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Darwin’s Polar Bears

Friday, May 30th, 2008

I can’t get my mind off polar bears this morning. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced in May that he would list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. His reasoning is that 1) the polar bears depend on sea ice; 2) the sea ice at the polar caps has been melting significantly for the last several decades; and 3) computer models project that this trend will continue in the future. This decision is yet another victory for those who advance the sketchy science of global warming, although many are saying Kempthorne’s move did not go far enough.

The listing of polar bears as a threatened species sets a precedent, as the decision was not based on concrete evidence that the bears are, in fact, threatened. According to Kempthorne, the population of bears has grown from a low of about 12,000 in the late 1960s to approximately 25,000 today. For the first time, we are using speculative data from questionable computer models to foresee the future of Mother Earth.

It is comical to me that the same scientists responsible for this decision are the ones who champion Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Darwin would have never made a fuss over a struggling species. In fact, because 0f his convictions on natural selection, he even frowned on efforts to help the weaker members of the human race. In The Descent of Man he wrote,

With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skills to save the life of everyone to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed (emphasis added).

If Darwin were in charge, there wouldn’t be any polar bears. Let ’em drown. Survival of the fittest.

Sooner or later, our scientists are going to have to decide whether human beings are the crowning jewels of evolution, the fittest creatures at the top of the heap of natural selection, or the benevolent saviors of Planet Earth trying to preserve the globe in its present form.

As a Christian, I believe humans have a responsibility to be good stewards of the natural world God has blessed us with. That has been our charge from the first (Gen. 1:28-31). But environmentalism goes beyond this, positioning our nation in a set of inconsistencies that will amount to economic disaster and wasted resources.

The More We Know

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Man has reached a marvelous age. We have been given time to explore this universe we inhabit and know more about it now than ever before. Has this surpassing knowledge diminished our appreciation of our world and its Creator? Consider…

The heavens declared the glory of God to David (Ps. 19:1); they manifest the wisdom of God (Prov. 8:27). Now that we have set foot on the moon, orbited the earth, and landed rovers on Mars, are we any less impressed?

In approximately the seventh century B.C. Jeremiah marveled that the Lord “made the earth by his power” (Jer. 10:12). In hindsight, after exploring its face, is it any less remarkable?

Jeremiah also said the Lord “placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass.” As much as the waves toss, they cannot pass over it (Jer. 5:22). Now that we’ve sailed across its waters and plumbed its depths, are we bored today by the oceans?

God promised Moses that as long as the earth remained, “seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” would not cease (Gen. 8:22). Paul and Barnabas astounded the pagans by preaching the God who gave them “rains from heaven and fruitful seasons” (Acts 14:17). Do today’s meteorological advances make us any less dependent on Him for these cycles to continue?

Jesus prayed for daily bread (Mt. 6:11). By providence God empowers us to plant crops and receive the harvest (Acts 14:17). Have agricultural advances like irrigation, farming equipment, fertilizers, and pesticides taken away our fascination with the power of a seed to yield its harvest?

Jesus pointed out that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as the lilies of the field (Mt. 6:28-30). Today we know how to grow a wide variety of flowers of every color, right in our backyards. Are they any less beautiful?

Job was perplexed by the lion, mountain goats, the wild donkey, the wild ox, the ostrich, the horse, hawks, eagles, Behemoth, and Leviathan (Job 38-41). We’ve captured these and more on film and can watch their activities in hi-definition. Are we less amazed than Job, or more?

David marveled that he lay down, slept, and woke again, saying the Lord had sustained him (Ps. 3:5). Knowing what we do about the increased rate of anabolism, the decrease in catabolism, rapid eye movement, and other sleep-related phenomena, does our understanding leave us “yawning”?

Moses extolled the Lord as his “healer” (Ex. 15:26). James told us to pray to Him when we suffer diseases (Jas. 5:14-15). Does this amazing age of medical advances cause us to pray less when we are faced with illness?

David praised God because he was “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:13-14). Has the discovery of DNA resulted in less wonder or more?

The more we know about ourselves and our world, the more amazed we become. Truly, the work of God’s hands is testimony enough of His eternal power and divine nature! (Rom. 1:20).

Global Warming Vs. Science

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Everyone should read Dr. Timothy Ball’s column in the Canada Free Press. In it he chronicles how intimidation and funding are behind the furor over Global Warming in this country. Science has been raped by politics, according to Dr. Ball. It would be easy to discount him, if he weren’t the first Canadian Ph.D. in Climatology with a degree from the University of London, England, and a professor of Climatology at the University of Winnipeg for 32 years.

Science has always been held in high esteem in this country. Americans have always treated their researchers as honest truth-seekers who were looking to solve the problems plaguing the human condition. The problem is, scientists have to eat. And special-interest groups and governments are usually the only source of funding. Therefore, conventional wisdom dictates science. If the world is looking for Global Warming, that’s all it’s going to fund. If it’s looking for the Easter Bunny, it may never find it, but there will be hundreds of paid scientists examining easter egg baskets and analyzing the structures of easter egg hunts.

Is it any wonder that the Intelligent Design Movement is struggling for an equal voice? Evolution was accepted as law, long before it was ever tested in the lab. While adequate proof has been found for evolution within species, scientists still have not found evidence proving that mutations cause plants and animals to leap from one kind to another. Because of my faith in God’s Word, I know they never will.

Independent thinkers are always mocked, whether they are researchers like Timothy Ball in the scientific community, or reformers like Martin Luther in the religious community. Still, God asks us to lean on him (Prov. 3:5). Devotion to the truth always cuts against the grain.

Update
What Timothy Bell supplied on the scientific side of this issue, George Will supplies on the political side in his Newsweek column, “Inconvenient Kyoto Truths.” Another must read on Global Warming…er, excuse me, “climate change.”

Another theory: Cosmic rays blamed for climate change.