"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
 John 3:19

 

 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1

 

DUST AND DEITY

Wonders of Creation that cannot be explained by Evolution

INTRODUCTION

If you read that inimitable study, "Mistakes God Did Not Make." in the Sunday School Times (Jan. 6 and 13, 1940) by Dr. Shadduck, you will know what to expect in this new classic from this gifted seer, thinker, and humorist. With merciless logic Dr. Shadduck shows the hopeless impossibility of the "clever" evolutionary conclusion of an eminent college president. This new article brings together astounding but undeniable faces of God’s erection in the world of nature, the lower animals, and man.

In this first installment Dr. Shadduck tells something of the wonders of plant and animal life. In the concluding article next week he discusses man, the "masterpiece." When you have read both articles you will doubtless agree with the Pittsburgh reader who wrote:

"I consider Dr. Shadduck’s articles great receding for youth now in our colleges and universities, especially for those in our high schools and in young people’s departments in our Sunday schools."

When, as a lad of sixteen, I had reached a goal in my school program, my father offered a kindly comment that I did not appreciate at that time. He said. "Son, you know more now than your father or mother; you know more than you ever will know again." Hidden in this cryptic phrase was a prophecy that, when I reasoned more, I would realize that I knew less. That prophecy was fulfilled,

I "knew" then what life, mind, matter, and force were; I do not know now. Like millions of youth, I had only earth horizons. If there was a life after death, I thrust the thought from me, because I understood that I must die to get it: I did not know I could have it before I died.

Later, there came the conviction that I must reckon with God, and that until I entered into covenant relations with him all my hoarded information was like cargo on a ship with a landlubber pilot—a ship sailing to nowhere.

THROUGH TELESCOPE AND MICROSCOPE

With a new program adjusted to an invisible kingdom in a visible world, I turned back to my studies. With a telescope, my teachers opened up vistas of space beyond human comprehension; with a microscope, they convinced me that a teaspoonful of stagnant water contained more than a million animals, and finite mind was baffled by infinity. When I took up the study of ultimate reality, scientists took my world apart, denied the validity of my senses, and tried to loosen the foundations of my faith.

An eminent philosopher who was a president of a college used to say to his class, "Oh yes, I believe that God made man of the dust, but he used an ape mammy to gather the dust." If anyone asked how the ape was made, the answer was that some animal of a lower order gathered the dust, and so on, back through dust-gatherers to a microscopic bit of protoplasm that must take all the responsibly.

High caste people would like it better if God had made man of opals, rubies, and pearls, but they balk at the raw material that they classify as dirt. Others who hold the Bible in high esteem—second only to the writings of their favorite authors—accept the obvious fact that man is made of dust; but it shocks them less to be told that God put the dust through an ape refinery.

Why anyone who ever has occasion to pray would not want a resourceful God I do not understand, unless denial of miracles lends itself to scientific swank. Unbelief often passes for incredulity. For minds that must have a conventional God, It eases the strain to relegate the miracle of creation to the remote past, make it as small as possible, have it happen but once or twice, and hope it was an accident. Many who profess faith in Christ concede the claim that the creation story is an allegory, failing to see that the theory makes a myth of the resurrection. If God needed an ape to make man of the dust, he will need another one to raise man from the dust.

LEARNING TO TRUST THE WORDS OF CHRIST

The driving motive of this paper is to offer helps to those who have been confused by the compromises of professed friends of Christ. I would say to the student, "Distrust the leadership of any professed Christian who doubts what Christ believed."

• A pastor at Windsor, Canada, who has arranged to distribute "Dust and Deity among his young people, offers the kindly criticism that Christ did not believe or doubt anything—HE KNEW. We accept the amendment. What the author had in mind was the obvious fact that our Lord had ample opportunity to make any needed corrections in the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, and the author would distrust the leadership of any man who appoints himself long overdue helper of God to correct what he thinks has been overlooked.

Science that has to do with material things could not possibly know anything of mind and personality apart from matter, and it could not possibly know that God could not or did not make man as the Bible says he did. Faith in God is not less than science, it is more than science. Anything that God does that is not an observed habit is called a miracle. Some scientists would shut God up to the deadly monotony of doing nothing that is not routine unless He lets them see Him do it. If there have been no miracles, then Christianity is the greatest hoax that has ever been foisted on a sin-steeped world.

If a magician confuses spectators with hocus-pocus and seems to take out of a hat what had not been put in, it fools the children. If a miracle-dodging theorist juggles with millenniums and takes out of a theoretical bit of plasm horns, hair, fins, feathers, eyes, nerves bones and brain, does it fool you? All the ramifications of life were in that first living cell, if they have since come out of it, and what a storehouse of wonders it was!

TAKING DUST APART

Personally, I would not marvel so much at a man making a complete watch, as I would if he made only a hair spring and soaked it in warm water and metal filings until it became a watch.

Before God used dust as the wrapping paper for life, at was already full of pulls and pushes, affinities and aversions—the playground of mighty forces. As solid matter is only dust stuck together, it may help some to reflect that there was nothing else that God could not have put life into and have the living thing visible.

The physicist says that dust is made up of molecules. If you have any difficulty in believing the Bible, the things that science has to say about molecules will put a heavy strain on your credit department.

I quote from a twenty-volume encyclopedia much used in our schools: ‘There are as many molecules in a rain drop a there are drops of water In the Mediterranean Sea."

Do I believe that?

I can give no good reason for denying it.

Molecules are made up of atoms that are smaller.

Now,—if you do not have a weak heart—the atoms are miniature solar systems, and just as planets go around the sun, the atom has a central core and satellites dash about it at a speed of 186,000 miles a second. They say that I have 1O,O0O,O0O.0OO,OOO,OO0.000,OOO,0O0,OOO,OOO, of these satellites or electrons in my body. That is, ten thousand, million, billion, trillion, and in my laziest moments they are all moving at that terrific speed.

I try to believe it. I have been meek in my attitude toward scientists. Like a young robin in a nest, I swallow everything they bring me and revise my educational content when they change their minds—unless they dispute the God of the Bible, who does not change His mind.

How fortunate we are that the theory of the atom as a group of things in motion provides that the motion is circular. Going at such amazing speed, if your electrons maintained a straight course for a millionth part of a second, you would be scattered all over the neighborhood. There are times when I am staggered by the pronouncements of science and, in the words of at Scottish friend, "I hay me doots." I have been taught to stand in awe when science speaks, but when they oppose revelation with theories, I have learned to trust revelation; it has never let me down.

WHEN GOD PUT LIFE INTO DUST

When God lifted land above sea level, He saw that it was good." The Bible indicates that angels have curiosity (I Pet. 1:12). Certainly they accepted God’s appraisal that it was good, but they may well have wondered, "What good?"

All heaven must have looked on when God put life into dust, and, under the spell of that life, microscopic particles of that dust began to march and countermarch in the building of a plant.

Is there a mind in plant life?

I dare not say that there is, but there is something that directs activities with the precision of an experienced architect. There are a hundred thousand forms of vegetable life and each kind sets up a hermca1 laboratory and transmutes the environment into building material peculiar to that plant and puts the building blocks into place. One kind of Life builds an onion, another an oak or a melon or a mushroom. From the same soil and air, one plant stores up bitterness, another sweetness, another poison. The life itself, and whatever determining factors it has in it, is invisible, intangible, elusive, and when it leaves the plant, no one sees it go, but anyone may observe that it has gone, for the millions of workers turn into mummies or crumble in decay.

The casual thinker seldom reflect on the marvel of SHIFTING GROWTH In a plant. It is as though a congregation desiring a church, and having nothing but a great heap of clay and sand and sawdust and lime and Iron filings, buried a prayer in the jumble of materials and forthwith the elements of the trash-heap began to build a church exactly like the pattern in the prayer. Now suppose this church is at first a very small church, but it pushes it own walls out and builds from within so that even the bell in the steeple is larger in the fall than it was in the spring. Is not this the way a peanut or a pumpkin would grow, fastening loose building material into the enlarging structure? If you would discover the stubbornness of the architect within the plant, try to persuade a bean vine to go around the pole in the opposite direction from that which it is determined to go.

Wonderful as is growth, it is no more wonderful than that, after the insensate dust, inspired by life, starts growing, it stops growing when it ought to stop. If an angel with miracle working powers supervised the growing of a stalk of corn, he could not do better than the cells of the plant do under the spell of corn life. Such an angel, as superintendent of construction, could only say at the proper time: "Now you are tall enough to crown your head with a tassel Send out braces from your lowest joint or the wind will blow you down. It is time to project an ear from your middle and wrap it with husks and silk." Something makes the millions of cells in the plant know that it is time to stop growing and start getting ripe.

When plants were created, "God saw that it was good." Unless the angels could foresee the future they might well have asked. "What good?" If they could not see reason for a hundred thousand kinds of plants, at least they were not so stupid as to argue that God could not work a miracle.

LIFE IN ANIMALS

The marvel of animated dust was multiplied when God hid another kind of life in dust and these organized lumps of dust had a mind. That the reader may observe the truth of my statement, I limit the discussion to animal structures large enough to be seen. Mind is as invisible as life, and so far as human observation goes, it comes from nowhere and goes back to the same place. Animal mind has a capacity for love, hate. courage, fear, memory, and reason, but no more and no less than each kind of creature needs. The skunk is much more stupid than the fox, but the skunk has enough intellect and the fox has no more than it needs.

There are many thousands of distinctly different types of animals, each equipped in its own collection of dust with its own type of motors, chemicals laboratories, sewer systems, building crews, repair gangs, and means of defense. adjustment, and reproduction. It would be incredible.—If facts could be incredible,—that some wisdom can reside in wet dust and direct its particles in the building of an intricate structure, according to a pre-determined individual pattern. It would not be more wonderful if an invisible draftsman directed an army of sightless deaf-mutes in the building of a battleship that could find its own fuel and ammunition, and repair any damages it sustained. It would be incredible,—if it were not so obvious,—that the millions of builders in an animal body obey some starter and stopper.

Many people have never considered what a disaster it would be if animals did not start growing, shift growing, and stop growing. A newly hatched pigeon may double its weight five times in the first week. If it continued to double its weight five times every week for four weeks it would weigh over eight tons. When the baby pigeon becomes a plump squab, something stops the growth of the body and starts the growth of feathers. When the feathers have reached sufficient length, something stops the growth of feathers and starts the growth of reproductive organs.

One of the baffling mysteries of animal life is a resident wisdom in creatures newly born or hatched that enables them to decide. without experience what is best and safest for them, exactly as though they had been careful observers for a thousand years of what was good or bad for their kind.

DOES INSTINCT EXPLAIN THESE MARVELS?

If an animal could have a guardian angel, its name might well be called INSTINCT. First consider that nine-tenths of the creatures big enough to be seen never knew parents, much less teachers. Could you imagine that a caterpillar knows that its mother was a butterfly? Yet the caterpillar knows exactly what to do and when to do it, in preparing for its metamorphosis. The silk worm never knew parents, but it wraps itself in silk more skillfully than a draper could do it.

Who taught the honey bee to make hexagon cells? The mother wasp builds a chamber of mud and leaves an egg therein. I refuse to believe that the wasp with a brain that bulks less than a pinhead knows that the egg will hatch into a grub, which in turn will turn into a wasp, or that the grub will have an appetite for spiders, or that the spiders she stores the chamber with will remain stupefied and alive to feed her baby, or that the baby will be able to break a way through the walls of adobe; but she knows exactly what to do, and baby grub knows what it must do to fulfill the cycle of life.

A chicken hatched in an incubator knows the language of its kind, and it will scurry for cover when the farmer lad imitates the cry of a hawk or sails a straw hat over the chick yard. Eels will live in fresh water four years, then go to the sea to spawn, and their babies will return to fresh water and the homes of their parents. Salmon reverse the process by going to the sea to grow up, and after four years return to fresh water to spawn where they were hatched.

The following story of a beetle was told to a class in my presence, by a professor of Boston University. Neither the beetle nor I remember what its name was. The story begins with a beetle’s egg, thrust into the decayed surface of a dead log. In due time the egg became a grub and began eating its way into the log. As it ate farther into the log, it grew larger and of course, bored a larger hole. If it continued eating into the log until it reached maturity, it could not back out and after maturity it could not dig out, but how could it know that? To prevent such a disaster to itself, it curved its tunnel so that it would reach the surface of the log when it reached full growth. At the surface of the log it bored out a chamber just large enough to fit a beetle.

How the grub knew that it was to be transformed into a beetle, and what would be the shape and length of the beetle, has never been explained. Now the gentleman beetles are twice as long as the lady beetles, because they have very long pincers projecting forward from the head. How could a grub know whether it would be a buck beetle or a doe beetle? Do grubs have fortune tellers to forecast their future? The grubs that will become male beetles dig their transformation chamber twice as long as the grubs with a feminine future, and for many minds the word INSTINCT serves as a flippant dismissal of the problem.

When as a youth, I observed how inexperienced creatures behaved as though the spirits of their dead ancestors guided them, I asked questions, and the old folk answered with convenient abstraction. "Its just nature." Later, I found people who explained it by saying: "It is God. Nature is God—the only God we have.’ I knew one woman who prayed to the god in her flowers, and I could not resist the urge to ask her. "What about the god in the poison ivy? If there is a snake-god that helps the snake swallow a toad and a toad-god that helps the toad to escape, then Evolution may indeed be a religion, and escape by death in its heaven.

Again, when animal life was created. "God saw that it was good.’ and again angels might ask, "What good?" It is difficult to believe that God could find entertainment for ages, looking at plants and watching animals.

Editor’s introduction to the second article:

MAN THAT IS MADE OF DUST—GOD’S MASTERPIECE

What a difference it makes when man and beasts are contrasted instead of compared!

At the beginning of this second and concluding part of this article on "Dust and Deity," Dr. Shadduck makes a simple but penetrating observation that at once greatly weakens the case for evolution. He shows how important it is to note the difference between men and animals rather than the likenesses. He is unusually well equipped to write on this subject, since he has had much personal experience in nature study on the form and in the field, and at the same time is a firm believer in the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God. As is the case with many of the best writers of English, the reader will find in this article that laughter and tears are not far removed from one another, for Dr. Shadduck has a delightful sense of humor, and the tenderness of a loving father. While this essay is a strong argument against evolution, yet it is much more than that, for the conclusion touches the heart and impels one to have a more humble, childlike trust in the Heavenly Father.

"And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (lives)" (Gen. 2:7).

A nation’s destiny may turn on whether that nation believes it has been upthrust from the brutes or handed dawn from God. It is a question of whether man COMIARES himself with beasts or thinks of himself as in CONTRAST.

If you compare a diamond with a lump of coal, both are carbon, one is whiter. If you contrast them, one is a jewel. If you compare a caterpillar with an earthworm, the caterpillar crawls higher. If you contrast them, the caterpillar will develop proportionally greater wings than an eagle. If you compare a man with an ape, the man has better table manners, and it may be that in the matter of having a job, paying taxes, drinking liquor and being a public liability the advantages are with the ape. If you contrast them, the Son of God was cradled in a woman’s arms. If man is to beasts like the top flapjack of a stack of pancakes, let him make the most of the butter and syrup: if he is heir apparent, busy with trifles at the gateway of the King of kings, let him claim his birthright.

MANS USE OF LANGUAGE

Man makes and uses language; other earth creatures may communicate elemental slates of mind with a code of sounds born with them, and as much a part of them as their ears. If a hundred babies were raised by deaf-mutes on an island having no other human inhabitants, they would grow up and adopt a language by agreement. If a hundred kittens were put on the island, they would grow up and communicate with a code of sounds settled before they were born.

So far as I have discovered, animals communicate with sounds that could all be grouped as shades of meaning of five words. I suggest, "come," "go", "beware," "give," "take." As an example, the "come" may mean come and help, come and eat, come and fellowship, come and fight. Contrasted with these elemental communications, man has languages written, spoken, and signaled

Alphabets would be beyond the comprehension of animals Man has many. A boy scout who is deaf may learn six alphabets—capitals and small letters, written and printed, and alphabets made with fingers and flags. Could you by the wildest stretch of imagination visualize a fox on one hilltop waving a cloth to a mate on another hilltop to say that rabbit dinner is ready, and later being chided for misspelling a word? Man writes poems and makes speeches that become the heirlooms of nations.

Man has a bent for music; there is no real music in any other earth-creature. Of course, many birds make musical sounds, and so do the toads, but similar motives prompt the donkey to bray, the crow to caw, the turkey to gobble, and the cricket to chirp. Bird songs are instinctive. The man who tries to get a four-part harmony out of a zoo will get his name in the Sunday papers, whether he succeeds or fails.

HIS LOVE OF THE BEAUTIFUL

Man revels in the beautiful. He loves to see flowers, sunsets, rainbows, and landscapes. He adorns his lawn, his house, and his person. Could you, even in a delirium, imagine any beast carrying a bouquet to its mate or wearing a many-colored basket on its head at a rakish angle? I know that it is argued by some that the colors of birds help them to get mates. This is certainly untrue in many cases, and as far as I have observed, it is untrue in all cases.

The flamboyant rooster has no advantage over his dull-colored rival—it is a question of spurs and battle. I have experimented with pigeons, putting those that were snow white with others beautifully colored by nature, and adding some that were colored with brilliant dyes and the matings were settled by battle. Where males engage in battle, colors do not decide the matings. Birds are not more beautifully colored than many caterpillars, and caterpillars do not mate. Many marine creatures that do not see are radiantly beautiful. Why are they beautiful? I do not know, except that God chose to make them so.

Man makes pictures, carvings, statuary. Even a savage can scratch the sand with a stick and convey information to another. No beast on earth can make a picture—not even a cubistic picture.

Man is an inventor. Not in a million years would a family of apes make a bow and arrow, use a lever and fulcrum, or move heavy objects on rollers. Evolutionists have overlooked something. If they had credited some of the ancient arrowheads, crude pottery, and cave pictures to the apes, their pronouncements would have been accepted by the credulous as incontrovertible evidence of a missing link.

DO ANIMALS MEDITATE?

Man thinks things out. It is doubtful if any other earth creature really meditates. Animals sometimes learn by accident or imitation, and in many cases they can recognize one linkage in the chain of cause and effect. They may be taught many things and do many things by instinct, but thinking out a contrivance is beyond their mental range. A small child will move a chair and climb on it to reach the cookie jar and put the lid back on the jar to escape detection, but whoever heard of a cat that moved any object to put it in reach of the canary, or hid the feathers to remove the evidence of the crime?

Even savages use fire, metals, pottery, traps, needles, thread, looms. fishhooks, weapons, money, boats, garments, tents, drugs, laws and courts. All these uses were arrived at by contrivance and continued by one person learning from another. Birds build nests, beavers build dams, spiders set traps, hornets make paper, wasps build with mud, but they did not learn to do these things. They are moved by instinct which is as much a part of them as are legs and wings. A pair of Eskimo children removed to another land will not build like their parents: a pair of beavers will.

In sharp contrast to other creatures, man was given DOMINION over the earth and a commission to subdue it (Gen. 1:26-28). God put the fear of man upon all other creatures (Gen. 9:2). If some theorists do not know that, the animals do. If beasts are not wounded, or starving, or their young in danger, they will not attack man. There are rare exceptions where wild and domesticated animals have learned that they are physically superior to man, but the fact remains that an unspoiled lion will flee from a man. But whoever heard of a lion running from an ape? You can’t fool a lion with a theory as easily as you can a man.

SHADDUCK TOC  Part 2