Antibiotic woes

In today’s scientific livestock industry, cattle are often given antibiotics. Not as medicine but “to fatten them up.”  Apparently the drugs kill beneficent bacteria in the animal’s digestive system that causes them to put on weight.  Now the light has dawned in the minds of some medical researchers.  Could the heavy use of antibiotics among human beings be a factor in our obesity problems?  Are we fattening ourselves up like drugged cattle in a feed lot?  See Early use of antibiotics linked to obesity, research finds – The Washington Post.

In other antibiotic news, a “superbug“–a strain of bacteria completely resistant to all known antibiotics killed six people at the National Institute of Health’s Clinical Center.  The linked article estimates that 6% of American hospitals are infested with this thing.  (This doesn’t seem to be a case of what scientists have been worried about, bacteria that have developed a resistance to antibiotics because of their overuse and evolved into something that cannot be killed.  [That wouldn't be evolution, by the way, just natural selection, which I don't think anyone denies.  Faster animals outrun predators, animals adapt, and the fittest do survive.  What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.]  Anyway, this superbug is normally one of those friendly bacteria that inhabits our bodies, but when a person’s immune system goes wrong, it turns into a monster.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Joanne

    When I was 6, I missed the last month of the 1st grade because I had a serious case of Scarlet Fever and was quarentined at home for over a month. I had the red velvet skin and at times my temperture would go so high that I lost my ability to taste; everything tasted bitter. My father was a pharmacist and we had a family friend renting from us for his medical offices, so I got plenty of medical attention and medicine. They must have filled me with anti-biotics in 1953, they were the wonder drug then. First had come the sulfa drugs, the penicillin, and then the mycins.

    Signifcantly to this story, before this disease and it’s treatment, I was a thin, active child with no concerns about obesity. After, I quickly gained weight and weight control became a major problem in my life. I often suspected the fevers, but not till now the drugs. However, I’ve been reading for sometime now that the major part of our immune system is in the gut and that we have on average 6 pounds of bacteria in our guts. I drink kefir and look at the probiotics closely.

  • Joanne

    When I was 6, I missed the last month of the 1st grade because I had a serious case of Scarlet Fever and was quarentined at home for over a month. I had the red velvet skin and at times my temperture would go so high that I lost my ability to taste; everything tasted bitter. My father was a pharmacist and we had a family friend renting from us for his medical offices, so I got plenty of medical attention and medicine. They must have filled me with anti-biotics in 1953, they were the wonder drug then. First had come the sulfa drugs, the penicillin, and then the mycins.

    Signifcantly to this story, before this disease and it’s treatment, I was a thin, active child with no concerns about obesity. After, I quickly gained weight and weight control became a major problem in my life. I often suspected the fevers, but not till now the drugs. However, I’ve been reading for sometime now that the major part of our immune system is in the gut and that we have on average 6 pounds of bacteria in our guts. I drink kefir and look at the probiotics closely.

  • Med Student

    Just had a lecture on that “superbug” today. Good timing with this post I guess. (Btw, it’s not really resistant to “all known antibiotics”; rather it appears to be resistant to all beta lactam antibiotics including carbapenems, unlike previous strains, which makes it harder to treat. There are a lot of other antibiotic classes out there, which may or may not be effective against this organism. I haven’t had the pharmacology part yet).

  • Med Student

    Just had a lecture on that “superbug” today. Good timing with this post I guess. (Btw, it’s not really resistant to “all known antibiotics”; rather it appears to be resistant to all beta lactam antibiotics including carbapenems, unlike previous strains, which makes it harder to treat. There are a lot of other antibiotic classes out there, which may or may not be effective against this organism. I haven’t had the pharmacology part yet).

  • Steve Bauer

    [That wouldn't be evolution, by the way, just natural selection, which I don't think anyone denies. Faster animals outrun predators, animals adapt, and the fittest do survive. What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.]

    Whoa. Let’s not get carried away.

    (I’m not talking about evolution as a theory of origins here. I think that is a separate question from talking about how it might play out in already existing (or created, if you will) living systems in which natural selection is “undeniable”.)

    Evolution = random mutations + natural selection
    Random mutations happen
    Natural selection happens

    It is possible that a random mutation somewhere along the line in the past gave rise to a sub-population of this organism that now is becoming more prevelant due to the selective pressure of antibiotics on the non-resistant population. (Is it still “natural” selection if the selecting happens as a result of human activity, or is it “breeding” only if we intend to do it.)

    This might be a case of micro-evolution. The questions really are, it seems to me, how complex does a system (like the ability to be resistant to antibiotics) have to be before a mutation will more likely be detrimental than helpful? Can a single mutation cause non-resistance go to resistance? If not, how statistically likely are the number of mutations that must take place?

    The other possibility is that God created a non-resistant version of the species and a resistant version of the species “in the beginning” and the resistant version has been waiting behind the wings for all these millennia. But isn’t that slicing the meaning of “kind” rather fine?

  • Steve Bauer

    [That wouldn't be evolution, by the way, just natural selection, which I don't think anyone denies. Faster animals outrun predators, animals adapt, and the fittest do survive. What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.]

    Whoa. Let’s not get carried away.

    (I’m not talking about evolution as a theory of origins here. I think that is a separate question from talking about how it might play out in already existing (or created, if you will) living systems in which natural selection is “undeniable”.)

    Evolution = random mutations + natural selection
    Random mutations happen
    Natural selection happens

    It is possible that a random mutation somewhere along the line in the past gave rise to a sub-population of this organism that now is becoming more prevelant due to the selective pressure of antibiotics on the non-resistant population. (Is it still “natural” selection if the selecting happens as a result of human activity, or is it “breeding” only if we intend to do it.)

    This might be a case of micro-evolution. The questions really are, it seems to me, how complex does a system (like the ability to be resistant to antibiotics) have to be before a mutation will more likely be detrimental than helpful? Can a single mutation cause non-resistance go to resistance? If not, how statistically likely are the number of mutations that must take place?

    The other possibility is that God created a non-resistant version of the species and a resistant version of the species “in the beginning” and the resistant version has been waiting behind the wings for all these millennia. But isn’t that slicing the meaning of “kind” rather fine?

  • fjsteve

    Interesting that this actually happened at an NIH facility. If I were the type to buy into conspiracy theories, I might think this meant something sinister was afoot.

  • fjsteve

    Interesting that this actually happened at an NIH facility. If I were the type to buy into conspiracy theories, I might think this meant something sinister was afoot.

  • helen

    I have wondered for a long time about the anti biotics fed to cattle, pigs and chickens (to keep them from getting sick in overcrowded coditions, originally) being carried over to us in the meat we eat, or even eggs.

    There is supposed to be a rule to stop feeding antibiotics 60-90 days before slaughter to clear them out of the animals’ system. But who checks? By now, we may also be getting antibiotics with our [surface/recycled] drinking water (if we’re not getting worse from wells polluted by “fracking”!)

  • helen

    I have wondered for a long time about the anti biotics fed to cattle, pigs and chickens (to keep them from getting sick in overcrowded coditions, originally) being carried over to us in the meat we eat, or even eggs.

    There is supposed to be a rule to stop feeding antibiotics 60-90 days before slaughter to clear them out of the animals’ system. But who checks? By now, we may also be getting antibiotics with our [surface/recycled] drinking water (if we’re not getting worse from wells polluted by “fracking”!)

  • helen

    conditions

  • helen

    conditions

  • Michael B.

    “[That wouldn't be evolution, by the way, just natural selection, which I don't think anyone denies. Faster animals outrun predators, animals adapt, and the fittest do survive. What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.] ”

    Wrong. It’s not just one organism having a reproductive advantage here (although that’s a major part of it). Here, an organism has experienced a genetic mutation that gives it resistance to drugs — it’s a feature that no organism before had — it’s not just merely “the best” be selected. This is a substantial change — if we had a mutation that gave us 6 fingers on each hand or caused us to grown hair all over our body, it would pale by comparison to the new functionality that this microbe has evolved.

    Also, somebody brought up microevolution and macroevolution. Creationists act as if there is some magic line between microevolution and macroevolution, but no such line exists as far as science is concerned. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time. If you believe microevolution can occur but macroevolution cannot, what biological or logical barriers prevent the former from becoming the latter? It’s like saying that you believe continents might move a few inches, but they could never move miles.

  • Michael B.

    “[That wouldn't be evolution, by the way, just natural selection, which I don't think anyone denies. Faster animals outrun predators, animals adapt, and the fittest do survive. What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.] ”

    Wrong. It’s not just one organism having a reproductive advantage here (although that’s a major part of it). Here, an organism has experienced a genetic mutation that gives it resistance to drugs — it’s a feature that no organism before had — it’s not just merely “the best” be selected. This is a substantial change — if we had a mutation that gave us 6 fingers on each hand or caused us to grown hair all over our body, it would pale by comparison to the new functionality that this microbe has evolved.

    Also, somebody brought up microevolution and macroevolution. Creationists act as if there is some magic line between microevolution and macroevolution, but no such line exists as far as science is concerned. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time. If you believe microevolution can occur but macroevolution cannot, what biological or logical barriers prevent the former from becoming the latter? It’s like saying that you believe continents might move a few inches, but they could never move miles.

  • Steve Bauer

    It’s all in the probablities, baby!

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer

    Not your usual Creationist or ID production. Of course, if you’re convinced by fallacies in teh vein of comparing continental drift to living systems, it’s probably not your brand of “science”.

  • Steve Bauer

    It’s all in the probablities, baby!

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer

    Not your usual Creationist or ID production. Of course, if you’re convinced by fallacies in teh vein of comparing continental drift to living systems, it’s probably not your brand of “science”.

  • Stone the Crows

    Sure, it’s possible, my wife took prednizone for her arthritis and she gained 40 lbs. before she was taken off of it. Not everything that is benefitical in one realm is helpful in another. But if we are to speak of the epidemic level of obesity in the US we would look first at first causes, meaning what we injest on a daily basis. We consume far too much sugar and carbohydrates, and on a consistent level from cradle to grave thats what’s causing obesity in most cases and latent diabetes as well.

  • Stone the Crows

    Sure, it’s possible, my wife took prednizone for her arthritis and she gained 40 lbs. before she was taken off of it. Not everything that is benefitical in one realm is helpful in another. But if we are to speak of the epidemic level of obesity in the US we would look first at first causes, meaning what we injest on a daily basis. We consume far too much sugar and carbohydrates, and on a consistent level from cradle to grave thats what’s causing obesity in most cases and latent diabetes as well.

  • Joanne

    Here is the article from Science Daily that covers this issue:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120826142843.htm

  • Joanne

    Here is the article from Science Daily that covers this issue:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120826142843.htm

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Steve, I have not read the book, but looking at the summary and other claims on the web page you gave, it reminded me of similar arguments I’ve heard before, all using Shannon’s Theory of Information. A discussion (or rather, link to several discussions) on the theory and its use by Creationists/ID proponents can be found here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/infotheory.html

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Steve, I have not read the book, but looking at the summary and other claims on the web page you gave, it reminded me of similar arguments I’ve heard before, all using Shannon’s Theory of Information. A discussion (or rather, link to several discussions) on the theory and its use by Creationists/ID proponents can be found here:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/information/infotheory.html

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m pretty sure that’s evolution.

    I just think people who say things like “I don’t believe in evolution” don’t want this to be counted as evolution, because it’s obviously happening.

    As Steve Bauer said, that doesn’t mean that you have to accept evolution as the theory explaining the origin of all creatures. But, all the same, this is evolution in action.

    What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.

    When people say things like that, I think they should be required to define what they think a species is.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m pretty sure that’s evolution.

    I just think people who say things like “I don’t believe in evolution” don’t want this to be counted as evolution, because it’s obviously happening.

    As Steve Bauer said, that doesn’t mean that you have to accept evolution as the theory explaining the origin of all creatures. But, all the same, this is evolution in action.

    What Darwin did was insist that natural selection eventually turns one species into another.

    When people say things like that, I think they should be required to define what they think a species is.

  • Joanne

    Here is today’s article on the newly measured reasons why breast milk (privately or publicly consumed) is so much better for human babies than formulas.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827094353.htm

    My mama tells me that I was a very sickly infant and through up almost everthing she tried to feed me, with some truly impressive projectile vomiting.

    Her breast milk had been tested and found to be very low in nutrition and she had inverted nipples (for God’s sake don’t tell her I’ve told the whole world this). So the doctors said she couldn’t breast feed; sometimes she says that her nipples would bleed when she had initially tried to breast feed. So, I was raised on formulas (soy beans and cow’s milk). So, that is what I was throwing up. One pedatrition had an idea for a very frustrated young couple with their first baby, why don’t you try her on whole, raw cow’s milk.

    It was as illegal to get raw milk then as now, so Mama entered the milk black market at Pearl River and she got a quart about once a week and followed doctor’s orders about how to administer it. But, after several months, still no improvement. I was going into a “failure to thrive” situation. I remained undersized until mid-highschool (my younger sister was a head taller than I our whole childhood).

    But, at some point it (the projectile vomiting) just stopped and I took food without vomiting. I’ve always wondered if I’d have had mother’s milk if I wouldn’t have had so much sickness as a child. Now everyone is the medical sciences is talking about the gut and the immune system.

  • Joanne

    Here is today’s article on the newly measured reasons why breast milk (privately or publicly consumed) is so much better for human babies than formulas.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827094353.htm

    My mama tells me that I was a very sickly infant and through up almost everthing she tried to feed me, with some truly impressive projectile vomiting.

    Her breast milk had been tested and found to be very low in nutrition and she had inverted nipples (for God’s sake don’t tell her I’ve told the whole world this). So the doctors said she couldn’t breast feed; sometimes she says that her nipples would bleed when she had initially tried to breast feed. So, I was raised on formulas (soy beans and cow’s milk). So, that is what I was throwing up. One pedatrition had an idea for a very frustrated young couple with their first baby, why don’t you try her on whole, raw cow’s milk.

    It was as illegal to get raw milk then as now, so Mama entered the milk black market at Pearl River and she got a quart about once a week and followed doctor’s orders about how to administer it. But, after several months, still no improvement. I was going into a “failure to thrive” situation. I remained undersized until mid-highschool (my younger sister was a head taller than I our whole childhood).

    But, at some point it (the projectile vomiting) just stopped and I took food without vomiting. I’ve always wondered if I’d have had mother’s milk if I wouldn’t have had so much sickness as a child. Now everyone is the medical sciences is talking about the gut and the immune system.

  • Joanne

    As regards what God created when he began this whole divine diversion, we’re always being devisive over time issues. It’s been my experience that whenever we try to understand the great I AM that time issues confuse us. We cannot comprehend living without time or discussing God without time issues. We lose our ability to use our human intelligence to understand the timeless. God is aways is, his only effort at a name was I AM, which indicated an eternal now.

    And yet everything we know about our situation tells us that things came before and things will come after. Indeed, God makes a rather convoluted effort to explain to us how he created time. And everything he created he created at once, now. He didn’t create anything that had to grow or develop to finish it’s creation.

    We know you can’t plant a fruit tree today and pick fruit from it in a couple of hours. The Lord God planted a garden, but only God, the timeless one would call that planting; we’d call it created because all the trees were fully grown and bearing fruit. The problems are timeful creatures in a timefilled creation trying to understand what the creator of time, this situation where things have to come before and after now, means when he communicates to us.

    He created Adam and Eve as adults who already knew how to walk and talk, and had their adult set of teeth. One of the great discussions among artists is whether they should paint Adam and Eve with bellie buttons or not. Most artists do add the bellie button though neither Adam nor Eve were ever connected to an umbilical cord.

    I use a word trick to try to console my anxiety about understanding something made whole, with a history and a fully known future, all at one time. How old was Adem when he was created. What age was Adam when he was created. Very different questions. He had zero time of existance that started ticking by days and nights, so pretty soon he was 4 days old. But what age was he when he was 4 days old? The artists usually attempt to paint an adult man, an ideal man, at his peak of age, and the same with Eve. We see ideal breasts, as artist from age to age understood how ideal breasts should look, on Eve, and yet we know she is too young, just a newly born baby, to have any breasts. No, she is as old as a new born babe, but her age was not in sinc with how old she was.

    So how old is the whole creation? At was age was the creation when God brought it into existance? Again, these are two very different questions. My guess is he created an adult world with a fabulous history, a history that was only seconds old at the time God said it was good. And, we know that he’s changed this creation hugely since he made it, but knew from before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he would.

    He made dirt didn’t he, to grow his garden in. He never said it was a magical garden that would grow without nutrition and water, did he? How old was the dirt that he made? What was the age of the the dirt that he made?

    God seems to have made this whole created theme park to test his favorite creation, us. Will we love and obey him? Will we believe what he tells us and have faith in his love for us? I will have obedience rather than sacrifice, so the women and children must also be killed. Trust me Abraham, I want Isaac sacrificed by your own hand, to see you trust me, knowing that God’s promise seemed to go through Isaac.

    Well, when someone finds a new galaxy or a new velociraptor skeleton, I sigh and think, it’s an old, old, world. And when I read the Bible I also think it’s an old old word. Science gives us very difference answers on how old the world is, but only the Bible gives us an indication of about how long the world has been here since it was created. “Believe me, that’s how I did it. Because the only reason that all of this exists is for you to have faith in me and my Word.”

    God’s Word is forever and it never changes. With science, there is always more to know. Just the way God created it to be.

  • Joanne

    As regards what God created when he began this whole divine diversion, we’re always being devisive over time issues. It’s been my experience that whenever we try to understand the great I AM that time issues confuse us. We cannot comprehend living without time or discussing God without time issues. We lose our ability to use our human intelligence to understand the timeless. God is aways is, his only effort at a name was I AM, which indicated an eternal now.

    And yet everything we know about our situation tells us that things came before and things will come after. Indeed, God makes a rather convoluted effort to explain to us how he created time. And everything he created he created at once, now. He didn’t create anything that had to grow or develop to finish it’s creation.

    We know you can’t plant a fruit tree today and pick fruit from it in a couple of hours. The Lord God planted a garden, but only God, the timeless one would call that planting; we’d call it created because all the trees were fully grown and bearing fruit. The problems are timeful creatures in a timefilled creation trying to understand what the creator of time, this situation where things have to come before and after now, means when he communicates to us.

    He created Adam and Eve as adults who already knew how to walk and talk, and had their adult set of teeth. One of the great discussions among artists is whether they should paint Adam and Eve with bellie buttons or not. Most artists do add the bellie button though neither Adam nor Eve were ever connected to an umbilical cord.

    I use a word trick to try to console my anxiety about understanding something made whole, with a history and a fully known future, all at one time. How old was Adem when he was created. What age was Adam when he was created. Very different questions. He had zero time of existance that started ticking by days and nights, so pretty soon he was 4 days old. But what age was he when he was 4 days old? The artists usually attempt to paint an adult man, an ideal man, at his peak of age, and the same with Eve. We see ideal breasts, as artist from age to age understood how ideal breasts should look, on Eve, and yet we know she is too young, just a newly born baby, to have any breasts. No, she is as old as a new born babe, but her age was not in sinc with how old she was.

    So how old is the whole creation? At was age was the creation when God brought it into existance? Again, these are two very different questions. My guess is he created an adult world with a fabulous history, a history that was only seconds old at the time God said it was good. And, we know that he’s changed this creation hugely since he made it, but knew from before the foundations of the earth were laid, that he would.

    He made dirt didn’t he, to grow his garden in. He never said it was a magical garden that would grow without nutrition and water, did he? How old was the dirt that he made? What was the age of the the dirt that he made?

    God seems to have made this whole created theme park to test his favorite creation, us. Will we love and obey him? Will we believe what he tells us and have faith in his love for us? I will have obedience rather than sacrifice, so the women and children must also be killed. Trust me Abraham, I want Isaac sacrificed by your own hand, to see you trust me, knowing that God’s promise seemed to go through Isaac.

    Well, when someone finds a new galaxy or a new velociraptor skeleton, I sigh and think, it’s an old, old, world. And when I read the Bible I also think it’s an old old word. Science gives us very difference answers on how old the world is, but only the Bible gives us an indication of about how long the world has been here since it was created. “Believe me, that’s how I did it. Because the only reason that all of this exists is for you to have faith in me and my Word.”

    God’s Word is forever and it never changes. With science, there is always more to know. Just the way God created it to be.

  • Michael B.

    @ Joanne

    Your argument about God creating the world with the appearance of age is clever in a sense. You explain all the evidence of old age, yet also get to keep the idea of a young earth.

    I personally subscribe to the belief that the world was actually created on November 11, 2011, even though there is the appearance of age. There are buildings like the Empire State Building that we believe were constructed in the 20th century, but it only looks like that — they were really only created in the last year. We have “memories” implanted in our brain of things that actually never happened, such as learning to drive a car, but this never happened. So far no one has ever been able to prove me wrong.

  • Michael B.

    @ Joanne

    Your argument about God creating the world with the appearance of age is clever in a sense. You explain all the evidence of old age, yet also get to keep the idea of a young earth.

    I personally subscribe to the belief that the world was actually created on November 11, 2011, even though there is the appearance of age. There are buildings like the Empire State Building that we believe were constructed in the 20th century, but it only looks like that — they were really only created in the last year. We have “memories” implanted in our brain of things that actually never happened, such as learning to drive a car, but this never happened. So far no one has ever been able to prove me wrong.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@15), you could simply refer to the Omphalos hypothesis (or Last Thursdayism, or whatever) without having to pretend you came up with the idea yourself.

    Of course, what most people who hold to such satirical musings fail to appreciate is that Last Thursdayism (surely the more humorous name) is a critique of any origin theory that posits creation ex nihilo — even one involving a universe that is billions of years old. Perhaps that suits you fine. I don’t know what you believe.

    Of course, origin theories that do not involve ex nihilo creation have their own special problems, but these are not commonly given much thought, since the real point is to mock others, not do a lot of thinking.

    Last Thursdayism also tends to suffer from a belief that dates like November 11, 2011 are every bit as reasonable as more popular suggestions argued from the Bible, apparently based on the fascinating notion that any fact one can make up out of thin air is every bit as valid as any other statement.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael (@15), you could simply refer to the Omphalos hypothesis (or Last Thursdayism, or whatever) without having to pretend you came up with the idea yourself.

    Of course, what most people who hold to such satirical musings fail to appreciate is that Last Thursdayism (surely the more humorous name) is a critique of any origin theory that posits creation ex nihilo — even one involving a universe that is billions of years old. Perhaps that suits you fine. I don’t know what you believe.

    Of course, origin theories that do not involve ex nihilo creation have their own special problems, but these are not commonly given much thought, since the real point is to mock others, not do a lot of thinking.

    Last Thursdayism also tends to suffer from a belief that dates like November 11, 2011 are every bit as reasonable as more popular suggestions argued from the Bible, apparently based on the fascinating notion that any fact one can make up out of thin air is every bit as valid as any other statement.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    We actually don’t have a true origin theory in either the big bang or creationism. Where did the singularity come from in the big bang? Nor does creationism give us an answer to how nothing would have become something. Where did God come from?

    By the way, one of your earlier comments implied you believe in evolution. I hope I misread this. I’d hate to see you burn in hell.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    We actually don’t have a true origin theory in either the big bang or creationism. Where did the singularity come from in the big bang? Nor does creationism give us an answer to how nothing would have become something. Where did God come from?

    By the way, one of your earlier comments implied you believe in evolution. I hope I misread this. I’d hate to see you burn in hell.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@17), you’re new at this, aren’t you?

    Nor does creationism give us an answer to how nothing would have become something. Where did God come from?

    What do you mean by “nothing”? And, honestly, asking where God “came from” suggests you haven’t given this a lot of thought.

    As to evolution, plenty of Christians — even theologically conservative ones — believe in evolution. Many of them also believe in an old Earth. The two ideas are not synonymous. Strictly speaking, evolution is a process. Evolution itself does not tell us how long it has been going on, any more than the existence of radioactive decay itself tells us how old the planet is. I’d be willing to bet that nearly every Christian believes in radioactive decay (or, say, gravity), even though those processes have been used to justify the idea of an old Earth.

    Honestly, you really need to get out more.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Michael B. (@17), you’re new at this, aren’t you?

    Nor does creationism give us an answer to how nothing would have become something. Where did God come from?

    What do you mean by “nothing”? And, honestly, asking where God “came from” suggests you haven’t given this a lot of thought.

    As to evolution, plenty of Christians — even theologically conservative ones — believe in evolution. Many of them also believe in an old Earth. The two ideas are not synonymous. Strictly speaking, evolution is a process. Evolution itself does not tell us how long it has been going on, any more than the existence of radioactive decay itself tells us how old the planet is. I’d be willing to bet that nearly every Christian believes in radioactive decay (or, say, gravity), even though those processes have been used to justify the idea of an old Earth.

    Honestly, you really need to get out more.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “As to evolution, plenty of Christians — even theologically conservative ones — believe in evolution.”

    Yes Todd, I get it. The whole “micro evolution” vs. “macro evolution” thing. I was under the impression you believed that we and monkeys are descended from a common ancestor. You had me scared there for a second.

  • Michael B.

    @Todd

    “As to evolution, plenty of Christians — even theologically conservative ones — believe in evolution.”

    Yes Todd, I get it. The whole “micro evolution” vs. “macro evolution” thing. I was under the impression you believed that we and monkeys are descended from a common ancestor. You had me scared there for a second.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@19), I’m not sure you do get it. Most creationists who use those terms (I didn’t) don’t believe evolution could give rise to a new species. I’m not saying that.

    Also, if you think those terms aren’t used by actual evolutionary scientists (and thus the scare-quotes), you need to do some research.

    Personally, I don’t have any issues with evolution. I just don’t believe that the Earth’s been around long enough to produce a common ancestor for man and monkey.

    But that’s just me. As I said, there are other Christians, even theologically conservative ones (even here on this blog) who do believe the Earth has been around long enough for that (and then some).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@19), I’m not sure you do get it. Most creationists who use those terms (I didn’t) don’t believe evolution could give rise to a new species. I’m not saying that.

    Also, if you think those terms aren’t used by actual evolutionary scientists (and thus the scare-quotes), you need to do some research.

    Personally, I don’t have any issues with evolution. I just don’t believe that the Earth’s been around long enough to produce a common ancestor for man and monkey.

    But that’s just me. As I said, there are other Christians, even theologically conservative ones (even here on this blog) who do believe the Earth has been around long enough for that (and then some).

  • Joanne

    This entry goes with Joanne@14
    Here’s a NOVA program. “Everything we thing we know, may be an illusion.”

  • Joanne

    This entry goes with Joanne@14
    Here’s a NOVA program. “Everything we thing we know, may be an illusion.”

  • Joanne

    And this is the YouTube link to the NOVA program:

  • Joanne

    And this is the YouTube link to the NOVA program:

  • Joanne

    It’s titled, “The illusion of time.”

  • Joanne

    It’s titled, “The illusion of time.”

  • Joanne

    I would think it would be easy for a physicist to believe in God, and yet so many resist it, chooing insead to believe in a fickle thing like science, where there is always something more to learn.

    Yet this panel of brilliant physicists said nothing that would obviate God. There is a very ordered beginning that took divine sizes of power to happen. And since, everything is going from more order to less. If the arrow of time is correct then natural selection cannot be, unless there are little loops in time that temporarily allow some things to move backwards in time and acquire less entergy, i.e., become more organized, better adapted. It needs to adapt because of all the entergy it lives in.

    The creation is moving in one direction because of sin (entergy). Time will end with nothing.

    Yet, God, the creator of time, the illusion, tells us that it will end in nothing for some. Some, those who have heard his Word and done it, the Father will love, and we will come to them and make our home with them. God says the end of time could be at any moment. Then a timeless existance begins for those he creatd in his own image. Very different timeless existances.

    Bob, I think I’ll go with door number 1, The Holy Trinity and the fun of knowing science and how much it changes day to day. No, Bob, I’m not interested in any of those other doors.

  • Joanne

    I would think it would be easy for a physicist to believe in God, and yet so many resist it, chooing insead to believe in a fickle thing like science, where there is always something more to learn.

    Yet this panel of brilliant physicists said nothing that would obviate God. There is a very ordered beginning that took divine sizes of power to happen. And since, everything is going from more order to less. If the arrow of time is correct then natural selection cannot be, unless there are little loops in time that temporarily allow some things to move backwards in time and acquire less entergy, i.e., become more organized, better adapted. It needs to adapt because of all the entergy it lives in.

    The creation is moving in one direction because of sin (entergy). Time will end with nothing.

    Yet, God, the creator of time, the illusion, tells us that it will end in nothing for some. Some, those who have heard his Word and done it, the Father will love, and we will come to them and make our home with them. God says the end of time could be at any moment. Then a timeless existance begins for those he creatd in his own image. Very different timeless existances.

    Bob, I think I’ll go with door number 1, The Holy Trinity and the fun of knowing science and how much it changes day to day. No, Bob, I’m not interested in any of those other doors.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Joanne (@24), a few questions:

    And since, everything is going from more order to less.

    What do you mean by “order”? And what is the basis of your statement? (i.e. is it scientific? Philosophical? …)

    I initially assumed your use of “entergy” was a typo, but you typed it three times. Does that word mean something to you? Or were you trying to type “energy”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Joanne (@24), a few questions:

    And since, everything is going from more order to less.

    What do you mean by “order”? And what is the basis of your statement? (i.e. is it scientific? Philosophical? …)

    I initially assumed your use of “entergy” was a typo, but you typed it three times. Does that word mean something to you? Or were you trying to type “energy”?

  • Joanne

    Hi Todd,

    Yes, I was misspelling the word. In New Orleans the major power company is named “Entergy,” and it has been in the news a great deal lately. Besides being somewhat dislexic, here is what I meant:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(arrow_of_time)

    In the PBS NOVA program, the presenter, Brian Greene, took a chrystal stem glass half filled with a dark red wine. This was his example of order (the initial condition – low entropy). Then he dropped it on a gray slate lab counter and smashed it to smithereens. His example of order to non-order – high entropy. But then he said that all we had to do to go back in time was to reverse the velosities of every single shred, shard of the glass, which he did. Visually, the show is excellently done.

    In explaining the “arrow of time” and why time only moves in one direction, he said it was because complexity increases. If we started with the highly ordered “big bang” of low entropy, and have an equation that tells us that we always go from low to high entropy, then the Arrow of Time can move in only one direction, forward.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(order_and_disorder)
    Here is a link to one of the more basic articles on Entropy and the Arrow of Time. I did notice the way evolution is allow for by biological creatues being open systems taking in and giving off heat, but this only works if the environment changes to allow these heat changes. This causes a “local” apparent breaking of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But when you add up the bill, the local and whole dynamic system heat account balances.

    The exceptions to entropy always increasing, which some say they find in biological systems, no matter whatelse, are local and temporary as we progress inevitably toward the end of time. The law of increasing complexity, i.e. always progressing from low to high entropy. That sea squirt may have adapted to a certain environment, but only locally and only temporarily.

    I don’t know about you, but I see God’s fingers all over this.

  • Joanne

    Hi Todd,

    Yes, I was misspelling the word. In New Orleans the major power company is named “Entergy,” and it has been in the news a great deal lately. Besides being somewhat dislexic, here is what I meant:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(arrow_of_time)

    In the PBS NOVA program, the presenter, Brian Greene, took a chrystal stem glass half filled with a dark red wine. This was his example of order (the initial condition – low entropy). Then he dropped it on a gray slate lab counter and smashed it to smithereens. His example of order to non-order – high entropy. But then he said that all we had to do to go back in time was to reverse the velosities of every single shred, shard of the glass, which he did. Visually, the show is excellently done.

    In explaining the “arrow of time” and why time only moves in one direction, he said it was because complexity increases. If we started with the highly ordered “big bang” of low entropy, and have an equation that tells us that we always go from low to high entropy, then the Arrow of Time can move in only one direction, forward.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy_(order_and_disorder)
    Here is a link to one of the more basic articles on Entropy and the Arrow of Time. I did notice the way evolution is allow for by biological creatues being open systems taking in and giving off heat, but this only works if the environment changes to allow these heat changes. This causes a “local” apparent breaking of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. But when you add up the bill, the local and whole dynamic system heat account balances.

    The exceptions to entropy always increasing, which some say they find in biological systems, no matter whatelse, are local and temporary as we progress inevitably toward the end of time. The law of increasing complexity, i.e. always progressing from low to high entropy. That sea squirt may have adapted to a certain environment, but only locally and only temporarily.

    I don’t know about you, but I see God’s fingers all over this.

  • Joanne

    I’ve got to let this go. Oi!

    If there are things that are reversions of the progression of entropy, even temporarily and locally, would we be able to measure them moving backward in time? If always increasing entropy is there to stop the backward movement of time, then would be be able to see sea squirts move backward in time, if only temporarily and locally?

    If biologicals cannot move backward in time, does that mean they are as governed by increasing entropy as any other thing?

  • Joanne

    I’ve got to let this go. Oi!

    If there are things that are reversions of the progression of entropy, even temporarily and locally, would we be able to measure them moving backward in time? If always increasing entropy is there to stop the backward movement of time, then would be be able to see sea squirts move backward in time, if only temporarily and locally?

    If biologicals cannot move backward in time, does that mean they are as governed by increasing entropy as any other thing?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joanne, I’m no great shakes at science (it’s my wife who has the master’s in chemistry; I just have a BS in engineering), but I think you may be getting confused by the word “order”.

    Yes, entropy is said to be a measure of “order”, and yes, entropy is (universally) increasing as we move forward in time. But even that Wikipedia article you pointed me to discusses the issues with this word, and how there’s been a recent move away from describing entropy in terms of “order”.

    A typical example of how the term is misunderstood involves a teenager’s room. Most of us would agree that a room with clothes and books strewn everywhere would be “less ordered”, and a room with everything in its place would be “more ordered”. However, in a thermodynamic sense — that is, with an eye towards entropy — both rooms could easily be at the same level of entropy, or order.

    That’s because entropy really is properly understood at the (sub-)microscopic level, which may not correspond at all to what we typically think of as order.

    Anyhow, you are correct about the need to take into consideration what the system you’re analyzing is, and whether it’s open or closed, when considering entropy. The best example, to me, is one of a refrigerator. Inside a fridge, ice crystals are constantly forming. Crystalline solids are very highly “ordered” — that is to say, they have low entropy. A violation of the laws of thermodynamics? Not at all. A fridge is not a closed system. It requires a constant input of energy to maintain, and it gives off heat, as well. This results in a net increase in entropy, the ice crystals notwithstanding.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joanne, I’m no great shakes at science (it’s my wife who has the master’s in chemistry; I just have a BS in engineering), but I think you may be getting confused by the word “order”.

    Yes, entropy is said to be a measure of “order”, and yes, entropy is (universally) increasing as we move forward in time. But even that Wikipedia article you pointed me to discusses the issues with this word, and how there’s been a recent move away from describing entropy in terms of “order”.

    A typical example of how the term is misunderstood involves a teenager’s room. Most of us would agree that a room with clothes and books strewn everywhere would be “less ordered”, and a room with everything in its place would be “more ordered”. However, in a thermodynamic sense — that is, with an eye towards entropy — both rooms could easily be at the same level of entropy, or order.

    That’s because entropy really is properly understood at the (sub-)microscopic level, which may not correspond at all to what we typically think of as order.

    Anyhow, you are correct about the need to take into consideration what the system you’re analyzing is, and whether it’s open or closed, when considering entropy. The best example, to me, is one of a refrigerator. Inside a fridge, ice crystals are constantly forming. Crystalline solids are very highly “ordered” — that is to say, they have low entropy. A violation of the laws of thermodynamics? Not at all. A fridge is not a closed system. It requires a constant input of energy to maintain, and it gives off heat, as well. This results in a net increase in entropy, the ice crystals notwithstanding.

  • Joanne

    The NOVA program, toward the end uses a huge graphic to describe time from the Big Bang to the Whimper Out, i.e. the beginning and the end of time. The graphic looks like a huge sausage full of time.

    And, you must admit that refrigerators and all systems that seem to stop the forward movement of time by holding entropy still or moving it backwards, are temporary and will fall apart into the river of entropy at some point.

    According to the theory as expressed by Brian Greene, at the end there will be total entropy, and thus no time. And he and many physists say they have no idea how to explain or even talk about a time without time. Our brains cannot fathom continued existance past the end of time. But we know who made the sausage of time and banged it into motion, and what he intends to do when time ends.

    What science cannot fathom is that there is a revelation that came to us from outside of time from the creator of it all. He has a plan, but science cannot imagine why he would. It’s a plan that seems to know every human being ever formed and what is going to happen individually to each and every one of them. The scientists are comfortable with a faceless, mass end of time.

    They will be discomfited if they stay with the low-entropy chrystals in the refridgerator freezer. They need to get out of there and start moving again. Time is going to end, even if you’re frozen.

  • Joanne

    The NOVA program, toward the end uses a huge graphic to describe time from the Big Bang to the Whimper Out, i.e. the beginning and the end of time. The graphic looks like a huge sausage full of time.

    And, you must admit that refrigerators and all systems that seem to stop the forward movement of time by holding entropy still or moving it backwards, are temporary and will fall apart into the river of entropy at some point.

    According to the theory as expressed by Brian Greene, at the end there will be total entropy, and thus no time. And he and many physists say they have no idea how to explain or even talk about a time without time. Our brains cannot fathom continued existance past the end of time. But we know who made the sausage of time and banged it into motion, and what he intends to do when time ends.

    What science cannot fathom is that there is a revelation that came to us from outside of time from the creator of it all. He has a plan, but science cannot imagine why he would. It’s a plan that seems to know every human being ever formed and what is going to happen individually to each and every one of them. The scientists are comfortable with a faceless, mass end of time.

    They will be discomfited if they stay with the low-entropy chrystals in the refridgerator freezer. They need to get out of there and start moving again. Time is going to end, even if you’re frozen.