Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Cats tend to look similar, most domesticated pet cats share more similarities than differences.  Of course, there are the big cats in Africa, India and China, but even these are similar to pet cats in many ways.  Now dogs; well that really is a whole other story.  As a Christian, I believe implicitly in the creation story, I just can’t look at a human being, the marvellous mechanics of the hand, the eyes, the ears, the heart, liver, brain and so on and believe that this is all the result of evolution and natural selection and that life just started by accident; a glorious accident, but in the end no more than an accident.  But whatever you believe, creation or evolution, there are complex questions that to my mind may have been asked but have never been adequately answered.  Why, if dogs are the same species, do they often look so very different from each other?  I mean, look at a Great Dane and then look at a Scotty dog; both dogs, yet so radically different they could be completely different species.  The question we might ask is ‘If these dogs are both dogs, then when did the Scotty dog change and shrink, or when did the Great Dane grow?’ and perhaps as importantly ‘how?’  So there is a conundrum here, a question, or questions more to the point, of epic and cosmic proportions, the questions that beg for answers.


So what about human beings then?  Look at someone from Japan, someone from Papua New Guinea and someone from Ireland; all human beings but again quite different from each other; different face shapes and different facial features, different coloured skins, different types of hair, and in many ways being quite different from each other.  The belief in evolutionary circles, at this present time, is that human beings came out of Africa and then spread slowly but surely to the rest of the world.  The creation story is somewhat different.  After the Flood, Noah’s sons populated the earth, one called Ham being the progenitor of African people, one called Shem being the progenitor of Semitic people and one called Japheth being the progenitor of all Asiatic people.

Let’s examine the evolutionary belief.  If all humans came out of Africa, why aren’t we all black and have hair, facial features and the bone density of most black Africans?  How does a white European with red hair and green eyes, or a light skinned Chinese person with straight fine hair and very different facial features, come out of African ancestors?  Another question I am waiting to see answered.


Then let’s examine the creation belief.  If God created life, all life and all the species on earth including us, then He also had the power to create difference right from the start.  How else could we explain such differences even in human beings?  And then think of all the different species that just exist in the vast Amazon rainforest that is in Brazil and I think borders a number of other countries in Latin America.  What are we to make of that?  Some evolutionists will say that many of these species are interrelated and indeed have bred from two other different species, so making a new species.  We may find out that some of that is true, and is not standing against the belief of creation.  Certainly, if we look at humans, although I believe we are creations of God and there were only three specific groupings of mankind at the start, many nations are indeed mixtures of these groups, and various admixtures of human beings.  I have noticed though, and I am no expert in this at all, that all human beings seem to be of one, two or three human varieties.  In short, all humans are a mixture of the three peoples that God created at the start.  I mean, look at Europeans for example.  We are all called Europeans, and yet some Europeans look dark like Arabs and those from the Middle East.  Some of us, especially in the far North of Europe exhibit what I would call Asiatic features, with almond eyes and fine hair and high cheekbones.  Then many of us have a Semitic look, larger noses, big eyes, long faces, and a tendency to be quite or even very hairy.  Of course, with this there is a tendency of some overlap with Mediterranean people.  In countries like Ireland and Wales for example, you will find that all these differences exist; some Irish and Welsh people are dark, hairy and have curly hair and a Mediterranean appearance.  Others have a more Semitic look, and others have the Asiatic look.  It is certain that Europeans are a very mixed bag of all the different ethnic groups in the world.  But whatever your opinion on this, be it more evolutionist or more creationist like myself, these realities of our often fundamental differences as humans demand intelligent, open and searching questions from all those interested, regardless of their viewpoint or beliefs.   


Janeane Garofalo & Uma Thurman

I absolutely adore Janeane Garofalo, those cute big brown eyes and sweet face, but I also adore Uma Thurman.  Two very different women.  They both appeared in a film I watched a few years ago called ‘The Truth About Cats and Dogs’, and it was a rom-com, usually the type of film I wouldn’t watch being a big hairy bloke who likes action movies and gangster movies and film noirs, but nevertheless I enjoyed it.  I have come to the conclusion that God made us all so very different, and beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, or on a Saturday night the eye of the beer holder!  Seriously, as a single man who hasn’t had a great deal of success in romantic terms, but who remains ever optimistic of finding love, I believe that we are all more than looks and true beauty really is much more than skin deep.  Beauty is when someone has time for everyone else, treats others kindly and regards no one as less than they are.  A sweet nature, whether it be a man or woman, is beautiful because often those types of people seem to draw in other people.  We know that a loving nature is closer to God than an angry and bitter nature.  In the past, I could have been accused of being both angry and bitter.  Now, I pray earnestly about this and God is dealing with these issues.  I have been called attractive and even downright handsome before today, but I ain’t no Brad Pitt or George Clooney at the same time!  I have imperfections like most people and even had hang-ups about them.  What lasts, as we get older, is the love we have for each other, the love we have for God.  That is beauty. 


The Christian Right

I am confused by some versions of ‘American Christianity’ and how it aligns itself with often extreme Right-wing conservative politics; if we are honest, surely basic Christianity has more in common with Communist, Socialist and Left-wing politics, or am I being naïve?  The vast majority of American Christians I ‘meet’ online are exactly like the vast majority of British Christians I meet online who are decent, sweet-natured, easy to get on with and interesting because they are all individuals with different personalities and interests, which is always reflected in their blogs.  So why is it often that the voices we hear in organised Christianity, and in life in general, are those who are not so kind and generous, but have agendas of their own?  In my humble opinion, we should be very careful when we mix any kind of politics, or indeed any worldly thing, with the simple faith of Christianity.  It seems to be true that some people use religion as a mask, as a mark of respectability, to further their own often very selfish interests and in the end to prosper at other people’s expense.

No, this is the covenant I will make with the House of Israel, when those days have come, the Lord declares: In their minds I shall plant my laws writing them on their hearts. Then I shall be their God, and they shall be my people.  (Hebrews 8:10 NJB)


God calls many types of people from all walks of life to serve Him and live out their calling as Christians.  But I think that organised Christianity is more about the great and the good and the socially important claiming and proclaiming religion for their own ends and gratification.  In my eyes, much of what passes for organised Christianity is just not that relevant to ordinary people anymore.

Faith is more than organised Christianity, it is more than rituals, it is more than men’s traditions, it is something that we might call the inner reality as opposed to the external world of religious politics, worldly religious power and seemingly much that passes for organised Christianity.  I am not talking about atheism or secularism, I am a dyed-in-the-wool Christian after all, just that we need to really think about what we are thinking about, and we need to really know and understand what we are supposed to believe.  I think to many younger Christians and Christians of my generation, popes and priests, vicars and archbishops and the whole paraphernalia of hierarchy that is in the Catholic church and the Anglican church, just isn’t that relevant to many people anymore; it is something that we should be debating as Christians.  The hierarchy in the big denominations merely reflect the social systems of the world.  Isn’t this the worldliness that Christians and Christian organisations should completely avoid?  Maybe the fear amongst those who hold to a more traditional and hierarchical belief is that what would we replace it with, quite simply?  I think there are now enough Christians like myself and modern Christian organisations who’ve proved that we can live Christian lives that offer far more than that which traditional Christianity does.  Well, what do you think?


  1. My own reasoning in the differences in mankind is that certainly in the beginning the gene pool we had was less watered down so to speak from all the crossing of family lines. In other words, it apparently pleased God that his children would look like a rainbow and perhaps there were stronger genetic traits in the DNA in the beginning. Strong enough to dominate down through the centuries and give us all our basic color and frame.

    As to religion, humans being what we are, as a whole need organization and a doctrine to guide us. And we are blessed and fortunate if that doctrine is Christ centered and we then truly strive to live it out. For the loud voices, well some are nothing but tinkling brass. Some are full of the Spirit and controlled by the Spirit. Some had the Spirit, but have now closed him off like a child putting his hands over his ears not to hear his mother's correction.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    1. This is a really good comment Barbara. I guess that when we debate what can be very difficult issues, especially the origins of humanity, and all life in general, it can be a veritable minefield. Some very learned scientists will say one thing, and another very learned scientist may say the exact opposite! Who are we to believe? And then of course, there are those who believe in creation; what are we to make of that? You wrote: ' apparently pleased God that his children would look like a rainbow and perhaps there were stronger genetic traits in the DNA in the beginning.' Yes, I believe it pleases God that we are all different, all unique, even though of course there are specific ethnicities of people on this planet. God does not make mistakes, and all the people He created are His children.

      You wrote: 'As to religion, humans being what we are, as a whole need organization and a doctrine to guide us.' We need guidance yes, and for me the first place is prayer and then studying scripture. How much of what passes for Christianity today is really not biblical at all? I could give you reams and reams about Christianity in Britain and how that has been watered-down to make it nicer and more palatable, but at the end of the day some are preaching a message that doesn't hold any water. I ask God firstly that I can be right with Him and that He straightens me out. It doesn't I then have the right to condemn others but I feel that we need to look at these things, and debate them openly without fear or favour. I think that some of what passes for Christianity in the world is counterfeit Christianity. We shall know them by their fruits...

  2. Hi Tim,
    You wrote a very interesting article here about diversity within a species, whether it would be cats, dogs or humans.
    As one who is a Creationist myself, I do believe in "limited evolution" without any of the kinds interbreeding with one another. For example, a dog would never cross with a cat, or a horse with an elephant. But on the other hand, I do believe that every species had an original pair, which walked past Adam as he was naming them. There was one pair of felines, one pair of canines, one pair of horses and so on. As you say, from generation to generation, these different species began to diversify, especially in the feline family - which can be hard to believe - that the lion, tiger, cheetah, leopard, wildcat and domestic cat could all arise from one pair, but the genomes of all these varieties are almost identical. Yet somewhere along the line, the lion was no longer able to interbreed with the tiger or leopard, let alone the domestic cat. Maybe it was this evidence which Darwin built his evolutionary theories and made his mistake that every kind originated from the one amoeba-like cell floatimg in the primeval ocean.
    Sorry if I'm preaching, Tim, but once I was a staunch evolutionist who was converted to Divine Ccreationism, and therefore remains foremost in Biblical and scientific interests.
    A great post,

    1. Hi Frank; your comment proves that we all have so many different ideas and just looking at each idea is interesting and fascinating, but often means we can't be absolutely sure of anything! Limited evolution sounds very plausible to me. How do we understand why a domestic cat is related to a lion, yet they are so different in size and colour and so on? I feel that both Christians and evolutionists and scientists in these fields need to debate these issues openly and frankly, not a 'I'm right and you're wrong' kind of debate, but a genuine debate to get to the truth.

      You wrote: 'Sorry if I'm preaching, Tim, but once I was a staunch evolutionist who was converted to Divine Ccreationism, and therefore remains foremost in Biblical and scientific interests.' If you can't preach on a Christian blog, where can you preach!? ;)

  3. Hi Tim,
    a fascinating post, as usual full of interesting, debatable topics. As far as creation is concerned I just believe that God created everything however He chose to create them. I wasn't around when the world came into being so I don't really need to know what all the species looked like. I love the diversity of everything and everybody. I have read several of Greg Braden's books on quantum physics, and it really emphasises all the more to me the scripture 'It is a fool who says there is no God'. Also the fact that each eye of a dragon fly is made up of some 30,000 lenses, and the orb-weaving spider produces seven types of silk, the sturdiest being lighter than cotton yet gram for gram is stronger than steel, just bedazzles my mind and confirms yet again as far as I am concerned that it HAS to be a fool that says there is no God. I acknowledge that we are all different but for me there is something about an inner beauty of the character that outshines any outer appearance. The Lord is the most beautiful One I have ever known, and I have never seen Him physically. Regarding Christianity there can only be One organizer, anything else brings to my mind 'Except the Lord build the house, they that labour labour in vain.' God bless you, have a good weekend.

    1. Thank you Brenda. I like to always introduce topics that are open to debate. You wrote: 'As far as creation is concerned I just believe that God created everything however He chose to create them. I wasn't around when the world came into being so I don't really need to know what all the species looked like.' Yes, I always say myself that I believe in creation, but whatever happened in the beginning I can't say for certain simply because I wasn't there! Job is gently chided by God for the same thing.

      Yes, how can anyone believe that life just happened, and the wonderful and intricate marvels and mechanics of dragon fly's eyes just evolved by blind chance? It takes more faith to believe in that than it does to believe in a Creator who created everything.

      Yes we are all different, all unique, but for us humans the inner beauty is the beauty that God notices, far before any facial or any other kind of beauty. Hope you have a lovely Easter! And everyone else too!

  4. The hierarchy in the big denominations merely reflect the social systems of the world. Isn't this the worldliness that Christians and Christian organisations should completely avoid?
    My answer to that is yes! An unequivocal yes! I have been thinking this for some time now. The Churches these days mirror a lot of the ways of the world. They spend more time teaching how to create heaven here on earth as suppose to teaching people to live their lives in such a way that they may receive the promise of going to heaven.

    Traditions of men have been taking precedence over the simplicity of Christianity and of the laws of God for decades now, and is growing ever increasingly more and more away from the way we ought to walk. I remember replying on a blog I think It was a week or two ago where I said I think one of the reasons I haven't felt the urge to really become a member of a church is because God may be trying to keep my from being defiled from "religion" the traditions and pattern of men that is.

    I have come to observe that many, not all, but many "Church Goers" have a very robotic way of thinking it's as though they all have some kind of programmed chip in their brains where they believe everything they are told without even questions if it is indeed the correct way. I wouldn't even begin to say how many people don't even seek God's counsel yet call themselves Christians.

    If somebody comes in who is indeed a Christian, unaffected or molded by the traditions of men and say's hey, that's not correct, because God has taught us this and has taught us that way, the ones programmed go on to say, well this is how things are taught here and we're sticking to it. Since every church does this this must be the right way right?

    I know many will want to jump on me for saying what I am about to say but anyhow I said it before. I feel that schools of theology and seminary school are not of God. These are where many are taught the traditions of men then go out and teach it to congregations after they get their doctrates or degree in theology or whatever it is they give out at those places. Is it not the Holy Spirit's job to teach us. No wonder so many are being led astray, they are taught by men not by the Holy Spirit.

    I don't believe in Evolution. I think the entire idea of it came from the devil to case confusion, he is the author of it so there is no surprise so many are ensnared by that lie. I never really gave much thought about how the different races came to be, this post really got me thinking, that's what post should do.

    Great Post Tim. Great and wonderful. May God continue to bless you my brother.

    1. It's certain that some forms of organised Christianity are far more about being a glorified social club for people than they really are about serving God everyday with a whole heart. I am still struggling to find a church to go to at the moment; but I also feel that God will find me a place in good time as well.

      You wrote: 'I have come to observe that many, not all, but many "Church Goers" have a very robotic way of thinking it's as though they all have some kind of programmed chip in their brains where they believe everything they are told without even questions if it is indeed the correct way.' I have felt this for a long time too. There is nothing in the Bible that says once we become Christians that we must lose our common sense, or we blindly have to accept what some priest or vicar says. No human is infallible in what they say or know, whoever they are. Equally, just because we live as Christians, doesn't mean that we have to see life through rose-tinted glasses. Sometimes it seems that Christians are meant to be stereotypes of some kind, and the reality is that we are all unique and individual. I have always believed in questioning things, in asking the question 'why' when anyone claims something that even they are not really sure about. There's enough dogma in the world, and sometimes we need to challenge it.

      Yes, schools where theology is taught. Men, similar types of men, all spending years locked away, are then put into the world and are supposed to understand ordinary people's needs; and often they don't. That's the problem with that system. We have to be in the world as Christians, but not part of it; sometimes a tricky balancing act, but one that through Jesus we can do everyday.

      I am glad my post is food for thought; I don't have all the answer, I don't even have a fraction of the answers, but I have loads of questions!