be traditional, but in a manner that is not allowed by biblical morality.  I believe God’s design for marriage is healthier for society and for individuals.

Animal Distribution and Creation

I have recently been reading about the topic of biogeography.  I am not a biologist and so I am far from being an expert on this.  But this illustrates some differences between how evolutionist scientists think and how creationist scientists think.  Evolutionists have made a lot of statements about biogeography supporting evolution.  This is about the fact that there are peculiarities about where various types of animals live across the world.  Some animals like marsupials (such as kangaroos and other animals with pouches) are confined only to Australia whereas elephants only seem to live in Africa and India.  Then there are many interesting things about fossils versus todays living forms.  Sometimes fossils are more widely distributed than todays living forms.  For example living marsupials are restricted today to Australia and South America (the opossum is a marsupial).  But fossils of marsupials are only found in Europe, Asia, and North America.  Evolution’s main idea on biogeography is that animals evolved to be what we know them to be as they spread out.  So, it took many generations for them to distribute around the world and as they did this over millions of years, they changed.  So new species came about that were different on the different continents.  Evolution has to approach the distribution of animals (and plants) in such a way that the various types do not all exist at the start but they come about over time as they travel and spread out.  Evolutionists thus have had trouble explaining a number of puzzling cases.  There are a number of examples where the drift of the continents from evolutionary geologists does not agree well with the scenarios from evolutionary biologists.

For small changes within basic kinds, some creatures can travel and become isolated groups on their own.  For example on the Galapagos Islands there are differences in the finches on the various islands.  But how would other animals spread out to the various continents?  There may be natural disasters occasionally that cause floating log and vegetation mats to drift across oceans.  Also in some areas there are places between islands or continents where if the sea level were less, it would open up a land bridge that animals could cross over on.  But evolutionary scenarios for using such ideas, though some work in some locations, some of the ideas proposed are just assumed without any evidence that it really happened.  Often evolutionists are left with just making up hypothetical implausible stories.

Creationists can use some of the same ideas as evolutionists in biogeography but creationists put the idea in a very different context that makes it work better.  In a creationist approach, all the “kinds” of animals start from the same location, which is in the area of Mt. Ararat in Turkey.  Animals spread out from there, as did humans.  In a creationist Biblical view of history this works because 1) you have all the animal types living at the same time and 2) you have humans who can take animals with them where they travel.  In evolutionary thinking, humans don’t have much to do with the distribution of animals across the world because the animals distributed and evolved before humans, for the most part.  A third factor in a creation approach is Noah’s Flood.  The Flood would have uprooted vast forests and there could have been very large floating mats of vegetation and logs for some time after the Flood.  Animals died in the Flood, but as animals spread out after the Flood they could have found floating mats and climbed aboard because they would be likely places to find food.  Floating mats have been known to happen occasionally in historical times but if there was really a global Flood such mats could be much bigger and more common immediately after the Flood.  So in a creationist approach floating mats could be more applicable than in an evolutionist view.

Then there’s people.  In the Biblical view of history, humans could have built boats soon after the Flood and they would likely take some animals with them for food and for other reasons.  There could also have been land bridges in certain places after the Flood.  For instance one obvious one is between Alaska and Russia.  There are good reasons to believe there was an ice age (just one) after the Flood.  The ice age would have caused variations in sea level.  Other tectonic after-effects of the Flood and post-Flood volcanic eruptions might have had a role in making land bridges also in some areas.  Because humans were capable immediately after the Flood of building boats and traveling, they could have had a major importance in distributing animals around the world.  Some animals would have spread out to areas where they later died out because of changes in the climate or because of disease or because of being hunted out by humans.  Animals adapted to the post-Flood world.  So there would be situations where new species could arise in the post-Flood period, but not new kinds.  Creation allows for limited changes to adapt to the environment.  But there are limits to how much animals can adapt and so many species probably did go extinct after Noah’s Flood.

This is a quick simple summary of biogeography and why the Biblical view of history makes sense.  There are good sources with more details I could recommend if anyone is interested.