Is the Young-Earth Creationist Idea of God Compatible with Christianity?

Since today was the first day after Spring Break, I decided to devote much of my class on the Bible to an activity that didn’t require one to have done the assigned reading (I’m a realist). And so, given the plan of a campus ministry to bring someone from Answers in Genesis to campus, I thought we could do some fact-checking of their claims.

I mentioned two of the countless pieces of evidence regarding the age of the earth and evolution which I consider important, inasmuch as they expose the theological problems with young-earth creationism, in addition to the scientific ones.

The first is chalk beds, of which the famous White Cliffs of Dover are one example:

Chalk is formed as microscopic organisms die, settle on the sea bed, and are compressed over time. Within young-earth creationism, the only way for these huge chalk beds to exist is for the Creator to have brought billions of microorganisms into existence, killed them, and compressed them in order to form chalk that looked like it was evidence of an old Earth. According to the young-earth creationists, this same Creator then holds it against people when they believe the Creator would have been honest and thus the evidence of creation is trustworthy.

When it comes to evolution, a key piece of evidence is human chromosome 2:

We have one less pair of chromosomes than other primates, and we have a chromosome which matches up almost entirely with two chromosomes that chimpanzees have, and ours has telomeres, which are found at the end of chromosomes, in the middle. This should be clear evidence of common ancestry and of a chromosomal fusion event in our past. For young-earth creationists, this too must be explained in terms of a Creator who made our genetic material look like we share common ancestry with other primates. And once again, this Creator apparently despises those who think that creation testifies accurately about the creation process and thus about the Creator.

As geologist Steven M. Smith writes, it is a false dilemma that suggests you must choose between Christianity and science.

But it does seem that one has to choose between young-earth creationism and a God who is honest and loving. Contrary to what young-earth creationists claim, they are not defending the God of the Bible, nor the Bible itself. They are sacrificing the Biblical idea of a God who is compassionate and trustworthy, and setting up a God who is as dishonest as they are.

Christians should not be deceived by these charlatans. They are not defending the Christian faith, they are undermining it.

Let me conclude with a wonderful video by Ken Miller which I have shared before, about human chromosome 2 as evidence for evolution:

YouTube Preview Image

  • http://www.facebook.com/KristiOutlerByrd Kristi Outler Byrd

    Last week I was told that I can’t be a Christian if I believe in evolution. Quite surprising, as I always thought I was a Christian despite my acceptance of scientific evidence. Who knew?

    • GakuseiDon

      Recently my teenage nephew, who recently declared himself an atheist, told me that you can’t be Christian and believe in evolution. Since the majority of Christians here in Australia have no problem with evolution, I can only assume that he got this view from the internet, either by restricting his reading to Ken Ham websites, or (more probably) restricting his reading to atheist websites.

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

      You should proudly say that you are a Christian and that is why you accept scientific evidence. Young-earth creationists make God out to be a charlatan. The Bible depicts the Creator as honest and creation as testifying truthfully about the Creator. You should not feel like you need to be apologetic and say “despite”!

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I have never, ever understood why young earthers would argue that God created a universe that looked old.

    If the Creator would “trick” us (so to speak) about something that important, about what else might such a trickster prank us?

    • Paul

      it is not about tricking, it is about faith. the Bible presents 6 literal days for all of creation—earth ~6000 yrs old. God requires faith. Got some? Fallen man creating science is not faith, but pride… condemned by the Bible.

      • rmwilliamsjr

        faith is never defined as “in spite of the evidence” in the Bible but always as something we are told to exercise in the face of “inadequate evidence”. we know the world is not 6,000 years old, we do not have to look to faith for those answers, they are obvious in creation itself.

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

          Indeed, there is nowhere in the Bible where people are called upon to disbelieve the evidence found in God’s own created order and to trust texts written by human beings instead!

        • http://www.facebook.com/zeldaf.williams Zelda F Williams

          When we talk about issues regarding faith, it is necessary to go to the source, which is GOD’s inerrant, infallible word. Which means that it is without error, and it is true in all that it affirms. This needs to be stated first: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2Pe 1:20-21 NASB This tells us that GOD is the author of Scripture, specifically The HOLY SPIRIT, who inspired men to write exactly what HE wanted them to write. So then we believe by faith, that GOD knew what HE was doing, HE i.e. JESUS, when HE brought forth the Creation. The HOLY SPIRIT said everything was created in 6 days, 6 literal 24 hours days, and The LORD rested on the 7th.

          This is what is stated, and this is what true Christian believe. We believe this because we have been given the faith to believe this. A fallen corrupt mind does not believe in the things of GOD:

          “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1Co 2:12-14 NASB

          Getting back to faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. Heb 11:1-3 NASB

          I do not believe in evolution, i.e. I share a common ancestor because man is made in the image and likeness of GOD, apes are not. But most importantly because if evolution is true (it isn’t) then My LORD JESUS died for nothing because death was present already when Adam and Eve walked the earth, due to the millions of years and such. The mind of man, since the fall suffered a tragic blow. He is dead to Spiritual things, as stated in the scripture above. We, in our fallen state search to make sense of a world and existence we had some attachment to, but were separated because of Adams disobedience. The Bible puts it this way:

          For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Rom 1:18-23 NASB

          So, you can expect faulty reasoning like evolution and millions of years to explain what GOD has already stated in HIS word.

          • rmwilliamsjr

            do you even understand the significance of your interpretive community’s conflating of “prophecy of Scripture” with “NASB”?

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

            Your comment suggests that you have not thought about the issues you write about. You did not begin with the inerrant Word of God. God alone is inerrant, and so at some point you transferred an attribute of God in an idolatrous manner to writings of human beings. But even so, you ignore what those writings say about creation testifying truthfully to the Creator – it is as though you did not even read the passage from Romans 1 that you quoted or think about its implications!

          • http://www.facebook.com/misterthe Joe Das

            I make my living proclaiming that word. For the people in the world who are not already in the church your claim that it is the inerrant word has no meaning until by your example in word and in deed you show them that you are an am ambassador of the God who said those things.

            By the way, I think it doesn’t hurt to actually engage in conversation. Try it some time.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

        If you believe that the universe was created 6,000 years ago with the appearance of billions of years of age, you might as well believe that the universe was created a millisecond ago, with all of our memories intact. Or a millisecond ago. Or a millisecond ago.

      • Mary

        Believe in a flat-earth Paul? And that insects have four legs instead of six? And that bats are birds? I guess you have to because the bible says so.

  • plectrophenax

    I have been talking with creationists for several years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that many of them are determined to remain ignorant. That is, they willfully avoid learning about things like evolution and astronomy, which might challenge their ideas. Thus many of the arguments with them seem fruitless, as they are not going to be persuaded. None the less, I am sure it is important to challenge them, as they are a threat to science education, and indeed, to science itself. But debates with them are usually worthless.

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

      Having previously been a young-earth creationist, and having changed my mind, I insist that it is legitimate to hope that others can do the same!

    • Mary

      I have said this before and I’ll say it again. The bible cosmology was disproved long before Darwin, when we invented the telescope, and sailed around the earth. We shouldn’t even be having this debate in the 21st Century.

      However one of the things you are taught in religion is a sort of denial, where you simply don’t notice the contradictions. I was like that at one time. It wasn’t that I actively rejected science, it was just something I didn’t want to think about too closely. I lived with this vague reasoning for instance that since the six days of creation might refer to longer periods of geologic time then that would explain everything. which of course it doesn’t.

      • arcseconds

        People knew the Earth was a sphere long before sailing around it.

  • http://bilbos1.blogspot.com/ Bilbo

    Hi James,

    I hope you are also engaging the YECs’ responses to the problems you are raising. Here, for example:

    http://creation.com/can-flood-geology-explain-thick-chalk-beds

    http://creation.com/chromosome-2-fusion-1

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

      Young and Stearley seem to me to have already shown that the first response is no response at all. The second seems no better. Do you find those “responses” adequate? http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2009/04/review-of-young-and-stearley-the-bible-rocks-and-time.html

      • http://bilbos1.blogspot.com/ Bilbo

        I wouldn’t know. But I think it’s important to at least note that the YECs are trying to do more than say that God has created the world with a false appearance of old age. They are actually trying to provide scientific explanations for problems to their position. In other words, they are trying to engage with modern science. I think that’s a healthy thing to do. If their attempts are shown to be inadequate, this may eventually result in their being open to change.

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

          Trying to give the impression that you have answers is something that young-earth creationists do all the time. That is not the same thing as “trying to provide scientific explanations.” If young-earth creationists ever did the latter, they would not have the reputation they do.

        • Mary

          They will never be open to change, as you say, simply because they start with the claim of biblical inerrancy. Any scientific view that conflicts with that has to be discarded as untrue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Hollomon/100000354947685 Mark Hollomon

    I agree with your conclusions, but for honesty sake, we do have to document that the argument relies on the assumption that the same physical processes are at work to day as in the past.

    Also, the way you word the first argument is strange. Positing an omnipotent God, he does not have to create trillions of diatoms and then kill and compact them. He only has to make it look like that is what happened.

    Okay, that’s enough nitpicking from me.

    • Mary

      +
      Flag as inappropriate
      “I agree with your conclusions, but for honesty sake, we do have to document that the argument relies on the assumption that the same physical processes are at work to day as in the past.”
      I hear this a lot from creationists and I wonder if it really is that good of an argument. I would think that even a miracle would leave some evidence behind. Wouldn’t we be able to tell if something was an anomaly?

      • Mary

        Strange, I must have accidentally copied that Flag into the box. Sorry.

  • Herro

    “They are not defending the Christian faith, they are undermining it.”

    It would be fascinating to read what you mean by “the Christian faith” in sentences like these. Aren’t you also an “underminer” of “the Christian faith” as it is understood by most Christians?

    Maybe you mean that they undermine your version of Christianity or some aspect of Christianity that you like?

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

      I think that most Christians would say that a depiction of God that has God embodying dishonesty rather than truth and malevolence rather than mercy is unacceptable. Indeed, if anything I would expect these points to be more emphatically upheld by Christians more traditional than myself! :-)

      • Herro

        Ok, so you claim that they undermine a god that is honest and benevolent. Do you think that “god” is honest and benevolent? I’m not sure how “orthodox” you are (I suspect that you’re a ‘flaming heretic’ :P ), so I don’t see how you can criticize them for “undermining the Christian faith”, when you yourself probably do that to a much greater degree (provided that we’re talking about ‘Christian faith’ in some traditional sense).

        But if I put on a “YEC drag” for a moment, I could say that a god of a theistic evolutionist is even more malevolent, after all, he decided to use a process that involves horrible birth defects and the evolution of infectious diseases. That to me sounds like a malevolent god.

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

          So a God who decided that because two people disobeyed him, he would introduce such suffering into the world affecting all organisms, is less malevolent? I have never found that objection to evolution remotely plausible. If there is some good reason for life to evolve rather than being created instantaneously, then the process that makes our existence possible might be felt to be worth it. Creating a world without all this suffering, and then inflicting it simply out of spite, is certainly more malevolent.

          Pointing out when someone is being inconsistent in their claims does not require that one accept their entire worldview in order for it to be legitimate to point out the inconsistencies, surely? Otherwise, presumably you have no business criticizing me! :-)

  • Sharry

    Why do we continue to try to use logic with those who do not value logic? or present evidence to those who do not value evidence? I am a christian who values logic and evidence and therefore value science, but my breath is wasted on those who do not value these two basic foundations of scientific thought.

    • Paul D.

      I was once a creationist who became convinced by the evidence (when I finally started to look at it) that evolutionary science was correct and overwhelmingly evident.

      • Mary

        I think the cruelest lie of all is that they will be punished by God for using their brains…I think that it is fear that keeps them hooked in.

    • rmwilliamsjr

      you have to keep reminding yourself that the discussion really isn’t about those here participating but the hundreds of people searching in the future who stumble into this thread and poke around. people who are looking for answers but are uncertain of the questions.

      you are right,the YECists who post to these threads really aren’t interested in logic or reason or scientific inquiry or even necessarily a dialogue, they are interested in the monologue of “bearing testimony” to their interpretation to show their faithfulness to their vision of God.

      as the threads unfold and it is obvious to the lurkers that most YEC are so wound up in their system that they can’t even hear a voice outside of it, maybe those on the edges of these communities can see through the YECist’s lack of understanding and be motivated to study creation. but these aren’t generally the folks motivated to interact here, participation seems to require such a convinced believer that they are seldom effected by anything said.

      my evidence is the rarity that any YEC seems to understand the significance of the problem of the canon, preferring to conflate, like is being done above, the NASB with the term Scripture in the New Testament.

  • Sharry

    And btw one doesn’t “believe in evolution”…You accept the evidence and data which validates and supports the scientific theory of evolution or you do not accept it (and these people usually don’t even want to hear or read about it).

  • http://www.facebook.com/herman.cummings.12 Herman Cummings

    Current Creationism is false doctrine. Young Earth Creationism is foolish, deceitful, and denies scientific reality; while all forms of old Earth Creationism are false, misrepresent the scriptures, and deny literal interpretation. Intelligent Design is inept, does not explain the Genesis text, and it does not address the fossil and geologic records of Earth.

    The only thing left standing is the “Observations of Moses”, which is the (only) correct explanation of the origins of mankind, the Earth, and our universe.

    Herman Cummings
    ephraim7@aol.com

  • Anton Lee

    About the Chromosome 2 Fusion:
    All it proves is that the human race used to have 24 chromosomes. At that point you go back to the homology argument and assume that because humans and apes have the same # of chromosomes they must be related. YECs would argue that anyone in Adam to Noah’s line could have experienced the fusion and then the whole earth would have this genome.

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

      It isn’t merely the fusion, but the matching genetic material in relation to other primates. It is the same sort of evidence which, in a paternity test dealing with more precise matches would be considered decisive in a court of law.

      • Anton Lee

        Matching genetic material goes back to homology.
        In the court of law however, it is assumed that they have a human parent. To make a connection would mean you have to initially assume that humans and apes have a common ancestor, in which case you are using circular reasoning if you use this to justify evolution

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

          No, there is evidence of common ancestry in the genetic material. Overlaps in non-coding segments is either evidence of common ancestry, or evidence of a Creator attempting to give the impression of common ancestry. I would recommend consulting a recent treatment of the genetic evidence, such as Francisco Ayala’s, if you don’t understand the reasoning. It is better to go to a geneticist for information rather than discuss it with someone whose primary expertise is in Biblical studies, if you have not grasped how this line of reasoning works.

          • Anton Lee

            Non-coding segments? I thought the ENCODE project did away with those!

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

              Then you’ve been misinformed.

          • nelsonjames

            Mr. McGrath, I recommend you read “Science and Human Origins” by Gauger, Axe and Luskin to have a better, non biased view of chromosomal fusion.

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

              That you can mention those names and “non biased” in the same sentence tells me either that you are making a joke or you have not looked into this matter in any detail.

            • rmwilliamsjr

              save your money, read the reviews

              “Science and Human Origins” by Gauger, Axe and Luskin

              http://www.amazon.com/Science-Human-Origins-Ann-Gauger/dp/193659904X?ie=UTF8&tag=libraryextension-20&camp=211189&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=193659904X

              read some actual science like

              Where Do We Come From?: The Molecular Evidence for Human Descent by Jan Klein, Naoyuki Takahata

              • Mary

                I read one of those reviews and although I really couldn’t understand the genetics that he was talking about, this was enough to for me to discard this book into the “fantasy” file:

                “Even ignoring his unfair treatment of Homo habilis, Luskin is wrong to suggest that modern humans appear significantly unchanged asHomo erectus, and that we are effectively no different from erectus. In fact, erectus shows a doubling of cranial capacity over its evolutionary history, which means that early erectus is very unlikely to have been “human” in the way Luskin wants – a creature created in the image of God, with capacity for thought, and art and so forth.”
                This guy is arguing for the idea that one of our ancestors, Homo erectus IS THE SAME AS MODERN MAN despite the fact that his brain size was half of ours???
                I guess this is a case where because he couldn’t put Homo erectis in the “ape” catagory so he has to argue that in fact we are the same. What an idiot.
                What he is arguing for is that Adam and Eve were retarded. But then magically over six thousand years our cranial size doubled! Oh wait, THAT IS EVOLUTION.

  • http://www.facebook.com/herman.cummings.12 Herman Cummings

    Yes, the fossil record is millions of years old, but so is mankind. Mankind has been restored by God on this Earth several times since Creation Week, 4.6 billion years ago. That is what Genesis chapter one is saying. It’s not about “Creation Week”.

    Herman

  • Evolution is a Hoax

    Problem is, that chalk beds like this are UN-natural. nonconformity is an issue with everything from coal beds to exposed bedrock beside sediment layers.


    the big question is, why is there sediment over most of each continent, and if all of these where under water, (the reverse of uplift) then where did everything live over the millions of years it took for all that massive world wide sediment to settle, layer by layer.

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

      You seem to be envisaging a global flood all at one point. But that is not what the geological evidence points to. You ought to try reading something written by geologists, such as that written by two Evangelical Christians, The Bible, Rocks, and Time. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0830828761/ref=as_li_ss_til?tag=jamefmcgrshom-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=0830828761&adid=1WF11TQE34X9564TC3DK&

      Just feeding yourself with propaganda and misinformation is spiritually as well as intellectually unhealthy.

      • Evolution is a Hoax

        Well, if these sediment layers happened at different times, then the geological time line is messed up. Of course all this sediment happened during the same time period. And Sediment means these places where under water.
        youtube com/watch?v=xWwVHYOaSCM&list=PLE96C947C627FE985

        What I did is I made up a list of video’s, just click through them. What I see is hectares of sediment, on a continental scale, on each continent. The video’s are skydivers, cliff jumpers etc. but just click through to see the scale of this sediment.


        I think the point people miss about the Science being told is that this sediment these continents or the majority of them had to be by the words of the Scientists, under water laying down layers. And, these layers are from thousands and Millions of years. Under water all that time? Where did the world of animals live.

        Then there is a skiff of topsoil on top, which suggest that those days are over, and all that sediment moved up out of the water by uplift.

        I would suggest that if you calculate the uplift, such of a down-lift to mirror the past would displace Trillions of billions of gallons of water, like a Greenland melting 20 times over.

        With all that said, why then is Canada’s Shield bare, when its height above sea level is so low in such a huge global laying over of continents or most of the land on continents, not covered in sediment. And to me, the answer is, Ice.


        They say the Ice age put KM’s of ice over north America. And there is evidence for some glacial till here in Canada. And likely it was part of this sedimentary age where all the continents where under water.

        See the video’s to see the scale of sediment. And so, my question is, where did the Animals live when all this was going on.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWwVHYOaSCM&list=PLE96C947C627FE985

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

          It sounds as though you are misunderstanding basic geology. It sounds as though you envisage a world in which all rock is sedimentary and is all underwater at the same time. Can you please read something by a professional geologist? Trying to discuss a topic that you do not understand at the most elementary level is not going to get very far.

          • Evolution is a Hoax

            Thanks for your help, even if it was condescending and very suggestive as if you know and I am uninformed. Your lack of response only said to me that you disagree, but disagree because of your fear of a position different than yours rather than from evidence, otherwise you would have given evidence.
            Thanks anyway. telling me some scientist said something therefore there is no debate is like saying, lets not discuss things cause there are textbooks, and that people cannot have positions unless they have a doctorate.
            I have a patient on some geothermal Grout, and I didn’t get it from other people involved in Science. That is the whole point of independent thought.

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

              No one was saying that. What I was saying is that, when there is a scientific consensus, and someone who is not a scientist thinks all those experts agree for some other reason than that the evidence for the consensus is strong, it isn’t persuasive, for reasons that ought to be obvious.

            • rmwilliamsjr

              what is “geothermal grout” as applied to a patient? google yields nothing medical with the words “geothermal grout”

              • Evolution is a Hoax

                geothermal grout is the Mud that you pour in around pipes you drop into a 6″ well, so that the pipes are in contact with the surrounding ground. Usually people use Bentonite, (kitty litter is one use of bentonite. Anyways, because of its strong Ionic pull, it absorbs huge amounts of water like starch or flour in gravy, plugging the well solid or close to it, helping the pipes we put in the well to contact the ground where they get heat or give off heat too.

                I just happen to think of an additive that had a higher W/M/K transfer rate. And so, the heat transfer of the Geothermal Grout is enhanced. The Additive had to have the right weight, it had to be fine for the environment, safe for possible drinking water contamination and would stay suspended in the mud. Some people have used sand, but it heavy, has a low W/M/K but its cheep. Not really worth using. But my Grout is.

                • rmwilliamsjr

                  thank you very much. interesting.

                  • Evolution is a Hoax

                    by the way, I did get what you said, My spelling is so bad that even when I proof read, I don’t see mistakes. Everyone has their “thorn in the flesh” mine is grammar and spelling. I play the Piano as well, but, I find it terribly hard to sight read, but I can play piano in church if I practice, and have done so for a few years a few years back.

    • Mary

      I took a look at your profile and you have some strange ideas, to say the least. You claim that the Big Bang could not have happened because the light from the stars would not have had enough time to reach us in 14.5 billion years. Yet you believe that light of the stars could reach us in 6,000 years according to the YEC model? The starlight we see right now is way older than that.
      Also how do explain the cosmic background radiation?

      • Evolution is a Hoax

        haven’t got into cosmic background radiation, there is a lot of conjecture around what it means and where it comes from. As of this point I don’t think we have a proper handle on Light, Photons etc. so its really hard to add to the conjecture.

        As for Radiation, everything from the sun including our planet is giving off a continual amount of radiation that on a large scale is very weak, we see it as strong when we are right next to a nuclear reactor, but time and distance disperses it generally, like light and heat.

        once we get a handle on what light and heat are, how they change the electron valance of an atom, and how to change the specific orbits of an electron, we will be in a better place to understand where and what is this radiation.


        Very few people even understand what energy is being given off by the sun for example to light up a solar panel. I also think we are not aware of what lights up the instruments that indicate we have background radiation, or how long we have had it or why.


        But it is convenient for someone who wants to build up a theory to say, look, this background radiation is proof of the big bang. when it appears to me to be nothing but background noise of mushed up radiation from the decay of everything.

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

          Saying that you have not looking into something but from your superficially-informed perspective you have a hunch that all the experts are mistaken is far from the knock-down argument you seem to think it is.

          • Evolution is a Hoax

            Problem with most arguments over the age of universe is, there is this race to the simplest form as if that explains away the chicken or the egg problem.

            To suggest that God created trees would suggest that he created the topsoil, and topsoil is a product partially made from trees etc.

            So, then there is a process where people try to take things back and back and back. And they don’t they skip huge steps, of impossible things like planets nicely cycling around a sun etc. Last time I used a gravitational well, it sucked up the ball I spun around it. Not such an easy task to get a space station to travel around the earth, with every fiber of our being let along a planet that apparently was spit out of the sun in the first place. But lets forget that yo yo problem,

            The point is, they go back and back to this single big bang, then try to deal with Eternity, which is a small amount of time.(just joking.) And then suggest that the cosmic spark just happened, and try to avoid heat death or entropy etc. and suggest that something can pop out of nothing. And if so, we should see that happening now, and we could have a universe smashing into ours as we speak and not realize its coming cause its moving faster than the speed of light. And in a blink of an eye, everything we ever knew would be gone and at the very least if the polarity of the other universe was neutral than we would have planets and suns flying past us throwing our solar system out of sink and our planet would fly off into space, cool and freeze us out in days, as it wonders from our sun.

            Anyways, going back to a big bang event is not a solution, and it didn’t happen.

            They say the space expanding between the stars is the same so it appears that nothing is moving and that it appears we are in the center of the universe and that at every point of the universe it appears that way.

            To actually know why they say the universe is expanding you need to do some simple homework, not science. to over their tails, just take 16 glasses (or dots on a page.) and expand them, adding the same amount of space between them. record the space between them compared to the space from one side to the other, and you can see that there is the appearance that the outside dots are traveling faster cause you have to add up all the spaces so depending on how many “expanding spaces” you have, the speed increases.

            And I argue that you cannot expand things faster than the speed of light because there is still matter in space, Ionized space, including Photons, dust etc. And We can see the light, (now they say we cant.) so regardless “whatever” we can observe, stretched by the Doppler effect, would have to travel through this expanding space. And the expansion would cancel out the forward motion of light or sound or radiation such that we could never see or measure anything from a universe expanding such that it was 90 billion light years in Diameter, in just 14.8 billion years. The matter, suns ect, would have to travel outward 45 billion light years in next to no time, and then send detectable stuff back to us so we could know it was there.

            Thing is, we have no Idea where this stuff if there is stuff where it came from and when. Its all a bogus story.

          • Evolution is a Hoax

            All I am trying to say is, its so darn complex that my desire to explain is less than it should be. getting into all the details is a lot of work, considering just one tiny bit, Interplanetary space and Plasma, how light travels though it. considering the ramifications of that happening for 45 billion light years and what that would do to light. (if that is how far we are seeing, which I know we are not.)

            Like I said, about Light itself, I am not convinced its a wave, or that even Sound or Electricity is a wave. Just cause I see a wave on a Scope doesn’t make it a wave, the wave seen there is the connecting of dots and the measurement of power at a given point in time. Its just how excited that set of atoms electrons are.

            Pulling apart what actually is happening for example, when you click your teeth together and you hear it is a huge task in itself. Atom by atom what is happening, What energy is released, how is it transferred, and then how is it received. Then to break all that down. How is the sound then received, absorbed and then the brain taking it to a place where it makes sense of the signal and tells us something.

            The same goes for light or any other form of radiation or Ionization. Pulling it all apart step by step back to the basics is needed, because people are suggesting that Light has no mass, and is traveling faster than the speed of light affecting Time itself.

            then if you look at light from a magnetic point of view, how is it affected in time through large amounts of expanding and bending space with gravity wells/ stars all over the place to a number that cant be counted.

            Yet, in our spinning world, with a wobble, that is flying through an enormous amount of space to cycle around the sun in just one year while its cycling around our universe etc., is so “still” that we can see all the stars with almost no blur, yet the “Doppler effect” apparently proves the red shift is proof the universe is expanding.

            There is so much that Its just much easier to say, light cannot travel to us from stars that are expanding away from us faster than the speed of light because A-B= a negative number. Meaning the light would never reach us.

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

              A lot of the things you mention have been studied, and you sound like you have informed yourself from Wikipedia or other online sources rather than turning to actual experts in these domains.

              Grammar is complex, but the fact that someone doesn’t manage to grasp how grammar is supposed to work doesn’t mean that all the grammatically-correct people are wrong and the ungrammatical person is right.

              • Evolution is a Hoax

                Thanks, Wiki is Handi but not that reliable, and other sites are also questionable. But, Reading about these things to the fine details is worth it in my mind, because new discovery comes from the contemplation of such things.

                One little thing always sticks in my mind, and it was this phonograph Record Player. its one thing to hear about them, but I actually came across one when I was putting in a tank-less water heater for a customer. It blows my mind that a bit of crystal , with no electronics, can take some bit of plastic with some bumps on it, and reproduce the tone, the character of a voice and the depth of a room so a person could Identify if a person was smiling or not, just by the inflection of their voice.

                The simplicity but mastery of such thing as sound makes me realize that there is far more going on in everything we do, say and feel. Even the sense of space around us that our mind gives us perception of.


                So while I have shortcomings, Being Religious, and Believing in Gods Judgement in the Noahs Flood is not a short coming, its a depth of understanding that has come from 100′s of hrs of study and great contemplation of the possibility of such an event and the ramifications of such a event.

                God is real, the Science over and over backs it up right from the Higgs, to the Sediment layers.

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

                  If you show me that with 100s of hours of study you can begin to use apostrophes correctly, I will begin to take your stance a bit more seriously. But it seems as though you’ve been unable to address even basic issues of language, and yet would have me believe that through careful study you have come to a better understanding than nearly all the world’s scientists and Biblical scholars. Can you understand why that does not seem at all convincing?

        • rmwilliamsjr

          re:

          there is a lot of conjecture around what it means and where it comes from. As of this point I don’t think we have a proper handle on Light,

          -=-=-=-
          my physics knowledge is shallow. but i can not find this conjecture online about the cosmic background radiation, perhaps if you would cite a few papers we could read.

          since your physics is obviously at a professional level why don’t you write up your ideas and submit them to a physics journal so that your peers who have the knowledge and expertise can interact with them? you are wasting your knowledge here, enter into the discussion with people at your high level.

          that is how science works. perhaps you will allow other people to make a breakthrough and get a proper handle on light physics.

          • Evolution is a Hoax

            to properly deal with the subject, I would have to quit my job and spend hundreds of hrs. dealing with all the what ifs, and come up with a whole different theory. That is a big task.
            My point is, Special or General relativity, expanding space etc. There is no way we can see light from stars that are at the present time are seen as 45 billion light years away, in just 14.8 billion years.

            Oh, Great. they updated the wiki”observable universe” again. it appears to deflect the arguments I have been making. Funny how that is.

            Now they have changed it to say:
            “The word observable used in this sense does not depend on whether modern technology actually permits detection of radiation from an object in this region (or indeed on whether there is any radiation to detect). It simply indicates that it is possible in principle for light or other signals from the object to reach an observer on Earth.”

            Not that Wiki is anything, but if you read it from time to time, and the Age of the Universe wiki etc. You will not get the same info, they keep trying to deal with my argument without success, and end up being more honest about what is actually behind the proof they have, which is nothing.

  • Joe Das

    I have sympathy with those who dislike Ken Ham’s approach to creation. There are in fact at least 3 schools of thought among Christians about how to deal with the first 12 chapters in Genesis. Ken Ham’s approach is characterised by early modern reformed hermeneutics and arguments that have to do with scripture and its use rather than scientific observation. But we must realise that while both exist and are legitimate, they are both to be recognized for what they are. This means that we will need to make some distinctions.

    I read that someone asked if an old earth was created, why not a millisecond ago? Augustine was asking questions along this line. As a Philosopher it is impossible to answer the question, except to take the report on authority. This is what we have to do with historical records, for example, because history does not take place in an experimental apparatus which can be rebuilt, reinitialized and reobserved at will.

    In the 19th Century, the point was made that Adam was created especially, and as a grown man, not as a newborn or even something before that. This is the hook into what is going on in Genesis 1: It is the use of “performative language”. This use of performative language is what is at work when Jesus speaks the impossible into being.

    Please forgive me for my goofy English transliterations, but I hope they will aid in following the logic of my contribution.

    Repeatedly in Genesis 1 we read “wayomer elohim” – And God said “…” “and there was …” is simply saying that God spoke something into being that doesn’t normally happen. This is also why the verb “bara” is used, which is a verb denoting a type of creative activity reserved for God. when men create, the verb is “asah”

    It is fine to believe in a science which develops a theory of process. At the root of it is uniformitarianism.

    However ALL supernaturalism, whether creation-related or otherwise, has to do with the suspension of the uniform order for a specific purpose. The big question that Genesis 1 makes us ask, is “why did he create the heavens and the earth?” There are many things that God does that are not reasonable to us. The substituionary atonement is only one of them. But so is creation.

    God did not have to use a series of miracles over a short period of time to establish the stage upon which the history of salvation could have taken place. He could have been the watchmaker God who just let a giant “splat of stuff” expand from some “distant” singularity 13.67 billion years ago. (I would not be surpised if we were able to further reinforce the age dates by reproducing initial elemental compositions from solar processes so that we could understand how we got the concentrations of elements that we have in our particular solar system given its age of 4.62 billion years)

    This is not the God He wants us to know, and he has allowed us to have a record of a miraculous creation account, and this creation account is also a commentary on the religions that would have been known to ancient isreal; Egypt, Babylon, etc. But it only starts there. The report of the fall is also key to understanding what is going on, like the YEC people a la Ken Ham want to point out.

    In fact, the entire scriptures are a record of the supernatural interventions that God is making in the created order that we know, for the purposes of saving a people for himself in a new created order which will come to light at the time he decides to undo/abolish this created order in a miraculous way, just like he first set up this created order in a miraculous way. This is NOT saying that God lied to us. Did Jesus lie to the servants when he told them to take the water from the jars to the chief steward of the wedding? (Scientific investigation is not the only source we have. We do have the text, after all.)

    All this is saying is that God started the whole show with a series of perfomative events, and he will end things in the same way. Not because he has to, but because this is how he has decided to do it.

    So if you are going to use the Bible at all, you need to answer the following questions:

    1. Is it possible for an agent outside of the observable universe to communicate with us for transcendent purposes?

    2. Is the Bible a supernaturally inspired anthology intended to give us special information that we cannot obtain otherwise, or is it a merely human compilation of memoirs, literature and lore?

    3. Are we willing to accept the consequences of the conclusions we arrive at?

    Finally, I will quote Dr. Martin Luther who makes a point that is perhaps even more relevant to us today than it was 500 years:

    “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, kept and sanctified me in the one true faith. In the Same way he calls, gathers enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it
    with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian Church he daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the last day he will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.”

    I do not relegate such a statement to pious sentiments. I embrace, based on Scripture, the above statements as a series of good and vital facts. Can you see the difference between this and the kind of documents that come from CERN? So, in a way, you can be a creationist and an evolutionist at the same time, while acknowledging the logic of the evolutionary model while insisting on the report in the biblical record.

    Good luck trying to build a scientific framework to test this!

    JD

    • rmwilliamsjr

      re:

      However ALL supernaturalism, whether creation-related or otherwise, has to do with the suspension of the uniform order for a specific purpose.

      -=-=-=-=-=-=-

      as i see it, one of the interesting differences between liberal and conservative theology is the conservative “preference for the supernatural”. i can envision at least 2 ways creation, floating axes or rising from the dead are not “suspension of natural laws by God”. i’m sure there are others.

      the first would be a backdoor, like in computer programs. a specific natural way to act when God wanted it to.

      the other would be hyper, over, beyond naturalism as we can only partly see it. just as einstein exceeds newton, the real world’s naturalism exceeds our understand. so God is using these hyper natural rules that we are unaware of. still without any suspension of the lesser rules we are aware of.

      i am reminded
      any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

      • http://www.facebook.com/misterthe Joe Das

        While miracles as such are not a primary concern to me but rather Christ, I don’t want to make this sound too fundamental. I must point out, however that You are arguing from the point of view of an antisupernaturalist.

        Still, that does not mean that we don’t have common ground. In fact, in a way I support both of your proposals at the same time. Here is why:

        1. “In the beginning was the word.” Perhaps you are familiar with teh prologue from John chapter 1. This is John’s transcendent corollary on the immanent creation account we know from Genesis. The word determines what is going to be, “natural” or otherwise. therefore if God desires to run a patch, or even download an entirely new program, he can do it. After all, he wrote the machine it runs on. Intrestingly, he even gave us the option to bugger up the system, which we promptly took advantage of!

        2. Which leads me to your second point. I apologize if I made the impression that I believe in a watchmaker god who as walked away and let the machine run itself. In fact, the Bible asserts that god not only created everything, but also continually sustains it. So in that framework, he can make use of any approach he wants for which the categories of “natural” and “supernatural” are inadequate.

        But this is not about technology (I was an electrical engineer before I became a pastor) where people work within a system to which they are subordinate. Rather we cal God “the LORD” for a reason. The framework is his to set, wherever and whenever he wants. In heaven, he doesn’t need a branch office of the NIST. They merely try to make use of the framework he has decided to use in normal situations.

    • Ian

      “Good luck trying to build a scientific framework to test this!”

      You can’t. Because you’ve invented a whole unobservable, untestable, imaginary world there. Its trivial to do so. I can postulate a world built out of star tears, constructed by fairies. Absurd? Surely! But why, exactly, is your supernatural invention any more credible?

      In a way, you can believe in fairies and evolution at the same time. Acknowledging the logic of the evolutionary model while insisting on the report of the fairies that they made it out of star tears. And good luck creating a scientific framework to test that!

      … The point is, we have a way of determining what actually is happening, that doesn’t involve someone just declaring what they want to be true or made up. And the supernatural fails to show up. Not because it is presupposed not to exist. But because it has no discernible differentiable affect on anything that can be detected. It is purely in the realm of post-hoc stores. And any post-hoc story is just as reasonable, when we have no way to determine if any is reasonable.

      • Joe Das

        Indeed the inevitable question is, if there is a divine revelation, then why this one? The Religion of the Old and new testament is the first religion that insists on the truth of its accounts rather than that one merely is obliged to observe certain statements or customs. In line with this, the archaeological and documentary evidence in favor of the Bible’s historical setting is unparalleled with that of any religion.

        Comparing the bible with fables is like comparing Star wars with textbooks by Johanes Kepler.

        • Ian

          Every religious believer has some suite of reasons why theirs is the right set of fables and everyone else’s is inferior. Even if the OT was primarily concerned with right belief (which is not true without a very tendentious reading, incidentally, and betrays a lack of experience with other contemporary ANE texts), so what? I notice you carefully phrase the next bit as “evidence in favour of the historical *setting*”, since overwhelmingly the things that bible have said to be historical have been shown otherwise by archaeology and contemporary documentary evidence from neighbouring cultures. So the setting is roughly right, except when it isn’t. So? Your whole unevidenced supernatural world is still an invention, whether old or new.

          The bottom line is, as soon as you abandon evidence as the ultimate authority on what is true. Anything can be true. A muslim will have as many detailed reasons why the Quran is to be believed and the bible is not, and a scientology will have a good story to tell why you are both deluded.

          • http://www.facebook.com/misterthe Joe Das

            I loathe to dig up this grave. It’s been a busy week, and I can’t leave this reply as it is. I’m not unfamiliar with ANET. If anything, they affirm the cultural and historical setting for OT and NT documents. Furthermore the existence of these texts does nothing to undermine the claims to truth that the OT and NT texts make, rather, they serve to reinforce the relevance of those claims. The OT and NT material were written in the global cultural context of the characters we encounter in those documents, and the statements made fittingly make use of their social/legal, economic and literary context.

            Read the story of the rich man and Lazarus, and the response of the listeners. Ask yourself whose side you are on. If you won’t believe me, it won’t help for me to point you to the people who witnessed the growth of the Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (there was a resurrection there) or my classmate who started 9 churches in Mozambique either. What these guys did also wasn’t… shall I say…normal. And this from people who come from a church who told them that miracles stopped once the apostles died out.

            • Ian

              What a very bizarre response. You said that scripture was the record of the supernatural interventions of God. I said talk was cheap, and without evidence such c,aims are equally derisory. You the claimed the OT is the first book that insists on the truth of its accounts. And that it is unparalleled in the accuracy of its “historical context.” Both statements that are again, cheap to make without evidence. And now you seem to think that your point is reinforced by saying that the OT was a product of its culture (indisputably, as are all texts). And a weird claim about church growth and a resurrection. Pardon me for being all skeptical, but it is easy to claim a resurrection. I don’t suppose you could give any actual hard evidence, could you.

              I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding how easy it’s to make up stuff. If you have anything that is both actually unique, and actually demonstrable, let’s hear it. Otherwise, why wouldn’t any sane person conclude It is as much fiction as fairies or body thetans?

  • moroplogo

    “The Catholic Church got a new pope” , and ” Physicists Observe Higgs Boson, the Elusive ‘God Particle’ ”
    For my opinion ” Universe and God are One, this at least is a certainty ” .
    I explain my point of view in this website : http://www.oviaivo.net

  • Luke Francis

    Charlatans may be strong language for Christians believing in young earth creationism. I think this post brings up some great points. I see many Christians walking away from the faith because of questions about evolution and creationism. I often wonder if there is just bad teaching within Christianity about creationism and/or evolution?

    I also wonder if both camps have it wrong?

    I talked with an agnostic friend of mine who denied his faith in Christ based on various “scientific” reasons, one of which was evolution. Here is the link to that discussion: http://www.godisclose.com/gic1/

    Talking about these issues is definitely helpful. I wonder what brings people from talking to action, to belief?

    -Luke


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