Do Young-Earth Creationists Deny that God Spoke Creation into Existence, or Creation out of Nothing?

It illustrates the selective literalism of young-earth creationists, that they never seem to realize the ludicrous conclusions they end up drawing could be outdone by still more bizarre ones if they were consistent in their literalism.

As an example, consider the repeated references in Genesis 1 to God speaking.

For speech – literal speech – to be transmitted, there has to be a medium to carry it. That’s why “in space, no one can hear you scream.” On Earth, the atmosphere transmits sound.

So in order for God to have created through speaking, there must have been an already-existing atmosphere or other medium to carry the sound. And if one posits that, then one denies creation out of nothing, which young-earth creationists typically affirm. And that’s without getting into a discussion about divine vocal cords.

The alternative is to accept that there is anthropomorphism and other non-literal depiction in this chapter.

I wonder which of the two options young-earth creationists will choose when confronted with these stark alternatives.

On a related note, here’s something some of you will enjoy. Let me know if you get the joke, as well as the connection with the topic of this blog post…

  • rmwilliamsjr

    one of my favorite quotes from calvin’s institutes is:
    God, in so speaking, lisps with us as nurses are wont to do with little children?

    this image of God leaning over our crib and lisping babytalk because that is what is appropriate for us. likewise Gen 1 with God yelling at the chaos to differentiate, to separate, now. are beautiful metaphors allowing our puny minds to understand something that really is beyond our capabilities, allowing us to understand a little bit by analogy to simple things we are familiar with, the heart of our need for anthropomorphism.

  • RefulgenceGarbler69
  • Tony Springer

    Sounds of the Silence or With yec, no can hear a garfunkel”

  • Dr. David Tee

    At least 2 things wrong with your thesis:
    #1/ You assume God has to speak via human methods and needs human enviornment to do so.
    #2/ You ignore the fact that God existed prior to the creation of the universe and atmosphere thus His own home existed prior to that point in time as well. This means that God had his own ‘atmosphere’ conducive to His method of speech already in place.
    Another error in your thesis comes from this point: “And if one posits that, then one denies creation out of nothing, which young-earth creationists typically affirm.”
    No because since God existed creation came from an intelligent source containing all the personal characteristics we have on earth–intelligence, foresight, wisdom, emotion etc (all the things the evolutionary process lacks) BUT where the ‘nothing’ comes in is when God spoke, it all appeared out of ‘thin air’. God did not take raw materials from a mine or other source and hand built things. He spoke and it was.
    The question is–why do you attack YECs? Is it simply because they disagree withyou or your preferred field of study? There is no divine edict that states we are to use science to study origins. Why would God tell people to use science when He has already told us how it all came about?

    • Ken Gilmore

      >>There is no divine edict that states we are to use science to study origins.

      And there is no divine edict that proscribes the use of science to investigate the natural world. Care to point out the Biblical verses that declare “Thou shalt not consult the Journal of Molecular Evolution, PNAS or even PLOS One.” There’s no divine edict to use medical science to combat human disease, and as a doctor who qualified in the wake of the genomics revolution, I’m telling you that human anatomy, embryology and molecular genetics makes sense only in the light of evolutionary origins. Then there is the utility of evolution in medicine, of which rational antibiotic prescription is only one area.

      >>The question is–why do you attack YECs?

      Two reasons.

      1. They’re wrong.
      2. They’re making advancing a rational case for Christianity extremely difficult. I get tired of having Christianity being twinned with Ken Ham, Ray Comfort and Kent Hovind in the eyes of too many people.

      • Dr. David Tee

        Going to the abusrd now are you…hmmm. Actually there are divine edicts forbidding the consultation of false teachings which your journal would fall into.
        “I’m telling you that human anatomy, embryology and molecular genetics makes sense only in the light of evolutionary origins.”
        Thanks for the laugh. That is just not so. The misconceptions evolutionists have astound the sound mind of a believer. You do not get it and I doubt you ever will.
        YECs may have the date wrong but we will never know since all God says is ‘in the beginning…’ but that is because ‘when’ is not important. ‘Who’ and ‘How’ are.
        It was God using His power and He spoke and it was. It is very simple, why do you need to complicate things with a bunch of secular rubbish? God wrote so everyone could understand what He did, even the least educated. Evolutionists make it a secret club where only the ‘elite’ pretend to know and condescendingly bestow their ‘knowledge’ to the minions.
        Anyone advancing a rational christianity that doesn’t agree with the Bible is a false teacher and is condemned.

        • Ken Gilmore

          >>Thanks for the laugh. That is just not so. The misconceptions
          evolutionists have astound the sound mind of a believer. You do not get
          it and I doubt you ever will.

          Er, Dave. Unless you’re a developmental biologist, anatomist or molecular biologist, I doubt whether you have an informed opinion on the subject. Sorry, but shouting abuse doesn’t make the real world go away. It merely reinforced the stereotype of Christians that too many unbelievers have.

          I’m under no illusion that I’m ever going to reach you. The only reason I’ve bothered replying to your comments is to show that not every Christian is a fundamentalist science denialist who ignores the witness of the created world that life is ancient and interrelated via common descent. Too many Christians end up abandoning their faith when they enter higher education, study the evidence for themselves and realise their pastors lied to them about evolution. [1] If I can help at least one Christian realise that evolution only threatens a fundamentalist view of the Bible, which is anything but normative for a Christian, then dancing this tedious minuet with you will be worthwhile. I’m through with you.

          1. http://www.ecalpemos.org/2010/10/why-creationism-is-bad-for-christianity.html

          • Michael Rigby

            The Bible only states that God created the heavens, the earth and all life. It doesn’t say how. Evolution says life began in the sea. Guess what? So does the Bible. Evolution says life then appeared on the land. Guess what? So does the Bible. Evolution says that Man came along later. Guess what? So does the Bible. Should we take the Bible literally because if we do, then where did Cain get his wife from? Surely she wasn’t his sister! Oh yes, the Bible only states God created the first man and the first woman (that’s what Adam and Eve mean, as if you didn’t know) but it doesn’t say anything about the second, third, fourth and so on. There are many things the Bible doesn’t say so should we take it literally or, like the parables, as a metaphor?

          • Jason Webb

            Ken, being taught young-Earth Creationism is EXACTLY what led me to atheism… making these absurd arguments like “the fossil record was planted by Satan in order to deceive us” don’t demonstrate faith, they drive people away by making NONE of it appear believable. Being around more Christians like you wouldn’t have changed my mind on the existence of gods, but I’d probably be a lot nicer about it. Good luck with getting the word out, brother.

      • Kaz

        @Ken Gilmore: “I’m telling you that human anatomy, embryology and molecular genetics makes sense only in the light of evolutionary origins.”

        I’ve heard a number of comparisons designed to impress upon the mind just how much information is contained in the cell. One person suggested that the cell contains more information than all the books ever published in the United States since the country was founded. Another said that the amount of information in the cell is comparable to 100 million pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

        Can you explain how that makes sense in light of evolutionary origins, or would you prefer to simply retract your hyperbole? ;-) Whenever folks quote, paraphrase, or offer some variation on the words of Theodosius Dobzhansky, it tells me that one of two things is going on: (i) either they haven’t thought things through thoroughly, or (ii) they simply enjoy employing the hyperbolic rhetoric that is apparently an integral part of the materialistic, pro-evolution apologetic.

        • rmwilliamsjr

          re:
          Can you explain how that makes sense in light of evolutionary origins, or would you prefer to simply retract your hyperbole?

          i don’t think it is hyperbole. i don’t know any way to organize or to learn mobio without the TOE to structure the field. it simply provides the way to think about the data.

          an overwhelming amount of the human genome is remnants of viral infections, in general, unless the material has be coopted like the syncytin gene, it has no use to the organism.

        • Ken Gilmore

          Hi Kaz

          I’m not exaggerating when I state that nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution. By evolution, I’m referring to evolution as fact (common descent and large-scale evolutionary change), rather than any specific mechanism of evolutionary change.

          The cell DNA / encyclopaedia analogy is not one I’d use, as most of our DNA is not only non-coding, but parasitic junk. If our DNA was an encyclopaedia of 100 volumes, then around nine of them would have meaningful information, with around 65 volumes little more than long stretches of repeated gibberish word sequences, and the remaining volumes resembling text, but defying translation. The analogy isn’t perfect, but it conveys the fact that only a relatively small proportion of the genome contains either protein-coding genes, regulatory sequences, RNA encoding genes and co-opted retrotransposon / retroviral elements. Just over half of our DNA is either remnants of retroviral infection (9%) or retrotransposons (parasitic genetic elements that copy and paste themselves randomly throughout the geome – 44%) [1]

          Apart from the fact that most of our genome is useless junk, with nearly 10% of it the remains of ancient retroviral infection, the evidence for human-ape common ancestry from shared identical genetic sequences such as retrotransposons, pseudogenes and ERV elements is overwhelming. The chances of these elements integrating into exactly the same location in human and ape genomes by chance is vanishingly small, while any argument which asserts ‘God did it’ needs to convincingly explain why a deity would insert known useless elements into human and ape genomes in exactly the right way to convincingly simulate common descent.

          There are many ways in which genetic information can be created:

          * Mutation within a gene: point mutation, insertion / deletion
          * Gene duplication
          * Whole genome duplication
          * Co-option of ERV / retrotransposon elements
          * Horizontal gene transfer

          One of my favourite examples of how evolution can create new information comes from Joe Thornton’s work on the molecular evolution of steroid hormones and their receptors. [2] For a lay-accessible overview, Carl Zimmer has an excellent series articles. A splendid takedown of ID misunderstanding of his work is here [3].

          The case for human-ape common ancestry just from genomic data is rock-solid. Gross anatomy provides several examples consistent with common descent, as well as demolishing any claim that our body is ‘intelligently’ designed:

          Human eye: inverted retina, which means that the light cells point backwards, instead of forwards. Not only does that create a blind spot, but it makes the eye susceptible to retinal detachment, and vision loss with diabetic retinopathy. The octopus eye, by contrast, has the light sensing cells pointing towards the light. [4]

          Recurrent laryngeal nerve: this nerve passes by the larynx (which it innervates), loops under the aorta in the chest, then loops back to reach the retina. Wasteful. We see this same wasteful design flaw in other mammals, with the giraffe having several feet of nerve run down its neck, under the aorta, and back to the larynx. [5]

          Both cases are consistent with common descent – the same developmental pathways were found in the ancestors of all extant vertebrates, and inherited by them. Special creation needs to postulate why an intelligent designer is going to make the same mistake, repeatedly.

          Suboptimal design abounds in the body: (1) a prostate which surrounds the male urethra, which when prostatic hypertrophy occurs, can result in urinary retention or obstruction (2) back pain from a spine design co-opted from quadruped ancestors (3) the risk of tubal pregnancy due to the fact the ovary does not connect directly to the uterus (4) dangerous childbirth due to the problem of passing a large-brained infant through a narrow pelvis optimised for bipedality (5) risk of bowel obstruction from an annular pancreas – a developmental anomaly which occurs because the pancreas forms in utero from two buds (6) sinusitis from sinuses which do not drain properly (legacy of quadruped origin (7) inguinal hernia – testes pass through the abdominal wall, leaving them weak. This is not the work of an intelligent designer. [6]

          This is why I say that the human body – and medicine – is incomprehensible except in the light of evolution. In fact, evolution (thankfully!) may well end up becoming a basic clinical science for medical students [7]. Intelligent design by contrast contributes nothing to medicine other than ‘God did it’, which certainly doesn’t help understand the reasons for our anatomical quirks, the shared genomic junk between humans and apes, or help with rational antibiotic prescription.

          If I sound less than impressed by ID, three reasons should suffice: ontogenetic depth, the Dover trial and Uncommon Descent’s comment policy. Enough said.

          [1]. http://sandwalk.blogspot.com.au/2011/05/whats-in-your-genome.html
          [2]. His research on this and other areas can be found here http://pages.uoregon.edu/joet/pubs.htm
          [3]. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2009/10/15/the-blind-locksmith-continued-an-update-from-joe-thornton/
          [4]. Novella S “Suboptimal Optics: Vision Problems as Scars of Evolutionary History” Evo Edu Outreach (2008) 1:493-497
          [5]. Ridley M “Evolution” (2004, Wiley-Blackwell) p 281-2
          [6]. Held L.I. “Quirks of Human Anatomy: An Evo-Devo Look at the Human Body” (2009, Cambridge University Press)
          ]7]. Nesse R.N. et al “Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine” PNAS (2009) doi:10.1073/pnas.0906224106

          • Kaz

            @Ken Gilmore: I’ll try to find some time to get back to some of your specific points later, if time permits. You’ve made a number of problematic comments that deserve more interaction, like: (i) confusing intelligent design with optimal design; (ii) neglecting to consider that there may be very good reasons for those features that you claim are not intelligently made (I’ll dig through my materials to find the reference to an article that shows that there is good reason for the inverted retina, for example); (iii) confusing sickness with design flaw; (iv) perpetuating “The Myth of Junk DNA” (playing on the title of the book Jonathan Wells), by which I don’t mean to suggest that there is no junk DNA, but only to remind you that the misapprehension that non-coding regions of the DNA are “junk” may have caused apathy in examining those regions thoroughly which delayed the discovery that much of what was considered “non-functional” is actually functional; (v) etc.

            For now, however, I’ll just point out that if you think “Enough said” then you apparently think that it’s sufficient to bring up a host of side points that don’t speak to the specific point you were supposed to be responding to, which was:

            How does the existence of the vast amount of information in the cell make sense in light of evolution?

            Aside from playing down the amount of information and suggesting ways in which new information may emerge from that already existing information, I see nothing in your comments that addresses that question. Until you and others can explain how the existence of so much meaningful information “make sense in light of evolution”, your claim will remain hyperbole, perhaps even hyperbolic hyperbole. ;-)

            • rmwilliamsjr

              re:
              How does the existence of the vast amount of information in the cell make sense in light of evolution?

              this is basically an argument from incredulity. i can’t imagine how therefore God did it. it is one of the fundamental motivations behind the various God of the gaps theorizing.

              the “solution” is to look at little things: chimp chromosome fusion into human 2, GLUO pseudogene, HERV’s recapitulation of primate clades, syncytin as coopted HERV-W. understand some of the mechanisms of evolution esp. as directed towards human beings,

              understanding just a few of the pieces gives confidence in the theory, not that it has all of the answers, it doesn’t, but that it is a fruitful way to proceed to understand human evolution.

              see

              Paradigms on Pilgrimage: Creationism, Paleontology and Biblical Interpretationby Stephen J. Godfrey

              to show how other people have made the transition from opposition to the TOE to understanding

              • Kaz

                @rmwilliamsjr: It wasn’t an “argument”, it was a question that followed from an observation. I noticed that you didn’t answer the question.

                • rmwilliamsjr

                  re:
                  It wasn’t an “argument”, it was a question that followed from an observation. I noticed that you didn’t answer the question.

                  you are misinterpreting the term “argument” in a more personal tone than it is intended. it is a common logic term from “argumentum” which in logic is similar to the use of the term in computer science as in an argument to a function. see dozens of wiki pages like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance for a more complete discussion.

                  your question was been answered(in part): 1-most of the genome is junk, not just non-coding but genuine junk-the remnants of viral infections ans subsequent retrotransposons. 2-as evolution investigates the library of mendel&darwin(a useful metaphor from darwin’s dangerous idea) it seems to have 2 directions both under some kind of ratcheting control, towards complexity and towards simplification(parasites), the interesting thing is that parasites have the same size genome(in eukaroyotes not pro) as their free living ancestors. 3-look at some amoebas with several orders of magnitude more dna than do humans. size of genome is not correlated with complexity of creature.

                  so: “How does the existence of the vast amount of information in the cell make sense in light of evolution?” does make sense within the TOE paradigm.
                  1.most of genome in eukaryotes is non coding
                  2.there are several ratchets
                  3.size of genomecomplexity

                  • Kaz

                    You must not understand the question, because you have not answered in any way, shape, or form. Apparently you’re reading the question and interpreting it through some unknown (to me, at least) mental filter that I am unable to infer. I wish I could help you see the problem more clearly, but I can’t even guess what underlies the disconnect in your thinking.

                    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                      There is bound to be some miscommunication here, since you are presumably using the term “information” in the manner that folks like William Dembski have claimed its relevance to a case for “Intelligent Design.” But since that case has not been found persuasive, those who talk in terms of mainstream biology are obviously going to be using different terminoligy and concepts. So perhaps you could put the question in mainstream scientific terms?

                    • Kaz

                      @James F. McGrath: For the record, I didn’t mean to sound critical of rmwilliamsjr, though a re-read of my post shows that it could easily be interpreted that way. I apologize if that’s the impression you or he inferred.

                      With that said, it’s interesting though unsurprising that folks who spend time online opposing those who believe that God had some active involvement in the emergence and development of life would be ignorant of the information provided by proponents of intelligent design. I guess that I should just throw up my hands and say, “Why not? After all, Francisco Ayala ‘critiqued’ Stephen Meyers’s book without having actually reading it! [i.e. at least at the time he 'critiqued' it, as he may have since read it, in response to the embarrassment he may have suffered]“.

                      Perhaps you’d like to take a crack at my question?

                    • rmwilliamsjr

                      re:
                      With that said, it’s interesting though unsurprising that folks who spend time online opposing those who believe that God had some active involvement in the emergence and development of life would be ignorant of the information provided by proponents of intelligent design.

                      i have reviewed dozens of ID and creationist books and have read many times more than i could ever find the time to review. i would be glad to compare my reading lists to any “folks who spend time online”.

                      http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1XZJ32DJS8YV2/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

                      re:
                      opposing those who believe that God had some active involvement in the emergence and development of life

                      i am an orthodox and rather conservative Presbyterian Christian who does not appreciate this characterization if it is directed at me. i believe in the providence and sustaining power of God in the biological world. however i believe that work is hidden from our view for reasons known only to God Himself. this hiddenness of God is a Lutheran ideal which i’ve come to understand characterizes God’s work in the physical world today better than the one i inherit from my Calvinist forefathers in the faith.

                    • Kaz

                      @rmwilliamsjr: Ok, so, contrary to what James McGrath offered, there actually is no reason for your misapprehension? Well, what can I say but that I am still at a loss on how to help you.

                    • rmwilliamsjr

                      re:
                      Well, what can I say but that I am still at a loss on how to help you.

                      you could start by defining your term: “vast amount of INFORMATION” in your “How does the existence of the vast amount of information in the cell make sense in light of evolution?” since mine is inadequate.

                    • Jason Webb

                      Those of us who oppose the idea that some god or gods actively guided the development of life understand Intelligent Design just fine (many of us godless heathens arrived at atheism as a direct result of our exposure to Christian culture and beliefs)… we simply don’t see the idea as having any intellectual value or anywhere near the sort of supporting evidence that would lead to its acceptance as a scientific theory.

                    • rmwilliamsjr

                      re:
                      You must not understand the question, because you have not answered in any way, shape, or form. Apparently you’re reading the question and interpreting it through some unknown (to me, at least) mental filter that I am unable to infer. I wish I could help you see the problem more clearly, but I can’t even guess what underlies the disconnect in your thinking.

                      the reasoning schematically.

                      your question:
                      How does the existence of the vast amount of information in the cell make sense in light of evolution?

                      where does ID say the information resides in a cell?
                      (typically mobio does not address information complexity of a cell, afaik there is no way of addressing the question yet, it is a discussion from ID)

                      answer: the dna

                      how do you measure dna?

                      ID typically measures it in it’s raw form, the total number of bp.

                      what determines the bp (as a surrogate for information) in an organism?

                      typical most of an organism’s dna is non coding, therefore it can not be used to judge the total “information content” of an organism. the closest biology comes is counting total number of different proteins a cell can make.

                      if you accept total genome bp as a measure of complexity then you have to deal with the issue of retroviruses, which add lots of bp without adding to protein coding material unless that dna is co-opted like syncytin was.

                      in any case, complexity is partly due to several ratchets, if a stretch of dna from a virus (for one example, duplicated genes are a better more common example) is co-opted to produce a useful protein then it becomes available to natural selection as a refining processor. see the nylon bug for another example. this adds “informational content”, if you measure it by number of proteins, thus the ratcheting effect.

                      i don’t understand your abjection to this not being an answer to your question. it directly answers both ID and real biology’s quest for increasing the total number of useful proteins a cell can make, this showing mutation-NS are sufficient to increase complexity in a cell to whatever level is present in today’s organisms.

                    • Kaz

                      @rmwilliamsjr: “i don’t understand your abjection to this not being an answer to your question.”

                      I am at a loss at the moment on how to help you understand. If I can think of some way to help you better comprehend the nature of the question I’ll let you know. For now, as I said, I’m at a loss, as I can’t even imagine why you think you’ve answered the question. I’ve read both of your posts from today several times, and, well, as I said, I’m at a loss.

                    • Jason Webb

                      It’s not their fault you don’t understand their answers….

            • Ken Gilmore

              Kaz, do you accept common descent? If not, how do you explain the multiple lines of evidence from palaeontology, comparative genomics, biogeography, comparative anatomy and developmental biology that the overwhelming majority of working scientists in the life and earth sciences accept as compelling evidence for common descent.

              I sense goal-post shifting with your use of “intelligent design” and “optimal design.” It’s special pleading to try to explain away demonstrably flawed design in the human body by trying to create this arbitrary distinction. The urogenital system contains elegant design such as the renal counter-current mechanism, puzzling design such as the embryology of the urogenital system in which the development of the pronephros, mesonephros and metanephros recapitulates evolutionary history, and the frankly stupid design of the prostate around the urethra (put it to the side where it won’t cause prostatism!) or the descent of the testes. If anything, one could make a case for multiple designers of varying levels of competence.

              I’d be very careful about even beginning to use Jonathan Wells “The Myth of Junk DNA” given Larry Moran’s elegant demolition of the claims made in the book. I’ll be brief:

              * Only a small percentage of the human genome is involved in protein coding or regulatory functioning. At least 2/3 of it is non-coding, functionless. Only rarely are these useless elements co-opted. If the human DNA is an encyclopedia, most of it is gibberish.

              • Kaz

                @Ken Gilmore: About the view that the book by Jonathan Wells has suffered “elegant demolition” (I just love the rhetoric of evolution’s apologists!), I’ll just note that people generally think that criticisms from their side are compelling. Alas, it seems that that’s human nature.

                We don’t really need Jonathan Wells’s book to appreciate that much of what has been viewed as non-functional has turned out to be functional.

                http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/07/new_scientific_research_papers048421.html

                I’m still contemplating the arguments for common descent.

          • Kaz

            @google-0a96dfb3a52499e533b278bed35fa4e5:disqus: “If I sound less than impressed by ID, three reasons should suffice:
            ontogenetic depth, the Dover trial and Uncommon Descent’s comment
            policy. Enough said.”

            Since you mentioned the Dover trial as evidence supporting why you are unimpressed with ID, I thought that readers might be interested in what Immunologist Dr. Donald L. Ewert had to say about this “Masterful Feat of Courtroom Deception”:

            http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/entry/2010-12-20T15_01_03-08_00

            It’s interesting how I continue finding reasons to question the value of Kenneth Miller’s voice in this debate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

      “Why would God tell people to use science when He has already told us how it all came about?”

      If we believed Genesis we would fit our space probes with can-openers to get through the firmament.

      I’m curious as to how far your literalism goes. Did God stop the rotation of the Earth for Joshua?

      • Dr. David Tee

        Only if you could reach it. As I stated elsewhere, secular science can’t even find th eborders of the universe how do you expect it to discover what happened a few thousand years ago?
        The Bible doesn’t tell us how God made the sun stop because it is not an important issue. The important issue is that God was able to do that, showing us that He controls all things and He is in charge. His power is greater than the planetary movements.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

          “secular science can’t even find the borders of the universe”

          No, secular science says that the universe has no borders. If there are any, they have to be infinitely more distant than the firmament of Genesis.

          Do you ever wonder how it is that the internet works so well, if “secular science” is as inept as you appear to believe?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

    “For speech – literal speech – to be transmitted, there has to be a medium to carry it.”

    I wonder if that is an intrinsic part of the meaning of “speech” or merely a fact about speech as it applies to us.

    If I say something to myself, does that require a medium?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It is a fair point, inasmuch saying something to oneself is within the range of meaning of the Hebrew word. But that is usually clarified by adding “to/in his heart” or something comparable (see e.g. 1 Samuel 27:1). And so I think most interpreters would say that the depiction is of God giving verbal commands. And my point is that that is anthropomorphism, because if taken literally, it leads to places that the people who claim to be literalists do not want to end up! :-)

  • zuma

    The following are the various methods that are adopted by scientists to assess the age of the earth:
    a)Using sea composition to compute the age of the earth:
    Scientists used sea composition to derive the age of the earth. This method has its derivation from Edmond Halley (1656-1742). In his opinion, the rain would have dissolved all salt from the ground and would bring down to the sea with the assumption that there would be no salt in the sea initially.
    In 1910, George F. Becker found the age of the earth to be between 50 and 70 million years by means of salt clock method.
    However, the measurement by means of seawater composition does not give an accurate age of the earth on the condition if the sea might have been formed initially with much salt in the beginning. If that would be so, it is irrational to measure sea composition to determine the age of earth since much salt would have been in the sea already during its creation.
    b)Lord Kelvin in 1862 did compute the age of earth through the estimation of the coolness of the earth from its original molten state in which he concluded that the age of the earth was between 20 to 400 million years ago.
    However, its assumption that the earth would be in the molten state might not be accurate on the condition if the earth would have been formed in solid state initially instead of in molten. If that would be so, the computation of the age of this earth that is by means of the computation of the time taken for earth to be cooled down would not be reliable.
    c)Erosion method: The assessment of the age of the earth is by means of the observation with presumption that erosion would take place at about 1 ft every 5,000 years. With this method, they assess Canyon would start out flat and it would take 30,000,000 years for the Colorado river to erode 600 ft of the Grand Canyon.
    The computation above suffers a shortfall with the assumption that it would start up flat. What if the place does not start up flat or it would be that the place has already been created nearer to current condition in the beginning of its creation, the computation would not give the accurate period of erosion.
    Another query is why the erosion rate should be consistent at 1 ft every 5,000 years and not 1 ft every 4,000 years or otherwise.
    Thus, the computation of the earth by means of erosion method would be subjective and not reliable.
    d)Using radiometric dating methods to compute the age of the earth:
    The derivation of radiometric dating methods or radioactive dating methods came in the late 1940s and 1950s. These methods focus on the decay of atoms of one chemical element into another. This technique is based on a comparison between the measured amount of a naturally occurring radioactive element and its decay product, assuming a constant rate of decay – known as half-life.
    Using this technique, scientists could analyze the rock to assess the age of the earth through uranium and lead, plug those values along with the half-life into a logarithmic equation. They have arrived with the conclusion that the age of the earth should be 4.5 to 4.6 billion years.
    However, what if both the parent isotopes, i.e. Samarium-147, Rubidium-87, Rhenium-187, Lutetium-176, Thorium-232,Uranium-238, Potassium-40, Uranium-235, Beryllium-10, Chlorine-36, Carbon-14, Uranium-234 and Thorium-230, that have been commented by Scientists to be the products (daughter) of Neodymium-143, Strontium-87, Osmium-187, Hafnium-176, Lead-208, Lead-206, Argon-40, Lead-207, Boron-10, Argon-36, Nitrogen-14, Thorium-230, and Radium-226 respectively, might have co-existed in the beginning of the world during its formation, it is erroneous to comment that there would be relationship among them and to use them to assess the decay rate of half life in order to use it to compute the age of the earth or fossils since all these materials might have been created ever since the beginning of the earth. As that could be so, it is erroneous to use it to compute the age of the earth to be billion years.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Some of this isn’t quite right, but even for what is, the gist of it is that, as long as one is willing to posit ad hoc situations for which there is no evidence, then one can persuade oneself that the tremendous amount of evidence which points to the currently accepted scientific estimate of the age of the Earth might be wrong. That isn’t news.

      How would you explain enormous chalk beds like the white cliffs of Dover?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Evans/100000619020207 David Evans

      Kelvin did not know about radioactive heating which has kept the Earth warm for a much longer time than his calculation.

      As you point out, the erosion method has too many assumptions. Also plate tectonics and mountain building mean that many parts of the Earth’s surface are much younger than the Earth itself.

      Your idea that the daughter elements could have been present at the beginning has been considered by scientists. It’s not very likely, because:

      1 when radioactive decays of different elements are used to date the same stratum of rock they give the same results (within the margin of error)

      2 When one stratum appears younger than another (because of its position in the geologic column) it also has a younger radiometric date.

      Yes, God could have supplied exactly the amounts of daughter elements needed to give a consistent picture of an old Earth, but that would be dishonest, don’t you think?

  • Kaz

    @Ken Gilmore: I actually provided the link because of the references, not because of Casey’s specific arguments in relation to those references. There are more (I think that was an older article), and I suspect there will be more and more as time goes on. I’m not a scientist and it’s certainly possible that I’m mistaken. You obviously have a wide-ranging familiarity with the subject matter, and I appreciate your willingness to take the time to provide the info and the references. I’ll make an effort to check them out, assuming I can track them all down.

    I review such evidence and assertions cautiously, because I’ve been around a while and I have some familiarity with the religious nature of evolutionary history. I’ve encountered the hyperbole employed by its votaries, and how discovery after discovery is triumphantly touted as the final nail in either the creationist’s or the ID advocate’s coffin, only to find that it turned out to be no such thing. Additionally, the anti-ID rhetoric is often so over the top that it becomes nearly impossible to take seriously. Those who spend their time criticizing ID exhibit a religious zeal that, IMO, helps give the game away. On the other hand, the respectful, modest approach taken by most of those in the forefront of the ID movement and the insightful, compelling nature of the arguments offered can’t help but arrest my attention and often gain my assent.

    In any case, even if we grant that most of the non-coding regions are ‘junk’, that still doesn’t diminish the voluminous amount of functional information in the cell. Back in the 80s or early 90s I remember reading Michael Denton’s discussion of just how complex a cell is, and how it is analogous to a miniature city or factory, in many ways. Stephen Meyer has compared the digital code in the DNA molecule with the code used in computer aided design and manufacturing, where code is translated and then used to run the machinery that manufactures and assembles the parts to make an airplane. You have cells that are awe-inspiring in their complexity, which go on to form organs and bones and skin, and vessels, and so forth, so that the final product is a life form that is a breathtaking engineering marvel. I can’t make sense of that without ID, and I don’t expect anyone else to either. Contrary to what many mistakenly believe due to the misinformation spread by folks like Kenneth Miller, ID is not an argument from credulity. ID’s advocates don’t say, “I can’t imagine how that could have happened naturally, and therefore it must have been designed.” What I say is “there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that X could happen naturally, and there are no causes known to produce the effect, yet there is a cause that is known to create things like digital information or irreducibly complex structures, and that is intelligence. IMO, ID involves an inference to the best explanation.

    • Kaz

      Please replace this:

      “”there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that X could happen
      naturally, and there are no causes known to produce the effect…”

      with this:

      “there doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that X could happen
      naturally, and there are no natural causes known to produce the effect…”

  • zuma

    Some evolutionists might insist the existence of only one living thing, i.e. DNA or genetic material or etc., to survive in the very beginning as a result of natural selection and competition among multiple living things. Discuss.
    Let’s assume that evolution is true and to proceed with the discussion below so as to determine whether it is justifiable to support this theory:
    When the environmental condition and factors that would appear and deem fit for the generation of living thing in the beginning, it is irrational to support that there could be only one living thing, i.e. DNA or genetic material or etc., to be formed. This is due to the entire environment around the earth would have provided a condition to suit and even to ease the generation of living thing.
    As there would be many living things that would be formed as a result of the environmental condition and factors would deem fit for the generation of lively thing in the beginning, there should be multiple generation of living things everywhere in the earth whether it would be in the North or West or South or East. As the environmental condition and factors would deem fit for the generation of living things in the beginning, there would turn up to be more than billions of living things, i.e. lively molecules or DNAs or genetic materials or etc., to be formed at that time.
    It is irrational to suggest that all the living things (that would be generated at the same time whether in the North or South or West or East) would turn up to be only one left with the excuse of general selection or competition among them especially they might be very far distance apart and would have lost contact without any influence or relationship. Let’s give you an example. A specific kind of tigers, that would have turned up to be extinct in America due to its natural selection and competition among the living things, would not have any influence upon the tiger in Africa. This is by virtue of the place, in which the tiger in America is located, is so far distance apart from the same kind of tiger in Africa. As a result of the far distance between them, the tiger in America would not have any influence or connection with that is in Africa. It would turn up to be that the natural selection or competition, that would have affected the tiger in America, would not cause any influence for that would be in Africa. This has ended up that the tiger in America would have gone extinct and not so in Africa due to they are far distance apart. Let’s apply this to the generation of billions of living things in the beginning when environmental condition and factors that would deem fit for the generation of lively things. How could the living thing that would be generated in the very North of the earth would knock out the living thing that would be generated in the very South especially they are so far distance apart and their inability to contact with each other due to the far distance?
    The above have placed evolution into query about its reliability and its existence.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      That doesn’t make sense, and part of it is probably a poor understanding of evolution, but part of it also seems to be language issues. Could you reword that in clear English, or in whatever your native language is, so that it is at least intelligible, even if it is still wrong? In its present form it is impossible to interact with since it doesn’t even make linguistic sense in many places, never mind scientific sense.


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