Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Word Study of 'Standard' For Christians, Creationists And Evolutionists

Some evolutionists, at least one a Christian, and some creationists, who all seemed to be Christians, were discussing whether species could evolve. One argument tried to provide a standard definition. I maintain that Christian was carefully not making the logical fallacy of arguing from authority, which leads to this word study. Christians and lawyers like authority. If God says it you can take it to the bank. If the U.S. Code says that the definition of the militia is as follows, that's the legal definition:

The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

This is why that Christian sought a standard definition. Good idea! Arguing from a standard definition is not arguing from authority.

But he did not provide one. I work in IT and we use standard definitions all the time. HTML 5 has a standard, for example. Woah betide the builder who does not follow the Code! But standard definitions are created by standards bodies. Biology has standards bodies which have created standards on various substances. But no standards body has defined a species.

By the way, in Acts 15 there is a story of a standards body meeting.  It was known as the Council of Jerusalem. The authorities in the standards body were apostles and elders, who have real authority according to the Bible. It did what such bodies do, discussing until they reached a conclusion. Then it wrote a standards document, defining the rules that Gentile Christians were to follow. Also, like many standards bodies, it refered to an older standard, pulling those rules straight from the Old Testament.

In addtion, we owe the Bible canon to a standards body which met in A.D. 363, the Council of Laodicea. Later standards bodies, the Council of Hippo in A.D. 393 and the Council of Carthage in A.D. 397 confirmed that standard.

For Christians, it is important to note that the Holy Spirit attended these standards body meetings, and determined the results. :)