Friday, August 11, 2017

"...And Knowledge Shall Be Increased" You Say That Like It's a Bad Thing

I believe most here can recall the great proofs that evolution could not possibly true because , well it just can't be true if Genesis is literally true. Top Church paleontologists  like Herbert W. Armstrong, Garner Ted and others with clever titles and in colorful, yet short, booklets, took on all worldly trained paleontologists, cosmologists and archaeologists and exposed their lifetime work in the field as nonsense. From the comfort of their office chairs and obvious ability to just make stuff up without proper inquiry, theories for the birds and whales of tales were exposed for the frauds they were.

Top paleontologist, cosmologist, biologist, archaeologist and theologian David C. Pack is the latest Top Church of God Scientist to tackle these fishy issues having learned the truth about evolution a full 50 years ago in Second Year Bible where the Church destroyed all doubt by having him outline Whitcomb and Morris's  The Genesis Flood   with no actual discussion on the contents ever as if they could.

However, Dave lost.....

Time for an update...

“Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.”

― Thomas Henry HuxleyLife and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Volume 1

Short attention span theater

Longer attention span theater

Full Sabbath School Version


Anonymous said...

Charles Darwin took a stab at accounting for whales in the first edition of Origin of Species. He noted that black bears had been seen swimming with their mouths open for hours at a time on the surface of a lake, feeding on floating insects. "I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths," Darwin concluded, "till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."
That's some wild imagination. All the supposed "whale" transition fossils can just as easily be understood as separate species.

Evolution can not explain where the library of intricate information came from in DNA. Information can not come from matter or energy, only intelligence.

Byker Bob said...

Most church people don't understand that evolution has evolved since Darwin. They have used Charles Darwin and the later Piltdown hoax as strawmen, readily able to be attacked for the purpose of repudiating a theory which is stronger than the theories of British Israelism, German Assyrianism, Simon Magus, Church Eras, the "True" History of the "True" Church, and all of the pivotal theories on which Armstrongism is based.

If you study what is available through the sciences, and believe the Bible, really the only alternative is some sort of carefully guided theistic evolution. The ACOGs will never see the merits of this, because they use the back-edited version of creation week which was most likely prepared either during the editing of the ancient scrolls in the Babylonian captivity or the intertestamental period to support their beliefs on sabbath-keeping.


Anonymous said...

you're going to have to do better than that Aron dude...he comes across as very arrogant and his arguments don't hold up.

Dennis Diehl said...

I include "Aron Dude" because he took the time in 16 presentations to take our own DCP apart.

Gerald Bronkar said...

Scientists did not begin to develop theories supporting evolution because they wanted to rebel, but rather because there was no tangible evidence for a god. There still is not!

When I look around this world at mountains of human suffering and attempt to equate it with a loving god, I am at a complete loss. Of course bible readers will say that I just don't understand God's Plan, and my thoughts are not His thoughts.

I would love to believe in a loving God, and I did for years, in spite of the lack of any real evidence. It is a big, cruel, ugly, competitive world out there; much worse than most of us in America care to recognize. Why would a powerful, loving God permit all the agony when He could stop it instantly?

Christians, Jews and Muslims continue to wait and tell themselves that God has a perfect plan as they read their holy books. It would be so easy for God to stop the suffering right now, if He exists.

Either he is heartless or non-existent. None of us is that special, and we are all going to the same place.

Anonymous said...

E-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e, 8:50. Otherwise, you might as well have said "Aron Ra's mother wears combat boots". I'm not a big fan of people letting a cut and paste do their talking for them either. But, you should be able to tell us how and why the man's arguments don't hold up.

Anonymous said...

Aron could take you apart 8:50

Still Learning said...

BB @ 8:48 am, you've got an excellent point: "If you study what is available through the sciences, and believe the Bible, really the only alternative is some sort of carefully guided theistic evolution."

For what it's worth, I know of some in my particular ACOG who quietly believe this. They don't go stirring the pot with it, preferring to 'lay low' and not attract negative attention.

In the end, we're individually responsible for our actions and our beliefs. No corporation should dictate what we believe. It should be an informed faith that has considered the available evidence.
I don't agree with everything that my ACOG teaches, but I also don't need to. I don't answer to them. As long as they are not predatory, abusive, controlling, etc., I am content to co-exist with them.

Anonymous said...

The reason God allows suffering and does not put a stop to it is because He is not above basic reality. He allowed Lucifer to become Satan and angels to follow him and become demons. He could not stop them without taking away their free moral agency, in which case they would be reduced to puppets rather than being made in Gods image with free will.

I've noticed on many occasions that church members have problems with basic reality.
By the way, ministers try to force their members to be "good" and look how that works out. Endless complaints from members.
Perhaps the solution to suffering is people building character.

James said...

Dennis wrote : "Either he is heartless or non-existent. None of us is that special, and we are all going to the same place."

Or, God is not what you think God is because people ignorantly believe that the bible is Gods word. Its not. What if "we" put ourselves down here on earth and not some "god"?

I do believe that this life is bigger than we can know. All we can know is what the evidence shows us. Either way, I cannot prove my idea nor can I prove that a God exists. It cannot be done for or against.

So with that, people will make their own minds up about what "God" is or if "God" exists. The answer will reveal a great deal about yourself. Are you honest with yourself or do you live a life of deceit?

If you deceive even yourself, you lack moral direction. For if you won't even look after yourself, why should anyone else ever make a stand to protect you or to honor you?
You don't deserve it so don't expect it.

Life is about choices and not what some guy in a suit says to you at Sabbath services. Think for yourself you idiots!

DennisCDiehl said...

I didn't write that

Byker Bob said...

I'm glad you found a non-predatory, non-abusive, non-controlling group with whom to fellowship, 12:52, and especially glad that you don't check your brain at the door like we had to do in the old days. Also, I've got nothing against the Jewish influences myself, I just happen to believe that they've been fulfilled. It's always great to be able to have intelligent discussion with a thinking ACOG member. Have a great Sabbath!


Gordon Feil said...

Evolutionary arguments have gotten more sophisticated over the years.  So have creationist arguments.  

The evidence attached to phenomena is very contextual. For example, I can see vestigial organs as evidence of descent from another species, or I can see them as evidence of a common designer. More than once I have seen a machine contain a component that obviously wasn't designed for it but was adapted from some other machine by reason of expediency. One has only to compare a Ford to its counterpart Lincoln model to note how designers build one design from the other.

An examination of individual vestiges often turns up hidden functionality. One instance is the human coccyx, or tailbone. Sometimes babies are even born with a tail. All suggestive of an ancestor that had a functioning tail. Yet closer examination reveals that babies' tails are never boney, but are tumours composed of fatty tissue, certainly not the skeletal tails of other species, and we now now that to tailbone is an anchor for muscle tissue that holds the anus in place, so it is hardly vestigial in the sense of being a leftover.

Thinkers such as Joseph Chilton Pearce have proposed that we shape our universe with our thoughts and expectations, and these writers offer anecdotal evidence of it. In one of my recent blog posts I remarked that if the past does indeed exist simultaneously with the present and the future, there is no more reason to think that anything in the past causes something in the future any more than to think that the future causes the past. For all I know, we were created and now the past has changed because of our thoughts. This is not my conclusion, but I would be hard pressed to disprove it.

If our universe is the hologram I think it probably is and we are holo-chacters similar to then ones on a Star Trek holo-deck, then it is no surprise to that this holo-world came into being 6000 years ago with fossils already intact.  Creation with a past built into it.

My point is that we need to not be too harsh in our assessment of other people's views. Personally, I have trouble with evolution as a paradigm. I think it's a fad that will be one day be superseded by some other fad.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:52PM

If people in your ACOG quietly believe in theistic evolution, why do they stay in that ACOG? To reconcile theistic evolution with the Bible, one must treat big parts of the Bible as fiction and/or allegory in ways that would mean that your ACOG is wildly wrong not just about history but about prophecy, and likely even about some things Christians are or are not expected to do. Staying in an organization that you know teaches untruths is no good for you, and no good for others who see you setting the example of staying.

Anonymous said...

If our universe is the hologram I think it probably is and we are holo-chacters similar to then ones on a Star Trek holo-deck, then it is no surprise to that this holo-world came into being 6000 years ago with fossils already intact. Creation with a past built into it.

There is no more and no less scientific, fact-based evidence for your theory than for a similar theory suggesting that the hologram came into being 20 minutes ago, and included a lifetime of your past memories that give you the illusion that you existed more than 20 minutes ago.

John Cafourek Is An Idiot said...

Great Post!

Michael said...

Anon wrote:
"The reason God allows suffering and does not put a stop to it is because He is not above basic reality. "

So in the classic Euthyphro conundrum of whether evil exists because God is not good enough or not powerful enough, the above falls down squarely on "not powerful enough".

When you say he's not above basic reality, that's admitting that even "God" would be subject to logical laws of reality, and so he's not the be-all and end-all.

So much for the all-powerful God.

Reminds me of HWA's old phrase, "God cannot create character by fiat!". Remember that one?
Same thing. If God were indeed all powerful there would be no reason he couldn't do that. Instead, he's constrained by the natural laws of reality just like everybody else.

Michael said...

one of the innumerable Anons wrote:
"Evolution can not explain where the library of intricate information came from in DNA. Information can not come from matter or energy, only intelligence. "

It ought to be obvious that the addition of a single base pair (by random mutation) to any DNA would be an increase in information. More data than was there previously.

Or a duplication of an existing gene upstream or downstream. Adding many thousands of base pairs that were previously not in the genome obviously increases the information content.

Michael said...

Byker Bob wrote:
"If you study what is available through the sciences, and believe the Bible, really the only alternative is some sort of carefully guided theistic evolution. The ACOGs will never see the merits of this..."

Such a view (theistic evolution), a la Hugh Ross, BioLogos and others, seems to me to be a blatant act of clutching at straws to try to rescue a desired belief system.

Because it raises so, so many more problems - why a God would use such a wasteful method (both of time and resources, not to mention biological lives). And also very clearly stated bible verses (obviously meant to be literal when written by their ignorant authors) no longer mean what they originally said but are forced to become metaphor....

I mean, these people realize that evolution is an inescapable conclusion, but they still want to reconcile it with the religious beliefs they learned at their mother's knee... like, drop it already y'know?

Still Learning said...

@ 6:48 pm, I suppose we stay in part because we haven't yet found a strongly compelling reason not to.
I couldn't really say exactly how many harbor such differing beliefs, but since the group doesn't have an Armstrong-era focus on prophecy and such, it's easier to let the lesser things slide. Perhaps we all have our own ideas about what the lesser things are.

I recently heard an older member fondly mention 'the good old days, when everybody believed the same thing.' I don't really know when that was, because it would seem that 'everybody' has had different ideas since 31 AD!

@ BB 4:52, I have to admit that I am only in the last few years learning to un-check my brain at the door! It's hard to overcome a lifetime of programming. Having come of age in a post-1975 era, I've had a different experience than many of the regular posters on here because I was just finishing up Y.O.U. in the time of the Tkach changes. Maybe the harsh approaches of previous eras were softening by then?
So I appreciate reading everyone's experiences and insight into how things were in the 'old' days. There are a lot of comments on here that really make one think!

As you can guess by my screen name, I'm still investigating things. I've learned more in the past two years than I ever did before. And as you mentioned, I am also starting to wonder about the focus and fulfillment of the holy days--an ongoing study project right now.

Byker Bob said...

Realizing that God worked through evolution seemed like an unlocked understanding to me, not some sort of desperate move to retain faith. Statistical analysis of evolutionary probabilities plotted against time, plus the synchronization of parallel evolutions amongst plants and animals that depend upon one another for their very existence convinced me that evolution is a carefully guided process. Also, for life to exist at all, there are a number of carefully tuned constants, the modification of any one of which would render life as we know it impossible.

There have always been allegories, parables, personification, and metaphors in the Bible. Believers interpret these in different ways in an effort to decide precisely what is what. There are indicators of periodic past revisions remaining in the words of the Bible, and any attempt to translate any material from its original language automatically results in a paraphrase. So, right off the bat, the people who utilize it to spell out and enforce a system of legalism have some real problems of which they are most likely not even aware. Like all great works of literature, the Bible imparts personalized meanings to the individual reader. It's not a one size fits all book. The one size fits all approach is what has created "religion".

So, no, I don't believe I'm going to drop it just yet. There is one aspect of my past atheism that I much preferred though, and that was the belief that when one dies, that's it. It's over. I really don't like the idea of having to exist forever and ever and ever, regardless as to how good conditions are supposed to be. And, don't even get me started on being required to rule X number of cities with a rod of iron. I prefer exercising and maximizing my own natural gifts and skill set, and not having to switch skills in order to be some kind of overseer. Authority still sucks even if I'm the one who has it.


Hoss said...

In one of the first few PTs I received was the case of the paradoxical platypus. Years later at an FOT, there was a film showing anomalies with emus and marsupials – Australian animals are very popular.
At one time I thought an evolutionary biology student who wanted a research project or thesis topic should look through WCG materials that present situations that “scientists can’t explain”. Obviously research has been done since then.
Dave and Aron are much better at pronouncing scientific terms than Dr Bob…

Michael said...

Byker Bob wrote:
"the synchronization of parallel evolutions amongst plants and animals that depend upon one another for their very existence convinced me that evolution is a carefully guided process."

Agree it's a carefully guided process. What's wrong with simple natural selection doing the guiding?

If you make it God, then the millions upon billions of creatures that had to die, be born deformed, got weeded out as the weak, lost to competition, etc. to get where we are today, makes that God a very, very sadistic being I wouldn't want to be with for all eternity....

"There is one aspect of my past atheism that I much preferred though, and that was the belief that when one dies, that's it."

Ironic. That's pretty much the only part of my (current) atheism that I don't like :)

Big Dave said...

What does any of this have to do with anything related to being a good person and treating others with kindness?

Byker Bob said...

Hoss, what you said about scientists examining the claims made in the WCG booklets is very insightful in that it just skims the surface of what has happened with ALL claims made in ALL booklets put out by the WCG (not only scientific, but also theological). When the world first heard all of the Armstrongs' material, it was a fresh package, authoritatively presented, and it required some time for proper learned authorities on the various topics to "catch up", to present correct factual material to counter the blitz of "information" presented by HWA's organization.

To explain why the Armstrong movement is moribund today, I use the disease model. Armstrongism is a disease for which a vaccine/antidote (greater knowledge) has been synthesized, and readily available for several decades. The greater public has been largely innoculated, meaning that the disease is not actively spreading. However, the current devout believers in Armstrongism are largely anti-vaxxers, or in some cases are using marginally effective homeopathic medications which can alter or relieve some of the symptoms, but not completely cure the disease.

It is always a wonderful occasion when new people who have just become aware of the vaccine come here to share their experiences.


Anonymous said...


It's not just science in the vaccine. Because of the Internet, it's easy for an excited new true believer to find the old 1934 Plain Truth in which HWA sets long-expired dates and gives Mussolini a prophetic role that just didn't turn out the way he expected.

During HWA's lifetime, and even Joe Sr's, only a few serious investigators would have found the old pre-WWII HWA writings, which prove that he was not only teaching some very different things back then, but was wildly wrong about prophecy to a degree undermines any claims of divine inspiration. Part of what allowed HWA to hook new suckers is that in the pre-Internet days he was able several times to change very basic elements of his "fresh package" and not be held accountable for old false prophecies.

Byker Bob said...

"If you make it God........"

I believe that the ingredients God used in creating the Universe are elements of Himself. The Bible says as much. How else could God be omnipresent and omniscient? That's why there is identifiable communication amongst all of the components, and why symbiotic evolution is possible. In other words, the fact that God is everything, and is in everything in the universe is what causes or orchestrates natural selection. Good things and bad things happen. Since you can't escape the two poles, it's incumbent upon all of us to achieve equillibrium in our lives and for those with whom we are entrusted. This is how God uses the poles against one another to ultmately produce good, which is actually the sweet spot in the middle.

I believe that most Christians feel that in the Kingdom, all badness will cease to exist. The problem with that logic is that the existence of any given quantity or commodity automatically brings with it the knowledge of its opposite.


Byker Bob said...

Agreed, 2:12, and a very good point! The intenet is a major component of the vaccine. I'd like to think that if my parents had had the information you cited surrounding the late '30s and early '40s, they would have been immunized against being scammed in the 1950s. At that time, it was not possible for most to obtain a second opinion. Existing family and friends of that day were not well enough informed to combat Armstrongism on a convincing or authoritative level, so the disparaging comments and remarks that actually were made served to drive victims more deeply into Armstrongism. There was no, "Here, I Googled it on the internet and you are about to join a toxic cult, and here is what past victims have to say."
That possibility did not become available until the early 2,000s!

nck said...


No, In most parts of the world wcg was labeled a cult and in the USA plenty of counter ideologists were available.

The point is. Many of the "atrocities" were and still are part of particular culture, like the legal child beating in many States. At the time it fitted a conservative culture and people were even bringing their own ideas into an originally liberating experience.

In my particular family, wcg was a breath of fresh air compared to the SDA contemporaries as they were in the sixties.

In many ways wcg was a "coming of age story" starting with young "dynamic" preachers. Fitting conservatives in times of turmoil and social change.

The model today does not fit modern times. Although both in Iran and the USA, frightening religious philosophy managed to get a grip on policy making that does not fit progressive strategy.

In a way Kim is Chinas expirement on totalitarianism and mind control. Just as HWA was the UN and US pet for internationalism and mind control special opp experiment in smaller societies in controlled media environments.


Anonymous said...

In what capacity are you anon 1.40 to decide that members have a problem with basic reality ? What if your concept of basic reality is off balance then you would think the members are deluded when it could be simply you. Arrogance snuffs out basic humilty to see another's opinion

Hoss said...

Byker Bob wrote The intenet is a major component

A side issue on this is how quick access to the internet would have dispelled sermonette whoppers - the "fascinating facts" and stories that were dredged up to make a sermonette.
Some of the "facts" involved false statistics, correlation twisted into causation, etc. Two stories that come to mind are the "eye of a needle" being a gate into Jerusalem, and the "missing day" that a NASA scientist "discovered" that was reconciled by Biblical events involving manipulation of time (like Joshua's long day).
Quick checks on things like this would probably result in HQ directives like "No Googling during services!"

Byker Bob said...

I really wonder what lengths a typical individual will go to in order to establish the true facts. In society at large, most people I've known repeat what the smartest person in their family, circle of friends or colleague at work has stated, never giving it a second thought. It seems as if it's always the people in the 98-99th %tile who do the actual fact checking.

In Armstrongism, the sharpest members were capable of memorizing and repeating back the eisegetic chain of scriptures which supposedly proved each of the basic doctrines, maybe even occasionally using Strong's Exhaustive Concordance for additional support. Couple that with your Hislop, and it's all you need. The minute anyone went beyond those approved sources, especially if they began to appear to know more than the ministers, it was a recipe for disfellowshipment.

The internet is both search engine and resource today, and a few fact-checking mouse clicks will totally obliterate Armstrongism. I wonder how the ministers are able to deal with that? Some have forbidden or greatly restricted internet usage. The thing is, what does a minister do if he uncovers the real facts, and discovers that he's been teaching falsehoods and receiving his paycheck under false pretenses? That can't not be happening.


nck said...

If I would place a bet TODAY I would bet that BB' assertion is right.

However I would have placed a bet in the seventies that Christianity in its entirety would have died by now.

Until I noticed during the first Gulf War that churches started filling up again.

Man will find reasons to believe anything.


Hoss said...

One of the frequently used buzzwords of my last WCG minister was depth. We were all expected to remember WCG-specific doctrines in depth, and be able to rattle off key prooftexts. In Spokesman’s Club, to add depth to Table Topics, we all had to read Newsweek before each meeting. Although he never recommended a Bible commentary, the one I had lacked depth.
It was interesting that one of Bob Thiel’s gripes about LCG was the use of Protestant Bible commentaries, and he defends his use of a whole manner of extra-biblical sources, references of poor scholarship, and questionable news sites.
The first time I remember doing research was after my 4th grade teacher said that the holes in Swiss cheese were caused by worms. We had an Encyclopedia, and I soon found the holes were trapped CO2 bubbles. But now I wonder if the teacher believed what she said, or just tossed out something to see who would think about what she said – or that she was thinking about Sardinian maggot cheese…