Young-Earth Creationists Living in Sin

It is interesting to read the sorts of things one finds on the Answers in Genesis website about sin. There are studies on the topic by the organization’s leaders and members, as well as classic sermons by Charles Spurgeon. For instance, Spurgeon says:

Every man who believes Christ obeys him; believing and obeying always run side by side. Do you not know that Christ does not come merely to blot out the past, he comes to save us from being what we are…Now this cannot be done unless we obey, for if we are to continue to live in sin, salvation is a mere word, and to boast about it would be ridiculous. How can we be saved from sin if we are living in sin?

In another study by Troy Lacey, pride in emphasized as being the most fundamental and heinous of sins.

Now young-earth creationism is in its very essence an act of pride – a refusal by the ignorant to accept correction from scientists and scholars about matters pertaining to both Scripture and the study of the natural world. And it is fundamentally about deception – making false claims about the evidence from both the Bible and the natural world.

And thus it is clear that young-earth creationism is inherently a form of sin. Where does that leave the claim of young-earth creationists to be Christians?

Can you be a Christian and persist in living in sin? Certainly we all fall short of the lofty goals to which Jesus calls us. But when someone is a persistent liar, or thief, or whatever else, if they say they are also Christians, we question whether they understand what that means, and if they do, we question their commitment.

And so we can say this about young-earth creationism: Identifying oneself as a young-earth creationist, with deceit and pride woven into its very fabric, is to make a declaration that is fundamentally at odds with the claim to be a Christian.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t people who self-identify as both. But being a Christian young-earth creationist is like being a Christian warmonger, or a Christian thief, or a Christian xenophobe. Not impossible, perhaps, but inherently self-contradictory.

  • Jeff

    Are you really a University professor? I just have a difficult time accepting that with these continual childish posts targeted against Ken Ham and people who, for whatever reasons they choose, subscribe to a belief in creation and a young earth.
    It’s really not that big of a deal. Grow up and get a life.

    • mroge

      It is a big deal when they push this as “science” and try to foist a mistrust of science in general on school children. If they kept their beliefs to themselves, then it would be fine. It is their incursion into the political arena that is the problem. They want to push an “inerrant” bible on the rest of us. Then they use this as a political platform to push for a near-theocracy in this nation. I am sure the Amish believe in a literal interpretion of Genesis, but they do not try and force it on the rest of us.
      Dr. McGrath does make some serious charges here that are perhaps a bit over-stated. But I don’t think he is referring to those who believe in YEC without looking at the evidence. I think he is referring to the so-called “scientists” who misrepresent the facts in the matter. Their approach is to try to discredit those they disagree with, rather than trying to get at the truth. They ignore all the evidence for the old earth/evolution. In fact they don’t even appear to understand the very theories they reject! They very often misrepresent what the theory of evolution says.
      At what point do we start to supect that these people are liars? They either lie to themselves, to others or both. It is simple as that.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mburzinsk Matt Burzinski

      Jeff, Creationism is a big deal. The reason it is a big deal is because, when it is taught as science, it prevents the nation’s students from having the necessary framework to deal with the new information, events, and issues that the world continues to face every day; it hinders their growth in wisdom as knowledgeable adults, because they literally will have no idea what is going on. Growing up without an appropriately detailed exposure to evolutionary theory today is like growing up without an appropriately detailed exposure to the history of the western world.

      More than that, it is a big deal because if our young people are prevented from learning science, it means we have less brainpower to draw on to keep up with the rest of the world. A very large part of our power and quality of life as a nation is dependent on our technological developments, including and especially the advances we make in biotechnology, which is one of many scientific fields that require and understanding of evolution to even touch. If we continue to regard certain types of knowledge as taboo, we will quickly become surpassed by countries who do not share our hangups. Creationism is causing to United States to become intellectually stagnant.

    • Brian Scarborough

      Jeff – precisely! Childish is just the right word here. I wanted to post a response, but you hit the right note. kudos.

      • another Mac

        They give out professorships so easily these days to any Tom Dick our Harry, but in this case to Jim…… Ham is an idiot. You don’t have to copy him James.

    • Jeff

      Who is allowed to “foist” their beliefs and opinions upon the rest of us? Science? They certainly have been found “fallible” a multitude of times throughout history into the present day. Everyone can “push” their agenda on the rest of us as well as the next person. You don’t have to accept it. I tend to find the left to be the most anti-education group in society next to the fundamentalists. “Don’t let anyone learn about anything that does not conform to our agenda,” seems to be their mantra. Again, as I wrote before, Grow up and get a life. Or better yet, investigate alternative positions, you might learn something.
      Why is “science” being promoted to the level of “thought-police” in a nation founded on freedom and liberty?

      • arcseconds

        Because society has to choose to base their decisions on something, and has to choose to educate their children in one way or another.

        Science has gotten things wrong many times in the past, yes, but the corrections are not provided by some superior, non-scientific methodology, they’re provided by scientists. As science also has the best track record of getting things right about the natural world, I reckon we should back the proven winner and make decisions on that basis, and educate people on that basis, too.

        The fact it is self-correcting is a reason for trusting it, not a reason for doubting it.

        If consulting oracles routinely gave better results than empirical science, then I’d be saying “as a society, we should ignore scientists and trust the oracles”.

        What do you think? Do you usually bet on dark horses? How is that working out for you?

        • Jeff

          Society consists of individuals who are free and free to choose what they believe and disbelieve. Your description of science sounds a lot like other people’s descriptions of “god.” I don’t want “fundamentalist christians” setting the standards for what is to be believed and taught and I don’t want equally ‘fundamentalist scientists” doing the same. You are free to trust whoever you like. Stay out of my life!
          I’ve spent my life studying the Bible and related fields. My life is working out very well, thank you. I’m sorry that your’s is so fragile that you can’t cope with people who put no credence in your faith.
          Grow up!

          • mroge

            “Stay out of my life!”
            Who is trying to get into your life? No one here.

            • Jeff

              “arcseconds” for one. He wants science through “society” to determine what’s best for the rest of us. I say, let us live our lives the way we deem best.

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

                As far as I can tell, arcseconds and others here who agree with arcseconds want scientists to be the ones who determine what good science is and ought to be taught in public school science classrooms. Since you homeschool, unfortunately you can in many states deny your children a good science education if you so choose. And so who is at this point interfering in your life? What exactly are you referring to?

                • Jeff

                  My wife and I did not deny our children a good science education. We offered them a very holistic education lacking in public education. Each parent ought to be free to raise and educate their children as they see fit. The children do not belong to either the state or to “society.”

                  “Unfortunately,” the states deny a good holistic education to everyone under their tutelage with their refusal to allow reasonable alternative viewpoints to much of their dogma. Origins is the example dominant in this discussion. Why is the alternative of “intelligent design,” even separate from Ken Ham’s literal six-day Genesis creation dogma permitted?

                  Are we afraid some may find it as an acceptable alternative. I certainly do.

          • mroge

            It sounds like arcseconds has made a very logical argument. There is nothing in there that is remotely saying that science is on the level of God. When you say that people in society are free to choose what to believe or not then you are technically correct. However when it comes to teaching children in school then they have to present facts not someone’s opinion or religious beliefs. Science does not teach children atheism. Science doesn’t address God at all. You can choose to believe in both God and science. There is no contradiction between the two.
            I would say that you are the one who needs to “grow up” because you are looking at this from an emotional point of view, rather than addressing the logical arguments that people have made.

            • Jeff

              Sorry, “mroge.” I believe that I’m being rational rather than emotional. You all are the ones up in arms about some man (Ken Ham) and others like him, who hold views contrary from your’s. You can’t seem to cope with a free society of people with various points of view. It seems that many of you want to determine what everyone’s children are taught in “public” schools. If they are public, and not merely one group’s private indoctrination centers, then they should be unafraid of various points of view presented in an open fashion where students can weigh the evidence themselves and come to their own conclusions.

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

                So you would favor having Holocaust-deniers in school and letting students make up their own minds whether to accept their outrageous and bogus claims versus those of mainstream history?

                Sorry, I think public schools should explain not only that there are disagreements among experts about some topics, but also that some people try to use genuine disagreement as a justification for claiming that nonsense deserves equal time with hard-earned scholarly conclusions.

                • Jeff

                  So you would favor Bible-deniers in school and letting students make up their own minds whether to accept their outrageous and bogus claims versus those of mainstream Biblical thought?
                  Oh, that’s right. we already do. Only without any alternative position allowed so the students can make intelligent choices.

                  Sorry, I think public schools should explain not only that there are disagreements among experts about some topics, but also that some people try to use genuine disagreement as a justification for claiming that nonsense deserves equal time with hard-earned scholarly conclusions.

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

                    Biblical thought – which of course means someone’s interpretation of what “the Bible says” accomplished by choosing from among the Bible’s diverse voices – has no place in a public school in a society with the separation of church and state. As a Christian and a Biblical scholar, I certainly don’t want someone else coming in and telling my child what they think “the Bible says” and then having to debunk their claims at home, not least because people with genuine expertise in Biblical studies are rarely among the teachers in schools.

                    • Jeff

                      Constitutionally, we do not have “the separation of church and state.” We have “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
                      Any thought means, of course, someone’s interpretation of what that scholarly field says, whether ii concerns the Bible, or the theory of evolution.
                      As a christian and biblical scholar, I certainly don’t want someone else coming in and telling my child what they think the Bible says or what they think Scientists at Podunk University says, and then having to debunk their claims at home.That’s why you, also have the freedom to teach your children how you wish. Or, for whatever reason you choose, you can place them into the public schools. They certainly should not be “indoctrination centers” for any particular viewpoint. That does make it difficult. And you’re correct
                      that there are few people with genuine expertise in biblical studies in public schools. Wake up! There are few people with genuine expertise in virtually any narrow field of study in public schools, particularly in the Elementary schools. How many “evolutionary biologists” with genuine expertise do you know who teach in public elementaries?

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

                      As a Baptist, I support the separation of church and state, and the language of the Constitution has been consistently interpreted to mean that the government cannot use its institutions to promote religion. Call it what you like.

                      Teachers vary in their abilities, but on the whole, in the absence of people manufacturing unnecessary controversy, most public school teachers will be better poised to teach science than most parents. Wouldn’t you agree?

                    • Jeff

                      No, I don’t agree. Especially in the early ages, children are far better served by learning from their parents rather than in the public education systems of our nation. There is far more to education and shaping the lives of young people than being taught “science” by a “public school teacher” even if they have a greater understanding of science than a parent has.

                    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                      Why not allow parents to teach their children germ-theory denialism, homeopathy, satanism, or Communism?

                  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                    What “bible deniers”?

                    Take a look at what’s actually taught in the schools, Jeff. It’s not The Bible Unearthed. It’s The Bible, Bowdelrized.

                    http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/horrors-in-education/

                  • decathelite

                    Your problem is conflating those with viewpoints different from Ken Ham as Bible deniers.

              • arcseconds

                There’s someone who’s up in arms here, but it ain’t me :]

                Hint: who is the one shrieking about ‘fundamentalist scientists’ and ordering people to stay our of his life?

          • arcseconds

            You haven’t really answered my question. Let me be more specific. What, in your view, should we do in the face of an epidemic?

            Let everyone figure it out for themselves?

            Or should we (*sharp intake of breath*) consult with doctors and virologists and come up with a plan of action involving quarantine, checkups, drugs, and vaccinations?

            I mean, with the second option, sure, we trample on all those precious beliefs that people have about epidemics really being a result of black magic, a lack of willpower, God’s judgement, or government conspiracies.

            (Although note that I’m not saying they are required to believe in the germ theory of disease. )

            But with the first option, many people will die. Including people who want to trust scientists.

      • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

        Do you want the Quranic hypothesis of human origins to be taught in schools? Germ-theory denialism? The theories in the “Zeitgeist” movie?

        • Jeff

          My wife and I home-schooled all of our children through High School. They each went on to college and are doing quite well with their lives. Public/government education is already a failure. I’m not sure how worse it could be with any of your alternatives, although I’m not promoting them.

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            A failure by which standards?

            • Jeff

              By their own standards, Enopoletus. I have friends and family that both work in public schools and send their own children to those places. I also live in our society, predominantly educated in the public education system. It is quite clear to me, and many other people who truly are open-minded, that these educational institutions are failing miserably. The evidence is far more clear than any “science” offers in the field of origins.

              • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                Statistics, please? The plural of “anecdote” is not “data”.

                • decathelite

                  Jeff and EH, two completely opposite extreme viewpoints. Fight it out! Destroy any middle ground!

          • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

            Also, you didn’t answer my question.

            • Jeff

              Sorry Enopoletus Harding, if that’s your real name. I don’t intend to answer your questions. I think you’re a crackpot.

              • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                Why?

      • mroge

        I agree with arcseconds on this as well. Yes science gets stuff wrong from time to time, but that is the nature of science. Can you tell me even one case where the bible was proven to be right scientifically?

        The bible says that the world is a flat circle surrounded by ocean. It also says that blue sky is an ocean as well.

        The bible says that the sun, moon, planets and the stars are fixed in a dome over the earth and that the center of the “universe” is the earth. The reason I put “universe” in quotes is because they had no conception of anything resembling what we call the universe. When they looked at the night sky the stars they saw were not far away suns, rather they were close and were there to provide light and also so they could keep track of the seasons.The universe was basically everything I just mentioned, plus heaven and hell.

        These concepts were proven wrong centuries ago. In fact a lot of scientists ran into trouble by trying to make what they observed fit the bible. The opposition of the Catholic Church at that time is a good cautionary table of what would happen if creationists have their way.

        • Jeff

          Science has made all of those claims in the past, as well, Mroge. And the “science” of the day were often times the ones standing against those suggesting new theories, some of which were hatched as a result of things they read in the “Bible”. It has worked both ways throughout history. It is not simply “institutionalized religion” that stands against progress in learning, but many times, institutionaized “science.”
          You’re exactly correct. “that is the nature of science.” All the more reason to not allow it to set our standards. They will be constantly in flux.
          How about simply leaving people to believe what they choose, and let them live life as they see fit.

          • mroge

            “How about simply leaving people to believe what they choose, and let them live life as they see fit.”

            I am all for that. However that is not what the YEC’s want. They want total domination of our schools and our politics.

            Most conservative Christians want to make sure that everyone believes what they believe. This is the heart of Christianity. The fact is that most of these people do not believe in your statement I quoted above. If they did, then no one would have any cause to complain!

            • Jeff

              That’s a blatant lie, mroge. I’ve read and followed YEC thinking for many years and they are not seeking “total domination of our schools and our politics.” Most of them simply believe they ought to have the right to speak and be heard like everyone else.

              It seems clear to me, however, that there are groups that want total domination of our schools and our politics. They want to shut off the voices of those in opposition to their philosophy and beliefs. They seem to me to be mostly on the left.

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

                One only has to look at what happened during the conservative coup in the Southern Baptist Convention to know that calls for fair representation when not in a position of power does not mean that that is necessarily anying but a ploy to get into a position of power.

                But that is beside the point. Since young-earth creationism contradicts both the scientific evidence and the Bible, why should it get equal time at all? Should the flat-earth society get equal time? Creation ideas from the Rig Veda? Or are you, as was suggested, not really interested in fairness but on foisting a view that is disproven by the evidence onto young people, when you hope that they will accept it on authority?

                • Jeff

                  I’m not a Southern Baptist, James, but my sense is they followed all proper protocol so that it shouldn’t really be described as a “coup.” And, you’re right. That is beside the point.
                  Look, I’m not a Ken Ham enthusiast, but for the sake of argument, what if there was a “god” who created the universe ex nihilo instantaneously if full working condition conducive to human habitation..What would that appear like to scientific investigators thousands of years later?
                  Does that particular variation of the theory of intelligent design or all variations need to be presented in the classroom? Probably not. But should no alternative theory to one or two variations of the atheistic evolutionary hypothesis be permitted? That’s more like brainwashing, rather than education.
                  I trust your education in biblical studies was a bit more varied in sources and theories.

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

                    Atheism cannot and should not be advocated in public schools. Evolution, which is no more atheistic than meteorology (which does not leave room for or ever mention the Biblical idea that “God sends the rain”), needs to be, because the scientific evidence is so overwhelming in support of it.

                    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                      I, however, say it should. As atheism is not a religion, there is no reason it shouldn’t be advocated in public schools. Atheism is merely the extension of skepticism.

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

                      I disagree, inasmuch as (1) some views about the divine are perfectly compatible with skepticism, and (2) atheism is a position on religion, and I don’t think that a secular public school in a society with freedom of religion has any business advocating that.

                    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                      1. A magic pink unicorn that does nothing is equivalent to no magic pink unicorn.
                      2. Religious beliefs aren’t special.

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

                      No, but the freedom to have them is protected in the United States. Your first point is a good example. I am not sure which religious believers adhere to magicpinkunicornism. But if one makes a claim which is contrary to science, then it is perfectly acceptable for a science class to be showing those unscientific and antiscientific ideas to be wrong. But should they go further than that? In your view should they, for instance, say in the name of allegedly scientific views that students’ moral convictions ought to be abandoned?

                    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                      If those students’ moral convictions are based on falsehoods, sure.

              • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                of them simply believe they ought to have the right to speak and be heard like everyone else.

                -Which they do, o persecuted one.

                That’s a blatant lie, mroge.

                -What good does it do to you to pretend it is?

                They want to shut off the voices of those in opposition to their philosophy and beliefs.

                -Now that‘s an extraordinary claim, which requires extraordinary evidence.

              • mroge

                “It seems clear to me, however, that there are groups that want total domination of our schools and our politics. They want to shut off the voices of those in opposition to their philosophy and beliefs. They seem to me to be mostly on the left”

                They already have the right to speak and be heard. What they don’t have the right is to expect religion to be taught in schools. The main reason that the YEC movement exists is because they are unhappy with the bible not being taught in schools. There is a place for that already. It is called Sunday School and church. As far as politics is concerned the religious right has taken over the Republican party. Most of them believe in a literal creation and they use that to say that the bible is inerrant. An inerrant bible then means that they can push their own agendas about social and political change. They believe that the only people who deserve rights in this country are Christians, and only Christians of a particular persuasion.

                I am sure that not all of them are like this but this still is a real concern. Their biggest scare tactic, one which you seem to subscribe to, is the lie that atheism is taught in schools. This seems to be a case of the psychological state of “projection.” It is the religious right who wants to teach an ideology, not the liberals. It is a complete distortion of what is really happening and is something that I can’t understand at all.

                • Jeff

                  You’re a blind, ignorant fool, mroge. Bye.

          • arcseconds

            Hmm, I like to think I know a thing or two about the history of science, but I’m afraid I’ll have to admit my ignorance of any theory that is now commonly accepted by the scientific community, which was inspired by reading the Bible, but was opposed by the scientific establishment of the day.

            I kind of doubt there are any important examples of this, but i have been known to be wrong before (on the odd occasion), and I’m always willing to learn, so could you give us four or five examples of this? Links or citations would be good, too.

            • Jeff

              Your arrogance is shining through, arcseconds. If you are really interested in learning, search for the information. It is there willing to be discovered. I have more important things to do than waste time presenting examples to someone whose mind is so closed to the possibility of truth discovered in the Bible.

              • Ian

                I love this response, it is just perfect.

                Jeff: The bible has inspired true science.

                Arc: Please give me examples.

                Jeff: You’re so arrogant! You’re not really interested! The examples are obvious! I’ve got better things to do! You wouldn’t even listen if I told you!

                I had a similar exchange on another thread when I asked for evidence, and was told I was sooo arrogant. We ought to come up with a name for this tactic.

                • Jeff

                  You misquote me terribly, Ian. I never stated that the Bible has inspired true science. Second, arcseconds arrogance was shining through when he said, “but i have been known to be wrong before (on the odd occasion).” Third, I don’t waste time attempting to satisfy individual’s requests for examples, evidence, etc. knowing that when provided, they will simply respond that the evidence is insufficient. If they are truly interested they can easily investigate for the truth themselves. However, most people have no interest in the truth, only in holding on to their present opinions. Find it yourself. I don’t really care if you do.
                  Bye.

                  • arcseconds

                    And the “science” of the day were often times the ones standing
                    against those suggesting new theories, some of which were hatched as a
                    result of things they read in the “Bible”

                    You’re quite right, you never said that these new theories were true, or came to be accepted. I did notice this, but I thought you must surely have meant this.

                    Am I now to understand that you just mean theories in general, including crackpot theories? Well, sure, science has stood in the way of them… but I don’t see the problem here.

                    • Jeff

                      I simply wouldn’t use the word “inspired.” Too many connotations. However, statements made by passages in the Bible have influenced the thinking of many throughout history, prompting investigation into new theories of science.

                      I guess my point would be that while the Bible certainly is not a “science textbook,” it also is not an “anti-science textbook.” The “scripture twisting” employed by some in these comments is an embarrassment to any serious and intelligent system of biblical hermeneutics.

                    • Ian

                      Can you give examples of this ‘prompting’?

                      Its a serious question. I google for examples, and I get lots of unhelpful pages about how science proves the bible (which I understand you aren’t suggesting, I’m just saying, I get noise, not signal). It would be helpful to know how you conceive of this prompting.

                      Do you merely mean that scientists of the past were Christian? Or do you mean that there are specific topics or statements in the bible which have motivated scientists to look for and discover new theories? I assume the latter, because you wrote:

                      And the “science” of the day were often times the ones standing against those suggesting new theories, some of which were hatched as a result of things they read in the “Bible”

                      (though I confess I can’t figure out why the bible is in quotes). If so, I can’t recall any off-hand, so examples would be good.

                      I have tried to phrase the question in as un-arrogant and neutral a way as possible. Because, while I agree with arc that you are coming across rather prickly and evasive, I am genuinely interested, and not invested in the answer either way.

                    • arcseconds

                      Coincidentally enough, a recent video posted by McGrath actually does contain an example of the sort of thing you’re talking about.

                      It maintains that early geologists such as Nicolas Steno were influenced by their Christian worldview to propose views on the formation of the Earth and geological structures against the view held by atheists and deists of the time that the presenter calls ‘eternalism’, which I gather maintains the Earth has always existed in more or less the present form.

                      I’d be keen on looking into this further, but I recently discovered from a man of great insight that I’m incredibly arrogant, and also my mind is closed to the possibility of truth discovered in the Bible.

                    • Ian

                      Can you give examples of this ‘prompting’?

                      early geologists such as Nicolas Steno were influenced by their Christian worldview

                      Perfect. That was a fascinating video, and I’d forgotten that point. Thanks arc.

                      I wonder how many other examples there are.

                    • arcseconds

                      It is interesting.

                      It’s not quite what Jeff was originally talking about, as I don’t think it can be maintained ‘science’ stood against the idea. As far as I know, deists and atheists were always a minority even in intellectual circles, so I suspect the scientific establishment at best would have had a divided opinion on the subject. Following Moritz on this might give us the view that the atheists and deist scientists thought the Earth was eternal, and the Christian ones thought it came into being at some point.

                      However, I wonder whether Moritz might be overplaying this debate. I’ve never heard of it before, which doesn’t mean a lot but does mean something.

                      It sounds like he’s keen on demolishing the idea that it’s religion versus science all the way, which I have sympathy for, but this may be leading him to overemphasize some fairly minority ideas, almost to the point of portraying them as the scientific consensus (which, ironically, ends up making the same mistake of associating science with atheist thought).

                      As Moritz himself points out that people like Newton and Kepler thought the Earth had come into being at a certain point in time — quite recently in those two cases. Also, Kant certainly thought the Earth came into being at a certain point in time (in fact, he was the first to propose the nebular theory of the formation of the solar system), but he famously argues that whether or not the cosmos is eternal or came into being cannot be determined (it’s interesting to note here that eternalism is back, what with people like Hawking proposing an endless sequence of bangs and crunches).

                      So I think it’s likely that the weight of scientific opinion was still with an Earth of finite age. Admittedly Kepler and Newton were both theists (although Newton was pretty heterodox in some of his religious opinions). On the other hand, most scientists of the day were, too. Kant’s an interesting case, but as far as his science goes he’s definitely extremely secular.

                      But the presence of eternalists do put Kant’s First Antinomy in an interesting new perspective for me. I had always assumed he was more or less engaging with the ancient debate, not a contemporary one.

                  • Ian

                    I misquoted both of you – it was your reaction that I was calling attention to, not your claim.

                    Glad you’ve doubled down on it. Its always nice to see how quick people reach for accusations of arrogance, and how complex the justification for not backing up claims. For example: you’ve now clearly written much more about how and why you aren’t going to provide evidence than you would have done just giving it.

                    It is a common enough pattern, unfortunately. Not limited to any particular viewpoint.

                    I don’t waste time attempting to satisfy individual’s requests for examples, evidence, etc.

                    Good to know how you value your time in relation to those you converse with! :)

                    • Jeff

                      I don’t converse with individuals who purposely misquote. Bye, Ian.

                    • Ian

                      I don’t converse with individuals who purposely misquote. Bye, Ian.

                      Well that told me.

              • arcseconds

                Could I just ask what you’re trying to accomplish?

                I mean, you come in here, accuse McGrath of being childish, rant about how we’re all trying to control you, insult everyone, make all sorts of claims which you refuse to back up, don’t bother facing up to the obvious bad consequences of your suggestions, then storm out.

                I mean, if the point was to convince anyone, or even to try to get us to see the merit in another viewpoint, this really wasn’t the way to do it.

                • Jeff

                  I simply expressed my view regarding James’ post. I didn’t care if anyone responded or not. In reaction to some of those comments I responded in various ways. I have no illusions about convincing anyone. I’ve read these types of blogs for years. Most people aren’t interested in understanding another’s viewpoint.
                  On the other hand, I believe you clearly have no regards to accurately understanding or responding to my comments as you falsely characterize my statements: I haven;t ranted, never even implied that “all were trying to control” me, I haven’t insulted everyone, nor purposely insulted most, I’ve accepted the consequences of my choices and don’t consider them at all bad, and I am not storming out.
                  However, I am done responding with you.

                  Bye

                  • arcseconds

                    You’ve insulted a great many people here, and someone who accuses me of ‘getting into’ their lives, when I haven’t attempted to do anything of the sort, is not in a very good position to get all particular about how literally I’m allowed to use ‘everyone’.

                    It’s not a very important point in its own right, but it’s another example of how poorly you’re presenting yourself. You’re requiring us to use language extremely precisely, otherwise you accuse us of being disingenuous, but you on the other hand permit yourself all sorts of accusations, insults, and hyperbole.

                    It’s true that I’m not inclined to take your views very seriously, but that’s not because of your views — it’s because you behave in a completely ridiculous fashion!

                    If you want us to take your views seriously, you might want to try to conduct yourself with a little more gravitas. One thing that would help is if it looked more like you took your own views seriously. It can’t be very hard to list ‘obvious’ examples, yet you don’t, and you don’t appear to have thought through the consequences of your beliefs.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1154538567 ‘Samuel’ Garcia

          Where in the Bible does it say those things? The Catholic church based their science on Aristotle, NOT the Bible.

          1. The Bible says the Earth is a sphere.Isa. 40:22

          2. The Bible says the life is in the blood. Ever heard of bloodletting? It’s in direct contradiction to science and Bible.Lev. 17:11

          3. The Bible explains the water cycle. Eccl. 1:6-7

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

            Isaiah 40:22 is unambiguous in its depiction of the Earth as a circle, not a sphere, and the heavens as like a tent above that circle. What translation are you reading, that you are getting such a different impession from the meaning of the text in Hebrew and in most English translations?

          • mroge

            Samuel, Samuel. Tsk, Tisk. I left a link to a prominent bible scholar who has written on this topic, but you didn’t even bother to look at it. Until you do that, you are not qualified to comment.

      • arcseconds

        Let’s take a step back here. All McGrath is doing here is saying he thinks Ham is wrong and is living in sin.

        How is this different from what Ham says about us?

        Are you also on Ham’s blog, telling him to get a life and stop telling scientists and people who for whatever reason pay them heed what to believe?

  • Just Sayin’

    I don’t think he’s overstating it at all. It’s about time that someone called a spade a spade.

  • Brett

    Are young earth creationists deceivers or just deceived? That is, do they know that evolution is true and intentionally deceive others or area just ignorant of genuine scientific methodology? I don’t think they are liars, since they seem to believe what they say.

    • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

      They don’t know that evolution is true, but they do buttress their position with lies. They are, thus, both deceivers and deceived.

    • mroge

      When they don’t even bother to learn about the theories that they reject, then that is a form of lying, because you can’t base your argument on a flawed understanding. Recently I heard the argument that evolution can’t be true because we can’t make a human/chimp hybrid! This is an argument made by some idiot who never bothered to actually learn what evolution is. And he even wrote a book about it! You could say that he was duped, but who did the duping? Answer: He dupped himself. And now he is duping others, as well.

      • Jeff

        You’re the pot calling the kettle black, mroge. Your understanding of the Bible and what it says and teaches, as presented above, sounds to me as complete ignorance, coming from a person who doesn’t “even bother to learn about the theories that they reject.” I’ve studied the Bible for close to sixty years at all levels of education and I can tell you, it does not teach any of the things that you stated earlier.

        You’ve done a very good job of creating a “straw man,” however. You get an “A+” for that. (That’s almost exclusively what I am finding being spouted from the minds and mouths of all these opponents of the Bible and creationism.)

        • mroge

          I have studied the bible too, plus I have read a lot of what the scholars have to say about what the bible says in the context of the time. If you are referring my example of the flat-earth, it is the scholars who have clarified this. The bible refers to the “circle of the earth” which many have tried to say that it refers to a sphere. But if you look at the original language it is referring to a flat circle, not a sphere. One thing you should keep in mind is that most modern people read into the bible their own pre-conceptions so they miss the contradictions. I did that once myself. But the only way to understand the bible is to look at it from the perspective of the people writing it who were part if a pre-scientific culture.

          I stand by everything I have said completely. You can read it yourself from both a scholar and also a Christian:

          I don’t know why this link isn’t working but go to http://www.ualberta.ca and search for Denis Lamoureux. He has a whole chapter of his book Evolutionary Creation detailing exactly what I have said.

          • Jeff

            “Pre-scientific culture?” When exactly did “science” begin? Do you believe the “great pyramids” were constructed by scientific or non-scientific principles?

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

              The reference was clearly to pre-scientific cosmology and not ancient engineering, which was often quite impressive.

              • Jeff

                The point is that scientific investigation in all fields has always existed, and as new information becomes available theories and understanding changes. The Bible is not a science textbook. However, no field of knowledge should exclude helpful information in the development of understanding that can be gained from other sources outside their particular field.
                Does the Bible have nothing to offer in the understanding of life as a whole? I pity those who close their minds to the tremendous understanding offered within the pages of the various writings collected within the Bible. And personally, I deal daily with people whose lives are in near ruin because of a failure to even probe with this tool into the complexities of life.

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

                  If you do not think that the Bible is a science textbook, then can you kindly explain why you have been arguing here against those who have been making that very point?

                  • Jeff

                    Your post did not concern the issue of Bible as science textbook. I don’t recall anyone arguing concerning that issue. Rather, my original comment was against what I considered a rather childish series of posts against Ken Ham and creationists, like him. Your post basically seemed to be to ridicule a man holding to his beliefs and seeking to persuade others to believe likewise.

                    In fact, Ken Ham does not promote the Bible as a science textbook. He simply believes that, in his theology, since the Bible is the inspired word of God, etc., where it speaks, even on an issue of science, it speaks truth.

                    I’m a bit disgruntled with so-called “bible scholars” railing against others who hold different positions, however inconsistent they might be in our personal view. I’m also arguing against one small group in society deciding how the rest of us ought to educate our children.

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

                      When Ken Ham denies that Genesis 1 depicts God making a dome over the Earth, he is not accepting that the Bible speaks truth when it talks about scientific matters, he is rewriting Scripture to make it say what he thinks it ought to mean.

                    • mroge

                      “I’m also arguing against one small group in society deciding how the rest of us ought to educate our children.”
                      The majority want science taught in school. Creationists are the minority.

                • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

                  However, no field of knowledge should exclude helpful information in the development of understanding that can be gained from other sources outside their particular field.

                  -Why not use the Rig Veda, then, or some other pre-scientific creation myth?

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Not so much ignorant of the methodology, as rejecting some of the underlying premises, and thus the validity of the conclusions.

      However, they also seem to tend to be relatively ignorant on the mathematical aspects, and/or relatively inept at following the mathematical reasoning. Contrariwise, I don’t have hard data to prove that.

  • http://www.dregstudios.com Brandt Hardin

    Here in TN they have taken steps though new legislation to allow creationism back into the classroom. This law turns the clock back nearly 100 years here in the seemingly unprogressive South and is simply embarrassing. There is no argument against the Theory of Evolution other than that of religious doctrine. The Monkey Law only opens the door for fanatic Christianity to creep its way back into our classrooms. You can see my visual response as a Tennessean to this absurd law on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/04/pulpit-in-classroom-biblical-agenda-in.html with some evolutionary art and a little bit of simple logic.

  • beau_quilter

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’m sensing a little ironic humor in posts like this one, from James. Before taking him too seriously, notice that he’s taking arguments that are commonly made by young earth creationists attacking Christians who support evolutionary science, and using their own logic against them.

  • Rick

    Interesting that C Michael Patton is asking a similar question at Parchment and Pen.

    He writes: “Are there cases where people are legitimately deceived and their bad doctrine is not due to a favoring of sin? This could certainly be true in some situations, but we are going to have to let God work this out.
    Other times, bad doctrine is not so bad. In other words, I think egalitarianism is bad doctrine for the most part. But I am not sure it can be described as “suppression of truth in favor of sin.” After all, there are some very good Christians who are egalitarians due to convictions brought about by their studies. I don’t think their bad doctrine is sinful. And if I am wrong about my complementarian views, I don’t think it is sinful. I could say the same thing about all non-cardinal issues. There are just so many things that we are not sure about. Someone is wrong, but this does not mean they are in rebellion. With the things that are evident, plain, and clear, I think denial of these particulars is the product of sin and is, therefore, sinful.
    The best I can do right now is say that bad doctrine is often, but not always, sin.”

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/05/is-bad-doctrine-sin/

  • Gary

    I feel for the impact to students. But I worry more about fundamentalists who believe in YEC using the bible to support corporate causes that rape the environment. Fox News, Koch brothers, oil industry, I bet love the anti-Global warming, and use/abuse the earth resources, because God gave it to use. Let’s not let pollution and corporation restrictions on safety stand in the way of our God-given right to make corporate profits. Not to mention our right to own assault rifles, and use them against the evil, Godless government. For some reason, the YEC ideas, fundamentalism, and belief in an inerrant bible, seems to go hand-in-hand with right-wing, corporate abuse, and the love of any weapon you can carry on your body. I have no idea why. Unless it comes from reading too much of the OT, rape and pillage “in the name of God”, and not enough reading of the NT. beats me. But is scary.

    • Jeff

      Is there even one person who actually believes all of these things you have stated as you have stated them? Really? I think you’re simply building a “straw man” that you can easily foment against. There are no “fundamentalists” or “YEC”ers that I know who hold to those ideas.

      • Gary

        Guess you don’t what Fox News. For local input in San Diego, I’d say our local YEC museum, David Jeremiah’s mega church (and his predecesor, Tim Lahay who founded the museum here, as I remember), all the gun toting people in El Cajon with Duncan Hunter bumper stickers (who use to be my congressman), Darryl Issa (Obama hunter/slammer and NRA shill), Jim Garlow and his church. We have lots of them here.

        • Jeff

          No, Gary. None of those promote the list of things you stated they believe and promote. I think you’re simply a crackpot as well. Bye.

          • Gary

            Bye. Forgot Gary DeMar and American Vision. Made the mistake of buying a book from him. Still get junk email from them, even though unsubscribed. Bought Jeremiah’s stuff too. Too many to mention. Bye again.

      • mroge

        “Is there even one person who actually believes all of these things you have stated as you have stated them?”
        Oh come on, if you can’t be bothered to watch the news then that is hardly Gary’s fault. Maybe you don’t know anyone personally but “the truth is out there.” There is literally not one day that goes by without hearing this stuff on the news, and reading it online or in the newspapers.

  • Craig Wright

    Jeff, since Denis Lamoureux, from the University of Alberta, was mentioned above, I recommend his book, I Love Jesus & I Accept Evolution.

    • Jeff

      Perhaps sometime I will try to read what he writes. Presently my stack of “waiting to be read” books will keep me busy into the near future. But thanks for the recommendation.

      I have little problems with christians who believe in evolution. If they believe they can keep it consistent with the teaching of Jesus, great!

      • Beau Quilter

        Unfortunately, Jeff, the Answers in Genesis organization that James is discussing in this post don’t agree with you. They consider the teaching of evolution a sin, and those who teach evolution science they consider sinners. That’s why James is taking this ironic approach. He is showing how easy it is to turn that logic back on Young Earth Creationists.

        What’s more important to me is that Young Earth Creationism is not a legitimate scientific theory or study. Survey after survey demonstrates that an overwhelming majority of scientists support the theory of evolution (97% according to the 2009 Pew Research Center Study), and the number is over 99% among biologists.

        This consensus is not explainable by hierarchical control, academic pressure, or any other conspiracy theory. Scientists, as a group are notoriously independent and come from a huge array of different political stands and religion. Scientists love nothing better than to make new discoveries or propose new theories that change the way we view the world. But they know that every new discovery or hypothesis must stand the test of verification and peer review.

        • mroge

          You hit the nail on the head. If creationists could actually come up with credible theories, then I for one would support it being taught in the class room as an alternative to evolution. But they haven’t come up with anything and then they whine about the fact that no one takes them seriously! It has to be a giant conspiracy! It couldn’t possibly be because they are idiots who can’t understand science to begin with!

          The fact is that every single day there is more and more proof for evolution and an old earth. We don’t have to take the word of Darwin on this. Genetics is an even better avenue of proof than the fossil record, yet the naysayers would never admit it

          When i was in college I knew this guy who gave me some books on creationism. I wasn’t all that impressed. When later on I found out that one of the authors was a member in good standing of The Flat Earth Society (yes it does exist, in my own home town of all places) that really told me all I needed to know about this so-called expert! I have never come across any creationist theories that made any sense at all. It is usually just a combination of half-baked psuedo-science cobbled together with some real science(just enough to confuse the reader into thinking that there might be something to it) and failed attempts to discredit legitimate science (usually by saying that there is no proof)..Once they have managed to completely confuse the reader then they insinuate that the only people who believe in mainstream science are Godless Atheists Out To Currupt Our Children!

          Add to that the assertion that the bible actually fortells modern science, like the wackky idea that it talks about an expanding universe and even the theory of relativity and there you have it, Creation “Science”.

          Spare me…

        • Jeff

          That many people can’t be wrong. I give up. You win.

          How about you do what everyone else throws out as a challenge: Give me five or more proofs for evolution being true. I have yet, in my lifetime, been presented with this evidence. All we hear is that its what everyone believes. No one can present indisputably the transition species, or the evidence of life coming into existence from non-life. Its all still merely a theory with no hard evidence, just a consensus of faith in the theory being the best explanation for what we see today, excluding the possibility of “creation ex nihilo” by God.

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

            The fact that you refer to evolution as “merely” a theory exposes your dishonesty. No one could have investigated this topic seriously without having understood that, in the natural sciences, theory does not mean “hunch” or even “hypothesis” but a well-established and evidenced explanatory framework that makes sense of a wide array of data.

            Rather than discuss five all at once, why not start with one. Is your view of the evidence for chromosomal fusion in human chromose 2 that God deliberately made it appear as though we share a genetic heritage with other primates by making this human chromosome not merely correspond to two chromosomes that other primates have, but even have telomeres in the middle? Why would you depict God as engaging in this sort of deceit? Why is accepting the evidence from the creation itself and following it where it leads not a preferable option for a Christian?

            • Jeff

              I’m not an expert in this field, and I assume neither are you. However, what little I have read on the issue seems clear that no one knows exactly why or how it came to be. At best, they see it as simply an accident of evolution. Evolutionists, however, use this lack of certainty to bolster their faith in evolution. I can’t see how the existence of the “chromosomal fusion” is inconsistent with creation ex nihilo. How is this evidence of deceit? As well, I don’t purport to know exactly how God created. I’m not a “six-day creationist” like Ken Ham. I’m sure he would offer a response to your concern, if you ask nicely.
              So, my response is that it exists, and evolutionists interpret its existence in a way to argue for proof of their theory. However, unless one knows exactly why it exists and how it came to exist, it remains nothing more than a piece of evidence open to a variety of interpretations. I’m sure or your followers will mock that response.

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

                What does creatio ex nihilo have to do with whether or not evolution occurred? Why won’t you address the issue of what this particular evidence suggests occurred? Are you merely here to behave like a common internet troll, or are you here because you want to discuss serious topics in a serious manner?

                • Jeff

                  I gave an answer and thought it was quite clear.

                  I’m not rejecting, out of hand, the possibility that God may have used some degree of evolutionary processes in his creative work and subsequent activity, simply that none of these “evidences” proposed offers indubitable proof for evolution as fact. They are merely interpretations of evidence used by evolutionists to suggest their theory possible and the best explanation for the existence of what we see. I don’t hold theory, nor am I ready to accept their interpretation of the evidence. Science has too often been mistaken in the past regarding evidence for events they claim took place well before mankind even existed.

                  I don’t believe you’re here because you want to discuss serious topics in a serious manner. Your posts regarding Ken Ham and creationists make that quite clear.

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

                    Then why do you refuse to discuss the specific evidence of human chromosome 2? If you have looked into this as you claim to have, you must have thoughts on this.

                    That science has been constantly improving is not a criticism. It is not as though, because we have moved from a flat Earth to geocentrism to heliocentrism to today’s understanding, we might suddenly make a new discovery and go back to a flat Earth. Wouldn’t you agree?

                    • Jeff

                      Is that the one you pull out of a hat when you seek to “stump the contestant.” I’ve read little about it. I’m not an evolutionary biologist. But, again, from what I read, no one knows exactly how it came about. I stated already, I can’t see how the existence of the “chromosomal fusion” is inconsistent with creation theory, even that of Ken Ham. It may also be consistent with evolutionary theory.If created by God how would that be some kind of deceit creating something that appears consistent with a false theory?

                      So, you believe that the belief in a Supreme being who created the universe out of nothing instantaneously is to be equated with the belief in a flat earth?

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

                      If you do not know enough about this subject even to be able to bluff your way through a conversation about it, then why do you dispute the consensus of experts who actually do know the topic? And why do you try to change the subject and attribute to people things they do not believe and have never said? It is denial of mainstream biology, geology, astronomy, and linguistics of the sort that Ken Ham engages in that is akin to belief in a flat Earth.

                    • Jeff

                      Sorry, James, but I don’t for a minute believe you know much about any of this stuff either. Provide the links to your graduate research and papers pertaining to chromosome theory.

                      I was honest enough to acknowledge my lack of depth in the field. That doesn’t require me to accept whatever conclusion you want to attribute to the issue. A consensus does not truth make. I’m certain they taught you at least that much in your graduate education.

                      My statement, “So, you believe that the belief in a Supreme being who created the universe out of nothing instantaneously is to be equated with the belief in a flat earth,” was a sarcastic response to your implication in the post before that creationists are no different than wanting to return to the belief in a flat earth. But, I think you understood that.

                      This is why I made my original comment in response to your post. Bye.

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

                      Young-earth creationism is every bit as anti-scientific as flat-earthism. And treating belief in a Creator as though it were the same thing as belief in a Creator that requires one to reject mainstream science and even observation of the natural world is problematic in the extreme.

                      If you want to talk with someone with graduate studies in biology then why are you here going on and on in this trollish fashion in a conversation with someone whose expertise is in Biblical studies?

                    • Jeff

                      I’m not the one who brought up the issue, James, you did.

                      I simply posted a comment in response to your childish post against Ken Ham. Others, including yourself, responded and injected the other issues into the conversation.

                      Now you equate young earth creationism with flat earthism after you complain that I was putting words in your mouth when I sarcastically suggested you thought as much

                      What I really think is your little more than an arrogant ass.
                      So long.

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

                      What a strange comment. You suggested that I equated any notion of creation with flat-earthism, and I emphasized that no, it is only the anti-scientific nonsense of the young-earthers. Yet here you seem to run the two together. If you insist on staying here, can you at least cease moving the goalposts around?

              • beau_quilter

                Jeff

                Noone has a video camera that shows moment by moment, how the formation of our solar system “came to be”; but we do understand the processes: we have a theory of general relativity which both enables our GPS systems to work and provides an explanatory model for planet formation and orbital development and decay. Other observable evidence confirms the model: for example, the craters on the moon, earth, and other planets are the remains of billions of years of gravitational bombardments that are still occurring.

                By the same token, noone has a video camera that shows moment by moment how every life form on earth “came to be”, but we do understand the processes: we a have a theory of evolution which both enables modern research on viral adaptation and provides an explanatory model for the evolution of species on earth. Other observable evidence confirms the model: for example fossils that preserve the remains of both extinct life forms and life forms that lie in our evolutionary ancestry, dna evidence that shows that the evolutionary family trees based on anatomical study is confirmed at the genomic level (something that no theory other than evolution could predict), vestigial organs that are clearly the evolutionary descendants of functioning organs in ancestors and related species, ring species such as gulls, salamanders, and spurges, in which neighboring populations can consistently interbreed, but populations at the ends of the chain cannot, and exist as separate species, and the list goes on.

                In fact, the evidence for evolution is far more vast than the evidence for most scientific theories that young earth creationists completely take for granted. The only reason they attack evolution theory is that they think it contradicts their interpretation of the bible.

          • Ken Gilmore

            First step. Make sure you accurately differentiate between the fact of evolution (common descent and large-scale evolutionary change) and the theory proposed to explain these facts (the currently accepted theory is the modern evolutionary synthesis). There has been no serious debate in the scientific world about the reality of common descent as evidenced from (1) comparative genomics (2) biogeography (3) developmental biology (4) palaeontology and (5) comparative anatomy for over a century.

            Then, take your time to learn from the following resources:

            Paper 1: Evolution as fact, theory and path.(TR Gregory). Outlines the way in which evolution is defined in the scientific community, and corrects creationist misunderstandings: http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12052-007-0001-z.pdf

            Then, you could look at the copious evidence for transitional fossils:

            http://link.springer.com/journal/12052/2/2/page/1
            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

            Finally, you can look at a summary of the evidence for common descent:

            http://phylointelligence.com/evidence.html
            http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

            If you disagree, please show in detail, using exclusively the scientific literature why you think these do not show evidence for evolution. Try to avoid AiG, CMI, ICR, the Discovery Institute or any other pseudoscientific sources.

            Thanks.

            • Jeff

              So what your saying is, first you must accept the “fact” of evolution. Then you can begin to develop theories to support you “leap of faith” in accepting the fact of evolution.

              To help you complete the brainwashing process, please read this list of articles, none of which actually give the clear evidence of natural evolution as the indubitable explanation for what we see.

              I suggest intelligent design by an immutable God. It fits all the evidence. Read the New Testament writings. Don’t get hung up on the Old Testament or the “dogma” of christian denominations.

              • beau_quilter

                Jeff

                Some of the writers you have been exchanging words with on this post are biblical experts. They have read the New Testament and Old Testament more than either of us combined and in the original languages.

                • Jeff

                  Sorry, Beau, you don’t know me, nor how much expertise I might have on biblical matters, nor how many times I have read the New or Old Testament. So don’t speak about matters you know nothing about.

                  Additionally, I have little clue about the biblical expertise of anyone who commented on this post, other than James McGrath. If you would offer some credentials for them, particularly their real names, educational qualifications, etc., I would be happy to read them.

                  • beau_quilter

                    Jeff,

                    James’ credentials are quite enough to make that case, if you need credentials.

                    “you don’t know me, nor how much expertise I might have on biblical matters”

                    What an amusing answer. So … you like a mystery? You want to keep us in the dark about your expertise?

                    Are you in reality an academic with advanced degrees in biblical scholarship, who reads the bible in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic?

                    • Jeff

                      We are not debating the reading of the bible in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic, but I have. What are your credentials?

                    • Beau Quilter

                      I have a Master of Fine Arts from UNC Chapel Hill. I’m the son of a preacher and though I’ve read through the bible many times as well as many volumes of biblical scholarship, I would never claim to have the depth of biblical training that Dr. James McGrath has.

                      Even so, I’ve read Genesis closely enough to know that it does not provide a biological history of life on earth. It doesn’t even pretend to. The first chapters of Genesis are clearly allegorical.

                      I only brought up this tangent because you said, “read the New Testament writings,” and I’m fairly certain we all have. What specifically would you like us to read in the NT, that would shed light on the question of evolution? And did I read your last comment correctly? You read the bible in ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic?

                    • Jeff

                      I am done posting on this blog, but out of respect for you response to my request I’ll reciprocate. I have a MA in NT research from Johnson University and have done other graduate work at Emmanuel School of Religion and Cincinnati Christian University. I’ve read the bible in its ancient languages, but don’t mean to imply I am very proficient in either Hebrew or Aramaic.
                      I too would question the interpretation of OT passages too literally like those on one side do, but, at the same time, question the ridicule directed at individuals simply for holding to a position they sincerely believe, as those on the other side do to people who hold to a literal six-day creation.
                      For myself, the issue of importance concerns the person, Jesus. That’s the reason for my suggestion to read the NT writings.
                      I certainly don’t have the credentials of James McGrath, and respect that, but don’t respect an arrogant condescending attitude towards those who come to conclusions different than their own. Credentials do not guarantee truth.
                      Enjoy your day, Beau

                    • Beau Quilter

                      Or rather, enjoy your evening. We’ve been at this all day.

                      You have a good evening too, Jeff.

                    • Ken Gilmore

                      And what are yours to comment on comparative anatomy, ecology, genomics, molecular biology and palaeontology. You know, the areas of science directly related to evolution? It’s somewhat presumptuous for a scientific layperson to assert that > 99% of the experts in these areas have been wrong for over a century. So, man up. Why should I believe you and not – say Francis Collins, Ken Miller, Simon Conway Morris, Dennis Venema or Keith Miller (all Christians, all experts in areas such as medical genetics, cell biology, palaeontology and genetics) who regard evolution as a fact. You’d hardly want us to think you were – well – bluffing?

              • Ken Gilmore

                Jeff
                >>So what your saying is, first you must accept the “fact” of evolution

                No. I am telling you that common descent and large scale evolutionary changes are facts, demonstrated by:

                * Comparative genomics
                * The multiple transitional fossils showing evidence of large-scale evolutionary change
                * The biogeographic distribution of species.

                Darwin produced evidence from biogeography, comparative anatomy and embryology to demonstrate that evolution had occurred. He invoked natural selection as the explanation. Mainstream science largely accepted the former, but not the latter. (Natural selection was accepted in the 20th century with the forging of the modern evolutionary synthesis). However, there has been no serious argument that evolution has happened for over 100 years. The burden of proof lies on you to show that this is not the case, and refusing to even look at the evidence for common descent doesn’t reflect well on you.

                An excellent summary of the evidence for common descent was in the references in my earlier post, which you seem reluctant to read, as evidenced by the mere two hours between my post and yours. That’s hardly enough time to read all of them carefully, and follow up the references.

                I would appreciate it if you had the courtesy to read why > 99.9% of mainstream biologists (believing and unbelieving) accept common descent before making snide remarks about brainwashing’ and invoking the discredited idea of ‘intelligent design’ (you may recall a little legal event called Kitzmiller vs Dover) as an explanation. Otherwise, one would hardly be considered uncharitable for inferring that you are not approaching the subject in good faith.

            • mroge

              Ah well, Jeff may have not been interested in your links, but I am. Thank you. I bookmarked them.

              One of the things that is rather amusing with creationists is that even when the truth is right in front of them, they claim that there is no evidence. It is like looking at a burned-out building and saying that there is no evidence that a fire occured there! Just because one was not there to witness it does not invalidate that fact. Now it may be true that we can’t know exactly how that fire happened without forensic analysis, however that a fire happened should not be in dispute.

              The simple fact is that simple life has developed into complex life over billions of years. That this occured is the fact of evolution. The theory is the how of what happened. People don’t understand that scientific investigation is like putting a puzzle together. Thus while Darwin may have not known about genetics his theory of natural selection was spot-on although it didn’t give the full picture. At what point will the skeptics figure out that the evidence keeps proving Darwin right, over and over again! Every new dscovery adds to the picture. There is nothing to refute that except in the minds of people who want to stick their heads in the sand.

              Jeff calls this “brainwashing”. But when a duck looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then likely it is a duck!

              No brainwashing is what happens when people are told that if they don’t believe in the biblical account then they will go to hell. That is the biggest fear of certain Christians and it is a false dicotomy.

  • rmwilliamsjr

    i was a bit surprised here at the direction the discussion took towards home schooling. curiously i stumbled across this article a few minutes ago.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/08/christian-home-schooling-dark-side

    ideologically driven. interesting analysis. i suspect that strong religious feelings that would result in home schooling would often be classified as “ideologically driven” by those who don’t share them.

    • Jeff

      Well, rmwilliamsjr, you “stumbled” across an extremely poor one-sided article which is little more than one man’s rants against his childhood. My wife and I home-schooled our four kids through High School. They are all now college educated adults with well-adjusted lives. Virtually all the families we knew and know in homeschooling show similar results. There may be a few anecdotal examples that seem to show otherwise, but the public/government schools are filled with dysfunctional children.

  • Not Jeff

    One simply cannot claim to be a follower of Jesus and have something in their life that they view as a higher authority than the Bible (in this specific case, science). Now, this does not mean that everything in our English-translated Bible comes out to be perfect (specific word translations, etc.), but what the Bible says about science or historical events must be viewed as true. Scientists cannot even tell us what the weather will be like tomorrow, yet they claim to understand perfectly (and with the upmost authority, at that) the origins of our universe and everything in it? In no way does this mean that we should ignore science altogether, and as Christians, focus solely on the Bible to all things applicable to our lives. However, when there is a contradiction between what science tells us to believe, and what the Bible tells us to believe, Christians always need to put their faith in the Bible. Obviously, this worldview is not applicable to those not under the Christian faith.

    • mroge

      Why? The bible may have been inspired by God but it was written by fallible people. While you are right that science does not know everything (nor does it claim to) we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the bible has been proved wrong in it’s cosmology, over and over again. The most obvious is the fact that we can see stars in the sky whose light has traveled 2 billion years to get to us. So much for a 6,000 to 10,000 year universe! Frankly the Christian religion practice of sticking their heads in the sand is exactly what may lead to its demise. As long as people are taught that they have to make a choice between science and common sense or the bible accounts then the bible is going to be left by the wayside. It makes much more sense to think of the bible as a record of man’s imperfect understanding of God and the universe, especially when it is obvious that it is not morally inerrant either. That does not preclude the fact that it could still be valuable on one’s spiritual journey, but it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

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

      Not Jeff (I like your name), this makes no sense and is incompatible with Christianity. It makes no sense because there is no Bible until someone outside of the Bible takes a diverse set of works written and published separately and gathers them into a collection. The Bible does not come pre-assembled in a single package.

      It also makes no sense because in the New Testament we see that some accepted changing views of the natural world. For instance, Paul’s reference to a “third heaven” reflects the shift towards a Ptolemaic cosmology. But be that as it may, I suspect that you do not embrace the existence of the dome mentioned in Genesis 1 and elsewhere. You may even read a translation which tries to turn it into something else, aware that some readers think they must take the Bible literally and obscuring from their view the fact that they would not be able to do so if the text were to be consistently translated literally.

      It is incompatible with Christianity because the highest authority for a Christian is God, and then Jesus. We see the New Testament authors including people who were excluded from the people of God by Scripture. Moreover, to make the Bible your highest authority constitutes a form of idolatry.


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