Against Old Earth Creationism

Science and Scripture: some say they represent truth and fiction. Others say they are both valuable but like like oil and water just don’t mix. Still others say they are like the ingredients of a delicious smoothy, still others seek a middle way. During an online discussion at another forum, one participant wrote as follows:

“Hello, if I could nudge my way into this excellent discussion here briefly. But would you allow a non-scientist such as Ken Ham to tell you should interpret science to fit it into the bible just because he starts with a presupposition you already hold to? I’m only asking that we don’t yield unquestioning authority to those who are not experts. I would prefer not to have Ken Ham and other picking the Bible up and twisting science with it or picking up science and twisting my Bible with it either. Forcing us to believe that the Bible requires us to believe that two animals flew off the ark and evolved into 1200 species of bats in a few hundred years shouldn’t be the only valid way we must interpret scripture.”

This writer responded as follows; some minor editing was done to remove the superfluous and to protect privacy.

Hello Mr. [name], I am going to back way up and challenge the very concept of expertise, especially when it comes to theorizing about the phenomena of this fallen world.

An expert pathologist or mortician would be able to tell us, in great technical detail, what happens to the body following a person’s decease. A process called autolysis starts within minutes of expiration. Deprived of the oxygen supplied to them by the now still cardiopulmonary system, cells break down releasing enzymes, and decomposition is underway.

I “googled” and condensed that info. (Here’s a word I added to my vocabulary when doing so: thanatomicrobiome. I can’t wait to use it in everyday conversation. ☺) But without benefit of search engine, our expert no doubt could discourse at length about that as well as the next step, when microorganisms start spreading out from the gut as the descent back to dust marches on and a stench starts to ascend.

The expert would be able to speak in expert language about the pooling of blood, the cooling from 98.6 F (or thereabouts) to room temperature, the discoloration of the skin, and the rigor mortis which begot that slang term for a corpse, “stiff.”

What if this expert should go on to tell me that based on his profound scientific knowledge, it is absurd to believe that Jesus rose from the dead after three days? I would reply that the Father did not suffer His holy One to see corruption (Psalm 16:10, Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31, Acts 13:35). I would proclaim that the Christ in Whose mouth was no deceit said He had the power to lay down His life and take it up again (Isaiah 53:9, 1 Peter 1:22, John 10:18).

In my joyful hope of someday sharing in it, I would declare that Jesus’ resurrection was accomplished with power according to the Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4). By that power He Who is able to subject all things to Himself and Who will raise His people from the dead (Philippians 3:21), was able to suspend or alter the ordinary course of providence following physical death. (For when gestation, autolysis, decomposition, lunar phases or ANY phenomenon is observed, the observer is beholding providence, whether he recognizes it or not.)

In short, I would tell that expert he was…er…dead wrong! Should that expert profess to be a Bible believing Christian, but one who on the basis of what he observes cannot accept the literal, bodily resurrection of our Lord, I first would charitably assume that the expert on death was woefully untaught about the Person and work of the Prince of life, and show him from Scripture that our faith is built on this pillar of Gospel truth: the true, literal, physical, bodily, historical (add as many affirming adjectives as you will) glorious resurrection of our Savior!

And what did that miracle of miracles demonstrate? Perfect justification following all the eternal damnation meriting sin of a multitude of sinners which no mathematical expert can number! In His resurrection inheres the ultimate destruction of death itself, the eschatological redemption of the now groaning creation (Romans 8:19-22) which was created in Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16) Who is spotlessly pure. How could that which was created in Christ the dazzlingly holy One ever have had death in any form whatsoever unless sin had come in, and death with it (Romans 5:12)?

Those trusting in His victorious abolition of death now can be assured that they are adopted as sons, partakers of the sanctifying Holy Spirit, yea partakers of the divine nature! Wow, who dares claim full understanding of that breathtaking promise! Who does not fear to go beyond what it written, lest he blur the Creator/creature distinction? But so it stands in the inspired apostolic letter, 2 Peter 1:4.

Seeing what was accomplished according to Scripture by all the adoration instilling miracles from incarnation through ascension, how can we doubt that lesser divine works were done beforehand to accomplish God’s eternal purpose in Christ?

Two such works, prodigious in their display of power, are the parting ot the Red Sea and the standing still of the sun and moon at the command of Joshua. Do we believe these things truly happened, or do we let experts in hydraulics or astronomy intimidate us into believing the Israelites crossed in some unusual but not miraculous way at the ebbing “reed sea,” and that there is some “explanation” for what happened on that singular day at Gibeon in the valley of Aijalon, that day unlike any day before or since (Joshua 10:14)?

How many other miracles recorded in Scripture would rile “experts?” Did the serpent in Eden or Balaam’s donkey really speak, or must those events be explained or spiritualized away? How about the floating iron ax head, or the shadow on the stairway of Ahaz going back ten steps? Where exactly did Elijah go when a chariot of fire and horses of fire suddenly appeared and he went up by a whirlwind to heaven? The list goes on.

Did God create the universe with “the appearance of age?” Only if one already has certain presumptions does age appear. If we had been able to see Adam one hour after his creation, we probably would have assumed that he had already lived a couple of decades or so. But Adam was not created with the appearance of age. God determined to create the first man, not the first zygote or baby!

Adam and then Eve were the crown of a universe fully functional from the beginning. Why can we not reason analogously to the case of the newly created Adam when it comes to stars at a great distance from the earth, or apple trees already laden with fruit? Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Genesis 18:14). Our confessional position on creation solves the age old riddle, which came first, the chicken or the egg? It was the chicken!

What grounds exist for incredulity if the wise, omniscient God created a single primeval kind of bat with the capacity to adapt (not evolve, unless the regrettable term “micro-evolution” is used instead of adaptation) into diverse versions of that original kind, i.e. into what modern experts call species? Also, there might have been more than one original kind of bat.

[Another participant in the conversation] has indicated that he believes in an historical Adam and that the geneaologies of Genesis 5 and 11 give us a reliable chronology; an actual history recorded in terms of literal years of ordinary length, made up of literal days of ordinary length, from the first such day of Adam’s life onward.

ASIDE: If the creation week was not a week of consecutive days of ordinary length, just when was the first day of ordinary length? (I avoid the term “solar day” because the first three days were sunless; God made the sun on day four to govern a length of duration which He had already established.) If the sixth creation day was an eon of uncertain length, at what point during that eon was Adam created (or given the imago Dei), and how does that effect the reliable geneaology?

What about the first sabbath? Was it an eon or a literal day? Maybe the eighth day was the first literal day, called by the same name even though its duration was infinitesimally shorter than the first six or seven. Where in Scripture do we find the change in the length of a day from eon to 24 little hours?

I challenge either of you or any other old earth creationist to interpret the following pericope in a way consistent with belief in a literal, historical Adam:

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2:21-23 NASB).

The idea that God took two human-like beings, added the image of God and voila…Adam and Eve! flies in the face of this passage. It denies that Adam preexisted Eve. (That he did so only for a brief period is immaterial.) It denies that Eve was taken out of Adam’s body by an extraordinary work of creation. And thus it turns Adam’s statement into nonsense, as well as Paul’s: “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” (1 Timothy 2:13 NASB).

So it is with old earth creationism generally speaking. It elevates the fallible observations which fallen men make about this fallen creation over the special verbal revelation God has given us. To cite the enemy of us all, “Has God really said?”

Finally and very briefly: without launching into the pre-mil vs. a-mil vs. post-mil discussion, I ask that you also consider Isaiah 11. Unless we spiritualize away statements made there regarding the animal kingdom, it appears that predation will, in God’s time, be a thing of the past. If the cosmic redemption being accomplished in Christ includes the behavior of animals, is it not reasonable to believe that as far as predation, “in the beginning it was not so?” On the other hand, if predation is part of God’s primeval very good pronouncement, should we expect it to exist in the consummate state? In that case, what do the words of Isaiah mean?

I make no apology for my presupposition that the Bible is inerrant, infallible, God-breathed and fully authoritative. Shall I compromise with what error-prone, fallible, “experts” say with their own breath when it contradicts what God has clearly said?

“May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.’ ” (Romans 3:4 NASB)

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Did Animals Die in the Beginning?

It is from God’s self-disclosure in Scripture alone that we gain understanding of His being and nature. The living God of unfathomable love and perfect righteousness reveals Himself as Creator, Redeemer, Provider…He makes known His glorious holiness and adorable attributes such as eternity, omniscience, omnipotence, aseity, immutability and more.

Although the science of theology must never impute its formulae into Scripture, our Scripturally accurate understanding of God MUST inform our hypotheses and theories as we investigate God’s universe; this great theatre of His glory. Hence the saying “theology is the queen of sciences.” Like all human pursuits, scientific ones must be done righteously. This of course is expressly and vigorously contrary to the wicked thinking that equates objectivity with godlessness…

When it comes to the branch of science known as cosmogony (not to be confused with a closely related discipline, cosmology) are we doing justice to the Bible and a Biblical understanding of God’s being and nature if we believe that death for animals existed even before the Fall of Man into sin? The Bible says it was that tragic Fall, the most surpassingly tragic event in history (real history, not the evolutionary re-write) which brought death into God’s once perfect world (Romans 5:12). Can we reasonably limit that to human death?

How so, if we are mindful of the divine Lawgiver Who ordained a sabbath rest for man and beast (Exodus 20:10,11)? How so, remembering that the God of all mercies expressed to the prophet Jonah His concern for even the cattle of the city of Nineveh (Jonah 4:11)? How so, if the Creator Who says of His image-bearer that righteousness involves tender concern for the life of his animal (cf. Proverbs 12:10)? How so, if the prophet Isaiah (chapter 11) foresaw peaceful co-existence where the predator and prey relationship exists now?

No kind of death, decay, corruption, or futility inhered anywhere in God’s very good creation (Genesis 1:31) at the beginning. Christ’s apostle summarizes why those things exist now, as well as the hope which the Bible believer has regarding their ultimate and eternal demise:

“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Romans 8:20-22)

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Not feelin’ the Bern

Let’s listen in to an imaginary conversation between Vermont’s senior senator and a middle class head of household TAXPAYER who is quite satisfied with how he is addressing the health concerns of his family, aided by health care services available on the open market which he can freely purchase or not purchase. He has the right to choose.

 

BERNIE, passionately: I believe that health care is a basic human right!

TAXPAYER, coolly and sincerely: Why, Senator?

BERNIE, surprised: What do you mean “why?!” Don’t you want all Americans to have good health care?

TAXPAYER, smiling: Sure! I WANT all Americans to have that. No doubt we both would want all Americans to always have perfect health, and never need any health care services in the first place. I want cancer, diabetes, and strokes not to exist, and I’m sure you also would want that. But I’m not asking about what you, me, or anybody wants. I’m asking why you believe it is a basic human RIGHT.

BERNIE, exasperated: What about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”

TAXPAYER, confidently: What about it? Did you hear yourself speak the word pursuit there? That inspiring phrase envisions industrious, self motivated people using their own resourcefulness and ingenuity to go for the American dream. It does not envision the government somehow providing happiness. So again I ask, why do you believe health care is a basic human right?

BERNIE, fed up: Well…it’s what I believe and I think many Americans also believe it. We must make it a right. As president I will seek to have the right to health care legislated into existence, and it will be paid for by taxation.

BERNIE, furtively throwing a bone: You’re not mega rich, my fellow American. Your tax burden will not become much heavier. Mine will, but I’m OK with that.

TAXPAYER, despising the bone and striving to remain civil: O, c’mon Senator! I’m asking you to articulate why health care is a basic human right! You believe it is? Sorry, that does not cut it as an answer to WHY it is.

TAXPAYER, continuing: The founders said that our basic human rights are inalienable, self evident, and come from God. So they wrote a constitution which aims to protect pre-existing rights, not a constitution which legislates rights into existence. The state is not the source of our rights, sir!

TAXPAYER, concluding: You assert that health care is a basic human right. Help me follow your reasoning. Show me how you arrive at that assertion. Show me how it is self evident. If not from our Creator, where does that right come from? Who gave it to us? Again, WHY is health care a basic human right?

BERNIE, or one of his supporters: please provide your response in the “comments” section. In the meantime, yours truly will argue as follows to dislodge this plank from Senator Sanders’ rickety political platform.

1. Who will decide what parties are legitimate service providers? And who will determine what constitutes “health care?” If someone insists that Dr. Quack’s Old Fashioned Tequila Spiked Snake Oil is good for whatever ails him, by what standard will treatment by that potion of unknown ingredients be approved or disapproved?

And by what standard will patient claims be honored or denied? (Anticipated response on this one: convert the A.M.A. into a government agency or replace it with one.)

2. Who will set the prices for services? Will it be concerned practitioners of the healing arts who know and care about their patients, or bureaucrats unknown to the patients (and vice versa) and who know little or nothing about practicing medicine?

3. What financial ceilings for claims, if any, will be put in place? Which leads us to ask…

4. Can you say MASSIVE FRAUD? Insurance companies are motivated to protect their profits. Those stockholders are watching! How motivated are bureaucrats who get a paycheck whether their claims adjustment work is consistently diligent or not?

No stockholders to worry about! Avoiding hard work and escaping accountability is job one. Can you say corruption and criminal negligence? Think of the recent exposure of bad actors in the Veteran’s Administration.

5. What about an unborn child’s right to health care? Oh, wait…that’s right, they have no rights. Feel free to destroy them in the womb with impunity. The pro-abortionist claims it is a woman’s right to refuse to carry her child to term. Behold the shallow inconsistency and glaring hypocrisy! The same woman is to be denied the right to refuse government mandated “health insurance!” It is not helpless babies, but Bernie’s plan that should be aborted!

6. Is power to initiate, provide, or manage any kind of health care found among the enumerated powers of Congress, as per Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. constitution? (That constitution can be read by a modern American adult in about an half hour. Familiarity with it once inhered in the fabric of an 8th grade education.)

The Tenth Amendment declares that “…the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So what about states’ rights? Does Congress just ride roughshod over them? Does the U.S. president swear to uphold the constitution? Or is that just lip service given at inauguration time, after which capriciously playing fast and loose with our noble constitution is standard operating procedure?

7. Though listed last this is of primary and profound significance. Trying to make health care a basic human right by legislation is just one more way the government is deified; that is, allowed to usurp the place of God the Giver of human rights and the rightful Governor of all things.

We human beings are His creatures, made for His purposes, made to be thankfully dependent on Him. When we attempt to put God behind our backs, to despise or marginalize Him (O the folly!) we inevitably raise up a substitute for God, commonly called an IDOL. Like the stone and wood statues of ancient paganism, that idol is powerless and soon crumbles into dust.

Again and again, godless socialism has doomed societies to self destruction, their populations embracing it like hapless lemmings. History is littered with its wrecks, Venezuela being a recent casualty. Analyzing Hegel’s idea of the state as “the march of God on earth,” Roland Watson expressed it well:

“The theologian states that God has no need of anyone or anything to sustain Him, but the State is a parasite which dies with the last willing taxpayer. Turn off the supply of tax dollars and gilt-edged securities and this creature dies a death and is cast to the dogs.” *

Health care is NOT a basic human right! Attempts to engineer society based on that misconception are doomed to failure. But a society which has a thriving health care network created by the so called “private sector” is possible. The best route to that blessed potential is the route paved with faith and with the opportunity and innovation which are found in the free market.

*www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/roland-watson/the-state-as-god/

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Adding to the Newspeak Vocabulary

“As personal communication, Newspeak is to be spoken in staccato rhythm, using short-syllable words that are easy to pronounce, which generates speech that is physically automatic and intellectually unconscious, thereby diminishing the possibility of critical thought occurring to the speaker.” — George Orwell

It’s too bad about the word ALIEN. Originally, it referred to terrestrial human beings. They were citizens of one nation sojourning in a nation of which they were not citizens; some in a lawful way, others unlawfully. With the advent of science fiction came an etymological metamorphosis.

Now, the word ALIEN conjures up images of E.T., little green men from the red planet, or entomological predators which use human chest cavities as hatcheries. Meanwhile, at least in America, people who are citizens of other countries are indiscriminately called “immigrants.”

Lawful immigration is good. But people lawlessly crashing our borders are not engaged in immigration. They are illegal aliens. In a nation of laws, they are criminals, comparable to the criminal who breaks and enters a private dwelling or place of business.

America is a country which has historically welcomed people from all over the world. Some entered as visa holders, others as lawful permanent residents (“green cards” were originally called alien registration cards), some became naturalized citizens. Yes the Statue of Liberty symbolizes the compassionate, welcoming spirit of America. Yes, we want people to come here lawfully to enjoy all our great country has to offer.

But to simply allow people to rush in unvetted, unknown? What a threat to national security! What a slap in the face to persons who have lawfully sojourned among us or diligently and painstakingly have pursued their prized goal: CITIZENSHIP in the one country where freedom and opportunity flourish as they do no where else on Earth!

What a cruel way for poor and oppressed people to get beguiled into criminal behavior. What a way to give human coyotes an exploitation field day, and to incentivize child abuse and human trafficking. What a way to unleash hardened criminals into new territory in which they can murder, rape, and steal.

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Answered: Cotton-Eye Joe* Question!

Major theological battles have been waged over what the Bible teaches about origins and destinies. What we believe about where we came from and what we believe about where we are going both have tremendous impact on how we live NOW.

In other words, eschatology is important, and so is protology.

What if one believes that in the beginning, an inexplicable explosion somehow caused matter of unknown origin to organize itself into a universe? What if one believes that life mysteriously sprung forth from that matter then evolved, and that people are only one result of evolution? What if one believes that in the end humanity and all life forms will go extinct and the meaningless universe collapse into oblivion? Only utter despair is consistent for one holding that basic world view, however nuanced.

What if one claims to believe the Bible but allows that its clear account of divine creation is ambiguous and/or might include evolution directed by God? In that case Marxism or other forms of statist idolatry as well as ideologies about ethnic supremacy, abortion, and others cannot be consistently denied. It’s the law of the jungle, the best predator rules!

And if that one’s eschatological view is one in which Christ somehow wins as far as eternal matters but evil wins the day in history, zeal for the advance and triumph of the His kingdom here and now is rendered inconsistent.

However, what if one believes that God brought forth the entire universe about six thousand years ago, with human beings specially created in his holy image? What if one believes that the same God has been directing all of history since creation toward a gloriously triumphant conclusion, albeit through many an evil day and through battles not merely theological but bloody? If one so believes, then what?

Despair is ruled out and hope abounds. All forms of hatred, despising of human life, and organized oppression can be opposed consistently and vigorously. With full expectancy that His kingdom is coming and will come, that one continually prays to the God of creation, providence, and redemption: “Thy kingdom come.”

Short version: Even while the universe was being created, the Creator saw that it was good. On the day it was finished, He pronounced it very good. Then, tragically and incomprehensibly, the universe including humanity was horribly ruined by human sin.

But God the Redeemer’s eternal plan and purpose to save it through Jesus the Messiah immediately began to unfold and continues to this day. On the day of the consummation of history…at the time of the restoration of all things, then the universe will be GLORIOUS!

*Debby McClatchy’s modern version of a folk song of older and obscure origin minded the author to so title this meditation. That song includes the lyrics:

Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?

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Which Rising?

One rising is a myth masquerading as history. Unimaginable eons ago as the story goes, chaos magically caused life to rise up from inert matter. Instead of the magic wand of other fairy tales, this one uses more fantastically long stretches of time as it continues to spin its yarn.

It waves that wand over a lifeless ball of dust spinning in the big bang begotten cosmos and poof! Microbes rise into mice and men. Though unable to offer one shred of fossilized proof, it would have us accept its arcane interpretation of the fossil record as the true account of the existence of our species, which is no more than the one which has risen to the top of the food chain…for now.

The other rising is of one unique Man. That Man above all men rose from the state of death three days after His execution. Reliable historical records, including the eyewitness testimonies of many, are extant. The easiest means to disprove that He rose would have been to produce His corpse: Christianity quashed.

Though an empire shaking movement was based on the claim of His resurrection, a claim made fearlessly by men who proclaimed it at their personal peril, that corpse was never and has never been produced. Efforts to disprove the rising of Jesus Christ have more than once resulted in the convincing of the would be debunker that indeed He is risen!

Believing one rising over the other has more than mere academic consequences. Put your trust in Darwin’s theory and you have no rational, consistent basis for any kind of ethical system. For instance, perhaps oppression on the basis of ethnicity is the outworking of the law of the jungle…the survival of the fittest. Or why are murder and other forms of violence “wrong?” For billions of years various specimens of the result of inexorable, perpetual evolution have been killing others for their own advantage. How…why…do we try to stop it now?

Put your trust in Christ and you have a sure foundation, and not only for ethics. You have eternal hope for your personal future, and escape from the despair of believing you are merely a meaningless speck, the trivial spawn of chaos doomed to everlasting oblivion. You come to know that although you are desperately in need of redemption from the guilt and corruption of sin, you are a being made in God’s image for whom the divine Messiah lived, died, and rose again.

Which rising? evolution or Easter?

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Settled?

Geocentrism, the discarded theory that the Earth is the center of the universe, is commonly associated with second century astronomer Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus), though he built upon the even earlier observations of Hipparchus of Nicaea et. al.

The Ptolemaic model was displaced by that of heliocentrism. It is commonly associated with the Renaissance astronomer Copernicus (Nikolaus Kopernikus, d. A.D. 1543), though Aristarchus of Samos had offered heliocentric postulations before the time of Christ’s earthly life.

That once reigning dogma which held that the sun is the astrophysical center of the cosmos is now dethroned. Today’s scientific establishment views the sun as an unremarkable star located in a minor stellar arm of the swirling Milky Way galaxy. And according to the website LiveScience, “the universe, in fact, has no center.”

So 21st century astronomers are as amazed and baffled as their predecessors, despite their highly sophisticated telescopes and instruments, as they gaze into the Heavens, seeking the score for the music of the spheres.

Should these experts glibly assume that their theories will not be displaced in the future? Should the rest of us believe what LiveScience’s statement would have us believe, any more than their contemporaries should have believed Ptolemy or Copernicus?

Consider that area of scientific pursuit which traffics not in parsecs and light years but in molecules and quarks. The search for something like the ancient Greeks’ proposed ATOMOS (the smallest, indivisible, and indestructible unit of matter) ever reveals greater complexity in the structure of matter as well as its relationship to energy.

Whether by the naked eye or with the help of the Hubble telescope or the Hadron particle collider, we are confronted with the majesty of the God Who reveals Himself both by His world and His word. Both are unfathomable treasure troves of knowledge for mankind – the crown of creation appointed to subdue the Earth and have dominion over it to the Creator’s glory.

We were justly evicted from its divinely planted garden spot millenia ago, but Earth is still man’s home. It was called into being by the word of God’s power before all the heavenly luminaries. It is the theater so to speak upon which the Creator became incarnate as the Man above all men and dwelt among us. Both divine creation and the work of the saving grace of Him Who since has ascended far above the Heavens hallow the Earth with a transcendent centrality.

Again, the ideas of Ptolemy and Copernicus have been surpassed. Who can say how future models, based on keener and more precise observation, might eviscerate the current tenets of astronomical science and other disciplines?

What scientific dogmas now deemed unshakeable will in turn go by the wayside as we continue to investigate the sub-atomic realm, the “…sun, moon, and stars in their courses above,” and everything in between?

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