Friday, July 15, 2011

Allen & Ginter Ascent of Man...NOT

** This post was not meant to insult, condemn or hurt anyone.  The post and my comments are my beliefs solely.  I'm not judging anyone for their beliefs or comments.  I actually welcome comments.  I just don't want anyone to label me a "religious fanatic" and steer clear of the blog.  We'll be getting back to cardboard posts very soon, I promise!  If anyone was offended by this post or any of my comments then I apologize. **

If you've read my blog for awhile, especially on Sundays then you should know that I'm a Christian.  Yup, proud of it and not ashamed to let others know.  While I do post a Bible verse every Sunday I don't try to cram or force my beliefs onto others.  However I did want to take a moment to comment about the new unannounced set in Allen & Ginter called Ascent of Man.

The card set focuses on the topic of Evolution.  It covers several aspects, but what bothers me the most is the whole notion that you and I evolved from an ape.  Here are a few points that I'd like to mention when it comes to the whole creation vs. evolution topic:

  1. Creationism and evolutionism begin from two radically different points. Creation: In the beginning there was God. Evolution: In the beginning there was random chance.
  2. Darwinian doctrine insists that the evolution of life is a random process—that we are here by a series of pure accidents (e.g., mutations, and molecules in motion, gene recombinations and duplications). This is in direct conflict with the biblical doctrine of election—that life is not merely a series of accidents. According to the Bible, each believer is in some sense individually foreknown and chosen by God from before the foundations of the world. (1 Samuel 16:7-12; Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 24:31, 25:34; Romans 8:29-30; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:4-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:1-2, 2:9)
  3. The God of the Bible is more than Creator and Savior. He is also Sustainer. With evolution, life is a self-sustaining process ruled by fate, and God plays no role in the universe or in the ongoing lives of men. This contradicts the biblical doctrine of providence—that all things happen under the authority of God, and that God is still at work sustaining (though not re-creating) His creation. (Genesis 45:7-8, Nehemiah 9:6; Esther 4:14; Psalm 104:30, 145:16, 147:9; Proverbs 16:9,33, Isaiah 45:1,7, 46:10; Matthew 6:26, 10:29-31; John 5:17, 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:13-15; Acts 17:26, 18:9-11; Romans 8:9-11; Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  4. The Bible says that man was created as a special being—in the image of God, as opposed to the evolutionary view that has man is just another animal in the evolutionary process. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7)
  5. The Bible indicates that creation was a completed event in the past, and is not continuing as evolution suggests. (Genesis 2:1-3; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Hebrews 4:3-11) As put by the Concordia Study Bible (annotations page 8), "His creative work was completed—and it was totally effective, absolutely perfect, 'very good.' It did not have to be repeated, repaired or revised, and the Creator rested to commemorate it."
  6. Given the above, the creation by God of distinct "kinds" as described in Genesis 1 and 1 Corinthians 15:38-39 implies that transmutations between kinds is precluded, or at least superfluous.
  7. The Bible indicates that there is clear physical evidence of creation. (Psalm 19:1-6; Acts 17:24-29) Evolution denies the evidence for creation. If Darwinism were a reasonable hypothesis, atheists would have a perfectly good excuse, in contradiction to Romans 1:20. On the other hand, creation is a consistent theme throughout the Bible.
  8. There is no hint of evolution in the Bible. While this is an argument from silence and thus does not necessarily preclude evolution, such an important concept as to origins would surely have been suggested in the Bible due to its theological implications. On the other hand, creation is a consistent theme throughout the Bible. It is mentioned approximately 64 times in 18 books of the Bible.
  9. Evolution is a philosophy based on naturalism and materialism. Naturalism holds that nature is all there is and that the universe is self-sufficient without a supernatural cause or control of the world. Materialism regards matter as the original cause of all—that matter did its own creating. Materialism denies the existence of the soul. The philosophical assumption of evolution is therefore essentially atheistic or agnostic, thus clearly incompatible with special creation and the other miracles of the Bible. With evolution, if God exists, He is so distant as to be irrelevant.
  10. The Bible teaches that God created man by fiat, that is, by supernatural power, not by natural processes. (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 33:6,9; Psalm 148:5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 11:3)
  11. Some 75 passages of Scripture including those by Jesus, refer to the creation narrative of Genesis 1-2, confirming it as actual history. (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6; Luke 3:38, Revelation 2:7) See In the Beginning elsewhere on our site.
  12. There is an important reason to interpret from the Bible that Adam was a real person. Unless the concept of original sin through Adam is true, Jesus' coming makes no sense. That is, Christians believe that Christ's atoning sacrifice for our sins was necessary because of man's sin nature inherited in some sense from Adam. The Bible teaches that Jesus was the "second Adam." So if Adam was not real, thus did not bring sin into the world, Christ's redemptive sacrifice was not necessary. (Genesis 3:15-19; Romans 4:22-25, 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:21-23,45-57; 1 Timothy 2:13-14).
* courtesy of FaithFacts

I didn't mean to jump off on a tangent as such, but when I found out what this card set was based off I couldn't sit idly by and say nothing.  Choose to believe what you may.  Feel free to voice your opinion on the subject.  I just wanted to share my take on what I believe.

All that said, I'll have several cards from this set that I'll gladly trade away! ( :


  1. I don't agree with you, but your argument is one of the far better articulated I've ever read, so it's not an "OMGZ you're wrong!" disagreement but simply a difference of belief. Well written post!

    That said, I may try to trade you for some of those cards down the road if everyone else doesn't get them first. I know I personally won't be busting any Ginter, but there are certain subsets I might chase and Nachos Grande made those cards sound fantastic looking in person.

  2. I am a Christian too, but I am a firm believer in science and evolution. Genesis 1 and 2 are two different interpretations of the story, probably because they were written at two different times telling two different narratives of the story. In fact, the Genesis creation story is similar to the creation stories of other cultures.

    For me, as a life long Christian and Methodist, the Bible is a guide - it is not word for word true. There are way too many contradictions in the narratives, even in the Gospels. The Bible is not to be used for science - it is to be used for faith. I take great comfort in the messages and love to unpack the various phrases by going back into the context of when it was written.

    That's important to keep in mind as well; the context of when the books were written and what was happening. Much of the Old Testament was written in times where the Hebrews were in great chaos and needed comfort.

    Look into Bart Ehrman's work on how the Bible came to be. The Bible was cobbled together over many centuries, and finally, in the 3rd century AD it was standardized. Unfortunately, that was a political process more than a faith based process and several important works were left out.

    Don't use the Bible as a cudgel; it's a tool. And because science contradicts the Bible, it doesn't mean you should discredit science. It means your faith in God should be stronger that he is allowing us to discover His wonderous creation and how it works. He bestowed in US the tools to discover DNA, gene mutation, biochemistry and evolution.

    I also think you need to brush up on your science regarding evolution, biology and mutation before discrediting it. There are so many DNA similarities between us and the greater primates that it would be silly NOT to assume an evolutionary track.

    Also, there have been numerous strains of plants, microbes and insects that have developed resistance to antibiotics in the past few decades, which definitely shows mutation and evolution is continuing to this day.

    God is great - God is wonderful - and God allowed us to discover what is making the world tick so we can be better servants and stewards of it. Just read, critically, science without having the faith blinders on and read the Bible without wondering about science. Quoting Nehemiah isn't going to convince anyone that evolution does not exist when decades of research into microbiology and genes say otherwise. Quote Nehemiah for the Faith is spreads.


  3. I think you are missing the point (No 1) - I think everyone would agree that we evolved from apes, there were dinosaurs, and the earth is a billion years old, and there was the big bang.

    In the beginning there was what some would call a GOD that began that process.

    Random chance is an extension of that process (i.e. evolution enthorpy/Darwinism)- I don't think GOD controls our fate (vs. Randomism) - life plays itself out not because everything is predestined rather because anything could happen.

    Think of it this way imagine God at the top of a hill with with a giant ball (Now God created the Hill, the Ball, the molecules in the air etc....)and gives it a push and then the ball starts rolling (this is what is called Life/evolution/wars/death/fossils/peanut butter etc... the whole sha-bang).

  4. Hey Colbey,
    I'll take them. Did you get the last goodie bag I sent you? I respect you point of view. But I have to say the art work on the cards is pretty phenominal. And they somehow form a mural of some sort I really want to try and put it together. I'm sure I can part with some of my mini's in the set, The only two I really wan are the univited guest and floating fortresses. Let me know.

  5. I don't discredit evolution as a whole, just the fact that man ascended from primates.

    I know you can't take the Bible, especially the Old Testament word for word...but I believe the Word of God to be true...every part of it. Too many people, Christians included want to believe bits and pieces of the Bible...or twist things to their way of thinking. I don't want to deviate to far from the topic, but the whole topic of same sex marriage/relationships and how the Bible is twisted to make it acceptable nauseates me.

    This world I live in has greatly changed over the last 34 years, but one thing that won't is my faith. I love science, but you can't tell me that the ape I see at the zoo is my distant cousin. When I read that man was made in the likeness of God and formed from the dust of the Earth...well then that is what I believe.

    I may not be a Bible scholar or a scientist, but I feel my faith is enough. As the old t-shirt I wore in junior high school read, "I believe in the Big Bang Theory...God spoke and BANG! It (creation) happened!"

  6. John, I believe everything happens for a reason. I don't believe in chance per se. Now I may not every truly no why some things happen, but I don't ever believe that shall I say it..."loses control" of things. Everything, yes everything happens for a reason.

    My father passed away days before I turned 21 from cancer. Believe me when I say I was angry at God for taking my father away from me. Over the years as I've gotten married and started a family I have wished he was still there for me to offer guidance and help. However I know in my heart of hearts it happened for a reason. Hard to explain to non-believers I know.

  7. cynical, the full bleed art is pretty, I won't debate that...they just don't have any place in my collection. I'll be glad to deal as the sets I'm most interested in are the Circus, Floating Fortresses and Uninvited Guests.

  8. I've got a Set Right Up Snake Charmer that I'm willing to get rid of. I just realized I never posted it on my A&G post yesterday. Ooops. Looks like we are competing for at least two of the same sets, Floating Fortressi, as I'm a big history fan, and Univited guests as I'm a big paranormal fan as well. I'm hoping to snag a few ebay auctions here in the future and if I get any doubles I'll send them your way.

    I have to say this year A&G has quite a few sets I'm interested in. And not just mini's with the Minds, Fortresses, and AOM all non mini inserts. Last year all I cared about were the dinosaurs!

  9. But I feel that the "True Christians" twist the words of the Bible and cherry pick verses instead of taking passages in their true, historical contexts. More on the 'true Christian' side cherry pick verses regarding homosexuality without looking at the subtexts and times the Bible was written. To ignore the time and place of the writings is a great disservice.

    It nauseates me to use the Bible as a way to discriminate. But, alas, it has been for centuries - all to discriminate against others who are not who 'true Christians' are. My daughters would be products of sin and depravity because they are mixed race, or so said many very recently. (Some still think that...sadly) And those voices are now lending their hatred and misunderstanding towards another group who is 'not like them' and 'not true Christians'.

    (Then there's the whole history of marriage, which is fraught with contradictions, politics, and almost everything else BUT religious overtones until very recently.)

    God created us how we are - he created us to love who we love. And who is to say we're not the perfect evolutionary product - the one God was pointing to throughout the eons.

  10. As a scientist, I would say your understanding of evolution is wholly wrong. I would suggest that you read Darwin's book to understand the real tenets of the theory. Then, you can address the points in a more informed manner.

    Contrary to the political claptrap that the proponents of creationism have traditionally espoused, it is not at odds with the theory of evolution for humans. I believe that it is an "ickiness" factor more than anything else that causes people to reject facts that have been present through recorded history and beforehand.
    The talk of it being "just a theory" also reveal ignorance in those words because relativity, the basis of gravity, electricity, and magnetism are also "just theories". A law is very difficult to come by in the scientific community.

    Evolution continues to this day. Look at any prokaryotic organization and the adaptations that we see before our very eyes. Witness the evolution of "superbugs" in the fight against infection or the discovery or methanogens deep beneath the ocean surface. These are very small-scale examples, but these are examples that we can witness in our lifetimes.

    Evolution is adaptation at its core. Adaptation is at the basis of evolution. It is the development of a colored pattern on the skin of a lizard to better hide it from its predators; it is the hollow bones of birds to allow them to take flight.

    When those who oppose evolution based on faith usually fail to see is the fact that what it is saying is not that humans are descended from chimps or that there is a straight line from any one species. What it is saying is that at some point, at some time, in history, there was a common ancestor for chimpanzees, australopithecus, homo habilis, homo erectus, cro-magnon, homo sapiens, and homo sapiens sapiens. They all branched off to be different genus and/or species. The talk of the missing link is just wishful thinking at best.

    So, in conclusion, I would like to say that evolution is not at odds with faith or religion, but is merely a demonstrated fact of the earth and all lifeforms. Citing the Bible illustrates the trueness of your faith, but is was written during a time when diseases were still considered to be created by the spontaneous generation of maggots.

    All I'm saying is that having evolution be real does not reduce your faith or worldview. In my opinion, it only enhances the understanding of the world that you believe G-d created as a finished product (if I'm understanding your worldview correctly).

    I;m not a biologist (I'm a chemical/biomedical engineer) so I don't have all the evidence.

    Sorry you can't enjoy the beautifully painted cards.

  11. Colbey: Thanks for your response and I am glad you wrote the post.

    I think that the t-shirt you wore in HS is what I was trying to express. It is after the bang that everything was not predetermined. Evolution (and jelly) is just one of billions off shoots of when God spoke and Bang.

    I think the fly on the wall and the dolphin in the sea is a distant (maybe very distant) cousin. We all come from the same House (Earth).

    We have similar experiences. I am a lawyer. In early 2006, after 4 years, a client that I was representing in a personal injury/products liability exposure got dismissed. I was cheering and very happy. The personal injury was Leukemia. Two months later my only sibling (sister)was diagnosed with Leukemia and died 3 days later.

    My life since then has been on roller coaster ride for five years. In some ways as an indirect result of her death, I have quit a high paying legal job, got engaged, move to Philadelphia, become unengaged, quit another high paying legal job, move back home and now work part time as a lawyer.

    I am still somewhat angry (AT GOD AND THIS WORLD) at my sister's death(and how my life changed after her death). I feel it was a cruel joke, I get a victory in defending a Leukemia case and then my sister dies from Leukemia. I believe a lot of things in this world are not a coincidence and yes to a degree happen for a reason.

    I believe me reading your post happened for a reason. But there are billions of things that happened for a reason but none of the reasons are pre determined.

    Things happen for a reason because of choices made.

    I am now a part time lawyer taking care of my sister's young son. In some ways that makes me happy.

    You getting married and starting a family probably makes you happy and in some ways your life is a reflection of your father's.

    Take Care.

  12. colby if you end up with any extras i would be interested..seeing as how i do everything Ginter.....


  13. Smed, I think the problem with "cherry picking" the Bible is that we as humans have a hard time seeing sin as sin. What I mean by that is we tend to rank sin...that being one is worse than the other. In reality, in God's eyes sin is sin. It hurts Him. We all sin. Whether you take pleasure with someone of the same sex or rob a bank, it's wrong.

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

  14. Is it still a sin to eat shellfish? Is it still a sin to wear clothes with different fabrics. Sorry, that's cherry picking Leviticus. But Leviticus was a 'how they survived in the frackin' desert' manual - not a guide to the complexities of the 21st century.

    I don't rank sin - I just don't think it's a sin if nature has created someone who loves someone of the same sex. He's done it with penguins and other animals - and he's done it with humans.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Sorry Smed, I don't buy the whole "God made me gay" thing. It's a choice. As for got me there.

  17. Sorry to divulge from the topic at hand everyone.

    ...Joe, you go right ahead and believe the Mets are #1!!

    I don't dispute the fact that the Ascent of Man set isn't nice looking. The full bleed cards and bright colors are very attractive. The 3 panel combining is a great idea. I just don't care to collect the set.

  18. Hey dude, to each their own. I've always said that everyone needs something to put their faith into. Whether it be organized religion, a certain philosophy, a sports team, a band or even a stale twinkee we all need something to believe in.

    Personally, I'm an Atheist. I've read and own "The Origin of Species" and while I fully accept the theory of evolution I also know that right now it is just that... a theory. There are a few theories on how we all came about, but evolution is the most widely accepted and scientifically backed. A person of faith could pick out just as many holes and missing pieces in the theory of evolution as someone such as myself could find in any religious text.

    In my opinion, evolution is fact.
    In your opinion, the Bible is fact.
    In my opinion, the Mets are #1!!!
    In your opinion, the Braves are #1
    In my opinion, Seaver > Spahn
    In your opinion, Spahn > Seaver
    In my opinion...

    I like the set, I think it's very nice looking but I'm just not into non-baseball cards/sets.

  19. Sorry, I misplaced some words with others and so I fixed it, but then you already responded so now yeahhhh... the orders all mixed up. haha

  20. I was "let bygones be bygones" til homosexuality came up. I'm agnostic despite four years of catholic (jesuit) high school with plenty of masses, and if it taught me anything it's that Jesus was (regardless if you consider him the son of god, a prophet, or just a dude) an awesome man who accepted everyone as his brother, regardless of their lot in life.

    Now as I've mentioned, I'm agnostic, so I'm not sure anyone's coming back tomorrow, from Muhammad to Jesus to whomever. But if Jesus did come back tomorrow and happened to chat with my friends Mike, or Joe, or Dan, who are all very set in their homosexuality and have been so since as far back as they can consciously remember (i.e. birth), I'd like to think that he'd be okay with them. I'm sure he'd stick to whatever belief he had about his own personal sexuality, but I don't think he'd be disgusted or distraught at the lot of my friends. It's just a different way of being, and a natural way of being {I don't think you can agree that homosexuality happens naturally in animals and just pretend we're so different from animals that we play by an entirely different set of rules. I've studied child development in school and my cat shares a lot of the same actions and decisions as a one year old's just that the child eventually develops further while the cat stays at that level.} People are people. You don't have to accept differences as right but I do think it's nice to at least tolerate each other, especially when actions aren't hurting anyone {and the argument that homosexuality hurts anyone is very weak at best, especially since many gay couples would like to/do adopt children that otherwise would go family-less}.

    All that said...I'll definitely still follow the blog, and I'm not offended. You believe what you believe, and I believe what I believe, and that's life. As long as you're tolerant of most individuals, then all is well.

  21. That's the thing about true Christianity...everyone is equal in God's eyes. While I may not agree w/ some people's sexual preference doesn't mean that I wouldn't be friends with them or that Jesus would turn his back on them. He spent a lot of his time with the social outcasts of his time. This included tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves and such.

    I didn't mean to change the topic as I really don't like to debate too much as I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers. I do appreciate everyone's insight. That said I can't wait to reveal the contents of my A&G box and start the Gint-A-Cuffs thing!