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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Did God Create Earth with an Appearance of Age?

Posted by jlwile on July 12, 2009

As I have written previously, there is some evidence that indicates the earth is old. Both the absence of most short-lived radioisotopes on earth as well as the ratios of certain isotopes in certain kinds of rock point to a very old earth. In addition, while some aspects of geology are best understood in a young-earth framework, others are best understood in an old-earth framework. Hopefully, I will eventually write about these old-earth evidences, as they are important to know and understand. However, for right now, just assume they exist.

Let’s suppose, then, that a person is convinced by the old-earth evidences. He or she thinks the data that indicate the earth is billions of years old outweigh the data that indicate the earth is on the order of ten thousand years old. Even though I disagree with such an assessment, it is a valid position to take. Now, even though it is not necessary to do so, suppose a person who believes the earth is billions of years old also wants to interpret the days of Genesis as 24-hour days. Is it possible to believe both of these premises? Actually, it is. In fact, there are two options such a person has:

1. Believe that God created the earth with an appearance of age.

2. Believe that the 24-hour days in Genesis are not earth days, but are days in another reference frame, such as the rest frame of the universe.

The second option is rather esoteric, but it is definitely feasible scientifically. I hope to write about that next. In this entry, however, I want to address the first question: Could God have created earth with an appearance of age? My answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT.

You might find it odd that I would say something like that. After all, God is omnipotent. Couldn’t He do anything He wants to do? I say “no, ” because doing so would go against His very nature. As the wise Platica reminded me in the Inaugural Meeting of the New School of Athens ***, omnipotence is an attribute of God, but it is not part of His nature. Instead, truth is a part of God’s nature, and if He were to create an earth (or universe) that looked ancient but wasn’t really ancient, He would essentially be lying to us, and that would go against His nature. Thus, because it is against His nature to lie, He would not have created the earth (or the universe) with an appearance of age.

“Now wait a minute,” you might say. “God might not have been lying when He created the earth with an appearance of age. It might just be that something has to look old in order to be mature. For example, Adam wasn’t created as a baby. He was created as an adult. Doesn’t that give Adam the appearance of age? ” No, not necessarily.

Adam was, indeed, created as an adult, but had you examined him, I expect you would have found evidence that he never was a baby. For example, he probably had no belly button. After all, the belly button is a remnant of where a person was attached to his or her mother by an umbilical cord. Since Adam was never in a mother’s womb, I expect that he would not have had a belly button. Right away, then, you would know that Adam was not born, and thus his appearance as an adult would not imply age.

But what about things like trees in the Garden of Eden? Surely there were large, majestic trees. Wouldn’t they have to look old? Once again, the answer is “no.” As I discussed in a previous entry, a tree grows a ring for each year it lives. I honestly believe that if Adam had cut down a supernaturally-created tree in the Garden of Eden, he would not have seen any rings. Instead, he would have seen a homogeneous cylinder of living wood, indicating that the particular tree in question clearly did not age like the trees that would have later grown from seeds.

You see, any appearance of age tells a story. As I mentioned in that same previous entry, the thickness of a ring tells about the weather the year the ring was being formed. Thick rings, for example, are a sign of abundant rainfall and good growing conditions. Thin rings indicate poor growing conditions like not much rain, a very cool spring and summer, etc. If a tree that God had created as the initial foliage in the Garden of Eden had rings in it, God would not only be lying about its age (by the number of rings it had), He would also be lying about the weather, as the rings would imply that there were specific kinds of weather before the earth was even created!

Because it is against God’s nature to lie, I just don’t see how He could have created the earth (or the universe) with an appearance of age. Thus, I think everything He created that was mature would clearly be seen to be different from the same entities that formed normally later on. The trees that grew from seeds would certainly have rings, and those rings would tell the true story about the weather patterns that occurred over the years the tree developed.

Even the trees that God supernaturally created would develop rings as the years passed by. Thus, if someone had cut down a tree that was part of Eden’s initial foliage, he would have seen one ridiculously thick ring that clearly looked like no naturally-formed tree ring, and then a series of normal-looking rings that told true stories about the weather patterns the tree experienced. The first ring would be so strange compared to the others that it would be clear it was not formed like the others and thus could not be used to determine the tree’s age or anything else about the initial formation of the tree – other than the fact that the event was clearly quite special.

Since God is omnipotent, He certainly would have been able to create without any untrue appearance of age. In my opinion, it is the only way He would be able to create and stay true to His nature.

***Not affiliated in any way with this New School of Athens – thanks CalvinE!
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Comments

44 Responses to “Did God Create Earth with an Appearance of Age?”
  1. CalvinE says:

    I continually find it amazing that some people truly think that God would deceive us. I had a conversation with some devout Christians regarding fossils/dinosaurs, and they believed that God put fossils in the earth to deceive us, and that those creatures never existed. How can someone believe that God would deceive them?

  2. jlwile says:

    I think it comes from this idea that you have to EARN God’s favor. Those who really don’t understand God’s grace think that you have to earn His love. Thus…He “tests” you by putting dinosaur bones in the ground, allowing your loved ones to die, etc. It is so sad that people just can’t believe what the Bible says about God’s grace!

  3. josiah says:

    Let me mention two little stories which make me believe God could have given certain aspects of creation the appearance of age (which as always is not the same as saying he did.)

    The first, an anecdote: slightly more than a year ago my family was invited to a fairly pompous party. It was so pompous that they had arranged for a bouncy castle to be set up for the children. Now most of the children of the guests went straight to jumping, but I was older than most of the others, have always been a bit disapproving of dangerous forms of gaity (A word I always use of having fun, not its other use) and stayed around the edge of the castle to try and prevent the silliest of daredevils from cracking their necks. Normally this is unnecessary, and gets me labelled a killjoy, but in this case was quite necessary. One girl diverted herself by perching atop the great pillar of hot air, which of course swayed precariously in all directions. So I was running this way and that trying to steady the pillar, while calling up for the young lady to come down. Unfortunately after about twenty minutes of that rediculous task I was too tired to round the structure in time, and the silly girl finally fell, gracelessly and rather painfully to the floor.

    The second, biblical: Jesus and his disciples attended a wedding in the town of Cana, the host of which had neglected to hoard enough wine. Though Jesus was reluctant to reveal his power, at the urging of his mother he arranged for jars of water to be miraculously transformed into the best wine. I shan’t recount the rest of the story, you know where to find it.

    Now in the first case I was clearly not acting to woo miss X, whose name I cannot even remember. Nor was I acting to attract the wrath of that infuriating ditty “Josiah and X sitting in a tree…” Rather my only motive was to prevent a particularly foolhardy girl from killing herself. I acted to help somebody, not decieve myself, the girl, or the mocking crowd present into thinking I was in love.

    In the second case the situation is similar. Jesus was simply asked to help save somebody humiliation on his wedding day. Now this miracle resulted in the groom being erroneously complemented for saving the best wine for the end of the party, but this is not deciet in Jesus. It was simply his love for people (part of his nature) expressing itself through a little miracle. (He could not sit down and explain the truth in the matter, for his “time had not yet come” to be revealed.)

    Therefore if God decided to add a few million years worth salt gain to the oceans at the start of the world, I should not say “He is trying to trick us.” He is actually well within his rights to humble those who think themselves excessively wise with such a little inconsistency, but here I should instead attribute it to his care and wisdom in making a saltwater sea for saltwater fishes. (He might have made both freshwater, but did not choose to do so for his own reasons.) Genesis 2 also recounts that God began the water cycle by causing springs from the ground to water the land. That he made a cycle which looks like it has been going around indefinitely (groundwater outlet assumed) is irrelevent–what is important is that for a MINIMUM of 6000 years it should keep cycling to keep man, animal, and plant alive. Now this is not to say that God did create the universe with an appearance of age, but that he could (of course) and might have been motivated by his nature of love and mercy to do so.

    PS: Absurd as they may sound, my annecdotes are always true, to the best of my ability to remember such incidents, including my thoughts, emotions, and motives at the time.

  4. jlwile says:

    I loved the anecdote, but I don’t understand your point. There is a difference between lying and being misinterpreted. People might have viewed your actions with miss “X” and misinterpreted them as you being attracted to her. However, you were not doing anything that objectively indicated you were wooing her. Thus, you were not deceiving anyone.

    In the same way, at the wedding in Cana, Jesus probably did make the best wine anyone had ever tasted. In winemaking, you trying to emphasize the good parts of the wine and de-emphasize the bad parts. The “art” of winemaking is to emphaize the good as much as possible and de-emphasize the bad as much as possible. Thus, I expect that had someone chemically analyzed the wine, he or she would have found ALL the bad things completely gone and ALL the good things there. Thus, the wine was IMPOSSIBLY good, indicating it was not natural and thus giving no false story of its age, fermentation, etc.

    That’s the real key. People can misinterpret anything. However, if I can point to objective data that tell a false story, then someone is lying to me. For example, if I cut down a tree and count 100 rings, there is nothing to misinterpret. It is 100 years (possibly a bit less because of multiple rings, but that just gives a known uncertainty). If I cut down that tree 5 years after Creation, God has lied to me about the age of the tree.

  5. josiah says:

    Actually I rather suspect you understand my point perfectly as I meant it: no deciet or misanalysis on either side, except a small thing with the wedding of Cana.

    I see no indication that that wine was impossibly good, the wedding manager meerly remarked that it was “the best” wine such as was normally served at the begginning of the wedding. Jesus wanted to remain anonymous (but that he’d bound himself to the fifth commandment he wouldn’t have done it at all.) and the Bible recounts that only the servants knew where it was from. The fact of the matter is NO-ONE could Chemically Analyze the wine, and though I have no doubt that Jesus saw it was good much as God saw creation was good, but Jesus was happy to leave the guests contentedly oblivious to the nature of the wine. He did not decieve anyone in doing this.

    Now note this well: I am not liberal with trickery. I should say that if someone makes a statement that is not true (such as Elisha did), that is a lie and sinful. Likewise a statement that is technically true or half true but meant to trick someone (Abraham: she is my sister) is deciet and wrong. Even telling the full truth, with a wink; a laugh; a sarcastic voice meant to mislead…all would be wrong. (that is an issue, I can think of two people in my small circle easily convicted of such a crime. I shan’t name either, the first for shame and the second to avoid being a hypocryte.) But as you said that is not the same to be misunderstood. Leaving evidences (not actually a noun, but I shan’t remake the mistake of saying proofs :) ) which could be misunderstood isn’t wrong in my opinion, so long as the PURPOSE isn’t to be misunderstood and hence decieve.

    Now I don’t believe that God could set out to lie to people, or even to decieve people. He says that he does not long for the death of the wicked, but wants them to turn from their sins and live. To this end he gave the way, truth and life to, of, and in the father (Jesus) to bring people back, and decreed that the truth shall set them free. He could not lie, as did the snake, on the subject of THE tree in Eden.

    I don’t however think that Adam’s Belly Button is such a matter. Adam may have been fashioned specifically to be the same as the men of whom he was father, or may have been left without a belly button. After all, we haven’t found Adam’s body to examine for the minute feature. Likewise for Earth-old tree rings. If all trees 6013 years old suddenly hit a last, gigantic ring that would have been evidence for a literal bible POV, but the fact is (because they are older or because God made them that way) they look older. So could God have made them that way? We know that wanting faith he doesn’t give “proof” of his existance that an athiest couldn’t ignore, which such structures would be. Likewise he might have wanted his world to start as it was to continue. Obviously I’m not even able to guess about the mind of God: The Father and creator, let alone make definate proclamations.

    God cannot lie, on that we are together. Therefore since the Bible is his word it cannot hold a lie. Metaphor … analogy … I have no problem with those. Contrasting my harshness against dishonesty I should say that obvious application of metaphor or even sarcasm to tell the truth is simply more eloquent language telling it. But why should such be allowed in the Bible and disallowed in the physical world? Where the two appear to come into conflict at a first glance, surely we must look, as you are so fond of saying, at all possible interpretations to both sides. We must test both God’s art and his authorship for secrets, the world and not just the Bible.

    I will repeat: I am not saying that God created the world looking old, regardless of whether or not he made it possible to tell this to be untrue. With regards the wedding of Cana Jesus acted within his nature of Love because love is kind and is not proud, perhaps the same could be said of the creator on days 1-6.

  6. jlwile says:

    I definitely do not understand. You said that these anecdotes would show how “God could have given certain aspects of creation the appearance of age.” However, the anecdotes you gave imply misinterpretation in order for them to relate to the appearance of age. Your incident with miss “X” could only appear to be interest in her if someone misinterpreted what you were doing. In the same way, a person would have to misunderstand the nature of the wine in order to assume the wine at the wedding in Cana was finely-aged. Thus, I don’t see how the anecdotes could relate to the idea of apparent age without misanalysis or misinterpretation.

    I agree with you that there is no indication in the Biblical account of the wedding at Cana that the wine was impossibly good. In fact, we don’t even know it was comparable to any other wedding wine. We only know it was the best of the wines served at THAT wedding. Thus, we also have no indication that it had the appearance of age. A brand new wine can be very good, depending on the grape and many other factors. Thus, you seem to choose to believe that it had the appearance of age. I choose to believe that anyone doing careful analysis would quickly learn that there was something so different about that particular wine that there would be no way to discern an age for it. I think my choice is more in line with God’s nature of not lying.

    I strongly disagree with you on the point of Adam’s belly button and tree rings. Adam having a belly button would be a direct lie, as a belly button indicates you were attached to your mother by an umbilical cord. Since God does not lie, he would not have given Adam the mark indicating he was attached to a mother, since Adam had no mother.

    A large tree ring in the middle of a supernaturally-created tree would not be direct proof of the Biblical account of creation. In fact, there are many, many strong evidences to support the idea of a global Flood, but those who choose not to believe find all sorts if ingenious ways to “get around” the evidence. The same would be the case here. Thus, I choose to believe that God would not lie to us and put 110 rings on a tree that is only 10 years old.

    I guess this boils down to a disagreement on what a lie is. If God produces something that careful analysis shows is incorrect, it is my opinion that He lied. As I said in the post, since He is omnipotent, I choose to believe that He could create trees, fine wine, etc. without the appearance of age so as to avoid lying to us.

  7. josiah says:

    First, let us strip away trivialities.

    Please can we forget about Adam’s (and the also motherless Eve’s) belly button. It is impossible to say whether they had one or not, and not a matter to “strongly disagree with you” on. I would consider it an imperfection (or scar), which God would not make at creation but I don’t really care. If they ever dig up and identify Adam, I might be interested. Otherwise, forget it.

    I should consider such a state in trees proof if it existed (you yourself said that a proof needs only convince reasonable people, ingeneous “getting round” quite pushes on the limmits of being reasonable. However that is irrelevent here because such a feature doesn’t occur. Hence we are left with either “the earth is older” or “God made the trees with rings.” You would say only the first is possible (placing older in the order of 10000 years) while I would maintain that the second remains a possiblity.

    Now my point with Miss X is that I did leave evidence (not proof, for it must be impossible to prove a falsehood) that I was experiencing the petty affection called “love at first sight.” After all such does exist, particularly among teenagers. The crowd of kids could not concieve of any other reason that I would spend time and energy for another person, and thereupon comenced teasing. Now that would actually be a fair analysis for someone who didn’t know me, fair until they see that I’d even go to absurd lengths after a balloon to paint a smile on the face of a crying child. So, if that was the picture painted by evidence I left, did I lie to them? By your rules perhaps I did, but either way I DID NOT CARE because it was more important to ensure one silly girl didn’t accidentally kill herself.

    Likewise with Cana. Water into Wine is a miracle. Six big pottery jars of slightly salinated hydrogen hydroxide cannot change in the blink of an eye to holding a ferment of grape juice. Wine is made by adding yeast to grape juice and leaving it for a time (even if a short time.) It is not made by drawing water from a well, dumping it into containers, and carrying it to the man in charge of a party.

    BUT that is what a miracle consists of: God BREAKING the laws of physics. God is far greater than you or I. It is not for us to tell him “We think you can’t do that.” Indeed just now I am glad that he did do that because I reckon it just about vindicates me from being condemned under “careful analysis says…”. If he was certain enough that it was OK when he only saw a party at stake…

    Now creation was probably the third greatest miracle ever (I’d say the incarnation and our salvation rate higher on that scale.) Normal physics simply doesn’t apply when God is creating something out of nothing, pulling continents out of the oceans, sprinkling the heavens with glitter (which just happens to be the huge nuclear infernos we call stars) and creating chicken without egg and man without mother. Did he lie by making stars that didn’t start out as a nebula? Of course not! Did he lie by setting our planet in an orbit that it could have been following for millenia? Clearly No! And if he decided that unstable isotopes, as incredibly volatile as they are, shouldn’t exist on his wonderful world, does that make God a liar? Or what if he ordered a cave to hollow itself from a mountain instead of waiting millions of years for dripping water to do the job?

    Clearly when analyzing different positions in light of the evidence, you must discard any that don’t seem to hold water. But take a quick peek at Exodus 14:22 or Job 38:8-11 for a look at how God holds water! Better still read through Job 38. I really like that bit of the Bible for a lot of reasons* , but for now read it because it sort of shows how plain silly it is to say that God cannot do anything.

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    *Because it presents God’s power, shows the reality of his act of creation in such an energetic way, and humblingly reminds me that all of Science’s radio-tagging wild does, subduing great beasts, mapping out the cycles for water and the mechanism of electricity comes panting in thousands of years too slow with some old questions still unanswered and many more uncovered for God to ask if we tried again to challenge him. In short it shows the scientist how great God is.

  8. jlwile says:

    Obviously what you think is a triviality is quite different from what I think is a triviality. A belly button on Adam would be a lie from God. That would be anything but trivial.

    You might consider the state I described about trees proof of creation, but most scientists would certainly not. In fact, they would go to great lengths to provide an alternate explanation. They already do that with the convincing evidence of a worldwide flood. Thus, they can do it with trees as well.

    In your anecdote with Miss “X,” you only left evidence of “love at first sight” to someone who misinterpreted your actions. Thus, it is not real evidence. Indeed, your very statement that the “crowd of kids could not concieve of any other reason that I would spend time and energy for another person” shows that it is their misinterpretation, not your actions, that is the problem. Thus, you did not lie to them. They simply did not read the evidence properly.

    Water into wine definitely is a miracle, which is why I say that such wine would neither taste nor be analyzed the same as normal wine. Thus, once again, to anyone who looks that the evidence, there is no appearance of age, as the wine would reveal in its analysis that it was not formed in the usual way.

    Indeed, God is far greater than us. That is why He can perform miracles WITHOUT lying to us. You might not be able to conceive how that is possible, but with Him, it certainly is possible. Creation was, indeed, miraculous and certainly did not follow the laws of physics. As a result, created things would NOT have the appearance of age, as they did not form via natural processes. Instead, they were made by a omnipotent God who can break the laws of nature (which He made) without lying to us.

    Probably the most erroneous thing you have stated so far is that it is “silly” to say that God cannot do certain things. In fact, God HIMSELF says he cannot do certain things. Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18 say that God cannot lie. John 14:5-6 says God cannot let you into heaven except through Jesus. James 1:13 says God cannot be tempted by evil. Thus, there are certain things God cannot do, as it goes against His nature.

    Once again, you are missing the wise words of Platica in an earlier post. God’s omnipotence is simply an attribute. God’s nature is His essence. The two are quite different. He CANNOT go against his nature, despite the fact that He has the attribute of being omnipotent. So God cannot lie, which means He would not create with the appearance of age.

  9. josiah says:

    Even if Adam having a belly button would be a direct lie from God, it is utterly petty to accuse God of possibly lying in crafting Adam. We have not got the smallest scrap of evidence. As I said, if someone digs up and identifies Adam his tummy may be a place to look at. But as a scientist you must be aware that you cannot use an unproven hypothesis to argue your case, so until a little more evidence is uncovered we are agreed that Adam probably didn’t have such a feature, so lets stop squabbling over it!

    We have also spent far too long on big tree rings for an aside “What if” argument. I would be in no mood to argue with people so hard-hearted as to construct elaborate and increasingly unlikely get-outs to hold to their position. Again the fact remains: that feature does not exist, so why argue about what people would say if it did? That is why I call both triviality.

    That crowd of kids read the evidence quite properly, as you would have read 100 tree rings in a 10 year old tree quite properly (if you were Adam). There is of course additional evidence to be considered. If God gives a disclaimer; if he says of that tree “Well actually I made that one.” (as he does, in writing, in the Bible) that must at least release him from the accusation that he decieved us.

    The issue in Cana is not that Jesus gave an appearance of age (though all wine would require some aging) but that he gave the appearance of WINE. All the people at that wedding presumed it was just wine. Now they could just have asked the servents or asked Jesus and they would have said where it came from. However the wine did not reveal it was in any way unnatural. Likewise tree rings: most rings are made by seasonal growth spurts, and those of 6000 years old or more don’t show that they weren’t so made. That could mean that they were made in exactly that fashion, but God could still have made them himself, as he did with that wine in Cana.

    Created things would have had whatever appearance God decided to give them. He could have made the earth as a hollow sphere with the world on the inside and a small super-dense sun right in the center giving out anti-gravity, but instead we see the world as it is now. Therefore he has made laws that limit the speed of light, but need not have limited starlight at creation to such a speed, if he wanted the heavens to declare his glory in a way that we could see. Therefore seeing stars 100,000 light-years away we cannot say they must have existed for 100,000 years.

    Now the question of nature vs ability is an interesting one. I could go around popping balloons and pushing people off bouncy castles; such is an ability gained by being big. Now I would not normally do those things because I’m not actually like that. God likewise could do whatever he wants, but because his nature is purely and constantly loving he refrains from doing some things. That much I am quite comfortable with. The point is we cannot say what those things are.

    Looking for Bible proof? Just look at Job: a man who is righteous in the extreme, blessed in every possible way… and then stripped of all he has. His friends spend chapters trying to get him to repent for they understand that God’s punishment falls upon the wicked, while Job makes the terrible mistake of accusing God of injustice. Every piece of evidence that God gave pointed to Job being a sinner, when in fact the episode came from a huge supernatural bet that none of the men knew anything about. If God thought that was occasion to actually frame and harm an innocent man, might not some similar heavenly purpose (such, as I’ve said, as declaring his Glory to the world) have resulted in evidence for a conclusion that likewise isn’t true? Moreover we must take caution from that book, lest we too try to bind the Lord in the same way as Job did.

    God made the world, God understands the world. God made us and knows us–knows us better than we know ourselves and far better than we know him. Let’s just be thankful that he DOES love us and in all other things let God be God rather than hold him to a divine nature we do not comprehend. After all, if wise Platica has got anything right God will do a sterling job of holding himself to that nature, won’t he?

  10. jlwile says:

    I am NOT accusing God of lying, because I don’t think Adam had a Belly button. YOU are accusing God of possibly lying, because you think Adam might have had a belly button. Thus, if this is petty, you are the one being petty. I am not using this point to argue my case. I am telling you what God must have done in order to create supernaturally and at the same time stay consistent with His nature.

    It is truly unfortunate that you “would be in no mood to argue with people so hard-hearted as to construct elaborate and increasingly unlikely get-outs to hold to their position. ” This means you won’t be witnessing to many scientists. After all, that’s what they do. The evidence for a worldwide flood is MUCH more convincing than a large ring in a tree, but most scientists establish workarounds so as to not believe in it. The evidence against evolution is overwhelming, but most scientists establish elaborate workarounds so they can still believe in it. I do hope you eventually learn to appreciate divergent views instead of dismissing them out of hand.

    The crowd of kids certainly did not read the evidence of you and miss “X” properly. You even admitted it, saying that they “could not concieve of any other reason that I would spend time and energy for another person.” It was their lack of ability to conceive of some other explanation that caused them to MISINTERPRET the situation. Thus, the fault was with them, and you did nothing to lie to them. As a result, your anecdote does not give any weight to the idea that God could have created some things with the appearance of age. It only shows that we can MISINTERPRET the age of certain things.

    For someone who says it is “silly” to say God can’t do anything, you seem to put a lot of limits on God. You say that “all wine would require some aging.” That is simply not true. The wine Jesus made required NO aging. It was there immediately. This is why it would not have the appearance of age. You say “the wine did not reveal it was in any way unnatural.” but you have NO WAY of knowing that. In fact, Scripture tells us that it was at least unusual in terms of the timing when it was served. Thus, it stands to reason it was unusual in other ways as well.

    If God made trees with the rings already included, He is lying, since those rings not only tell the age of the tree (which would be a lie) but also the history of the weather (which would be another lie). You can believe that God lies if you wish, but the Bible says otherwise.

    I agree that “Created things would have had whatever appearance God decided to give them.” Since God does not lie, then, He would choose to NOT give them the appearance of age. I also agree that “seeing stars 100,000 light-years away we cannot say they must have existed for 100,000 years.” But that doesn’t mean God created the light on its way to us, because He would have created light that contained information about events that never took place, which would be another lie. The reason we can see stars from hundreds of millions of light years away in a young earth is a result of general relativity, not God’s deception.

    God gave NO evidence that Job was a sinner. Like the group of kids in your anecdote, Job’s friends MISINTERPRETED the evidence at hand, thinking that somehow when things go wrong it must be God punishing you for your misdeeds. The entire point to the book of Job is that bad things CAN happen to good people. Thus, the book of Job itself shows us that Job’s friends misinterpreted the situation.

    I am not sure what you mean when you say “let God be God rather than hold him to a divine nature we do not comprehend.” You seem to be the one who does not want God to be God, as you think it is okay for Him to lie to us in His creation. I agree that we cannot fully comprehend God’s divine nature. However, if we are to study His creation, we must postulate about how He created, which means we must understand His divine nature as much as possible. That is, in fact, the point of this entire site.

  11. josiah says:

    The children at that party were not the ones at fault, no-body was at fault. They didn’t understand the concept of Agape (I’m not particularly strong on the subject myself.), that there could be sacrificial non-romantic love for a complete stranger. Therefore they made a correct analysis with what information they had. In the same way an atheistic scientist wouldn’t understand the concept of a miracle if they believe Einstein’s “Laws of physics and speed of light are unbreakable” and could therefore misinterpret evidence as pointing to a pre-creation date (and therefore shunting creation or the Big Bang to a previous date.) Even so God doesn’t have to lie for that to happen.

    On water into wine I clearly am not limmitting God to a wine that had been aged. I’ve already pointed out that this was a supernatural occurance. All other wine that mankind makes from grapes requires aging, therefore I would say that as the people present believed it to be quite normal they would have seen its very existance as proof that it had been grapes some time previously. Rather it had been water almost no time previously.

    “and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”" John 2:9-10. Forget for the moment that the servents knew. We know they didn’t tell, at least until the steward called the Groom. So, did Jesus lie in giving evidence that that liquid came from grapes?

    As to Job, his friends believed that God’s nature is to punish evil and reward the good. Indeed that is consistant with many verses of scripture, particularly but not exclusively psalms, too. So if they were fooled by physical evidence God made, and by their view of his nature, did God lie to them? Indeed their interpretation and actions seem quite justifiable at the start, when we remember that they weren’t thinking of God having a greater plan. (That bad things happen to good people is one lesson from Job, but I dislike stereotyping books into single lessons. I’ve already mentioned quite a few nuggets, just from the last few chapters.

    Now in Cana the true origin of the wine clearly later became known, for it was recorded in the Gospel. In Job’s case too God vindicates Job at the end of the book. But God also says quite clearly in the Bible that he made the world, so there can’t be any distinction on that count (If the word of a few gossiping servants is measured against the word of God, God’s wins on reliability.)

    I won’t say that God did create Adam with a belly button, but that it wouldn’t have been so scandelous if he had. After all, who exactly would he have been lying too? Adam? Eve? Cain? The Angels? No, I’d say there was far too much evidence that God created Adam directly for any but the most determined misinterpreters to decide otherwise.

    .

    I don’t much appreciate your last paragraph, but I’ll try to forget about that. As to Paragraph 2, I haven’t got a problem with contrary opinions (Although I will argue for my opinion). I just don’t like arguing with people who use the essentially circular logic
    Let Z be true even if improbable
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST must all be true since Z is true even if improbable.
    Under ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST Z makes the best sense of our Data.

    That isn’t the work of a scientist, but the work of a lawyer of Politician! That scientist is going to go on creating new special cases until he’s exhausted the Greek, Russian, and CHINESE alphabets! I certainly would be in no mood to spend time arguing with reason in such a situation, at least until God elects to soften his heart to the gospel.

  12. jlwile says:

    You keep saying that the kids at the party made the correct analysis, but then your comments betray the fact that they didn’t. As you admit, “They didn’t understand the concept of Agape.” Thus, they did NOT make the correct analysis. They were wrong. They did not understand. You have admitted it twice now. Please accept that this anecdote does not help your case at all.

    Jesus certainly did not lie about the wine. That’s the point. As the passage you quote indicates, the wine was unusual in that it was served at the wrong time. Thus, it probably was unusual in other ways as well. As a result, anyone doing a reasonable analysis of the situation would know there was something special about this wine. This means that, in keeping with His nature, Jesus did not lie regarding the wine.

    Once again, you have missed the entire point of Job. The book portrays his friends as buffoons, because they are. They have an incorrect view of the nature of God, and they show that by completely misreading the situation. God didn’t lie to them. Like the kids at the party, they misread the evidence.

    It certainly WOULD have been scandalous for God to have created Adam with a belly button. It would be quite clear after just a couple of births what the belly button is. As a result, it would become crystal clear that Adam having a belly button would signify that Adam had a mother, which is a lie. The lie would be apparent to all who had witnessed even a couple of births.

    I disagree that you don’t have a problem with contrary positions. You specifically said you didn’t care to discuss positions you decide are ludicrous. I do hope you come to change that opinion, as it will seriously limit your ability to witness.

    Circular logic is very common. You are using it in this discussion. You claim the group of kids did everything right, but then your comments clearly show that they did not. You don’t seem to notice how incoherent such statements are. Nevertheless, I am happy to try to clear up your confusion, as I do not have a problem with contrary positions. It is unfortunate that you would be in “no mood to spend time arguing with reason in such a situation.” I hope you learn to be more tolerant as you mature.

  13. josiah says:

    “Spending time to the sole benefit of another person indicates love for that person.” Such is often a fairly accurate assumption, but it needs a little disclaimer mentioning that Love may be Eros, Philos, or Agape.

    “God’s pointed affliction means you are a sinner” Again, it needs small print saying (or God might be testing or refining your character.)

    “Glistning red wine in your cup comes from a mixing of Grape juice, yeast, and time (Except in the case of a miracle, in which case it may have come from one of 6 stone water jars.)

    “6 months previously the earth was roughly the same distance on the other side of the sun. (Valid only when the earth is at least 6 months old)

    In each case the human rule could be applied directly and justly to the situation, and would normally have been correct. Job’s friends for example were right to try and get him to repent and live, but in this situation came across as out-of-their-depth buffoons because God was involved.

    So, does having a belly button always indicate having a mother? Probably, because Adam probably didn’t have one. But if Adam did, it wouldn’t be such a scandal because it would be a special case just like Cana. I’m sure you can see how to extend it to other such scenarios. I don’t believe God would make things look old just to trick us about the age of the earth, but I do believe he might have made some things look old for his own purposes, and we shouldn’t assume he couldn’t have if we’re to keep an open mind about how he might have created this world.

    ______________________________

    Circular reason is A proves B and B proves A. Therefore A and B are both true. It isn’t what I’m using here, but is what many scientists are thinking in if they say “Evolution is true, so the earth is X billion years old. If the earth is that old, creation is rubbish and Evolution is the only way for life to exist. Evolution must therefore be true, so clearly the earth is X billion years old, whereupon…” The truth is further obscured as more arguments fall into the trap. Even if somebody completely destroys the starting evidence for Evolution the circle seems untouched.

    I cannot argue with that kind of thinking because no matter how much evidence I give (pinched from you of course) that the earth is young, they will say “but evolution is true so all that is nonsense.” If they were reasonable one could use appologetics, but until God softens their heart I don’t see how it can be done? I don’t have a real problem with luducrous positions, but don’t like arguements that hide behind their own rediculousness. If something is defended by being circular, or by being so improbable it is impossible to hit the precise circumstances, or shielded behind an otherwise accurate parallel, but one which is irrelevent in this specific situation, I always fail to crack with logic what is hidden behind illogic.

  14. jlwile says:

    “Spending time to the sole benefit of another person indicates love for that person.”

    This is absolutely false. There are MANY reasons someone might be spending time to the sole benefit of another. Perhaps he or she is being told to by SOMEONE ELSE that person loves. Perhaps he or she is being paid to do so. Perhaps he or she is being coerced into doing it.

    “God’s pointed affliction means you are a sinner”

    Absolutely false. 1 Peter 4:12-16 tells us that those who follow God will suffer BECAUSE they are Christians, not because they are sinners. Being a sinner is JUST ONE POSSIBLE reason for affliction.

    ““Glistning red wine in your cup comes from a mixing of Grape juice, yeast, and time”

    Absolutely false. There are other ways to have glistening red wine. For example, I can get a red beverage that tastes like grape juice but is not grape juice. The stores are full of them. Then, I can add alcohol made from hydrogenation of carbon dioxide in the lab. I now have wine that did not need Grape juice, yeast, or a significant amount of time.

    “6 months previously the earth was roughly the same distance on the other side of the sun.”

    Without a full year to track the earth’s movements, you would have no idea what path the earth takes around the sun. Thus, that statement cannot be made until 12 months have passed, after which, it would always be true.

    This is where your logic is hopelessly flawed. You take examples in which people must MISINTERPRET the situation and then claim they are making valid conclusions. Valid conclusions cannot flow from misinterpretation of the data. It is no misinterpretation to say that a belly button means you have a mother. It is an established fact. Adam with a belly button means God lied.

    Once again, I am sorry you are so close-minded about people’s views. If you are not willing to discuss things with people who are using poor logic, your witness for Christ will be severely hampered. I pray that you mature out of such a limiting attitude.

  15. josiah says:

    Mr Wile, this made me laugh.

    “Without a full year to track the earth’s movements, you would have no idea what path the earth takes around the sun. Thus, that statement cannot be made until 12 months have passed, after which, it would always be true.”
    BUT
    “It would be quite clear after just a couple of births what the belly button is. As a result, it would become crystal clear that Adam having a belly button would signify that Adam had a mother, which is a lie.”

    If you want to be really picky, a belly button would still exist after the evidence for what one is has arrived, but Adam would also still exist and it would be well known that he was the first man. The belly button would have to be misinterpreted to say that Adam had a mother, and the alternative evidence would be available to prevent it from being misinterpreted.

    That is how each of my “facts” worked: each is the logical answer with half the information, but I also gave the exception which becomes apparent when the other half of the evidence is considered. I also limmited myself to counterexamples available at the time. Therefore hydrogenation of Carbon Dioxide was quite out of the question, as was Christians suffering hardship.**

    Clearly misinterpretation does not lead to valid conclusions. However I am saying that in each of those cases the person had the most logical interpretation of available data. Normally each would have been justified, but they weren’t thinking in terms of Agape love; a great transcendant bet and test of loyalty; or, yes, an omnipotent creating and miracle-working God. Now you have acknowledged so many times that I did not lie in my anecdote, and that Jesus did not lie in making water from Wine. Yet you say that God would have had to lie to make a world with such signs of age (regardless of his purpose) even if he has provided the missing piece of evidence to show that it is another unusual situation.

    Now I rather suspect that the evidence of an old Earth will also unravel itself in light of new scientific discovery, much as light travelling from so far away is possible under Einstein’s relativity. However I will not say that God couldn’t have made a ripped jeans sort of situation for some aspects of the universe.

    **(I can think of no-where else in the Old Testament, and Job is even reputed to have been quite early in the Old Testament, where the idea of God afflicting the righteous appears. Even Joseph who was so viciously tried said that God had only turned for good what his human brothers had intended as evil.)

  16. jlwile says:

    Perhaps it made you laugh because you do not understand how science works. You must be able to repeat experiments for them to be valid. Anyone who observes even a few births understands the function of and the reason for a belly button. Thus, it becomes crystal clear what the belly button is for, and that it tells you the person with a belly button was at one time connected to his mother. The study can be repeated over and over again by simply observing more births, and each time, the results will be the same.

    However, without observing the earth’s motion in the solar system for a full year, you would not have any idea what its complete path is. Then, to be a careful scientist, you would want to repeat that experiment, which would take another full year. Thus, a careful scientist would conclude the meaning of a belly button after just a couple of births and the path of the earth around the sun after a couple of years.

    You need to think more carefully about Adam. Genesis 5:5 tells us that Adam lived 930 years. Henry Morris estimates the population of the earth at the time of Adam’s death would have been 2.8 MILLION people. That is probably high, but it gives you an idea. Thus, there is NO WAY everyone know who he was while he was alive. God doesn’t want to lie to ANYONE, so he certainly would not have given Adam a belly button.

    Each of your “facts” are quite wrong, as I already demonstrated. They are based on incorrect assumptions. I gave counterexamples for each one. Your objections to those counterexamples are, of course, wrong.

    You obviously need to read your Old Testament a bit more, as Psalms 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Thus, the righteous ARE afflicted with MANY afflictions. The Lord will deliver (eventually), and that is the entire point of Job. Job’s friends are rightly characterized as buffoons in the book, as they are clearly making incorrect conclusions regarding Job’s suffering. They do not understand the simple truth of Psalms 34:19, that the righteous are afflicted in many ways.

    While the hydrogenation of carbon dioxide MIGHT not have been around in New Testament times, there are all sorts of ancient historical references to false wine. It seems that false wine has been around about as long as real wine. As a result, there were ways even in ancient times to make fake wine. Thus, all of your “facts” support my case – they are the result of misinterpretation of the evidence.

    I affirm that you did not lie with Miss “X” because you did not. The people who observed you were clearly misinterpreting the situation, which I have already demonstrated. However, there is no way to misinterpret 100 rings on a tree. As has been shown by many carefully-repeated experiments, they show age and weather patterns, which would be a lie for a supernaturally-created tree. God cannot lie, so he would not create a tree with 100 rings or give the appearance of age to anything He created.

    You are correct that the data showing an old earth will eventually be shown incorrect. In addition, there are a lot of data indicating a young earth. This is exactly what you would expect from an omnipotent God who does not lie. To create a young earth that appears old to responsible analysis is a lie, pure and simple. God cannot do this. Thus, he did not create the earth with an appearance of age.

    The only reason people think the earth is old is that, like the friends in your anecdote, they misinterpret the evidence. Your anecdote is the perfect illustration of my point. Just as you did not lie in your actions with miss “X,” God did not lie in his creation of the universe. However, irresponsible people can misinterpret what they see to reach a false conclusion about both situations.

    Thanks for illustrating my point so well!

  17. josiah says:

    I have only illustrated your point because mostly I agree with it. I just don’t think that should be so, er, “close-minded about people’s views”. It IS possible for God to give some evidence that the world was old without lying.

    I am not objecting to your counter-examples (except as with regards false wine where I thought they were inapplicable) because they only go to prove my point. People could have assumed after years of making wine from grapes that a bowl of wine comes from grapes, and normally they would have been correct. Likewise people could assume after watching the earth for years that it circles the sun once a year and causes the seasons. However if they extended that assumption to the wedding of Cana (or more accurately to that batch of wine at the wedding of Cana) they would have misinterpreted the evidence, would they not? Indeed that is what the Steward of the wedding did. Yet Jesus did not lie to him. In the same way Adam, after years of watching the seasons, could assume that the earth’s Orbit is constant and it has always so revolved. Or after years of growing apple trees he could have noticed that they all develop yearly rings, and a 10 year tree must be 100. However he would have mis-analyzed the situation in so doing, and unfairly too since he knew the true origin of both tree and planet. God would not have lied, and Adam would have had all the information he needed to correct that error simply because he’d walked side by side with God in Eden.

    I do understand what science is and how it works, and too where it fails. Even now I believe there are a number of cases of Epilepsy or similar brain diseases which are in fact demons. After repeatedly taking measurements, plotting graphs, making and defending hypothesis after hypothesis, the scientist assumes that all cases of people having fits are epilepsy (or some other fit-inducing PHYSICAL disease.) Therefore they misanalyze the situation and hospitalize many people who really need to see a pastor (OK, any active christian) rather than a doctor. In the same way scientific analysis of tree rings would not account for the possibility of divine intervention. It would thus misanalyze the situation if God has made trees with this evidence of age, for whatever reason he might have had for doing so. God would not have needed to lie for that to happen. You shouldn’t therefore dismiss those who think God made the earth look old any more than those who think the earth is old.

  18. jlwile says:

    You certainly are not agreeing with me, even though all your points support my position. You are saying it is possible for God to have created with the appearance of age. I say it is impossible, given His nature. Thus, we completely disagree with each other. I can see why you are confused, however, as your points all support my argument. Thus, you are trying to convince me of something that is opposite what I say, but you are using examples that all support what I say.

    You still don’t understand what I am saying about the wine at the wedding in Cana. No reasonable person WOULD extrapolate what they knew about wine to the wine that Jesus made, as it was so different from normal wine it would be apparent that it was quite special. This is in perfect accord with the report in Scripture, as Scripture tells us that the wine was unusual in terms of when it was served. Thus, it was probably unusual in other ways, and a reasonable person would not extrapolate what he or she knew about normal wines to that very special one. Thus, Jesus did not make people think they were drinking finely-aged wine. He made people think they were drinking a wine unlike anything they had ever drank before. That, of course, is true.

    In the same way, clearly a created tree would not look like a normal tree when it was cut down. This would make it clear to the person looking at the tree that he or she could not use his or her experiences with other trees to analyze that particular tree. This is how God would have created without lying.

    I agree that it is possible to misinterpret data, especially data regarding things that we don’t fully understand, like mental illness. However, we fully understand tree rings. We not only know that a tree grows one a year, but we also know WHY and we can characterize the process step-by-step. Thus, if a tree has multiple rings, we know it is multiple years old. There is simply no way around that. God would not lie to us, so he would not create a tree that starts out with multiple rings, as it would give a false age and a false report of weather that never happened.

  19. josiah says:

    Are you saying that a man was trusted with managing a wedding who was not reasonable? After all, the steward of the wedding CLEARLY extrapolated on what they knew about the wine. He recognized that it was the best wine served, and presumed that the Bridegroom had SAVED this wine (there is no reason to assume he considered it other than wine or even unlike anything they had ever drunk before) for the end of the wedding. Now do you see where I’m coming from? Jesus essentially acted at the behest of his mother to save the wedding. He did not make full use of his omnipotence to make sure everyone knew what was special about the wine. Indeed there is strong evidence that he wanted to avoid all the fuss completely.

    I am not concerned with Science mis-diagnosing mental illness. Addressing mental illness does fall within the bounds of the scientific realm. However scientists (medical scientists in this case, but it could easily be physisists or palaentologists etc in another situation) do not understand the spiritual world. Therefore after developing a drug that helps Epileptics, they prescribe it to a man who spent his high-school years on ouja boards. Clearly science works in the general case, but not when the supernatural is involved.

    I would insist that the same is true for the likes of tree rings. Most scientific evidence says tree rings tell us about the weather. So a scientist could interperet rings to find out what the summer was like in year Y. Clearly that would be a misinterpretation if year Y was several years before the creation of the Sun! Because the scientist fails to comprehend the possibility of any other source of trees, he also fails to comprehend the possibility of trees that don’t tell about their (non-existant) growth. Now God deliberately making trees with pre-created rings does seem unlikely, not least because I cannot see any benefit to negate the confusion such would cause. However I see no reason why God could not bypass certain otherwise millions-of-year processes, such as pre-salinating the ocean or skipping stages of the sun’s lifecycle so that it could itself support life.

    God cannot lie. Therefore when God speaks (directly, through the Bible, through prophesy, etc) he is not lying (such profound feats of logic and understanding!!!!). If we read sanctions for oppressive slavery out of the Bible or just fail to understand aspects of God revealed in the Bible (or other such medium for God’s voice) it is not God who lies. In the same way if we fail to factor him into his work of creation we will arrive at an erroneous result. Remember what I said about circular reasoning. I strongly suspect that the start of the deadly circle is not “Evolution is true” but “creation is rubbish”.

    Now I don’t actually think much of the argument God created the world with the appearance of Age. It sounds very much like the absolutum and circular fallacies I get so annoyed with evolutionists using. It cannot convince an unbeliever. It doesn’t actually seem to be grounded in the Bible. However I don’t think that it would be any more lying for God to create such evidence of age in his own creation, particularly as he has told us that it was created, than for him to use the literal word for day and give us that geanealogical list with ages included. To say that the Bible may not be taken litterally, but that creation must, seems somehow inside-out.

  20. jlwile says:

    I have always seen where you are coming from. I just strongly disagree with you. If the wine Jesus made would have appeared normal and aged to careful analysis, then he lied to the entire wedding party. I have no idea whether or not the wine steward was reasonable, and I have no idea whether or not he did careful analysis. As is implied from the story, there had already been a lot of drinking. However, we do know from the story that the timing of the wine was considered very unusual, so it stands to reason that there were other things unusual about it as well. If it really did seem to be a normal wine, then it was a lie, and I just don’t conceive of Jesus lying like that.

    Science can, indeed, work when the supernatural is involved. It just has to be done correctly. For example, assuming a few things about the supernatural way in which God created planets, an excellent and very successful model of planetary magnetic fields has been developed. In the same way, science should be able to distinguish things caused supernaturally from things caused naturally. Thus, careful analysis of something created by a miracle should clearly indicate that there is something quite unusual about the thing being studied.

    It would not be a “misinterpretation” for a scientist to conclude that a newly-created tree ring is 100 years old (plus or minus a few) if it has 100 rings. It would not be a “misinterpretation” to determine what the weather was during years that didn’t exist. It would be the result of studying a deliberate lie, of which I don’t think God is capable.

    That is the bottom line. Even though you protest that God cannot lie, you leave open the possibility by suggesting that He might have created wine that appeared to have been aged, trees with a false story about the weather, belly buttons on people with no mothers, etc., etc. These are all out-and-out lies, because they deliberately indicate things that do not exist. God simply is not capable of doing that.

  21. josiah says:

    Is it then a lie for a virgin to become pregnant and give birth to a son? Yet centuries of science says Eve needs Adam, Sarah needs Abraham, and of course Bathsheba needs David (or he wouldn’t have had to kill Uriah, would he?).

    Is it a lie for a man dead three days to suddenly return to life? So believe the unbelievers, but we know Jesus is he who lives and yet was dead, and now he lives forever more. Yet normal science says that is impossible. Likewise at the moment of Jesus death the righteous in Jerusalem rose from the dead and walked into the city–without a fancy electronic gadget to start their heart again.

    Is it a lie for matter and motion to suddenly come into being? But science says matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed?

    Is it a lie for the sea to stop as though Moses Rod held a red traffic light, and then swarm down again to destroy the mighty army of Egypt once God says “Green”? But study the Red sea as long as you want, it doesn’t have a habit of forming walls of water on either side!

    No, what you choose to call a lie because Science and reason say it is impossible, I shall call a miracle because God speaks and makes it possible! Again, I don’t think it likely that God would make the Earth start out looking old, but I shall not say that God is incapable of making perfectly normal wine out of water. After all he can do it (quite in spite of what science dictates) out of nothing!

  22. jlwile says:

    I really don’t think you understand my point at all. You now seem to think that I am saying anything that happens supernaturally is a lie. Of course that’s not what I am saying at all. Creation was supernatural, but it was not a lie. I am saying that making up a story about things that never happened is a lie. That’s what a belly button on Adam, tree rings on a tree, a finely-aged wine made in an instant, etc., etc. would be.

    Certainly a virgin having a baby is not a lie. However, if God had made Jesus LOOK LIKE Joseph (for example, giving Him “Joseph’s eyes”), THAT would have been a lie. If Jesus’ blood type was what you would expect given Mary’s and Joseph’s blood type, THAT would be a lie. Since Jesus did not come from a sexual act between Mary and Joseph, creating something that makes it look like He did would have been a lie.

    It is certainly not a lie for Jesus to have raised from the dead (or for Jesus to have raised others from the dead). However, if it had been made to look like He was in a coma and had just awoke, THAT would be a lie.

    It is not a lie for matter and motion to spring into being. However, if the matter had chemical signatures indicating that it came from some other matter that already existed, THAT would be the lie. If the vectors that govern the motion extrapolate back to some point that was NOT the origination point, THAT would be a lie.

    You need to think more carefully about this, as you have gone off on many tangents and told many anecdotes that don’t follow your main thesis. You seem to think that any lie can be excused because God is doing something supernatural. You seem to think it doesn’t matter if the things God created supernaturally tell stories about events that never happened. Just the fact that they were created supernaturally absolves God of any blame when it comes to lying.

    That is just not true. Since God is omnipotent, He can do as many supernatural things as He wants. However, since God cannot lie (and since He is omnipotent), He can do supernatural things WITHOUT indicating that they are the result of natural processes that tell a story about events which never took place. That’s why it would simply be against God’s nature to create the universe with an appearance of age.

  23. josiah says:

    Think like a scientist. It is theoreticlly possible for a virgin to become pregnant, but not to give birth to a SON. Jesus must have had at least a Y chromosome which he could not have inherited from Mary. Now clearly you are supposing that Jesus did not look like Joseph, but it is quite unreasonable to assume that he didn’t look vaguely like any of the men in Nazareth. After all, scientific study of millions of pregnant teenage girls says the girl has been promiscuous, and the Bible says Joseph analyzed the facts (before an angle gave him the inside scoop on the truth) and planned to divorce Mary because he presumed she was promiscuous. The fact is a Baby–ANY BABY–looks like the result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. The baby Jesus did not look like anything else. Yet God has the right to perform miracles that don’t agree with our science, in this case for the purpose of redeeming all of mankind. If Joseph, Mary’s dad, the gossiping Old lady down the road, or the local pharisee mis-analyzed the situation that does not make God a liar.

    I just want you to see that Cana’s wine WAS wine when it reached the steward–there is no evidence that anything was amiss except the time of service, and that only because it wasn’t made until all else was drunk. I want you to see that Jesus himself was physically human, with human cells, human needs, and human genes. In both cases however the natural method of formation was not followed because God did a miracle.

    Now I know you will protest that these are in some way different from tree rings. However to assume that God is limmited to forming tree rings or belly buttons in the same way as nature forms them is to detract in many ways from God as the creator and manager of nature.

  24. jlwile says:

    I always think like a scientist, which is why I know God cannot create with an appearance of age.

    I agree that it is “theoretically possible” for a virgin to get pregnant. In fact, it happens from time to time. Women can get pregnant by “fooling around” without actually having intercourse. However, the only way it is possible is for a man’s sperm to enter her vagina, at which point, a male or female baby is equally likely, as the sperm has both X and Y chromosomes. I think you need to review some very basic genetics…and perhaps start thinking like a scientist.

    Now, of course, this is not the way the virgin Mary got pregnant. She got pregnant through a miracle, which is not a lie. It is simply a miracle. It is also certainly not the case that ANY BABY looks like the result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. There is no reason to believe that, unless you reject miracles out of hand. You need to think logically about this. When you accept that the miraculous can occur, you accept the fact that a baby doesn’t have to be the result of sexual intercourse.

    Thus, it is not a lie for Jesus to be born of a virgin. It is not a lie for Him to look like people around him. It is a blatant lie for Him to look like the son of a PARTICULAR man, however. At that point, God would have created a baby without sexual intercourse but lied to everyone by making Him look like he was the result of a specific sexual union. There is nothing difficult about this concept.

    I am not arguing that the wine at Cana wasn’t wine. It clearly was, and I have never said otherwise. What I want you to realize is that it DID NOT have the appearance of age. It was an unusual wine. It was unusual in terms of the time it was served, so it stands to reason it was unusual in other ways. God creates without lying, so He would not have created wine with the appearance of age.

    Your statement, “to assume that God is limmited to forming tree rings or belly buttons in the same way as nature forms them is to detract in many ways from God as the creator and manager of nature” is true, but it is EXACTLY what YOU are doing. You seem to think that God MUST create things that look exactly the way they form in nature. For example, you think He must create wine that looks like normal wine. This is a very limited (and incorrect) view of God.

    My God is significantly more powerful and moral than that. He can create ANYTHING he wants in ANY way, and He can create it so that He is not lying about it. I wish you could come to accept a God that is powerful enough to do such things.

  25. josiah says:

    Forgive me for being so old fashioned, but I should consider any such fooling around that leaves sperm in the virgina to be quite equivalent to sex. No, I was refering to parthenogenesis, that is it is theoretically possible for a female to fertalize her own egg. Now I don’t know if it is even possible for this to happen among humans, and certainly could never produce a boy. Therefore the only reasonable conclusion would have been that Mary had been promiscuous. I should indeed say that any baby looks like the result of sexual intercourse with somebody BUT the miraculous is just that–something which quite ignores natural laws because the King of the Universe speaks it into being and his WORD IS LAW. Interestingly Jesus was at least considered the son of Joseph of Nazareth (See John 6:42) and of course there are still many who would wink and go off snickering if you mention the virgin birth. Even so God’s miracles are not lies. Sometimes however we might have to add special cases to our Science, such as “Wine comes from Grapes (Small print: or possibly God).

    Now examine this case. Your idea that the time of service is grounds enough to assume the wine was somehow otherworldly (Yes, I know it was otherwordly, but just wait a moment.) doesn’t fit in with the other evidence. We know that the steward of the wedding considered it ordinary, if good quality, wine. It is fair to assume that it contained alcohol (or that he presumed it contained alcohol since, as you keep reminding me, he remarked that it would normally be served first to keep the guests happy while getting them drunk) Furthermore it is probably quite reasonable to assume it was Red and tasted like wine. Indeed all the evidence said it was on the good end of the spectrum of perfectly normal wine. Therefore one could say that in working this miracle Jesus lied to the wedding guests by making something that told a story (of good rains, a press for grapes, etc) which was untrue. Or one could accept that the miraculous is allowed to break the rules.

    I’d say your possition binds God to the method of natural processes, which is clearly wrong. You’d say my method binds him to the result of natural processes, which is likewise clearly wrong.

    But if you acknowledge that God can create ANYTHING he wants in ANY way, surely you cannot state with such confidence that he cannot have created the world with the appearance of age. He must create it so that he isn’t lying, but this could include any of the following: creating the world with an accurate appearance of relative youth, or an accurate appearance of age, or it could include creating it recently with the miraculous jumpstarting normally time-consuming processes. In the workings of history too he can make Flashy miracles for Moses or Elijah which could be nothing but God. Or he can give smaller, almost natural miracles like blessing the flocks or farms of his faithful children. I’ll use a very human analogy here, but I believe in a God who’s big enough to show off and big enough to refrain from showing off. (first “big” refers to raw power, second to maturity) Depending upon the circumstances sometimes he uses noticible portions of his power (sometimes even to reach natures outcome) and sometimes he withholds it, following the natural course of events.

    It is important that, to avoid the dangers inherent in making either mistake, we do not bind God at all–to end or to means. He does a good enough job of holding himself to account, and for the purpose of this site (study of what God probably did), it is obvious that you cannot succeed if your idea of God is unable to perform any of the options.

    If you just think that this is one that he wouldn’t do (as opposed to couldn’t do) that is fine. It is however a position held by many, many, many christians worldwide and your single theological argument honestly seems to be based on very infirm ground.

  26. jlwile says:

    Once again, I asked you to think like a scientist. You talked about a VIRGIN giving birth. I gave you the ONLY scientific means by which this could happen. Parthenogenesis is not even theoretically possible in mammals. I am not saying it CAN’T happen. However, I am saying there is not even a viable mechanism by which it can happen in mammals. Thus, what I say stands. A virgin birth is not a lie. However, it would be a lie if the product of the virgin birth could be connected to a specific father.

    Once again, you don’t seem to understand my point at all. You claim that I think “that the time of service is grounds enough to assume the wine was somehow otherworldly.” Of course that is not what I think or anything close to what I said. I said that because God created it, and because God does not lie, it was clearly otherworldly. I also said that the text gives support to it being unusual, as the text clearly states it was unusual in terms of when it was served.

    You also need to read your Bible more carefully. We certainly DO NOT know that “the steward of the wedding considered it ordinary, if good quality, wine.” We know that the steward thought the wine was good and unusual in its timing. That’s all we know, and it is perfectly consistent with the idea that the wine was clearly not normal wine. Thus, Jesus did not lie to the guests at the wedding. You might want to believe that He did, but the Bible and logic indicate that he did not.

    It’s your position that binds God to natural processes. You think God is so weak that He can’t make wine that is clearly unusual or can’t create a baby that doesn’t look like his father. You think that the things He makes must look like the natural versions of those things. Once again, I hope that you get some more faith in God’s power at some point.

    My theological position is on quite firm ground. As I have clearly shown, it is backed up by logic and Scripture. You want to argue that God can lie and can only make things that look natural. That view is far, far, far from firm ground.

  27. josiah says:

    I honestly didn’t have a clue whether parthenogenesis can happen in mammals. Indeed that it cannot strengthens my case. If a girl cannot possibly get pregnant (in the absence of a miracle) without playing around with sex, the only way, after careful analysis, for Mary to have been pregnant was for her to have been fooling around with some man–ANY MAN. Your theology doesn’t need the miracle to make Jesus look like any of the men in Nazareth to be a lie. It just had to indicate under closest scruitiny an event that never occured. Imagine, a prudish Pharisee listning to Mary desperately begging him to believe it wasn’t Billy from down the road, but was instead a miraculous visitation from an angel. Come on, pull the other one girl!

    Indeed for the Jews otherworldly fathers wasn’t completely out of the question (“and the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and…”) but Jesus certainly looked more like a son of man than the hero of old Genesis speaks of. (Is 53: he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him.) Indeed in Jesus case it was imperetive that Jesus be like man in every way except his sinlessness. That is nothing to do with my theory (apparently) thinking God cannot produce anything that appears supernatural, but quite disproves your corner-opposite idea that God is bound to using natural methods when he does want something to look natural.

    We know that in the wedding of Cana the water became GOOD WINE. Good wine automatically tells a tale of a vineyard, of rain and sunshine, of being crushed in a press, of being left to ferment, etc. One annomily with regards the timing is not enough to show the untruth in that tale. Furthermore the steward assumed that that inconsistency resulted from the groom simply keeping it till last. Therefore after reading your Bible so carefully, have you any real evidence that it wasn’t otherwise normal? Of course not, because Jesus knew that his time had not yet come, and therefore didn’t want a flashy miracle. Again it was a natural result, but one derived from supernatural means. God can do that just as easily as he can part the Red sea. He is after all able to do whatever he wants whyever he wants however he wants whenever he wants.

    Of course I do not think that God is unable to make miracles that don’t look natural, but nor do I think he is unable to make miracles that do look as if they could be natural. Your position only looks sound when you are willing to excuse all the evidence of God producing a miracle that results in the result of an otherwise natural process.

  28. jlwile says:

    There is no viable mechanism for parthenogenesis in mammals. The parthenogenesis argument had no bearing on this discussion, so it neither weakens nor strengthens your case. Indeed, most of your current response has nothing to do with the discussion. You are simply talking about how difficult it is for some people to believe in miracles. That is not at issue. The issue is whether or not God lies when He does miracles. If Jesus had been created to have the genetic characteristics of Joseph, it would have been a lie, as it would have told a story of sexual intercourse that never happened. There is nothing in Scripture to indicate Jesus had such characteristics, and it clearly goes against Scripture. Thus, your position is simply unbiblical.

    I am glad that you are FINALLY willing to admit that the wine at Cana was not ordinary. That is at least a step in the right direction. Now think logically and follow that to its proper conclusion. You ask, “Therefore after reading your Bible so carefully, have you any real evidence that it wasn’t otherwise normal? ” As I have said before, the Scriptural evidence is that God doesn’t lie (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 92:15, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18). If Jesus had created a wine that told a tale of “vineyard, of rain and sunshine, of being crushed in a press, of being left to ferment, etc,” He would have lied.

    Your position only looks sound because you are ignoring logic. If God creates something that tells an untrue story, He is lying. You think He can lie whenever He wants. I think Scripture says something quite opposite. I think it is clear whose position is Biblical.

  29. josiah says:

    Parthenogenesis in mammals has every bearing on the matter because it is the only way Mary could have become pregnant without sex–and it is impossible. Therefore the logical conclusion if you are going to ignore the possiblity of a miracle (and the possibility of miracles was, reasonably, ignored) was that Mary had had sex. The extension of that is that our God who’s very throne is, according to the Psalmist, founded upon righeousness and justice, lied and FRAMED Mary, if you insist on saying that the miraculous is a lie. Even if Jesus did not look like any of the men of Nazareth (an assertion you have made, but I suspect is groundless) could God lie for a full nine months to the harm of the very young lady who was bearing his Son?

    The truth is of course that it wasn’t a lie. It is our laws of biology, stating as they do that virgin Birth is impossible in humans, which fail. They fail because they can never accomodate the possibility of an omnipotent God. In the same way Biology teaches us that the umbilical cord binds an unborn baby to the placenta, connecting with the babe in what is later to be called a umbilicus or belly button. God could have given a motherless man an umbilicus if it struck his fancy, and we don’t have the right to say “well according to Doctor So and so that is contrary to natural law.” It is contrary to natural law for a man to exist at all without a mother, so we cannot be so bickering about the details!

    Again look at Cana’s wine. All the evidence said it was ordinary, if good quality, wine. The only inconsistency regarded the time it was finally served was quickly put down to human whim on the part of the bridegroom. Therefore the only reason to say it might have been clearly extra-ordinary is to fit in with your insistance that God cannot lie. True, while a prophet speaks for God his words are infallible. While Paul writes on behalf of God to the Romans or Timothy etc his words are infallible. While Jesus was teaching in the sermon on the mount his words cannot contain a lie, and while God booms down to the Israelites or whispers gently to Elijah on the same mountain his words cannot contain a lie. However to insist that interpretation of nature also always tells the truth is absurd. To think that the same God who invented ordinary fermentation is unable to create ordinary wine when he wishes to avoid making a scene, or that the God who made life cannot do it again because it conflicts with natural law is absurd.

    I am not ignoring logic. Logic says that a God with the strength to carve out caverns can poke a hole in the tummy of the pile of dust which will become man in a few moments time, and logic says that we, weak as we are, cannot make God guilty of telling a lie by pointing to a childs sketch of the same laws of science that he instituted in the first place and saying his actions break them.

  30. jlwile says:

    Once again, you don’t seem to understand the point, as illustrated by your comment, “Therefore the logical conclusion if you are going to ignore the possibility of a miracle (and the possibility of miracles was, reasonably, ignored) was that Mary had had sex.” YOU are the only one ignoring the possibility of miracles, because you seem to have a very limited view of God’s power. I specifically said that because miracles happen, it is not logical to assume that every baby is the result of sex. Thus, parthenogenesis has no bearing on this issue, as is the case with much of what you said. The issue is WHEN God does the miraculous, He CANNOT lie. Thus, when He miraculously created Jesus in Mary’s womb, He did not give him Joseph’s genetic characteristics, as that would be a lie, telling a story about a specific sexual encounter that did not occur.

    Once again, you are back to claiming the Cana wine was ordinary, despite the fact that there is no Biblical evidence for such a statement and despite the fact that the Bible clearly states it was GOOD and served at an UNUSUAL time. That is unfortunate. Also, it is not MY insistence that God cannot lie. THE BIBLE says He cannot lie. You can ignore the Bible if you want, but you do so at your own peril. The account of the wedding clearly says the wine was not the same as other wines, and since many other Scriptures tell us that God cannot lie, He clearly did not create the wine to appear as a normal wine to anyone who seriously analyzed it.

    You definitely are ignoring logic. If anyone tells a story about events that DID NOT happen, He has lied. Since the Bible clearly says that God cannot lie, He does not tell stories about things that didn’t happen. That’s pure logic, and you are ignoring it.

  31. josiah says:

    Don’t you see what your saying here? You are saying that it is OK for God to lie and indicate that Mary had been sexually promiscuous so long as he doesn’t specifically say “on this night with that man.” Or you’re saying that it is OK for God to lie and indicate that miraculously created wine was ordinary wine, so long as he leaves some little cultural inconsistancy about the time of service in weddings. If that is your position it was quite OK for God to say Adam had a mother so long as he didn’t say who she was. Yet this is clearly false–God cannot lie at all–so somewhere your logic must fall down.

    Where? Well I suspect it falls in your definition of a lie, and your belief in science as a source of absolute truth greater than God himself. And why do I say that? Because throughout this debate you have championed the perspective that when God and science appear to conflict God is at fault, God is lying, and God must fall into line with Science. However the fact is science’s nature dictates that it cannot possibly work with the miraculous. Science is the study of natural laws; such as how babies are normally made. When God became flesh he did not follow natural laws, and millenia of examining that little process (a process which has been understood far longer than tree rings of sea-water salt levels) are utterly irrelevent. So science can take all the three billion mothers of this planet as its data source and come to the correct conclusion that women get pregnant through sex. However when it tries to apply that data to Mary’s firstborn son it arrives at a thouroughly erroneous conclusion. Why? Well because God is a greater power than the laws of physics (chemistry is a subsection of physics, Biology a subsection of chemistry). Therefore God did not lie at all during the incarnation, neither about the details of a non-existant sexual act nor about its existance. It is only our science–our frail powers of hypothesis, logic, and observation–which would misinterpret the data.

    In the same way wine has been made and drunk since the days of Noah, people have experimented with just about every possible variation of the process. They’ve made red wine, white wine, and pink wine. They’ve fiddled the yeast:sugar:grape ratio in every way imaginable. They’ve made wine that develops slowly and wine that develops quickly but they have NEVER, ever managed to make wine out of pure, simple water in a big stone jar. Therefore science would presume that you simply cannot do that. Science would be right. You cannot; I cannot; and the best makers of Champagne cannot. But God can. So God doesn’t need to lie to make wine that is not the fruit of the vine; he just needs to say it and it will become true. Science is within its rights to say that we cannot make wine from water, but needs be utterly insolent (and wrong) to say the same to the creator of the universe. If Science says that, then Science–not God–is lying.

    I am not ignoring logic (though logic too is human and falible). I am just willing to ignore science when it tries to stray into matters of theology. This is my running theme: God can do whatever he wishes, he follows his rules and isn’t particularly bothered about ours. He bound himself to tell only the truth, but not to force everybody to acknowledge that truth. Nor did he bind himself to correct every misinterpretation we make, whereupon we could believe that the Sun circles the Earth or that a tree is the wrong age without God breaking his rule and lying to us. Since human science cannot comprehend God, it may at times accidentally (or deliberately) warp God’s perfect truth into a falsehood, but when it does so it is man (possibly influenced by Satan as the father of lies) rather than God who creates the lie. That is why I believe God could have created certain features of creation that under our closest scruitiny appear older than they are, without in any way accusing God of going against his nature or his law and telling a lie–because it would be our dating methods which cannot consider a supernaturally-set non-zero starting value which makes the mistake. More importantly I believe it is vital to accept that God can create such scientific impossiblilites or inconsistencies, if we are to avoid being later cornered into admitting that all miracles are impossible (extended of course to Jesus being just another child of a promiscuous teenager rather than the miraculous Son of God.)

  32. jlwile says:

    Of course that’s not what I am saying. Please try to think logically. I am saying that it is not a lie to miraculously create a baby. As I told you before, a baby doesn’t necessarily mean that two people had sex. That’s only true if you reject miracles. However, if Jesus can be linked to Joseph genetically, then it definitely means there was a sexual act, which is a lie. In the same way, there is no problem with God miraculously creating good wine. As long as you don’t reject miracles, wine does not mean there was fermentation, etc. However, if it can be shown that there are markers indicating this happened, THAT would be a lie.

    Of course I don’t think science is a source of absolute truth. You clearly have read none of my work, as I say everywhere that science can’t even prove anything. Once again, you are not thinking logically. I am saying that there are certain things that science can use to determine the story of what happened. God is powerful enough (even though you don’t think He is) to created without telling false stories.

    Your theme is totally unBiblical. I have already shown you several Scriptures that clearly say God cannot do certain things, like lie or let you into heaven without Jesus. Thus, your idea that “God can do whatever he wishes” is 100% false. No orthodox theologian would accept such an unBiblical idea. God CANNOT do certain things. He has promised us in His Word. God can do miracles and create all sorts of scientific impossibilities, but he cannot lie. Thus, he will not create things that tell false stories. Please read the Scriptures I have given you. They are quite plain in what they say.

  33. josiah says:

    Actually God can do what he wants with regards this world; it is only his promises that he won’t lie, flood the planet again, etc which hold him to a course of action. That is quite consistant with my Biblical idea: God follows his rules, but is not limmited by our rules.

    Now I know you don’t conciously think science is a source of absolute truth, but that is the root of your argument. Even though you know that science is prone to be wrong on the meaning of chemical signatures or molecular inertia, you insist the presence of such at the moment of creation would be a lie on God’s part.

    Moreover we both know that Science is not able to apply to miracles; every scientific law ought to be rewriten with an “or a miracle.” tag on the end, because the natural process cannot be assumed when God does a miracle. Now if we read from the curse of Ham justification for the brutal triangle slave trade, God has not lied. Instead our interpretation is a at fault. In the same way if we see in Mary’s pregnancy an undeniable story of sex, it is our science insisting that a virgin cannot become pregnant which fails when confronted with miracles. I am not ignoring the possibility of miracles. I said that IF you ignore the possibility of a miracle, a baby is always the product of two people having sex. But if you accept that a miracle may have snapped through the constraints of the laws of physics then Jesus can be the directly begotton Son of God. Jesus would not therefore be a lie, merely the result of a miracle.

    On that we might finally be agreed. No matter how many millenia of studying the factors involved insist a miracle is completely impossible it’s status as a miracle disregards that study (without being a lie) and lets it do it anyway. No matter how many centuries we spend counting wooden circles, if God decides to do a miracle and create a tree with fifty rings his power takes precedence over our science. More importantly if we think those rings tell a story of summers and winters it is our science’s presumption that only summer and winter conditions can make tree rings which is in error in that case–because when God makes the tree rather than photosynthesis God can make the rings too. Science cannot account for the possibility of a miracle. We however must not insist that because Science, failing as it does to consider such a possibility, sees things which are not true in the natural world, it is the creator of the natural world who is at fault. After all God is omnipotent, omniscient, and cannot lie, and science cannot even prove anything, so which is more likely to have made the mistake? I am not really concerned with proving that God might have made the world with the appearance of age, but am concerned that he must be able to work miracles of creation without “lying” to human’s scientific law.

  34. jlwile says:

    Once again, you need to read your Bible more carefully to avoid stating things that are not Biblical. Every orthodox theologian agrees that there are things God CANNOT do. Titus 1:2 specifically says, “…in hope of eternal life which God, who CANNOT lie, promised before time began.” Hebrews 6:18 says, “…it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to lie.” Your terrible statement, “Actually God can do what he wants with regards this world” goes directly against these two passages (and many more that limit God in other ways).

    You are still incorrect on how I view science as well, seemingly because you are refusing to think logically about this. Nowhere in any of this discussion is there even a small HINT that I think science gives us absolute truths. However, science does allow us to read stories in nature, and since God CANNOT lie, He will not tell us stories about things that didn’t happen.

    I certainly agree (and always have) that, “Jesus would not therefore be a lie, merely the result of a miracle. ” However, if Jesus had Joseph’s genetic markers, THEN He would be a lie, since those genetic markers tell a story about an event that never happened. This is simply a logical conclusion based on the Scriptures cited above.

    You are quite wrong when you say, “if God decides to do a miracle and create a tree with fifty rings his power takes precedence over our science. ” He would never do that, because those 50 rings tell a story that is not true, and the Scriptures clearly state that God cannot lie. Now…He might create rings in a tree, but like the wine at Cana, those rings would be so utterly different from any natural rings that it would be clear you could not derive a story from them.

    As I have told you from the beginning (and you have just ignored), miracles are not lies. God certainly can do all sorts of miraculous things that defy science. However, He would not make those miraculous things look like the same things we study scientifically, because He cannot lie. As a result, he would not make something that told a story that did not happen. A tree with 50 natural-looking rings tells a story of weather that never happened. As the Scriptures tell us, it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to do that, as it is IMPOSSIBLE for God to lie.

  35. josiah says:

    Don’t you see what you’re doing? You are trying to make half-truths OK. Some evidence to show the lie exists, and it’s nullified. But God is too perfect to use half-truths. Rather he does not lie at all, because his actions are never lies. Even if Jesus had the exact same Y chromosone as Joseph (He was known as the son of David after all) that would not be a lie. It would just be a miracle, in the same way as his very existance was a miracle. By contrast for some ultra high-tech Saducee to take that gene (or low-tech Saducee to point out “Joseph’s eyes”) as proof that Jesus was not the Son of God would be misanalysis of the facts, and to insist therefore that from the same evidence Jesus is only Joseph’s son and thus a Blasphemer would be a lie. What is important to note here is the following: God cannot lie at any point, but scientific observation and human prejudice can lie easily.

    Science, particularly with the aid of malicious human intent, can easily misconvey the facts. Science says that sunlight now nourishes the trees and makes them turn from tiny acorns into majestic oaks–with rings based upon intensity of that sunlight. However Science does not and is not able to tell us what things were like during creation. When God directly fashioned the trees he did not need to use the weather at all. Therefore to say that a tree dating back to creation tells of pre-existant weather is mis-founded. If science conveys to you that story, science is out of her depth and outside her rights in doing so. Now must God limmit himself to that which our science can correctly understand? Certainly not.

    I shall repeat: when our science says tree rings, babies, or wine can come only from a certain source (disallowing artificial insemation or fake wine) it is in error because each could also be made directly by the living God. Since you base your story of 50 years of non-existant weather on potentially erroneous science, it is clear that Garbage In makes Garbage Out, and you’re result will itself be erroneous. However it is not God who’d have lied in such a situation, though the story man gleans from the science man crafts from nature is false, Nature itself is bears witness only to the goodness and majesty of her creator, not the lie of human logic. Nor did the God who made nature craft that lie. The same logic applies to every later miracle. God’s unequalled ability to make something be true supersedes our every law which claims it cannot be true, whereupon if either it is always our laws rather than God’s utterances which tell the lie.

    .

    You are being quite unfair in warping my statement from God’s freedom from the constraints of OUR rules to God’s freedom from the constraints of ANY rules. Where God has bound himself to a particualar course of action–including honesty and damnation to those who do not believe–he is bound to that course of action. However when Mankind insists that this scientific paradox qualfies as a lie, or that that denomination qualifies as unbelievers, God is not subject to our decrees. That is why God swore by himself–there was none greater by whom to swear. He can (and does) hold himself to truth; to justice; to love; but no-one else in heaven or on earth can FORCE him to do anything.

  36. jlwile says:

    Of course that’s not what I am doing. You, on the other hand, are trying to make it okay for God to lie. If He is too perfect for half-truths, He is certainly too perfect to lie. Of course, we already know that, as the Bible says he CANNOT lie.

    If Jesus had Joseph’s Y-chromosome, it certainly would be a lie. It would be a story about sexual intercourse that did not happen. His existence is a miracle, and it is no lie, as there was no story told. However, Joseph’s Y-chromosome in Jesus tells a story of sexual intercourse, which is a lie.

    Science is NOT “out of her depth and outside her rights” by counting tree rings and determining the age of a tree. In fact, that is EXACTLY WHAT science is SUPPOSED to do. God creating tree rings for years that didn’t exist is a lie, as the science He gave us the ability to do has every right to analyze such things, and in a world with an honest creator, it has the right to believe the stories that such things tell. In a world without an honest creator, your ideas would be plausible.

    I shall repeat: If God made things that tell stories which aren’t true, it would be a lie. Since the Scriptures clearly say He cannot lie, he would never do such things. Once again, this is simply Scripture and logic. Nothing else.

    I am glad that you are not as unBiblical as your previous statements indicate. You now seem to be repudiating your terrible statement that God can do whatever He wants with the world. That’s fortunate. Since you now agree that God cannot lie, you are at least closer to understanding how He COULDN’T create things with the appearance of age.

  37. josiah says:

    Of course that is what you’re trying to do. Science says that a human baby must come from the fertalization of an egg and a sperm, so every son of man including Jesus looked like that. Indeed pregnancy itself stems from that cause, so for at least 5 months (allowing a 3 month secrecy period and an early delivery) that would have been the only scientific result possible. During the same period it would have been quite impossible to ascertain whether he was genetically akin to any of the Jewish men. Indeed when Joseph found out she was pregnant “he made plans to divorce her quietly.” It was only when the supernatural struck again to tell him the truth that it was clear this was not a normal pregnancy–and considering that he had time to plan a divorce that revelation clearly wasn’t immediate.

    The problem is that whereas science is quite comfortable, powerful even, when plotting and predicting natural processes, it is utterly out of its depth when it considers the supernatural. It can identify the fertalization process, and even lend it aid to give children to the barren. For the 8 billion pregnancies over the last few generations the analysis of science holds quite firm, but for ONE pregnancy about 2014 years ago it completely unravels. It’s study of the natural laws says you need man’s input, but those laws do not apply to God. It makes exactly the same mistake counting tree rings–It assumes the sun is necessary in the creation of trees. That is true, normally. But when God creates a tree, there doesn’t need to be a sun at all. So since our rules surounding tree rings assume a tree was nourished by the sun, they would be grounded in a false assumption with regards Eden’s foilage. Therefore science cannot be trusted to correctly convey the truth when God performs a miracle.

    If God made things that tell stories which aren’t true, it would be a lie. However you refer to when flawed human science sees such a story in creation. Here science claims unwarrented authority on the subject of the supernatural (which it cannot handle at all). To trust scientific analysis and say that any falsehoods come from God as the source is clearly placing the blame in exactly the wrong place.

    If you are Calvanist enough you might note that God would know beforehand what level our science was going to reach, and avoid creating things which would confuse this level of understanding about the world. I think this is a rediculous position because (a) God does not limit himself to human rules and understanding, (b) God would also have known every other stage of prevalent science throughout history throughout the world. He should by the same reason have had to make creation as consistant with Aristotle and the Terracentric universe to avoid decieving those in the middle ages as with Gallileo and Co. But this is impossible, would decieve us about the present workings of the world in which science is applicable, and would limmit him to an unworkably simple universe. Lastly for point (c) it makes the very concept of a miracle unworkable because a miracle is by its nature inconsistent with science. What of those miraculously healed of the incurable AIDS? At our level of understanding aids cannot be cured, so discounting miracles they must never have been infected (and why they have antibodies is anybodies guess). Likewise merging (b) and (c) there was no real evidence to those at the time who would have looked scientifically at the wine in Cana that it wasn’t just wine. God didn’t lie, but rather their understanding that “all wine comes from grapes” was flawed. In both cases miracles, as an earthquake to science’s basic foundation, caused a misanalysis of the natural world to anyone who wasn’t considering God. But it still isn’t God’s lie.

  38. jlwile says:

    Of course that’s not what I am trying to do. I think your confusion is a result of the fact that you don’t truly understand science and its methods. Science CANNOT say that EVERY baby comes from the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. The only thing science can do is look at an INDIVIDUAL baby and try to determine whether or not IT came from the fertilization of an egg and a sperm. This is because science must build a specific case based on specific facts. It can generalize results, but as Popper reminds us, such generalizations are tentative at best. Thus, science can study thousands of individual babies and demonstrate that each of them come from the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. Then, it can make the GENERAL statement that “All babies come from the fertilization of an egg by a sperm.” However, that generalization is TENTATIVE at best, and every serious scientist understands this. Thus, while the idea that every baby comes from a sexual act is a reasonable “rule of thumb,” science can only definitively show that an INDIVIDUAL baby came from a sexual act, by examining the markers that show whose egg was fertilized by whose sperm. Until you understand how science is done, please don’t presume to say what science concludes.

    You make a similar mistake with trees, because you don’t seem to understand the science of dendrochronology. Nowhere does the science of dendrochronology assume “the sun is necessary in the creation of trees.” Indeed, dendrochronology works just as well when trees that have been grown indoors and have never seen the sun are studied. Once again, don’t presume to state what a field you do not understand says.

    Also, science does NOT claim “unwarrented authority on the subject of the supernatural.” It claims NO authority with regards to the supernatural. However, it does claim authority when studying natural phenomena. If God makes something look natural and then uses it to tell a story that is not true, God has lied. God cannot lie, so such a thing would never happen.

    I certainly am not a Calvinist, as I do not hold to a pagan view of God. However, even a Calvinist agrees that God cannot lie. You are correct that “God does not limit himself to human rules and understanding,” but He IS limited, as He CANNOT lie. Thus, He cannot tell stories about things that did not happen, which is why your general argument is not Biblical.

    Also, your statement that God would have needed to make “creation as consistant with Aristotle and the Terracentric universe to avoid decieving those in the middle ages as with Gallileo” is pure nonsense. In fact, God would NOT have made creation consistent with incorrect views, as that would also be a lie. He tells only true stories. Thus, he would not create the world to be consistent with incorrect views.

    Once again, the Biblical view that God would not create with the appearance of age DOES NOT make “the very concept of a miracle unworkable because a miracle is by its nature inconsistent with science. ” It simply says that miracles will not result in telling stories that aren’t true. Once again, your inability to understand how science works has you confused regarding what science can and cannot conclude. If you learned more about science, I think you might be less confused on this subject.

  39. josiah says:

    Your own argument disintergrates around you. You cite the idea of the sun circling the Earth as absurdity, though for thousands of years it was taken as scientific fact. You come back to my very point that Science cannot take one of its rules of thumb as a proof, especially in situation where supernatural powers might be at work. You wrongly disprove my statement that the sun is necessary in the creation of trees with a “Scientific” counter-example, indeed one that doesn’t withstand a moments trial. And yet still you insist that the story told by science can only be the same as the story told by God.

    Science cannot prove that every baby comes from the fertalization of an egg by sperm. Therefore when it puts forward such a statement as proven science lies, and where it applies that statement to the incarnation of Christ Science lies. God does not lie–even though he made only one way for human beings to reproduce, his bypassing that method is not a lie. It is a miracle. And let us say you looked at Jesus, and noted he had a Jewish nose, Jewish hair, Jewish eyes, and a Jewish skintone, or even found that his genes were what you would expect for a pureblood Jew. You checked a wide sample of pureblood Jewish men for those features and got back a reasonable majority with those features. And each of those Jews had a Jewish father. And as a control case you look at the Greeks, Romans, and Samaritans from similar social station and only a minority show similarity to such features.

    Unless I have been very poorly taught, this is exactly the process that Science would champion in such a case (though it might look at pre-existing data), the process from which a scientist could proclaim “Jesus had a human Jewish father.” It is also the process which would cause that scientist to tell a lie. Only recently has the Scientific revolution taken off, and the proclamations of science as we know it accepted unconditionally. Before that the simple observation of human eyes might have been trusted, or the writings of archaic thinkers, or indeed the omens of Astrology or tripe-reading. You wish to say that where their trust was misfounded (as proved by your own trusted science) but that your trust must always return the exact answer found in the source. You are doing this even while you are reminding me that Science is fallible, for you say that any message science tells from Nature is the message God placed in nature. God did not lie to men in his positioning of the Zodiac. He did not lie to men by letting the studies of Aristotle or Galen survive. He did not lie to mankind throughout the centuries by making the sun look like it sweeps around the earth, though each might cite the study of nature as its source. And nor is God lying to us when modern day Science is lying to us.

    Science, as you have so rightly pointed out, has NO RIGHT to say that all tree rings come from seasonal variation (just to defend my own pride I must point out that this does normally need the sun, even if the plant is kept indoors.) It can make a rule of thumb perhaps, which is validated by natural and conditioned experiment. However presuming that a given tree must have come from a seed, been nourished through photosynthesis, and endured all the same predators etc is unwarrented presumption when extended to Eden’s foilage. If a tree was miraculously created part way through its lifecycle those factors can actually be presumed to be untrue (up to the moment of its creation). Dendrochrology can thus be considered completely unreliable in such a case. If it looks at the rings in this tree birthed of God’s intervention, it cannot presume to make any statement about the weather or about the age of the tree. If it does so Dendrochrological Science will tell lies from God’s creation. Yet still God has no more lied to us than if a pair of sacred chickens arbitrarily went off their food and makes an army sure of a given outcome for their battle.

    Do not presume to bind God to the words of our white-coated maguses and wise men. The magicians and advisers of Pharoh or Nebucadnezer had no binding upon him. If it is true that modern physics is marginally more trustworthy, that is because it tends to study God’s laws in creation. But even those laws to are subservient to their creator, and Physics falls as low as astrology when it forgets that. By what authority then would you presume use biology to accuse God of having lied if he’d made a tree with 50 rings?

    To try and answer your other argument that he makes something LOOK natural to science: nature and all in it is itself a work of God’s creation. Human beings are God’s (most precious) creation. Would you presume to say that God cannot then create something in the same manner as he made it before? Would you say he is bound to make Jesus with three eyes and one arm to prove that he is not the same? Of course you wouldn’t. He made Jesus as human as is possible that he might better relate to our problems and that where different those differences should be in starker contrast. He made the wine of Cana into true wine because that was the design he’d decided worked best at creation, so why should he be force to change that design for one miracle? In each case, even though he did not have to, God did actually give evidence that this was special (Joseph’s angelic dream, the servants who poured the wine, the Biblical account of 6 days). Now if science chooses to proceed with its analysis and discount that evidence, as it sometimes proceeds with its analysis and discount the flood, that it may do. But if so Science, not God, must bear the full responsibility if it reaches an erroneous conclusion.

    To clarify the personification, I know that “science” actually rarely even agrees with itself. At every point in which I’ve said “Science” does something I refer to the section of human scientists taking that view, who do have a tendancy to play the part of science’s prophets speaking the bona fide words of pure Science herself.

  40. jlwile says:

    I know you want to put a “good face” on the fact that you have made so many errors in fact and judgment in trying to defend your idea that God can lie, but now your desperation is clearly showing. I have plainly refuted everything you have said, and yet you claim that my “own argument disintergrates around” me. Your statement just demonstrates the absurd lengths to which you must go in a desperate attempt to defend your thesis.

    You clearly have been poorly taught, because science cannot prove that every human baby is the result of the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. Thus, anyone who claimed that science shows Jesus must have had a Jewish father knows little about science and how it works. Science can demonstrate that Jesus had a PARTICULAR father if it can show that the genetic markers of a PARTICULAR man are in the baby. However, it cannot demonstrate that all babies come from fertilized eggs.

    In fact, one of the “laws” of modern biology is that all cells come from pre-existing cells. Nevertheless, ALL scientists recognize that this cannot be a universally-applied law, as at least one cell had to come from some other process. Evolutionists believe one or more cells came from abiogenesis. Creationists believe that one or more cells were created supernaturally by God. Either way, no single scientist alive thinks that all cells come from other cells, even though there is a general rule of biology that says otherwise. Now…with relatively inexpensive lab equipment I can show you that A PARTICULAR cell came from another PARTICULAR cell, but that’s the best science can do.

    In addition, it is not enough that Jesus might have looked Jewish. That tells us nothing, as non-Jewish people can look quite Jewish. In fact, I had a good friend at university who had no Jewish heritage in his entire family, but everyone thought he was a Jew, because he LOOKED Jewish. You definitely need to learn more science if you want to make statements about what science can and cannot do.

    Of course a tree (or any plant) DOES NOT need the sun. Please learn about photosynthesis before you make such silly statements. ANY light will do. It need not be sunlight. In fact, some plants do BETTER in artificial light than they do in sunlight.

    If science looks at a tree birthed by God’s intervention, it will NOT be able to study the rings, because either there will be no rings or those rings will clearly be unnatural. If God created a tree with natural-looking rings, He would be telling a story about things that never happened, which is a lie. God does not lie, so such a thing could never happen.

    Of course I would not say “that God cannot then create something in the same manner as he made it before.” In fact, nothing I have stated could be remotely interpreted to say that. I am saying that when God creates, He does not tell lies. Thus, he would not create a man who could be scientifically connected to a mother and father if that man didn’t have a mother and father. The man need not have three eyes or one arm. He just need not have the built-in lie of genetic markers indicating a sexual union that didn’t happen. If God did do such a terrible thing, He would bear the FULL responsibility of the lie, as He DELIBERATELY put false information into the man. In the same way, if He created wine that told the story of fermentation, aging, etc., He DELIBERATELY put false information into the wine, and that is a lie.

    While your lack of understanding of science is clearly a problem, as is your your unwillingness to think logically, I think I have uncovered yet another problem that is causing you confusion. You seem to think that scientific information is some byproduct. It is not. It is an inherent part of the object being studied. If God were to make a tree with natural-looking rings, He would have to DELIBERATELY build a false story into them. He would have to make some lighter, some darker, some wider, some thinner. In each ring, He would have to deliberately put in a change in density that demonstrates the change in growth rate over the season. These would all be false information that God deliberately put into the tree when He created it. I don’t know what you call deliberately providing false information, but I call it lying.

  41. josiah says:

    To the contrary I am not at all trying to mask any errors I may make with regards to science, though I am quite human in wanting any accuations of errors I have not actually made to be revoked. For example I said that SEASONAL VARIATION requires the sun. I am reasonably confident that this is in fact quite correct. Moreover every plant certainly does need the sun to survive, because this entire planet would be utterly uninhabitable without it (including for the people who might otherwise have made that artificial light for those plants to thrive on).

    One thing that is quite irrelevent is genetic markers in Jesus. After all since even the concept of cells was unknown at that time, it is clear that no-one could check Jesus genetic code against that of his suspected father. Rather the only thing that they could do would be to see what he looks like. So you are effectively saying that God could lie in making him look both Jewish and human, while including a disclaimer of sorts deep inside him that no-one could see. But clearly God cannot lie, and that is exactly what God did–he made Jesus appear quite human.

    Why can he do that? Because it is not a lie. Another law of Biology instituted by God and quite acceptable is that each species reproduces in its own manner after its own kind. Flies and maggots do not develop from rotten meat, but from parent flies. Frogs hatch from frogspawn, chicks hatch from chicken eggs, and lambs are born to ewes. That law of biology makes it very fair to presume that a given person has two human parents, even when they cannot be identifed. That presumption would be incorrect when applied to Jesus. This is not because God lied about or through the laws he made on earth, but because he was superior to those laws and could ignore them.

    In the same manner there will be certain laws that Dendrochrology assumes are always constant, because every tree growing today exhibits suplication to those laws. However these can be considered constant only for trees grown by the same natural processes as the pool of trees used in the experiments. If a tree were put in the ground half grown by God during creation that tree would not have grown in the natural way, and natural laws can actually be presumed NOT to be valid. Now God could have made such a tree without rings, or with perfectly even rings, or even with rings that alternate orange, green and purple. However if he chose not to do so he is no more telling a lie about their age than he lied about Jesus’ humanity or the origin of the wine in Cana. There was indeed evidence, incorrectly interpreted by Science’s rules of thumb, that Jesus was an ordinary man and that Cana’s wine was the fruit of the Vine. There could have been such evidence that this tree was 50 years old at creation. However the rule of thumb was clearly inapplicable in each case, which caused Science to lie. If you wish to say that God should have been more responsible and not left misinterpretation open I shall reply thus: God in no way owes humankind infinite knowledge or information about the world. Indeed he deliberately leaves ways that hard-hearted rebelious people can ignore his very existance. Moreover he did not do so with regards water into wine or the birth of Christ, and as he is perfect, not doing so cannot be wrong.

    I must remind you that I don’t actually think God made the earth look old, but do maintain he could have done so AND he can do his will on this world even now, irrespective of how human analysis might misinterpret it. Whether it seems to us that Jesus has not died (because he is alive and most people, at least from that time period, who’d died remained dead.) or that the communist Border Guards facing Brother Andrew (God’s Smuggler) had not searched diligently, it is our methods of analysis rather than God’s honesty which are flawed.

  42. jlwile says:

    You definitely seem to be trying to mask all your mistakes, since you made the absurd statement that my “own argument disintergrates around” me, even though it is you who are making incorrect and unBiblical statements.

    Also, please do not try to “cover up” your mistakes. It makes you look very bad. You claimed, “It makes exactly the same mistake counting tree rings–It assumes the sun is necessary in the creation of trees. ” Thus, you DID say that trees NEED the sun. They do not. You are right that ULTIMATELY, all life needs the sun. However, I can grow a whole bunch of trees that NEVER see the sun. Thus, you are 100% wrong. Incidentally, the rings on those trees would look quite different from the rings on a tree grown in the sun. Even though lights can’t lie, you want to believe God can.

    The genetic markers are QUITE relevant to the discussion of Christ, as genotypes can be observed as phenotypes. Thus, if Jesus had all sorts of characteristics that made Him look like Joseph’s son, God would have been LYING to the people who saw Jesus. The fact that God made Jesus look human IS irrelevant to the discussion, as it has been well established that science CANNOT say that all humans come from sexual acts.

    It is also irrelevant that there is a law of biology that each reproduces after its own kind. As has already been established, science cannot demonstrate that all flies come from maggots, all frogs come from other frogs, etc. However, it can look at a SPECIFIC frog and, if it has the parent frogs at its disposal, show that THAT frog came from them. Thus, there is no lie in producing Jesus. However, there is a definite lie in God DELIBERATELY putting information in Jesus that could have only come from Joseph. That would be deliberately passing on false information, which is a lie.

    If God puts rings on a tree that did not experience the weather, He is, indeed lying. The tree rings contain information, and to put them in the tree, God would DELIBERATELY be relaying false information. That is a lie.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you think God made the earth look old. If you think it is POSSIBLE for God to do that, you think God can deliberately provide us with false information. Thus, you think God can lie. That is unBiblical, and you need to understand why. Otherwise, it will lead to a very warped idea of who God is.

  43. josiah says:

    You continue to lecture me on the utter inability of science to prove anything while you try to use science to convict God of lying. Of course your argument disintergrates around you. You accept that he cannot lie, but in failing to see how he could act without lying you prefer to insist he cannot act. Plus where the Bible clearly says that he did act in a way you would term lying, you pick out mitigating circumstances and reasons why that isn’t the same.

    Look, the fact is that Mary was pregnant ie there was no evidence except highly subjective “closeness” for or against any particular man, but generations of pregnancy to prove that there must have been some man. We know that sooner or later Joseph found out about this, and quite reasonably presumed that the young lady had been promiscuous. What was the result? He tried to divorce her. Now at the point when Joseph found out, the two were not yet married, for the angel said “Do not be afraid to TAKE”, not keep, “Mary as your wife.” So how many other people would have counted back the months and figured out that they weren’t married yet? By your reasoning therefore God not only lied but falsely accused the very woman who bore his Son.

    And you brought that idea of phenotypes back up, did you not? Later Jesus was indeed known as the carpenter’s son, regardless of your insistance that he couldn’t have had “Joseph’s eyes” and would be clearly different. Or accepting that he was known as such through upbringing, do you honestly think that a man known as the Son of David did not have enough “Jew” in his face to make it look like he was the son of a Jewish father. Indeed the very fact that he was a man means he must have had a human father, if you want to ignore the posibility that God “lied” (so you say, not I) and miraculously created an un-inherited Y chromosome.

    The fact is that Jesus (who likewise cannot lie) created wine during the wedding at Cana. The fact is that even if the time it was served was strange, that WAS put down to the whim of the bride groom. We are left with the fact that it was wine, that it looked like wine, that it tasted like wine, and that it could get a man drunk. In everything it seemed like normal, if good quality, fruit of the vine, even though it was drawn from a well!

    The fact is that a few thousand years ago the dead had a distinct tendency to stay dead. So seeing that Jesus was raised from the dead human reason runs here and there looking for escape routes: he’d only fainted, his disciples came in the night and stole the body, his resurection was only a group hallucination, etc. The fact is that life itself was God’s gift in the first place, and God gave it anew to Jesus.

    The fact is that gravity drags people, aircraft, Newton’s apple, etc down toward the earth. In fact all matter exerts that force upon all other matter with magnitude decreasing as an inverse square of the distance etc, dragging the two bodies together (and PLEASE don’t go preaching Einstein right now.) What do we presume then when Jesus walked on the water or ascended into heaven? That he was formed of something other than normal matter (on both occasions the disciples thought they saw a ghost, but he said “does a ghost have flesh and bones as you see I have?”)? Or perhpas we suppose that gravity is just a halucination? Or that neither event actually happened?

    No, we presume that God is able to perform miracles without lying, even though science (founded upon natural laws which don’t affect the supernatural) will inevitably reach the wrong answer. If you choose to call such actions lies on the part of God, it falls also to you choose between God’s inability to lie and his ability to perform miracles. Since I do not apply that title I am left with a perfectly Biblical God who cannot lie but can and does interact with his universe in ways we cannot duplicate or even understand, but only trust and watch the mountains hurl themselves into the sea.

  44. jlwile says:

    I know you want to put a good face on this all, but you cannot make a single point without making an error. Thus, it is clear whose argument is disintegrating.

    You still seem to have a very odd view of science. Science cannot PROVE anything. However, it can gather all sorts of information. If God deliberately puts false information into something He creates, it is a lie, pure and simple. There is no other word for the act of planting false information.

    Once again, your lack of understanding of basic science seems to make you unable to realize that science CANNOT prove that a baby always means there must have been a mother and father. That is simply something science cannot do. Science can’t even say every cell must come from another cell. How in the WORLD can if say that every child must come from a mother and father? However, it can give strong evidence that a PARTICULAR child (or cell) comes from a PARTICULAR set of parents (or cell). That’s what science can do very well, and if God deliberately makes it look like a particular child (or cell) comes from a particular set of parents (or cell) when that is not true, He has lied.

    Yes, Jesus was known as a carpenter’s son, but as you should know (if you study the Bible with any level of seriousness) that “son” does NOT necessarily mean biological offspring. The Bible uses the word “son” to mean LOTS of things, as did the Jews in New Testament time. Thus, once again, God has not lied. He only lies if He deliberately plants false information.

    There is NOTHING in the Bible to indicate the wine at Cana was ordinary. The only thing we know is that it was GOOD, and it was unusual in terms of when it was served. You WANT to believe it was normal, as you WANT to believe that God can lie. However, He cannot. Thus, the wine was NOT ordinary.

    The fact that Jesus could defy gravity is not a lie, and it is not even unusual. Planes can “defy” gravity. Helium-filled balloons can “defy” gravity. There is nothing about defying gravity that involves God deliberately planting false information. Stop trying to bring up irrelevant things. I know it is standard stock and trade when you are losing an argument, but if you want to really learn who God is, doing such nonsense does not help.

    God can, indeed, perform miracles without lying. However, if in the miracle He plants false information, He is lying. Thus, if Jesus had genetic markers from Joseph, God would have lied. If the wine at Cana told the false story of fermentation and aging, God would have lied. If a newly-created tree had 50 natural-looking rings, God would have lied. This isn’t rocket science. It is simple: Planting false information is lying. God does not lie, so He does not plant false information.

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