Research Articles: Investigating Origins

Archaeological, scientific and historical articles dealing directly with the issue of origins, evolution, the early chapters of Genesis and the Genesis Flood. (Genesis 1-9).

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A Theology Of The Fall In Genesis 3 And The Ancient Near East 10/31/2013 - by James Gee PhD

Genesis is a book of beginnings. It is the record of the beginning of all creation: the universe, the earth, mankind, and the people of Israel. It also contains a record of the beginning of sin and the circumstances of that beginning. This is normally referred to as “The Fall.” As time progressed and sin increased, man eventually digressed so far that he started believing in and worshipping other so-called gods. As a part of this apostasy the account of the beginning of man slowly evolved to fit with the lifestyle of sin, as well as with these new gods and beliefs. Other things crept in to sometimes completely distort the account. But, some similarities remain.

Flimsy Fundamentalism? 10/17/2013 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

We recently received a series of comments from a website visitor who we will refer to as PJ. The comments were made in response to an article by Dr. Todd Beall entitled, "Christians in the Public Square: How Far Should Evangelicals Go in the Creation-Evolution Debate?" ABR Staff member Henry Smith responds.

A Fuzzy Theology of Beginnings: Book Review 7/10/2013 - by Robert Cooperman

The following is a review of the book In the Beginning... We Misunderstood, written by Dr. Johnny Miller and Dr. John Soden. This book presents an "Old-Earth Creationist" view of origins, contrary to ISBR's [and ABR’s] "Young-Earth Creationist" view. The word "fuzzy" in the review title applies to the conclusions of the book, not to the facts which the authors cite.

A Biblical Understanding of Personhood Based on Genesis 2:7 6/27/2013 - by John Roskoski PhD

At the core of the issues regarding the decisions to terminate life, whether in the unborn or terminally diagnosed, is the issue of “personhood”. The decisions are often troubling and the overall issue has generated much confusion for caregivers and an array of philosophical positions. A source of this confusion and philosophical debate is the lack of a precise definition of “personhood”. This lack of precision often leads to conflicting arguments and extreme rhetoric from opposing sides and, thereby, deters meaningful dialogue and practical application.

The Crumbling of Creation: The Cause of the Earth’s Decay and God’s Glorious Cure 12/26/2012 - by Todd Beall PhD

Is man the basic cause of all the earth’s problems? Would the planet be better off if man did not exist on it at all? Some environmentalists think so.

Guilty as Charged 8/11/2011 - by Kevin Anderson PhD

This article was originally published as an editorial in the Creation Research Society Quarterly and is being republished on the ABR website with their gracious permission. The staff of ABR deeply appreciate the work being done by our brethren at CRSQ defending the historicity of the early chapters of Genesis.

Rapid Microevolution and Fitness Cost 6/6/2011 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Frequently in this column, the phenomenon of fitness cost has been discussed. This is when an organism, as it undergoes minor changes in reaction to changes in its environment, improves in one area of its abilities but pays a price by becoming less fit in another area. These minor changes are known as microevolution, in which the individual organism may undergo noticeable alterations and improvements, but does not become a new, superior species.

Hopeful Monsters? 5/11/2011 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Lateral gene transfer has been discussed several times previously in this column. This phenomenon occurs at the microscopic level, when bacteria or viruses that get inside a living organism transfer strands of their DNA to the host being. These strands then get worked into the DNA of the host, which in turns causes the host to change or mutate.

Texas Flood Rapidly Creates Canyon 4/7/2011 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The theory of uniformitarianism states that the geological formations we see on Earth today came into existence over millions of years through the slow, gradual action of natural forces. Catastrophism posits exactly the opposite: that the features we see on the surface of the world today came about rapidly, through massive natural disasters. In the nineteenth century, uniformitarianism replaced catastrophism as the dominant theory in geology.

The Influence of the Ancient Near East on the Book of Genesis 3/24/2011 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

At many Bible colleges and seminaries today, students are told to understand the book of Genesis as typical ancient Near Eastern (ANE) literature, sharing many features in common with them. Representative of scholars teaching this view is John H. Walton of Wheaton College. He proposes that, following a pattern scholars detect in ANE literature, Genesis 1 presents a cosmology that bypasses entirely the creation of the initial raw materials of the universe. Instead, it, regards them as preexistent, with their origin never addressed.

Hydrothermal Vents and the Origin of Life 2/23/2011 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In the 1970’s, geologists discovered hydrothermal vents, holes in the ocean floor that spew out scalding hot water. They subsequently learned that these seemingly inhospitable environments actually permitted the existence of primitive life forms. Some scientists believe that such conditions, and not the “warm little pond” theorized by Darwin, might have been the setting for the formation of the first life on Earth.

Is Malaria Evolving? 6/15/2010 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The cover of the March-April 2010 issue of Harvard Magazine features the headline “Malaria: An Elusive, Evolving Foe.” The article inside opens by referring to “a reality of evolutionary biology: EVERYTHING changes and adapts, and microbes have a way of outmaneuvering medicine..."

Dating the Permian-Triassic Extinction 4/12/2010 - by Stephen Caesar MA

One of the most controversial topics in the debate over origins is the age of the Earth. Geochronology, the science of dating the age of our planet and its major events, is less precise than most people might believe...

Death Before Adam? 2/26/2010 - by Austin Robbins DD

Despite all attempts to do so, there is no way to reconcile evolution and the Biblical account of Creation. Examining the theological basis of the Biblical Creation, Austin Robbins demonstrates there is simply no room for evolutionary thinking...

Creating Life from RNA 2/8/2010 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Recent studies have suggested that the earliest life sprang from RNA, and two scientists have successfully created a strand of RNA that startlingly mimics the way primitive life is believed to have developed.

Ramidus vs. Orrorin, Again 12/8/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The dispute over these two fossils shows that the search for human origins is not a purely scientific endeavor, but is fraught with personal animosity and the desire to be the first paleontologist to prove that humans evolved from lower animals.

New Doubts About Half-Life Dating 11/5/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The most widely used tool to measure the age of the Earth is radioactive decay. The great scientist Ernest Rutherford was the first to define the concept of “half-life,” that is, the time it takes for one half of the atoms in a given quantity of a radioactive element (such as plutonium) to decay into another element (such as uranium), or for one isotope of an element (such as carbon-14) to decay into another isotope of that same element (such as carbon-12)...

Is ‘Ida’ the Missing Link? 9/1/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

On May 19, 2009, scientists unveiled a fossil primate in a ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Alleged to be 47 million years old, the skeleton is remarkably complete, and it bears strong resemblance to modern-day lemurs, which are members of the primate family...

Christians in the Public Square: How Far Should Evangelicals Go in the Creation-Evolution Debate? 8/30/2009 - by Todd Beall PhD

The reason for abandoning a literal understanding of Gen 1 and 2 is not new. Sometimes the plain, simplest, most natural reading of the text is, indeed the best. Such is the case with Gen 1, despite all the attempts to explain it in some other, more complicated way...

Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design 8/19/2009 - by Stephen C Meyer PhD

Contrary to media reports, intelligent design is not a religious-based idea, but instead an evidence-based scientific theory about life's origins—one that challenges strictly materialistic views of evolution. According to Darwinian biologists such as Oxford’s Richard Dawkins, livings systems “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” But, for modern Darwinists, that appearance of design is entirely illusory...

Genesis 1 and the Raqia 8/5/2009 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

As we read the narrative of Genesis 1, we repeatedly encounter the word “expanse” or “firmament.” These words are used to translate the Hebrew term raqia, but carry baggage that tends to predispose how we English readers interpret these verses, hindering our ability to derive their meaning on purely contextual grounds...

Self-Assembling Structures 8/3/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

One of the most heated topics in the search for origins is the debate over whether the enormous complexity of living beings is the result of accident or design. Recent breakthroughs in nanotechnology may shed further light on the subject...

Dating Problems 7/5/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The inexact nature of the methods currently used by scientists to date the earth has been discussed numerous times in this column. A recent example of this inexactitude was discovered by Elizabeth Catlos, associate professor of geology at Oklahoma State University...

Blind Fish See 6/12/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

A well-known icon of evolution is the blind fish that lives in numerous caves in Mexico. At some time in the past, sighted fish living in the sunlit waters of Mexico entered lightless caves and, over time, lost the ability to see...

Lucy Gets Disinherited 5/6/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In the 1970’s, an earth-shaking discovery of a fossil was made in Ethiopia. The fossil was of a young female who appeared to bear anatomical similarities to both modern humans and chimpanzees. Dated to 3.2 million years ago and popularly named “Lucy,” she was at once decreed to be the missing link between modern humans (Homo sapiens) and our evolutionary ancestors...

Hybridization Creates New Species 4/14/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

When new species appear suddenly in the fossil record, scientists automatically ascribe the new appearance to evolution in the classical Darwinian style. However, it is now known that brand-new, viable, reproducing species can suddenly appear not necessarily through evolution and survival of the fittest, but through the hybridization of separate, already-existing species...

Habilis and Erectus...Again 3/10/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

When many people hear about the controversy over human origins, they usually think of creation versus evolution. However, some of the most heated debates occur within the theory of evolution itself...

Does it Really Matter What Albert Einstein Believed? 2/10/2009 - by Scott Lanser MA

We reason and we quote famous people, but we never should put our faith in the opinions of men. They will always fail. But God and His word in the Bible will never fail...

Fins to Feet Again? 2/6/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Unfilled gaps, incomplete fossils, and incorrect anatomical reconstructions should give us pause before we jump to hasty conclusions about a missing link between fish and tetrapods...

Why Most Scientists Believe the World is Old 1/26/2009 - by D Russell Humphreys PhD

There is a little-known irony in the controversy between creationists and evolutionists about the age of the world. The majority of scientists – the evolutionists – rely on a minority of the relevant data. Yet a minority of scientists – the creationists – uses the majority of the relevant data...

Revising Radiocarbon Dating 1/5/2009 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Carbon 14 dating is fraught with problems...

The Human Race: A Young Species? 11/26/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

A recent series of genetic studies has revealed tantalizing hints of the origin of the human species. What’s more, these new discoveries would seem to lend support to the ancient history of the human race as outlined by the Book of Genesis...

Intelligent Design by Humans 9/9/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Most scientists bristle at the idea that the extremely complex compounds and chemicals that led to the first life were put together by intelligent design. Only a theory involving pure chance will even be considered...

Can a Person Believe in Both God and Evolution? 8/29/2008 - by Daryl Witmer

In order to do so, one must circumvent the traditional definition of the term ‘God’ or ‘evolution’ or both. Which makes taking this position a mistake...

Calling Science's Bluff: A Review of 'The Devil's Delusion' by David Berlinsky 8/12/2008 - by Brian Janeway PhD (c)

Neo-Darwinists and atheists of all stripes ignore this book at their peril, particularly polemicists such as Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and their ilk who have recently published scathing critiques of religious belief in general and Christian belief in particular...

Prebiotic Soup? 8/11/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

The origin of life is one of the most hotly debated topics in science today. The current reigning theory is that life first sprang from non-life in a “prebiotic soup” (“prebiotic” means “pre-life”) of various chemicals...

Planets Without Suns 7/3/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Hubble’s new images have shown that celestial bodies can indeed coalesce without a parent star providing the requisite dust and gas. The best place to witness these awesome births of planets is the Milky Way galaxy’s Orion Nebula, which is only 1,500 light-years from Earth...

The Rapid Formation of Stars 6/20/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Recent photographs of the Orion nebula in the Milky Way galaxy, sent back by the Hubble’s new, high-resolution Advanced Camera for Surveys, have suggested that the formation of stellar bodies from clouds of matter may take a lot less time than was originally supposed...

Cosmic and Universal Death From Adam's Fall 5/15/2008 - by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Paul’s theological treatise in the epistle to the Romans clearly teaches that the animal kingdom and the entire universe experienced a universal death sentence at the time of Adam’s fall in Genesis 3...

Without Form and Void 4/1/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Genesis 1:2 says that the Earth started out "without form, and void." Interpretations differ as to precisely what this means...

Einstein and Intelligent Design 1/16/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In the past few years numerous scientists, scientific journals, and popular authors have published a slew of articles and books ripping the concept of Intelligent Design. While not specifically denying the theory of evolution, the theory of Intelligent Design postulates...

A Localized Flood? 1/9/2008 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Remarkably similar flood stories can be found all over the world. The sheer number of stories from all over the globe, in addition to similar details in them (a mountaintop, a boat, attendant animals), argues that at some point in the distant past, the entire world must have suffered a devastating Flood...

Another Believing Scientist 10/24/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

A contemporary scientist who shares Einstein's belief in a creator - but who, unlike Einstein, is a devout practicer of his faith - is Dr. Francis Collins, who in 2000 made headlines and was publicly honored by Pres. Bill Clinton for mapping the entire human genome...

The Creation of New Butterfly Species Before Our Eyes 9/19/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

According to the Genesis model of origins, God created not each individual species, but the wider genus to which each species belongs. Genesis 1:11 and 1:21 state that God created animals and plants “according to [their] kind.” “Kind” is miyn in Hebrew...

Redoing the Tree of Life, Again? 9/12/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

According to this model, life evolved in a linear fashion from the first life form and branched out into the separate kingdoms, phyla, and so forth that we see today. However, as with so many other theories regarding the origins of life, this famous image has proved incorrect...

Evolution and Empirical Evidence 8/29/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Skeptics of evolution have long made the claim that Darwin’s theory is untestable and relies on faith rather than empirical observation to bolster it. It is quite surprising to learn that at least two important figures in the field of evolutionary origins have agreed with this position...

Darwin on the Galapagos 8/1/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Science writer Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and author of the book Why Darwin Matters, writes a regular monthly column entitled "Skeptic" in the journal Scientific American. He was forthright enough to debunk a famous misconception regarding the story of how Darwin first began to formulate his now-famous theory. According to what is taught in schools..

Some Facts about the Scopes Monkey Trial 6/20/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Many inaccuracies and misconceptions have arisen regarding this famous event, and most of them have their origins in the enormously popular play and move, Inherit the Wind. An article appearing in the April 2005 issue of the journal Smithsonian has cleared up some of these myths...

Synthetic Biologists: Intelligent Designers 5/9/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Much has been made recently of the Intelligent Design movement, which many scientists dismiss as inherently unscientific since it relies on a divine, external force to explain certain phenomena that have not yet been satisfactorily explained by science...

Appearance of Galactic Age 4/11/2007 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In terms of the age of the cosmos, the prevailing theory among astronomers is that the universe is billions of years old, with stars and galaxies forming at extremely slow rates. Those who maintain the theory of a younger universe contend that the oldest galaxies possess only the appearance of great age, rather than actual great age...

Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood: Part IV 3/7/2007 - by David T. Tsumura PhD

Many suggestions for a unifying theme of Genesis 1–11 as a whole...

Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood: Part III 2/23/2007 - by David T. Tsumura PhD

Until recently, the Creation and the Flood have often been treated as separate units. One of the reasons for this may be that initially discovered ancient Mesopotamian documents provided either a Creation myth without the Flood story...

Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood: Part II 2/21/2007 - by David T. Tsumura PhD

Creation has been one of the most interesting and intriguing subjects in the Old Testament. In modern Biblical scholarship a number of new interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis have been suggested, especially in the areas of comparative study and literary analysis...

Genesis and Ancient Near Eastern Stories of Creation and Flood: An Introduction Part I 2/17/2007 - by David T. Tsumura PhD

Creation has been one of the most interesting and intriguing subjects in the Old Testament. In modern Biblical scholarship a number of new interpretations of the early chapters of Genesis have been suggested, especially in the areas of comparative study and literary analysis...

A Universe with a Beginning 12/6/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

A commonly held misconception about revolutionary scientific theories is that religious authorities oppose them while secular scientists warmly embrace them. After years, sometimes decades, of battling between the two groups, the scientists win out and religion is forced to retreat. This is an oversimplification and sometimes even a misstatement of what actually happens...

Flores Man: Tiny Human Cousins? 11/27/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In 2004, the world of paleontology was rocked by the news that Michael J. Morwood of the University of New England in Australia and his colleagues had discovered...

The Newly Discovered Transitional Fish 10/4/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Recently, much has been made of a fossil discovered in Arctic Canada that is being touted as an unmistakable evolutionary link between fish and land animals...

Stanley Miller's Experiment 9/13/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Evolutionists theorize that life sprang from non-life early in Earth's history. This supposedly happened when a bolt of lightning struck the "prebiotic soup," the term...

Hybridization and Polyploidy 8/16/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

In previous installations of this column, we have discussed the fact that brand-new species of plants and animals suddenly appear in the fossil record bearing remarkable similarities to related species. Automatically credited to Darwinian evolution...

Aptameters 7/26/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Some scientists believe that RNA, a fundamental building block of life, holds the key to life's origin. It was once believed that RNA (ribonucleic acid) was subordinate to DNA, which contains information for making proteins...

The Genetic On-Off Switch 6/7/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Many times in previous installations of this column I have referred to the genetic on-off switch, an amazing creation pre-programmed into the genetic code of all living things...

Rational Design and Directed Evolution 3/29/2006 - by Stephen Caesar MA

Rational design nor directed evolution prove the blind, chance-driven macroevolution postulated by Darwin. Instead, they argue strongly for the existence of an outside, rational Designer who "programmed" the elements to come together to form the first protein molecules.

What is Man? 1/9/2006 - by Austin Robbins DD

Nearly 3000 years ago David, king and Psalmist of Israel, puzzled over this question. Today that question still grips the minds of men. Theologians and anthropologists propose answers which could hardly be more diverse. On one hand we are told that man is an animal, similar to, and indeed related to, the other primates as chimpanzees...

Subjectivity in Radiometric Dating 9/12/2005 - by Rick Lanser MDiv

The acceptance of radiometric dating has had a major influence on people's willingness to accept the theory of evolution. Most people feel that radiometric dating, having a reputation for scientific respectability, proves that the earth is many millions of years old, thus providing the time framework required for the theory of evolution to have plausibility...

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