Friday, September 5, 2014

Book Review of Darwin’s Creation Myth by Alexander Mebane


This is an eye-opening and satisfying expose` of the ongoing deception of evolution-promoting science.  My only suggestion would be to substitute the use of "Christendom" for "Christianity" in this first paragraph about Galileo and the Pope, for in no way, shape or form is the Roman Catholic Church "Christian."  - Deborah


Book Review of Darwin’s Creation Myth by Alexander Mebane 
By Tom Shipley

Copyright 2014 by Tom Shipley, All Rights Reserved
(Used here with author's permission)

“Even if Darwinism is false above the microevolutionary level, it is nevertheless the only scientific theory of cladogenesis now available; and that is more important than the question of truth or falsity.” –Thomas Henry Huxley, quote from pg. 73, Darwin’s Creation Myth by Alexander Mebane
Until the time of Charles Darwin and the publication of The Origin of Species, scientific investigation had been essentially a Christian endeavor, conducted mainly by Christians within the context of a larger Judeo-Christian civilization. The heartbeat of scientific investigation had been the desire to know and understand the nature of God’s created order. Truth and facts were all-important. Secularists like to distort this history. For example, the famous confrontation between Galileo and the Roman Catholic Church is routinely portrayed by the propagandists of secularism as a debate between Christianity and secularism--whereas the reality is Galileo was a Christian with a better understanding of the Bible and nature disputing with other Christians with a lesser understanding of the Bible and of nature. Galileo contended that heliocentrism was consistent with the Bible. The only real question in the matter of Galileo is which Christian perspective was the truer one. Secularism was entirely irrelevant to the dispute. Examples of such distortion by secularists can be multiplied ad infinitum.
With the advent of Darwin’s assertion of natural evolution as the source of living species, and the highjacking of scientific pursuits by the priests of the religion of Secular Humanism, something was introduced into scientific investigation which had not existed previously: falsification. Make that deliberate falsification. In addition to his scientific legerdemain, Darwin also tried to take credit as the originator of the theory, which was far from the truth.
Many people naively assume that falsification among evolutionists has occurred only in isolated examples such as the Piltdown Man hoax (which was promulgated as fact in school textbooks for 50 years), or the Midwife Toad hoax, or the Nebraska Man hoax. The simple fact of the matter is, nearly the entire cadre of secular evolutionists, animated by their faith in the religion of Secular Humanism, have strenuously endeavored to keep the general public in ignorance of the significance of the facts of paleontology, geology, biology and biochemistry pretty much right from the beginning, starting with Darwin himself. Deliberate falsification by evolutionary scientists goes far, far deeper than crude manufacturing of evidence such as Piltdown Man. It involves their

handling of, and explication of, the facts of paleontology, geology, and biochemistry to the general public.
You don’t have to take my word for it. There is a veritable cornucopia of admissions of this fact on the part of the Secular Humanists themselves, as for example the quote at the head of this article by Thomas Huxley, adoringly known as “Darwin’s bulldog” by the zealots of this religion. (Consult also, for example, The Ghost in the Machine or Janus by Arthur Koestler, for a candid perspective on this.) Examine Thomas Huxley’s statement well and meditate upon it. To state the matter bluntly, what Huxley meant in plain terms is that he was willing to engage and entertain ANY proposition about the origin of life and the history of life on earth, no matter how preposterous the proposition might be--provided that a supernatural God and intelligent design were not included in the list of propositions. Truth or falsehood be damned! God and intelligent design were to be ruled out of court, a priori, as inadmissible conclusions no matter how strongly the evidence might point in that direction. Atheism and evolution (by any and all means) are the axioms of the disciples of Darwin, the guiding premises of all thought, the sacrosanct and unquestionable presuppositions of every proposition which it is heresy and blasphemy to call into question.
My task here is to review a short book by one of their own, Darwin’s Creation Myth, by Alexander Mebane.
Mebane begins his short treatise (80 pages, bibliography and all)), making sure his readers don’t confuse him with those awful, primitive, knuckle-dragging, Bible-thumping Creationists. Speaking about “anti-evolution” writings, Mebane says:
“Almost 90% of such publications have based their arguments on the axiom that reliable information is to be found in the creation-myths of the ancient Hebrews. Let me make clear at once that this essay is not in that category!” – from the Prefatory Note
And, dear reader, don’t dare overlook Mebane’s exclamation point! Mebane cannot emphasize this point too strongly. I am glad Mebane takes pains to distance himself from the likes of poor warped, primitive me. No one can accuse Mebane of being a Bible thumper or seeking to advance the cause of (as some have called it) “fundamentalist creationism,” whatever that is. And that suits my purposes here quite well, thank you, Mr. Mebane.
Just so the reader knows, I was not raised in a Christian home with the Bible being “imprinted” on me by my parents. I was raised in a very secular home with a professing atheist for a father and a mother with zero interest in anything religious. I, myself, am a former atheist and believer in evolution who was somewhat zealous to promote the cause of atheism. The first chinks in my atheist armor began when I was in college. The University of Maryland, where I was a student, had hosted a debate between
creationists and evolutionists which I attended. I was very unimpressed at the time with both sides, which motivated me to go look in the University of Maryland library and elsewhere for scientific papers or books on theories regarding the biochemical basis for evolution—and found out that such books and papers did not exist! After over a hundred years of fanatical devotion to the theory on the part of a massive army of secular scientists, you would have thought the shelves of libraries would be overflowing with books outlining plausible biochemical bases for evolution. I was disappointed, but did not attribute much significance to this lack of material on the subject (until much later). This was, as I say, the first chink in my atheist armor. It was also somewhat disconcerting to me at the time that “my” side of the debate did not end with a resounding demonstration of evolution’s superior credibility over the creationists.
In a footnote, Mebane parrots the absurd claim of so-called “higher criticism” to the effect that there are “two different creation stories” in Genesis, a ridiculous and moronic claim on its face. This is beyond the scope of this article, but as an aside, such an utterly naïve and uninformed statement makes it obvious why Mebane remains mired down in evolutionary speculations. He has yet to discover that he has been duped by the academic snake-oil merchants in other disciplines, though, commendably, he has managed to escape the grip of the great Darwinian Propaganda Machine. He would do well to investigate what is called “higher criticism” of the Bible with the same focus with which he has focused on the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian evolutionary speculations. He will find, to his disappointment, that the claims of the “higher critics” of the Bible are as utterly devoid of merit as is the Darwinian and neo-Darwinian interpretations of paleontology and geology which he repudiates, if not more so. And while I am commending areas of focus, we should add “How valid are the methods used to determine the ages of rocks and fossils?” to the list. Want to make a guess where that line of investigation will lead?
Mebane goes on to say:
“Darwin’s theory of evolution has never been so acceptable as current popular writers would have you believe (emphasis supplied) ...few eminent naturalists ever felt that Darwin’s suggestion had truly solved the problem. Even Wallace himself, the co-inventor of the theory, soon came to realize it could not be correct....Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s chief defender...felt sure that Darwin’s picture must...be a good deal closer to the truth than the ones given us by Moses, but he was by no means the starry-eyed convert that Darwinists like to portray. Well aware that paleontologists could show that real changes had not proceeded by Darwin’s ‘insensible degrees’, and that all breeders insisted that real changes could not proceed ‘indefinitely’, as Darwin required them to do, he explicitly stipulated that he would remain skeptical...until an example of its real operation had been experimentally demonstrated. (As we shall see, it has not

yet passed Huxley’s test; and by this time, rather heroic faith would be required to believe that it will ever pass it.”—pg. 1
Note well Mebane’s point here: Wallace and Huxley were not convinced that Darwin got it right about the supposed mechanism of evolution, but they clung to the fundamental proposition of evolution for dear life anyway. Mebane goes on to point out that other prominent evolutionists had misgivings about Darwin’s proposed mechanism, including J. B. S. Haldane, George Gaylord Simpson, Dobzhansky, De Beer, and Ernst Mayr. They were acquainted enough with the facts to know that the magic formula of “natural selection + random mutations + eons of time = abracadabra, presto: new species evolve,” simply had no empirical support in any direction. Mebane points out that most professionals in the field rejected Darwin’s “accidental and undirected” process of evolution right up until the 1930’s, when Darwin’s proposed mechanism won the day by default. There was simply no other coherent alternative being articulated.
Mebane concludes his introduction by saying:
“After 135 years (now 155 years) Darwin’s creation-myth can still claim nothing more than its original attraction of offering us a story less obviously preposterous than the tale of the Hebrews—because, in spite of its superficial plausibility, this story of Darwin’s has consistently and conspicuously failed all of the tests that were expected to demonstrate its validity.”—pg. 2
Mebane’s characterization is, if anything, a gross understatement.
Mebane goes on to point out eight areas of disproof (he calls them “disconfirmations”) of the Darwinian dogma:

Experimental Disconfirmation: Observed Non-transmutability First Paleontological Disconfirmation: Observed Non-Evolution Historical Disconfirmation: Observed DNA Conservation Second Paleontological Disconfirmation: Observed Absence of Intermediates
a. First Taxonomic Disconfirmation; Cladistic Iconoclasm
b. Second Taxonomic Disconfirmation: Observed Non-Genealogical Relationships
Disconfirmation by Prohibitive Improbability of “Accidentally” Producing Observed Results
(Sensed) Aesthetic Disconfirmation

Experimental Disconfirmation: Observed Non-transmutability 4
Mebane begins with the famous experiments on the fruit fly Drosophilia melanogaster conducted by T. H. Morgan which began in 1909. (Arthur Koestler found these experiments to be very significant to the question also. See his The Ghost in the Machine and Janus). The fruit fly was a very suitable creature to use because it was “easy to maintain and of short generation time” and “particularly easy to transmute” by subjecting the insect to “mutation-inducing radiations of different sorts, to chemicals known to be mutagenic.” Mebane says,
“ It appeared virtually certain that the long-drawn-out process of natural species transmutation could be speeded up to the point where an artificially generated new species could, after a few years be triumphantly exhibited to the world....A great many races of melanogaster, some of them weirdly modified, emerged from the experiments, but re-mutating them was most disappointing: the multiply-mutated flies, when viable at all, were either sterile or had reverted to something closer to the original form”!—pg. 6
Conclusion?
“Attempts to push a new genetic trait farther and farther always come up against natural limits to variation, beyond which the overstrained organism must become either sterile or non-viable. It cannot be altered indefinitely without any limit, as Darwin postulated.” –pg. 6, Mebane’s emphasis
This is something breeders had known since ancient times. Now, after more than a hundred years later, no one has managed to succeed in producing any other outcome. There are built-in barriers inherent in living organisms which prevent transmutation. Neither Mebane nor any other evolutionist seems willing to mention the obvious, namely, that this state of affairs perfectly matches the biblical testimony of the creation of distinct species which produce offspring “after its kind.”
#2 First Paleontological Disconfirmation: Observed Non-Evolution
“But the paleontologists of (Darwin’s) time immediately raised objections to this Darwinian ‘scenario,’ saying that what they actually found did not conform at all to Darwin’s imaginary description...it was provably untrue that a species was “merely an ephemeral manifestation,” since many species could be found unchanged throughout the whole thickness of a geological stratum that must have been deposited over very great stretches of time.”—pg. 8
Note well that this was PROVABLY untrue (based upon the premise of geologic strata representing great stretches of time), something of which Darwin was thoroughly aware.
Darwin’s response was: go back to the rocks and collect fossils for another hundred years and his thesis would be confirmed.
“Darwin’s word was taken as law for more than a century thereafter. Incredibly enough, when paleontologists actual findings persisted in ‘failing’ to confirm his prediction, it was not the prediction that suffered, but the paleontologists! Evolutionists began to vilify them as lazy fellows, mere ‘stamp collectors’ unworthy of the name ‘scientist’...Paleontology in England and America became a frustrating and unrewarded activity, in which publication of non-‘ideologically correct’ findings was often impossible.”—pg. 9, emphasis supplied
Such was the state of “open inquiry” in academia then (and now).
Mebane goes on to cite the example of German Paleontologist Otto Schindewolf who, in 1950, declared that the record of the rocks was clear—new life forms appeared suddenly, not by Darwin’s “insensible degrees” and then remain permanently static. This announcement made Schindewolf the object of ridicule by evolutionists. Says Mebane:
“The ‘normal evolutionary process’ existed only in the minds of evolutionists: in the real world, no species ‘evolves.’ It will remain unchanged for as long as it is able to survive.” –pg. 11
Such is the state of the understanding of paleontologists and biologists about the subject today. There are still some meager number of old-school Darwinists and neo- Darwinists persisting in the old fairy tales, but they have now been so totally discredited that the pendulum will never swing back in their direction. Since the Stephen J. Gould/Niles Eldredge revolution of 1972, “Punctuated Equilibria” is the new orthodoxy. It’s domination of the academic establishment is nearly as thorough today as was the old Darwinism in the 1930’s. There can be no turning back.
The irony of this situation is that the average educated American is mostly ignorant of this revolution. They have no idea how fundamentally the old orthodoxy has been overturned, discarded and replaced. They still believe for the most part that the academic establishment believes in the magic formula of natural selection + random mutation + eons of time = the production of new species. They could not be more mistaken about the actual state of affairs.
Mebane concludes this section thusly:
“I hope it will not be thought unduly ‘cynical’ of me to remind the reader here that all varieties of evolutionary theory, no matter how else they might differ, were at least in agreement on one fundamental thesis: namely, that ‘the doctrine of the fixity of species’ was a baseless, now-outmoded old superstition. “ –pg. 11
Knowing the extreme discomfort this admission must cause Mebane I suppose we can forgive him for not being as pointed and explicit in this admission as a creationist might be. As confessions from evolutionists go, this is not bad. This is far more candid than anything which ever came from Darwin. I’ll give Mebane a B+ and articulate in my own words what Mebane simply cannot bring himself to say: the biblical creationists were right, after all. Once a species comes into existence, it will not change. Of course, the “comes into existence” part of the equation is something that Mebane is not willing to concede to divine creation. He is still looking to existing species as the seedbed from which new species emerge. He is simply not expecting any natural process to do the job.
But, the reader will ask, if there is no natural cause for evolution, and Mebane will not allow for divine creation by an omniscient and omnipotent God, what else is there? I am jumping ahead of Mebane to his conclusory remarks at the end of his book: Mebane maintains two possibilities: 1) that of a less-than-omnipotent god or 2) what Mebane believes is the best theory to fit the known facts, “sporadic productions by subdivine designers (daemones),” the fashioning of new species from existing species by “invisible intelligent DNA designers.”
Before scoffing at Mebane, I will step in in his defense here to defend his logic. His conclusion is not bad—if you accept his premises. I just have problems with his premises. His view is premised upon the proposition of a four billion year old earth, and the belief that rocks and fossils can actually be reliably dated. Remove these propositions from Mebane’s premises and he winds up in a very different universe than he thinks he inhabits. He then winds up in—horror of horrors!—a universe in which there might actually be an omnipotent creator God. I’ll make a prediction: Mebane will not entertain the possibility that accepted dating techniques are fatally compromised by faulty presuppositions which skew the dating results.
3. Historical Disconfirmation: Observed DNA Conservation
Mebane’s third disconfirmation of Darwinism and neo-Darwinism is the simple impossibility of chance, random mutations producing a new species as was demonstrated in the fruit fly experiments, which also revealed embedded
mechanisms to restore the organism to its original form!!! The reason for this impossibility is so simple that even a child can grasp it. Reorganization of DNA on the scale necessary to create an actual new species would require, not single random point mutations in the DNA, but numerous, coordinated, and strategic (i.e., intelligently directed) mutations all in the proper places—and all simultaneously. This is a simple fact of biology and it is utterly devastating to any chance model of evolution. Darwinism and neo-Darwinism are both thoroughly founded on the idea of random, chance mutations slowly building up over time and producing new species. That such extensive random occurrences will ever result in a viable organism is not only vastly improbable but logically impossible. This has long been known and understood by evolutionary scientists. They’ve just preferred to keep quiet about the fact. Says Mebane:
“It is now quite openly acknowledged by experts that this inherent immunity to Darwinian evolution is, in fact, characteristic of all forms of Earthly life. We have thus witnessed the independent confirmation, on the most sweeping scale possible, of the genetic ‘impotency principle’ that Goldschmidt had inferred from the observed impossibility of experimentally transmuting a tiny fruit fly into a new viable species.”—pg. 12
And:
“Even under the most favorable of all conditions—deliberate human attempts to bring it about—successful natural species-transmutation is an event that is simply unable to happen...these coordinated changes are just what accidental knocking-about is inherently unable to provide, because chance events are subject to stringent probability limitations.”—pg. 13-14
These stringent probability limitations are precisely what make big money for casinos and insurance companies. Mebane then goes on to do the math of these probabilities, from which I will spare the reader all but the conclusion: the odds of a successful string of random mutations (“successful” meaning resulting in a viable organism) are “one in 200 billion billion.” Mebane concludes: “Darwin’s microevolutionary route to macroevolution is simply not a passable one.
I’ll toss in Arthur Koestler’s observations from his book, Janus:
“Now according to the Darwinian schema, all these changes must have been gradual, each small step caused by a chance mutation. But it is obvious that each step, however small, required simultaneous, interdependent changes
affecting all the factors....They are all interdependent within the organism— which is a functional whole, not a mosaic. The doctrine that the coming together of all requisite changes was due to a series of coincidences is an affront not only to common sense but to the basic principles of scientific explanation.” –pg. 176
For those not acquainted with Koestler, Koestler was also an evolutionist. What Koestler and hundreds of biologists could not seriously entertain was the untenable chance schema upon which the dogma was based. Koestler’s book, The Ghost in the Machine, published in 1965, was a kind of popular precursor to Gould’s and Eldredge’s theory of Punctuated Equilibria. Koestler’s book may very well be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and made it thinkable for the Darwinian establishment to entertain alternate theories about the supposed mechanism of evolution.
The problem, of course, is not with the mechanism but with the fundamental proposition itself.
4. Second Paleontological Disconfirmation: Observed Absence of Intermediates
Mebane’s fourth disconfirmation is the trade secret of evolutionary paleontologists, namely, there are simply no transitional forms to be found among the fossils--zero. We certainly should have expected to have found transitional forms in vast abundance if the Darwinian schema were correct. We have vast numbers of some species preserved in fossils but no “great chain of descent” to be found anywhere. Darwin predicted otherwise but his prediction has failed. Darwin himself said that if the fossils did not eventually produce the intermediate forms, then this would be the greatest proof possible that his theory was false. Darwin’s worshipful disciples are not willing to be so candid about the actual state of affairs. They are attempting to validate other mechanisms as a cause of evolution.
Enter Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge. Mebane says:
“Stephen Jay Gould has told us without equivocation, in his book, The Panda’s Thumb (p. 181) that ‘the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology’...and that, in fact, ‘the fossil record, with its abrupt transitions, offers no support for gradual change’.(Panda’s Thumb, p 188.) Darwin’s old rationalization, that the gaps were ‘due to extreme imperfection of the fossil record’, is by this time utterly untenable (ibid. p. 182) ‘The fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another’ (Stanley, New Timetable, p. 95). Eldredge has made the same flat statement: ‘No one has found any ‘in-between’ creatures: the fossil
evidence has failed to turn up any ‘missing links’, and many scientists now share a growing conviction that these transitional forms never existed.’”—pg. 18
It appears to me that Gould’s statement about the “extreme rarity of transitional forms” is another example of the willful disingenuousness of evolutionists who simply cannot bring themselves to speak the truth plainly. It seems evident to me that Gould, by this phraseology, hopes to convey to the mind of the reader that there are in fact at least some proven transitional forms in the fossils, when, in fact, by “extreme rarity” he means zero! Yes, zero is extreme, indeed! Why not just plainly say so?
Educated laity need to disabuse themselves of the false notion of the objective scientific neutrality of evolutionary biologists and paleontologists. These scientists are NOT neutral. They are more aptly described as zealots on a fervent mission. They have an agenda. That agenda is to salvage the theory of evolution at all costs despite the fact that objective evaluation of the evidence points powerfully and overwhelmingly to intelligent Divine creation. That agenda is to persuade the general public that rocks and fossils can be reliably dated at billions and millions of years when there is plenty of evidence for a young earth. That agenda is NOT to follow the scientific evidence wherever it might lead.
Secular scientists are committed to a faith. In faith, they commit themselves to a materialistic, naturalistic view of reality. They are committed to unproven and unprovable presuppositions about the ultimate nature of reality. This faith preconditions what conclusions they are willing to entertain about scientific evidence. This faith determines what conclusions they are not willing to entertain about scientific evidence.
Arthur Koestler, in his book, Janus, published in 1978, states:
“One of the crumbling citadels of orthodoxy...is the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution...The contradictions and tautologies of the synthetic theory have actually been known even longer, as a kind of open secret, and yet the dogma has been and still is strenuously defended by the academic community, with the penalty of discreet but effective ostracism for heretics. The reason for this paradox seems to be twofold: firstly, commitment to scientific theory can be as charged with emotion as a religious credo—a subject much in evidence throughout the history of science; secondly, the absence of a coherent alternative to neo-Darwinism makes many biologists feel that a bad theory is better than no theory at all.”—pg. 165
Mebane goes on to cite the famous archaeopteryx, often touted as a transitional form, as “part bird and part dinosaur.” Mebane agrees with this description but argues that it is not comprehensible as any kind of transitional form, which, indeed, it is not, even if the description is correct. I don’t want to get too far off topic to debate Mebane’s classification of this animal; my focus in this section is on transitional forms. My own
research has satisfied me that archaeopteryx was a true bird. There has been much ado over the fact that archaeopteryx had teeth, and claws on its wings. While there are no living birds with teeth, there are a few extinct species, indisputably birds, which had teeth and there are living birds with wing claws. Mebane sides with the view that archaeopteryx was flightless but I suspect this to be erroneous also as this view is based on the absence of a sternum—but archaeopteryx also had an especially strong furcula which provided the necessary support for a strong pectoralis muscle required for the downstroke in flight (see Evolution: the Challenge of the Fossil Record by Duane T. Gish, Ph.D.).
Mebane’s next statements regarding the “Cambrian Explosion” are significant:
“The manner in which complex life first appeared on this planet must surely be considered the most glaring of all refutations not only of Darwinism, but of all theories of evolution. Early in the Cambrian period...we suddenly find abundant fossils of practically all the marine life forms that have ever existed.”—pg. 22, emphasis supplied.
And a few pages later:
“Advances in paleontology have only served to prove—far more conclusively than was possible in Darwin’s day—that what happened in Cambrian times was in fact nothing less than a fresh creation of a world of new organisms that had no preexisting ancestors: an event that is totally irreconcilable with Darwin’s— or, for that matter with any sort of ‘evolutionary’—conceptions of what ‘really happens’ in this world.”—pg. 25-26, emphasis is Mebane’s
Let the reader note well that this evidence, once again, is precisely the same as the biblical claim. Why not, then, quite frankly admit that divine creation by an omnipotent God is just as much a scientific proposition as creation by “who-knows-what-or-whom”? Mebane himself admits a couple pages later that “this process was a good deal closer to a truly-saltatory or ‘Biblical’ one” (pg. 28), and defies any natural explanation.
We must at least give credit to evolutionist Mebane for his frank admissions here. This kind of forthrightness on the part of evolutionists is seldom put forward in a book intended for the general public.
5a. First Taxonomic Disconfirmation; Cladistic Iconoclasm
In perusing the internet for definitions of “cladism” and “cladogenesis,” some of the definitions one will find are as follows:

a. the theory that cladistic methods based on shared characteristics of organisms yield their true evolutionary relationships and provide the basis for a natural biological classification;
b.
c. noun, Biology 1.
the cladistic
method of classification.
  1. a method of classifying living organisms, often using computer techniques, based on the relationships between phylogenetic branching patterns from a common ancestor
  2. Cladogenesis definition, evolutionary change by the branching off of new species from common ancestral type
  3. Cladogenesis is an evolutionary splitting event in a species in which each branch and its smaller branches forms a "Clade", an evolutionary mechanism and a process of adaptive evolution that leads to the development of a greater variety of sister species.
This should be sufficient to inform the reader of the nature of this section of Mebane’s thesis. It would appear, then, that cladism is more or less the equivalent of “taxonomy” or “systematics.” This is a highly telling and significant section of Mebane’s book.
“Well, what is meant by taxonomy?...It is the classification of organisms in a biologically-realistic fashion, which historically goes back to Linnaeus (1707- 1778)....Linnaeus concerned himself only with displaying the interrelationships between plants and animals now living but when fossil remains of many others now extinct began to be recognized, a need was felt to introduce the time dimension...Although Linnaeus had taken it for granted that [note well—T. S.] species are by nature ‘fixed’, evolutionists soon arose...who would deride that idea as a naïve old superstition...they declared that all present species are in fact only... ‘twigs’ of a single vast genealogical tree...the task of taxonomists was now to assign to every living or dead life form...its proper position on the great genealogical Tree of Life.” –pg. 29
Note well that Linnaeus, the founder of zoological taxonomy, believed in the biblical view of the “fixed” nature of living organisms. This deserves to be emphasized. This
Cladistics is an approach to biological classification in which items are
grouped together based on whether or not they have one or more shared unique
characteristics that come from the group's last common ancestor and are not
present in more distant ancestors. ...
whole scenario is an example of what I mentioned at the beginning of this article about what is essentially a Judeo-Christian pursuit being highjacked by the priests of Secular Humanism. And it was never an honest endeavor to begin with--not on the part of Darwin nor on the part of many other evolutionists who were all fully aware that the existing evidence from paleontology and animal husbandry were contrary to their speculations. The theory of evolution was never about the actual evidence, it was always about the anticipated evidence that evolutionists hoped to find some time in the future. It has always been a theory in spite of the evidence.
Now to the focus of this section:
“(S)ince 1965 a vigorous ‘reform’ movement called ‘cladism’ has arisen, which argues that it is a logical mistake for a taxonomist to concern himself with ancestor-descendant relationships...and abstain altogether from genealogical speculation...But this inevitably led to the far more radical claim...that it is...impossible to discover genuine ancestor-descendant relations, for the very fundamental reason that the whole classic ‘Evolutionary Tree’ picture is an unreal and merely imaginary schema, none of which can be verified in the real world!...leading taxonomists, experts in their field...have become so totally iconoclastic as to expressly repudiate not only Darwin’s, but all theories of ‘natural evolution’.”—pg. 29
A couple pages later, Mebane observes:
“The sudden casting off of this old scheme looks, then, like a belated revolt of empirical facts against the dead hand of the Stalinistically-enforced orthodoxy, exactly as has happened in paleontology, where the old pretence that the evidence ‘supported Darwin’ was violently overthrown in Europe by Schindewolf in 1950, and in America by Gould and Eldredge in 1972.”—pg.31
The reader should understand that this revolution has been done by the hand of the evolutionists themselves feeling the juggernaut-force of overwhelming empirical facts. Pretense can only be carried so far. There comes a point where taking pretense even further manifests oneself as a bald-faced liar, and this is something the taxonomists have been unwilling to do. This does not mean that the evolutionists are ready and willing to declare that all the available evidence points to the creation of life by the hand of an intelligent, omnipotent God (although the evidence certainly does precisely that). This is why you do not see these facts brought out, front-and-center, for public display. Don’t expect to see the next episode of “Nature” or “National Geographic” or “Nova” or “Discovery” trumpeting the fact that all theories of evolution are now known definitively to be false. This would require our academic and scientific establishments to
muster up more honesty and integrity than they possess. This situation is, in essence, a test of the limits of their honesty.
Mebane says:
“The complete absence of verification of all of the necessary ancestors must inevitably lead to skepticism about the real historical existence of a ‘tree’ whose basic skeleton consists of deduced, but in fact unknown, taxonomic groupings.”—pg. 30
I have a question: what other field of “science” would be given a free pass on producing empirical evidence in its support? Yet, the paleontological and biological sciences have been given precisely that on the subject of evolution. I say it is high time (actually LONG PAST high time) to put up or shut up. 155 years of vain, baseless speculations which have proven false is ENOUGH! Way more than enough! Yet, since the underlying religious tenets of the prophets of Secular Humanism are at stake here, the lies and the falsehoods are given free reign to go on, year after year, decade after decade, without being called to account.
Mebane finishes up this section thusly:
“Why has this revolution remained a ‘quiet’ one, which has not been noised about and brought to public attention? My conjecture is that the iconoclasts have naturally been asked what ‘truer’ picture of biological history they would now put in the place of the rejected genealogical one, and have found that an exceeding awkward question to answer...but one can hardly blame the taxonomists if, rather than publicly affirm such a conclusion, they have preferred to say nothing at all.”—pg. 31
Translation: “The truer picture of biological history is that the biblical one of distinct species created by an omnipotent God is the only coherent picture conceivable, but we simply can’t concede this fact. Silence is better!” The taxonomists (or “cladists” or “systematicists”, or whatever term your prefer) understand quite well that a single word from a prominent evolutionist can forebode the end of their academic funding or career. Silence is literally gold! Silence is the price for the continuation of a taxpayer- funded paycheck and retirement pension.
5b. Second Taxonomic Disconfirmation: Observed Non-Genealogical Relationships
“There is also a continual reassignment of more closely studied organisms to new locations on

the ‘phylogenetic tree’, because they are now realized to possess features incompatible with the earlier placement. And in this shifting about, it not uncommonly happens that insoluble dilemmas arise...What we are seeing...is abundant proof that cladists are right in calling genealogical trees imaginary schematizations, which cannot be fitted to the real facts of ‘Nature’...The fact is that taxonomists have been dutifully attempting to carry out an inherently impossible task.”—pgs. 32-33
We have all seen illustrations of these “phylogenetic trees” endlessly paraded before us, first when we were children in school textbooks, in popular books, on television programs, in trade publications, on internet sites, and in natural history museums as if these representations are the assured and final conclusions of paleontology and biology. Yet how many times have the purveyors of these representations alerted their readers, watchers and visitors that the taxonomists themselves do not believe in them? And that the specifics of these imaginary trees are continually shifted around? And that the vast gulf between one notch on the tree and the next notch is so vast that no academician hopes to ever fill the gaps? Until these facts are prominently highlighted to the general public, the charge of deliberate falsification of the data must be levelled against all who publish and disseminate these phylogenetic representations.
6. Disconfirmation by Prohibitive Improbability of “Accidentally” Producing Observed Results
Mebane cites the mathematical computations of French physicist Lecomte Du Nouy regarding the chance possibilities of random chemical processes producing even the simplest of proteins. Suffice to say the possibility is so staggeringly and mind-boggling small that the odds against such chance occurrence are astronomically high and then some.
“This number is so invisibly tiny...that the natural formation...is thus demonstrated to be strictly impossible. This amounts to a proof that, even when making the most favorable assumptions conceivable, one is simply forbidden to take seriously the proposition that ‘Life on Earth must have arisen spontaneously, in some natural and unintentional way’.”—pg. 36
The reader should linger long over this consideration. Though arguments from mathematics are abstract to most people and lack the tangibility of rocks and fossils, the real world of atoms and elements and chemicals is completely subject to these mathematical limitations. And these mathematical limitations tell us that it is simply impossible for living organisms to originate by random, unintentional processes. This

consideration by itself is completely sufficient to validate Divine, intelligent creation of life as a truly scientific theory.
This state of affairs can be looked at from a slightly different perspective as I did in another article, “The Search for ET.” In the real world of living organisms, even single- celled organisms consist of irreducibly complex components (as Michael Behe has pointed out). In other words, remove any one part of the structure and the organism dies. Or, starting from the bottom, add one of the parts to the organism without the others and the organism dies. This state of affairs virtually screams intelligent design. It also shouts of the power to manipulate the component parts in tandem with the intelligence to know what to do in order to create a living organism. The power by itself would be in vain without the knowledge of what is necessary to create a viable living organism. Conversely, the knowledge of what is required to create a living organism would be in vain without the power and ability to coordinate the components. When we look at the details of living organisms, myriads of irreducibly complex systems, intelligent design and a staggeringly immense power both stare us in the face. Irreducible biological complexity, as with a watch or an automobile, is a hallmark of a powerful, intelligent, conscious creator. There is no other known source of irreducible complexity except intelligent manipulation. Blind, natural processes never produced trains, planes and automobiles—or living beings.
So what is the reaction of secularists to the reality of intelligent design of living organisms by some immensely powerful agency staring them in the face? Mebane observes:
“Shapiro discreetly refrains from drawing attention to the consequence of this disproof for the credibility of Darwinism: he calls, not for the necessity of intelligent design, but for the discovery of ‘some new natural principle’ (pg. 298) capable of simulating intelligent design (the same appeal made by Wesson In his Beyond Natural Selection...”—pg. 36
This is nothing less than the suppression of the truth. This may possibly be an example of sinking into a state of psychological denial. Both Shapiro and Wesson clearly recognize that living organisms are constituted in such a manner that they admit of no other known mechanism for their creation except that of intelligent design. So, instead of following the evidence and investigating the clear fact staring them in the face, they engage in subversion and sabotage of the truth. Like Darwin before them, relying on hoped-for intermediate forms to show up in the fossils in the future to refute the non- evolutionary picture actually there in the fossils, Shapiro and Wesson are relying on hoped-for evidence to be found in the future to refute the clear evidence actually before them in the present. Thus, the clear implications of the actual, real-world evidence that we actually possess is denied in favor of a flight of fancy.
How conscious is all of this on the part of evolutionists? Are they simply incapable of seeing the plain truth before them? Or, is their denial of the truth more calculated, deliberative, willful? I suppose it depends of which particular evolutionist is in question. I find it very hard to believe that the evolutionists who admit the failure of the evolutionary model in private but then present a different face in public do so inadvertently.
An example from Luther Sunderland’s book, Darwin’s Enigma, is illuminating. On pages 89-95, Sunderland relates an incident regarding Niles Eldredge. Niles Eldredge may properly be regarded, along with Stephen Jay Gould, as one of the two High Priests of the religion of Secular Humanism, being one of the two co-founders of the “punctuated equilibria” revolution. This is yet another example of evolutionists’ proclivity, from no less a personage than Niles Eldredge himself, to a knee-jerk resort to prevarication when the true status of the theory of evolution is in jeopardy of being disclosed to the general public. In 1979, Eldredge, as Curator of the American Natural History Museum, went on record in an interview with Sunderland calling the famous horse evolution depictions “the best example of a lamentable imaginary story being presented as though it were literal truth,” and that, “I admit that an awful lot of that has gotten into the textbooks as though it were true.”—pg. 90
Then on February 14, 1981, during the Seagraves evolution textbook trial in California, Eldredge, on the ABC national television program “20/20,” being interviewed by Sylvia Chase, proclaimed before the world at large the horse evolution myth as evolutionary fact after already going on record calling the horse series “a lamentable imaginary story.” Eldredge was simply carrying on the Darwinian tradition here with this kind of deceit. Let me state the obvious: Eldredge is willing to twist and distort the facts of paleontology to the world at large when the chips are down (i.e., when influencing public opinion in favor of evolution), rather than plainly tell the truth that the fossils provide no evidence for evolution. But in doing so, he forfeits his own credibility and integrity.
That this was all cynical public posturing on Eldredge’s part is manifest on its face. Eldredge’s statements on ABC television have no more credibility—or integrity—than something we might hear from the U. S. President’s Press secretary defending the President in the aftermath of some sex scandal. This is on the same level as President Clinton saying, “I did not have sex with that woman.” Eldredge should have been made to walk around with a scarlet “L” on his forehead for a year. This is Eldredge fornicating with Princess Prevarication.
But I digress.
Transmutation of one species into another by random processes is simply not possible. This has been well understood for a very long time now by evolutionary biologists, for

well over a hundred years. It is not something that there is even any genuine debate about. Nor is there even a speck of empirical (or even theoretical) validity for the “theory” which has replaced it, Eldredge’s and Gould’s “punctuated equilibria,” which proposes (ironically) miracles of transformation, magic out of biological hats, naturalistic rapid evolution (note well) on the scale of divine creation, with not even a remotely- dreamed-of potential mechanism to accomplish the feat. We are asked by the evolutionists to accept their fairy tales by faith.
7. (Sensed) Aesthetic Disconfirmation
In this section, Mebane lists esthetic beauty in his list of disconfirmations of naturalistic, gradualistic, Darwinian evolution. In other words, would we not expect randomness to produce not beauty and form and symmetry, but ugliness or blandness and disorder? Yet the real world we occupy has “vast carpets of georgeous wildflowers of various hues” and “the quite unnecessary beauty...of birds like peacocks...the grace and beauty of cats” etc. which “ for utilitarian purposes would have been just as viable (...or even more viable) without them,” (pg. 44). Mebane goes on to cite the beauty of seashells and “the inhabitants of coral reefs” whose brilliant hues could never be seen by anyone until the scuba was invented by Jacques Cousteau.
“The explanation that this wonderful feast of naturally invisible colors was provided by some benign Designer expressly for the delectation of late twentieth century humans seems too absurd to take seriously—but even more absurd...is the Darwinist’s explanation that all of this amazing hidden beauty was produced unintentionally, purely by accident!...
“I cannot point to any ‘reasonable’ resolution of these misgivings; I believe that no one could; but, speaking for myself, the manifest presence of aesthetic beauty in ‘Nature’ is the only argument for the agency of a ‘God’ that I have ever been able to take seriously.”—pg. 45
Thus Mebane concludes his series of disconfirmations of Darwinistic evolution. Mebane asks:
“If Darwinism would seem to be the only scientific explanation of life’s history— but has nonetheless proven to be a thoroughly false one—what then?”—pg. 54
Yes, indeed, what then?

Mebane is hindered from the truth at this juncture because he has not yet discovered the fact that the academic establishments of Europe and the Americas have subverted truth for a very long time now, not only in regard to Darwinian evolution, but also in regard to many other related aspects of archaeology, geology, biology and—surprise!— biblical studies. The bogus “discipline” of “higher criticism” of the Bible reigns supreme (perhaps we should say runs rampant) throughout the religion departments of virtually every college and university in the developed world, and is just as rigidly dogmatic and (regrettably) pervasive in its reach as is the discipline of naturalistic evolution. Sad but true, the academic con-artists run the show. Mebane, unfortunately, is one of their unwitting victims. He may as well have never escaped the academics’ delusion-inducing Great Darwinian Propaganda Machine. He is still a prisoner chained to the wall in the dungeon of deceit.

The Bottom Line
So what is it all about? What are the underlying motivating factors that animate and motivate the evolutionists? Mebane should know because he remains one of them:
“It seems fairly safe to predict that the great majority of professionals will continue (at least in public) to pretend that ‘Darwin’s theory of evolution has been verified as true’, even if they are consciously aware that that asseveration is a lie—exactly as Thomas Huxley did more than a century ago...
“Two powerful pragmatic motivations exist for adhering to that seemingly ‘scandalous’ justification: one is political, the other psychological. In this country...any public admission that the history of life defies scientific explanation would simply open the floodgates to the zealots who would put the Bible back in the classroom....Anyone with the slightest inclination to critical thinking must turn cold at the thought of such a victory for the forces of overt irrationalism. That is the political motivation—a compelling one. The lie is a ‘lesser evil’ than the truth would prove to be.”—pg. 73, emphasis supplied
And, No, that is not your humble narrator putting words in someone else’s mouth. That is a verbatim quote. I could not have levelled the accusation any more pointedly myself.
Mebane concludes his book:
“Faced with so dismaying an alternative, thinkers on this topic will understandably continue to persuade themselves—just as Huxley did, so long ago now—that, ‘Even if Darwinism is not the correct answer, it is a scientific one; so we must hold onto it, as a stop-gap, until the true scientific solution finally comes to light.’ So far as I can see, this ‘psychologically necessary’
rationalization, having persisted for more than thirteen decades, may well persist forever.”—pg. 74
It cannot be stressed too strongly that the proponents of evolution tell willful, deliberate, conscious lies about the subject for the purpose of obstructing the truth of God. Let them consider the Word of God:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the
truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God
is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since
the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal
power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because,
although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor
were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their
foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they
became fools.—Romans 1:18-21
So where do things stand today? At the time of the writing of this review (2014), Darwinian gradualism is as dead as the dodo bird, as extinct as the tyrannosaurus. The “punctuated equilibria” of Gould and Eldredge has won the day among the faithful devotees of evolution and now prevails over the kingdom of Secularism. This is not what evolutionists had hoped for. They fought it tooth and nail for a century. But 100 plus years of ever-mounting and overwhelming disproofs of evolution have taken their toll and the retreating forces of Secular Humanism have retreated into what may very well be their last refuge, the sanctuary of “rapid evolutionary change.”
This shift away from the proposed gradualistic mechanism, however, comes with a very heavy price for them to pay: how does one explain this casting off of the old Darwinism when there is absolutely zero empirical evidence for the new punctuated equilibria theory? This does not bode well for public relations even with the entire academic and media establishments on their side of the issue. It looks, even to the casual uninterested eye, suspiciously like rationalization and a Last Ditch Attempt to avoid surrender to the forces of supernaturalism—whether that supernaturalism comes in the form of historic biblical creationism, or, alternately, the Vitalism of the pantheists. There is not even an inkling of any realistic theory about the biochemnical basis for such rapid evolution. Moreover, punctuated equilibria differs in essence not one whit in kind from creationism. It proposes a miraculous transformation of living animals into new species. The new evolutionary orthodoxy has been forced to borrow from the creation model in order to maintain a touch of reality.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Some Mid Acts Questions and Answers

Appear In Glory Timeline


Brother Mark of Appear In Glory Timeline recently posted this concise treatment of some of the misconceptions of Mid Acts dispensational teaching:
(Thanks, Bro. Mark!)
Posted: 01 Sep 2014 09:11 AM PDT
https://rightdivision.com/articles/some-questions-about-mid-acts-position

Some Questions About the Mid-Acts Position

We all need to ask questions as we ponder God's word. These are not to be construed as negative to your faith as are foolish and unlearned questions 2Tim. 2:23,  but on the contrary should simply be a part of the method of acquiring knowledge and understanding and therefore be faith building. The right questions should lead onto edification and strength and finally to perfection. It is with this spirit that I ask these questions and hope that the Father of lights will give a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him (see Eph.1:17) to each and every one of us so that with enlightened eyes we may know!

Questions:

Was the "gospel of God" that Paul preached equivalent to the Mystery hid from ages and generations?

(Paul says that he preached the gospel of God to the Corinthians freely 2Cor. 11:7, to the Thessalonians with much contention 1Th.2:2 and that he ministered the gospel of God to make the Gentiles acceptable to God Rom 15:16, indeed he was separated unto this gospel Rom. 1:1.)

ANSWER: NO, it was based on the OT scriptures.

PROOF: ROM.1:1 ¶  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,). This is NO MYSTERY HID IN GOD -- QUITE THE REVERSE!

Was the hope Paul preached to the Gentiles in the Acts period something new and outside the prophets?

ANSWER: NO, The hope presented was declared by Isaiah

PROOF: Rom. 15:11  And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
12  And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
13 ¶  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Is the mystery of Rom.16:25 the same as that of Col. 1:26?

ANSWER: NO

PROOF: Compare Col. 1:25-27 and Eph. 3:9 with Rom. 16:25-26
Col. 1:25  (AV) Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
25  (TR) ης εγενομην εγω διακονος κατα την οικονομιαν του θεου την δοθεισαν μοι εις υμας πληρωσαι τον λογον του θεου

26  (AV) Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
26  (TR) το μυστηριον το αποκεκρυμμενον απο των αιωνων και απο των γενεων νυνι δε εφανερωθη τοις αγιοις αυτου

27  (AV) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
27  (TR) οις ηθελησεν ο θεος γνωρισαι τις ο πλουτος της δοξης του μυστηριου τουτου εν τοις εθνεσιν ος εστιν χριστος εν υμιν η ελπις της δοξης

Eph. 3:9  (AV) And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
9  (TR) και φωτισαι παντας τις η κοινωνια του μυστηριου του αποκεκρυμμενου απο των αιωνων εν τω θεω τω τα παντα κτισαντι δια ιησου χριστου

Rom. 16:25 ¶  (AV) Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
25  (TR) τω δε δυναμενω υμας στηριξαι κατα το ευαγγελιον μου και το κηρυγμα ιησου χριστου κατα αποκαλυψιν μυστηριου χρονοις αιωνιοις σεσιγημενου

26  (AV) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
26  (TR) φανερωθεντος δε νυν δια τε γραφων προφητικων κατ επιταγην του αιωνιου θεου εις υπακοην πιστεως εις παντα τα εθνη γνωρισθεντος

Note the following: Colossians and Ephesians are "prison epistles", Romans is NOT!

Did Paul preach the new covenant in the Acts period?

ANSWER: YES

PROOF: Read 2Cor. 3:6, Jer 31:31 and Heb 8
​ 2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
2Co 3:6  (TR) ος και ικανωσεν ημας διακονους καινης διαθηκης ου γραμματος αλλα πνευματος το γαρ γραμμα αποκτεινει το δε πνευμα ζωοποιει

Is the new covenant the same as the mystery?

ANSWER: NO

PROOF: See Eph. 2:11,12 and Rom 9 This was given to Israel!!

12  (AV) That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
12  (TR) οτι ητε εν τω καιρω εκεινω χωρις χριστου απηλλοτριωμενοι της πολιτειας του ισραηλ και ξενοι των διαθηκων της επαγγελιας ελπιδα μη εχοντες και αθεοι εν τω κοσμω

13  (AV) But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
13  (TR) νυνι δε εν χριστω ιησου υμεις οι ποτε οντες μακραν εγγυς εγενηθητε εν τω αιματι του χριστου

When Paul says that he magnifies his office, was this an unqualified reference to his apostleship to the gentiles during the Acts period?

ANSWER: NO!

PROOF: See Rom. 11:13,14

13  (AV) For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
13  (TR) υμιν γαρ λεγω τοις εθνεσιν εφ οσον μεν ειμι εγω εθνων αποστολος την διακονιαν μου δοξαζω

14  (AV) If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
14  (TR) ει πως παραζηλωσω μου την σαρκα και σωσω τινας εξ αυτων

Did Paul baptize after mid-Acts and before Acts 28?

ANSWER: YES!

PROOF:
Ac 18:8  And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

1Co 1:14  I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;

Did Paul remain faithful to the law and the prophets up to Acts 28?

ANSWER: YES!

PROOF:

Acts 18:18 ¶  And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren, and sailed thence into Syria, and with him Priscilla and Aquila; having shorn his head in Cenchrea: for he had a vow.
19  And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
20  When they desired him to tarry longer time with them, he consented not;
21  But bade them farewell, saying, I must by all means keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem: but I will return again unto you, if God will. And he sailed from Ephesus.

Acts 21:20  And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22  What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
23  Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24  Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25  As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
26  Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

Ac 26:22  Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

Paul preached to Festus (Acts 26) recounting what the Lord had done and the good news (gospel) that "Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles" was this content contrary to the Prophets and Moses?

ANSWER: NO

PROOF: Ac 26:22  Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

Was this gospel (the one above) the same as the gospel of the unsearchable riches of Christ that PAul discusses in Eph. 3:8?

ANSWER: NO

PROOF:

Eph 3:8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Eph 3:8  (TR) εμοι τω ελαχιστοτερω παντων των αγιων εδοθη η χαρις αυτη εν τοις εθνεσιν ευαγγελισασθαι τον ανεξιχνιαστον πλουτον του χριστου

If signs and wonders are removed from the body mentioned in 1Cor. 12:12 -- would it (the body) survive?

ANSWER: NO! It would have no members!!!!

PROOF: 1Cor 12

1 ¶  Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2  Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4  Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 ¶  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
14  For the body is not one member, but many.